inequality ZEIT ONLINE op-ed column

Elites turning a blind eye to social inequality

This text was also published in German in ZEIT ONLINE on December 23 as part of the op-ed column “Fratzschers Verteilungsfragen“.

Germany’s widespread social inequality is real – but politicians are still in denial.

“The people may get most facts wrong, but their feelings are mostly correct,” wrote Kurt Tucholsky, with a dash of irony, on the political manipulation of Germany’s citizens. Though the quote is from 1931, it still holds true today. Significant portions of Germany’s population are feeling … [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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Business Cycles, Growth, Economic Structure Currency and Financial Markets ECB Economic Policy Europe Foreign Trade and International Economic Relations

Germany’s Misunderstood Trade Surplus

Now that Germany’s current-account surplus has reached a record €270 billion ($285 billion), or close to 8.7% of GDP, the ongoing debate about its economic model has intensified. Eurozone politicians and Donald Trump’s administration in the United States are each blaming the other for the economic imbalance; and all are blaming the euro.

Trump’s administration, for its part, has attacked Germany for exporting too much, and accused it of manipulating the euro. In fact, Germany’s trade surplus has little to … [continue reading]

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Election2017 Europe

A German debate over the future of Europe is long overdue

The op-ed was first published on FT.com on February 28, 2017.

The emergence of Martin Schulz as the centre-left Social Democrats’ (SPD) candidate for chancellor has fundamentally altered the dynamics of German politics. It is also changing the debate in Germany on inequality and the future of Europe in ways that will have a significant impact across the continent.

Germany is regarded as an economic success story. Unemployment is at its lowest level since reunification, while the trade surplus has … [continue reading]

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Economic Policy Public Finances and Financial Economics ZEIT ONLINE op-ed column

No envy, please!

This text was also published in German in  ZEIT ONLINE on February 3,  as part of the op-ed column “Fratzschers Verteilungsfragen“.

“Time for fairness“ is the motto of the new candidate for Chancellor of the German Social Democrats, Martin Schulz, in his campaign against Angela Merkel. The slogan is bound to strike a chord in a country where 70 percent of the people feel that inequality is too high. But the issue of fairness should not be the one at … [continue reading]

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Currency and Financial Markets Macroeconomics Monetary Policy

“In an International Comparison, Too Little Is Being Invested in German Industry”: Six Questions to Marcel Fratzscher

  1. Mr. Fratzscher, there are concerns about an overall lack of investment in Germany. Is the problem more urgent in the public sector or in the private sector?
    The investment gap exists in both the public and private sector. Three years ago, we calculated that Germany’s investment gap amounts to roughly 75 billion euros per year. The investment gap has also been confirmed by other studies. The problem is definitely more urgent in the private sector.
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Currency and Financial Markets Europe Monetary Policy

The ECB’s dilemma

by Marcel Fratzscher, Michael Hüther and Guntram B. Wolff.
This text was also published on
BerlinOeconomicus (German), in Le Monde  and in El País.

As the ECB is likely to announce a government bond purchase programme on January 22, the opposition in Germany is growing. The potential election of a government in Greece with its intention to restructure debt towards its official creditors puts the upcoming ECB’s decision under even greater scrutiny. The fact that the ECB has … [continue reading]

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