What Germany Should Fear Most is Its Own Fear: An Analysis of Target2 and Current Account Imbalances

CEPS Working Documents

25 Pages Posted: 15 Sep 2012

See all articles by Paul De Grauwe

Paul De Grauwe

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research); London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Yuemei Ji

KU Leuven - Faculty of Business and Economics (FEB)

Date Written: September 12, 2012

Abstract

This paper analyzes two claims that have been made about the Target2 payment system. The first one is that this system has been used to support unsustainable current account deficits of Southern European countries. The second one is that the large accumulation of Target2 claims by the Bundesbank represents an unacceptable risk for Germany if the eurozone were to break up. We argue that these claims are unfounded. They also lead to unnecessary fears in Germany that make a solution of the eurozone crisis more difficult. Ultimately, this fear increases the risk of a break-up of the eurozone. Or to paraphrase Franklin Roosevelt, what Germany should fear most is simply its own fear.

Keywords: Target2, Germany, account imbalances, eurozone, crisis

Suggested Citation

De Grauwe, Paul and De Grauwe, Paul and Ji, Yuemei, What Germany Should Fear Most is Its Own Fear: An Analysis of Target2 and Current Account Imbalances (September 12, 2012). CEPS Working Documents, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2145926

Paul De Grauwe (Contact Author)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Yuemei Ji

KU Leuven - Faculty of Business and Economics (FEB) ( email )

Naamsestraat 69
Leuven, B-3000
Belgium

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