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The articles below give the outline of the process from 2011 to 2019. Does the current impasse in Banking Union and slow progress on Capital markets Union (CMU) make it timely to re-vist the concepts?


Europe needs to recognise the euro crisis is not over as an obvious shock is ahead: interest rate normalisation in the next few years. Now is the ideal time to reinforce steps to reduce the public debt overhang and to think carefully and calmly about how to channel financial market pressures productively.

The 2015 sequence of the Five Presidents Report and the more detailed Commission Communication on Completing the Economic and Monetary Union left the door open to further discussion when the time was ripe. The March 2017 White Paper set the scene for the Rome Declaration on the EU's 60th Anniversary. That Declaration called for "working towards completing the Economic and Monetary Union" and was followed up by the Commission's May Reflection Paper "Deepening of the Economic and Monetary Union".

Since then, the `populist' tide seems to have receded - highlighted by the dramatic election of President Macron on a strongly pro-EU platform. There is a widespread belief that a successful banking union requires a `safe asset' that is not dependent on a bank's home government. The proposal for Sovereign Bond Backed Securities (SBBS) has received only a luke-warm reception so eurobills could be a simple first step to cement the dramatic integration already implied by banking union, and drive forward the capital market union that is so necessary for economic growth. My TEF plan goes far wider than just a safe asset for banks.

The TEF is designed to be the two sides of a safe euro ‘coin’:

  • Front: removing roll-over risk from public debt & encouraging sound economics
  • Back: creating a safe, liquid, marketable asset for the private sector to assist financial integration

Major implications flow from this – political, economic and financial. Financial market pressure will be exercised by greater market discipline on governments that will make government debt a more volatile and risky asset if governments fail to keep up the pace of reform.

Historical Note

This concept of eurobills originated with a working group convened by Wim Boonstra of Rabobank for the European League for Economic Co-operation (ELEC). The original 2011 proposal is here. A revised version was published shortly afterwards (link). The members of the group (link) covered a wide spectrum of private bankers, central bankers, academics and politicians from around the EU, and a timeline of the early work is here.

Subsequently, Graham Bishop developed a variant of this proposal into a detailed  financial, economic and political plan for a Temporary Eurobill Fund (TEF). He was appointed by European Commission President Barroso in 2013 to an Expert Group on Debt Redemption Funds and Eurobills - details here.  The Expert Group published its final report in March 2014 (link)


Welcome to the GrahamBishop Archive.

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