Category: Monetary economy

Europe’s Hamiltonian moment… Again

In these dark times of ’Coronacoma’ for the World Economy, the European Monetary Union is on the brink…Again. This time, it could be truly different. Countries opposed to any kind of debt mutualization properly ordered hinder de facto the achievement of a federal leap that it is desperately needed to complete the monetary union. Without this giant leap, there are real risks of implosion for the eurozone and, even, the whole EU. This brief note tries to explain why the US historical experience could be inspiring for Europeans in a situation where the concept of radical uncertainty is especially...

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Joint liability bonds for a joint European defense against the pandemic

The problem Mitigating the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic will require a significant increase in public spending to rescue sinking economies and further shield health systems. At the same time, tax revenues will be collapsing as long as economic activity remains suppressed. Budget deficits will inevitably swell, leading to soaring public debt. Eurozone countries – such as Italy, Greece, Portugal and Spain – that have already suffered the effects of the sovereign debt crisis – and their debt remains high – will be hit particularly hard. The increase in debt will call into question its sustainability, posing the risk...

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Competitiveness Imbalances in the Eurozone

ERMEES Note, 25/01/14 Thomas Coudert (BETA-CNRS, University of Strasbourg) and Jamel Saadaoui (BETA-CNRS, University of Strasbourg) With the incoming European elections in May 2014, several political parties propose that southern European countries (France included) leave the monetary union in order to devalue their national currencies in order to restore their competitiveness. Before I go forward, I will make two remarks to be clearer. Firstly, competitiveness in a broad sense includes price competitiveness and non-price competitiveness. The first concept concerns the price of products traded with the rest of the world and the second concept corresponds to the quality of products traded with foreign partners. Devaluation allows increasing price competitiveness to some extent as traded good would be cheaper relatively to competitors. Secondly, competitiveness is always a relative concept. A country, a firm, a football team is always competitive relatively to its partners or competitors. Come back to the benefits that will induce this increase of competitiveness in southern countries. These competitiveness gains (relatively to the rest of the Eurozone) would permit to reignite growth through the export sector. In fine, renewed growth in southern countries would allow to reduce stratospheric unemployment rates observed since the onset of the Euro crisis in 2010. In this post, I propose to explore different paths through which the Eurozone could reduce competitiveness imbalances. Specifically, I want to highlight that currency devaluation (after an...

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