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Sound Money Economics System was a fringe political party in Manitoba, Canada, during the provincial election of 1941.

Articles by The Sound of Economics

The future of CAI

14 days ago

Untangling the politics behind the EU – China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment

Recent sanctions and counter-sanctions between the EU and China have put the future of the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) in doubt. Where do the parties go from here? In this episode of the Sound of Economics, Bruegel Director Guntram Wolff is joined by Mikko Huotari, Executive Director of MERICS – Mercator Institute for China Studies, to talk about the future of the agreement, the geopolitics at play and the role of the United States.

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To infinity and beyond: the European space sector and industrial policy

21 days ago

A transcription is available for this episode.
*Disclaimer:
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all our podcasts are recorded remotely. We apologise in advance for the sound quality and thank you for your understanding.

This is a very special moment for space exploration. The beginning of April will see the maiden flight of the first helicopter to another planet. The Artemis accords will mean that man will be back on the moon before long. The European Space Agency is building Daedalus, the first robot that will crawl inside lunar caves. The United Arab Emirates and India have successfully entered Mars’ orbit on their first try. Elon Musk has just stated that he will land his starship there before 2030.
We are in the midst of a new space race, this time not as a proxy of the Cold War of the

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Gender gap in financial literacy: a lack of knowledge or confidence?

28 days ago

“If women and girls are fearless, they will benefit by becoming more financially independent, more financially secure, more in control of their future and society will benefit.”
By:
The Sound of Economics
Date: March 24, 2021
Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance

Women are less financially literate than men. But does this gap reflect a lack of knowledge or a lack of confidence? To find out Maria Demertzis, deputy director of Bruegel is joined by Annamaria Lusardi, Professor of Economics and Accountancy at the George Washington University and non-resident fellow at Bruegel and Maarten van Rooij, senior economist at the Dutch Central Bank in The Sound of Economics.
Annamaria and Maarten explain their findings in a recently published paper that about one-third of the

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Keeping momentum on good governance

March 17, 2021

Transparency, human rights and good governance: a conversation with Katalin Cseh MEP
By:
The Sound of Economics
Date: March 17, 2021
Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance

Pandemic aside, the past year has seen renewed discussions in Europe on transparency and good governance as the EU takes an unprecedented role in health policy and procurement and in the creation of common debt.
As part of an ongoing effort to capture a wide range of views from the European Parliament, this week in The Sound of Economics Guntram Wolff talks to Vice President of Renew Europe and MEP for Hungary, Katalin Cseh to discuss all things governance, human rights, and transparency of vaccine purchasing.

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Low interest rates: a transatlantic phenomenon

March 10, 2021

Structural factors are putting downward pressure on rates: is it time for macroeconomic policy to play second fiddle in managing demand?
By:
The Sound of Economics
Date: March 10, 2021
Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance

Maria Demertzis and Nicola Vegi  join Giuseppe Porcaro to talk about their recent research on low interest rates, declining productivity growth and how to tackle this.
In both Europe and the United States, interest rates have been declining for more than fifteen years. For much of this period, real interest rates have been negative and they are expected to remain negative for at least another decade. The literature associates this decline in interest rates with a similarly protracted decline in productivity. But the decline in productivity appears

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Will China fall into the middle/high income trap?

March 3, 2021

The middle to high-income trap in East Asia and its China dilemma.

This episode is part of the ZhōngHuá Mundus series of The Sound of Economics.
ZhōngHuá Mundus is a new newsletter by Bruegel, bringing you monthly analysis of China in the world, as seen from Europe. Sign up now to receive it in your mailbox!
The middle-income trap describes a situation in which a country, having attained a certain income level, gets stuck there (due to given advantages). The high-income trap is of a similar nature, because although the positioning of these economies might be more advantageous to begin with, they find it difficult to promote innovation in manufacturing or upgrade to higher value-added services to remain competitive and provide benefits to a wider spectrum of society.
In this episode of The

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Can central banks save the planet?

