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Monetary Union Stability: The Need for a Government Banker and the Case for a European Public Finance Authority

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  • Thomas I. Palley

    () (New America Foundation, Washington DC)

Abstract

This paper argues monetary union stability requires a government banker that manages the bond market and it offers a specific proposal for stabilizing the euro that does not violate the “no country bail-out” clause. There is accumulating evidence that the euro’s current architecture is unstable. The source of instability is high interest rates on highly indebted countries which creates unsustainable debt burdens. Remedying this problem requires a central bank that acts as government banker and pushes down government bond interest rates to sustainable levels. That can be accomplished by creation of a European Public Finance Authority (EPFA) that issues public debt which the European Central Bank (ECB) is allowed to trade. The debate over the euro’s financial architecture also has significant political implications. That is because the current neoliberal inspired architecture, which imposes a complete separation between the central bank and public finances, puts governments under continuous financial pressures. Over time, that pressure makes it difficult to maintain the European social democratic welfare state. This gives a political reason for reforming the euro and creating an EPFA that supplements the economic case for reform.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas I. Palley, 2011. "Monetary Union Stability: The Need for a Government Banker and the Case for a European Public Finance Authority," IMK Working Paper 2-2011, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:imk:wpaper:2-2011
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    Cited by:

    1. Eckhard Hein & Achim Truger, 2014. "Fiscal Policy and Rebalancing in the Euro Area: A Critique of the German Debt Brake from a Post-Keynesian Perspective," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, pages 21-38.
    2. Catherine Mathieu & Henri Sterdyniak, 2014. "Redemption?," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, pages 51-91.
    3. Torój, Andrzej & Bednarek, Elżbieta & Bęza-Bojanowska, Joanna & Osińska, Joanna & Waćko, Katarzyna & Witkowski, Dariusz, 2012. "EMU: the (post-)crisis perspective. Literature survey and implications for the euro-candidates," MF Working Papers 12, Ministry of Finance in Poland, revised 06 Mar 2012.
    4. Catherine Mathieu & Henri Sterdyniak, 2013. "The euro area in crisis," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/2k5dq3ilav9, Sciences Po.
    5. Catherine Mathieu & Henri Sterdyniak, 2014. "In search of a better governance in the euro area," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/63g6fe7kgp8, Sciences Po.
    6. Alberto Botta, 2012. "Conflicting Claims in the Eurozone? Austerity’s Myopic Logic and the Need for a European Federal Union in a post-Keynesian Eurozone Center-Periphery Model," DEM Working Papers Series 011, University of Pavia, Department of Economics and Management.
    7. Marcello Spanò, 2012. "A survey of the theoretical models of corporate hedging," Economics and Quantitative Methods qf1204, Department of Economics, University of Insubria.
    8. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/f6h8764enu2lskk9p503i2pp3 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Burak Saltoðlu & Devrim Yýlmaz, 2013. "Why is it so Difficult and Complex to Solve the Euro Problem?," Working Papers 2013/02, Bogazici University, Department of Economics.
    10. Thomas I. Palley, 2013. "Europe´s crisis without end: The consequences of neoliberalism run amok," IMK Working Paper 111-2013, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    11. Alberto Botta, 2012. "Conflicting Claims in the Eurozone? Austerity’s Myopic Logic and the need of a European federal union in a post-Keynesian Eurozone CenterPeriphery Model," Economics and Quantitative Methods qf1203, Department of Economics, University of Insubria.
    12. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/7gjmt2p0l896bo3oar8rqd4vvr is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Hein, Eckhard & Truger, Achim, 2013. "Future fiscal and debt policies: Germany in the Context of the European Monetary Union," IPE Working Papers 24/2013, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Institute for International Political Economy (IPE).
    14. Botta, Alberto, 2012. "Conflicting Claims in Eurozone? Austerity’s Myopic Logic and the Need of a European federal union in a post-Keynesian Eurozone Center-Periphery Model," MPRA Paper 41700, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    monetary union; stability; government banker; euro.;

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