Chastened ECB Wary of Premature Monetary Tightening

Cyclical indicators have improved, but the economic and financial backdrop in the euro area remains fragile. The ECB has clearly learned from past mistakes and is keen to avoid a premature tightening of monetary conditions.

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Is the Euro “Dangerously High”?

Jean-Claude Juncker’s view that the euro is “dangerously high” isn’t shared by the European Central Bank (ECB). As long as this is the case, the single currency may continue to defy fundamentals and act as an unwelcome headwind for an economy still struggling to break out of recession.

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Euro-Area Periphery Faces More Pain to Complete Rebalancing

Most peripheral euro-area countries have significantly improved their competitiveness recently, but more needs to be done. With currency devaluation ruled out, further downward pressure on labor costs is likely, which will probably deepen and prolong recessions and interfere with fiscal adjustment.

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Policymakers Powerless to Stem Capital Flight from Spain

Capital flight from Spain is accelerating. As foreign investors and banks pull massive sums out of the country, policymakers look powerless to stop it.

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Greek Election Will Be a Watershed in the Euro Crisis

As Greek voters prepare to go to the polls on Sunday, we are approaching a pivotal stage in the sovereign-debt crisis—and, perhaps, in the post-war history of European economic and political integration.

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Spanish Bank Rescue Package Is a Step in the Right Direction

The €100bn rescue package agreed for Spanish banks over the weekend is credible and, to that extent, should be welcomed. But it is not enough, by itself, to stabilize markets on a sustained basis.

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A Credible Recapitalization of Spanish Banks Is Now Imperative

A  credible recapitalization of the Spanish banks is now a necessary, though not sufficient, condition to stabilize markets. But there is disagreement about how to achieve this—increasing the risk of a damaging standoff and further volatility in European sovereign-debt markets.

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“Bad Bank” Unlikely to Solve Spain’s Banking Problems

As Spain slips back into recession, the Spanish government has begun talks on ring-fencing the country’s bad property loans in one or more separate entities. While this may help, we doubt whether the move will be enough on its own to solve Spain’s problems, as our European banking analyst, Victoria Norman, discusses below. 

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