Biagio Bossone, Massimo Costa, 25 June 2018

A correct application of the general principles of accounting raises fundamental doubts about the current conceptions of money. This column argues that such an application allows the inconsistency whereby cryptocurrencies are not a debt liability if they are issued by private-sector entities, but become so if they are issued by central banks, to be resolved. In both cases, cryptocurrencies actually represent equity capital of the issuing entities, a conclusion that should greatly assist national monetary and financial authorities in shaping regulations.  

Daniel Gros, 27 June 2016

The business of central banks used to be profitable – they issued cash and could invest the proceeds in the assets they liked. This column argues that the ECB has turned the old business model of central banks around. Today, it earns a stream of income on its liabilities, while the returns of an increasing part of its assets go to the national central banks. This cannot be a stable arrangement.

Ricardo Reis, Jens Hilscher, Alon Raviv, 07 August 2014

Faced with daunting levels of public debt, it may be tempting to inflate away the burden. Some recent research has endorsed such a policy, but this column argues that it is infeasible. The rule of thumb that suggests an inflation rate four percentage points higher would reduce debt by 20% ignores creditor composition and maturity details, even if a 6% inflation rate were achievable. The hard truth is that there is no easy way out of debt.

CEPR Policy Research