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Jean Pisani-Ferry

Jean Pisani-Ferry

Jean Pisani-Ferry (born July 28, 1951)[1] is a French economist and public policy expert. He serves currently as Commissioner General for Policy Planning under Prime Minister Manuel Valls.[2] He is also a professor at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin.

Articles by Jean Pisani-Ferry

Trump’s International Economic Legacy

24 hours ago

If Donald Trump loses the United States presidential election in November, he will ultimately be seen to have left little mark in many areas. But in the US’s relationship with China, the decoupling of economic links could continue, and that could force Europe into hard choices.
By:
Jean Pisani-Ferry
Date: September 29, 2020
Topic: Global Economics & Governance

This opinion post was originally published in Project Syndicate.

It would be foolish to start celebrating the end of US President Donald Trump’s administration, but it is not too soon to ponder the impact he will have left on the international economic system if his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, wins November’s election. In some areas, a one-term Trump presidency would most likely leave an insignificant mark, which

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Europe’s recovery gamble

5 days ago

Next Generation EU, was rightly hailed as a major breakthrough: never before had the EU borrowed to finance expenditures, let alone transfers to member states. But the programme and its Recovery and Resilience Facility amount to a high-risk gamble.
By:
Jean Pisani-Ferry
Date: September 25, 2020
Topic: Finance & Financial Regulation

This opinion post was originally published in Project Syndicate.

To help their pandemic-hit economies recover, European Union leaders agreed in July to borrow €750 billion to finance €390 billion in grants and €360 billion in loans to the bloc’s member states. The programme, Next Generation EU, was rightly hailed as a major breakthrough: never before had the EU borrowed to finance expenditures, let alone transfers to member states.
But the

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The Challenges of the Post-Pandemic Agenda

July 28, 2020

This opinion piece has previously been published in Project Syndicate. PARIS – There is a growing possibility that the COVID-19 crisis will mark the end of the growth model born four decades ago with the Reagan-Thatcher revolution, China’s embrace of capitalism, and the demise of the Soviet Union. The pandemic has highlighted the vulnerability of […]

PARIS – There is a growing possibility that the COVID-19 crisis will mark the end of the growth model born four decades ago with the Reagan-Thatcher revolution, China’s embrace of capitalism, and the demise of the Soviet Union. The pandemic has highlighted the vulnerability of human societies and fortified support for urgent climate action. And it has strengthened governments’ hand, eroded already-shaky support for globalization, and

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The message in the ruling

May 12, 2020

The German Constitutional Court’s ruling on the ECB’s asset purchase programme is open to much criticism but it can hardly be blamed for raising an important question.
By:
Jean Pisani-Ferry
Date: May 12, 2020
Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance

From its pretence to establish itself as a custodian of the custodians to the narrowness of its perspective on central bank policy and the parochial assessment of the distributional consequences of monetary decisions, there is much to criticize in the ruling by the German Constitutional Court on the asset purchase programme initiated by the ECB in 2015. But it can hardly be blamed for raising an important question.
Europe’s central bank was born with the precisely defined mandate of preserving price stability. Over the years,

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Building a Post-Pandemic World Will Not Be Easy

April 30, 2020

Both the COVID-19 crisis and the climate crisis highlight the limits of humanity’s power over nature. But while both remind us that the Anthropocene epoch may jeopardize our continued existence, and that benign everyday behavior can result in catastrophic outcomes, such similarities must not obscure crucial differences.

PARIS – Die-hard green militants regard it as obvious: the COVID-19 crisis only strengthens the urgent need for climate action. But die-hard industrialists are equally convinced: there should be no higher priority than to repair a ravaged economy, postponing stricter environmental regulations if necessary. The battle has started. Its outcome will define the post-pandemic world.
Both the public-health crisis and the climate crisis highlight the limits of humanity’s power

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Facts, not words: the EU role in the de-confinement phase

April 22, 2020

The EU should be modest, but not shy. As far as public health is concerned, it is not in the driving seat and there is no reason to pretend it should be. But in connection to research on treatments and vaccines, it has a vital role to play in the collection and dissemination of accurate information on the development of the pandemic. In a situation dominated by fear and uncertainty, information is an essential ingredient for rebuilding trust, for creating the conditions for the gradual reopening of borders and for paving the way for common initiatives and policies. This is not something that member states will do by themselves. They need the EU to step in quickly.
By:
Jean Pisani-Ferry
Date: April 22, 2020
Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance

Each year, 500 million

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Will the economic strategy work?

