Op-eds

July 4, 2018
Why Italy could be facing a disastrous new recession

Even if the Chinese economy merely slows down global trade deceleration will continue and if, in addition, the global trade war escalates, global economic conditions could deteriorate rapidly. Italy will face the ill-effects of a global slowdown most acutely.

June 11, 2018
Italy never should have joined the euro, and the ECB can't rescue it from its next crisis

The new Italian government’s policy priorities are obviously at odds with budget realities. But quite simply, once Italy misguidedly entered the eurozone, a tragedy was fated. With its large size and deep vulnerabilities, Italy could push the eurozone and the world on to the wrong side of the tipping point.

June 8, 2018
New Books Network Podcast

EuroTragedy: A Drama in Nine Acts

June 1, 2018
German social democrats have alienated their base and fractured Europe
The decline in poll numbers of social democrats throughout Europe led me to ask what is the interaction between social democracy and European integration. In this piece, I argue that the decline of Germany’s Social Democratic Party offers the best perspective in understanding why European social democratic parties have lost credibility at home and how the euro has pushed them into narrowly nationalistic positions, deepening the European political divide.

May 29, 2018
Bloomberg TV Interview

ECB's Draghi Ran Out of Ammunition for Italy, Academic Mody Says

May 29, 2018
Italy's President Just Undermined the Euro
Mattarella and his advisers are trapped in a European groupthink, which denies Italian citizens a voice in running their own country and rules out sensible compromises. In trying to preserve European orthodoxy, they may unleash destructive forces that they can't control.

April 25, 2018
The myth of Franco-German friendship

Since Emmanuel Macron’s election as French president in May 2017, hope has lingered that a mythical friendship between France and Germany will help complete the gaps in the euro area architecture. As this column discusses, however, history provides no basis for such an expectation. National interests, always central to the decision calculus, have diverged even further. French leaders have a pressing task at hand: they need to rejuvenate their own economy and build domestic social cohesion. This may take a generation or more.

March 21, 2018
The euro area's deepening political divide

Two recent European elections – in Germany on 24 September 2017 and Italy on 4 March 2018 – warn that the peoples of Europe are drifting apart. Much of the recent deepening of these divisions can be traced to Europe’s single currency, the euro. The political divide in Europe may now be hard to roll back absent a shift in focus to national priorities that pay urgent attention to the needs of those being left behind.

February 3, 2017
The IMF Should Get Out of Greece

The IMF and Greece's European creditors have been trapped in the same tangle for nearly seven years. The IMF has a choice: to forgive Greek debt and leave the country honorably, or to continue to shred its credibility.

January 30, 2017
Playing with Economic Matches

The fragile global economy is a tinderbox with hotspots in China and Italy. The Trump administration adds disrespects for international rules and, through personalized economic policy making, undermines even the basic principles of a market economy. A match carelessly lit--whether in Rome, elsewhere in Europe, or in Washington, D.C.--could start a global wildfire.

January 17, 2017
Finance and growth: The direction of causality

Especially since 1990, and was particularly so in the Eurozone, the growth of the financial sector has been associated with weaker economic growth. While this could mean, as some say, that more finance hurts the economic growth potential, we argue that it at perhaps more the case that slower growth has induced rapid financial sector expansion. Policymakers who are trying to recapitalize banks to increase credit flows need to be aware that the problem is not too little credit, but perhaps too much—often to unproductive purposes. Weak banks need to be closed down rather than recapitalized. Eilyn Yee Lin Chong, Ashoka Mody, Francisco Varela Sandoval

January 10, 2017
Note Band and the Allure of Authoritarian Populism

Since there is no possible economic reason for India’s demonetization, Michael Walton and I argue that it is a testing ground for authoritarian populism. By appearing to take from the rich and promising goodies to the poorer, the effort is to establish direct connection with the people. In the process, the Reserve Bank has been grievously damaged, and Indian democracy has been placed at risk.
PDF

 
January 5, 2017
The economic consensus was horribly wrong and here at the real reasons Brexit is
succeeding

Data from the last six months show that not only have the initial catastrophe forecasts proven untrue, but the economy has performed better than all expectations. An even bigger political prize is an office.

