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
Giancarlo Corsetti, Matthew Higgins, Paolo Pesenti, 12 February 2016
James Tobin’s classic ‘funnel’ theory questioned how best to calibrate the overall stance of macroeconomic policy in an economic region. This column revisits key questions that emerged out of the EZ crisis through the lens of Tobin’s theory. A key insight is that monetary policy cannot achieve stabilisation objectives without stronger mechanisms for fiscal burden-sharing and risk-pooling. Although short-run solutions are possible under the existing circumstances, long-run stability will require a policy mix that convincingly deals with the issue of fiscal risk-sharing.
David Amiel, Paul-Adrien Hyppolite, 15 March 2015
As the Eurozone crisis lingers on, euro exit is now being debated in ‘core’ as well as ‘periphery’ countries. This column examines the potential costs of euro exit, using France as an example. The authors estimate that 30% of private marketable debt would be redenominated, but since only 36% of revenues would be redenominated, the aggregate currency mismatch is relatively modest. However, the immediate financial cost of exiting the euro would nevertheless be substantial if public authorities were to bail out systemic and highly exposed companies.
Roel Beetsma, Konstantinos Mavromatis, 21 December 2012
Are Eurobonds a desirable solution to Eurozone members’ debt crises? Unhappily, it’s difficult to say. This column argues it very much depends on how the system is designed. However, looking at the most prominent proposals, it seems a cleverly designed Eurobonds system may well provide governments with the right incentives to encourage both issuing less debt and pursuing meaningful structural reform.
Christopher Sims, 12 October 2012
Nobel laureate, Christopher Sims, talks to Viv Davies about the institutional restructuring needed to put the Eurozone on a path to sustainable recovery. Sims contrasts the structural differences of the US, Japan and the UK with the Eurozone; they discuss the role of the ECB, eurobonds, a common fiscal commitment, and the rationale for country-level default. They also discuss Sims' prophetic paper on "The Precarious Fiscal Foundations of EMU" (1999), in which he wrote about the risks of a euro crisis.The interview was recorded in Brussels on 21 September 2012.
Marco Annunziata, 14 August 2012
While markets have been cheered by recent ECB announcements on sovereign debt, some still question the Bank’s ability to save the euro. This column argues that the ECB is a lot stronger than many think. Linking ECB sovereign bond purchases to policy conditionality will ensure that reform efforts are sustained. The free lunch option has been ruled out – and that is a good thing.
Jeffrey Frankel, 27 June 2012
Solutions to the Eurozone crisis must balance the evils of austerity and moral hazard. This column argues that the blue/red Eurobonds proposal might just get this balance right.
David Veredas, 24 June 2012
Many view Eurobonds as the silver bullet to end the Eurozone’s crisis. But this column argues that Eurozone debt tail risks are worryingly high, with those of bailout countries rising despite the rescue packages. It urges Europe’s leaders to be cautious when pooling debt to create a Eurobond – adding that it is only advisable once tail risks are tamed.
João Fonseca, Pedro Santa-Clara, 11 May 2012
Eurobonds have been proposed as a solution to the crisis, but Germany is wary of guaranteeing the entire debt of EZ countries. This column suggests the more politically feasible Euro-coupon solution. EZ countries would issue bonds at market interest rates and transfers between countries would harmonise the effective interest rates.
Christophe Chamley, 10 January 2012
Is it time for Eurobonds? This column argues that Eurobonds have always been the right solution. Every successful union throughout history has needed to create a proper financial instrument of sovereign debt – and the Eurozone is no different.
Wolf Wagner, 08 December 2011
As government advisors and central bankers race through the different options to save the euro, this column argues that one such proposal, Eurobonds, will actually increase the risk that several Eurozone countries fail together. It shows using basic arithmetic that these bonds, sometimes labelled ‘stability bonds’, may actually be more likely to harm Eurozone stability.
John Muellbauer, 12 October 2011
The Eurozone is staggering under the weight of serious problems, including a democratic deficit for greater fiscal union; missing incentives for the fundamental structural reforms expected but not delivered by monetary union; failure to narrow divergent unit labour costs; burden sharing widely perceived to be unfair; and a loss of confidence among edgy international investors. This column argues that conditional euro bonds could help resolve these problems.
John Muellbauer, 12 October 2011
While prominent observers are preparing the funeral rites for the Eurozone, the author of CEPR Policy Insight No. 59 argues that the faulty machinery of the Eurozone can be successfully retrofitted and that it can survive.
Daniel Gros, 24 August 2011
Eurobonds are being touted as the silver bullet to resolve the Eurozone crisis. This column argues that the Eurobonds proposal fails on legal, political, and economic grounds. It says that, whatever the variant, Eurobonds only make sense in a political union—and given the vast differences in national political systems and their quality of governance, any political union created on paper will not work in practice.
Paolo Manasse, 16 December 2010
The recent proposal by Luxembourg’s prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker and the Italian finance minister, Giulio Tremonti to provide European governments with Eurobonds has sparked debate. According to this column, it will help through financing infrastructure and increasing market liquidity. But because it requires highly-indebted countries to surrender a large chunk of fiscal sovereignty, it is a good idea whose time has not yet come.