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Archive for 23. Dezember 2012

Euro-Krise – Wer Schulden macht, muss Macht abgeben

Posted by hkarner - 23. Dezember 2012

Ein bemerkenswerter Vorschlag. Lesenswert. Schade, dass es solche Grössen wie Delors heute nicht mehr gibt (hfk)

Wie den Euro retten? Jacques Delors plädiert mit Henrik Enderlein für eine Neuordnung Europas.

  • Von: Jacques Delors | Henrik Enderlein. Jacques Delors ist ehemaliger Präsident der Europäischen Kommission und Gründungspräsident von Notre Europe – Jacques Delors Institute. Henrik Enderlein ist Professor an der Hertie School of Governance und zurzeit Gastprofessor an der Harvard Kennedy School.
  • Datum: 23.12.2012 – 11:33 Uhr

© Heiko Junge/Reuters

Thorbjoern Jagland vom Nobelpreiskomitee, Ratspräsident Herman Van Rompuy, Kommissionspräsident José Manuel Barroso und EU-Parlamentspräsident Martin Schulz (v.l.n.r.) am 10. Dezember in OsloThorbjoern Jagland vom Nobelpreiskomitee, Ratspräsident Herman Van Rompuy, Kommissionspräsident José Manuel Barroso und EU-Parlamentspräsident Martin Schulz (v.l.n.r.) am 10. Dezember in Oslo

In der Europäischen Währungsunion sind die langfristigen Herausforderungen die dringendsten geworden. Nach Nothilfen für die unter Druck geratenen Länder in Europa rückt nun die Frage nach der Struktur des Euro-Raums in den Vordergrund: Wie viel politische Union, wie viel Fiskalunion, wie viel Solidarität brauchen wir?

Die Krise ist keine Krise des Euro. Was ihr zugrunde liegt, sind Unstimmigkeiten im Zusammenspiel zwischen unterschiedlichen nationalen Wirtschaftssystemen und der gemeinsamen Währung. Wer diese Unstimmigkeiten auflösen will, hat zwei Optionen: Entweder Europa kehrt zu den alten Währungen zurück und gefährdet damit den Binnenmarkt und mit ihm die Zukunft des gemeinsamen Integrationsprojekts. Oder es gelingt, die nationalen Wirtschaftssysteme so weit in Einklang zu bringen, dass der Euro als gemeinsame Währung funktioniert. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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What to Watch in 2013: Eastern Europe/CIS edition

Posted by hkarner - 23. Dezember 2012

Author: Rachel Ziemba · December 21st, 2012 · RGE EconoMonitor

Rachel Ziemba is a senior analyst for Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEEMEA) and global macroeconomic issues at Roubini Global Economics

The following inexhaustive list is a companion to last week’s post on things to watch in MENA and our recently published outlooks. In general our regional outlook, like our global one, has become brighter on the margins but emphasizes the divergence in growth across the region and across emerging and frontier markets. We’ll be treating all these themes and many more in the coming year.

A tough growth environment: Growth has slowed sharply across Emerging Europe, as highlighted in our recent outlook, and several export oriented countries slipped back into fiscal austerity, weak EZ demand and a persistent credit crunch chilled domestic demand. More domestically driven economies also slowed including Russia, Turkey and Poland. 2013 will be a bit better across the board, particularly if herculanean efforts of global central banks give local authorities more policy space. The region still underperforms other EM regions, as local fiscal austerity and credit sluggishness accentuate weak demand from the EZ.

Balance sheet repair continues: Regional economies are still rebuilding balance sheets from the boom years, to differing degrees. Generally balance sheets are more encumbered, particularly public sector ones, posing chronic if not necessarily acute challenges. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Kenen on the euro

Posted by hkarner - 23. Dezember 2012

Barry Eichengreen, Charles Wyplosz, 21 December 2012, voxeu

Professor of Economics and Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley; and formerly Senior Policy Advisor at the International Monetary Fund. CEPR Research Fellow

Professor of International Economics, Graduate Institute, Geneva; Director, International Centre for Money and Banking Studies; CEPR Research

One of the world’s most influential international economists, Peter Kenen, passed this week. This column highlights the key role his insights played in the construction of the Eurozone and the problems that arose when his insights were ignored.

PKeneneter Kenen, who passed away peacefully in Princeton, NJ earlier this week, was one of the leading international monetary economists of his – and any – generation. Peter made fundamental contributions to many topics but none more consistently than the question of the euro. That he importantly influenced both the theory and practice of European monetary integration is all the more remarkable for the fact that he was an outsider, an American rather than a European, and that he was sceptical about substantial aspects of the project. But Peter was also supportive of Europe and uniquely able to strike a tone that caused his sceptical insights to be taken seriously and even sympathetically.

Early work on optimum currency areas by Robert Mundell had emphasised the symmetry or asymmetry of disturbances hitting different regional economies as a key criterion on which to gauge their suitability for sharing a common currency. Peter took this insight further by arguing that disturbances were often sector specific and that the diversification of regional economies was therefore a key consideration in gauging their suitability for monetary union (the better diversified an economy was, the less likely it was to be badly destabilised by a sector-specific shock). (Kenen 1969).

We now know that Kenen flagged a problem for which the Eurozone could have been better prepared. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Cliff Hanger: The President’s Unnecessary and Unwise Concessions

Posted by hkarner - 23. Dezember 2012

Author: Robert Reich · December 20th, 2012 · Reich BlogReich

Why is the President back to making premature and unnecessary concessions to Republicans?

Two central issues in the 2012 presidential election were whether the Bush tax cuts should be ended for people earning over $250,000, and whether Social Security and Medicare should be protected from future budget cuts.

The President said yes to both. Republicans said no. Obama won.

But apparently the President is now offering to continue to Bush tax cuts for people earning between $250,000 and $400,000, and to cut Social Security by reducing annual cost-of-living adjustments.

These concessions aren’t necessary. If the nation goes over the so-called “fiscal cliff” and tax rates return to what they were under Bill Clinton, Democrats can then introduce a tax cut for everyone earning under $250,000 and make it retroactive to the start of the year.

They can combine it with a spending bill that makes up for most of the cuts scheduled to go into effect in January. Republicans would be hard-pressed not to sign on.

Social Security should not be part of any such deal anyway. By law, it can’t contribute to the budget deficit. It’s only permitted to spend money from the Social Security trust fund.

Besides, the President’s proposed reduction in annual Social Security cost-of-living adjustments would save only $122 billion over ten years. Yet it would significantly harm the elderly.

It defies logic and fairness to give more tax cuts to the wealthy while cutting benefits for the near-poor.

The median income of Americans over 65 is less than $20,000 a year. Nearly 70 percent of them depend on Social Security for more than half of this. The average Social Security benefit is less than $15,000 a year.

Even Social Security’s current cost-of-living adjustment understates the true impact of inflation on elderly recipients, who spend far more on health care than anyone else – including annual increases in Medicare premiums.

Hands off Social Security. If the Republicans are willing to raise tax rates on high earners but demand more spending cuts in return, the President should offer larger cuts in defense spending and corporate welfare.

This piece is cross-posted from Robert Reich’s blog with permission.

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