Mathias Hoffmann, Iryna Stewen, Michael Stiefel, 22 May 2021

Germany’s current account surplus and corporate savings have both been increasing in the last decade. This column shows that German private investment has been low because it has been crowded out by local public bank lending to municipalities. Banks' statutory public lending requirements and the debt brake have both played a role in this, exacerbating the contractionary effect of fiscal consolidation.

Peter Bofinger, 13 September 2018

Two proposals for reforming the euro area’s fiscal framework were published on Vox yesterday. This column describes how, in essence, the proposal from the French economists is based on discretionary policy decisions while their German counterparts propose a largely rules-based approach. It also argues that with its assumption that the medium-term goals of fiscal policy cannot be determined by simple formulas, the French proposal is closer to the status quo than the German concept and has a greater likelihood of resulting in good fiscal policy.

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