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Public finances in Euro Area Member States: selected indicators - May 2020

11-05-2020

This document presents selected indicators on public finance for the Euro Area Member States and the Euro Area as a whole. For each indicator, it gives a short explanation and the employed sources. A final section provides a summary on how the sustainability of public finances is assessed by the European and other international institutions.

This document presents selected indicators on public finance for the Euro Area Member States and the Euro Area as a whole. For each indicator, it gives a short explanation and the employed sources. A final section provides a summary on how the sustainability of public finances is assessed by the European and other international institutions.

Single-limb collective action clauses: A short introduction

05-07-2019

Sovereign bonds, the most common form of sovereign debt, have specific characteristics. They are issued by national debt management offices on the primary market and subsequently traded on secondary markets. Loan agreements signed at the issuance of sovereign bonds on the primary market may include collective action clauses (CACs) aimed at making restructuring more orderly and predictable. CACs have been included in loan agreements and bond contracts since the 1990s. These clauses enable a 'supermajority ...

Sovereign bonds, the most common form of sovereign debt, have specific characteristics. They are issued by national debt management offices on the primary market and subsequently traded on secondary markets. Loan agreements signed at the issuance of sovereign bonds on the primary market may include collective action clauses (CACs) aimed at making restructuring more orderly and predictable. CACs have been included in loan agreements and bond contracts since the 1990s. These clauses enable a 'supermajority' of creditors to modify essential payment terms of the contract, thus overcoming the problem posed by holdout creditors. Indeed, while debt restructuring involves benefits for both debtor countries and their creditors, there are also incentives for both parties to delay the process. Certain creditors, for instance, are tempted to hold out, and are therefore referred to as holdout creditors. Their incentive for holding out is the chance that they might recover their investment either in full or in a higher amount than the debtor country has offered in the restructuring agreement. While a holdout can bring creditors great gains, it has significant negative consequences for debtor countries and, in the worst case, can jeopardise the restructuring process. CACs can have one or two 'limbs'. While the EU Member States that are in the euro area decided in 2011 to include two-limb CACs in sovereign debt issued after 2013, the Greek restructuring experience and recent New York court decisions relative to sovereign debt have shown that such CACs can protect sovereign debtors only up to a certain point. Therefore, in the context of the euro-area governance reform, the Eurogroup has proposed that euro-area leaders should work for the introduction of single-limb CACs by 2022, and included this commitment in the draft revised text of the European Stability Mechanism Treaty.

Sovereign Debt Restructuring and Debt Mutualisation in the Euro Area: An Assessment

04-06-2019

Existing proposals for reform in the euro area, including the introduction of an orderly sovereign debt restructuring mechanism and of forms of debt mutualisation, rely on similar implicit or explicit assumptions: The “diabolic loop” between sovereign debt and domestic banks is to be mitigated or avoided; market discipline has to be maintained; and moral hazard has to be avoided. This paper discusses the stated goals of existing proposals, together with their likely anticipated and unanticipated ...

Existing proposals for reform in the euro area, including the introduction of an orderly sovereign debt restructuring mechanism and of forms of debt mutualisation, rely on similar implicit or explicit assumptions: The “diabolic loop” between sovereign debt and domestic banks is to be mitigated or avoided; market discipline has to be maintained; and moral hazard has to be avoided. This paper discusses the stated goals of existing proposals, together with their likely anticipated and unanticipated effects and trade-offs. It recognizes that several of these underlying assumptions and frameworks are at odds with the extant empirical evidence. It concludes by setting forth a three-pronged proposal for reform in the Euro Area. First, it is desirable to have a more explicit seniority structure in sovereign debt, which should be achieved by introducing a junior class of risky sovereign bonds linked to nominal GDP growth. Second, governments with high legacy debt and/or high deficits should be required to access new financing by issuing such junior bonds. Third, the extent of fiscal stabilization and banking union in the Euro area should be increased.

Autor externo

S. Rossi

A feasibility check on core elements needed for "orderly" sovereign debt restructuring and/or debt mutualisation in the Euro Area

24-05-2019

The purpose of this briefing note is to explore the requirements for orderly sovereign debt restructuring or the mutualisation of sovereign debt among the Euro Area Member States. The briefing has three sections. The first provides an overview of the challenges associated with restructuring sovereign debt in the euro area. The second examines the underlying need for sovereign debt restructuring and assesses how much of that need can be addressed or mitigated through the institutions for European ...

