Upcoming Conference on Macroprudential Regulation

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March 2nd, 2015

Call for Papers: Macroprudential regulation: policy dynamics and limitations

A joint academic-practitioner conference with the theme Macroprudential regulation: policy dynamics and limitations will be held in Dublin, Ireland on Friday September 4th, 2015, organized by the Financial Mathematics and Computation Cluster (FMC2), the Department of Economics, Finance & Accounting at Maynooth University and the UCD School of Business at University College Dublin.

Macroprudential regulation is fairly new, and there are many unanswered questions. Can macroprudential constraints on credit be reliably attuned with the business cycle and/or credit cycle? Are fixed constraints on credit safer and more reliable than attempts at dynamic anti-cyclical ones? Should regulators take account of market or regulatory imperfections, such as in the construction sector, in setting constraints on credit growth? Is macroprudential control by an independent central bank consistent with the democratic accountability of government economic and social policies? Potential topics include:
* Business cycles, financial cycles, and the feasibility of dynamic macroprudential control
* The desirability and effectiveness of LTI and LTV limits on mortgage lending
* Democratic accountability and central bank independence
* Modelling house price movements and household debt and their interactions
* Controlling credit growth and credit flows in the Eurozone
* International case studies of macroprudential regulation.
* Assessment of macroprudential credit-restricting policies

Please send papers or detailed proposals by June 15th, 2015 at the latest to Irene.moore@ucd.ie; all papers must be submitted electronically in adobe pdf format. There will be both main conference sessions and poster sessions. We will consider proposed contributions to the poster session until 31st July. The academic coordinators for the conference are Gregory Connor and John Cotter, who can be contacted at Gregory.connor@nuim.ie or John.cotter@ucd.ie.

There are no submission fees or attendance fees for the conference. We are grateful to the Science Foundation of Ireland and the Irish Institute of Bankers for their generous support of this conference. The Financial Mathematics Computation Cluster (FMC2) is a collaboration between University College Dublin, Maynooth University, Dublin City University and industry partners, with support from the Science Foundation of Ireland.

Ultra posse nemo obligatur, anyone?

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February 23rd, 2015

Paul Mason has a blog post and interview here, worth reading and watching. I am going to stick my neck out and assert that Manolis Glezos does in fact speak with a certain moral authority. But it is the German deputy finance minister’s constant insistence on obeying the law that prompts this post, along with its title. For German government use of the principle in the economic domain, see here (p. 188).

Another one from Jordà, Schularick and Taylor

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February 23rd, 2015

The latest in an important series of papers by Jordà, Schularick and Taylor is described here.

Although they don’t spin it this way (which is not surprising, since they don’t provide evidence about the impact of fiscal policy on housing booms and busts), the work suggests to this reader potential arguments (on top of the more standard ones) regarding the benefits of automatic stabilisers and countercyclical fiscal policy.

The Szasz Doctrine

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February 21st, 2015

Ashoka Mody writes here.

US: 2015 Economic Report of the President

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February 20th, 2015

This report is the primary ‘academic’ publication of the US administration – tons of interesting material here.

Job Openings for Post-Doctoral Research Fellows

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February 18th, 2015

The ESRI has recently posted an advertisement for post-docs in Economics in a range of areas. Detailed information is available here.

We would be grateful if you could forward the link to any potentially suitable candidates you may know of.

Letter from Mario Draghi

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February 18th, 2015

ECB President Mario Draghi wrote to MEP Matt Carthy on ”several aspects of the Irish adjustment programme”. Available here.

Reminder: Irish Economy Conference, Feb 25th

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February 17th, 2015

A reminder that the Irish Economy Conference: Learning from Crisis will take place on Feb 25th. Programme details and how to signup are here.

Data Set on Irish Banks

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February 16th, 2015

I have posted the underlying data used in my recent SSISI paper here.

