Paths to eurobonds

by Stijn Claessens and Shahin Vallée on 3rd July 2012

This paper discusses proposals for common euro area sovereign securities. Such instruments can potentially serve two functions: in the short-term, stabilize financialmarkets and banks and, in the medium-term, help improve the euro area economic governance framework through enhanced fiscal discipline and risk-sharing.

Many questions remain onwhether financial instruments can ever accomplish such goals without bold institutional and political decisions, and,whether, in the absence of such decisions, they can create new distortions. The proposals discussed are also not necessarily competing substitutes; rather, they can be complements to be sequenced along alternative paths that possibly culminate in a fully-fledged Eurobond. The specific path chosen by policymakers should allow for learning and secure the necessary evolution of institutional infrastructures and political safeguards.

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