The good news is that unemployment has only risen modestly so far; the bad news is that hours worked have plummeted.
Europe needs to do more at federal level if a recovery plan is to be successful.
More monetary-policy easing is still a one-club approach—fiscal support is also needed at EU level.
In light of the eurozone and, now, climate crises, EU macroeconomic policy co-ordination needs a reboot.
The European Green Deal needs sustained political commitment, especially on ‘just transition’, if it is to realise its ambition.
The proxy media exchange between the French president and the leader of the German Christian democrats is a sign of an emergent European public sphere. On March 4th something unusual—as far as I can recall, unprecedented—happened in European politics. The head of state of a member state of the European Union, the French president, Emmanuel […]
William Mitchell and Thomas Fazi (WM/TF) have written a piece that – under the presumptuous title of Everything You Know About Neoliberalism Is Wrong – offers a critique of the idea that nation states need to pool sovereignty in order to enact progressive policies and makes a plea for a “progressive emancipatory vision of national sovereignty”. It has attracted […]
Those who wish to leave – so a German saying – you should not seek to dissuade from so doing. To few people is the phrase more applicable than to Wolfgang Schäuble who is resigning the post of German finance minister and, with it, that of de facto head of the Euro Group. He held […]
In 2013 Colin Crouch wrote a noted book entitled The strange non-death of neoliberalism. In it he discussed why neoliberalism had managed to avoid being killed by what had appeared to be its nemesis: the global financial and economic crisis. The title came to mind on reading some recent work on the political economy of modern […]
My IMK colleagues Christoph Paetz, Katja Rietzler and Achim Truger have just issued an important analysis of experience with the German Schuldenbremse (debt brake) since 2011. If you read German I heartily recommend you to consult it. We will prepare an English translation, but given the importance of the debt brake for the fiscal policy discussion in Europe (and the […]
I recall many years ago discussing an industrial conflict with someone who is now a senior trade union leader. Sure I can get our people “up a palm tree”, he said. But then I have to know how to get them back down again afterwards. This common sense advice was not taken by the Brexiteers. […]
A definition of chutzpah is murdering your parents and then claiming social benefits as an orphan. It is not widely recognised, but the IMF illustrates similar brazenness in the current debate on Greece’s debt burden. While not exactly pretending to be an orphan, the IMF is currently getting a lot of sympathy for its position: […]
The ECB has announced a further expansionary shift by beefing up a range of existing policy instruments. Barring unexpected positive shocks this will not be enough to break out of a deflationary environment and convincingly underpin growth and a rapid reduction in unemployment. For that to happen fiscal policy must turn expansionary and/or the ECB […]
Whatever else they might disagree about, just about everybody commenting on Europe agree about this: the succession of crises – financial, economic, fiscal, and now refugees – have set Europe’s peoples against one another. Nationalist and racist parties are gaining strength on the Right – with a real risk of Mme Le Pen becoming the […]
In the late 1950s, as the Cold War increasingly appeared likely to destroy the planet, the British philosopher Bertrand Russell wrote of the game of chicken being played by the superpowers: As played by irresponsible boys, this game is considered decadent and immoral, though only the lives of the players are risked. But when the […]
The Financial Times has a useful background article on the debate about pension reforms in Greece, one of the main sticking points in the current showdown, which makes a number of important points. Some comments and amplifications are in order. The article refers to groups of workers that, at least until the crisis, enjoyed very […]
Media reports indicate that the stand-off between the new Greek government and its creditors is going to the wire. At stake is Greece’s continued membership of the euro area. Much has been written on the lack of progress and understanding between the two sides. In many cases reports are based on little more than gossip, […]
A while ago I participated in a TV debate on Greece (German speakers can follow this link). One of the points of contention was whether investment in Greece has been structurally weak, hampered by overregulation or corruption – in short: it’s the supply side, stupid – or whether the country’s economic problems are primarily derived […]
Germany’s first post-war Chancellor Konrad Adenauer is usually held to be the origin of an often-quoted phrase „Was kümmert mich mein Geschwätz von gestern?“. Roughly: why should I be concerned about the rubbish I talked yesterday? Whatever the rights and wrongs of this attribution, the phrase – used to draw attention to someone who places […]
On May 1st 2004 ten countries joined the EU in the biggest enlargement of the Union to date. Moreover it was a step heavy with symbolism. Eight of the ten – the exceptions being the two Mediterranean island economies Cyprus and Malta – had until just over a decade earlier been part of the Warsaw […]