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What Germany should fear most is its own fear: An analysis of Target2 and current account imbalances

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  • De Grauwe, Paul
  • Ji,Yuemei

Abstract

This paper analyzes two claims that have been made about the Target2 payment system. The first one is that this system has been used to support unsustainable current account deficits of Southern European countries. The second one is that the large accumulation of Target2 claims by the Bundesbank represents an unacceptable risk for Germany if the eurozone were to break up. We argue that these claims are unfounded. They also lead to unnecessary fears in Germany that make a solution of the eurozone crisis more difficult. Ultimately, this fear increases the risk of a break-up of the eurozone. Or to paraphrase Franklin Roosevelt, what Germany should fear most is simply its own fear.

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  • De Grauwe, Paul & Ji,Yuemei, 2012. "What Germany should fear most is its own fear: An analysis of Target2 and current account imbalances," CEPS Papers 7280, Centre for European Policy Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:eps:cepswp:7280
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    File URL: http://www.ceps.eu/system/files/book/2012/09/WD%20No%20368%20PDG%20%2526%20YJ%20What%20Germany%20should%20fear%20most%20is%20its%20own%20fear.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 19(4), pages 468-508, August.
    2. ,, 2009. "Economics of Monetary Union," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 8, number 9780199563234.
    3. Sven Steinkamp & Frank Westermann, 2012. "On Creditor Seniority and Sovereign Bond Prices in Europe," Working Papers 92, Institute of Empirical Economic Research, Osnabrueck University, revised 25 Jul 2017.
    4. Buiter, Willem H., 2008. "Can Central Banks Go Broke?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6827, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Ulrich Bindseil & Philipp Johann König, 2011. "The economics of TARGET2 balances," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2011-035, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
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    Cited by:

    1. Valerio Filoso, Valerio & Panico, Carlo & Papagni, Erasmo & Francesco, Purificato & Vázquez Suarez, Marta, 2016. "Causes and timing of the European debt crisis: An econometric evaluation," MPRA Paper 75847, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Santiago Capraro & Carlo Panico & Ignacio Perrotini & Francesco Purificato, 2012. "Austerità o politiche coordinate ed espansive? Le difficili scelte delle autorità europee," STUDI ECONOMICI, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2012(108), pages 81-112.
    3. Potrafke, Niklas & Reischmann, Markus, 2014. "Explosive Target balances of the German Bundesbank," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 439-444.
    4. Hans-Werner Sinn & Timo Wollmershäuser, 2012. "Target Balances and the German Financial Account in Light of the European Balance-of-Payments Crisis," CESifo Working Paper Series 4051, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Francesco Purificato & Caterina Astarita, 2015. "TARGET2 Imbalances and the ECB as Lender of Last Resort," International Journal of Financial Studies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(4), pages 1-28, October.
    6. André Grjebine, 2013. "L'Eurosystème: un mécanisme de transferts en faveur des pays déficitaires ? Le débat," Post-Print hal-01024818, HAL.

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