At the meeting of the Shadow ECB Council on 27 May 2015 it became clear that the spectre of Grexit is polarizing not only policy makers but also economists. About half the members of the Shadow ECB Council would regard an exit of Greece from the currency union a very bad and dangerous outcome. Roughly the other half would consider it well manageable or even desirable.
Presentation for the seminar “Economics and Power” on 23 March 2015, House of Lords, London: Ladies and Gentlemen, To pay tribute to the Marxist jargon, in which Lord Skidelsky has phrased the title of my subject, I would like to start with a quote from Karl Marx: "The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas. … The ruling ideas are nothing more than the ideal expression of the dominant material relationships, … the relationships which make the one class the ruling one, therefore, the ideas of its dominance." In my own words, that means that not all economic ideas are created equal.
In June 2011, Spiegel Online conducted and published a remarkable interview with Albrecht Ritschl. Ritschl is one of Germany’s most renowned economic historians, teaching at the London School of Economics. Already for years ago, he warned that Germany, being the worst debt offender in history, would ultimately regret it, if it insisted on behaving like the tough taskmaster of Athens and the rest of Europe. What Ritschl predicted is
You have to see this Video from dutch TV. Translateion from Pastebin: 'Jeroen Dijsselbloem': "I'm Jeroen Dijsselbloem, minister of finance and political phenomenon. Due to the frown line on my forehead and my penny-pinching look, you can immediately see that I'm an expert. I'm the right man for this position, let the Greek come my way- I will make them mad. I will get the money back, as it is my duty- and you cannot
On 11 February Greek finance minister Varoufakis outlined his request for help and the concessions his government was willing to make in front of the Eurogroup. According to reports it was mainly his German counterpart Schäuble who blocked any agreement on this basis until the Eurogroup finally agreed on a statement on 20 February. It is instructive to compare the wording and content of this agreement with what Varoufakis had offered and asked for (in German here with links to original documents) nine days earlier.
On 16 February talks in the Eurogroup failed after Greece rejected a draft statement and received an ultimatum to ask for an extension of the current program before 20 February. Greece sent the letter and the Eurogroup reassembled on 20 February, agreeing on a Statement on Greece. It is very instructive to see what changed between the rejected statement and the one finally agreed. (What Schäuble gained by holding out after 11 February is examined in a companion piece.)
Investor Protection in CETA and TTIP Leaves a Lot of Room for Improvement Say Legal Experts in Parliamentary Hearing
Professor Steffen Hindelang of the Free University Berlin, a renowned expert for international trade law hat today presented at a joint hearing of the EU-Parliaments committees on law and on international trade the findings of three studies, comissioned by the the parliament by him and by Professors Pieter Jan Kuijper (University of Amsterdam) and Ingolf Pernice (Humboldt-University).They agree that “The EU should include State-of-the art investment chapters in all of its comprehensive
On Thursday the ECB’s Governing Council will decide on whether to start a large bond buying program. I am afraid the decision is clear, though not for economic reasons. A few days later, the Greek will probably vote for a left leaning government under the Syriza-party, which wants to renegotiate the terms of the huge government debt, and is opposed to the EU-imposed austerity program which impoverished the country. There will be a standoff, a game of chicken, in which Brussels, Frankfort (the ECB) and Berlin
At the meeting of the Shadow ECB Council on 26 September, 2014, there was a strong consensus that strong disinflation and weak economic prospects warranted ECB action. At the same time, there was near consensus that the package of measures announced by the central bank in early September would not be sufficient and there was disagreement on their appropriateness. Many members suggested large scale
At the meeting of the Shadow ECB Council on 26 June, 2014, there was a strong consensus that the measures decided by the ECB Governing Council in early June against the credit crunch and below target inflation were going in the right direction, but only modestly effective and insufficient. Almost all members believed that additional measure were needed now or in the near future. The Targeted Long Term Refinancing Operations (TLTRO) were almost unanimously considered the most important part of
The Shadow ECB Council held a conference-call on 27 March, 2014 to discuss whether and which monetary policy measure would be appropriate to deal with the continued inflation undershoot and to counter the threat of deflation. There was broad consensus that the low and declining inflation rate in the euro area as a whole and negative rates in some individual countries pose a serious problem; more serious than ECB representatives