The fiscal crises in some EU countries have put considerable strain on the region. This column argues that the solution requires a credible demonstration of political will from its political leaders. It suggests a voluntary commitment to support struggling governments with financial means provided at a penalty rate and against a clearly defined spending reduction programme.
Giancarlo Corsetti, Harold James, Monday, April 12, 2010 - 00:00
Charles Wyplosz, Saturday, March 20, 2010 - 00:00
As the debate over a European Monetary Fund continues, this column argues that Germany’s enthusiasm for the new fund lies in its desire to impose fiscal discipline on countries it didn’t want in the Eurozone in the first place. The EU is not Germany and despite its dysfunctional diversity, the avoidance of a currency crisis in Greece shows that it works.
Michael Burda, Saturday, March 13, 2010 - 00:00
Greece’s recent deficit-cutting budget was met with planned strikes and protests in the streets. This column argues that the painful fiscal adjustments could turn out to be a good thing for Europe’s political integration, but the region has to take the next step and set up a European Monetary Fund.
Francesco Paolo Mongelli, Thursday, March 11, 2010 - 00:00
This new Policy Insight asks why countries would share a single currency, and addresses some aspects missing from the current debate on the benefits of the euro area.
Francesco Paolo Mongelli, Thursday, March 11, 2010 - 00:00
Why would countries share a single currency? This column introduces a new CEPR Policy Insight and argues that some aspects are missing in the current debate on the merits of the EMU. Benefiting from monetary union is a matter of time, perseverance, and seizing opportunities.
Lorenzo Cappiello, Marco Protopapa, Christoffer Kok Sørensen, Arjan Kadareja, Wednesday, March 3, 2010 - 00:00
How important is credit availability to the real economy? This column examines evidence from the Eurozone and suggests that a change in loan availability has a positive and statistically significant effect on GDP. This provides support for the policies taken by central banks to alleviate pressures on the banking system.
Domingo Cavallo, Joaquín Cottani, Monday, February 22, 2010 - 00:00
Martin Feldstein argued last week that Greece should take “a temporary leave of absence with the right and the obligation to return at a more competitive exchange rate.” In this column, Argentina’s highly regarded former Minister of the Economy and a co-author argue that the idea won’t work. A better solution would be to adjust the Greek tax system.
Charles Wyplosz, Tuesday, February 9, 2010 - 00:00
The latest turn in the global financial crisis has ensnared the debt of some European nations. The fact that these nations are members of a monetary union has generated much confused comment. Here one the world’s leading experts on Eurozone monetary and financial matters sets the record straight, debunking 10 myths and setting forth 10 frequently overlooked facts.
Anne Sibert, Saturday, January 16, 2010 - 00:00
Economists largely neglected systemic risk in the financial sector. This column discusses how governments should gather data about systemic risk and assess its implications. It says the new European Systemic Risk Board is far from the ideal – it is too big, too homogeneous, and lacks independence.
Emil Stavrev, Martin Cihák, Thomas Harjes, Friday, January 15, 2010 - 00:00
The global crisis forced central banks to take unconventional measures. This column says that the ECB’s “enhanced credit support” helped support the transmission of monetary policy by reducing money market term spreads. The substantial increase in the ECB’s balance sheet also likely contributed to a reduction in government bond term spreads and a somewhat flatter yield curve.
Cristina Checherita, Maria Grazia Attinasi, Christiane Nickel, Monday, January 11, 2010 - 00:00
The crisis has raised long-term government bond yield spreads across Europe. This column discusses the causes. Increased risk aversion and concern about public finances explain most of the movements in sovereign bond spreads. Moreover, bank bailouts transferred credit risk from the private sector to governments.
Paul De Grauwe, Tuesday, May 11, 2010 - 00:00
This column, first published 15 December 2009, shows the main outlines of the crisis were clear months ago and suggests actions that – had they been taken early – would have mitigated problems facing the Eurozone today. The column concludes: "All this leads to the conclusion that the Eurozone governments should make clear where they stand on this issue. Not doing so implies that each time one member country gets into financial problems the future of the system is put into doubt." If only those words had been heeded months ago.
J James Reade, Ulrich Volz, Tuesday, September 8, 2009 - 00:00
The global financial crisis has revived euro deliberations in Sweden. This column argues that Sweden ought to join the eurozone. It says that Swedish monetary independence is an illusion, as Swedish money market rates are driven by the policies of the ECB. Sweden would gain more by taking a seat at the ECB table than remaining a passive bystander.
Paul De Grauwe, Wednesday, April 15, 2009 - 00:00
This column shows that the Maastricht convergence criteria are political instruments, not economically vital measures. They were ignored in 1998 so as to facilitate the Eurozone’s creation, and now they are stringently applied so as to slow its enlargement.
Paul De Grauwe, Saturday, February 7, 2009 - 00:00
Spreads of sovereign debt within the eurozone have increased dramatically during the last few months, largely as a result of panic in the financial markets. When it engages in quantitative easing, the ECB should privilege the buying of Irish, Greek, Spanish and Italian government bonds to eliminate the distortions and the externalities that these spreads create.
Lionel Fontagné, Antoine Berthou, Saturday, August 9, 2008 - 00:00
How did the adoption of the euro boost international trade? This column analyses microeconomic evidence from France, showing that fewer firms now export, but those that do export more products to more destinations in Europe.
Barry Eichengreen, Tuesday, May 4, 2010 - 00:00
Originally posted 17 November 2007, this Vox column is more relevant than ever arguing that adopting the euro is effectively irreversible. Leaving would require lengthy preparations, which, given the anticipated devaluation, would trigger the mother of all financial crises. National households and firms would shift deposits to other Eurozone banks producing a system-wide bank run. Investors, trying to escape, would create a bond-market crisis. Here is what the train wreck would look like.
Willem Buiter, Anne Sibert, Wednesday, May 3, 2006 - 00:00
The Maastricht Treaty’s Eurozone entry criteria were designed for slow-growing West European nations. They make no economic sense for the new EU members. These nations opted for stable exchange rates, so their inflation rates rose with energy prices and rapid productivity growth. Neither the ECB nor the Bank of England would try to control inflation and exchange rates simultaneously. Why should Eurozone aspirants be forced to do so?
Charles Wyplosz, Thursday, June 10, 2004 - 00:00
Written in June 2003: EU Commissioner Pedro Solbes announced that aspiring Eurozone members must keep their exchange rates within the old, narrow ERM band. If EU Finance Ministers agree, this is very bad news, raising the possibility of exchange rate crises. It is in the EU’s common interest to recognise that the new members are different; they should be given two options: early euro-isation or the Swedish-type oblivion of the wide-band ERM.