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Eurozone crisis

A Category Archive (88 entries)

After Brexit - why not unilateral free trade?

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
Emily Skarbek has already offered very sound thoughts on Brexit - and David Henderson and Scott Sumner (as well as David Beckworth) are debating whether Brexit constitutes a monetary shock. I would just like to build on the point Emily... MORE

Is the Brexit referendum an "abuse of democracy"?

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
The UK had a very vigorous debate on Brexit. I found the strategy of the Institute of Economic Affairs, the doyen of European think tanks, to be very smart in allowing its own fellows to argue publicly of the merits... MORE

Italy's Renzi to tinker with retirement age

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
My colleague Paolo Belardinelli and I have an article on the Wall Street Journal Europe, on a new Italian pension reform advanced by prime minister Matteo Renzi. The Italian pension system is far from perfect (and far from any "free... MORE

Schengen, adieu

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
A few weeks ago I flew in and out of France - and I had to show my identity card at passport control. This was not that much of a nuisance, to be fair, and security officers were most kind,... MORE

The Brexit debate

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
The debate over "Brexit" is becoming more and more relevant in the media. British prime minister David Cameron, in a letter to the European Council, spelled out his demands to Brussels. Cameron is seeking "change" in European institutions in order... MORE

A right-turn for Switzerland?

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
Some friends of mine are alarmed about the new course in Swiss politics. I tend to agree with Scott Sumner: Switzerland is my favourite political system. And I am not particularly alarmed by the latest elections, in which the Union... MORE

Portugal after the elections

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
The Portuguese elections may result in a gridlocked government. The center-right coalition won - but did not secure a working majority. The incumbents gained 37% of the votes, the Socialists 32%. The Left bloc reached 10% and the Communists, who... MORE

A snapshot of Portugal

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
In the Wall Street Journal Joseph Sternberg has a thorough op-ed on Portugal, which is heading to a national election tomorrow. No party comparable to the Spanish "Podemos" or the Greek "Syriza" has emerged in Portugal that may have a... MORE

The Catalonian secession and the EU

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
The Catalonian regional election was won by the separatist parties, which are now heading towards independence following their leader, Presidente Arturo Màs. This would create much trouble at the national level. The Partido Popular of Mr Rajoy perhaps hasn't reacted... MORE

Tsipras wins the Greek elections

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
Politicians are better at politics than the rest of us. This is a simple truth that those who write on politics tend to forget. And yet the recent Greek elections confirmed it spectacularly. Some observers (me included) thought that Tsipras... MORE

Ben Wright on the euro

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
This promises to be a rather turbulent autumn for the single currency. Greek elections are is coming in ten days, the Portuguese one will follow in October, and then Spain (and Catalonia) will go to the polls in December. The... MORE

Google vs the EU

Competition
Alberto Mingardi
Google has been targeted by the European Commission, for abusing its dominant position. Philip Booth and I wrote on the subject (here) a few months ago. The EU is concerned that "the company has given an unfair advantage to its... MORE

Are the Greeks bored by Tsipras?

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
A few weeks ago, Alexis Tsipras called a new election in Greece, appealing to voters for a new leadership mandate. Most of the mainstream press praised this move of Tsipras, who rapidly moved from the persona of wanna-be communist revolutionary... MORE

Coming soon. Another Greek election

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
Greek Prime Minister Mr Tsipras has resigned, and so Greece is heading off to elections in September. As The Wall Street Journal reports, Elections offer Mr. Tsipras the chance to expel the rebels from Syriza and return to office as... MORE

Hatchuel on the new waves of statism

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
Romain Hatchuel, who is "managing partner of Square Advisors LLC, a New York-based asset-management firm", had a very good op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, "The World-Wide Undermining of Free Markets". Mr Hatchuel's points will not sound new to EconLog's... MORE

Yanis Varoufakis as a media star

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
I suspect that one of the most enduring legacies of the Greek crisis may be the making of Yanis Varoufakis into a global opinion leader. It is a curious phenomenon. Varoufakis was the leading Greek negotiator in a round of... MORE

Another referendum for Mr Tsipras

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
On July 5th, the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras polled his fellow citizen in a referendum on "austerity" and the then-available European deal. Since he has since subscribed to a more "austere" deal, Tsipras now has problems with his own... MORE

Weak currencies don't cause trade surpluses

International Macroeconomics: Exchange Rates, International Debt, etc.
Scott Sumner
I'm seeing a lot of people claiming that Germany benefits from the euro's impact on its trade balance. The argument seems to be that the euro is weaker than the Deutschmark would be, and that this explains Germany's big trade... MORE

