ECB Policy Outlook: ‘Firmly Anchored’ Inflation Expectations Mean No Postponement of Purchases?

This article from former European Central Bank board member Jürgen Stark (Doomsayers risk a self-fulfilling prophecy) has been occasioning a lot of commentary over the last week or so. According to Stark, the current deflation debate “lacks three important points: an in-depth analysis of the forces driving inflation down; a clear distinction between “benign disinflation” […]

A Simple Chart Illustrating Why Japan Style Deflation Is Now More Or Less Inevitable In Spain

Here’s one simple chart which illustrates why I think Japan style deflation is now more or less inevitable in Spain. Curiously it comes from the Ministry of Employment and illustrates the relation between the movement in average wages caused by actual movements in the real wage and those caused by what is known as the […]

Could Mario Draghi Implementing QE at the ECB Possibly Help Matteo Renzi Raise the Italian Deficit?

What a convoluted title! Still, the lack of formal elegance might just be compensated for by its communicative efficacy. The aim of the above header is to link two names in people’s minds, both of them Italian: Mario Draghi and Matteo Renzi. Naturally the idea is not original, the FT’s Peter Spiegel  recently published an […]

EMU 2.0: Yes or No?

In the Summer of 2012 the Euro-crisis seemed to be at a turning point. First, an ambitious programme of institutional reforms of the EMU was launched aimed to the creation of a “Genuine Economic and Monetary Union” (EU Council, 2012). The founding idea of this ‘EMU 2.0’ is that there should be a clear, consensual […]

Privatizations and Debt : Lessons From The Greek Fiasco

 In the midst of the European Debt Crisis, it is tempting to think that high-debt countries could alleviate the recessionary impact of the budget consolidation process by selling (poorly managed) assets and stakes in their state owned enterprises (SOEs), and by using the proceeds to buy back their debts. In addition to providing a cushion […]

Germany and the Euro-Surrealpolitik

This articles reviews the theory behind Optimum Currency Areas and the lack of willingness in the European Union and particularly of Germany to lead the process of political and fiscal unions. With Britain maintaining its euro-skeptical status and France and Italy immersed in political crisis, there remains little hope that the Eurozone will ever become […]

How to Resolve the Fiscal Problems of Southern Europe?

The Southern European fiscal mess has triggered the crisis on the continent. In January 2010, the European Commission discovered falsifications of the Greek budget statistics (Arganda and Caselli 2012). It undermined investors’ confidence in the country’s debt securities. A sharp increase in bond rates forced Brussels to rescue Greece from default. The Greek government received […]

What Is Wrong With Europe?

Unlike the US, Europe is struggling to recover from the crisis. This is especially the case in certain European countries. This column discusses why the process of convergence in the Eurozone has slowed down. It proposes a way for European institutions to cope with the structural problems – with individual country-level reforms and a federal […]