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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Economic Policy Monetary Policy

ECB Projections for Growth and Inflation Very Optimistic – Downside Risks to the Euro Area Still Significant

Comment on the ECB Monetary Policy Decisions (5 March 2015):

The new ECB projections for growth and the return to price stability are very optimistic. The ECB projections are based on probably too optimistic expectations about the effectiveness of its QE programme. The weak euro and the decline in government bond yields over the past few months are largely the result of the high expectations about the QE programme. It is unlikely that the QE programme will continue to exert … [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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Currency and Financial Markets Europe

Taking the mandate of the ECB seriously

by Marcel Fratzscher, Michael Hüther and Guntram B. Wolff

This is a translation of the original German article published in FAZ on February 6, 2014.

European Central Bank President Draghi has played down German fears about high inflation and urged Germany not to ignore the positive impact of European monetary policy. Bundesbank president Weidmann has also recently stressed that there are no reasons for German concern about inflation. The public debate about European monetary policy, however, has become more heated … [continue reading]

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Currency and Financial Markets Europe Macroeconomics

Delusional Gemany

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]

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Currency and Financial Markets Economic Policy Europe Macroeconomics

The Drawbacks of Forward Guidance

This article first appeared on Project Syndicate on 11th October 2013.

The nomination of Janet Yellen to succeed Ben Bernanke as Chair of the US Federal Reserve comes at one of the riskiest moments in the recent history of the Fed. The Fed’s announcement in May that it might start tapering its long-term asset purchases surprised many central bankers, and triggered a sell-off from markets worldwide. But some of the good news about America’s economy was bad news for financial … [continue reading]

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