Irish virtue, Irish (or should that be FG?) interests

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February 16th, 2015

There has been some talk recently about how Greece should take its medicine the way Ireland has. So here is a chart, taken from the IMF’s WEO database, showing the two countries’ structural budget balances as a percentage of GDP:

 

Even if you start the clock in 2008, there is a sizeable difference. And if you start in 2010, when the programmes started, there is no comparison in terms of the “fiscal effort” made. (And yes, I know, it would be much better to look at ex ante measures of austerity, but this is what was to hand.) On top of that, the multiplier in Greece is presumably larger than in very small and very open Ireland. The EC estimates that it is almost twice as large in this paper, not that I take their Greek multiplier estimate particularly seriously. And finally, there is this chart which a friend sends me.

So, to summarise: the Greeks have done more “reform” than we have, have endured a lot more austerity, and live in a country where the costs of austerity are likely to be higher than here. Perhaps the Irish government might want to tone down its assertions of relative virtue, and display a bit of solidarity with Greece. Is a less deflationary and less creditor-friendly Eurozone  not in Ireland’s long term interests, assuming that we remain a member of the single currency?

Except of course that it won’t, for party political reasons. And you can see why. Expect to see more ad hominem attacks on dangerous ex-IMF radicals and other fellow travellers in the months ahead (despite the fact that the government is expecting the electorate’s gratitude for…implementing the programme that the self-same IMF and its fellow-Troika members designed! You couldn’t make it up.).

TASC: Cherishing All Equally

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February 16th, 2015

Report here.

New Cormac O’Grada Book on Famine

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February 14th, 2015

Eating People Is Wrong, and Other Essays on Famine, Its Past, and Its Future

Famines are becoming smaller and rarer, but optimism about the possibility of a famine-free future must be tempered by the threat of global warming. That is just one of the arguments that Cormac Ó Gráda, one of the world’s leading authorities on the history and economics of famine, develops in this wide-ranging book, which provides crucial new perspectives on key questions raised by famines around the globe between the seventeenth and twenty-first centuries.

The book begins with a taboo topic. Ó Gráda argues that cannibalism, while by no means a universal feature of famines and never responsible for more than a tiny proportion of famine deaths, has probably been more common during very severe famines than previously thought. The book goes on to offer new interpretations of two of the twentieth century’s most notorious and controversial famines, the Great Bengal Famine and the Chinese Great Leap Forward Famine. Ó Gráda questions the standard view of the Bengal Famine as a perfect example of market failure, arguing instead that the primary cause was the unwillingness of colonial rulers to divert food from their war effort. The book also addresses the role played by traders and speculators during famines more generally, invoking evidence from famines in France, Ireland, Finland, Malawi, Niger, and Somalia since the 1600s, and overturning Adam Smith’s claim that government attempts to solve food shortages always cause famines.

Thought-provoking and important, this is essential reading for historians, economists, demographers, and anyone else who is interested in the history and possible future of famine.

Cormac Ó Gráda is professor emeritus of economics at University College Dublin. His books include Famine: A Short History and Black ’47 and Beyond: The Great Irish Famine in History, Economy, and Memory (both Princeton).

Framing a Greek Deal

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February 9th, 2015

Bill Emmott writes in the FT here.

OECD 2015 Going for Growth Report

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February 9th, 2015

here.

Are Economists Overrated?

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February 9th, 2015

NY Times debate here.

GDP-indexed bonds; ECB and Greece

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February 6th, 2015

Economist article on economics of GDP-indexed bonds here.

FT editorial on ECB and Greece here.

MGI: Debt and (not much) deleveraging

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February 5th, 2015

The latest report on global debt levels and deleveraging from McKinsey Global Institute: here.

Pawn to King Four

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February 4th, 2015

The ECB has tonight withdrawn the eligibility as collateral for ‘normal’ liquidity provision of self-issued Greek bank paper guaranteed by the Greek government, effective February 11th. The banks must henceforth rely on ELA from the Greek central bank, permission for which is reviewed fortnightly by the ECB, next meeting February 18th. The ECB statement contains this sentence:

‘The Governing Council decision is based on the fact that it is currently not possible to assume a successful conclusion of the programme review and is in line with existing Eurosystem rules.’