April 1, 2020

Because even thriving companies can be killed in a matter of weeks by a recession of the magnitude now confronting the world, advanced-economy governments have reacted in a remarkably similar fashion to the COVID-19 crisis. But extending liquidity lifelines to private businesses and supporting idled workers assumes a short crisis.
By:
Jean Pisani-Ferry
Date: April 1, 2020
Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance

With the COVID-19 crisis bringing France to a halt, Insee, the French statistical institute, puts the drop in economic activity relative to normal at 35%. It reckons that the fall in household consumption is of a similar magnitude.
These numbers imply that each additional month of lockdown reduces annual GDP by three percentage points. And sectoral situations are

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Britain faces a triple contradiction

January 30, 2020

If Boris Johnson can negotiate agreements that are better than the EU system, it would be a serious challenge for the 27 By: Jean Pisani-Ferry Date: January 30, 2020 Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance This opinion piece was originally published in Le Monde.This piece forms part of Bruegel’s ongoing work in EU3D, a research project that examines differentiation in the European political order. The EU3D project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 822419.He was believed to be an entertainer, he turned out to be a political strategist. Thanks to a crushing victory last December, where he managed to remove the Labour party from its working-class strongholds, Boris Johnson ‘got Brexit done’. The

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Explaining the triumph of Trump’s economic recklessness

January 29, 2020

The Trump administration’s economic policy is a strange cocktail: one part populist trade protectionism and industrial interventionism; one part classic Republican tax cuts skewed to the rich and industry-friendly deregulation; and one part Keynesian fiscal and monetary stimulus. But it’s the Keynesian part that delivers the kick. By: Jean Pisani-Ferry Date: January 29, 2020 Topic: Global Economics & Governance PARIS – Since he was elected US president, Donald Trump has done almost everything standard economic wisdom regards as heresy. He has erected trade barriers and stoked uncertainty with threats of further tariffs. He has blackmailed private businesses. He has eased prudential standards for banks. He has time and again attacked the Federal Reserve for policy not to his

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The Green Deal is not just one of many EU projects, it is the new defining mission

January 3, 2020

The EU has already invested so much of its political capital into the green transition that a failure to deliver would severely damage its legitimacy.Most flags are multicoloured. Together with red-flagged China, the blue-flagged European Union is one of the few monochrome entities. Not anymore, apparently: the EU’s new defining project colours it green. At a meeting in mid-December, the leaders of all EU countries except one (Poland, not the United Kingdom) officially endorsed the goal of achieving climate neutrality—zero net emissions of greenhouse gases—by 2050.European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen wants to go further. Next March, she plans to introduce a “climate law” to ensure that all European policies are geared toward the climate neutrality objective. She wants member

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Understanding populism

January 2, 2020

Political identity is a group stereotype. As no camp corresponds exactly to our expectations, we choose the one to which we are closest and which is also the most distant from the ideas we reject By: Jean Pisani-Ferry Date: January 2, 2020 Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance How did Boris Johnson conquer the Midlands? What reason do American workers have for supporting Trump, whose policies favour the wealthy? How did Salvini, yesterday’s champion of northern selfishness, manage to extend his grip to the rest of Italy? To answer these questions, one must understand populism.Yann Algan, Elizabeth Beasley, Daniel Cohen and Martial Foucault have described the phenomenon as a symptom of desocialization. The disintegration of class, they argue, has left individuals in a state

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Europe can take a bigger role in providing public goods

December 5, 2019

The EU should invest where it can deliver more value than member states acting alone. By: Jean Pisani-Ferry Date: December 5, 2019 Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Now that the EU has a newly elected parliament and a new commission, what should be its agenda for the future?Traditionally, its focus has been on economic integration, for example through the single market, the euro or banking union. There are some common policies, but overall the EU budget is small and mostly spent on agricultural subsidies and transfers to poorer regions. European integration delivers benefits, but it is not a sufficient answer to the challenges Europe faces today.Times are changing. The race for new technologies intensifies; Europe can no longer rely on the US for its defence; rivalry