February 24, 2021

“We are not going to lead our society to a low-carbon economy by continuing to finance the status quo. “

Central bankers now seem keen to take on responsibility for policy objectives they have previously shied away from – in particular, tackling climate change. European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde acknowledged in January that central bankers will have to look beyond their traditional duties to address the challenge. ECB Executive Board Member Isabel Schnabel said in September 2020 that central banks should be an active part of the collective effort to reduce carbon emissions. Executive Board Member Fabio Panetta said ECB analysis can help make climate-risk valuations more accurate.
Should central banks continue accommodating corporate bonds and bank loans of high carbon

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So long credit support?

February 17, 2021

COVID-19 has caused unprecedented disruption to business. Since the first lockdowns, governments have used credit support programmes as the main instrument to mitigate the liquidity shock businesses have been facing. Have the programmes worked?
Bruegel Director Guntram Wolff is joined by Bruegel’s very own Julia Anderson, Francesco Papadia and Nicolas Véron to talk about their research into credit support programmes in Europe’s five largest economies. They  share their findings with us as well as possible policy implications.
Related research:
Dataset, Loan guarantees and other national credit-support programmes in the wake of COVID-19
Anderson J., Papadia F. and Véron N. (2020) ‘Government-guaranteed bank lending six months on’, Bruegel Blog, 29 September
Bruegel is launching a

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From support to recovery: national fiscal policy in the wake of COVID-19

February 10, 2021

The EU has set ambitious goals for economic recovery: how these recovery funds are spent by member states will be critical to its success. A look into the European framework and the case of Italy.

Across the Atlantic, EU member states have been discussing a recovery plan since last spring, striking an agreement over the summer to create a €750 billion pandemic recovery fund. Hard-pressed EU capitals must now submit detailed plans to Brussels to unlock their share of the cash and begin rebooting their economies. One such country is Italy, where an ambitious once in a generation plan is being drawn up to spend €200 billion to relaunch an anemic economy. The hope is that by pushing through unpalatable reforms together with funds underwritten by 27 member states, that an economy that has not

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The geopolitical repercussions of the European Green Deal

February 3, 2021

EU policymakers need to wake up to the consequences abroad of domestic decisions.

The European Green Deal is a plan to decarbonise the EU economy by 2050, revolutionise the EU’s energy system, profoundly transform the economy and inspire efforts to combat climate change. But the plan will also have profound geopolitical repercussions and is likely to impact partner countries adversely.
In the latest paper co-written by Bruegel and the European Council on Foreign Relations, the authors map out the geopolitical implications and lay out a foreign policy agenda to manage the geopolitical aspects of the European Green Deal and lead climate change efforts globally. In this episode of The Sound of Economics, co-authors Jeremy Shapiro of the European Council on Foreign Relations, as well as Jean

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A rushed deal or a rush to judgement?

January 27, 2021

The Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) is supposed to improve market access for European companies operating in China and to ensure a level playing field, as well as reciprocity. Does it fulfil such expectations?
On 30 November 2020 after over 7 years of talks, the European Union and China concluded negotiations for a Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI for short).
The agreement is intended to increase investment between the EU and China by establishing a legal framework and common rules on issues ranging from state-owned enterprises to subsidy transparency and rules against the forced transfer of technologies. The deal replaces more than two dozen bilateral investment treaties between the EU’s 27 member states and China, improving market access for European companies

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Where did the vaccine strategy go wrong?

January 20, 2021

“We have to open our mind, we have to look internationally. Because if we don’t, COVID-19 is going to stay with us.”

