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BFW digitaal / RBF numérique 2020/4

  • Wednesday 6/5/2020
    Katrin Assenmacher

    Monetary policy implications of three different forms of digital money – cryptocurrencies, stablecoins and central bank digital currency (CBDC) – are discussed. Because of their limited adoption and lack of moneyness, cryptocurrencies are unlikely to constrain monetary policy in the foreseeable future. Stablecoins, by contrast, could reach a critical size, in particular if they were sponsored by large companies with a sizeable potential user base. CBDC would constitute a digital representation of the official currency that is accessible to everybody and could entail material consequences for monetary policy and financial stability. At the current stage, central bankers mostly feel that a convincing monetary policy motivation is missing or are concerned about the disruptive potential for financial stability. As digitalisation of payments is evolving quickly, the assessment of costs and benefits associated with CBDC may change in the future.

  • Wednesday 6/5/2020

    Technological advancements, evolving consumer demands and intensifying competition are reshaping the retail payment landscape.
    In response to growing demand for faster and easier ways of making retail payments, a wider range of payments providers is now offering tangible payment solutions to match user needs. 
    Traditional banks are competing with new market entrants, such as fintech companies, tech giants and even wearables providers. Technological advancements have opened up a vast new world of possibilities for initiating and processing payments and integrating them more organically in consumers’ lifestyles.

  • Wednesday 6/5/2020
    Georges Hübner

    With the coronavirus crisis, we anticipate an aggravation of the inefficiency of the allocation of financial resources in the Belgian economy, with excess idle savings from households and an increasing shortfall of equity for many companies impacted by the economic downturn. We discuss the conditions under which, on the one hand, the savings surplus could be mobilized, and on the other hand, the corporate world could accept the infusion of outside equity capital. The proposed solution, following standard Asset & Liabilities Management (ALM) principles, is the setup of a private equity fund offering callable, convertible and cumulative preferred shares, funded through the issuance of either (i) a popular bond with floating coupon assorted with the government guarantee, or (ii) an asset backed security with a senior fixed coupon and a junior equity tranche, with the collaboration of the financial sector.

  • Wednesday 6/5/2020
    André Decoster

    The economic shock caused by the CORONA-crisis is unseen and dramatic. In this article we do not try to predict macro-economic consequences. We translate given macro-economic, and inherently extremely uncertain, macro-economic predictions, into its impact on public finance figures. This shows that the transitory nature of the shock, however big, has fundamentally different consequences than long term structural changes in revenues and expenditures. As long as the underlying structural factors remain unchanged, the sustainability of public finances is not fundamentally affected by this huge negative, but temporary, shock.

  • Wednesday 6/5/2020
    Geoffrey Minne, Peter Reusens

    The current health crisis and subsequent lockdown measures have provoked a sizable shock for Belgian private companies. A new weekly survey targeting Belgian private companies was launched for the Economic Risk Management Group (ERMG) to gauge the impact of the coronavirus crisis on the Belgian economy. After conducting four waves of the survey, we estimate the average turnover reduction for the entire economy at 33% compared to the pre-crisis situation. The bars, hotels and restaurants industry and the arts, entertainment and leisure industry report a much larger negative impact and one out of five respondents active in these sectors says bankruptcy is probable or highly probable.

  • Wednesday 6/5/2020
    Koen De Leus, Ludo Coenen

    The corona virus is impacting heavily our economy. Forecasts for Belgium - and Europe - range from -5% to -15% for 2020. The ultimate damage depends on whether we can control the virus after a gradual relaxation of the measures. For our long-term prosperity, it is crucial that after the strong contraction, there will be a full recovery without loss of production capacity. We developed a plan to achieve a quick and safe recovery.

  • Wednesday 6/5/2020
    Bernard Kepenne

    While everyone is now fully aware that we are going to have to learn to live with Covid-19 for a long time to come, the question arises as to what the standard will be tomorrow for ensuring good social distancing. What if we actually already have the answer? What if we already have a cure? Digital technology, which has been permeating our lives for several years, is now becoming essential in this context of crisis as the solution through teleworking, e-commerce, distance learning, in particular. 

  • Wednesday 6/5/2020
    Koen De Leus

    Will residential real estate prices go down badly because of the Corona recession? We see a lower supply, low mortgage rates, a largely stable demand and only a slight decrease in disposable income. Add to this a negative inflation of -0.4%. That combination leads us to a minimum decline of 1% for 2020 and stable real real estate prices in 2021. Of course, if our U-shaped scenario turns into a more protracted recession, price pressure will be mounting.