Why a Franco-German bargain will help secure the euro

The op-ed was first published on on August 9, 2017.

The gains would outweigh the costs and help chart a path for the continent’s future

As Germany heads towards its general election one of the debates in Berlin and elsewhere is what course the next government will pursue on Europe. In particular there is much speculation about a possible “grand bargain” between France and Germany that would see Berlin re-engage in reforming Europe.

At the centre of such a … [continue reading]

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Europe Foreign Trade and International Economic Relations

America First, But Germany Second

If Trump wants a Europe that takes care of its own needs, he needs a strong partner in Berlin.

Donald Trump’s relationship with Angela Merkel has gotten off to a rocky start. Trump has, effectively, singled out Germany and its chancellor as his main nemesis in Europe. He has criticized her for her policy toward refugees, for an unfair trade policy, and for a lack of leadership in Europe. For its part, the German government, alongside many of its European … [continue reading]

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ECB Europe Monetary Policy

Statement on the ECB decision

The ECB decision is wise and balanced. It may disappoint many in Germany. The extension of the PSPP programme was inevitable as the risks to the euro area economy are still huge and the ECB is likely to miss its price stability mandate through 2019.

The ECB decision is wise as it leaves all options open. The ECB is introducing more flexibility through the changes to the PSPP programme. The ECB decision implies a longer period of low interest rates … [continue reading]

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ECB Europe

Statement on today’s meeting of the Council of the ECB, October 20, 2016

The ECB decision bears no major surprises. Draghi did not contradict market expectations of an extension of the QE program to be announced in December. Such an extension has thus become even more likely. I do not expect a reduction in the monthly purchases by the ECB. Such a step would disappoint market expectations and could trigger undesired market reactions. The latest economic news are not encouraging and give little cause for a fundamental change in monetary policy.… [continue reading]

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ECB Europe Foreign Trade and International Economic Relations Macroeconomics Monetary Policy

Statement on today’s meeting of the Council of the European Central Bank (ECB), July 21, 2016

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]

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Europe Needs to Show What It’s Made Of

This article was originally published in Handelsblatt Global Edition on June 28, 2016.

The Frenchman Jean Monnet, one of the founding fathers of today’s Europe, wrote that the process of European unity will “be accomplished in crises.”? The Brexit decision is a catastrophe for all Europeans. It is coming at a high price in political, social and economic terms.

But it is also a crisis that can make Europe significantly stronger – if politicians, especially in Germany, recognize and use … [continue reading]

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ECB Economic Policy Europe Foreign Trade and International Economic Relations

Making the Eurozone more resilient: What is needed now and what can wait?

This article was first published on on June 25, 2016. 

Britain voted to leave the EU. This is terrible news for the UK, but it is also bad news for the Eurozone. Brexit opens the door to all sorts of shocks, and dangerous political snowball effects. Now is the time to shore up the Eurozone’s resiliency. The situation is not yet dire, but prompt action is needed. This VoxEU column – which is signed by a wide range of [continue reading]

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Business Cycles, Growth, Economic Structure Currency and Financial Markets ECB Europe Macroeconomics Monetary Policy

Statement on Today’s Decisions of ECB’s Governing Council 09/03/2015

The European Central Bank decision to stay course does not come as a surprise. The weaker projected inflation and growth figures were expected. The ECB is caught in a difficult dilemma: with its projections, the ECB admits that it will miss its price stability objective over the medium term. But it is wise for the ECB to follow a wait-and-see strategy. Global uncertainty has risen and is very high. The biggest concern for the ECB is not China or the … [continue reading]

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Currency and Financial Markets Europe Macroeconomics Monetary Policy

Giving Greece a Chance

Opinion piece by members of the Eiffel Group and the Glienicke Group, 20 May 2015

The Greek tragedy must not go on. Europe’s growing frustration with the new Greek government has triggered calls for stopping negotiations and even accepting “Grexit”, Greece’s exit from the euro. We believe that this would be a mistake. Grexit would be a collective political failure. Above all, it would cause a social and economic catastrophe for Greek citizens.

However, keeping Greece in the euro … [continue reading]

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Currency and Financial Markets Economic Policy Europe Macroeconomics

Germany’s Pyrrhic Victory

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]

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