A EFSF Leverage Increases German Guarantee

Oktober 24, 2011

There is a lot of talk going on the EFSF increasing its firepower by leveraging up the current total notional of 440 billion Euro. The politicians in Germany try sell this to the people by emphasizing that Germany’s stake in the guarantee will stay at 211 billion and that the German government will not increase this in any case.

Many commentators both in the media and blogs argued that, while the notional of the guarantee stay the same, the risk increases proportional to the leverage. I agree, but I would like to point out additionally that the notional of the German stake will also increase. Not explicitly in the contracts of course, but implicitly. Just like the countries, with the notable exception of Iceland, quickly guaranteed all debts of their banking system as soon insolvency was threatening, the countries will also ride to help the EFSF if it has solvency problems.

A leveraged EFSF will be the central pillar of the European debt pyramid. It seems virtually impossible to me that Europe will ever let it default. But preventing the EFSF default means putting more money on the table. Either now or later. Politician just choose later, because it circumvents the inconvenient tour de parliaments.

Common Misconceptions on Eurobonds

August 23, 2011

Hans-Werner Sinn, sitzend

Sinn Targets Eurobonds. Image via Wikipedia

There are many common misconceptions on Eurobonds out there. I was going to compile a list, but the German economic newspaper Handelsblatt did me the favor of having them all in one article – however not identified as such.

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How to make Eurobonds work

August 16, 2011

The Lisbon Treaty formalised Jean-Claude Junck...

Junker, "My Name is Bond, Eurobond". Image via Wikipedia

The political pressure on Germany and other surplus countries within the Eurozone to introduce Eurobonds is constantly increasing. I’m not a big fan of Eurobonds without further political integration, but given the problems of the deficit countries, I fear we may not have the time to introduce a common democratic European government to orderly introduce Eurobonds. As I write this, Angela Merkel and Sarkozy just pleaded for a common European Economic Government. As Merkel’s CDU always cited this too as a prerequisite to the introduction of Eurobonds, I guess that the chances that we actually will get Eurobonds are increased, despite Merkel saying otherwise.

So the question addressed in this post is: Can Eurobonds work without further political integration and thus without creating a „transfer union“. Yes, that is possible.

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