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The Crisis of Finance-dominated Capitalism in the Euro Area: Deficiencies in the Economic Policy Architecture and Deflationary Stagnation Policies

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  • Eckhard Hein

Abstract

In this paper the euro crisis is interpreted as the latest episode in the crisis of finance-dominated capitalism. For 11 initial Euro area countries, the major features of finance-dominated capitalism are analyzed; specifically, the increasing inequality of income distribution and the rising imbalances of current accounts. Against this background, the euro crisis and the economic policy reactions of European governments and institutions are examined. It is shown that deflationary stagnation policies have prevailed since 2010, resulting in massive real GDP losses; some improvement in the price competitiveness of the crisis countries but considerable and persistent current account imbalances; reductions in government deficit-to-GDP ratios but continuously rising trends in gross government debt-to-GDP ratios; a risk of further recession for the euro area as a whole—and the increasing threat of the euro's ultimate collapse. Therefore, an alternative macroeconomic policy approach tackling the basic contradictions of finance-dominated capitalism and the deficiencies of European economic policy institutions and strategies—in particular, the lack of (1) an institution convincingly guaranteeing public debt and (2) a stable and sustainable financing mechanism for acceptable current account imbalances-is outlined.

Suggested Citation

  • Eckhard Hein, 2012. "The Crisis of Finance-dominated Capitalism in the Euro Area: Deficiencies in the Economic Policy Architecture and Deflationary Stagnation Policies," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_734, Levy Economics Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:lev:wrkpap:wp_734
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Philip Arestis & Eckhard Hein & Edwin Le Héron, 2007. "Aspects of Modern Monetary and Macroeconomic Policies," Post-Print halshs-00155170, HAL.
    2. Eckhard Hein & Achim Truger & Till van Treeck, 2011. "The European Financial and Economic Crisis: Alternative Solutions from a (Post-) Keynesian Perspective," IMK Working Paper 9-2011, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    3. Till van Treeck, 2008. "The political economy debate on ‘financialisation’ – a macroeconomic perspective," IMK Working Paper 01-2008, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    4. Mark Gertler & Jordi Gali & Richard Clarida, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1661-1707, December.
    5. Thomas I. Palley, 2010. "Asset price bubbles and counter-cyclical monetary policy: Why central banks have been wrong and what should be done," European Journal of Economics and Economic Policies: Intervention, Edward Elgar Publishing, vol. 7(1), pages 91-107.
    6. Anthony P. Thirlwall, 2011. "The Balance of Payments Constraint as an Explanation of International Growth Rate Differences," PSL Quarterly Review, Economia civile, vol. 64(259), pages 429-438.
    7. Eckhard Hein & Engelbert Stockhammer, 2010. "Macroeconomic Policy Mix, Employment and Inflation in a Post-Keynesian Alternative to the New Consensus Model," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(3), pages 317-354.
    8. Eckhard Hein & Achim Truger, 2006. "Germany's post-2000 stagnation in the European context - a lesson in macroeconomic mismanagement," IMK Working Paper 03-2006, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    9. Jorge Uxó & Jesús Paúl & Eladio Febrero, 2011. "Current Account Imbalances in the Monetary Union and the Great Recession: Causes and Policies," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 58(5), pages 571-592, December.
    10. Petra Dünhaupt & Eckhard Hein & Till van Treeck, 2007. "Finanzsystem und wirtschaftliche Entwicklung: Tendenzen in den USA und in Deutschland aus makroökonomischer Perspektive," IMK Studies 05-2007, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    11. Sergio Cesaratto & Antonella Stirati, 2010. "Germany and the European and Global Crises," International Journal of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(4), pages 56-86.
    12. Nathalie Girouard & Mike Kennedy & Christophe André, 2006. "Has the Rise in Debt Made Households More Vulnerable?," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 535, OECD Publishing.
    13. Robert Wade, 2009. "From global imbalances to global reorganisations," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 33(4), pages 539-562, July.
    14. repec:ilo:ilowps:470932 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Citations

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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, vol. 61(1), pages 21-38, Februar.
    2. Zeilbeck, Severin, 2015. "An investment initiative for fiscally constrained EU member states: The role of synergetic financial instruments," IPE Working Papers 58/2015, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Institute for International Political Economy (IPE).
    3. Eckhard Hein & Daniel Detzer, 2014. "Coping with imbalances in the Euro area: Policy alternatives addressing divergences and disparities between member countries," Working papers wpaper63, Financialisation, Economy, Society & Sustainable Development (FESSUD) Project.
    4. 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).
    5. Engelbert Stockhammer & collin constantine & Severin Reissl, 2016. "Explaining the Euro crisis: Current account imbalances, credit booms and economic policy in different economic paradigms," Working Papers PKWP1617, Post Keynesian Economics Study Group (PKSG).
    6. Valeria Cirillo & Marcella Corsi & Carlo D'Ippoliti, 2015. "Gender, class and the crisis," Working Papers CEB 15-026, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    7. Hein, Eckhard, 2018. "Inequality and growth: Marxian and post-Keynesian/Kaleckian perspectives on distribution and growth regimes before and after the Great Recession," IPE Working Papers 96/2018, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Institute for International Political Economy (IPE).
    8. repec:nov:artigo:v:25:y:2015:i:spe:p:749-775 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Stockhammer, Engelbert & Constantine, Collin & Reissl, Severin, 2016. "Neoliberalism, trade imbalances and economic policy in the Eurozone crisis," Economics Discussion Papers 2016-3, School of Economics, Kingston University London.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Finance-dominated Capitalism; Distribution; Financial and Economic Crisis; European Economic Policies;

    JEL classification:

    • E25 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Aggregate Factor Income Distribution
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy
    • E64 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Incomes Policy; Price Policy
    • E65 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Studies of Particular Policy Episodes

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