Debates

Moderator(s): Stephen Broadberry, Mark Harrison

The economic history of the twentieth century is written largely in terms of peacetime. There are the periods before, between, and after the two World Wars, but this leaves out the war periods themselves as aberrations that are not amenable to normal economic analysis. To mark the centenary of the First World War, the CEPR Economic History Programme commissioned a number of VoxEU columns, which were collected in an eBook, The Economics of the Great War: A Centennial Perspective. The positive response encouraged us to propose a similar debate on the economics of the Second World War, to mark the eightieth anniversary of that even greater conflagration.

Moderator(s): Antonio Fatás, Stephen Cecchetti

The announcement of the launch of Libra, a private global cryptocurrency, has reignited the debate on the costs and benefits of digital forms of payments controlled by the private sector. A debate that started with the creation of Bitcoin and led to predictions (and fears) on disruptive scenarios for financial systems, payments or even central banks.

VoxEU and CEPR are launching an online debate on the future of digital money to foster a conversation among academics and policy makers about the costs and benefits of some of these innovations and future scenarios for digital money. Among the many open questions we hope to address with this debate: Is there a role for a global digital currency? Will the use of private digital currencies (such as Libra) become widespread? As legacy monies disappear, what happen to the role of central banks in the payment systems? How will financial institutions, in particular banks, evolve if these innovations become ubiquitous? Will there be new channels for the transmission and amplification of economic and financial shocks both within and across borders? How should we regulate tech companies that become large players in the payments system and financial markets?

Moderator(s): Jean Pisani-Ferry, Jeromin Zettelmeyer

The euro area has critical weaknesses in its fiscal and financial architecture. Reforms to fix these are deadlocked due to fundamental differences among euro area nations. CEPR Policy Insight 91 “Reconciling risk sharing with market discipline: A constructive approach to euro area reform” (CEPR Policy Insight No. 91) – authored by 14 leading French and German economists suggests a way to break the deadlock. This VoxEU Debate gathers reactions to the ideas in this publication and casts the net further to collect the latest thinking on euro area reform.

Moderator(s): Richard Baldwin

The EZ Crisis is a long way from finished. The latest VoxEU eBook presents a consensus view of what caused the Crisis and why. It argues that this was a classic ‘sudden stop’ crisis – not a public-debt crisis. Excessive, cross-border lending and borrowing among EZ members in the pre-Crisis years – much of which ended up in non-traded sectors – was why Greece’s deficit deceit in 2009 could trigger such a massive crisis. The ultimate causes were policy failures that allowed the imbalances to get so large, a lack of institutions to absorb shocks at the EZ level, and poor crisis management.

Moderator(s): No moderator

How is the crisis different for developing and emerging nations, how should they and the G20 react?