Emerging market firms have borrowed in foreign currency to take advantage of low interest rates. This column argues that when the Fed inevitably raises rates, such borrowing will be a threat to emerging economy financial systems. Yet so long as authorities use their existing prudential tools wisely, the risks appear manageable.
Viral Acharya, Stephen Cecchetti, José De Gregorio, Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan, Philip R. Lane, Ugo Panizza, Monday, October 5, 2015 - 00:00
Philip R. Lane, Monday, September 7, 2015 - 00:00
In the lead up to the global financial crisis, there was a substantial credit boom in advanced economies. In the Eurozone, cross-border flows played an especially important role in the boom-bust cycle. This column examines how the common currency and linkages between member states contributed to the Eurozone crisis. A very strong relationship between pre-crisis levels of external imbalances and macroeconomic performance since 2008 is observed. The findings point to the importance of delinking banks and sovereigns, and the need for macro-financial policies that manage the risks associated with excessive international debt flows.
Timothy W. Guinnane, Thursday, August 13, 2015 - 00:00
Greece’s crisis has invited comparisons to the 1953 London Debt Agreement, which ended a long period of German default on external debt. This column suggests that looking back, the 1953 agreement was unnecessarily generous given that Germany’s rapid growth lightened the debt repayment burden. Unfortunately for Greece, the motivations driving the 1953 agreement are nearly entirely absent today.
Alex Pienkowski, Pablo Anaya, Thursday, August 6, 2015 - 00:00
During the Global Crisis, sovereign debt-to-GDP ratios grew substantially in the face of shocks to growth, increased fiscal deficits, bank recapitalisation costs, and rising borrowing costs. This column looks at how these various shocks interact with each other to exacerbate or mitigate the eventual impact on debt. Choice of monetary policy regime is an important determinant of how public debt reacts to these shocks.
Jaume Ventura, Hans-Joachim Voth, Monday, July 27, 2015 - 00:00
Is debt really that bad? This column looks at the towering debts, rapid tax hikes, and constant state of war that led to Britain’s Industrial Revolution, showing that the devil is in the detail when assessing sovereign debt. When we consider the dangers of debt in today’s world, we should keep an eye on its potential benefits as well.
Serkan Arslanalp, Reinout De Bock, Matthew Jones, Thursday, June 4, 2015 - 00:00
Major advanced economies have made mixed progress in repairing the private sector’s balance sheets. This column explores private sector deleveraging trends and calls for a set of policies that will return debt to safer levels. Monetary policies should support private sector deleveraging and policymakers should not ignore the positive impact of debt restructuring and write-offs on non-performing loans.
Roger Backhouse, Mauro Boianovsky, Tuesday, May 19, 2015 - 00:00
The notion of secular stagnation – a state of negligible or zero economic growth – is back in the headlines. Questions naturally arise about its intellectual antecedents. This column discusses how the concept rose and fell with the economic fortunes of advanced industrialised nations. Political trends and trends in economic theory played a part in its trajectory, with the notion closely connected to the idea that the level of government debt should be allowed to rise.
Ana-Maria Fuertes, Elena Kalotychou, Orkun Saka, Thursday, March 26, 2015 - 00:00
David Amiel, Paul-Adrien Hyppolite, Sunday, March 15, 2015 - 00:00
Lars P Feld, Christoph M Schmidt, Isabel Schnabel, Benjamin Weigert, Volker Wieland, Friday, February 20, 2015 - 00:00
Julio Escolano, Laura Jaramillo, Carlos Mulas-Granados, Gilbert Terrier, Friday, February 27, 2015 - 00:00
Irina Balteanu, Aitor Erce, Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - 00:00
Charles A.E. Goodhart, Philipp Erfurth, Monday, November 3, 2014 - 00:00
Fergal McCann, Tara McIndoe-Calder, Tuesday, September 23, 2014 - 00:00
Claudio Borio, Piti Disyatat, Wednesday, June 25, 2014 - 00:00
Real interest rates have fallen to historic lows, and some economists are concerned that an era of secular stagnation has begun. This column highlights the role of policy frameworks and financial factors – particularly debt – in linking low real interest rates and sluggish economic growth. Policies that do not lean against booms but ease aggressively and persistently in busts induce a downward bias in interest rates over time and an upward bias in debt levels – something akin to a debt trap. Low real interest rates may thus be self-reinforcing and not always ‘natural’.
Markus Eberhardt, Sunday, May 11, 2014 - 00:00
The debt-growth link is essential to today's marcoeconomic policy choices. This Vox Talk discusses new evidence based on data on total public debt for 105 economies between 1972 and 2009 and two centuries of data for the UK, US, Sweden and Japan. There is no convincing proof that austerity works and that it is dangerous for policy makers to pretend otherwise.
Stijn Claessens, Friday, April 18, 2014 - 00:00
Stijn Claessens talks to Viv Davies about the recent IMF book titled 'Global Crises: Causes, Consequences and Policy Responses', co-edited with M Ayhan Kose, Luc Laeven, and Fabian Valencia. The book provides a comprehensive overview of current research into financial crises and the policy lessons learned. They discuss crisis prevention and management, and the crisis in the Eurozone. The interview was recorded in April 2014.
Emanuele Baldacci, Sanjeev Gupta, Carlos Mulas-Granados, Monday, March 31, 2014 - 00:00
The recent debate on the link between austerity and growth has focused on the short run. This column discusses recent research into the link between fiscal consolidation and medium-term growth under different financial conditions. If credit is not available to consumers and investors, private demand is less able to compensate for cutbacks in public demand, so large spending cuts can have a negative effect on growth. Difficult financial conditions probably explain why fiscal adjustments that worked in the 1990s have not produced similar beneficial effects on growth in recent years.
Marco Buti, Maria Demertzis, João Nogueira Martins, Sunday, March 30, 2014 - 00:00
Although progress has been made on resolving the Eurozone crisis – vulnerable countries have reduced their current-account deficits and implemented some reforms – more still needs to be done. This column argues for a ‘consistent trinity’ of policies: structural reforms within countries, more symmetric macroeconomic adjustment across countries, and a banking union for the Eurozone.
Paolo Manasse, Friday, January 31, 2014 - 00:00
Sales of state-owned assets have been proposed as a way for highly-indebted countries to ease the pain of fiscal consolidation. This column argues that, despite the potential merits of privatisation in terms of long-run efficiency, in practice it is unlikely to improve short-run fiscal solvency. Since governments rarely alienate control rights, the efficiency gains from privatisations are often small. Moreover, financial markets may not fully reflect these gains – particularly during a financial crisis. The implication is that the Troika policy of linking financial assistance to privatisations is inappropriate and self-defeating.