Upcoming Jean Monnet Workshop “Financial Globalization and its Spillovers”

On 16-17 February a top-level Jean Monnet workshop on “Financial globalization and its spillovers -monetary and exchange rate policy in times of crises” will take place at TH Köln, organized by Harald Sander, Ansgar Belke, Joscha Beckmann and Stefanie Kleimeier. The workshop is co-financed by the European Unions’ Jean Monnet Program and will feature mix of top scholars and practitioners as well “rising stars” in the field. A major objective is to stimulate the dialogue between international scholars and practitioners. The Journal of Banking and Finance will publish a special issue on the workshop.

As part of this workshop a special public event “25 Years after Maastricht: The Future of Money and Finance in Europe will take place at Maastricht University in the afternoon of February 16. The event will feature keynote speeches by Benoît Cœuré,  Member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank and Professor Barry Eichengreen, University of California at Berkeley.  More details can be obtained from the workshop website. Participation is on invitation only.

Erasmus+

 

Posted in Euro crisis, Europe, financial globalization, financial stability | Tagged , ,

Rebalancing EU governance could help rebuild support for the EU

The impact of Brexit on the future of the EU lies in the hands of European policymakers. In a best case scenario, Brexit will serve as a forceful push toward reforming European governance. The British vote has highlighted the political limits of ever-deeper economic integration and challenged the view that an ever-closer European Union is the best answer to it. However, the concept of national sovereignty is illusive in the presence of (financial) globalisation. Rather than simply opting out of integration, policymakers should focus instead on rebalancing European governance and national sovereignty.

In this piece, written for LSE Europp I argue that re-nationalization of fiscal policy is vital for regaining support for the European project, while in other areas such as banking union centralized or co-operative approaches are needed to maintain financial stability and revive the European economy.

Read more…

 

 

Posted in Brexit, Euro crisis, Europe, financial stability, fiscal policy, Uncategorized | Tagged , , ,

The Morning After Brexit

I am now going to say something that will astonish you. The first step in the re-creation of the European Family must be a partnership between France and Germany. In this way only can France recover the moral and cultural leadership of Europe. There can be no revival of Europe without a spiritually great France and a spiritually great Germany. The structure of the United States of Europe, if well and truly built, will be such as to make the material strength of a single state less important. Small nations will count as much as large ones and gain their honour by their contribution to the common cause.
Winston Churchill, Speech at University of Zurich, 19 September 1946

Europe must now face the facts and rebuild its foundations to convince all Europeans that a united Europe can and will contribute to provide peace, stability and welfare to all its members. Most arguments have been exchanged in the past months. Therefore just a short wrap-up with some links to insightful and thought-provoking recent analyses.

First, it is clear the Brexit will bring self-inflicted harm on the British economy. Paul Krugman has summarized the major points. However, a majority of British people seems to be willing to accept welfare losses in exchange for more hoped-for national sovereignty. So Brexit is mainly about governance. And it is the governance issue that the EU minus UK must now address seriously.

Second, in a world of highly integrated markets, especially with respect to financial globalization, the concept of national sovereignty is illusive. As Dani Rodrik has argued forcefully, that the world economy is facing a political trilemma. Without rolling-back (financial) globalization, going the national route would submit the society only to the “golden straitjacket” of global market forces and will thus limit, not enhance sovereignty.

Democratic legitimation of effective decision-making would thus require handing-over sovereignty to supranational bodies, which – in turn –need democratic legitimization. The EU has been and still is often viewed as such an attempt. Unfortunately the performance of the EU in terms of democratic legitimization and economic decision-making to promote welfare in all member state is increasingly not convincing both the electorates and scholars. In the view of the Brexit-debate Dani Rodrik writes now:

I viewed the EU as the only part of the world economy that could successfully combine hyperglobalization (“the single market”) with democracy through the creation of a European demos and polity. … But I now have to admit that I was wrong in this view (or hope, perhaps).

And he blames in particular the way Europe has been dealing with the Euro crisis:

The manner in which Germany and Angela Merkel, in particular, reacted to the crisis in Greece and other indebted countries buried any chance of a democratic Europe.

In fact, Euro-area crisis governance has brought serious asymmetries into a union that was thought of as a union of equals (see also my take on the threatening impact the overly intrusive conditionality in Greece for the European project).

Third, the impact of Brexit on the future of the EU is unclear. Much depends on how strong European politician will react.