Rashomon at the Financial Times

Eurozone crisis
Scott Sumner
A crime has been committed in Brussels. But who is the victim? Gideon Rachman of the Financial Times says Germany is the victim: Europe woke up on Monday to a lot of headlines about the humiliation of Greece, the triumph... MORE

Paul Krugman on Greece and Germany

Eurozone crisis
Scott Sumner
The Syriza Party took power in January of this year, and immediately began to issue one inflammatory statement after another, demanding an end to the troika's austerity program. American bloggers were divided on the effectiveness of the Syriza strategy, with... MORE

Two concepts of "austerity"

Economics and Culture
Alberto Mingardi
On "Spiked" (a must-read on line magazine), Brendan O'Neill has written a powerful and most courageous article on the word "austerity" and how it creates confusion (for an egregious example, see Mark Blyth's book on the subject). O'Neill points out... MORE

The euro and the Greek blackmail

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
We're showered with information and comments on the Greek crisis, and rightly so. The Greek Prime minister Alexis Tsipras has called for a referendum on the terms offered by creditors to Greece. Then night talks between Mr Juncker and Mr... MORE

How electorates react to defaults

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
There are basically three reasons European leaders are still desperately trying to avoid Grexit. First, the fact that a nation leaving the currency union is perceived as a leap into the dark. Many consider probable that higher volatility and insecurity... MORE

Grexit, Brexit and the uncertain future of the EU

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
Grexit or Brexit, which is worse for the European Union? Joschka Fisher, one of the leaders of the environmentalist movement in Europe and formerly the German Foreign Minister under Gerhard Schroeder, has an interesting piece on "Project Syndicate". Fisher is... MORE

Uber banned in Milan too

Competition
Alberto Mingardi
Uber has been banned in different countries in Europe, including Germany, France, and Spain, where the company has evolved its business model in the direction of transporting goods. As you may know, we Italians are often latecomers to new trends:... MORE

Madrid turns left - and Europe too?

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
Spain voted on Sunday in a number of administrative jurisdictions. These were local elections, so one should not underestimate the local peculiarities that may have influenced the outcome. However, the big news is that the Popular (Christian-Democrats) and the Socialist... MORE

Free trade and the Expo in Milan

Trade Barriers
Alberto Mingardi
In 1851, the London Great Exhibition was promoted by Prince Albert and a Royal Commission that included, among others, William Gladstone and Richard Cobden, the great apostle of free trade who conducted the campaign that led to the abolition of... MORE

Google and the EU foreign policy

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
The European Commission is opening an investigation on Google, for alleged anti-competitive practices. The EC is concerned that "the company has given an unfair advantage to its own comparison shopping service, in breach of EU antitrust rules". Wayne Crews has... MORE

Is Ciudadanos a hope for Spain?

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
With the UK and Spain going to the ballot box in the next few months, European politics is certainly more than Greece, at the moment. We know that the polls are rather foggy about England, but Spanish politics risks becoming... MORE

Greece and tax sadist tourism

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
The arm wrestling over Greece may be more serious than it originally appeared to many. The Greek government has submitted a draft list of reforms to unlock new financial aid. So far, the other European partners appear to be unimpressed... MORE

On Greece

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
The world is pondering the odds of Mr Tsipras and Syriza succeeding. To win an election on a rather populist platform might be easy, but governing and entering into highly complex negotiations with European authorities is a different matter. I... MORE

Tsipras and electoral reform

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
Alexis Tsipras and Syriza have won the Greek elections on a platform that entails, roughly speaking, 12 billion euros of additional public spending. The program (see here) is certainly questionable on many, many points, but it is still a big... MORE

The birthplace of democracy

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
Italian newspaper Corriere della sera has featured a piece on Greece that included an interview with Feano Fotiu, presented as the person responsible for "solidarity" (meaning the organisation of a parallel safety net, something in itself rather interesting) with Syriza.... MORE

The Greek turmoil

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
As you probably know, Greece is marching towards new elections on January 25. The Parliament was dissolved because Prime Minister Antonis Samaras couldn't secure a large enough parliamentary majority to support his candidate for the Greek Presidency. The Greek constitution... MORE

France seeks liberalizations, but bans Uber

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
Mixed signals from France. The Financial Times, among others, has stressed the potential of the liberalisation plan pursued by the new Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron. The bill aims at lowering barriers to entry in liberal professions--notaries, pharmacists, et cetera. The... MORE

Uber Wars Update

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
The district court of Frankfurt lifted the nationwide ban on UberPOP in Germany. UberPOP is the most controversial and most promising service Uber offers: it doesn't just connect professional drivers of black cars (as Uber indeed does) in a bigger... MORE

Scotland and the irrational media

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
Scotland won't secede: 54% voted for 'no', 46% voted 'yes'. The composure with which the losers conceded tells you something about this referendum. The secessionists had remarkably little complaint with the state of the Union. They did not push for... MORE

Clive Crook on Scotland

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
Clive Crook has a taste for contrarian views that makes him well worth reading. He wrote two articles on Scottish independence. Here he emphasizes the reasons why Scotland shouldn't go for secession, though he points out also the dishonesty on... MORE

Will Scottish secession be a disaster?

