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Target Loans, Current Account Balances and Capital Flows: The ECB's Rescue Facility

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  • Hans-Werner Sinn
  • Timo Wollmershaeuser

Abstract

The European Monetary Union is stuck in a severe balance-of-payments imbalance of a nature similar to the one that destroyed the Bretton Woods System. Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy have suffered from balance-of-payments deficits whose accumulated value, as measured by the Target balances in the national central banks' balance sheets, was 404 billion euros in August 2011. The national central banks of these countries covered the deficits by creating and lending out additional central bank money that flowed to the euro core countries, Germany in particular, and crowded out the central bank money resulting from local refinancing operations. Thus the ECB forced a public capital export from the core countries that partly compensated for the now reluctant private capital flows to, and the capital flight from, the periphery countries.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17626 Note: PE
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sinn, Hans-Werner & Feist, Holger, 1997. "Eurowinners and Eurolosers: The distribution of seigniorage wealth in EMU1," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 665-689, December.
    2. 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.
    3. Hans-Werner Sinn, 2011. "How to Rescue the Euro: Ten Commandments," CESifo Forum, Ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 12(4), pages 52-56, December.
    4. 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.
    5. Hans-Werner Sinn & Holger Feist, 1997. "Eurowinners and Eurolosers: The Distribution of Seigniorage Wealth in EMU," NBER Working Papers 6072, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Catharina Klepsch & Timo Wollmershäuser, 2011. "Yield spreads on EMU government bonds — How the financial crisis has helped investors to rediscover risk," Intereconomics: Review of European Economic Policy, Springer;German National Library of Economics;Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), vol. 46(3), pages 169-176, June.
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    JEL classification:

    • E50 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - General
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • 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
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems

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