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EU Monitor

The series "EU Monitor" focuses on political, economic and monetary developments in the enlarged EU. The spectrum ranges from political commentaries and reform of the EU institutions to matters pertaining to the European Economic and Monetary Union, financial-market and banking aspects, and the consequences of enlargement for specific sectors and countries.

70 Documents
April 12, 2018
Region:
The EU institutions are about to decide on major new rules regarding the reception and the treatment of asylum applicants as well as their allocation among member states. The trigger for the intended reforms relate to the current regulatory framework’s shortcomings that emerged during the refugee crisis: an uneven sharing of responsibilities for asylum procedures and massive irregular migration within the EU. However, the Dublin procedure recast has stalled, as several member states strictly refuse the planned corrective mechanism for a fair sharing of responsibility. The prospects seem to be more favourable with regard to the harmonisation of the asylum procedures and conditions. [more]
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February 28, 2018
Region:
2018-2019 will be crucial for the future of EU finances. Compared to previous MFF negotiations, this time the challenges ahead are disproportionally larger, including a large annual budget gap of above EUR 10 bn to be left by the UK's exit from the Union. Our scenario analysis illustrates that Western and Northern European members would see their net contributions deteriorate most in case of a substantial budget expansion in order to cover the UK shortfall as well as additional spending needs. Eastern European members would be hurt most by the alternative of harsh spending cuts to close the Brexit gap in the budget. To complicate matters further, the abolishment of the UK rebate and probably all "rebates on the rebate" will lead to a redistribution of costs among members. Profound discussions will therefore be necessary regarding the prioritization, efficiency, subsidiarity and cost sharing. [more]
2
February 15, 2018
Analyst:
The rise of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and the decline in cash payments are the background for a new concept: digital cash issued by central banks. An old academic debate about who creates money and how is resurfacing, but what about the user’s perspective? Why would we use crypto euros? Such digital cash would compete against bank deposits, physical cash and private cryptocurrencies to win over consumers in the areas of payments and savings. [more]
3
February 9, 2018
Opinions differ when it comes to bitcoin. Discussions are triggered largely by bitcoin’s spectacular price increasess and are not very informed or nuanced. In this paper we focus on several standard claims, which we will put into context and, if necessary, rectify. This will hopefully help our readers to familiarise themselves with the topic. [more]
4
January 23, 2018
Region:
Analyst:
Economic policy uncertainty in Europe has risen to extraordinarily high levels. This stands in stark contrast to conventional measures of financial market uncertainty which are at historical lows. Uncertainty surrounding economic policies has negative spillover effects to the rest of the economy. It tends to be transmitted to capital markets and to result in higher financing costs for companies. Significant cross-country transmission of economic policy uncertainty is observable within the EU, with the UK being a net exporter. In addition, banks could turn out to be a central channel through which economic policy uncertainty is transmitted to the real economy, via subdued lending to non-financial corporations, in particular to SMEs. [more]
5
December 8, 2017
Region:
No real surprises hidden in the “Saint Nicholas” reform package from Brussels, a detailed set of reform proposals and communications that the European Commission published as a “roadmap” for deepening EMU. The proposals build on Commission President Juncker’s September State of the Union speech and, in essence, match closely with the French vision of more stabilization and risk-sharing in the EU, while they also try to meet German demands for better supervision of fiscal rules. The strong focus on anchoring any further integration of the Monetary Union - such as the reform of the ESM and the introduction of a Eurozone budget - in the institutional framework also illustrates the wariness in Brussels of being sidelined in its fiscal competencies and to allow the euro area to further develop on its own. [more]
6
September 13, 2017
Region:
Analyst:
Money market funds in the euro area managed assets worth EUR 1.16 trillion in mid-2017. Low interest rates did not hamper the impressive growth by EUR 260 billion during the past three years. But new EU regulation taking effect in 2018 will impose stricter rules on fund managers. However, the measured regulation will probably not cause a major restructuring of the euro area market, in contrast to the reshuffling seen in response to the US money market fund reform. In the future, Brexit could lead to competition for non-EUR denominated money market fund business between the EU and the UK. [more]
7
August 30, 2017
Region:
It is remarkable what and how much has changed in the European banking industry since the global financial crisis erupted almost exactly ten years ago: comparing H1 2017 to the peak of the boom in H1 2007, revenue composition has shifted towards more sustainable sources, with the share of net interest income up to more than half of the total and trading income much diminished. Expenses are down, but only moderately, resulting in a fall in profits to just half of the pre-crisis level. Both the absolute amount of capital and capital ratios have risen dramatically. On the other hand, total assets have declined substantially over the past decade, contributing to a massive de-risking of the sector. [more]
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August 10, 2017
Analyst:
Robo-advisors are online investment platforms that use computer algorithms to manage client portfolios and are thus part of the FinTech universe. With their user-friendly, automated and low-cost services, robo-advisors pose a challenge to traditional financial advisory services and are growing fast. Online client onboarding is the most crucial step in this process, relying on questionnaires to figure out clients' preferences. Following a conservative approach in their asset selection, robo-advisors mainly invest in ETFs. Portfolio allocation is done via mean-variance optimisation and threshold-based rebalancing is utilised to maintain targeted asset weights. Wealthier and more educated clients are joining millennials as robo-advisory clients. Fees are considerably higher in the EU than in the US where robo-advisors’ AuM are much larger. Robo-advisors can contribute to financial inclusion, while their long-term success relies on a high degree of accuracy and suitability for clients. [more]
9
April 25, 2017
Region:
Policymakers, clients and bankers themselves wish to know what constitutes a large bank. What is the right indicator to look at if a supervisor is interested in systemic importance and risks to financial stability? What is the right indicator to look at if a company needs a bank that can provide large-scale financing and take on substantial hedging risks? Various measures are currently in use, each with strengths and shortcomings. Regulators and academics mostly look at total assets, an accounting figure. Others reach conclusions from Tier 1 capital or market cap, two regulation- and market-based indicators. This study discusses these and other measures in detail. It draws quantitative comparisons, including across countries and different financial systems, and proposes one indicator that is best suited to measure bank size. [more]
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