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Assessing the Economic Impact of COVID-19

The outbreak of the COVID-19 virus is profundly affecting the world’s society and economy. To provide an in-depth assessment of the economic and financial impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, the Florence School of Banking and Finance is organising a series of online lectures, seminars and debates, aimed particularly at reviewing Europe’s economic policy response to the virus.

These policy debate activities are designed on the basis of the School’s academic expertise and the know-how of selected partners from its network of research centres, institutions, and private sector organisations.


Mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on the insurance and occupational pensions sectors in Europe

Mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on the insurance and occupational pensions sectors in Europe

Online debate - 16 September 2020 - 13:00 CET

The Coronavirus pandemic has wrought havoc on households, businesses and the economy. Insurance companies and pension fund providers had to rapidly adapt and take steps to maintain business continuity and services to customers, whilst also ensuring the safety of employees. Given the scale of the pandemic, supervisors and regulators reacted swiftly to put in place measures to reduce the burden on insurance companies and pension funds so that they could concentrate on their essential operations.
This debate will cover these measures and how the regulatory frameworks to set up to ensure the stability of the sectors fared in withstanding the shock. Furthermore it will discuss how to close protection gaps and the case for pandemic insurance; what the accelerated take up of digital technology by consumers means for business models and communication; and, most importantly, the role of the insurance and pensions in underpinning Europe’s recovery.
The debate will be moderated by Elena Carletti (Bocconi University and Florence School of Banking and Finance, EUI) and will feature as speaker Gabriel Bernardino, (Chairman of the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority – EIOPA) and as commentators Roel Beetsma (University of Amsterdam) and more tba.

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The EU Recovery Package and What’s Next

The EU Recovery Package and What’s Next

Online seminar - 28 July 2020 - 13:00 CET

In an unprecedented effort to deal with the effects of the global pandemic crisis, the European Council adopted a historic and extraordinary package for the European recovery earlier this week. The EU recovery plan builds on the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and is reinforced by a specific recovery effort called Next Generation EU (NGEU).
As part of our COVID-19 online events series, this FBF online seminar will discuss with Jean-Pierre Vidal (Chief Economic Advisor of the President of the European Council Charles Michel) the content and features of this ambitious package. The seminar will also explore how the adopted measures may mitigate the current economic slowdown, including the opportunity to accelerate the green and digital transitions.
The debate will be chaired by Elena Carletti (Bocconi University and Florence School of Banking and Finance, EUI).

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Consolidation in the EU Banking Sector

Consolidation in the EU Banking Sector

Online debate - 21 July 2020 - 13:00 CET

This online debate, part of our COVID-19 online debate series, discussed opportunities and risks in the consolidation (incl. cross-border) of the European banking sector. It reviewed the merit of defining supervisory expectations on consolidation, asked if and how consolidation could contribute to address immediate challenges of the sector such as low profitability and non-performing loans and debated the need for transparency in encouraging sustainable consolidation projects.
The debate has been chaired and moderated by Elena Carletti (Bocconi University and Florence School of Banking and Finance, EUI) and featured as speakers Edouard Fernandez-Bollo (ECB Supervisory Board); Diego De Giorgi (Independent Director, Unicredit; former Global Head of Global Investment Banking, Bank of America Merril Lynch) and Andreas Dombret (Columbia University, former Member of the Board of Deutsche Bundesbank).

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Assessing the Preliminary Impact of COVID-19 on the EU Banking Sector

Assessing the Preliminary Impact of COVID-19 on the EU Banking Sector

Online debate - 02 July 2020 - 13:00 CET

In this online debate, Mario Quagliariello (European Banking Authority) provided selected findings on the state of health of the EU banking sector during in the first phase of the crisis and reviewed what preliminary assessments tell us about banks’ resilience (e.g. asset quality, capital & liquidity buffers, operational continuity). The online debate also discussed merits and limits of different diagnostic tools – such as stress testing – but also data needs and methodological challenges. It concluded by engaging with lessons learnt for risk assessment.
Following Mario Quagliariello’s initial remarks, Véronique Ormezzano (BNP Paribas), Til Schuermann (Oliver Wyman) and Nicolas Véron (PIIE and Bruegel) shared their perspectives on the current state of the banking sector and the challenges ahead.
The debate has been chaired by Elena Carletti (Bocconi University and Florence School of Banking and Finance, EUI) and is part of a COVID-19 online event series organised by the Florence School of Banking and Finance to discuss Europe’s economic policy response to the pandemic.