One year since the pandemic began, widespread vaccination has finally started. It would be a mistake however to say the end is in sight. Senior fellows Uri Dadush and J. Scott Marcus join Bruegel director Guntram Wolff to talk COVID-19 vaccine strategy, from testing and production to procurement and inoculation.
Relevant publications:
Dadush, U. (2021) ‘A matter of life and death: governments must speed up vaccination’ Bruegel Blog, 13 January
Marcus, J.S. (2021) ‘Has the European Union squandered its coronavirus vaccination opportunity?’ Bruegel Blog, 6 January
Demertzis, M. (2020) ‘Are we out of the woods yet?’ 14 December

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Green transformation: a Polish perspective

January 13, 2021

A conversation on green recovery with the Polish Minister of Climate and Environment, Michał Kurtyka

Poland is sometimes characterised as the black sheep of EU climate policy: in 2019, more than 70 percent of the country’s electricity was generated by coal. In the meantime, it is closing down coal mines and discussing building a nuclear power plant in order to diversify its energy supplies. What is Poland’s climate policy and how is it evolving? Is the idea of Poland’s characterisation as a scapegoat of the failure of international climate ambitions misleading?
In this episode of the Sound of Economics, Bruegel’s Guntram Wolff and Georg Zachmann are joined by Michał Kurtyka, the Minister of Climate and Environment of Poland and former President of the COP24 in Katowice, considered by many

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The year that tested us all

December 21, 2020

By:
The Sound of Economics
Date: December 21, 2020
Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance

As the year draws to a close, Giuseppe Porcaro invites Maria Demertzis, André Sapir and Guntram Wolff to review this eventful year in economic policy and beyond. The guests also talk about a book that has marked them this year and finally, their hopes and wishes for the decade ahead.
Events mentioned:
Monetary policy after the pandemic, with Janet Yellen
Together for Europe’s recovery and for a better, more sovereign Europe, with Olaf Scholz
The green deal: Europe’s growth strategy, with Frans Timmermans
Books mentioned:
Zuboff, S. (2019) The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power, PublicAffairs, New York.Carreyrou, J. (2018) Bad

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The new EU digital regulations: Explained

December 16, 2020

Bruegel’s experts walk you through all the details of the EU’s Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act.
By:
The Sound of Economics
Date: December 16, 2020
Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy

In this episode of the Sound of Economics, Giuseppe Porcaro is joined by Maria Demertzis, J. Scott Marcus, Georgios Petroupolos, and Mario Mariniello, Bruegel experts on digital policy to delve into the latest EU digital regulations: the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act. What is the Commission proposing? What connections do these two bills have, and what policy and market implication do they have?

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The geopolitics of money

December 9, 2020

The current debate on currencies is driven by politics rather than economics.

In this episode of the Sound of Economics, Paola Subacchi, Professor of international economics and chair of the advisory board of the Global Policy Institute at Queen Mary University of London, and Bruegel senior scholars Alicia García-Herrero and Michael Leigh join Giuseppe Porcaro for an age old discussion but with a twist.
They try to understand the geopolitical role of money, in other words, currencies and capital flows. While unconstrained capital flows cause afflictions of the global economy, the current debate on currencies is in fact driven by politics rather than economics, as Alicia argued in an opinion piece recently: Politics, not economics, demands a strengthened international role for the euro.

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The political economy of climate transition

December 2, 2020

Climate transition is hotly debated in EU circles as it impacts all areas of policy: from the ambitious climate targets set by the President of the European Commission with the European Green Deal, to the discussions of the next budget of the Union and the recovery plan from the current pandemic.
The topic is especially important for 2021 with a new US administration more likely to engage on climate change, a commitment for carbon neutrality in 40 years by China and the delayed COP26 under the leadership (or not) of the United Kingdom. Any European debate is certain to have an important impact on a regional and national level, but will also influence the global trajectory of climate policy.
In this episode of the Sound of Economics, Giuseppe Porcaro hosts Heather Grabbe, director of the

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Sizing up the world’s largest trade deal

November 18, 2020

What should be Europe’s strategy towards the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)?
On November 15 2020, the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), creating the world’s largest free-trade bloc in terms of gross domestic product.
Bruegel fellows from around the world – Uri Dadush, based in Washington DC; Alicía Garcia-Herrero based in Hong Kong and Suman Bery based in India, bring their knowledge and geopolitical expertise to a heated discussion on this deal, hosted by director Guntram Wolff. What is the RCEP really about? Who will benefit? Why did India withdraw from negotiations on the deal? What implications will it have for Europe

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The big brother is back?

November 13, 2020

With the Biden administration, there might be a difference in style, rather than a difference in trends.

