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Report of Vitor Gaspar at Xth conference of SU-HSE.

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Slide 1: The Global Crisis: a EU Perspective   0:1:7  
  • Vitor Gaspar, Director General of BEPA
  • (Bureau of European Policy Advisers)
  • European Commission
Slide 2: BOTTOM LINE   0:1:34  
  • The crisis has spread globally through strong economic and financial linkages. The crisis is global in character.
  • Experience of Great Depression shows unilateral national action leads to negative spillovers and retaliation deepening and prolonging the crisis. It is necessary to engage multilaterally to preserve open trade.
  • EU is the largest economic entity in the world (and most Russia’s most important partner). It is also the most integrated international economy in the world. Coordinated action is key to explore synergies and to avoid negative spillovers.
  • Policy responses are (and have been) based on the judgment according to which the current financial and economic crisis is an exceptional event that justifies exceptional responses. Restoring financial stability is a necessary – albeit not sufficient- condition for sustainable recovery.
Slide 3: Outline   0:4:16  
  • Factors contributing to the current global crisis.
  • Events in economic and financial markets after October 2008.
  • Policy responses to the global crisis.
  • G 20.
  • Conclusion.
Slide 4: 1. Factors contributing to the current global crisis   0:4:58  
  • Macroeconomic factors - The “Great Moderation”. Low nominal interest rates. Compressed risk premia. Real estate and asset price inflation. Strong growth of money and credit. Large global imbalances.
  • Microeconomic factors - Financial innovation: new financial instruments of unprecedented complexity, development of the “originate and distribute” of bank operations, poor risk management and governance, inadequate regulation and supervision.
Slide 6: 2. Events in economic and financial markets after October 2008   0:6:32  
  • Financial systemic-risk pressures have abated since September-October 2008  as the result of unprecedented and continuing government financial support.
  • Nevertheless, markets have not yet returned to normalcy and risk-perceptions—as reflected in interest-rate spreads—are still well above early-crisis and especially pre-crisis levels.
  • The crisis is in a stage where the contraction in economic activity is now affecting banks’ loan book.
Slide 12: 3. Policy responses to the global crisis   0:10:34  
    • In today’s conditions of financial turmoil the  transmission mechanism cannot be relied to operate as in normal circumstances; hence fiscal policy is needed to complement monetary policy.
    • The spillovers across nations are very significant in the present circumstances – hence steps to strengthen international policy coordination and cooperation.
    • Inter-linkages and interdependence are particularly strong in the EU (the EU as example).
Slide 13: 3. Policy responses to the global crisis   0:12:42  
    •    EU Member States are faced with a common disturbance, experience strong spillovers in their policy actions and share central common interests:
    • The EU’s Single Market and the Single Currency.
    • Structural Adjustment and Sustainable Growth.
    • Financial Stability and overall Macroeconomic Stability.
    • Multilateral governance for the global economy.
Slide 18: 6. Conclusion   0:16:54  
  • Existing EU State-aid rules & ex-ante guidance of the EC have played a major role in ensuring consistency between the measures taken by Member States, therefore contributing to a coordinated, cooperative outcome (Single Market).
  • Key characteristic of intervention: Reconciliation of short-term and longer-term perspectives of public is crucial (e.g. banking system).
  • Reconciliation between the short and long run perspectives is also present in fiscal policy. Discretionary expansion must be  (coordinated) timely, targeted, and temporary (SGP).
Slide 19: 6. Conclusion   0:18:3  
  • Building the ground for sustainable recovery requires (as a necessary, albeit not sufficient condition) the restoration of financial stability.
  • But to prevent and manage future crises, further progress in the area of regulation, coordinated supervision and crisis management procedures is essential.
  • These policy questions and challenges are also relevant for Russia (domestically…
  • …and more broadly they apply globally. They affect Russia as an important stakeholder.

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