Documentation on the Appeal Against Mutualisation of Bank Debts

Hans-Werner Sinn was among the first to join an appeal against a mutualisation of bank debts in the Eurozone. Interestingly, once the appeal was made public, many press articles claimed that he was its initiator and author. Reacting to this, the Ifo Institute released a press statement on 18 July 2012 clarifying that the appeal had in fact been written by Prof Walter Krämer, of the Technical University Dortmund: Mr Sinn was on his way to the USA when the appeal was being prepared. Neither did he take part in the effort to gather signatories for the appeal.

The appeal was eventually signed by 279 German-speaking economists, mostly full professors. Parallel to this appeal, a largely similar one was initiated by Frank Heinemann, of the Technical University Berlin, and Gerhard Illing, of the LMU in Munich, which attracted, in addition to the 16 first signatoires, 220 signatories of various fields in economics. While this appeal also called for not mutualising bank debts, it placed stronger emphasis on the need to jointly regulate banks.

Given that the two appeals, contrary to the perception fuelled by the press, did not actually hold opposing views, representatives of both groups released a joint statement labelled “On a European Banking Union” on 25 May 2013.

Hans-Werner Sinn and Walter Krämer made clear in a subsequent article in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that they were by no means against a banking union exercising common regulation of banks, addressing the criticism voiced by politicians as well as opposing positions, or the article by Ulrich van Suntum.