Following the election of Europe’s ‘preferred’ candidate to the US presidency, what will the transatlantic relationship look like? Would it be a big relief, or nothing much will change? And will we see a shift from ‘America first’ to ‘buy American’?
This week Bruegel director Guntram Wolff is joined by Esther de Lange MEP, Vice Chair of the European People’s Party Group, to talk us through what this all means for Europe, and more importantly for its place in the world. What next for European strategic autonomy? How will this affect climate policies? How can the EU level the playing field while not getting squeezed by the US and China?
With Mrs de Lange’s experience within the

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A European common tax space

November 3, 2020

‘One of the obvious measures Europe could do in order to fill public coffers is to make sure that everybody pays fairly what they are supposed to pay, rather than general tax increases.’
By:
The Sound of Economics
Date: November 3, 2020
Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance

Taxation is one of the few areas of financial policy which the general public has great interest in, as it affects their everyday life directly. But when we talk about it on a European level, it has much to do with tax distortion and competition in the single market.
In this episode of The Sound of Economics, Bruegel director Guntram Wolff is joined by Sven Giegold MEP from the European Green Party. Giegold envisions a European common tax space, where minimum tax rates will be applied on a European

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A tale of two presidencies

October 28, 2020

With the US presidential elections around the corner we asked ourselves: what would a Biden administration look like? And what would a(nother) Trump administration look like?

Born and bred in the United States, Bruegel scholars Rebecca Christie and J. Scott Marcus are joined by director Guntram Wolff, on a special edition of The Sound of Economics, to talk about the upcoming US election, the implications it will have for American and European Economic policies, as well as the impact on future transatlantic relations.
Rebecca and Scott will walk us through the most crucial domestic topics, from voter suppression to shrinking republican demographic, from the covid-19 pandemic to US healthcare system. On international issues, they look at the approaches the two administrations will likely

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Demography and globalisation: reversing trends

October 21, 2020

A conversation on ageing societies, waning inequality, as well as an inflation revival.

In this episode of The Sound of Economics, we invite Charles Goodhart and Manoj Pradhan to talk about their most recent book: ‘The Great Demographic Reversal’. They argue that trends in demography and globalisation, especially the stunning rise of China combining both, have greatly weakened labour bargaining power and led to subsequent disinflation, inequality and falling interest rates. But just as these demographic and globalisation trends are now reversing, labour bargaining power will rise again, bringing with it more inflation, less inequality and rising interest rates. The coronavirus pandemic will only accelerate this reversal.
Bruegel scholars Maria Demertzis and Guntram Wolff join the authors

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The future of EU-UK relations (again!)

October 13, 2020

At the eleventh hour of negotiations, what will the future of the EU-UK relationship look like?
By:
The Sound of Economics
Date: October 13, 2020
Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance

On 15-16 October the European Council will take stock of the implementation of the withdrawal agreement and review the state of the negotiations on the future EU-UK partnership. Leaders will discuss preparatory work for all scenarios after 1 January 2021. The timetable is very tight, with October seen as the last deadline for reaching an agreement that could then be ratified in time for entry into force by the end of the current transition period.
In this live recording session of The Sound of Economics, Bruegel’s scholars took a step back and provided the background, as well as outline the

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Without good governance EU recovery could fail

October 7, 2020

Guntram Wolff and Luis Garicano discuss how to ensure that the EU borrowing mechanism would successfully boost economic recovery.
By:
The Sound of Economics
Date: October 7, 2020
Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance

The European Union recovery fund could greatly increase the stability of the bloc and its monetary union. But the fund needs clearer objectives, sustainable growth criteria and close monitoring so that spending achieves its goals and is free of corruption. In finalising the fund, the EU should take the time to design a strong governance mechanism.
In this episode, Guntram Wolff, director of Bruegel, is joined by MEP Luis Garicano, vice president of Renew Europe, who is also an economist and was heavily involved in the discussion on Next Generation EU, the

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The Future of Globalisation

September 30, 2020

Dani Rodrik explains the globalisation paradox.