Note that the decision is based on a fact! The opinion formed, presumably today, that the programme review may not be successfully completed, was reasonable yesterday and the day before, but has miraculously assumed the status of a fact this evening.

Surely the ECB would not deliberately encourage a run on the banks (presumed solvent, rightly or wrongly, if they are to be ELA-eligible) in a member state? Whaddya mean they did it before?

Michael Noonan: Opening Statement on Dáil Éireann Private Members Motion – Debt Conference

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February 4th, 2015

Here.

DoF/NTMA Updates

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February 4th, 2015

IMF Surveillance in Europe

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February 3rd, 2015

ECB OP here.

Irish Economy Conference: Learning from Crisis

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February 2nd, 2015

Organised by ESRI, UCD, the Geary Institute, UL and the University of Stirling, the theme for this year’s conference is  “Learning from Crisis”. The venue is the Institute of Banking (map), North Wall Quay, Dublin 1 on  25th February 2015.

To cover costs of room hire and tea/coffee, there will be a charge  of 40 euros, and you can pay here. [[Please note, registration has now closed.]]

Students, unemployed, and OAPs can avail of a reduced rate of 10 euros, and can pay here. [[Please note, registration has now closed.]]

The Programme is below.

Read the rest of this entry »

Rogoff on Greece

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February 2nd, 2015

here.

Ideological Differences between Economists

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February 2nd, 2015

Scott Sumner provides a valuable discussion of the shifting ideological biases of American economists in this piece.

Where did all the money channelled into property-backed lending go?

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February 2nd, 2015

Patrick Honohan provides an accounting of the gains and losses from the property boom-bust cycle here.

Lamfalussy was right: independence and interdependence in a monetary union

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February 2nd, 2015

Speech by Benoit Coeure here.

IMF Staff Reports

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January 29th, 2015

Released by the IMF:

There is lots of detail in both reports but it is likely most attention will focus on paragraphs 48-52 of the ex-post evaluation (though it’s all pretty much been said before).

Household Finance and Consumption Survey 2013

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January 29th, 2015

Report from the CSO here with this press release.  This is a valuable piece of information that fills an important gap.

IEA 2015 – Submission Deadline Approaching Fast!

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January 27th, 2015

The 29th Annual Irish Economic Association Conference will be held at the Institute of Banking, IFSC, 1 North Wall Quay, Dublin 1 on Thursday May 7th and Friday May 8th, 2015. Edgar Morgenroth (Economic and Social Research Institute) is the local organizer.

The ESR guest lecture will be given by Professor Christopher Udry (Yale University) and the Edgeworth Lecture by Professor Giancarlo Corsetti (University of Cambridge).

The Association invites submissions of papers to be considered for the conference programme. Papers may be on any area in Economics, Finance and Econometrics.
The deadline for submitted articles is the 8th of February 2015 and submissions can be made through this site.

Please note that the Irish Economic Association awards two prizes for conference papers, the Denis Conniffe prize and the Novartis prize.

The Denis Conniffe prize of €500 is awarded for the best paper by a young author-presenter at the Irish Economic Association annual conference. To be eligible the author must be either (a) aged < 30 or (b) within 3 years of finishing a PhD. For co-authored papers, all co-authors must meet these criteria. If you are eligible for this award and would like to be considered for the prize, please let the conference organiser know, when submitting your paper. The prize award will be decided by the IEA council and will be announced at the annual conference.

The Novartis prize of €500, is sponsored by Novartis Ireland, is awarded to the best Health Economics paper presented at the Irish Economic Association annual conference. If you consider your paper to be in the “health economics” field and would like to be considered for the prize, please let the conference organiser know, when submitting your paper. Members of the IEA council or individuals affiliated to Novartis are not eligible for the prize. The prize award will be decided by the IEA council and will be announced at the annual conference.

Yanis Varoufakis

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January 27th, 2015

Yanis Varoufakis will be confirmed as the new Greek finance minister later today.  He “is no extremist.” [EDIT: The Guardian think “radical”.]

Here is a recent interview with him and ‘A modest proposal for resolving the eurozone crisis’ is here.  Back in September a document on ‘What the Syriza government will do’ was published.