In September 2016, the ECB held its first Annual Research Conference. This column surveys the contributions to the conference, which brought together policymakers and academics from around the world to promote discussion of topics at the forefront of monetary and financial economic research. Nobel laureate Eric Maskin gave the keynote lecture, addressing whether fiscal policy should be set by politicians, and the conference included eight further presentations and a panel discussion on monetary policy and financial stability.
Luca Dedola, Luc Laeven, 15 November 2016
Filippo di Mauro, Konstantins Benkovskis, Sante De Pinto , Marco Grazioli, 29 June 2016
In the ‘currency wars’ discussion, it is almost taken for granted that exchange rate depreciations will result in non-trivial export gains. Using evidence from countries in Europe and Asia, this column argues instead that factors unrelated to prices/exchange rates often play a predominant role in shaping trade developments. Moreover, these factors affect export outcomes in a very diversified manner across countries, in part because of the interplay of global value chains.
Jeffrey Frankel, 09 December 2015
Calls for coordination of macroeconomic policy have made a comeback since the Global Crisis. This column reviews this return of international policy coordination, both in terms of fiscal and monetary policy. It discusses recent developments and considerations in fiscal and monetary policy games, and cautions that most but not all calls for coordination are useful.
Eswar Prasad, 29 March 2014
Eswar Prasad talks to Viv Davies about his recent book, ‘The Dollar Trap: How the US dollar tightened its grip on global finance’, which examines how, paradoxically, in light of the financial crisis, the dollar continues to play a central role in the world economy and why it will remain the cornerstone of global finance for the foreseeable future. They also discuss the current frameworks for international economic cooperation as well as currency wars, unconventional monetary policy and the prospects for the renminbi becoming the world's reserve currency. The interview was recorded in London in March 2014.
Agnès Bénassy-Quéré, Philippe Martin, 06 February 2014
The euro has appreciated sharply since July 2012. CEPR Policy Insight 70 argues that the strong euro is not the result of a ‘currency war’. The Eurozone suffers from an overly restrictive monetary policy. The sooner the ECB adopts a more aggressive monetary stance, the sooner the recovery will take hold. Easier Eurozone monetary conditions will lead to a temporarily depreciated Euro, which will support aggregate economic activity and help inflation stay close to 2%.
Agnès Bénassy-Quéré, Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, Philippe Martin, Guillaume Plantin, 06 February 2014
The euro has appreciated sharply since July 2012. This column introduces a CEPR Policy Insight which argues that the strong euro is not the result of a ‘currency war’. The Eurozone suffers from an overly restrictive monetary policy. The sooner the ECB adopts a more aggressive monetary stance, the sooner the recovery will take hold. Easier Eurozone monetary conditions will lead to a temporarily depreciated euro, which will support aggregate economic activity and help inflation stay close to 2%.
Willem Buiter, 10 January 2014
Fiscal sustainability has become a hot topic as a result of the European sovereign debt crisis, but it matters in normal times, too. This column argues that financial sector reforms are essential to ensure fiscal sustainability in the future. Although emerging market reforms undertaken in the aftermath of the financial crises of the 1990s were beneficial, complacency is not warranted. In the US, political gridlock must be overcome to reform entitlements and the tax system. In the Eurozone, creating a sovereign debt restructuring mechanism should be a priority.
Jens Nordvig, 25 November 2013
Having promised to do ‘whatever it takes’ to ensure the survival of the euro, the ECB now faces the problem of record high unemployment combined with a strong currency. There is accumulating evidence that the ECB is more willing to fight currency appreciation than the Bundesbank would have been. Capital inflows have been a key source of recent upward pressure on the euro. Should this continue, the ECB may need to intervene more aggressively in order to promote economic recovery in the Eurozone.
Philippe Bacchetta, Kenza Benhima, Yannick Kalantzis, 09 January 2013
China is perennially accused of currency manipulation. Yet, this column argues that a weak currency value doesn’t necessarily reflect currency manipulation. China is a fast growing economy with strong financial frictions and a high saving rate, and such countries naturally have weak currencies. Instead of focussing on accusations of currency manipulation, it might be more helpful for economists to encourage policies that foster Chinese consumption, gradually leading the renminbi to an appreciating path.
Owen Humpage, Michael Bordo, 03 October 2011
The Great Recession has resulted in sharp exchange-rate changes and threats of ‘currency wars’ linger. Some countries – notably Japan and Switzerland – have shown an interest in foreign-exchange intervention. This column argues that sterilised intervention does not afford monetary authorities a means of systematically affecting their exchange rates independent of their domestic policy objectives. Countries that engage in currency wars run a real risk of shooting themselves in the foot.
Uri Dadush, Vera Eidelman, 23 September 2011
Currency wars are a pressing concern in the international arena. This column introduces a new online book that argues the real cause of today’s currency tensions are misguided domestic policies in the world’s major economies. The cure is not to overhaul the exchange-rate system – which has worked well during a global crisis. The solution lies in incremental change by the US, the EU, and China.
Avinash Persaud, 16 February 2011
Criticism of China’s exchange-rate policy continues throughout the US. This column argues that the US is in fact the exchange rate manipulator, due to its ongoing quantitative easing. What the US needs to do for a sustainable turnaround is to learn from other successful economies like China and Germany – not de-rail them.
Olivier Blanchard, 05 November 2010
Olivier Blanchard, economic counsellor at the IMF, talks to Romesh Vaitilingam about the two ‘rebalancing acts’ needed for a strong global recovery and the particular challenges facing the US, Europe and the emerging market economies. He also discusses fiscal consolidation, financial reform and ‘currency wars’. The interview was recorded on 4 November 2010 at the Centre for Economic Performance in London, where Blanchard was delivering a special lecture on ‘The State of the World Economy’. [Also read the transcript]
Barry Eichengreen, 30 September 2010
The "international currency war" mentioned by Brazil's finance minister poses massive dangers for the world trade and financial systems. This column by one of the world's most respected international economists argues that there is a better way. The G3 should engage in quantitative easing so they all can export more to each other. For the emerging markets, the danger lies in inflation, asset bubbles, and trade retaliation. To shield their key manufacturing sectors, they should encourage the domestic demand for manufactures.