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Hans-Werner Sinn
For Hans-Werner Sinn's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Jan 31, 2016
EU welfare states under siege
If freedom of movement within Europe is to be maintained — and if high inflows of non-EU citizens continue — European welfare states face a stark choice: adjust or collapse.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Nov 29, 2015
Can the Islamic State threat unify Europe?
If recent events have taught us anything, it is that threats to the EU stem not from inadequate fiscal risk-sharing, but from insufficient coordination on foreign-policy and security challenges.
COMMENTARY / World
Oct 6, 2015
The German promised land is rapidly reaching its limits
In order to avert chaos, Germany has no choice but to impose restrictions on the number of migrants it accepts.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Mar 31, 2015
EU’s easy-money endgame
The euro has brought a balance-of-payments crisis to Europe, just as the gold standard did in the 1920s. Only one difference exists between the two episodes: In today's crisis, huge international rescue packages have been available.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Sep 1, 2014
Italy's decline masks loss of competitiveness
There is no other way for Italy to correct its price differential with Germany and other EU members than to carry out a real depreciation, something that is easier said than done.
COMMENTARY / World
Apr 28, 2014
Debt runup looms as next phase of euro crisis
The euro crisis has passed through six phases so far. The seventh phase of the crisis appears to be one of enhanced moral hazard, stemming from a runup in debt.
COMMENTARY
Dec 30, 2013
Rescue of Europe must involve reform of euro
Eurozone members whose path to regaining competitiveness through price and wage reductions is too long and grueling, and whose societies risk being rent asunder by the imposition of austerity, may have to temporarily exit the monetary union.
COMMENTARY / World
May 10, 2013
Euro exit by Germany would be a big mistake
Politically it would be a big mistake for Germany to exit the eurozone, because doing so would jeopardize the greatest success story of the postwar period in Europe.
COMMENTARY / World
Sep 3, 2012
Judgment day for the eurozone
Europe and the world are eagerly awaiting the decision of Germany's Constitutional Court on September 12 regarding the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), the proposed permanent successor to the eurozone's current emergency lender, the European Financial Stability Mechanism. The Court must rule on German plaintiffs' claim that legislation to establish the ESM would violate Germany's Grundgesetz (Basic Law). If the Court rules in the plaintiffs' favor, it will ask Germany's president not to sign the ESM treaty, which has already been ratified by Germany's Bundestag (parliament).
COMMENTARY / World
Jun 16, 2012
An EU 'banking union' will make things worse
In blatant violation of the Maastricht Treaty, the European Commission has come forward with one bailout plan after another for Europe's distressed economies. Now it wants to socialize not only government debt by introducing Eurobonds, but also banking debt by proclaiming a "banking union."
COMMENTARY / World
Apr 30, 2012
A crisis of capital flight as TARGET debt grows
For a while, it looked as if the European Central Bank's €1 trillion credit program to pump liquidity into Europe's banking system had calmed global financial markets. But now interest rates for Italian and Spanish government bonds are on the rise again, closing in on about 6 percent.
COMMENTARY / World
May 4, 2011
How ECB bailed out 'PIGS'
Why did Greece, Ireland and Portugal have to seek shelter under the European Union's rescue umbrella, and why is Spain a potential candidate?
COMMENTARY / World
Jan 5, 2011
EU's instability mechanism
MUNICH — By 2010, Europe was to be "the most competitive and dynamic knowledge- based society in the world." This was the proclamation in 2000 by the European Commission in the "Lisbon Agenda." Now, a decade after that bold pledge, it is official: Europe is the world's growth laggard rather than its champion.
COMMENTARY / World
Oct 27, 2010
China's fair-weather friends in Washington
MUNICH — Because China has pegged its undervalued currency, the renminbi, to the dollar, every weakening of the dollar in the wake of America's financial crisis has also meant a weakening of the renminbi vis-a-vis other world currencies. But is China really to blame for the eruption of a global currency war?
COMMENTARY / World
Aug 31, 2010
Blessed are the low in debt
MUNICH — The world's worst postwar financial crisis is over. It arrived suddenly in 2008 and, after roughly 18 months, vanished almost as quickly as it had come. Bank rescue programs on the order of 5 trillion euro and Keynesian stimulus programs on the order of a further 1 trillion euro staved off collapse.
COMMENTARY / World
Jun 30, 2010
Eurozone isn't doomed yet
MUNICH — Despite huge rescue packages, interest-rate spreads in Europe refuse to budge. Markets have not yet found their equilibrium, and the governments on Europe's southwestern rim are nervously watching how events unfold. What is going on?
COMMENTARY / World
Apr 29, 2010
Reining in Europe's debtor nations
MUNICH — The euro-zone countries have now agreed to provide some 80 billion euro in cheap loans to Greece over the next three years, and hope that the International Monetary Fund will provide another 15 billion euro at the least. But the interest rate that Greece must pay buyers of its government bonds has shot up to a record-high level of nearly 9 percent — 5.9 percentage points above the benchmark rate paid by Germany. That translates into an additional 16 billion euro per year in interest payments on Greece's current debt of 273 billion euro. Obviously, markets still believe that Greece will default on its debt.
COMMENTARY / World
Mar 3, 2010
Grasping for a way to save the Greek sinner
MUNICH — The euro's current weakness has one culprit: Greece. At 14 percent of GDP, Greece's latest current-account deficit was the largest of the euro-zone countries after Cyprus. Its debt-to-GDP ratio stood at 113 percent by the end of 2009. As this year's deficit is projected to be more than 12 percent of a shrinking GDP, the debt-to-GDP ratio will soar above 125 percent by the end of 2010, the highest in the euro zone.
COMMENTARY / World
Jan 18, 2010
Europe's surrender of resources similar to U.S. spending on wars
MUNICH — Once upon a time, stocks were risky and collateralized securities were safe. That time is over, as the breakdown of the American mortgage securitization market has shown.
COMMENTARY / World
Oct 28, 2009
It's Italy for America and Japan for Europe
MUNICH — The American business model has collapsed. During recent years, the United States borrowed gigantic sums of money from the rest of the world. Net capital imports exceeded $800 billion in 2008 alone. The money came largely from selling mortgage-backed securities and collateralized debt obligations, claims against American homeowners (or to be precise, only against the homes themselves, as the owners were protected by the nonrecourse nature of loans).

Longform

Later this month, author Shogo Imamura will open Honmaru, a bookstore that allows other businesses to rent its shelves. It's part of a wave of ideas Japanese booksellers are trying to compete with online spaces.
The story isn't over for Japan's bookstores