The Euro crisis and the new impossible trinity
AbstractThe search for solutions to the euro crisis is based on a partial diagnosis that overemphasises the lack of enforcement of existing fiscal rules. Europeâ??s leaders should rather address the euro areaâ??s inherent weaknesses revealed by the crisis.At the core of euro-area vulnerability is an impossible trinity of strict no-monetary financing, bank-sovereign interdependence and no co-responsibility for public debt. This Policy Contribution assesses the corresponding three options for reform: a broader European Central Bank (ECB) mandate, the building of a banking federation, and fiscal union with common bonds. None will be easy.The least feasible option is a change to the ECBâ??s mandate; changing market perceptions would require the ECB to credibly commit overwhelming forces, and the ECB is simply not in a position to make such a commitment.The building of a banking federation, meanwhile, involves reforms that are bound to be difficult. Incremental progress is likely, but a breakthrough less so.This leaves fiscal union. It faces major obstacles, but a decision to move in this direction would signal to the markets and ECB a commitment to stronger Economic and Monetary Union. One possibility would be to introduce a limited, experimental scheme through which trust could be rebuilt. This Policy Contribution draws on presentations made at the XXIV Moneda y CrÃ©dito Symposium, Madrid, 3 November 2011, at the Asia-Europe Economic Forum conference in Seoul, 9 December, and at De Nederlandsche Bank in Amsterdam on 17 December. I am very grateful to Silvia Merler for excellent research assistance. I thank participants in these seminars and Bruegel colleagues for comments and criticisms.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Bruegel in its series Policy Contributions with number 674.
Date of creation: Jan 2012
Date of revision:
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-01-25 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBA-2012-01-25 (Central Banking)
- NEP-EEC-2012-01-25 (European Economics)
- NEP-IFN-2012-01-25 (International Finance)
- NEP-MON-2012-01-25 (Monetary Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Hans-Werner Sinn & Timo Wollmershäuser, 2012.
"Target loans, current account balances and capital flows: the ECB’s rescue facility,"
International Tax and Public Finance,
Springer, vol. 19(4), pages 468-508, August.
- Hans-Werner Sinn & Timo Wollmershäuser, 2011. "Target Loans, Current Account Balances and Capital Flows: The ECB’s Rescue Facility," CESifo Working Paper Series 3500, CESifo Group Munich.
- Hans-Werner Sinn & Timo Wollmershaeuser, 2011. "Target Loans, Current Account Balances and Capital Flows: The ECB’s Rescue Facility," NBER Working Papers 17626, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Carmen M. Reinhart & M. Belen Sbrancia, 2011.
"The Liquidation of Government Debt,"
BIS Working Papers
363, Bank for International Settlements.
- Carmen M. & M. Belen Sbrancia, 2011. "The Liquidation of Government Debt," Working Paper Series WP11-10, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
- Carmen M. Reinhart & M. Belen Sbrancia, 2011. "The Liquidation of Government Debt," NBER Working Papers 16893, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gros, Daniel, 2011. "Speculative Attacks within or outside a Monetary Union: Default versus Inflation (what to do today)," CEPS Papers 6359, Centre for European Policy Studies.
- Silvia Merler & Jean Pisani-Ferry, 2012. "Who's afraid of sovereign bonds?," Policy Contributions 695, Bruegel.
- Philip R. Lane, 2006.
"The Real Effects of EMU,"
The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series
- Lane, Philip R. & Pels, Barbara, 2012.
"Current Account Imbalances in Europe,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
8958, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Philip R. Lane & Barbara Pels, 2012. "Current Account Imbalances in Europe," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp397, IIIS.
- Benedicta Marzinotto & AndrÃ© Sapir & Guntram B. Wolff, 2011. "What kind of fiscal union?," Policy Briefs 646, Bruegel.
- Niels Gilbert & Jeroen Hessel & Silvie Verkaart, 2013. "Towards a Stable Monetary Union: What Role for Eurobonds?," DNB Working Papers 379, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
- Stephan Schulmeister, .
"The European Monetary Fund. A Systemic Problem Needs a Systemic Solution,"
WIFO Working Papers
- Stephan Schulmeister, 2013. "The European Monetary Fund. A systemic problem needs a systemic solution," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(1), pages 389-424.
- Pisani-Ferry, Jean, 2013. "The known unknowns and unknown unknowns of European Monetary Union," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 6-14.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bruegel).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.