International finance

The TARGET2 controversy

Livia Chiţu, Barry Eichengreen, Arnaud Mehl, Gary Richardson, 15 July 2014

The European debt crisis has triggered debates over the TARGET2 imbalances. This column discusses gold flows across Federal Reserve districts and points to the similarity of such operations to liquidity flows from Eurozone’s ‘core’ to its ‘periphery’. Though the institutional setting in Europe differs, important lessons can be drawn from the US example. Cooperation between regional Reserve Banks was essential for the cohesion of the US monetary union. Such cooperative spirit will be important for the smooth operation of the Eurozone.

Germany and the future of the euro

Joshua Aizenman, 3 July 2014

After a promising first decade, the Eurozone faced a severe crisis. This column looks at the Eurozone’s short history through the lens of an evolutionary approach to forming new institutions. German dominance has allowed the euro to achieve a number of design objectives, and this may continue if Germany does not shirk its responsibilities. Germany’s resilience and dominant size within the EU may explain its ‘muddling through’ approach to the Eurozone crisis. Greater mobility of labour and lower mobility of under-regulated capital may be the costly ‘second best’ adjustment until the arrival of more mature Eurozone institutions.

Self-fulfilling Eurozone debt crises and the ‘Draghi put’

Marcus Miller, Lei Zhang, 26 June 2014

Like banks, indebted governments can be vulnerable to self-fulfilling financial crises. This column applies this insight to the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis, and explains why the ECB’s Outright Monetary Transactions policy reduced sovereign bond spreads in the Eurozone.

Do capital controls deflect capital flows?

Paolo Giordani, Michele Ruta, Hans Weisfeld, Ling Zhu, 23 June 2014

Capital controls may help countries limit large and volatile capital inflows, but they may also have spillover effects on other countries. This column discusses recent research showing that inflow restrictions have significant spillover effects as they deflect capital flows to countries with similar economic characteristics.

A primer on ‘global liquidity’

Eugenio Cerutti, Stijn Claessens, Lev Ratnovski, 8 June 2014

‘Global liquidity’ is often used to describe the impact of low US and EZ interest rates on the rest of the world. The concept is critical for understanding the global financial cycle and international spillovers. This column defines global liquidity as the ease of financing in cross-border markets and points to its potential drivers. To limit their exposures to global liquidity fluctuations nations can embrace better macro policy frameworks, consider capital flow management tools, and more stringently regulate and supervise banks.

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