Don’t fear the Grexit (Unless you’re Greek)

Over a month ago I declared that the Grexit was a fait accompli. As soon as Chancellor Merkel publicly declared it was a possibility it was the only end game. Why? Because Greek debt is (and has been) unsustainable and there were ever only two finishes to the crisis: debt-relief or Grexit. The former wouldContinue reading “Don’t fear the Grexit (Unless you’re Greek)”

The convergence of interest rates in the Eurozone has fuelled rather than removed economic divergences between the north and south

 When the European Monetary Union was created in the    late 1990s it was assumed that the ensuing convergence of interest rates would also lead to economic convergence across Europe. This has clearly not been the case, with the countries of the Eurozone periphery now forced into implementing austerity measures. Aidan Regan argues that these countries are payingContinue reading “The convergence of interest rates in the Eurozone has fuelled rather than removed economic divergences between the north and south”

Austerity in the Eurozone periphery

The latest issue of the online journal Intereconomics features articles about Greece, Ireland, Italy, Spain, and Portugal. Aidan Regan and I wrote the article on Ireland. As we know well here in Ireland, they’re an oddly-sorted bunch, because each faces a rather different set of domestic policy challenges. Each also has problems that need to be addressed inContinue reading “Austerity in the Eurozone periphery”

Home truths about the Euro crisis

Jean-Claude Juncker said some remarkably candid things to the European parliament yesterday. His role as the chair of the Eurozone group of countries has given him limited scope to speak freely to date. Indeed he’s someone who is quoted as saying ‘I’m for secret, dark debates‘. Now that he’s about to step down, he’s madeContinue reading “Home truths about the Euro crisis”

Merkel Hysteria

If a case study was needed on how NOT to conduct EU negotiations, the October EU summit provides it. It has long been the bane of EU politics that the carefully crafted, finely balanced and nuanced written conclusions of an EU summit can be blown out of the water by a President or Prime MinisterContinue reading “Merkel Hysteria”

What did the EU really agree on sovereign and bank debts last summer?

There has been great furor recently over what exactly EU leaders agreed in the June 2012 summit. Some of that furor concerns the issue of separating member states’ liability for sovereign debt, which nobody contests, from their liability for bank debt, which is widely contested. Here in Ireland, where the country’s economic prospects are seriouslyContinue reading “What did the EU really agree on sovereign and bank debts last summer?”

Getting beyond Europe’s spend more / spend less debate

The debate over paths to economic recovery in Europe is often presented as a choice between austerity and stimulus. Less often heard in this debate is the range of options related to labour market reform. There are many ways that European states could reform their labour markets in an effort to promote sustainable growth, withContinue reading “Getting beyond Europe’s spend more / spend less debate”

Victory for Europe? Not yet

Over the last few weeks, various commentators described the multiple events of 12 September (yesterday) as the EU’s D-Day, a make-or-break final assault on the Eurozone crisis. One day on, things do seem to have gone quite well for EU stability: the ECB has announced an unlimited programme to buy bonds of Eurozone states (albeitContinue reading “Victory for Europe? Not yet”

Pure fantasy or realistic forecast?

The Economist published this week a lengthy and well-reasoned guess at the type of extreme options that some within the German government may — with emphasis on ‘may’ — be considering in response to the Eurozone crisis: namely, to break up the Eurozone by forcing a Greek exit, or even by forcing a multi-state exitContinue reading “Pure fantasy or realistic forecast?”