History of public debt reduction

In its October 2012 World Economic Outlook the IMF presented a 135-year study on public debt reduction strategies. It points out that debt stocks of over 100%  of GDP have not been uncommon and do not normally lead to restructuring. Indeed, in the developed world out of 26 episodes only 3 ended in default (Germany and Greece). Successful debt-reduction strategies typically use growth-enhancing and easy monetary policies.

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Consequences of euro area break-up fears

A very interesting Banca d’Italia study shows how euro area break-up expectations are becoming self-reinforcing, i.e. precipitating a divergence of sovereign yields and financial conditions beyond what is consistent with sovereign credit fundamentals.

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Chinese wealth management products

Chinese wealth management Products (WMPs) are a form of asset backed shadow banking deposit, paying above the rates of regulated banks. The WMPs have been soaring to become the second biggest segment of the financial system. The incur large maturity mismatches and hence are subject to serious liquidity risks.

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The basics of financial repression

A subtle type of sovereign debt restructuring is “financial repression.” Financial repression denotes a compound of measures to channel cheap funding to governments, accompanied by a steady dose of inflation. It was practised in the developed world during Bretton Woods era.

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A review of euro area rescue funds

The European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) and its permanent replacement, the European Stabilization Mechanism (ESM) haven proved less effective than the ECB in quelling crisis dynamics. However, the funds are large in size and will play major role in the euro area’s institutional response to crisis pressue.

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