NEWS 2016

December: OEE Insights N°4

The OEE published in December its fourth issue of OEE Insights. This review presents both descriptive and normative work carried out by OEE members and by the OEE team.

In this issue:

- Reflections on monetary policy: a European point of view, Jacques de Larosière, Président of the Observatoire de l'Epargne Européenne

NB: article available in French only

To read the last version of OEE Insights, please click here

December 15: The DG FISMA of the European Commission associated with the definition of the research orientations of the OEE

On November 14, 2016, Jacques de Larosière and Didier Davydoff met Olivier Guersant, Director General of DG FISMA of the European Commission and his main collaborators. The interview focused on the prudential regulation applicable to banks, the work of the OEE and the IODS activity. It was agreed to involve the economists of DG FISMA in the definition of the research orientations of the OEE. Harald Stieber, senior economist at DG FISMA, and Andrea Pagano, member of the Joint Research Center of the European Commission (Unit Finance and Economy) attended the OEE Board meeting on the 15th December 2016.

Read the presentations for the seminar of the Ecole Polytechnique of the 16th December by Harald Stieber and Andrea Pagano, summarizing their missions within the European Commission, 2016

December 12: COR Annual Symposium

In 2015, more than € 300 billion, or about 14% of GDP, were spent on pension funding in France. This is characterized both by the size of the financial masses at stake and by the diversity of modalities, which partially reflects the architecture of the French pension system.

The 14th COR Symposium, held on 12 December 2016, aimed to inform the public debate on this subject, examining it in different complementary aspects.

For more information, visit COR’s website

December 7: Real Estate: What place in the wealth of Europeans?

On Wednesday 7 December 2016, the OEE organized a conference on "Real estate: what place in the wealth of Europeans?".

The conference was moderated by Christian Gollier, President of the OEE’s Scientific Committee, Philippe Bertrand, Professor at the Institute of Business Administration of Aix-en-Provence, Associate Professor at KEDGE Business School, Jean-Luc Prigent, Professor at the University of Cergy-Pontoise and Christian de Kerangal, Managing Director of the Institut de l'Epargne Immobilière et Foncière.

Christian Gollier presented work on the correlation between house prices and household consumption in a group of countries and the very long-term implicit discount rates in the residential real estate market in the United Kingdom.

The study presented by Philippe Bertrand and Jean-Luc Prigent shows that real estate is an effective diversification asset in Spain, France and UK but not in Germany.

Have a look on the presentations

Have a look on the studies related to this conference

November 17: Didier Davydoff speaker at the third Financial Thursday of Sciences Po

The Group Finance of Sciences Po holds an annual series of eight breakfasts that begins with an overview of the economic situation as it appears at the end of the summer. On 17November 2016, for the third episode of the series, Didier Davydoff, director of the OEE, was the guest of Gerard Rameix, President of the AMF. He gave for the occasion an analysis on the impact of very low interest rates on household behavior, investors or homebuyers.


The relationship between the remuneration of savings and volume are complex and uncertain. Do those responsible for the economic policy not play the sorcerer's apprentice? Investors are encouraged to seek more attractive investments in their bank deposits, but performance is not guaranteed while the risk is real.

On their side, institutional investors must adjust their promise and will find it harder to keep their earlier promises. It is feared the consequences of a future reversal of rising rates. In fact we have already entered a new period: unrealized capital gains have been a driver of performance as rates fell. Since 2015, the engine stalled. Besides, the fragility of the liquidity of the bond markets may affect the liquidity of the investment vehicles.

Finally, the international dimension was considered from two angles: does the new environment have a specific impact on the financing of the French economy? Does the mass of European regulations which has been ruling for twenty years, really answer to the needs of the majority of the population and economic actors in the low rate environment we have today?

For more information, please click here

November 14: savings in the context of the zero-interest rate policy

On 14 November 2016, the OEE, in collaboration with the Association of Private Bausparkassen e.V., organizes a conference in Brussels on the topic: “Challenges for long term savings products in the context of the zero-interest rate policy“.

For several years, key interest rates in the Euro-zone have been remaining at extraordinary low levels. The ongoing very accommodating monetary conditions, which also include unconventional measures, should avert the risk of economic depression and counteract deflationary pressure. However, economic growth in the Eurozone remains sluggish while negative side-effects of ECB’s monetary policy are affecting an increasing number of businesses and savers.

