Podcast

Director’s Cut: The case for a legislative remedy for recessions

Bruegel's Maria Demertzis welcomes Yale Law School professor Yair Listokin to this Director's Cut of 'The Sound of Economics', to discuss how law might be deployed as a macroeconomic tool to counter financial crisis.

By: Date: March 12, 2019 Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance


In this episode of Director’s Cut, Bruegel’s deputy director Maria Demertzis talks to Yair Listokin, a professor at Yale Law School, about the effect law could have on achieving macroeconomic objectives.

In his new book titled ‘Law and Macroeconomics’, Yair Listokin puts forward the idea that law has the ability to function as an instrument of macroeconomic policy. He argues that the time it took for private spending to recover after the 2008 financial crisis could have been cut, had legislation played a more vital role in the process.

Here the two elaborate on these ideas, focusing particularly on the perceived trade-off between law’s role in maintaining stability, and its potential to be used as a real-time response to economic shocks. They also discuss the applicability of this policy approach in the European reality of multiple legal frameworks and central banks struggling to stimulate aggregate demand at the zero lower interest rate bound.

You can find more on macroeconomic policy in previous editions of the Director’s Cut. First, we recommend Bruegel director Guntram Wolff’s conversation about the growth and stability challenges facing the global financial system, with Tharman Shanmugaratnam, deputy prime minister of Singapore and chair of the G20 Eminent Persons Group, and Jean Pisani-Ferry, mercator senior fellow at Bruegel. Second, consider Maria Demertzis’ discussion with Martin Sandbu of the Financial Times, on the topic of what the field of economics has learned in the decade since the financial crisis.

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Blog Post

Inflation targets: revising the European Central Bank’s monetary framework

The ECB is looking to evaluate whether its definition of price stability is effective in helping anchor inflation expectations. We argue that the current definition does not make for a very good focal point. To become a focal point the ECB needs to do two things. Price stability should be defined as inflation at 2 percent,. Remove therefore the unnecessary ambiguity of "below but close to 2 percent". But that is not enough. Around that 2 percent, the ECB should say which levels of inflation it is prepared to tolerate. There need to be explicit bands defined around that 2 percent to provide a framework for economic agents to evaluate Central Bank performance. And as the ECB will have to operate under high levels fo uncertainty these bands need to be wider than tolerance of inflation between 1 and 3 percent, which is what many inflation targeting Central Banks have tolerated over the years.

By: Maria Demertzis and Nicola Viegi Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: February 20, 2020
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Podcast

Podcast

From Brussels with love? Russia's economic dependence on the EU

Despite the political antagonism, the EU and Russia are not only geographically, but also economically, reliant on each other: European houses are heated using Russian natural gas and Russia is highly dependent on European investment. Therefore, should the EU develop closer political ties with Russia? How much leverage does the EU have when dealing with the Kremlin? This week, Nicholas Barrett is joined by Niclas Poitiers and Marta Domínguez-Jímenez to discuss European foreign direct investment in Russia.

By: The Sound of Economics Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: February 19, 2020
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Podcast

Podcast

Can hybrid threats disrupt the financial system?

From cashless payments to digital banking, finance has become intangible and global. But, while speed and convenience have made our international transactions easier, have we become more vulnerable? How can the EU respond to the increased risk of hybrid threats? This week, Nicholas Barrett is joined by Jukka Savolainen, Director of Community of Interest “Vulnerabilities and Resilience” at the European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats, and Maria Demertzis, to discuss the risks that hybrid threats pose to the financial system.

By: The Sound of Economics Topic: Finance & Financial Regulation Date: February 17, 2020
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Blog Post

Recent euro-area house price increases are dissimilar to earlier housing booms

Current housing markets relative to those pre-crisis seem to be far less driven by mortgage credit, and the size of the construction sector has not increased. This is possibly good news for financial stability because an eventual house price correction would transmit less into mortgage defaults and corrections in economic activity.

By: Zsolt Darvas, Marta Domínguez-Jiménez and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: Finance & Financial Regulation Date: February 17, 2020
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Podcast

Podcast

The EU's plan to catch up on artificial intelligence

While the US and China have been setting the pace when it comes to Artificial Intelligence, the European Union seems to be lagging behind. What are the Commission's plans to finally catch up? Will AI increase the gap between big and small companies? This week, Nicholas Barrett is joined by Julia Anderson and Guntram Wolff to discuss the EU's plan for AI.

By: The Sound of Economics Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Date: February 14, 2020
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How adequate is the European toolbox to deal with financial stability risks in a low rate environment?

Bruegel is delighted to welcome the governor of the Central Bank of Ireland, Gabriel Makhlouf. He will deliver a keynote address about how adequate the European toolbox is to tackle financial stability risks in a low rate environment. Following his speech, a panel of experts will further discuss the topic.

Speakers: Gabriel Makhlouf, Guntram B. Wolff and Agnès Bénassy-Quéré Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance, Finance & Financial Regulation Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels
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Policy Contribution

European Parliament

From climate change to cyber attacks: Incipient financial-stability risks for the euro area

The European Central Bank’s November 2019 Financial Stability Review highlighted the risks to growth in an environment of global uncertainty. On the whole, the ECB report is comprehensive and covers the main risks to euro-area financial stability, we highlight issues that deserve more attention.

By: Zsolt Darvas, Marta Domínguez-Jiménez and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance, European Parliament, Finance & Financial Regulation, Testimonies Date: February 6, 2020
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Podcast

Podcast

Industrial revolutions might not be as fun as they look

AI promises a new industrial revolution but history warns us that industrial revolutions aren't always that fun for people in the eye of the storm. This week, Nicholas Barrett and Maria Demertzis spoke with Dr. Carl Frey, author of the book "The technology trap: capital, labor, and power in the age of automation", and Robert D. Atkinson, President of Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), about how artificial intelligence will affect the job market.

By: The Sound of Economics Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Date: February 5, 2020
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Blog Post

Climate risks to European banks: a new era of stress tests

Several European central banks have begun assessing the impact of adverse climate scenarios on banks’ capital. Comparable work at EU or euro area level has evolved more slowly. Supervisors need build up a distinct and more complex type of analysis, and should engage with banks now.

By: Alexander Lehmann Topic: Energy & Climate, Finance & Financial Regulation Date: February 4, 2020
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Opinion

Europe’s banking union must be cyberproofed

The EU urgently needs to conduct joint preparedness exercises and create uniform information and disclosure requirements that help build a true pan-European insurance market for cyber risks

By: Guntram B. Wolff Topic: Finance & Financial Regulation, Innovation & Competition Policy Date: January 30, 2020
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Podcast

Podcast

The science of Brexit

On Saturday morning, the United Kingdom will wake up outside the European Union. After 37 years of collaboration, how will Brexit affect research and innovation in Europe and in the UK? What should be the next steps undertaken by both in order to maintain the same level of cooperation? This week, Nicholas Barrett is joined by Maria Demertzis, Guntram Wolff and Michael Leigh, Senior Adjunct Professor of European Studies at the Johns Hopkins University, to discuss a post-Brexit agreement for research and innovation.

By: The Sound of Economics Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: January 29, 2020
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Blog Post

Libra as a currency board: are the risks too great?

The Libra Association claims it will be analogous to a currency board regime, but they have overlooked the problems of monetary management that come with it

By: Julia Anderson and Francesco Papadia Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Date: January 27, 2020
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