November 18, 2016
Unwinding of the pound carry trade

Between the first quarter of 2013 and the end of 2015, London property prices rose rapidly, the exchange rate appreciated, and the current account deficit widened. This column argues that the rise of the pound was in fact a financial bubble, riding on a property price-exchange rate carry trade. This unsustainable bubble was deflated by Brexit.

October 13, 2016
Europe after Merkel

The proposition is that the next German Chancellor will not also be de facto European Chancellor. Even if Angela Merkel returns as German Chancellor, she will be diminished and not be able to fill the political governance vacuum in Europe. This will be an opportunity for Europeans to practice "responsible nationalism," a phrase recently coined by Larry Summers. Failure to do could tear Europe apart.


October 10, 2016
Don't believe what you've read: the plummeting pound sterling is good news for Britain

Why the pound's depreciation is good news for Britain.

August 3, 2016
Are We Losing the Race?

Despite optimistic rhetoric, India's failure in critical areas--dying water resources, failing education, and imploding cities--could overwhelm the nation's aspirations.

July 13, 2016
Stop Being So Gloom About Brexit

The best thing Mark Carney can do is signal a return to normalcy by holding back on monetary stimulus.


July 5, 2016
Brexit: At the Crossroads of History

The real tragedy would for Britain would be if--having pulled out of a fading and brittle Europe--new leadership proves even more inept than past leaders at delivering on the true demands of those who voted for Brexit.

June 21, 2016
Drop the U.K. Panic Talk and Protect Global Markets

A chapter in post-War European and global history is coming to a close. How the event is remember will depend on the wisdom of the present stewards of the global economic and financial systems.

May 31, 2016
Why the economic consensus on Brexit is flawed

The case for lost trade does not hold up and the BOE's narrative is out of line.

April 14, 2016
The ECB can make a difference if deeds match words
with Nick Ligthart

We argue that when credibility is lost, central bank ammunition is wasted. Credibility requires proactive action with words used in support—not reassuring words that are followed by half-measures. Wolfgang Munchau at Eurointelligence summarized our piece this morning; I reproduce his blurb since I can’t do any better:

 

Nick Ligthart and Ashoka Mody write that the problem with the ECB's monetary policy is not one of diminishing returns, but one of settling for low returns in the first place. They call the ECB's focus on commodity prices a distraction, and criticise the way in which the ECB's commitments are often qualified, which makes them sound half-hearted. The ECB also acted late relative to the US Fed, for instance on QE, and as Mody and Ligthart put it a policy taken late is a policy not taken. They point out that euro and dollar core inflation started to diverge in 2013, though it seems the start of QE in Europe arrested the fall of core inflation. However, core inflation is now rising in the US and the difference is again as big as it ever was. Ultimately, despite the constant reassuring words of readiness to act, the ECB's half-measures have resulted in an actual loss of credibility. Coupled with restrictive fiscal policy causing low demand, it is no wonder core inflation is as low as it is in Europe. Unless there is a fiscal stimulus and the ECB matches its words with deeds, they conclude, the eurozone will remain stuck in a low growth, low inflation state, in which the high levels of debt threaten a debt-deflation spiral.

 

You might also find of interest our discussion of the divergence in inflation rates within the euro area, which we use to conclude that demand is the real problem.

 

April 9, 2016
Saving the IMF

Since the start of the Great Recession in mid-2007, the IMF’s actions have mostly served the interests of its major shareholders. When finance ministers and central bank governors meet in Washington, DC, next week for the Fund’s annual meeting, will they have the energy to push for greater independence and credibility?

 

Real reform requires replacing the Fund’s Executive Board, which represents shareholders, with a board of independent, professional directors, in the manner of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee.

 

At the same time, Berkeley’s Barry Eichengreen has rightly argued that the Fund must use “its bully pulpit to warn of risks created by large-country policies,” a task it has shied away from, “wary of biting the hand that feeds it.” With its “universal membership” and “expert staff,” the Fund, Eichengreen says, is the natural candidate for this task.

 

It is time, therefore, for the IMF to put away its growth forecasts and focus on risk profiling. Global fault lines and their implications should be presented to a committee of finance ministers and central bank governors, preferably in public hearings, just as central bank chiefs report to their parliamentary committees.

