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Fiscal divergence, current account and TARGET2 imbalances in the EMU

Author

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  • Abad, José
  • Löffler, Axel
  • Schnabl, Gunther
  • Zemanek, Holger

Abstract

The paper scrutinizes the reasons for the European debt crisis, the implications for TARGET2 imbalances and options for surplus liquidity absorption within an asymmetric EMU. It is argued that starting from the turn of the millennium diverging fiscal policy paths and diverging unit labour costs were the driving force of rising intra-European current account imbalances within the euro area, which were enhanced by post-2001 low interest rate policies and changing financing conditions for the German banking sector. The paper shows how since the outbreak of the crisis the adjustment of intra-EMU current account imbalances is postponed by a rising divergence of TARGET2 balances, as the repatriation of private international credit and deposit flight from the crisis economies is substituted by central bank credit. Given that this process has brought Deutsche Bundesbank into a debtor position to the domestic financial system, we discuss options for liquidity absorption by Deutsche Bundesbank to forestall asset price bubbles in Germany.

Suggested Citation

  • Abad, José & Löffler, Axel & Schnabl, Gunther & Zemanek, Holger, 2012. "Fiscal divergence, current account and TARGET2 imbalances in the EMU," Working Papers 105, University of Leipzig, Faculty of Economics and Management Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:leiwps:105
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    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/55848/1/68814800X.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Cúrdia, Vasco & Woodford, Michael, 2011. "The central-bank balance sheet as an instrument of monetarypolicy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 54-79, January.
    4. Gunther Schnabl & Holger Zemanek, 2010. "Inter-temporal Savings, Current Account Dynamics and Asymmetric Shocks in a Heterogeneous European Monetary Union," CESifo Working Paper Series 3279, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Abad, José M. & Löffler, Axel & Zemanek, Holger, 2011. "TARGET2 Unlimited: Monetary Policy Implications of Asymmetric Liquidity Management within the Euro Area," CEPS Papers 5904, Centre for European Policy Studies.
    6. Rochet, Jean-Charles & Tirole, Jean, 1996. "Interbank Lending and Systemic Risk," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 28(4), pages 733-762, November.
    7. Axel Löffler & Gunther Schnabl & Franziska Schobert, 2010. "Inflation Targeting by Debtor Central Banks in Emerging Market Economies," CESifo Working Paper Series 3138, CESifo Group Munich.
    8. Todd Keister & Antoine Martin & James J. McAndrews, 2008. "Divorcing money from monetary policy," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Sep, pages 41-56.
    9. Helge Berger & Volker Nitsch, 2010. "The Euro’s Effecton Trade Imbalances," IMF Working Papers 10/226, International Monetary Fund.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Gunther Schnabl, 2013. "The Macroeconomic Policy Challenges of Balance Sheet Recession: Lessons from Japan for the European Crisis," CESifo Working Paper Series 4249, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Unger, Robert, 2017. "Asymmetric credit growth and current account imbalances in the euro area," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 73(PB), pages 435-451.
    3. Gunther Schnabl & Timo Wollmershäuser, 2013. "Fiscal Divergence and Current Account Imbalances in Europe," CESifo Working Paper Series 4108, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Schnabl Gunther, 2013. "Die japanischen Lehren für die europäische Krise," Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftspolitik, De Gruyter, vol. 62(1), pages 3-22, April.

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    Keywords

    EMU; fiscal divergence; TARGET2; current account imbalances;

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