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Europe: en finir avec la politique en silos

October 8, 2019

Projetée dans un monde de rapport de force dont les principaux protagonistes ne séparent pas géopolitique et économie, l’UE va devoir conduire un changement de logiciel culturel, une mutation organisationnelle et un rééquipement opérationnel, explique l’économiste Jean Pisani-Ferry. By: Jean Pisani-Ferry Date: October 8, 2019 Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance La nouvelle présidente de la Commission européenne, Ursula von der Leyen, s’est donné pour but de bâtir une Commission géopolitique au service d’une Europe plus stratégique, qui soit capable de s’affirmer dans un monde marqué par l’aiguisement des rivalités.Elle n’aura pas la tâche facile. Car l’Union européenne est ce que l’économiste André Sapir avait appelé un pouvoir morcelé (Fragmented Power: Europe and the

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Thomas Piketty’s New Book: Impressive Research, Problematic Solutions

October 3, 2019

Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century blended history, statistics, and theory. Capital and Ideology his new magnum opus, is long enough (1,200 pages) to lump together several books: a quantitative history of inequality through time and space, from medieval Europe and ancient India to present-day societies; a largely noneconomic theory of social stratification; an investigation into the social roots of current populism; and a political manifesto for the European left.From the extraordinary wealth of its empirical material to the breadth of its cultural scope, and from the rare alliance of statistical precision and literary references to the level of its intellectual and political ambition, there is much to commend in this remarkable book.From a policy standpoint, however, its

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How to ward off the next recession

October 2, 2019

Despite confident official pronouncements, the deteriorating state of the global economy is now high on the international policy agenda. The OECD recently revised down its forecasts to 1.5% growth in the advanced G20 economies in 2020, compared to almost 2.5% in 2017. And its chief economist Laurence Boone warned of the risk of further deterioration – a coded way of indicating a growing threat of recession.Structural shifts in the automobile industry, miserable productivity gains in advanced economies, shrinking spare capacity, and the build-up of financial fragilities would be sufficient causes for concern, even in normal times. But there is more: a combination of cracks in the global trading system and an unprecedented shortage of policy ammunition are adding to the worries.As the OECD

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Questions to the High Representative and Vice-President-designate Josep Borrell

September 30, 2019

Josep Borrell, the incoming High Representative and Vice-President-designate must explain how von der Leyen’s ‘geopolitical Commission’ intends to adapt to a global landscape dominated by an intensifying rivalry between Washington and Bejing. By: Jean Pisani-Ferry Date: September 30, 2019 Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance In her mission letter, President-elect von der Leyen emphasises that she wants the next Commission to be a ‘geopolitical Commission’. She envisages a more strategic, more assertive and more united Union in its approach to international relations, and she would like the High Representative / Vice-President to contribute to creating a stronger link between the internal and the external aspects of EU policies so that the external action becomes a

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Collective action in a fragmented world

September 11, 2019

International collective action is in search of a new paradigm. It cannot rely anymore on global binding rules supported by universal institutions. New forms of cooperation have emerged in a number of fields. Europe should equip itself to be an effective player in this new global game. This calls for internal governance reforms. By: Jean Pisani-Ferry Date: September 11, 2019 Topic: Global Economics & Governance The issueThere is a greater need than ever for international collective action. From climate preservation to financial stability and internet security, heightened interdependence calls for common responses to global threats. Obstacles to global collective action are no less formidable. Beyond President Trump’s stance and worldwide concerns over sovereignty, the China-US

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Dousing the Sovereignty Wildfire

September 3, 2019

In time, the current spat between French President Emmanuel Macron and his Brazilian counterpart Jair Bolsonaro regarding the Amazon rainforest may become a mere footnote. But other rows between collective and national interests are sure to erupt, and the world needs to find a way to manage them. By: Jean Pisani-Ferry Date: September 3, 2019 Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance PARIS – On the eve of the recent G7 summit in Biarritz, French President Emmanuel Macron described the Amazon rainforest as “the lungs of our planet.” And because the rainforest’s preservation matters for the whole world, Macron added, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro cannot be allowed “to destroy everything.” In reply, Bolsonaro accused Macron of instrumentalizing “an internal Brazilian issue,”

