Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, Michala Marcussen, 19 July 2018

The euro area debt crisis saw the region ravaged by multiple sovereign bond doom loops and has inspired several proposals for a single safe asset for the region. While a lack of political consensus has proven the main obstacle to date, technical issues relating to the complexity of splitting the existing sovereign debt stock and concerns on contagion amongst senior and junior debt structures also weigh in. This column, part of the VoxEU debate on euro area reform, illustrates how a 20-year Purple bond transition could address these issues and offer a path to genuine Eurobonds.

Luis Garicano, Lucrezia Reichlin, 14 November 2014

The ECB seems to be edging towards QE, but faces a quandary on what to buy. This proposal suggests that the ECB buy ‘Safe Market Bonds’. These would be synthetic bonds formed by the senior tranches of EZ national bonds combined in GDP-weighted proportions. The ECB would merely announce the features of the synthetic bonds it will purchase. The market would create the bonds in response to this announcement, thus avoiding new EZ-level institutions or funds. 

Irina Balteanu, Aitor Erce, 12 November 2014

The feedback loop between banking crises and sovereign debt crises has been at the heart of recent problems in the Eurozone. This column presents stylised facts on the mechanisms through which banking and sovereign crises combine and become ‘twin’ crises. The results point to systematic differences not only between ‘single’ and ‘twin’ crises, but also between different types of ‘twin’ episodes. The timing of ‘twin’ crises – which crisis comes first – is important for understanding their drivers, transmission channels, and economic consequences.

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