The European Journal of Comparative Economics

ISSN: 1824-2979

EJCE Year: 2012, August. Volume: 9 - Issue: 2

The Sovereign Debt Crisis in Europe, Save Banks Not States

by Hans-Bernd Schäfer

Start page: 179 - End page: 195

Keywords: Euro; European debt crisis; European Central Bank; European Stability Mechanism; Debt restructuring; Sovereign insolvency; no bail out clause; Eurobonds

Jel code: G01; K33

Abstract:

The European central bank is a bank of banks but not a bank of states. This reduces the capabilities of member states to finance deficits. The role of the central bank to cope with the debt crises is institutionally more limited than in most other Western countries. The European Stability Mechanism has not enough financial power to bail out all distressed countries in the Eurozone. Eurobonds could increase lending capacities but would require a change of the European treaty, which is not in sight. They violate the no bail out clause of Art.125 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The policy option is therefore debt restructuring of distressed countries and a bailout of financial institutions to avoid conflagration. This option would also shift some of the burden to creditors outside the Eurozone rather than to shift all risk on the people in solvent countries within the Eurozone.

View this article (PDF)

Publisher perpetually authorizes participants in the LOCKSS system to archive and restore EJCE articles through the LOCKSS System for the benefit of all LOCKSS System participants. EJCE is registered as OAI-PMH data provider. OAI - Records check.
In case of problems please write an e-mail to secretariat.ejce@liuc.it