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  • Author or Editor: Zsolt Darvas x
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Data from 135 countries covering five decades suggest that creditless recoveries, in which the stock of real credit does not return to the pre-crisis level for three years after the GDP trough, are not rare and are characterised by remarkable real GDP growth rates: 4.7 percent per year in middle-income countries and 3.2 percent per year in high-income countries. However, the implications of these historical episodes for the current European situation are limited, for two main reasons. First, creditless recoveries are much less common in high-income countries than in low-income countries which are financially undeveloped. European economies heavily depend on bank loans and research suggests that loan supply played a major role in the recent weak credit performance of Europe. There are reasons to believe that, despite various efforts, normal lending has not yet been restored. Limited loan supply could be disruptive for the European economic recovery and there has been only a minor substitution of bank loans with debt securities. Second, creditless recoveries were associated with significant real exchange rate depreciation, which has hardly occurred so far in most of Europe. This stylised fact suggests that it might be difficult to re-establish economic growth in the absence of sizeable real exchange rate depreciation, if credit growth does not return.

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The global economic and financial crisis has raised further concerns about the euro-entry criteria, in addition to other factors, such as the effective tightening of the criteria due to the enlargement of the EU from 12 to 27 members, the highly unfavourable property of business cycle dependence, the internal inconsistency of the criteria due to the structural price level convergence of Central and Eastern European countries, and the continuous violation of the criteria by euro-area members. The interest rate criterion became a highly volatile measure. Many US metropolitan areas would fail to qualify to be members of the US monetary union by applying the currently used inflation criterion to the US. It is time to reform the criteria and to strengthen their economic rationale within the legal framework of the EU treaty. A good solution would be to relate all numerical criteria to the average of the euro area and simultaneously to extend the compliance period from the currently considered one year to a longer period.

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The case for taxing financial transactions merely to raise more revenues from the financial sector is not particularly strong. Better alternatives to tax the financial sector are likely to be available. However, a tax on financial transactions could be justified in order to limit socially undesirable transactions when more direct means of doing so are unavailable for political or practical reasons. Some financial transactions are indeed likely to do more harm than good, especially when they contribute to the systemic risk of the financial system. However, such a financial transaction tax should be very small, much smaller than the negative externalities in question, because it is a blunt instrument that also drives out socially useful transactions. There is a case for taxing over-the-counter derivative transactions at a somewhat higher rate than exchange-based derivative transactions. More targeted remedies to drive out socially undesirable transactions should be sought in parallel, which would allow, after their implementation, to reduce or even phase out financial transaction taxes.

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Authors: Tamás Csermely, Georg Petroianu, Kamil Kuca, Józsel Fűrész, Ferenc Darvas, Zsolt Gulyás, Rudolf Laufer and Huba Kalász

Quaternary pyridinium aldoximes have been analyzed by thin-layer chromatography. Their separation was adequate when silica plates were used with a mobile phase with a high water content. As a consequence of their limited migration, reversed-phase TLC was not appropriate for determination of the lipophilicity of quaternary pyridinium aldoximes. Displacement TLC of some quaternary pyridinium aldoximes is, nevertheless, possible using silica as stationary phase with water-acetone-hydrochloric acid mobile phases. Normal-phase TLC with different concentrations of organic modifier gave a series of R M values for the pyridinium aldoximes. Approximation of the different plots of R M against organic modifier concentration to straight lines afforded R M,0 values and the slopes of the lines. The R M,0 values and the slopes both serve as indicators of the hydrophilic character of the compounds.

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