EU policies

Barry Eichengreen, Charles Wyplosz, 12 February 2016

The Eurozone crisis has shown that monetary union entails more than just sharing monetary policies. This column identifies four minimal conditions for solidifying the monetary union. In the case of fiscal policy, this means a decentralised solution. In the case of financial supervision and monetary policy, centralisation is unambiguously the appropriate response. In the case of a fourth condition, debt restructuring, either approach is possible, but the authors prefer a solution that involves centrally restructuring debts while allocating costs at national level.

Daniel Gros, 12 February 2016

The Eurozone’s ‘Banking Union’ created a system of banking supervision and a common institution to restructure troubled banks. There remain two issues, however, that need to be addressed:  banks are holding too much debt of their own sovereign, and deposit insurance is only backstopped at the national level. This column argues that these issues need to be addressed simultaneously for economic and political reasons. Specifically, periphery and core countries hold opposing positions on remedies to the respective problems. A combination of the two makes economic sense and could represent an acceptable political compromise.

Jean Pisani-Ferry, 12 February 2016

The dramatic episodes in the Eurozone in the past few years called for a number of policy reactions. Yet the response was usually limited to what was deemed indispensable to ensure survival. This column discusses how such half-solutions paved the way for future crises. The author also puts forward a few proposals regarding the Eurozone’s policies. Among them are a European Monetary Fund, an overhaul of surveillance, the completion of banking union, an insolvency procedure for sovereigns, and Eurobonds of some sort. And the sooner such issues are deeply discussed, the faster coherent solutions can be reached.

Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan, 12 February 2016

The ongoing Eurozone Crisis has raised many debates on what needs to be done to reduce the frequency and severity of similar future crises. This column discusses the implications of equity versus debt flows in terms of risk sharing during the Crisis, and in terms of slow recovery in the aftermath of the Crisis. The author suggests that to induce a fast recovery in an aftermath of a crisis, the EZ needs a banking union and a broader financial union based on equity ownership. 

Peter Bofinger, 12 February 2016

The Eurozone is more crisis-prone than other major currency areas. This column suggests that due to its hybrid structure, the EZ is likely to remain crisis-prone in the near future. A main challenge is the specific insolvency risk to which the member states are exposed, which in the longer term it can only be eliminated by some form of debt mutualisation. Another challenge is that the EZ suffers from an insufficient coordination of fiscal policies and wage trends.

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