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  • Author: Steve H. Hanke
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Monetary instability poses a threat to free societies. Indeed, currency instability, banking crises, soaring inflation, sovereign debt defaults, and economic booms and busts all have a common source: monetary instability. Furthermore, all these ills induced by monetary instability bring with them calls for policy changes, many of which threaten free societies. One who understood this simple fact was Karl Schiller, who was the German Finance Minister from 1966 until 1972. Schiller’s mantra was clear and uncompromising: “Stability is not everything, but without stability, everything is nothing” (Marsh 1992: 30). Well, Schiller’s mantra is my mantra. I offer three regime changes that would enhance the stability in what Jacques de Larosière (2014) has asserted is an international monetary “anti-system.” First, the U.S. dollar and the euro should be formally, loosely linked together. Second, most central banks in developing countries should be mothballed and replaced by currency boards. Third, private currency boards should be permitted to enter the international monetary sphere.
  • Topic: Debt, Foreign Exchange, Monetary Policy, Developing World, Inflation, Currency
  • Political Geography: Europe, United States of America, European Union
  • Author: Grzegorz Poniatowski
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The objective of this paper is to derive the characteristics of an effective fiscal governance framework, focusing on the incentives that ensure a commitment to the fiscal rules. We study this problem with the use of econometric tools, complementing this analysis with formal modelling through the lens of a dynamic principal-agent framework. Our study shows that both economic and institutional factors play an important role in incentivising countries’ fiscal efforts. Fiscal balances are affected not only by the economic cycle, but, among others, by the level of public debt and the world economic situation. We find that the existence of numerical fiscal rules, their strong legal entrenchment, surveillance mechanisms, and credible sanctions binding the hands of governments have a significant impact on curbing deficits. The relationship between the Commission and European Union (EU) Member States (MS), where the EU authorities act as a collective principal that designs contracts for MS, has elements in common with the assumptions of the principal-agent framework. These are: asymmetry of information, moral hazard, different objectives, and the ability to reward or punish the principal. We use a dynamic principal-agent model and show that to ensure good fiscal performance, indirect benefits should be envisaged for higher levels of fiscal effort. In order to account for the structural differences of exerting effort by different MS, it is efficient to adjust fiscal effort to the level of indebtedness. To ensure a commitment to the rules, MS with difficulties conducting prudent fiscal policies should be required to exert less effort than the MS with more modest levels of debt. The FIRSTRUN project is a European Union funded multinational research project that investigates the need for fiscal policy coordination in the EU.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Regional Cooperation, European Union, Fiscal Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, European Union
  • Author: Balazs Romhanyi, Lukasz Janikowski
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: Unsustainability and procyclicality of fiscal policy are problems that many developed countries face. The public debt crisis revealed that fiscal rules are a useful but insufficient instrument for mitigating them. A large and growing group of economists are calling for the creation of ‘fiscal policy councils’ – independent collegial bodies made up of experts whose role is to act as independent reviewers of government policy and advise the government and parliament on fiscal policy. Such councils currently exist in at least 40 countries. Poland is the only EU country that does not have a fiscal policy council. The aim of this paper is to address the issue of whether a fiscal policy council is needed in Poland and what kind of additional contribution such a council might make to the public debate on fiscal policy.
  • Topic: Debt, Government, Governance, Economy, Fiscal Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Daniel Daianu
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: The financial crisis and its ensuing effects have brought back into the limelight the issue of cycles and of policies which fuel or mitigate crises. Cognitive and operational models in economics and business are questioned. There is a specter of much lower economic growth in the industrialized world. Central banks are over-burdened. This makes central bankers’ lives much more complicated and obfuscates the boundaries between monetary policy and fiscal policy, especially when financial stability gets to center stage. New systemic risks show up in capital markets. The eurozone has escaped collapse owing to the European Central Bank’s extraordinary operations and large macro-imbalance corrections in its periphery, but major threats persist. This paper focuses on economic cycles and policies in an international (European) context. Attention is paid to linkages between domestic cycles and the European financial cycle, drivers of financial cycles, finance deregulation and systemic risks, ultra-low interest rates, the international policy regime, and global stability. The experience of European emerging economies is taken into account.
  • Topic: Debt, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis, Economies, Economic growth, Interest Rates, Fiscal Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, European Union
  • Author: Aleksander Łaszek
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: Poland’s structural deficit is one of the largest in the EU. While other Member States are taking action to reduce their deficits, the Polish government has not only introduced costly projects, but has also announced additional projects that will further aggravate the state of Polish public finances. The aim of maintaining the nominal deficit under 3% of GDP, as declared by the government, is insufficient because it does not leave a margin of safety in case of an economic slowdown. In the meantime, the turbulent global economy and the structural challenges the Polish economy is facing make the scenario of an economic slowdown increasingly plausible. Dr. Aleksander Łaszek evaluates the government’s current policy through the lens of the challenges that stand a head of Polish economy, and its resilience to shocks, in the new mBank-CASE Seminar Proceedings "Economic policy, the international environment and the state of Poland’s public finances: Scenarios".
  • Topic: Debt, Government, Finance, Economic growth, Trade, Deficit
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union