Past Event

Does the euro area need a sovereign insolvency mechanism?

The sovereign debt crisis shook the Euro to its foundations. It soon became clear that there was no mechanism to allow a tidy insolvency of a state wishing to remain inside the euro area. To face future crises, does the EU need a sovereign insolvency mechanism?

Date: July 12, 2016, 1:00 pm European Macroeconomics & Governance Tags & Topics

SUmmary

See below for video and event materials.

Lars Feld and Jochen Andritzky of the German Council of Economic Experts (GCEE) presented their proposal on a sovereign debt restructuring mechanism for the euro area. It is embedded in a wider framework called “Maastricht 2.0”, which consists of three pillars: fiscal and economic policy under national responsibility; a financial framework under European responsibility; and a crisis mechanism nested in between the two.

The innovations in their proposal are a two-step timeline for restructuring sovereign debt and a gradual phase-in for the new regime. The two steps proposed for a restructuring are a quasi-automatic maturity extension followed, if necessary, by a deeper restructuring based on a debt sustainability analysis by the European Stability Mechanism (ESM). The gradual phase-in regime includes a new class of sovereign bonds, eligible for restructuring, which could be issued from next year. These would include creditor participation clauses and thereby involve a market-based approach to debt restructuring.

Zsolt Darvas acknowledged the GCEE’s report and endorsed the idea for a debt restructuring mechanism. First, he argued the advantaged of a US system, with no federally imposed fiscal rules, no bail-out, no monetary financing, but redistributive policies. He felt this would be the first best option for Europe, which means it is an optimal yet unfeasible option. Furthermore, Darvas questioned the effectiveness of the current system of fiscal rules, which are still an important element in the GCEE’s proposal. He also had doubts about the practicalities of the proposal, such as whether the quasi-automatic element in the proposal will be effective when creditors still need to give consent (market-based approach), or whether the ESM will be big enough for countries like Italy as the mechanism is conditional on an ESM program.

Guntram Wolff further wondered whether the newly issued, eligible debt can be introduced smoothly, and whether the introduction of a debt restructuring mechanism once more implies that there is no such thing as a risk-free asset. Another topic raised was the difference between market-based and statutory approaches. On this, Lars Feld replied that a statutory approach is unfeasible.

Two major points were raised in the Q&A session. First, is there room for manoeuvre on this topic without treaty change? Second, does the lack of a safe asset make such a sovereign debt restructuring mechanism unstable? On the first point, Lars Feld and Jochen Andritzky argued that there would be need for treaty change, because sovereignty is affected. On the second, they argued that stability can still be provided by single countries’ debt – the issue is rather a matter of distribution than stability. If distributional consequences are not desired, European Safe Bonds (ESBies) are a way to address this issue.

Event notes by Bennet Berger, Research Assistant

VIDEO RECORDING

 

Event materials

Presentation – Jochen Andritzky and Lars Feld

A Mechanism to Regulate Sovereign Debt Restructuring in the Euro Area – Working paper by Jochen Andritzky, Désirée I. Christofzik, Lars P. Feld, Uwe Scheuring

 

Schedule

Jul 12, 2016

12.30-13.00

Check-in and lunch

13.00-13.30

Presentation

Jochen Andritzky, Secretary General, German Council of Economic Advisors

Lars Feld, Member, German Council of Economic Experts

13.30-13.45

Comments

Chair: Guntram B. Wolff, Director

Zsolt Darvas, Senior Fellow

13.45-14.30

Audience discussion

14.30

End

Speakers

Andritzky IMG

Jochen Andritzky

Secretary General, German Council of Economic Advisors

Feld IMG

Lars Feld

Member, German Council of Economic Experts

Zsolt Darvas

Zsolt Darvas

Senior Fellow

Guntram B. Wolff

Guntram B. Wolff

Director

Location & Contact

Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels

Bryn Watkins

Bryn Watkins

bryn.watkins@bruegel.org +32 2 227 42 88

Read article Download PDF More by this author

Working Paper

Cover WP 2017_06

Regional and global financial safety nets: the recent European experience and its implications for regional cooperation in Asia

Comparing and evaluating financial assistance programmes of four euro-area countries (Greece, Ireland, Portugal, and Cyprus) and three non-euro-area countries (Hungary, Latvia, and Romania) of the European Union in the aftermath of the 2007/08 global financial and economic crisis. Asian countries can draw several lessons from European experiences.

