Authors:Judit Várkonyi, Miklós Molnár, Margit Kovács, and Zoltán Prohászka
A 62-year-old male who had Gaucher’s and Parkinson’s disease coexistently, developed iron accumulation in the bone marrow interstitially and in the Gaucher cells themselves. As it is shown here, this kind of iron overload was not associated with any of the HFE gene mutations in this single case. Further studies are required to focus on the pathomechanism of local iron overload in the Gaucher cells themselves and the Gaucher disease separately and in combination with Parkinson’s disease. Recommendations on iron chelating therapy and copper supplementation will be also considered.
In this paper, I examine the Hungarian government bond market’s liquidity developments in recent years. First, I explain the importance of market liquidity for central bankers. I identify the most significant economic shocks and their impacts on the market by using various market indicators. The changes in the Hungarian pension system strongly affected the ownership structure of the government bond market, and raised the amount held by non-residents. A simple yield decomposition shows that while during the crisis of 2008–2009, the Hungarian sovereign bond yields were enhanced principally by the increase of the credit and liquidity risk premia, the crisis of 2011–2012 might increase credit risk premium, but increase liquidity risk premium less significantly.
Authors:István Székely, Werner Roeger, and Jan In’ t Veld
This paper uses a multi-region DSGE model with collateral constrained households and residential investment to examine the effectiveness of fiscal policy stimulus measures in a credit crisis. The paper explores alternative scenarios which differ by the type of budgetary measure, their length, the degree of monetary accommodation and the level of international coordination. In particular we provide estimates for New EU Member States where we take into account two aspects. First, debt denomination in foreign currency and second, higher nominal interest rates, which makes it less likely that the Central Bank is restricted by the zero bound and will consequently not accommodate a fiscal stimulus. We also compare our results to other recent results obtained in the literature on fiscal policy which generally do not consider credit constrained households.
This article combines a rational choice framework with an analysis of contemporary European Union institutions to elucidate the causes of Grexit and Brexit. It shows that the sustainability of the EU in part or whole in “normal” times depends on member compatibility and coercive adaptation. If members share the same values, including a common vision of transnational governance and a commitment to mutual support (solidarity), the EU should be able to stick together through thick and thin. If, on the contrary, members hold incompatible outlooks on the distribution of transnational powers and solidarity, then the EU will be vulnerable to dismemberment. The EU today is prone to disunion because its members no longer share a common view of mutually acceptable transnational government and policy; powerful members insist upon bending recalcitrant members to their will (coercive adaptation), and participants hold contradictory attitudes towards solidarity on a variety of issues. Winston Churchill and Robert Schuman in the late 1940s hoped that their post-war Europe project would be something more than a “single market”; that it would become the cornerstone of European peace. They appreciated the value of cooperative economy, but considered material benefits icing on the cake. Brexit and Grexit are best seen in this larger perspective underscoring the wisdom of conciliation.
The sovereign debt crisis in Greece represents a very interesting case in which the Greek government succeeded in transforming domestic fiscal deficit problem, overspending and fear of free market reforms into a European challenge consistent with justifiable concerns about the sustainability of the euro-project and its likely future. In this paper, the roots of the crisis and the way of addressing it are discussed. In particular the features, drawbacks, missed opportunities and pitfalls of the €110 billion EU/IMF rescue package granted to Greece are examined. It is argued that the government’s focus on taxation rather than on politically costly privatization and cutbacks in the public sector undermined economic activity in the country, decreased the government’s revenue, and spawned disincentives for investment, without generating growth and without improving competitiveness. In brief, rather than contributing to economic recovery, the opposite was achieved as a result of the measures implemented by the government.
Over the past two decades, international bond markets have become the chief disciplinarian of fiscal policy, displacing the International Monetary Fund and the European Union in this role. This trend culminated in the wake of the global financial crisis, as countries that had indulged in moral hazard and fiscal profligacy during the Great Moderation were vulnerable to a sharp rise in sovereign risk premium and in some cases to loss of market access. The article compares the response of new governments in Hungary and United Kingdom to restore policy credibility. A major lesson is that governments that adopt a rules-based fiscal framework, including fiscal watchdogs and transparency norms, are far more successful in anchoring fiscal expectations and in achieving fiscal sovereignty than those that do not.
This paper analyses the pricing of sovereign risk and contagion during the crises in the Central and Eastern European countries. Panel data are used to estimate the determinants of government bond spreads in three different time periods: before the crisis, during the global financial crisis, and during the European debt crisis. The econometric model includes interactions between the explanatory variables and the crisis dummies. This specification enables the coefficients to change during the crises. The empirical analysis confirms a statistically significant relationship between sovereign risk and macroeconomic fundamental variables. Additionally, the results suggest an increase in the importance of macroeconomic fundamentals during the financial crisis. The analysis also supports that sovereign credit ratings and exchange rate risk have a significant impact on government bond spreads.
Authors:Marta Gómez-Puig and Simón Sosvilla-Rivero
This paper empirically investigates the short and the long run impact of public debt on economic growth. We use annual data from both the central and the peripheral countries of the euro area (EA) for the 1961–2013 period and estimate a production function augmented with a debt stock term by applying the Autoregressive Distributed Lag (ARDL) bounds testing approach. Our results suggest different patterns across the EA countries and tend to support the view that public debt always has a negative impact on the long-run performance of EA member states, whilst its short-run effect may be positive depending on the country.
In the early and mid-2000s, the prospect of EU accession and the global boom facilitated rapid economic recovery and boosted economic and institutional reforms in the Western Balkan region. The global financial crisis of 2007–2009 and the European crisis of 2010–2013 slowed the pace of economic growth and amplified high unemployment in the region. In addition, various unresolved legacies from past conflicts slowed the pace of reform and progress towards EU accession.
The European Commission’s February 2018 communication sets an indicative deadline (2025) for the two most advanced candidates – Serbia’s and Montenegro’s admission to the EU. This could incentivise all Western Balkan countries, including those candidates that have not yet started membership negotiations (Macedonia and Albania) and those waiting for candidate status (Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo), to remove domestic political obstacles to EU accession, solve conflicts with neighbours, speed up reforms and accelerate economic growth.
At the onset of the mass protests in 2010–2011, many politicians and experts suggested that Arab countries could learn from the experiences of the post-communist transition of the early 1990s. However, the geopolitical, historical, and socio-economic context of the Arab transition was different in many respects from that of the former Soviet bloc countries 20 years earlier. These differences became even more obvious five years later, in early 2016, when most Arab transition attempts ended either in a new wave of authoritarianism, or protracted bloody conflicts. Nonetheless, there are some common lessons to be learnt from the history of both transitions. They concern interrelations between the political and economic transition, the role of institutional checks and balances and the rule of law, the speed of reforms, the dangers of ethnic and sectarian conflicts, and the role of external support.