The European Central Bank is facing a difficult dilemma. The slower the euro area economy is growing, the lower interest rates and the harder it becomes for the ECB to implement its public sector purchase program. The ECB has assumed a wait-and-see strategy in the hope that its new measures will be effective and the economy will not deteriorate further. Italy’s banking crisis, more than the Brexit, is an enormous risk for the entire euro area, also for Germany, and … [continue reading]Read more
This article was first published in The Wall Street Journal Europe on 4 July 2014
Europe is stuck in a deep slump and facing the prospect of many more years of stagnation and high unemployment. European leaders are right in their diagnosis that a growth stimulus is urgently needed to end the crisis. But they are wrong in their solution: The Continent doesn’t need more public spending and bigger government. It needs more competition, innovation and the completion of the … [continue reading]Read more
This article was first published on Project Syndicate on 10 February 2014.
The German Constitutional Court has ruled against the European Central Bank’s pledge to buy potentially unlimited quantities of distressed eurozone countries’ government bonds, and has called on the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to confirm its decision. Until that happens, the “outright monetary transactions” (OMT) scheme is effectively dead, weakening the ECB’s ability to act as an effective and credible financial-market backstop at a time when European governments … [continue reading]Read more
This article was first published on Project Syndicate on 14 November 2013.
In recent days, Germany’s representative on the European Central Bank’s governing council has expressed strong disagreement with the ECB’s decision on November 7 to cut its benchmark interest rate. Now the European Commission has opened an investigation into whether or not Germany’s huge current-account surplus is causing economic damage in the European Union and beyond. This investigation and criticism of Germany’s export-based growth model has incited outrage in … [continue reading]Read more
published in Financial Times (10th of April 2013)
The most terrifying words in the English language, according to Ronald Reagan, are: “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” Today, for some Europeans, they are: “I’m from the EU and I’m here to bail you out.”
Germany and the single currency have been made scapegoats for the problems of member states and for Europe’s inability to overcome the continent’s financial and economic crises. Berlin is accused of lacking solidarity… [continue reading]Read more