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Restraining Dividends (and other Pay-Outs)

Restraining Dividends (and other Pay-Outs)

Online debate - 24 June 2020 - 12:30 CET

The European University Institute’s Florence School of Banking and Finance in cooperation with the Leibniz Institute for Financial Research SAFE (Goethe University, Francfort) and the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) introduced and discussed the rationale, merit and scope of the ESRB Recommendation on the restriction of pay-outs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Francesco Mazzaferro (Head of the Secretariat of the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB)) presented the report and the ESRB Recommendation to achieve a uniform approach to restraints on pay-outs across the European Union and across different segments of the financial sector. The debate has been chaired by Elena Carletti (Bocconi University, Florence School of Banking and Finance and CEPR), moderated by Jan-Pieter Krahnen (Goethe University, Leibniz Institute for Financial Research SAFE and CEPR) and featured Viral V. Acharya (New York University, Stern School of Business and CEPR) and Sylvie Mathérat (Independent member of the EU commission High Level Forum on Capital Market Union) as commentators.

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The French-German COVID-19 Recovery Plan

The French-German COVID-19 Recovery Plan

Online debate - 18 June 2020

This online debate held by the European University Institute’s Florence School of Banking and Finance introduced and discussed the unprecedented French-German proposal of a grants-based Recovery Plan funded by a European Union borrowing capacity entrusted to the European Commission.

The debate has been moderated by Elena Carletti (Bocconi University and Florence School of Banking and Finance, European University Institute) and featured as speakers Jörg Kukies State Secretary, German Ministry of Finance and Odile Renaud-Basso Director General of the French Treasury

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ECB Policies in COVID-19 Times

ECB Policies in COVID-19 Times

Online debate - 10 June 2020

In this online seminar, Isabel Schnabel (Member of the ECB’s Executive Board) reviewed the ECB’s policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic explaining the economic rationale for the ECB’s crisis-related monetary policy measures – including the Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme (PEPP), targeted and non-targeted liquidity operations, as well as recent changes to the ECB’s collateral framework. Furthermore, Ms Schnabel looked beyond the immediate crisis response to the medium-term economic impact of the pandemic, including the economic outlook, the situation of the financial sector and the future of European integration.

Speakers included Jean-Pierre Mustier (European Banking Federation, Unicredit) and Patrick Honohan (Trinity College Dublin, Peterson Institute for International Economics, formerly Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland). The debate has been moderated by Elena Carletti (Bocconi University and Florence School of Banking and Finance, European University Institute).

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Credit Ratings and the COVID-19 crisis

Credit Ratings and the COVID-19 crisis

Online debate - 4 June 2020

This online seminar took stock of the current regulation and supervision of Credit Rating Agencies in the European Union and assessed the impact of recent or future downgrades on issuers and markets. Lastly, it explored lessons learned from the supervision of CRAs during the past euro crisis for the current COVID-19 crisis. Speakers included Stephen Hynes and Gwenael Pover (ESMA). The debate has been moderated by Elena Carletti (Bocconi University and Florence School of Banking and Finance, European University Institute).

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SSM supervisory measures in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic

SSM supervisory measures in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic

Online debate - 28 May 2020

In the euro area, the European Central Bank (ECB) adopted measures in its supervisory competence to ensure banks fulfil their lending role to households and businesses. The ECB adopted supervisory measures on temporary capital and operational relief, with the relaxation of some buffers e.g. allowing banks to go below the Pillar 2 Guidance (P2G), the Capital Conservation Buffer (CCB) and the liquidity coverage ratio (LCR) or adapting the composition of capital for Pillar 2 Requirements (P2R). The ECB also introduced flexibility regarding the treatment of non-performing loans (NPLs), as well as recommended the adoption of transitional IFRS 9 rules, amongst others. Against this background, this online seminar will dive into those supervisory measures and discuss the implications of temporary measures for supervisors and banks. Speakers include Edouard Fernandez-Bollo,ECB Supervisory Board and Thorsten Beck, Cass Business School. The debate is moderated by Elena Carletti (Bocconi University and Florence School of Banking and Finance, European University Institute).

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Rationale and Limitations of ‘SURE’

Rationale and Limitations of ‘SURE’

Online debate - 15 May 2020

This joint Bruegel-EUI discuss the rationale and potential limitations of SURE, ‘Support to mitigate Unemployment Risks in an Emergency’, a new instrument proposed by the EU Commission to empower Member States to mobilise significant financial means to fight the negative economic and social consequences of the coronavirus outbreak on their territory. Speakers include Roel Beetsma (University of Amsterdam),Grégory Claeys (Bruegel) and Gilles Mourre (DG ECFIN, European Commission). The debate is moderated by Elena Carletti (Bocconi University and Florence School of Banking and Finance, European University Institute).