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
Is secession a recipe for disaster? There seems to be an emerging consensus on the point, at least in the case of Scotland. I shall confess I am biased in the opposite direction. I read this piece by Murray Rothbard... MORE

Is the French public debate evolving?

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
A few weeks ago I participated in the "Economic Ideas Forum" in Nancy, France. It is a fascinating event, organised by the local Chamber of Commerce, in synergy with other organisations, including the Institut Economique Molinari, the French think tank... MORE

An Internet secession so far

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
The Scottish referendum is scheduled for September 18. Its implications are wide ranging. Most people are convinced that the Scots will ultimately vote 'no,' thus preserving their Union with England. But if the unlikely scenario of Scotland going for independence... MORE

A(nother) Colbertian in Brussels

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
Jean-Claude Juncker has been elected President of the European Commission with 422 out of 729 votes in the European Parliament (he needed 376). Juncker was one of the "Spitzenkandidaten" for the European elections, namely the one chosen by the Popular... MORE

Frank Furedi on euroskepticism

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
Sociologist Frank Furedi frequently contributes to Spiked, one of the most interesting on line publications. He is always well worth reading, but I would particularly recommend this article of his on the last European election. Furedi calls out attention on... MORE

OpenEurope on the European vote

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
OpenEurope has published a thoughtful flash analysis of the European elections. It is well worth reading (here). The two key points: - Share of anti-EU and anti-establishment vote is slightly higher than expected with such parties collectively on course to... MORE

Europe vs Uber

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
Uber is having a hard time in Europe. The San Francisco company has started its operations in quite a few cities now. This fact has raised protest by taxi-drivers (as any other human being, they do not like new competitors).... MORE

Is Venice going to secede?

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
Two weeks ago, an online referendum on the independence of Veneto has gained the attention of the international media. This is not surprising: Venice is one the marvels of the world, and people rightly care for its future. The referendum's... MORE

Never reason from an inflation rate change

Macroeconomics
Scott Sumner
In a new post, Tyler Cowen is skeptical of Paul Krugman's claim that higher inflation hurts the rich. Brad DeLong also expresses some skepticism. I agree with Cowen and DeLong, but would like to quibble with this comment in... MORE

The European Union versus the e-cig

Economics of Health Care
Alberto Mingardi
In December last year we discussed the new European directive on tobacco products. It has been approved, and includes, as Andy Coghlan reports on the New Scientist, "strict conditions on how e-cigarettes can be formulated, advertised and sold". Now, if... MORE

An update on Mr. Renzi

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
In a comment to my blog post on Mr Renzi, the new Italian prime minister, Shane L has posed a very interesting question: I wonder if, in the same sense that only Nixon could go to China, only a respected... MORE

Taxes are all around

Economics and Culture
Alberto Mingardi
The Lithuanian Free Market Institute has long been one of the most energetic think tanks in Europe. They are also one of the few free-market organizations, among the European ones, that have a thoroughly broad and diversified base. Lithuania is... MORE

Who is the Italian prime minister this week?

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
Mark Calabria, the Director of Financial Regulation Studies at the Cato Institute, has tweeted "Who is the Italian prime minister this week? Does it matter?". As the family name may suggest, Mark has an Italian background - and I gather... MORE

What consequences for the Swiss referendum?

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
Bryan Caplan has a characteristically brilliant post on the Swiss referendum. He links a tweet by Paul Haydon that shows that the areas with more immigration have been less supportive of closing borders. One crucial point of the referendum is... MORE

How not to privatize

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
The other day my colleague Massimiliano Trovato and I had an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal Europe, on the forthcoming "privatization" of Poste Italiane, the Italian postal service. I've always thought that the old Milton Friedman mantra on tax... MORE

German President defends the market economy

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
Germany's President, Joachim Gauck, has given a talk at the Walter Eucken Institute. The Eucken Institute keeps the tradition of the Freiburg school of economics alive. For an introduction to Ordoliberalism, you may give a look to this paper by... MORE

Thank you for vaping

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
The war against tobacco has been fought vigorously by the European Union. Lately, the European Commission has been pushing for changing the Tobacco Products Directive, in an even more restrictive sense. To dissuade young people from picking up smoking, health... MORE

European Union, which steps forward?