Peter Praet, member of the Executive Board of the ECB, explained why the central bank deems it necessary to implement unconventional monetary policy measures.

Jacques de Larosière, President of the OEE, presented the consequences of this policy on savings.

Andreas J. Zehdner, President of the German Association of Building Societies, expressed his concerns about this policy.

To read the OEE Insights N°3 related to the subject, please click here

November 8, 9, 10: 9th edition of the Journées de l'économie

Within the framework of these meetings organized this year in Lyon, Didier Davydoff, director of the OEE, gave a speech on the topic "Income of Households, wages, purchasing power understanding and interpreting figures" at the Conference Off organized by La Finance pour tous.

The Jéco are national annual public events that give the opportunity to citizens to get a better understanding of the economic issues of their everyday life and help them to interpret the economic and social changes of the modern world.

During three days, participants could assist to different conferences, debates, meetings, devoted to the economy.

For more information, please click here

November 4: Conference on the future of savings

On 4 November 2016, Christian Gollier, president of the Scientific Committee of the OEE, made a presentation at a conference organized at la Banque de France and AXA on "The future of savings - Business models and regulatory changes in the new environment".

In an environment of low remuneration of financial assets, Christian Gollier reviewed the characteristics of life insurance in France and the major challenges that insurers face. The French model of life insurance needs to be rethought, in order to better define the risk sharing between economic agents (insurers and savers).

To read Christian Gollier’s presentation, please click here

November 4: The Banque de France inaugurates its open data room

On 3 November 2016, François Villeroy de Galhau, Governor of the Banque de France, and Jacques Fournier, Chief Statistician, inaugurated the Bank's Open Data Room.

The Open Data Room is equipped with several workstations providing secure access to a wide range of anonymized granular data and aggregated series collected or produced by the Banque de France on companies, households and financial institutions. After agreement of the "Data Access Committee", the data is quickly and freely available to researchers on site at the Banque de France.

To register for access, please click here

November: Caisse des dépôts launches an open data website

Caisse des Dépôts presents its first statistical data on a website dedicated to open data.

The Open Data website Retirement & Solidarity of La Caisse des Dépôts gathered the most recent data on the affiliates of Caisse nationale de retraites des agents des collectivités locales (CNRACL) and on the Institution de retraite complémentaire des agents non titulaires de l’Etat et des collectivités publiques (Ircantec), two pension schemes that she manages.

The data now open to the public is focused on the contributors of this two pension schemes, pensioners and employers. They present themselves as aggregated tables and downloadable historical data in csv format. Each downloadable table comes along with a technical note which presents data in details.

For more information, visit the website

October 20: 1st Finkit Report

The FinKit project led by CeRP Collegio Alberto, with the participation of the OEE and IODS, published its first online report: The Many Dimensions of Economic Vulnerability. The Cases of Older People in France, Italy, Portugal and Spain.

FinKit provides trainers in economic financial literacy with pedagogical tools focused on “wealth rich-cash poor” elderly women (55 years +) in Mediterranean countries.

To read the project, please click here

October 19-21: EFBS Congress

From October 19 to 21, the XVIII European Congress of the EFBS took place in Budapest on the theme: “Brave New World for Finance? Low interest Rates - Regulation - Capital Markets Union». Didier Davydoff, director of the OEE, spoke on the panel: “Financial stability, consumer protection, long-term financing: European and national initiatives”, moderated by Christian Koenig, head of legal affairs of the Verband der Privaten Bausparkassen e.V. His presentation focused on « the saver’s perspective ».

The EFBS is an association of credit and other institutions promoting and supporting housing finance. Its Managing Director, Andreas J. Zehnder, is also the President of the German Association of Private Buiding Societies, a member of the OEE.  

For more information, visit the page of the event

To read Didier Davydoff’s presentation, please click here

October 18: Prospective Club 2016

On Tuesday, October 18, The French Association of Institutional Investors organizes the Prospective Club 2016 whose theme this year is "The Pension Authority in all its Forms".

For more information, visit the page of the event

October 11: Scientific seminar on pensions and Ageing

On October 11, the Pensions and Solidarity Division of Caisse des Dépôts and the Institut CDC pour la recherche will organize a scientific seminar about pensions and ageing.

For more information, visit the seminar website

October: The saving Fund of Groupe Caisse des Dépôts released its digital report

The savings fund managed by la Caisse des Dépôts has just released its first digital annual report.

