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In June, the European Central Bank made the fateful announcement that it would phase out its bond-buying program – called quantitative easing, or QE – by the end of this year. But putting an end to net bond purchases is not the same thing as ending the ECB’s ultra-lax monetary policy. By leaving the door open to rolling over its massive balance sheet of bonds as they mature, policymakers could keep oxygenating the euro area’s economy for years to come.
Professor Elisabeth Krecké
nearly two decades, the EU’s common currency system has worked wonders for
internal trade. The euro has strengthened Europe’s financial position in the
world. However, many government and EU leaders, and the European Central Bank have colluded in circumventing the system’s key safeguards. Today, the
unmanageable levels of sovereign debt threaten to tear up the eurozone and
trigger state bankruptcies.
Prince Michael of Liechtenstein
enjoy delivering bad news. The current favorite being shared by academics and
financial experts is that the world is headed for a recession, in 2020 or 2021
at the latest. But we regard this as unlikely, unless there is a major
political accident – such as a trade war or turmoil in China. While a slowdown
is always possible, especially in Western Europe, that does not make a
Professor Enrico Colombatto
A decade after asset-backed mortgage securities detonated a global financial crisis, the European Commission is proposing a rerun – this time with the sovereign debt of euro-area member states.
Monetary policymakers are
becoming preoccupied with the risks of persistently low interest rates to Europe’s
still fragile economic recovery. Ultra-easy credit is creating growing economic
distortions and asset bubbles, while reviving volatility and risk in financial
markets. The European Central Bank realizes it must “normalize” rates, but it worries
that sudden tightening could precipitate a financial crisis that could be as
bad or worse than 2008-2009.
The euro has been remarkably
stable during its 15-year existence as a major currency. That has not always
been a good thing for the European economy. But the real concerns for the
single currency hinge on politics and survival.
Professor Stefan Hedlund