Cyprus Economic Society

To inform public debate and to facilitate discussion of public policy issues and EU affairs

Next Forthcoming Event

Annual Lecture in Economics – web event
Thursday 26 May 2022
Recent changes in global income distribution and their political implications
Speaker: Branko Milanovic – Senior Scholar at the Stone Center on Socio-Economic Inequality at the CUNY Graduate Center and Centennial Professor at the London School of Economics
Chair: Ioannis Tirkides – Economic Research Manager, Bank of Cyprus, and President of the Cyprus Economics Society
Abstract: Incomes remained fairly stable in the advanced countries since the 1980s and globalization is thought of as the driving force. At the same time the incomes of populations in poor countries have grown steeply and hundreds of millions of people have been lifted out of poverty. Hence global income inequality overall dropped. The lecture will examine the recent trends in global income distributions, both before and after Covid, and what they mean politically, including for globalization itself, and for global relations such as the trade and technology war between China and the United States. What will happen to the spread of technology and improvements in living standards across large swaths of the world? Slowing growth will make it harder to eradicate poverty and likely preserve current levels of global inequality. This will be the opposite of the initial dynamic of globalization.

Most Recent Past Event

Discussion Forum – web event
Thursday 12 May 2022
Financial stability risks from crypto-assets
Speaker: Costas Stephanou – Head of Financial Stability Analysis at the FSB Secretariat
Chair: Marios Clerides – Economist, formerly CEO of the Cyprus Cooperative Bank; Group Senior general Manager, Hellenic Bank; Former Executive Chairman, CSEC
Abstract: The Crypto-asset markets include unbacked crypto-assets (such as Bitcoin), stablecoins, and decentralised finance (DeFi) and crypto-asset trading platforms. These markets are fast evolving and could reach a point where they represent a threat to global financial stability due to their scale, structural vulnerabilities and increasing interconnectedness with the traditional financial system. The presentation will cover recent developments in these markets and their financial stability implications, drawing on the Financial Stability Board’s (FSB’s) latest assessment of risks to financial stability from crypto assets.

Discussion Forum – web event
Thursday 5 May 2022
The case for Central Bank Digital Currencies
Speaker: Oliver Wünsch – Partner at Oliver Wyman
Chair: Maria Heracleous – Executive Director and Member of the Board of Directors at Central Bank of Cyprus
Abstract: The last 5 years have seen a seismic shift in the debate on digital currencies. After having been dismissive of the idea at first, many central banks around the world have embraced the idea of issuing some kind of central bank digital currency (CBDC). However, developments are currently constrained to use cases that involve payment transactions in the retail and wholesale sphere. We argue that for CBDCs to be broadly accepted and not just compete with existing, highly efficient payment systems, it will require instruments that fulfil all functions of money, i.e. means of payment, unit of account but also store of value, thereby providing an avenue to partially or fully substitute, physical cash in a modern world. Further, we acknowledge that a world with potent CBDCs might indeed come with changes to the institutional landscape of the financial system, with financial institutions regrouping around their basic functions of capital, credit and information intermediation and risk management. As such, a CBDC should be judged against the objective of making the financial system more effective and efficiencies rather than preserving current structures. Finally, we argue that a CBDC that is hampered by disproportionate non-financial considerations, such as compliance or political concerns, might face stiff competition from state-issued and private digital currencies in particular in countries that do not issue a reserve currency.


Most Recent Publications


The European Commission’s spring forecasts and some longer-term considerations

Ioannis Tirkides   The European Commission has recently published its spring forecasts for the European Union, for the bloc as a whole and also by country, over a two-year horizon. This is the first formal forecast revision by the European Commission, after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and it highlights the...

Οι εαρινές προβλέψεις της Ευρωπαϊκής Επιτροπής και ορισμένες μακροπρόθεσμες εκτιμήσεις

Ιωάννης Τιρκίδης   Η Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή δημοσίευσε πρόσφατα τις εαρινές της προβλέψεις για την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση, τόσο για το μπλοκ στο σύνολό του όσο και ανά χώρα, με ορίζοντα διετίας. Πρόκειται για την πρώτη επίσημη αναθεώρηση των προβλέψεων από την Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή, μετά την εισβολή της Ρωσίας στην Ουκρανία, και...

The long war and its collaterals

Ioannis Tirkides Wars are highly uncertain events and never go as initially planned. This one in Ukraine is no exception. Russia was surprised by the resistance it met in Ukraine and by the intensity of support from western countries.  A swift toppling of the Ukrainian government in Kiev did not...