Peterson Institute for International Economics

Category Archive: Uncategorized

  • The Political Redefinition of Europe

    Opening remarks at the Swedish Financial Markets Committee’s (FMK) Conference on “The European Parliament and the Financial Markets,” Stockholm, June 8, 2012 For the past few years, headlines in Europe have been dominated by the financial and economic developments of the crisis, first in the banking system and then in sovereign debt markets. Throughout this period […]

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  • China: Capital Stock….and Flow

    Recently there have been several articles written on the China’s capital stock. The argument in most of these pieces is that China’s capital stock per capita is low and thus claims of overinvestment in China are incorrect. Just to recap, the capital stock is a broad measure of the existing physical capital in an economy. […]

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  • Despite Its Troubles, the Euro Area Is Making Progress

    Yes, the headlines from the euro area are discouraging. The region’s Purchasing of Managers Index (PMI) is falling again—to 45.9 in May, with even German levels down. The European stock markets are down. The euro has slid to 1.25 vs. the dollar, accelerating preparations for a Greek euro exit. No resolutions of the political crisis […]

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  • Implementing Basel III in the European Union: A Deeply Flawed Compromise

    By all accounts, EU member countries have for months been debating how to implement the minimum bank capital standards agreed under Basel III. Their arguments have unfolded as the EU works to complete its fourth Capital Requirements Directive (CRD4) and its Capital Requirements Regulation (CRR); (see Véron 2012). Three issues have been contentious: (i) whether […]

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  • Endgame in Greece: Don’t Look for an Imminent ‘Grexit’

    As the countdown toward a new Greek election heads toward June 17, most analysts predict an imminent Greek exit from the euro area. Almost anything can happen, but a few possibilities are worth considering. Any newly elected Greek government will have trouble implementing the current austerity program called for by euro leaders and the International […]

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  • Is Europe Ready for Banking Union?

    Systemic fragility in the European banking sector predates the Greek fiscal crisis. It was revealed by the subprime/Lehman shock of 2007–08, and has never been properly addressed since then in spite of successive stress tests. In recent weeks, several senior policymakers have become more explicit on the need for a banking union—in other words, a […]

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  • The World Bank’s Next President Must Arrest Its Institutional Decline

    The World Bank is the second best international organization after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in terms of reputation and quality, but it is an institution of diminishing significance. Its current president, Robert B. Zoellick, is stepping down at the end of his five-year term, and the Obama administration has announced that it will nominate […]

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  • Can Microcredit Lenders Fill the Gap?

    The Chinese press is full of stories documenting the difficulties small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have obtaining financing. Contrary to popular belief, the problem is not that SMEs are being crowded out by large enterprises. The SME share of total business loans has been relatively stable in the past several years. Moreover, the pace of […]

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  • Gasoline Prices and Electoral Politics in the Age of Unconventional Oil

    With average US gasoline prices approaching $4 per gallon, markets are trying to gauge the impact of high oil costs on a fragile US economic recovery. Some analysts have argued that surging unconventional oil production in North America will make this price spike less harmful than those in the past. But for the political class, […]

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  • Is the Risk Free Status of Euro Area Sovereign Debt in Tatters?

    In the first week of March, the euro area experienced the biggest sovereign debt restructuring in history and the first ever triggering of sovereign credit default swaps (CDSs) for an industrialized country. Yet nothing happened after these events struck Greece. It was a market non-event that was fully anticipated. For the often maligned euro area […]

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