In this episode, we propose a full lecture about the future of globalisation by Dani Rodrik, Professor of International Political Economy, at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, of Harvard University.
Rodrik argues that the model of hyper globalization we have been pursuing is unsustainable and that we have an opportunity to embark on a sounder, healthier globalisation. And he outlines his views on what such a globalisation might look like.
The Lecture took place during the Bruegel Annual Meetings and it was followed by a lively discussion between Dani Rodrik and André Sapir, who is a Senior Fellow at Bruegel, which we have recorded and included in this podcast.

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Global Energy Fundamentals

September 23, 2020

Bruegel research fellow Simone Tagliapietra discusses his new book, Global Energy Fundamentals.

As we move away from fossil fuels and toward clean energy solutions, the complexity of the global energy system has increased. With his new book published by Cambridge University Press, Global Energy Fundamentals, Simone Tagliapietra cuts through this complexity with a multidisciplinary perspective of the system, which encompasses economics, geopolitics, and basic technology.
In this episode of Th Sound of Economics Guntram Wolff, director of Bruegel, discusses with the author the current status and future prospects of the global energy system.

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For a better, more sovereign Europe

September 9, 2020

Keynote address by the German Federal Minister of Finance Olaf Scholz at Bruegel Annual Meetings, 3 September 2020
By:
The Sound of Economics
Date: September 9, 2020
Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance

Keynote address by the German Federal Minister of Finance Olaf Scholz at Bruegel Annual Meetings, 3 September 2020.
This is part of a special feature of the Sound of Economics reporting highlights from Bruegel Annual Meetings, which happened between 1 and 3 September 2020.
Usually physically gathering hundreds of people in Brussels every year, the Annual Meetings are the flagship event of Bruegel. This year, due to the pandemic, we held the event entirely online.
For this episode of the Sound of Economics we report the full speech delivered on 3 September by the Minister

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REOPENING EUROPE – Reopening Future?

August 19, 2020

Imagining a society, an economy and politics cohabiting with the virus and eventually overcoming it.
By:
The Sound of Economics
Date: August 19, 2020
Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance

This is the last episode of the summer feature of the Sound of Economics recorded as part of the Reopening Europe project.
Between the 12th and the 27th of June, we traveled over 2700 kilometres through the Netherlands, Germany, France, Austria, Slovenia and Italy to collect voices from the ground during the weeks when the borders were reopening after the COVID-19 spring lockdown.
Since the start of summer, the pandemic has continued to ravage the globe, and in Europe we are currently seeing a resurgence of infections. The next few months continue to be uncertain in terms of medical and

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REOPENING EUROPE – Reopening Common Good?

August 12, 2020

What should be the ground rules to support more sustainable business in a post-pandemic world?
By:
The Sound of Economics
Date: August 12, 2020
Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance

For the fourth episode of this summer series of The Sound of Economics, recorded on the road as part of the Reopening Europe project, we talk with Antje von Dewitz, CEO of the outdoor equipment company- Vaude. We met her on June 17th in Tettnang, near Lake Konstanz, on the German/Swiss border, where her family company is located.
The Reopening Europe team was the first external visitor’s group to be admitted at the company headquarters after lockdown. Antje told Giuseppe about the effect of COVID-19 on her company, on retailers and consumer behaviour, and she told us of her vision for a

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REOPENING EUROPE – Reopening Tourism?

August 5, 2020

In this episode we unpack some reflections about tourism we have collected during the Reopening Europe journey.
By:
The Sound of Economics
Date: August 5, 2020
Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance

The OECD has estimated that COVID-19 will cause a 60% decline in international tourism in 2020. This could rise to 80% if recovery is delayed until December.
During their trip, the Reopening Europe team noticed the direct impact of the lockdown on cities such as Strasbourg or Salzburg, which were practically devoid of the usual tourist crowds.
In this latest installment of our summer series on Reopening Europe’s trip across Europe at a unique moment, Giuseppe is in conversation with Ivo Tarantino, Head of Public Affairs & Media Relations at Altroconsumo, the largest

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