Revisiting the pain in Spain

Paul De Grauwe 07 July 2014

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The different macroeconomic adjustment dynamics in Spain – a member of a monetary union – and the UK – a stand-alone country – is stark. Paul Krugman popularised this contrast in his New York Times blog with the title “The Pain in Spain” (Krugman 2009, 2011), and commented on my own analysis in De Grauwe (2011).

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Topics:  Europe's nations and regions Global crisis Macroeconomic policy

Tags:  ECB, monetary policy, euro, EMU, Spain, monetary union, fiscal policy, UK, government debt, austerity, EZ crisis, Outright Monetary Transactions, currency depreciation

The euro crisis: Muddling through, or on the way to a more perfect euro union?

Joshua Aizenman 03 July 2014

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The short history of the Eurozone has been remarkable and unprecedented – the euro project has moved from the planning board to a vibrant currency within less than ten years. Otmar Issing’s optimistic speech in 2006 reflects well the buoyant assessment of the first decade of the euro – an unprecedented formation of a new currency without a state.1 Observers viewed the rapid acceptance of the euro as a viable currency and the deeper financial integration of the Eurozone and the EU countries as stepping stones toward a stable and prosperous Europe.

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Topics:  Institutions and economics International finance Monetary policy

Tags:  Germany, ECB, eurozone, inflation targeting, euro, institutions, Eurozone crisis, GIIPS

Delivering the Eurozone ‘Consistent Trinity’

Marco Buti, Maria Demertzis, João Nogueira Martins 30 March 2014

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As argued in an earlier commentary, the financial crisis exposed important economic inconsistencies in the way that EMU operated.1 Although progress has been made, the reality is that more needs to be done. A number of countries still need to consolidate their public finances further, and also implement structural reforms to promote growth and sustain satisfactory welfare systems. At the same time, there is a need for vulnerable countries to ensure consistency between regaining competitiveness and the sustainability of private and public debts.

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Topics:  Europe's nations and regions Macroeconomic policy

Tags:  eurozone, euro, EMU, imbalances, fiscal policy, structural reforms, fiscal consolidation, debt, Eurozone crisis, Stability and Growth Pact, banking union, internal devaluation

Considering QE, Mario? Buy US bonds, not Eurobonds

Jeffrey Frankel 24 March 2014

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The ECB should further ease monetary policy. Inflation at 0.8% across the Eurozone is below the target of ‘close to 2%’, and unemployment in most countries is still high. Under the current conditions, it is hard for the periphery countries to bring their costs the rest of the way back down to internationally competitive levels as they need to do. If inflation is below 1% Eurozone-wide, then the periphery countries have to suffer painful deflation.

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Topics:  Macroeconomic policy Monetary policy

Tags:  ECB, euro, quantitative easing

TARGET balances, Bretton Woods, and the Great Depression

Michael Bordo 21 March 2014

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During the Eurozone crisis, an analogy was made between the events in Europe between 2007 and 2012 and the collapse of the Bretton Woods System between 1968 and 1971. There has been a build-up of TARGET liabilities since 2007 by some central banks (notably Greece, Ireland, Portugal, and Spain, or the ‘GIPS’), and of TARGET assets by Germany and others.

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Topics:  Economic history International finance

Tags:  ECB, eurozone, euro, global imbalances, Central Banks, financial crisis, Great Depression, Eurosystem, Eurozone crisis, Bretton Woods, TARGET

A fiscal shock absorber for the Eurozone? Lessons from the economics of insurance

Daniel Gros 19 March 2014

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Even before the euro crisis started, it had been widely argued that the Eurozone needed a mechanism to help countries overcome idiosyncratic shocks. The experience of the crisis itself seemed to make this case overwhelming, and throughout the EU institutions it is now taken for granted that the Eurozone needs a system of fiscal shock absorbers. For example, The Report of the President of the European Council calls for:

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Topics:  EU institutions Macroeconomic policy Welfare state and social Europe

Tags:  eurozone, euro, insurance, fiscal policy, Eurozone crisis, fiscal union, fiscal shocks, fiscal shock absorbers

The euro in the 'currency war'

Agnès Benassy-Quéré, Philippe Martin,

Date Published

Thu, 02/06/2014

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euro, Currency wars, ECB monetary policy

A looser monetary policy will favour a weaker euro and a stronger economy

Agnès Benassy-Quéré, Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, Philippe Martin, Guillaume Plantin 06 February 2014

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Since July 2012, the euro appreciated more than 10% against the dollar, 6% against the pound sterling, and almost 50% against the yen (IMF 2014). Does this mean that the euro a casualty of a ‘currency war’? We believe the answer is ‘no’. The strength of the euro is the result of an overly restrictive monetary policy by the ECB.

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Topics:  Macroeconomic policy

Tags:  euro, Currency wars, ECB monetary policy

How the euro synchronised EZ cycles

Ayako Saiki, Sunghyun Henry Kim 02 February 2014

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Prior to the introduction of the euro, the topic of whether the Eurozone fulfils the conditions for an optimum currency area was highly debated (e.g. Bayoumi and Eichengreen 1992).

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Topics:  EU institutions International finance International trade

Tags:  eurozone, euro, trade, business cycles, East Asia, supply chains, optimum currency area

The latest on the dollar’s international currency status

Jeffrey Frankel 06 December 2013

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As most people know, the general trend in the dollar’s role as an international currency has been slowly downward since 1976. International use of the dollar as a currency in which to hold foreign-exchange reserves, to denominate financial transactions, to invoice trade, and to serve as a vehicle for foreign-exchange transactions is below where it was during the heyday of the Bretton Woods era (1945-1971). However, few are aware of what the most recent numbers show.

It is not hard to think of explanations for the downward trend:

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Topics:  International finance

Tags:  euro, reserve currency, dollar, foreign exchange, yuan

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