On the positive side, Brexit can be regarded as a wake-up call and a forceful push factor to renew leadership and bring new visions to the EU – not least to contain dangerous nationalistic and populist movement in Europe. LSE professor Paul De Grauwe views Brexit as a chance for Europe:

I  conclude that it is not in the interest of the EU to keep a country in the union that will continue to be hostile to “l’acquis communautaire” and that will follow a strategy to further undermine it.
I therefore also conclude that it will be better for the European Union that the Brexit-camp wins the referendum. When Britain is kept out of the EU it will no longer be able to undermine the EU’s cohesion. The EU will come out stronger.

On the negative side, however, the demonstrated willingness of European politician for a big leap forward even is severe crisis has been very low – if not nil. And the major elections coming up in Germany and France next year may not increase the appetite of politicians for major reform projects.

Fourth, what about domino effects? To start with, the way the EU-UK negotiations will be conducted will send a signal to others contemplating about exit. The EU will therefore make sure that such negotiations will lower the appetite for leaving the union. Moreover, by leaving the EU, Britain and – even more so smaller countries who want to follow the example – will be weaker not stronger. All decisions taken by the EU will remain to have an important impact on the British economy and Britain will have to re-act to these decisions without having a say in these decisions anymore.

Before following the British example, other countries should therefore think twice and reject the rhetoric of their populist politicians. Instead of losing influence on Europe by contemplating an exit, they should contribute making Europe work better and more democratic. In the words of Nobel laureate Michael Spence (written before the decision):

Regardless of the outcome of the Brexit referendum (…) the British vote, along with similar strong centrifugal political trends elsewhere, should bring about a major rethink of European governance structures and institutional arrangements. The goal should be to restore a sense of control and responsibility to the electorates.

 

 

Posted in Brexit, Euro crisis, Europe, Uncategorized | Tagged , ,

New Research Paper: The Resurgence of Cultural Borders during the Financial Crisis: The Changing Geography of Eurozone Cross-Border Depositing

This paper, jointly written with Stefanie Kleimeier and Sylvia Heuchemer, has just been published by the Journal of Financial Stability 24(2016) and can be dowloaded here (free access until June 23, 2016).

The paper investigates the impact of cultural borders on the geography of international finance during stable and crises times. It shows that cultural distance limits international financial integration over and above what can be expected from economic trade and transaction costs. While it provides evidence that cultural borders lost influence during a “Europhoria” phase after the introduction of Euro notes in 2002, it also indicates that cultural borders resurge during the 2007/08 financial crisis and severely limit financial integration.

 

Posted in culture, Euro crisis, financial crisis, financial stability, retail banking, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , ,

Panel Discussion “Europe at the Crossroads” at TH Köln January 15, 2016

Impressions (and a German press text) form the panel discussion organized by the Jean-Monnet Chair “Europe in the Global Economy” can be found here:

 

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Upcoming Panel Discussion “Europe at the Crossroads”

Panel Discussionlogo_signatur
Europe at the Crossroads: The Future of the Euro Area and Europe
Friday, 15 January 2016, 3-5 p.m.
Mevissensaal, TH Köln, Claudiusstrasse 1, 50678 Köln

The European Union is going through some of the biggest challenges in its history. The Euro crisis is still looming. The UK is heading towards a referendum on a potential exit from the EU. And nationalism abounds in many member countries.

  • In the European vision of an “ever closer union” an idea of the past?
  • Will nationalist movements endanger the European project?
  • Will Europe be able to develop a more stable and coherent governance?

The Jean Monnet Chair at TH Köln invites you a public discussion on these and more issues with prominent international panelists:

  • Prof. Dr. András Inotai, former President of the Institute for World Economics, Budapest
  • Prof. Hans-Helmut Kotz, Center for European Studies, Harvard and SAFE Policy Center, Goethe U, former Board Member Bundesbank, in charge of Financial Stability and Markets.
  • Prof. Dr. Alojzy Nowak, Pro-Rector of the University of Warsaw
  • Willem Noë, EU Commission, Directorate General NEAR
  • Moderator: Prof. Dr. Harald Sander, Jean Monnet Chair at TH Köln

The event will be followed by a reception allowing for further informal discussions.

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Book and Chapter on Environmental Finance and Sustainability out!

Just in time to the United Nations Conference on Climate Change the Handbook of Environmental and Sustainable Finance, edited by Vikash Ramiah and Greg Gregorio has been published to which I have contributes a chapter on “What Holds Back Eco-Innovations? A “Green Growth Diagnostics” Approach”.

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