Liikanen Out of the Blocks

Introduction On 29 January 2014, the EU Commission published a legislative proposal and accompanying press release regarding a regulation on structural reform of the EU banking sector.  Recognising that the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive will be unable to address the issue of “too-big-to-fail” in its entirety, and in furtherance of the political agenda to […]

Eurozone: Competitiveness Indicators and the Failure of Internal Devaluation

Measures of ‘international competitiveness’, for example those based on broad wage, unit labour cost and price parameters are approximations only[1].   Some are more relevant than others. The purpose of this short article is to review the progress of external account adjustment and internal devaluation in Eurozone countries Unit Labour Cost Comparison Unit labour cost-based measures […]

What Should Be Done About Germany’s Current Account Surplus?

On November 13, the European Commission released the Alert Mechanism Report (AMR) for 2014 as part of its annual cycle for identifying and addressing macroeconomic imbalances (the so-called Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure). Based on a scorecard of macroeconomic indicators with indicative thresholds, the AMR identifies those countries for which an in-depth review of potential macroeconomic imbalances and corresponding […]

To EU or not to EU: Eastern Partnership Countries at the Crossroads

In 2008 Poland and Sweden launched the European Union’s Eastern Partnership initiative. Its aim was to provide a venue for discussions on trade and other issues with the former Soviet Union states of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine with the prospects of concluding Free Trade Agreements, liberalizing visa regimes and embracing other forms […]

Jobs the Bright Spot in a Downbeat Year

Even in a flat year the mood ebbs and flow, often quite dramatically. This time last year the eurozone appeared to be teetering on the edge of the abyss, threatened by its own internal economic contradictions as well as by the politics. I know some very prominent people who thought it was only a matter […]