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Tag Archives: Europe

Germany’s Defeat of France in 1940

TweetJune 10, 2020 — Evidently France is re-reading Strange Defeat, a 1940 book by Marc Bloch that analyzed how the country fell so quickly to German invasion in World War II.  The French are looking for clues as to why they have done less well in the current pandemic than Germany. I recommend a later 2000 account of that surprising French defeat: Strange Victory, by the late Harvard historian Ernest May.  Hitler’s plan was a reckless gamble, which his generals thought would fail.   What...

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The five mistakes of the Frugal Four

The picture that accompanies this post is the visual rendition of the GDP Spring Forecasts of the European Commission. Darker colours indicate larger GDP losses in a range from 4% to 9%. The Covid pandemic is levying a heavy toll on all EU countries, but not evenly. A clear-cut cleavage is visible between South-West and North-East of the EU, with the former suffering worse human casualties and economic losses. If untamed, this SW/NE cleavage is going to generate powerful centrifugal forces...

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The Euro after COVID-19 and the “Three Germanies”

In international matters, it is customary to think in terms of countries understood as "monoliths" guided by clearcut national interests that each monolith tries to assert by leveraging its own political weight (including, if necessary, its military prowess), as well as its economic influence, network of alliances, negotiating ability and internal leadership, and everything that can be used for the purpose. In short, it is like reasoning with a chessboard in mind on which homogeneous national...

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The European Recovery Fund: a cooperative solution

Beyond the »competition union«?The EU was caught unprepared by the disaster of the Covid-19 pandemic. Less because it was unexpected – everyone is in the same boat – than because the EU, and the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) in particular, has never developed economic policy tools at Community and supranational level at a scale and in nature sufficient to cope with a systemic crisis. Quite the opposite, this has turned out to be one of the greatest sticking points of those defending the...

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The Monetization of Fiscal Deficits: What is it Exactly?

Biagio BossoneIn many countries, governments are responding to the economic consequences of the Covid19 pandemic with exceptionally large fiscal support programs, while central banks, on their side, are conducting similarly large purchases of government securities.As a result, many people, including renowned scholars, talk wrongly about fiscal deficits being monetized and draw wrong conclusions about possible their economic and financial policy effects. In the following, I will try to...

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Covid-bond and European citizenship (with Andrea Boitani)

The emergency The coronavirus pandemic will have a powerfully negative impact on the European Union’s economies. The exact scale of this impact will certainly depend on how long it lasts, together with the consequent restrictions on productive activities and mobility that the various European countries are progressively adopting (and which demonstrate, by the by, how little they have learned from the experience of the countries affected first). But the economic consequences of coronavirus...

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Covid-bond and European citizenship (with Andrea Boitani)

The emergency The coronavirus pandemic will have a powerfully negative impact on the European Union’s economies. The exact scale of this impact will certainly depend on how long it lasts, together with the consequent restrictions on productive activities and mobility that the various European countries are progressively adopting (and which demonstrate, by the by, how little they have learned from the experience of the countries affected first). But the economic consequences of coronavirus...

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