Intereconomics - Review of European Economic Policy

Intereconomics - Review of European Economic Policy

Volume 46, September/October 2011

The September/October issue of Intereconomics features a Forum that takes a close look at the role played by credit rating agencies in the ongoing euro crisis. In addition to identifying problems with the way these agencies currently operate, the five Forum contributions put forth numerous proposals to improve their performance. Other articles in this issue include a chronicle of Greece's EMU membership, a comparison of European and American approaches to internet and consumer privacy, and Paul De Grauwe's impassioned Editorial criticising the "Northern diagnosis" of the eurozone problems.


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Credit Rating Agencies: Part of the Solution or Part of the Problem?

Credit rating agencies have come under increased scrutiny since the financial crisis. Their failure to recognise the threats to the financial system prior to the crisis coupled with their steady downgrading of European sovereign debt has led to much criticism, especially from European politicians and economists. In this issue's Forum, experts in the field of credit rating agencies examine the major agencies' influence, independence and performance. Several of the articles also explore whether a publicly funded European agency would improve the situation.


Greece and the Euro

Angelos Kotios, George Pavlidis and George Galanos (University of Piraeus) provide an overview of Greece's eurozone membership, starting with the country's premature entry in 2001 and following through the current crisis. The authors find plenty of fault to be assigned to both Greece and its EMU partners, but they also see lessons to be learned to prevent future crises in the eurozone.

Internet and Consumer Privacy: Considering the FTC's "Do Not Track" Proposal

Ralf Boscheck (International Institute for Management Development) reviews the US Federal Trade Commission's "Do Not Track" proposal and its relevance for the ongoing debate over internet and consumer privacy in the EU. Boscheck emphasises that regulations must be found that can provide an optimal balance between consumers' interest in privacy and the benefits from innovations that rely on the largely invisible collection, retention and sharing of consumer data.

New Impetus for EU Taxation Policy

Walter Deffaa (Director General for Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission) lays out the benefits of targeted tax measures at the EU level. The article reviews the varying tax structures of EU Member States, discusses the interdependencies of their tax policies and gives an overview of current and future tax initiatives at the EU level.

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...(W)here a conflict of interest is most blatant is in having an EU-sponsored rating agency assess the creditworthiness of its sovereign masters. Rating one's own debt is laughable.

from Bartholomew Paudyn's Forum contribution Misguided Ventures: A Quasi-Public European Union Credit Rating Agency

About Intereconomics - Review of European Economic Policy

Intereconomics is jointly produced by ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics and the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS). The journal appears bimonthly and features papers by economists that deal with economic and social policy issues and trends in Europe or affecting Europe. To submit a paper for publication, please visit the Call for Papers section of our website for relevant information.

Intereconomics is published by Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

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