Fiscal consolidation and reforms: Substitutes, not complements
Coen Teulings 13 September 2012
Many OECD countries suffer from high sovereign debts. Sooner or later, this problem must be addressed. Many argue that this will require some form of fiscal retrenchment or institutional reform or a combination of the two. This column argues that the two are not complements as many suggest – they are instead substitutes.
Many OECD countries suffer from high sovereign debts. Sooner or later, this problem must be addressed. That will require some form of fiscal retrenchment.
Quite often the fiscal problems are due to market rigidities, barriers to entry, and distortive tax systems. A programme of reform must therefore include both fiscal consolidation and institutional reform to enhance future growth. Growth and the larger tax base that goes with it provides the best prospect for solving the fiscal problems.
Macroeconomic policy Taxation
Institutional reform, fiscal crises, Fiscal retrenchment, austerity
A reflection on the G20 (The question never asked to Mr Zoellick)
Biagio Bossone 17 October 2009
The G20 recently asserted itself as the “the primary forum for our international economic cooperation.” This column questions the efficiency and legitimacy of such governance. It says that the IMF – the only multilateral financial institution with universal representation – is the natural place for international financial policy cooperation.
Last week, in Istanbul, on the occasion of the annual meetings of the IMF and the World Bank, I participated as a country official to the Small States Forum – the place where the smallest nations on earth meet to discuss economic policy issues of common interest. World Bank president Robert Zoellick intervened in one of the forum sessions for a brief presentation and a round of Q&A. I was ready to ask him a question, but the time was soon up after two distinguished speakers had filled it all with their (less than memorable) remarks.
Institutional reform, IMF, G20
The Report of the Manuel Committee on IMF Governance Reform: What’s good, what’s less good, and what’s missing?
Biagio Bossone 21 April 2009
The IMF appointed a committee, chaired by Trevor Manuel, to look into IMF decision making. This column reviews the report, arguing that it misses critical question on Executive Board reform. Without an independent board, the Fund’s skewed voting power tends to produce uneven treatment of members. Decision-making power must ultimately rest with shareholders but they should be advised by an independent board that acts as the voice of the institution and its membership as a whole.
In recent years, especially since the start of the first global crisis of the new millennium, reforming the governance of global finance, particularly the Bretton Woods institutions, has attracted increasing attention from analysts and policymakers involved in international financial issues. The related debate hosted by Vox is a reflection of the broad range of views spanning the issue.
Institutional reform, IMF reform, global crisis debate, institution reform
A proposal to the members of the G20
Biagio Bossone 14 March 2009
The crisis has revealed many gaps in global economic governance – problems that G20 leaders should address at the London Summit. This column describes a proposal by the “Group of Lecce”, which argues that global economic decision-making should take place within the IMF and World Bank transformed by more responsible, representative, and powerful “Governing Councils”.
The increasingly painful international crisis demands that our world leaders rethink the very foundations of global economic governance. This is no longer the time for incrementally upgrading the international economic and financial “architecture”, but one of those historical junctures where true leadership should emerge and make possible a major overhaul of the existing architecture. It is not only a question of how to overcome the current crisis – however dramatically urgent that is – but to imagine the new governance model of the global economy that should come out from the crisis.
Institutional reform, IMF, global crisis debate, World Bank
Debating global financial governance on Vox: Where do we stand?
Biagio Bossone 18 February 2009
This column summarises the global crisis debate on institutional reforms to build global financial governance. While various authors disagree about the G20’s suitability and effectiveness, there is agreement that a number of IMF reforms are needed. Moreover, many call for the IMF to significantly increase its lending resources.
As the G20’s April summit approaches, the debate on reform options needs to focus on the key issues that will be before the national leaders. At the invitation of Vox’s editors, I use this column to take stock of the proposals contributed so far to Vox’s Global Crisis Debate on how to reform international institutions to strengthen global financial governance. I hope not to do too much injustice to the many views expressed, and I apologise to the authors for inadvertent misrepresentations or neglect.
Institutional reform, IMF reform, global crisis debate, shares and chairs
EU Constitution and its replacement: an economist’s perspective, Part 1
Richard Baldwin 09 June 2007
Public debate on the new treaty focuses on marketing issues (re-packing) or extreme generalities (mini-treaty), but there are important choices to be made, and the various reform elements – such as voting rules, the number of Commissioners and removal of the famous Maastricht pillars – interact in complex ways. First in a series of 4 columns on the issue.
The June 2007 Summit organised by the Germany Presidency of the EU will strive to revive the Constitutional Treaty, or parts of it. The goal is to set the agenda for a new Intergovernmental Conference that would draft a new treaty. Such agendas usually pre-determine much of the final outcome, so it is important to discuss now what any new treaty should look like.
Constitutional Treaty, Europe, EU Constitution, Institutional reform, Council voting, EU