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Round Table in Frankfurt with Dr. Jörg Kukies

Dr. Jörg Kukies, State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry of Finance: “Europe is better than it is currently depicted.”


Dr. Jörg Kukies, State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry of Finance since April 2018 and responsible for financial market and European policy, was the special guest at another zeb.Financial Market Roundtable meeting in Frankfurt. Speaking to representatives of the executive boards of banks and insurance companies, the State Secretary emphasized that the fiscal situation in Europe was better than often portrayed to the public. “Especially in Germany it is difficult to talk positively about banks”, said the former co-chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs. In terms of European financial market stability, the State Secretary supported the OMT program, which is fairly controversial, especially in Germany, and allows the European Central Bank to buy as many government bonds from countries as they want. However, it was very important to note that these countries had previously accepted economic and fiscal conditions under a rescue program agreed with the European Stability Mechanism without restriction. 

At the same time, Dr. Kukies warned against overstraining monetary policy and of the danger that it could become dependent on states or banks if it sought to fulfill all requests. “The goal must be to not let monetary policy be taken in tow by fiscal policy”, Dr. Kukies said. With an eye on large platform providers recently striving to enter the global payments market, Dr. Kukies called for a level playing field. Banks should not become prisoners of BigTechs. Supervisory authorities and politicians were required to maintain fair competitive conditions. Dr. Kukies warned of the risks of such cyber currencies and the danger that especially in cross-border payment transactions, regulatory requirements regarding money laundering and terrorist financing could be circumvented. Data protection issues should also be on the agenda. A close collaboration of regulators and central banks around the world was what counted in that situation.