The purpose of this briefing note is to explore the requirements for orderly sovereign debt restructuring or the mutualisation of sovereign debt among the Euro Area Member States. The briefing has three sections. The first provides an overview of the challenges associated with restructuring sovereign debt in the euro area. The second examines the underlying need for sovereign debt restructuring and assesses how much of that need can be addressed or mitigated through the institutions for European macroeconomic governance. The third section offers policy recommendations to meet those challenges that remain.

Autor externo

E.Jones

Briefing papers: “Debt Sustainability Assessment: the State of the Art”

19-12-2018

In November 2018, the EGOV unit published two external briefing papers on “Debt Sustainability Analysis: the State of the Art”, upon request of the ECON Committee. Authors were Cinzia Alcidi and Daniel Gros (CEPS) and Giancarlo Corsetti (University of Cambridge). This note presents some background information and provides the summaries of these two papers.

In November 2018, the EGOV unit published two external briefing papers on “Debt Sustainability Analysis: the State of the Art”, upon request of the ECON Committee. Authors were Cinzia Alcidi and Daniel Gros (CEPS) and Giancarlo Corsetti (University of Cambridge). This note presents some background information and provides the summaries of these two papers.

Sovereign debt restructuring Main drivers and mechanism

28-02-2017

This briefing provides an overview of the main issues relating to the restructuring of sovereign debt, and outlines the factors which impact the decision as to whether or not to proceed with debt restructuring. Restructuring is a complex issue – it involves positive and negative aspects, which need to be analysed in order to be able to determine whether it can deliver any added value. ‘A sovereign debt restructuring can be defined as an exchange of outstanding sovereign debt instruments, such as ...

This briefing provides an overview of the main issues relating to the restructuring of sovereign debt, and outlines the factors which impact the decision as to whether or not to proceed with debt restructuring. Restructuring is a complex issue – it involves positive and negative aspects, which need to be analysed in order to be able to determine whether it can deliver any added value. ‘A sovereign debt restructuring can be defined as an exchange of outstanding sovereign debt instruments, such as loans or bonds, for new debt instruments or cash through a legal process’. The current situation in the euro area, characterised by high levels of debt and the continuing trend of many Member States to run budget deficits, combined with a low growth environment, raises the issue of debt sustainability. In addition, the low level of inflation recorded in recent years (and deflation in some cases) has played an important role in the increase of debt burdens. The lack of an EU - level transparent framework for sovereign debt restructuring could potentially entail higher additional costs. As part of the EU’s financial stability management instruments, sovereign debt restructuring could form a part of the EU toolbox.

THE INSTRUMENTS PROVIDING MACRO-FINANCIAL SUPPORT TO EU MEMBER STATES

12-01-2017

This paper revises the European instruments for macro-financial stability providing financial support to member states. Three instruments, created on an ad-hoc basis during the crisis, are temporary and should gradually disappear. One instrument reserved for non-euro area member states, and others targeted at euro area countries remain in place. In the long term, the European Stability Mechanism is likely to become the only instrument for macro-financial assistance, but its current standing outside ...

This paper revises the European instruments for macro-financial stability providing financial support to member states. Three instruments, created on an ad-hoc basis during the crisis, are temporary and should gradually disappear. One instrument reserved for non-euro area member states, and others targeted at euro area countries remain in place. In the long term, the European Stability Mechanism is likely to become the only instrument for macro-financial assistance, but its current standing outside the EU legal framework needs to be addressed.

Building a Comprehensive Crisis Management Framework for the EU and Extinguishing the Raging Fire

14-01-2011

The on-going discussion on Crisis Management in the EU is incomplete and on particular issues misguided and ill-informed. This is true both of the longer term discussion on designing a Crisis Management Framework for the EU as well as the immediate and on-going efforts to put the fire out. This Policy Paper has three parts: Part I maps out the structure of a complete Crisis Management framework for the EU. Part II offers detailed suggestions on improving the current Crisis Mitigation framework in ...

The on-going discussion on Crisis Management in the EU is incomplete and on particular issues misguided and ill-informed. This is true both of the longer term discussion on designing a Crisis Management Framework for the EU as well as the immediate and on-going efforts to put the fire out. This Policy Paper has three parts: Part I maps out the structure of a complete Crisis Management framework for the EU. Part II offers detailed suggestions on improving the current Crisis Mitigation framework in the form of the European Financial Stabilization Mechanism. Part III sketches an optimal detailed design of what the permanent European Stabilization Mechanism should look like.

Autor externo

Sony KAPOOR (Managing Director Re-Define) ; additional research by Linda OKSNES (Research Associate Re-Define)

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