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European Pandemic Equity Fund – contribution from SAFE (Frankfurt)

European Pandemic Equity Fund – contribution from SAFE (Frankfurt)

FBF Director Elena Carletti (Bocconi University and EUI), together with Arnoud Boot (University of Amsterdam), Rainer Haselmann (Goethe University Frankfurt), Hans-Helmut Kotz (Harvard Center for European Studies and SAFE), Jan Pieter Krahnen (SAFE), Loriana Pelizzon (Goethe University Frankfurt, SAFE, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice), Stephen Schaefer (London Business School), Marti Subrahmanyam (NYU Stern Business School), recently contributed to the growing debate on the need for a European Pandemic fund, continued SME lending and debt sustainability – as being core to the recovery.

Further information on the European Pandemic Equity Fund may be found in these series of Policy Letters:
The Coronavirus and Financial StabilityPolicy Letter 78
Corona and Financial Stability 2.0: Act jointly now, but also think about tomorrowPolicy Letter 79
Corona and Financial Stability 3.0: Try equity – risk sharing for companies, large and smallPolicy Letter 81
Corona and Financial Stability 4.0: Implementing a European Pandemic Equity Fund - Policy Letter 84

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SME Financing in the COVID-19 Context

SME Financing in the COVID-19 Context

Online debate - 29 April 2020

This joint EUI-Oliver Wyman Forum online debate assesses the impact of the wide-spread lockdowns that followed the outbreak of COVID-19 on real economies, particularly on Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) which struggle to bridge their profit shorfalls. The debate, introduced by James Bryan (Oliver Wyman), features as speakers Christian Ossig (Association of German Banks), José María Roldán (Spanish Banking Association), Frédéric Visnovsky (Banque de France and ACPR), in a discussion moderated by Elena Carletti (Bocconi University and FBF).

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Europe’s Banking System- Fast Forward Six Months

Europe’s Banking System- Fast Forward Six Months

Online debate - 15 April 2020

This joint EUI-Oliver Wyman Forum online debate takes stock of the early evidence of the macro-economic impact of the crisis and of the fiscal measures being taken to protect our societies and economies from the COVID-19 virus. It also discusses the unparalleled challenges that will follow for Europe’s banking system. The online debate features contributions by Andrea Federico (Oliver Wyman), Michala Marcussen (Société Générale), Erik Nielsen (Unicredit), Jörg Zeuner (Union Investment), in a discussion moderated by Elena Carletti (Bocconi University and FBF).

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A Fiscal Response to COVID-19: What are the Options?

A Fiscal Response to COVID-19: What are the Options?

Online debate - 10 April 2020

EU Member States are putting place a series of extraordinary and unprecedented fiscal measures to support their economies and to combat the ravaging effects of COVID-19. Vitor Constâncio (Lisbon School of Economics and Management), Clemens Fuest (ifo Institute, University of Munich), Jean Pisani-Ferry (EUI and SciencesPo) and Guido Tabellini (Bocconi University) assess whether those measures will be effective, what coordination instruments are available at the European level, and which new EU financial assistance instruments could be considered. The debate is moderated by Elena Carletti (Bocconi University and FBF).

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State Aid in the context of COVID-19

State Aid in the context of COVID-19

Online seminar - 3 April 2020

On 19 March, the European Commission adopted a Temporary Framework to enable Member States to use the full flexibility foreseen under State aid rules to support the economy in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak. In this online seminar, Ramona Ianus (DG Competition, European Commission) illustrates the main characteristics of the Framework, which enables Member States to put in place direct grants, selective tax advantages, public guarantees or public loans can be granted to companies that face difficulties because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

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Financial Stability in Times of Epidemics

Financial Stability in Times of Epidemics

Online lecture - 26 March 2020

The coronavirus epidemic will not wipe us out, but it can be anticipated that it will have a major impact on our habits, world trade and the virtual economy. In the end it might make us all wiser, but probably also poorer for a while. Enrico Perotti (Professor of International Finance at the University of Amsterdam) provides an analysis of our current phase financial stagnation and its potential vulnerabilities, with special attention to bank and shadow bank related risks. On these grounds, he introduces a speculative view on the likely effects of the COVID-19 virus crisis on asset prices, inflation and financial stability.

Paper by the presenter

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