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2023-01-05

With monetary conditions tightening precipitously, the euro is about to face its second great test

 It was only after Mario "whatever it takes" Draghi, then president of the ECB, agreed effectively to mutualise Europe's debts through the backdoor mechanism of unlimited quantitative easing that the crisis abated and the euro was saved from otherwise certain death.

Draghi has compared the single currency to a bumblebee (humla); it shouldn't fly, but thus far it has somehow managed it.

There has also been agreement for some outright mutualisation of debt through the European Commission's €724bn "recovery and resilience facility". 

But none of these things have fully addressed the single currency's underlying fault lines, which remain multifaceted and entrenched. 

Whatever its pretences, the European economy is still essentially just a collection of individual sovereign economies with little that connects them beyond free trade and a shared currency.

Sovereign bond markets have so far remained surprisingly calm. Despite the election of an overtly eurosceptic government in Italy, we've seen no significant widening of spreads.

All the same, the potential for crisis in Italy and beyond is all too obvious. 

One is the shadow banking system, which has grown almost exponentially in size over the last decade and is now probably as big as the entire banking sector. If the latter is now better regulated than it was, the former is not. 

All kinds of skeletons will come tumbling out of the cupboard once higher interest rates bite fully. 

Rumours of the single currency's imminent death are most likely again to prove premature. But if the ECB is serious about tightening its policy rate all the way up to 4pc, it will be another year of stumbling from one crisis to the next. 

Jeremy Warner Telegraph 3 January 2023 

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2023/01/03/rising-interest-rates-threaten-test-eurozone-destruction/


Article from Ministry of Finance

Sweden’s recovery plan within the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility

 

In July 2020, EU heads of state and government agreed on a recovery package to mitigate the effects of the crisis. The package, called NextGenerationEU, comprises EUR 750 billion in loans and grants to the Member States. The main part of this will be channelled through the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF).

Member States apply for funding through national recovery plans that outline the reforms and public investments they intend to implement. Member States can apply for both grants (a total of EUR 312.5 billion in 2018 prices) and loans (a total of EUR 360 billion in 2018 prices).

Sweden’s recovery plan was adopted by the ECOFIN Council on 4 May 2022

https://www.government.se/articles/2020/12/eu-recovery-and-resilience-facility-rrf/


ECB Tool to Avert Debt Crisis 2.0 Takes Shape

Europe does not face fresh sovereign debt crisis, says eurogroup chief

https://englundmacro.blogspot.com/2022/06/ecb-tool-to-avert-debt-crisis-20-takes.html



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