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
An almost invariable mantra of European politics is that Europe needs "an ever closer Union". Political centralization is commonly considered the only way out of the crisis - meaning, first of all, centralization of fiscal policies, as an all-powerful Brussels... MORE

A central bank for Scotland?

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
2014 will probably be the year when Scotland and Catalonia vote for their independence. The Catalonian referendum is strongly opposed by the Spanish government, and a date hasn't been set yet. In this old op-ed for the New York Times,... MORE

Angela Merkel has won the German elections by a landslide, but as she did not reach an absolute majority, she is still struggling to form a government. It is a bit paradoxical, but Merkel's electoral triumph, which resulted also in... MORE

Against crony capitalism, Italian style

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
The Italian Post service is joining the shareholders of Alitalia, the "national" air carrier. I've written on this odd move of the Italian government here. Today I co-signed an appeal to the Italian government, to resist this protectionist temptation. The... MORE

Who is Mrs Merkel?

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
Mrs Merkel won the German elections by a landslide, gaining an impressive 41.5% of votes. However, the most notable unintended consequence of Mrs Merkel's triumph is that both the other right-of-the-center parties, the liberals of the FDP and the newly... MORE

The stupidest letter a US Ambassador ever received

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
The following letter (kindly translated into English by my colleague David Perazzoni) was sent to the American Ambassador in Rome by seven Italian MPs (Michele Anzaldi, Marina Berlinghieri, Matteo Biffoni, Luigi Bobba, Lorenza Bonaccorsi, Federico Gelli, Ernesto Magorno), who apparently... MORE

Bitcoin and libertarians in "the great machine"

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
Bitcoin is now recognized as financial instrument under German banking rules. The Guardian writes: Germany's ministry of finance has formally recognised the digital currency Bitcoin as a "unit of account" which can be used for private transactions - meaning that... MORE

The idea that "competition among states and regions [...] lays the groundwork for technological progress and economic growth" is almost taboo in the European debate. Perfectly reasonable people, that may favor competition elsewhere, apparently came to the conclusion that competition... MORE

What is a 'fiscal union'?

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
The other day I attended a conference on the euro-crisis, and I questioned two of the speakers on what they meant for "fiscal union." Sometimes, words become cozy, people use them rather liberally as they become fashionable, but we lose... MORE

How do you say "Austerity for Liberty" in Greek?

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
In one of his most thought-provoking posts ever, Bryan Caplan argued that Instead of pushing for "constructive" free market reforms, libertarians should doggedly focus on austerity: opposing spending increases, and pushing spending cuts. (...) If libertarians have any political success,... MORE

Shall Europeans elect their President?

Eurozone crisis
Alberto Mingardi
There is a certain consensus, among the European ruling classes, that the EU's next step should coincide with the democratic election of its number one official. However, interviewed by Der Spiegel, Mrs Merkel recently declared that she would be... MORE

Speaking of Foreign Languages

Eurozone crisis
Arnold Kling
How do you say "Have a nice day" in Japanese or French?... MORE

Eurozone: Markets Applaud Latest Can-Kicking

Eurozone crisis
Arnold Kling
Sony Kapoor writes, Setting up an agency that is capable of resolving (shutting down, selling or recapitalizing) banks is perhaps the most urgent part of such a banking union and can be done independently from pooled deposit insurance or common... MORE

Eurozone Crisis: what is the solution?

Eurozone crisis
Arnold Kling
Friends sometimes ask me this question. My answer is rather harsh. The problem is that some governments and some banks are insolvent. When a financial institution is insolvent, its liabilities must be taken over by a solvent institution. The solvent... MORE

Perspective on the Eurozone Crisis

Eurozone crisis
Arnold Kling
John Cochrane writes, The euro was explicitly set up as a currency union without a fiscal union. (And it turned in to one without a bank regulatory union.) That can work, a fact which practically all commentators ignore. The central... MORE

The Bankers' View

Eurozone crisis
Arnold Kling
Robert RubinRoger Altman writes, How can Europe pull back from this brink? It needs to immediately install a series of emergency financial tools to prevent an implosion; and put forward a detailed, public plan to achieve full integration within six... MORE

Sentences to Ponder on the Eurozone

Eurozone crisis
Arnold Kling
1. From Tyler Cowen. It probably is about time to judge the euro zone as a failed idea -- and rarely is it wise to double down on failed ideas. 2. From David Zervos via John Mauldin's newsletter (you may... MORE

