Economy & Markets

Edited by Donato Masciandaro and Gianmarco Ottaviano

2019-08-28 Donato Masciandaro

Libra Glitters But Is Not Gold

Not all that glitters is gold. The old popular maxim provides the first comment that can be offered in response to Facebook’s announcement that it wants to issue its own digital currency, called Libra. If we assess the announcement from the standpoint of collective well-being, we must ask if this innovation meets the requirements that a currency must have to improve the allocation of goods and services. The response, based on the information available, is negative. The announcement that there could be a new currency in circulation spontaneously begs the question: do we need it? In order to answer, ...

EU beni pubblici
2019-07-03 Gianmarco Ottaviano

Public Goods Need Europe

There are at least three wrong ideas that need to be cleared up to begin a constructive debate on the role of the European Union at this point in history. The first is that the important decisions in the EU are made in Brussels without any involvement of the Member States. The second is that the decisions made in Brussels have no democratic basis since they are made by bureaucrats not elected by the people. And the third is that there are no truly “European” decisions that Member States should make together with Brussels. The fundamental purpose of the European Union is to allow the governments ...

2019-06-11 Donato Masciandaro

Illegal Capital Flows, Europe's Holes

The case of Danske Bank, the largest bank in Denmark, was the sixth time in just a few months that a bank belonging to a Member State of the European Union was implicated in the laundering of dirty money: Estonia, Germany, Holland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Malta, strictly in alphabetical order. And that’s not all: in January, the European Commission issued its first recommendation on the so-called “gold visas,” the practice by which certain EU countries such as Malta, Cyprus, and Bulgaria grant citizenship to non-EU citizens in exchange for financial investments. These “gold visas” can ...