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Exceptional policies for exceptional times: The ECB's response to the rolling crises of the Euro Area, and how it has brought us towards a new grand bargain

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  • Pill, Huw
  • Reichlin, Lucrezia

Abstract

This paper provides an appraisal of European Central Bank (ECB) policy from the beginning of the financial crisis to the summer of 2014. It argues that, as the crisis unfolded, ECB policy can be characterized as an attempt at finding a middle way between “monetary dominance” embedded in the Treaty and “fiscal dominance”. This middle course was pragmatic response to the challenges being faced but it failed to offer a stable solution to the underlying solvency issues, while permitting (or even creating) a damaging set of dislocations, notably a fragmentation of Euro financial markets, with damaging consequences on the real economy. We argue that since Draghi’s pledge to do “whatever it takes” to sustain the euro in July 2012, the ECB has attempted to construct a new institutional framework. We conclude that, although there are promising developments in some areas such as banking union, without a “new bargain” on how to deal with the debt overhang which is the legacy of the crisis, the euro area is under threat.

Suggested Citation

  • Pill, Huw & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 2014. "Exceptional policies for exceptional times: The ECB's response to the rolling crises of the Euro Area, and how it has brought us towards a new grand bargain," CEPR Discussion Papers 10193, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:10193
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Domenico Giannone & Michele Lenza & Huw Pill & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2012. "The ECB and the Interbank Market," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(564), pages 467-486, November.
    2. Heider, F. & Hoerova, M. & Holthausen, C., 2009. "Liquidity Hoarding and Interbank Market Spreads : The Role of Counterparty Risk," Discussion Paper 2009-40 S, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    3. Carlo Altavilla & Domenico Giannone & Michele Lenza, 2016. "The Financial and Macroeconomic Effects of the OMT Announcements," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 12(3), pages 29-57, September.
    4. Peersman, Gert, 2011. "Macroeconomic effects of unconventional monetary policy in the euro area," Working Paper Series 1397, European Central Bank.
    5. Domenico Giannone & Michèle Lenza & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2012. "Money, Credit, Monetary Policy and the Business Cycle in the Euro Area," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2012-008, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
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    Cited by:

    1. Athanasios Orphanides, 2017. "The Fiscal-Monetary Policy Mix in the Euro Area: Challenges at the Zero Lower Bound," European Economy - Discussion Papers 2015 - 060, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    2. Hartmann, Philipp & Smets, Frank, 2018. "The first twenty years of the European Central Bank: monetary policy," Working Paper Series 2219, European Central Bank.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit

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