By: Zsolt Darvas Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance, Finance & Financial Regulation, Global Economics & Governance Date: April 20, 2017
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Global outlook and policy priorities

At this event the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, will speak about the global outlook and policy priorities, ahead of the 2017 IMF Spring Meetings

Speakers: Christine Lagarde, Jean-Claude Trichet and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: Global Economics & Governance Location: Brussels Date: April 12, 2017
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Blog Post

Lagarde picture

Building a more resilient and inclusive global economy

Curtain raiser speech ahead of the 2017 IMF Spring Meetings delivered at Bruegel by the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund.

By: Christine Lagarde Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: April 12, 2017
Read article More on this topic

Blog Post

dion bongaerts
Schoenmaker pic

A call for uniform sovereign exposure limits

Banks’ sovereign bond holdings were at the heart of the euro-sovereign crisis. The concentration of domestic bonds created a vicious cycle between governments and banks. There are several proposals to end this link, including concentration limits on southern European bonds. We argue for a uniform limit to reduce flight-to-quality effects on northern European bonds. Such a uniform limit would also be more acceptable politically.

By: Dion Bongaerts and Dirk Schoenmaker Topic: Finance & Financial Regulation Date: March 28, 2017
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Blog Post

DSC_0794

Why was the last TLTRO take-up unexpectedly high?

The final round of TLTRO financing was an unexpected hit with euro area banks. The aim of the programme is to encourage banks to increase lending to the real economy. However, with many now expecting a hike in deposit rates, banks’ enthusiasm might be driven largely by the chance to make a profit from the cheap loans.

By: Justine Feliu Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: March 27, 2017
Read article More on this topic

Blog Post

Uuriintuya Batsaikhan
Zsolt Darvas

European spring - Trust in the EU and democracy is recovering

Trust in the EU and satisfaction with democracy are returning in southern European countries, where citizens’ confidence in European institutions was dented during the crisis years.

By: Uuriintuya Batsaikhan and Zsolt Darvas Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: March 24, 2017
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Artificial intelligence: challenges and opportunities

Rob Atkinson, the founder and president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation presented his research work on the impact of artificial intelligence on our lives.

Speakers: Robert Atkinson, Anna Byhovskaya, Merja Kyllönen and Georgios Petropoulos Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: March 23, 2017
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Conversations on the future of Europe

On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome, we held an event of four conversations between Bruegel scholars and European thinkers.

Speakers: Maria Demertzis, Ivan Krastev, Emmanuel Mourlon-Druol, Johanna Nyman, André Sapir, Catherine Schenk, Andre Wilkens and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: March 22, 2017
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Blog Post

Silvia Merler

The inflation basket case

Inflation in the euro area has finally reached 2%. But Draghi is right to warn that the underlying dynamics do not point to this being a self-sustaining trend. Breaking down the numbers shows that many inflation basket items are still showing weak price growth or even deflation.

By: Silvia Merler Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: March 17, 2017
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Opinion

Guntram B. Wolff

What future for Europe?

The Commission's White Paper on the future of the EU sets out five scenarios, but misses the fundamental questions facing Europe. How should the EU interact with its neighbourhood? How can we manage the tensions created by multi-speed integration? And above all how can the Euro be made sustainable in the absence of a major step towards fiscal union?

By: Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: March 16, 2017
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Intellectual Property and Competition Policy in Europe and Japan

Intellectual property (IP) is a cornerstone for incentivising innovation initiatives. It defines a framework within which firms and individuals can produce creations of intellect.

Speakers: Peter Alexiadis, Reiko Aoki, Michael Koenig, Kai-Uwe Kühn and Georgios Petropoulos Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: March 14, 2017
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Blog Post

Grégory Claeys

Debunking 5 myths about Frexit

French elections are fast approaching and the debate on euro membership is now in full swing. ‘Frexit’ supporters promise that the benefits of leaving the euro would be substantial for the French economy, that economic policy would be greatly improved, and most importantly that the exit process would be a piece of cake. This blog post shows that these claims are greatly exaggerated if not outright lies.

By: Grégory Claeys Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: March 10, 2017
Load more posts