Key activities and moments from the last 12 month
2022 has shown how important it is to live in homes that can protect us from the reckless actions of petrostates, and from skyrocketing fossil energy prices. For many families, it will be hard, if not impossible, to enjoy the Christmas period in healthy and comfortable homes. EU institutions, including the European Central Bank (ECB), can make sure that this will be the last Christmas of this kind.
Extensive research shows that the past decade of low-rates monetary policy has significantly contributed to rising house prices, thus fuelling a self-propagating mechanism of wealth inequality and decreasing housing affordability. However, raising rates can also harm economic welfare. How can policymakers make a fairer housing market?
As bills rise, the planet gets hotter, and the energy crisis rages, fuelled by foreign fossil fuel exports, it’s clear that we cannot continue to burn fossil fuels as we do now. In the European Union (EU), buildings are currently responsible for 36% of carbon emissions – we need to take urgent measures to reduce energy use in our homes. Our people-powered “Unlock” campaign is based on three key demands to make this happen.
The European Central Bank decided to raise interest rates, in an attempt to show its determination to fight inflation. However this decision is based on shaky justifications, which are likely to cause more harm than do any good for citizens’ purchasing power.
Inequality has long been a foremost public concern, but not so for central banks. While the orthodoxy according to which central banks engage in “neutral” policy-making is slowly crippling away, we’re still enormously far from taking the distributional consequences of money creation and allocation seriously. Intensifying the debate on the inequality effects of the central bank’s monetary policy is a small step in that direction. This blog suggests several starting points for that.