Jean Pisani-Ferry: The Challenges of Europe’s Monetary Union

Jean Pisani-Ferry is a highly influential voice in the European economic debate.

In this discussion, Pisani-Ferry discusses the challenges facing the creation of a common monetary union in the form that was eventually agreed in the 1990s absent a political union. He notes that even now, with that failure for all to see, the same dynamics that predicate against any reforms that might create a strong federal fiscal capacity are present in the discussions surrounding the creation of a “single supervisory mechanism” to regulate banks and protect their depositors.

The Germans, exhibiting all of their concerns inflation whether justified or not, are using their political weight to influence the design of banking policy, and the likely outcomes are looking decidedly deficient. They are doomed to fail if subjected to a stern test, although Pisani-Ferry believes that somehow the policy-making elites will find a way to muddle through, however inelegant and messy the compromises turn out to be.

At the time of this interview, Jean Pisani-Ferry was serving as the first director of Bruegel, a highly influential Brussels-based think tank, where he worked from 2005 to 2013. He currently is the Commissioner-General of the French Prime Minister’s Policy Planning Staff in Paris and professor of economics at Hertie School of Governance in Berlin.

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Long ago, after spending time at The Centre for European Integration Studies (ZEI Bonn), I came to the conclusion that, at least in Europe, seeing only transaction costs reduction and not seeing the complexities of differing productivity/competitiveness levels is an inexcusable blunder, unintended consequences of which we now see in the collapsing Eurone.

Val Samonis
Toronto

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