Thoughts on Spain

Eurozone crisis
Arnold Kling
1. The Washington Post pushes the "austerity" narrative. The economic debate consuming Europe comes down to the question of whether struggling countries should choose austerity by clamping down on government spending to rein in unsustainable deficits or pursue growth stimulated... MORE

Maladjustment

Finance: stocks, options, etc.
Arnold Kling
1. Todd Zywicki writes, the average home in foreclosure has been delinquent for 674 days--a delay that has doubled since the exposure of the robo-signing scandal ground the foreclosure process to a halt. In Florida, the time from default to... MORE

Euro-Optimism

Game Theory
Arnold Kling
C. Fred Bergsten and Jacob Funk Kirkegaard (BK) write, There are only two alternatives. Europe can jettison the monetary union. Or it can adopt a complementary economic union. This brief argues that, for all the turmoil, Europe is well on... MORE

Today on the Eurozone Crisis

Eurozone crisis
Arnold Kling
Tyler Cowen writes In the meantime, doesn't every euro -- a few sticky grannies aside -- leave the Italian banking system? Presumably the new lira is not pegged at 1-to-1 forever. He is referring to an op-ed by Robert Barro... MORE

Today on the Eurozone Crisis

Eurozone crisis
Arnold Kling
First, listen to Scott Sumner argue that monetary policy in the U.S. was unintentionally contractionary in 2008. Then, read Izabella Kaminsky on monetary policy today in Europe. the central bank transmission mechanism has been compromised because expansion or contraction of... MORE

Today on the Eurozone Crisis

Finance: stocks, options, etc.
Arnold Kling
Johnn Cochrane makes the case that bank regulators are not up to the job. The last generation of smart MBAs got around capital requirements by pooling risky assets into "AAA" securities that had lower risk weights, and then putting those... MORE

Today on the Eurozone Crisis

Eurozone crisis
Arnold Kling
Tyler Cowen writes, Dodd-Frank left questions of capital and leverage largely to the Basel III international banking agreements, the second piece of the new financial regulatory architecture. Basel III, like its predecessors Basel I and Basel II, encourages banks to... MORE

Today on the Eurozone Crisis

Eurozone crisis
Arnold Kling
1. James Hamilton reviews the emergency lending of the Fed from 2008-2011. Phase 4, then, could turn out to be a return to emergency lending as the Fed tries to contain collateral damage from the unfolding European drama. 2. Olivier... MORE

Eurobanking

Finance: stocks, options, etc.
Arnold Kling
Hyun Song Shin writes, My recent research suggests that the 'global banking glut' may have been more culpable for the crisis than the 'global savings glut' I reported on his paper when I first read it (I believe Tyler Cowen... MORE

Today on the Eurozone Crisis

Eurozone crisis
Arnold Kling
1. Richard Milne in the Financial Times. the biggest worry is that European leaders appear to be repeating one of the original sins that led to the eurozone crisis in the first place: forcing banks and insurers to load up... MORE

Today on the Eurozone Crisis

Eurozone crisis
Arnold Kling
Tim Worstall writes, We're going to be gearing the eurozone banking system up on sovereign debt. Which means that if anyone does in fact default then the eurozone banking system really will go bust, crash and burn in a great... MORE

Today on the Eurozone Crisis

Eurozone crisis
Arnold Kling
An entire article on the two-drunks problem. The European Banking Authority ordered the region's banks on Dec. 8 to raise 115 billion euros ($154 billion) by June. Faced with dwindling profits and unable to tap capital markets to sell new... MORE

Today on the Eurozone Crisis

Eurozone crisis
Arnold Kling
One report on the latest accord: According to a statement issued after the meeting broke up, governments participating in the agreement will need to have balanced budgets -- which is counted as a structural deficit no greater than 0.5 percent... MORE

Today on the Eurozone Crisis

Eurozone crisis
Arnold Kling
Perry Mehrling writes, Now comes the latest deal over eurozone fiscal rules, presumably the deal that ECB President Draghi asked for last week. It is a deal about sovereign budget discipline. But if I read Draghi's speech right, we should... MORE

Today on the Eurozone Crisis

Eurozone crisis
Arnold Kling
Felix Salmon writes, The best case scenario is that those countries bite the bullet and restructure their debt now, since to delay is to make any restructuring much more painful and expensive than it needs to be. Pointer from Mark... MORE

Today on the Eurozone Crisis

Eurozone crisis
Arnold Kling
First, two pointers from Mark Thoma. Jeff Frankel calls this the hour of the technocrat. Obvious disadvantages of some technocrats include lack of managerial experience, lack of perceived legitimacy, and lack of a domestic political powerbase. Monti and Papademos both... MORE

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