The Effects of EMU on European Capital Markets
Seminar paper from the year 2001 in the subject Economics - Monetary theory and policy, grade: 1.2 (A), Technical University of Berlin (European Center), course: The EU as a common economy, 7 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: Within the last three years, the European financial landscape has undergone a rapid transformation that continues to astonish observers and market participants alike: Corporate and public euro bond markets have emerged whose issuing activities rival those of respective US dollar markets. Europe-wide indices have been firmly established. Institutional portfolios are being traded along pan-European sectoral rather than national lines. Cross-border mergers of banks and financial institutions on an unprecedented scale are drastically changing national banking landscapes as well as international financial structures and underlying all of this is the revolutionary emergence of a genuine European equity culture. Quite naturally, not all of these developments can be attributed to the eventual arrival of European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). Many trends have had their precursors in the continuing liberalisation and de-regulation processes of the 1990s, as manifested in the 1992 Maastricht Treaty. However, historical data makes it difficult not to account for EMU as one major factor behind many of the most recent changes. In this paper, I will therefore argue that at least some of the above changes can best be explained by the effects of EMU. In several ways, the advent of the single currency has triggered an equilibrium shift in more than one field that would otherwise not have occurred. In order to do so, I shall first put EMU into perspective by briefly sketching its position within the wider framework of the process of European capital market integration by means of liberalisation. Second, I shall illustrate whether and to what extent the intended direct effects of EMU did in fact materialise, but also how further indirect effects go beyond these and contribute to explaining some seemingly less related developments. Last, I shall evaluate how integrated European capital markets in fact are compared to national markets, using the U.S. as a benchmark, and close with a brief discussion of potential normative implications.
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