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Retraites : pour la clarté

September 3, 2019

L’économiste regrette, dans sa chronique au "Monde", que les tensions internes au gouvernement aient conduit à s’écarter de la stricte logique d’un système par points. By: Jean Pisani-Ferry Date: September 3, 2019 Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance This opinion piece was originally published by Le Monde1993, 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013, 2019 : voici donc venir la sixième réforme des retraites. À coup de changement des règles d’indexation, de recul de l’âge légal et d’augmentation de la durée de cotisation, les cinq premières ont surtout cherché à contenir la hausse du poids des pensions dans le revenu national. Nécessaires du fait la démographie, elles ont été douloureuses : si les hommes nés en 1940 sont partis à 60 ans avec 80% de leur salaire, ceux de 1980 partiront à 64

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The Coming Clash Between Climate and Trade

August 1, 2019

The new leaders of the European Union, who have relentlessly championed open markets, will, ironically, likely trigger a conflict between climate preservation and free trade. But this clash is unavoidable, and how Europe and the world manage it will help to determine the fate of globalisation, if not that of the climate.The incoming president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has laid out a highly ambitious climate agenda. In her first 100 days in office, she intends to propose a European Green Deal, as well as legislation that would commit the European Union to becoming carbon neutral by 2050. Her immediate priority will be to step up efforts to reduce the EU’s greenhouse-gas emissions, with the aggressive new goal of halving them (relative to 1990 levels) by 2030. The

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Farewell, flat world

July 2, 2019

In the last 50 years, the most important economic development has been the diminishing income gap between the richer and poorer countries. Now, there is a growing realisation that transformations in the global economy have been re-established centrally from intangible investments, to digital networks, to finance and exchange rates.

Fifty years ago, the conventional wisdom was that rich countries dominated poor countries, and it was widely assumed that the former would continue to get richer and the latter poorer, at least in relative terms. Economists like Gunnar Myrdal in Sweden, Andre Gunder Frank in the United States, and François Perroux in France warned of rising inequality among countries, the development of underdevelopment, and economic domination. Trade and foreign

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Faut-il s’endetter pour le climat?

July 2, 2019

Jean Pisani-Ferry, soutient qu’il ne faut pas s’interdire de financer une partie du coût de la transition écologique par l’endettement.

This article was published by Le Monde

La déclaration de politique générale d’Édouard Philippe a placé la transition écologique au premier rang des objectifs du gouvernement. Cette inflexion appelle une stratégie économique à sa mesure. Or si Premier ministre a égrené des mesures sectorielles, toutes importantes, il a fait silence sur la fiscalité carbone, qui semble de facto abandonnée, et n’a explicité ni ce que représente l’effort requis par l’ambition qu’il affiche, ni comment nous allons le financer, ni quelles vont être ses conséquences pour le pouvoir d’achat ou l’emploi.
La tension entre fin du monde et fin du mois n’est pourtant pas près

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Europe’s citizens say they want a more political EU

June 4, 2019

The recent European Parliament election suggests that a growing share of European voters sees things differently from national governments. Whereas citizens clearly used their votes to express policy preferences, very few governments are ready for a more political EU leadership.
By:
Jean Pisani-Ferry
Date: June 4, 2019
Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance

This article was published by Project Syndicate.

The most significant result of the recent European Parliament election is neither that conservatives and social democrats lost seats to Liberals and Greens, nor that far-right nationalists gained less than anticipated. It is that citizens voted in much larger numbers than anyone expected.
From the first popular

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L’euro sans l’Europe : un projet incohérent

May 28, 2019

Jean Pisani-Ferry constate que tous les grands partis ne remettent plus en cause l’euro. Il souligne néanmoins que trois vulnérabilités – économique, politique et internationale – menacent la monnaie unique.
By:
Jean Pisani-Ferry
Date: May 28, 2019
Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance

