Economy & Markets

Edited by Donato Masciandaro and Gianmarco Ottaviano

Lagarde
Donato Masciandaro

Lagarde, A Wise Owl Between Hawks and Doves

The handover of responsibility from Mario Draghi to the new president of the European Central Bank Christine Lagarde was marked by three aspects: two results, and one question. The two results regard the ability to implement unconventional monetary policies and the reliability of the Bank's institutional structure. The question regards the future. The first result can be appreciated by remembering that Draghi's term coincided with macroeconomic events that were extraordinary, in the literal sense of the term. The dual recession that the European Union suffered in the years between 2008 and 2013 ...

Calcio
2019-11-18 Gianmarco Ottaviano

What Globalization Has to Do with the Football Industry

Globalization changes the conduct of companies. On the one hand, they have access to new international markets, while on the other, they have to deal with new competitors on their own domestic markets. Yet there is an underlying asymmetry. While all companies suffer the harm due to the increase of internal competition, only the most efficient are able to offset that with the benefits linked to greater penetration of foreign markets. The reason is that access to those markets entails additional costs. Some are determined by greater complexity in logistics and distribution of products abroad. Others ...

Draghi_euro
Donato Masciandaro

The Report Cards for Draghi and the Euro

With the change at the helm of the European Central Bank (ECB) from Mario Draghi to Christine Lagarde, can we try to issue grades on the relationship between monetary policy, the euro, and the Italian economy? Such an exercise is a subject to be handled very prudently. In fact, no direct relationship exists between monetary instruments and the relevant macroeconomic effects. Rather, there is a chain of relationships, of which monetary policy can be one of the first links, while macroeconomic results are the last link. The challenge for a central banker is to understand under what conditions the ...

iStock-1085324448
Gianmarco Ottaviano

The Tariff War

“When a country like the United States is losing many billions of dollars on trade with virtually every country it does business with, trade wars are good, and easy to win.” These were the words with which U.S. President Donald Trump announced the “trade war” (with the imposition of tariffs) between the United States and the rest of the world on March 2, 2018, on Twitter. The reference was to the deficit between American exports and imports, that in absolute terms has never been less than 400 billion dollars in the past decade, and in 2018, touched the record level of 600 billion. This ...

Libra
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
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 ...

riciclaggio
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 ...