Podcast

Director’s Cut: What risk does Italy’s new government pose to the euro area?

In this Director’s Cut of ‘The Sound of Economics’ podcast, Guntram Wolff discusses with Bruegel senior fellow Francesco Papadia the potential consequences of Italy’s new coalition government – both for Italy itself, and for the euro area as a whole.

By: Date: May 25, 2018 Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance


The coalition agreement between Italy’s Five Star Movement and the League puts the country’s new government on a potential collision course with the European Union, and has prompted fears that the country could nosedive out of the euro zone.

Markets have already born witness to investor nervousness over the coalition’s proposed agenda, and the new government’s priorities run counter to the prevailing fiscal and monetary policies of the euro area. If Italy were to follow through on its new plans for spending, the expected reaction in among bond-buyers would make it very difficult for Italy to finance its already-significant amount of public debt.

Any discussion of a possible default necessarily involves the euro area – as Bruegel’s database of sovereign bond holdings illustrates. Just how exposed are the other members of the currency bloc, and what paths might be taken in order to avert a crisis?

In this week’s Director’s Cut, Bruegel senior fellow Francesco Papadia joins Guntram Wolff to assess the problems that currently occupy both Italy and the EU.

For further reading, note Guntram Wolff’s article on why Europe needs a strong Italy, whoever is leading the government.

Also consider looking at Jean Pisani-Ferry’s opinion piece on the opportunity that such political upheaval might offer Italy to overcome its longstanding internal issues.

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Podcast

Podcast

Director’s Cut: Making Europe financially literate

This week's guest on the Director’s Cut of ‘The Sound of Economics’, Annamaria Lusardi, raises the urgent need to adopt policies that seek to improve people’s understanding of financial concepts and risks, in conversation with Bruegel deputy director Maria Demertzis.

By: The Sound of Economics Topic: Finance & Financial Regulation Date: June 19, 2018
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Understanding Italy: challenges and perspectives in the European context

This is an invitation-only workshop to discuss Italy’s economic and political challenges and what lies ahead

Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels
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Opinion

« Mieux vaudrait laisser les gouvernements libres de tenter les politiques de leur choix »

Les peuples ont le droit de faire des erreurs: Selon l’économiste Jean Pisani-Ferry, l’Union européenne doit accepter les aspirations légitimes à des politiques disparates, tout se prémunissant contre la contagion de leur corollaire : la possibilité d’une faillite souveraine.

By: Jean Pisani-Ferry Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: June 12, 2018
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Blog Post

The Italian mini-BOT debate

Talks of parallel currency are not new in Italy. But one of the proposals – the so called mini-BOT – has made it into the government contract that underpins the current League-M5S coalition. We review what has been said about these proposals.

By: Silvia Merler Topic: Finance & Financial Regulation Date: June 11, 2018
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Blog Post

Is the ECB collateral framework compromising the safe-asset status of euro-area sovereign bonds?

Central banks’ collateral frameworks play an important role in defining what is considered as a safe asset. However, the ECB’s framework is unsatisfactory because it is overly reliant on pro-cyclical ratings from credit rating agencies, and because the differences in haircuts between the different ECB credit quality steps are not sufficiently gradual. In this note, the authors propose how the ECB could solve these problems and improve its collateral framework to protect its balance sheet without putting at risk the safe status of sovereign bonds of the euro area.

By: Grégory Claeys and Inês Goncalves Raposo Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: June 8, 2018
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Opinion

Trägt Deutschland eine Mitschuld an Italiens Krise?

Italiens Regierung will riesige neue Schulden machen – die nächste Bewährungsprobe für die Eurozone. Deutschland muss sich aktiv an der Lösung beteiligen.

By: Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: June 6, 2018
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Blog Post

Mini-BOT in the government programme of the Five Star Movement and the League

The economic evaluation of mini-BOT very much depends on its specific characteristics. Overall it appears to be a blend of an inferior security and inferior money. More important than its specific characteristics is the message that the implementation of the mini-BOT would send about Ital-exit: inevitably, given what the League and its representatives have said and written, the mini-BOT would be seen as a first step in the exit of Italy from the euro, rekindling denomination risk attached to Italian securities.

By: Francesco Papadia and Alexander Roth Topic: Finance & Financial Regulation Date: June 5, 2018
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Podcast

Podcast

Director's Cut: Central banking and the problem of unelected power

Bruegel director Guntram Wolff discusses current tensions in central banking governance with Paul Tucker, former deputy governor of the Bank of England and author of the newly released book 'Unelected Power: The Quest for Legitimacy in Central Banking and the Regulatory State'.

By: The Sound of Economics Topic: Finance & Financial Regulation, Global Economics & Governance Date: June 5, 2018
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Blog Post

The Italian Crisis

While Italy has been through one of the gravest institutional crises in its history, we review recent opinions on the topic.

By: Silvia Merler Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: June 4, 2018
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Opinion

Mattarella’s line in the sand

The vital task confronting Europe is to reconcile citizens’ right to make radical choices with the need to ensure that decisions leading to constitutional change are subject to sufficient public deliberation. The EU and the euro must not be constitutional cages; but nor should they be subject to ill-considered decisions.

By: Jean Pisani-Ferry Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: June 1, 2018
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Blog Post

Italian populism calls for hard choices

The economic agenda of Italian populists is likely to exacerbate rather than alleviate Italy’s longstanding problems. But the piecemeal, small-step approach followed by European and national ruling elites, while perhaps tolerable for countries under normal economic conditions, is insufficient for an Italy stuck in a low-growth-high-debt equilibrium. If defenders of the European project want to regain popularity, they will need to present a clear functioning alternative to setting the house on fire.

By: Alessio Terzi Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: May 31, 2018
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Podcast

Podcast

Robots: Positive or negative for EU employment?

Bruegel research fellow Georgios Petropoulos features in this episode of ‘The Sound of Economics’ to discuss a study he has co-authored on the impact of robotisation on employment in Europe.

By: The Sound of Economics Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Date: May 29, 2018
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