De Manon Aubry à Jordan Bardella, les têtes de listes de tous les grands partis en conviennent : l’euro est notre monnaie, pas question d’en changer. Les approximations hasardeuses de Marine Le Pen lors du débat présidentiel de 2017 ont servi de leçon, et seuls des candidats marginaux envisagent désormais une sortie de la monnaie européenne. Vingt ans après sa naissance, elle n’est plus objet de débat mais fait en quelque sorte partie

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When facts change, change the pact

May 1, 2019

“When facts change, I change my mind,” John Maynard Keynes famously said. With long-term interest rates currently near zero, the European Union should reform its fiscal framework to allow member states to increase their debt-financed public investments.
By:
Jean Pisani-Ferry
Date: May 1, 2019
Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance

The European Union’s Stability and Growth Pact, which sets fiscal rules for its member states, is like the emperor’s new clothes. Almost everyone sees it has none, yet few admit it openly. This disingenuous silence is bad economics and bad politics.
For starters, the pact’s rules are so hopelessly complex that almost no government minister, let alone member of parliament, can decipher them.

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Europe and the new imperialism

April 3, 2019

For decades, Europe has served as a steward of the post-war liberal order, ensuring that economic rules are enforced and that national ambitions are subordinated to shared goals within multilateral bodies. But with the United States and China increasingly mixing economics with nationalist foreign-policy agendas, Europe will have to adapt.

This article was published by Project Syndicate.

Imperialism, Lenin wrote a century ago, is defined by five key features: the concentration of production; the merging of financial and industrial capital; exports of capital; transnational cartels; and the territorial division of the world among capitalist powers. Until recently, only dyed-in-the-wool Bolsheviks still found that definition relevant. Not anymore: Lenin’s characterisation seems

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The case for green realism

March 7, 2019

The transition to a carbon-neutral economy is bound to make us worse off before it makes us better off, and the most vulnerable segments of society will be hit especially hard. Unless we acknowledge and address this reality, support for greening the economy will remain shallow and eventually wane.

The Green New Deal promoted by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a fast-rising star in the US Congress, and others among her fellow Democrats, may trigger a welcome reset of the discussion on climate change mitigation in the United States and beyond. Though not really new – European Greens have been pushing for such a “new deal” for a decade – her plan is ambitious and wide-ranging.
It may be too ambitious and wide-ranging. But, unlike economists’ favourite approach to climate change – set the

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The EU needs a Brexit endgame

January 31, 2019

Britain and the EU must try to preserve the longstanding economic, political, and security links and, despite the last 31 months spent arguing over Brexit, they should try to follow a new path toward convergence.
By:
Jean Pisani-Ferry
Date: January 31, 2019
Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance

This opinion piece was also published by Project Syndicate

After 31 months of the United Kingdom and the European Union arguing over Brexit, the truth is that neither side knows what it wants.
This sad reality is most obvious in the case of the UK, whose ruling Conservative Party has consistently been at war with itself over the actual meaning of the June 2016 Brexit referendum. After a series of strategic mishaps and tactical

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Fifty shades of yellow

January 10, 2019

Who are the Yellow Vests? What are the true roots of their uprising? And what do they want? Six weeks after they started rocking French politics and a month after violence erupted on the Champs Élysées, these questions are still hotly debated in France.
By:
Jean Pisani-Ferry
Date: January 10, 2019
Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance

The Yellow Vests are both highly visible and highly enigmatic. Their rebellion started with the occupation of roundabouts all over the country, but it made headlines with violent demonstrations in Paris. They have kept the support of some 70% of the population and three million people signed up on the “Official Yellow Vests Counter” on Facebook, but their protests never exceeded 300,000

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The great macro divergence

December 5, 2018

Global growth is expected to continue in 2019 and 2020, albeit at a slower pace. Forecasters are notoriously bad, however, at spotting macroeconomic turning points and the road ahead is hard to read. Potential obstacles abound.
By:
Jean Pisani-Ferry
Date: December 5, 2018
Topic: Global Economics & Governance

This article was published by Project Syndicate.

“The global expansion has peaked,” the OECD warns in its latest economic outlook, and performance could be weaker if downside risks materialise. The party is not over yet: global growth is expected to continue in 2019 and 2020, though at a slower pace. But forecasters are notoriously bad at spotting macroeconomic turning points, and the road ahead is hard to read.

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