 

Likewise, on sovereign debt, Eichengreen makes the case for privately negotiated “contingent convertible” debt contracts with measurable triggers that automatically pause repayments. Thus, instead of seeking the authority to pull the standstill triggers, the Fund should promote the use of such contingent instruments. It can require its borrowers – soon, hopefully, it will be time for Greece – to issue new bonds on this basis.

 

In its 70 years, the Fund has adapted only within the confines of its post-World War II structure. The convulsions of the past decade revealed that this is not enough: The IMF’s technocratic strengths are easily undermined by political pressures. At every critical juncture, powerful national interests weighed in and skewed policy. Continuing on this path will lead to institutional atrophy. For their own sake – and that of an institution that is needed today more than ever – the Fund’s major shareholders must leave the building.

 

 

 

March 3, 2016
Why Boris Johnson is Correct about Europe

On Brexit, Johnson is on the right side of history.

February 28, 2016
Folly of Relying on a Dubious Recovery

Ireland must grow up and grow out of a corporate tax system that works at the expense of others.

January 27, 2016
The Market's Troubling Message

Markets might not be overreacting, don't ignore the market's troubling message.

January 16, 2016
The ECB and the Fed: A Comparative Narrative

Because its actions were late, the ECB lost traction.
Full Paper PDF

January 11, 2016
Greece: A European Tragedy

A war of attrition between Greece and its creditors could evolve into a European tragedy.
English PDF
Greek PDF

January 4, 2016
Another Slow Year for the Global Economy

Global growth likely to disappoint because global bubble is still bursting and productivity growth is low.

January 3, 2016
Delays and Half Measures

Groupthink led to the euro's construction; policy errors feed on the original hubris.
English PDF
German PDF

October 19, 2015
Clueless in Europe

With the global economy set for slowdown and further disinflation, the ECB--as in the past 7 years--is again falling behind the curve.

September 23, 2015
No Lessons Learned

The former German Finance Minister Hans Eichel explained nearly a decade ago why the latest Greek program will need a miracle to work.
English PDF
German PDF

August 27, 2015
When Crisis Comes Home

When the rolling global crisis gets to China, India will also go into a swoon.
PDF


August 16, 2015
Budgeting for Absolute Power

Germany is making a renewed big for greater control of other member states' fiscal affairs, an effort that the ECB finds entirely congenial. The premise is that such tightly centralized governance will establish a viable Europe. History is not kind to this premise.
Also appeared in the Handelsbald

August 13, 2015
Euro Area Banks Remain Vulnerable

It is well past time to aggressively restructure, consolidate and close the weakest euro area banks. Failure to do so will act as a drag on economic recovery, much as it did in Japan.
Appeared in Handelslbatt
Appeared in II Sole
A longer version appeared in voxeu.org as:
Still Vulnerable: Europe's Small-and Medium-Sized Banks

August 6, 2015
Wolfgang Schäuble, Debt Relief, and the Future of the Eurozone

In relief on official debt becomes legal, the eurozone will, in effect, have authorized a Eurobond.

August 1, 2015
Delhi's Children Deserve Quality Education

If AAP's only achievement with its stunning mandate is to promise a serious start in life to every child in Delhi, it would have honored the aspirations that brought to it power.
PDF

July 17, 2015
Germany, Not Greece, Should Exit the Euro

Germany has become an economic albatross and a political bully; best if it left.

July 14, 2015
Professor Blanchard Writes a Greek Tragedy

The deal hammered out this past weekend--if it is a real deal--remains defiant of economic logic, and the likelihood is high that Greeks will suffer more pain and the creditors will eventually see less of their money. That ultimately is the Greek tragedy.

July 13, 2015
The Birth of European Macroeconomics

Politics defined economics to give birth to the European macroeconomics of austerity.

July 4, 2015
In Bad Faith

By delaying the release of analysis showing that Greece needed debt relief, the creditors negotiated on bad faith.

June 18, 2015
A Program for Greece: Follow the IMF's Research

The strategy of relief to Greece doled out is driblets will cause unending pain to the Greeks and will require ever-increasing relief from the creditors.

June 11, 2015
David Cameron and the EU's Waterloo

Without a new unifying objective, the European amins will soon be out of business.

May 13, 2015
Europe's Integration Overdrive

A new architecture should scale back the corrosive power relationships of centralized economic surveillance.
PDF

April 21, 2015
The IMF's Big Greek Mistake

Oddly, the IMF's way forward for Greece remains unchanged.

