A speech delivered by the IMF's Managing Director Christine Lagarde at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) as part of the Institute's Europe Lecture Series in Berlin, Germany, on March 26, 2018.
There have been numerous books examining the 2008 financial crisis from either a U.S. or European perspective. Tamim Bayoumi is the first to explain how the Euro crisis and U.S. housing crash were, in fact, parasitically intertwined.
Starting in the 1980s, Bayoumi outlines the cumulative policy errors that undermined the stability of both the European and U.S. financial sectors, highlighting the catalytic role played by European mega banks that exploited lax regulation to expand into the U.S. market and financed unsustainable bubbles on both continents. U.S. banks increasingly sold sub-par loans to under-regulated European and U.S. shadow banks and, when the bubbles burst, the losses whipsawed back to the core of the European banking system. A much-needed, fresh look at the origins of the crisis, Bayoumi’s analysis concludes that policy makers are ignorant of what still needs to be done both to complete the cleanup and to prevent future crises.
The 2012 Article IV Consultation report on euro area policies highlights that investors are withholding funding from member states most in need, moving capital “north” and abroad to perceived safer assets. Executive Directors have noted that the euro area continues to face a number of economic challenges amid increasing financial stresses and market fragmentation. Directors have also stressed that it is important that policymakers continue to demonstrate shared and unequivocal commitment—with a clear, credible roadmap—to a deeper integration of the euro area.
External Study prepared by Jean Pisani-Ferry, André Sapir, and Guntram B. Wolff:
This report provides an independent evaluation of recent IMF surveillance in the euro area (EA). It focuses on the euro area as a whole and on four countries severely hit by the recent economic and financial crisis, namely Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain.
This supplement provides clarifications and proposes revision to the reforms of the nonconcessional lending toolkit contained in the staff papers on “The Fund’s Mandate—Future Financing Role: Reform Proposals”. The focus of this supplement is on the Flexible Credit Line (FCL) and the Precautionary Credit Line (PCL), for which revised proposed decisions are attached.
This paper presents an overview of the impact of the EC’s Internal Market on the EFTA countries. It starts by examining the history of EC-EFTA relations; the institutional and legal changes that closer cooperation may require; and the general implications of the Internal Market Program for EFTA countries. This is followed by an exploration of specific issues relating to the goods trade, transport services, labor mobility, financial services and capital flows. Subsequent chapters focus on the potential impact of the EC’s proposed monetary unification on EFTA countries and the implications of the EC’s efforts in the area of tax harmonization.