Does financial instability really undermine economic performance?

By Jérôme Creel, Paul Hubert and Fabien Labondance

What relationship can be established between the degree to which an economy is financialized (understood as the ratio of credit to the private sector over GDP), financial instability and economic performance (usually GDP per capita) in the European Union (EU)?  A recent working paper [1] attempts to provide a few answers to this question. Continue reading “Does financial instability really undermine economic performance?”

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Important change of course at the Elysée Palace. Austerity is no longer the priority

By Xavier Timbeau, Twitter: @XTimbeau

(published in Le Monde on Thursday 16 January 2014, p. 17)

When he was elected François Hollande made fiscal discipline his main goal. The 2008 crisis was continuing to have an impact on the developed economies; in the face of a sovereign debt crisis, Europe’s governments had been implementing austerity measures that were to cause a second recession, a “double dip”, to use the language of economists. For example, when François Hollande came to power, the situation in France seemed disastrous: the public deficit was 5.2%, with a rise in the public debt of more than 600 billion euros since 2008 along with a 2-point rise in unemployment (to 9.6% of the workforce). The pressure was intense, and, the euro zone states were falling like dominos, with Spain and Italy in danger of following Greece, Portugal and Ireland. In this context, it seemed that only budgetary discipline could help Germany to support a faltering euro zone. Continue reading “Important change of course at the Elysée Palace. Austerity is no longer the priority”

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