April 5, 2015
Will there be a viable deal?

No, because the troika model does not work--especially in the time frame the Greeks are being asked to deliver.
English Version PDF

February 19, 2015
Greece and the André Szász Axiom

A European compromise is agreement on words that mean different things to different people.

February 5, 2015
Obama Joins the Greek Chorus

If Obama's words are to count, he must continue to push for the kind of deal Greece needs -- one that errs on the side of too much debt forgiveness, rather than too little.

January 26, 2015
Retaking the Greek Test

Greece has been giving Europe a test in economics and politics--the test must be retaken till the right answers are produced.

January 13, 2015
Nod-and-Wink Lender of Last Resort

Appeasing markets and living within the European Treaties creates that the market will test the ECB's world and resolve.

December 29, 2014
No Map for Growth

The G-20 leaders' are clueless about how to jump start growth or prevent the next crisis.

December 23, 2014
Greece to the Eurozone's Rescue

Forgive the official debt and create a credible no bailout regime going forward--and, Brussels, back-off from political interference.

December 19, 2014
Kohl's Euro

We have the Chancellor's word that he was pro-European and we have his gift, the euro.
Kohl's Euro 12-19-14 pdf

December 3, 2014
The ECB's balance sheet, if needed

The EBC has become mainly a safety net with dealing with near-insolvency conditions.

October 31, 2014
Testing the Eurozone's Safety Net

Simply put the eurozone is fragile and without a reliable safety net.

October 28, 2014
Are the euro area's fiscal rules dying? If so, good riddance

The reason to be cautiously optimistic is that the French and Italian revolt may encourage new challenges from other countries.

October 10, 2014
Too late to do too little

The panic may have gone but the euro-zone in worse shape than at the start of the financial crisis.
Italian Version PDF
Mazzolini-Mody - Nog meer staatsschuld - NRC_20141014 PDF
Handelsblatt Too Little too late October 30 PDF
El Mundo - Bruegel PDF

October 2, 2014
Making Argentina's Debt Debacle a Rarity

Contractual provisions for automatic extensions of debt repayment is sensible economics.

September 9, 2014
The OMT's fragile foundations

The OMT is a technocratic solution to a political problem. For that reason it is politically fragile.

September 9, 2014
Why does Italy not grow? with Emily Riley

Italy is in a trap of low growth and weak investment in education and innovation, in an aging population.

August 21, 2014
Italy in a Vice

The parsing of the word "flexibility" continues.

August 7, 2014
The Global Economy's Groundhog Day

Tougher economic competition, slower growth, and low inflation may be here to stay.

August 5, 2014
Modi has promises to keep

The government has neither the mental model nor the political courage to effect real change.

July 1, 2014
Aligning National Interests in Europe's Monetary Union

The key stumbling block has always been achieving an alignment of national interest with European interests.

June 27, 2014
Europe has Wasted a Good Crisis

Do the recent elections warn that Europe is drifting apart?
**This also appeared in Les Echos

Handelsblatt Falling Forward Mody 17.6.2014.pdf
Europe has wasted a good crisis Napi Gazdaság 07 02.pdf

June 12, 2014
The IMF's False Confession

The question must be asked: Why does the IMF exist, and for whom?

May 21, 2014
The Italian Fault Line

Crises emerge through the cracking of fault lines, and the next one could be Italy.
The Italian Fault Line-English.pdf
Handelsblatt May 21 Italian Fault Line.pdf

May 15, 2014
Will Voters Turnout in the 2014 European Parliamentary Elections?

Will voters turnout to reaffirm a European vision, or are more tangible economic benefits are needed for that confidence to emerge?

May 13, 2014
Story of a Fraying Capitalism in India

How Piketty may apply to India.

May 10, 2014
The German Court Does Europe a Favor

The German Court has asked tough questions, which the European Court will need to address with the seriousness they deserve.
The German Court Does Europe A Favour-English.pdf

May 6, 2014
The ECB must-and can-act

The ECB must stop fretting about its limits and start buying US Treasuries.

April 15, 2014
Beware the saviour fantasy

The obsession for a 'strong' leader can prove dangerous as leadership changes in a democracy rarely have beneficial economic effects.

