Guntram Wolff welcomes Bruegel affiliate fellow Silvia Merler to evaluate the Italian government’s planned budget for 2019, in this Director’s Cut of ‘The Sound of Economics’
The increase in the spread between Italian (BTP) and German (Bund) government securities is directly an additional burden for Italy public finance, and thus for tax payers. But it could soon also become a burden for the real economy, as the increased yield on Italian government securities could pull up the cost of bank loans for Italian firms, thus imparting a deflationary impact onto the economy.
This Policy Contribution looks at the evolution of public debt in Belgium and Italy since 1990 and uses the debt dynamics equation to explain the contrasting evolution in the two countries in the run-up to the introduction of the euro, during the early years of the euro and since the beginning of the crisis, arguing that the euro could have been used also by Italy to undertake sufficiently large fiscal adjustment.
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.
Political backlash to slow growth and immigration has produced the least cooperative government imaginable in Italy, a coalition between the left-populist Five Star Movement (M5S) and the right-populist Lega. And borrowing costs have started to rise in reaction. Does this mean that a crisis is imminent? If so, how bad would it be?
The Italian debate on the pension system predominantly focuses on short-term aspects, neglecting relevant longer-term fundamentals. Based on long-term economic and demographic projections, this blog post calls for more awareness about the balance of risks that lie ahead.
While the prospect of a gridlock reassured investors about the short-term risk of an anti-establishment government, Italy still needs a profound economic shake-up and is in no position to afford months or years of dormant governments.
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
An excess of indebtedness is constraining economic growth in many economies. Indeed, the deleveraging since the financial crisis is exceptionally slow. Why is this the case, and what can be done about it?
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?
At the current level of political and societal integration, a large federal budget is unrealistic in the euro area. The authors make three recommendations that would lead national fiscal policies to be more stabilising with respect to the economic cycle, while achieving long-term sustainability. They also recommend a move towards a European unemployment insurance scheme targeted at ‘large’ shocks, and a minimum set of labour-market harmonisation criteria.
This paper reviews the steps that China has taken towards financial reform with a particular focus on capital account liberalisation and internationalisation of the use of the renminbi.