The incoming Commission President has put support for SMEs at the centre of her economic programme. A public-private fund investing in initial public offerings should be carefully targeted, primarily at small firms with risky projects. The announced SME strategy and further measures under the Capital Markets Union programme should address numerous other barriers to both public and private equity finance.
There are fundamental solvency and liquidity issues for some small Chinese banks, widely influencing both the bond market as well as the broader financial sector. Given the difficulties in creating a level playing field between small and large banks, there is an expectation that small banks will continue to under-perform.
How can increased access to finance benefit SMEs? What reforms are needed to encourage SME financial inclusion?
While the activities using the peer-to-peer cryptocurrency Bitcoin swing between legal and illegal, the attention has been increasingly shifting to the technology underlying Bitcoin, known as blockchain. The mechanics and economics of Bitcoin have been reviewed in a previous Bruegel blogpost. In this blog review we explain, or at least attempt to, what blockchain is and whether it contains the extraordinary innovation potential that its proponents believe it to have, or perhaps such hype is oversold.
European Macroeconomics & Governance
Growth & Innovation
This briefing paper was prepared for the European Parliament Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs ahead of the European Parliament’s Monetary Dialogue with ECB President Mario Draghi on 8 July 2013. The SME access-to-finance problem is not universal in the European Union and there are reasons for the fall in credit aggregates and higher SME lending rates in southern Europe. Possible market failures, high unemployment and externalities justify making greater and easier access to finance for SMEs a top priority.