April 14, 2014
Europe's Deepening Muddle

Europe has anointed Germany its presumptive hegemon, a role that Germany relishes but its unable to pay.

March 31, 2014
From Mediocrity to Gold

India may be losing the urge to aspire.

March 1, 2014
Matteo Renzi has to break Italy from its past

Italy needs audacious investment financed, in party, by renegotiating with its creditors.

February 11, 2014
The ECB's Bridge Too Far

With the lira eliminated, holding down yields of Italian sovereign debt can be a fool's errand.

February 10, 2014
Europhoria Once Again

Is the fall in sovereign risk premia a sign of confidence or are investors assuming they will be bailed out? 

January 30, 2014
The ECB is much too stodgy

If the ECB does not reinvent itself for the times, it will be hobbled by its obsolescence and by increasingly acrimonious politics.

January 7, 2014
The Ghost of Deauville

The decision to go back on Deauville was based on a superficial reading of the data.

January 2, 2014
Let's not wait for a saviour

Could a democratically-led change in governance fight corruption and help invest in the future?

December 30, 2013
Reversing a year of stagflation

Exchanging traditional roles, the RBI should foster growth through exchange rate depreciation, and the government should bring its budget under control to tame inflation.

December 10, 2013
The Looming Lost Decade

A coordinated global public investment drive is needed to pull the world economy out of its stupor and boot long-term growth.

October 9, 2013
Trade is the true test of the world's green shoots

Week international trade is spreading global woes.
Trade is the true test of the world’s green shoots - FT.com_.pdf

September 25, 2013
Former head of the IMF mission to Ireland calls for pullback from austerity

September 16, 2013
A New Greek Test for Europe

Greece is set to test Europe again.

August 9, 2013
A Bet with no Upside

A strong rupee policy will deepen the very vulnerabilities it is trying to ward off.
bet with no upside pdf

August 9, 2013
A Sharper Policy, a More Dynamic Bank

Raghuram Rajan's has formidable gifts but limited degrees of freedom.

July 9, 2013
Why EU Must Take a Step Back

More fiscal autonomy to member countries will create space for a reasoned political dialogue on the surrender of fiscal sovereignty.
WhyEUMustTakeaStepBack.pdf

July 4, 2013
The Rupee's Wake-Up Call

Will the wake-up call be heard?

June 13, 2013
Latvia in the Eurozone: A bet with no upside

Why the rush for Latvia to become the 18th member of the Eurozone?

May 27, 2013
Germany Must Lead by Example

Germany cannot pay the bill for Europe but it can lead by fixing its own banks.

May 23, 2013
Misreading the Global Economy

Persistent optimism reflects a serious misdiagnosis of the global economy's troubles.

May 6, 2013
What Type of Crisis for India

India flirts with crisis risk.
What type of crisis BS.pdf

March 21, 2013
Rolling the Dice in Cyprus

Another display of reactive and ad hoc decision-making in the Eruozone.

March 5, 2013
A Rest Stop for Europe

Stepping back today could ultimately help advance the euro project.

February 13, 2013
Promissory Notes Deal Welcome but it's Not Enough

The Eurozone's inevitable march towards official debt restructuring.
14_11_2012.pdf

February 5, 2013
The Post-Growth World?

The Scarlett O'Hara mantra, "tomorrow will be a better day," does not work for policymaking.

January 17, 2013
The Inflation Elixir

Inflation helps the Indian government maintain a system is that is regressive, erodes competitiveness, and is inimical to reforms.

The Inflation Elixir.Pdf

January 16, 2013
A Breach in the Eurozone Dike

A solution to the eurozone crisis that relies on Germany has always been politically uncertain. It may soon become economically untenable.

December 12, 2012
Greece's Bogus Debt Deal

The Greek rescue in an alternate reality.

November 14, 2012
Time for euro zone to revisit debt default option

In this I argue that the heavily-indebted Eurozone economics are heading to a default because sharing the burden is politically ruled out: Better to recognize it now and deal with it.
IrishTimesPDF


November 14, 2012
Missing Growth Multipliers
In this I make the case that, with Europe as the epicenter, global trade linkages are spreading economic woes, which is why global growth projections are missing the deceleration.


October 10, 2012
The Eurozone's Narrowing Window

September 21, 2012
A Wasted Sweet Spot

AWastedSweetSpotPDF
 

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