In 2015, regulated savings (livret A, livret développement durable) collected by the banking networks was negative of € 11 billion but the report specify that this outflow is to put into perspective due to very strong fund-raisings over the past years. This outflow was due largely to the competitive environment that benefits to the home ownership saving scheme and to the life insurance.

For more information, visit La Caisse des dépôts website

September 9-10: European conference on Household Finance

The OEE supported the annual  conference of the CEPR Household Network on Household Finance (HNHF) on September 9-10, 2016 in Paris.

Among several papers, “A Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the Grave” by Antoine Bommier, Daniel Harenberg and François Le Grand, finds that greater risk aversion implies smaller (not larger) savings because the impact of mortality risk  dominates the other ones (income risk and investment risk). This reflects that an early death has a much more dramatic impact on welfare than a permanent shock on income or a low return on savings. The authors specify utility functions of being alive (and consuming) versus being dead (and bequesting). Savings, which involves keeping resources for an uncertain future is a risk taking behavior and is thus found less appealing by more risk averse agents.

To read the papers presented at the conference, visit the conference website

June 28: Economy on saving mornings

Tuesday 28 June, 2016 at 8:30 am at the Maison de la Chimie, an exchange morning was devoted to the theme "Savings in to the service of the economy: What innovations for the French?"

For more information, see the invitation

June 14: Conference ANSA “Emergency Action For Growth”

French companies need capital in order to expand, therefore, French shareholders should be encouraged.

The Association Nationale des Sociétés par Actions (ANSA), chaired by Michel Rollier, and its partners organized a morning of debate that included the participation of Emmanuel Macron, Minister of Economy, Industry and Digital.

In view of this event, the OEE prepared a detailed description of French company shareholders.

For more information, visit the conference website

June 10: 50 years of financial crisis

Following the release of his latest book entitled 50 years of financial crisis, Jacques de Larosière, former Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and President of the OEE, presented his book at a conference organized by the OEE on Friday 10 June. The presentation was followed by a book signing.

Book summary:

This is the story of the financial crises that the markets always end up inflicting on those who take advantage of their innovations, their excesses and their usual laxity. The handling of these crises, often inventive, has consumed a lot more energy than their prevention or essential reform.

I had the privilege of taking part in some of these “escapes from crisis”. The Latin American crisis, for example, and negotiating the adjustment program of the IMF, and the aid to the Eastern European economies in transition.

But the picture remains gloomy. The 2007-2008 crisis, with its long procession of unemployment and recession, is an extreme example of what can happen as a result of excessive debt. And the monetary policy of quantitative easing plunges me, as an observer, into a bottomless pit of questioning and doubt.

Af2i Alternative Investment Management Guide

Af2i, the French Association of Institutional Investors, has published a new edition of its Alternative Investment Management Guide. The increase in the number of hedge fund assets - which doubled between 2008 and 2014 - and evolving regulatory developments led to the revised edition of the original 2012 guide.

The financial regulation of pension institutions approved for the management of AGIRC -ARRCO pension schemes in April 2014 allows them to hold alternative funds within the limit of 10% of quotas. For insurance companies, the implementation of the "Solvency 2" directive requires either transparency, which is possible for simple strategies (such as "event driven" or "long / short actions"), or higher capital requirements.

For more information, visit Af2i's website (French only)

March 17: OEE Conference on Intermediation in Family Economics

The Observatoire de l’Epargne Européenne’s upcoming conference focuses on the economics of intergenerational family relations. Robert Gary-Bobo, researcher at ENSAE, will present the conclusions of his study on this subject, including:

  • Results of a survey on the contribution of inheritance and bequests on the financial wealth and property holdings of Europeans.
  • Cross-country comparisons of transmission tax in different countries.
  • Objectives and family risks: Risk of parent longevity, market risk concerning the value of property being transmitted, the next generation’s search for finance to buy a home, the tax costs of different forms of transmission.
  • The management of these risks is usually handled informally by family members. This study provides an integrated solution for family contracts that are intermediated between family members.

Patrice Ponmaret, an associate at Partners Patrimoine and ex-President of the Chambre Nationale des Conseillers en Gestion de Patrimoine, will put these proposals to the test from the real-life perspective of an experienced wealth management advisor. What role could intermediaries play in providing integrated solutions to a large number of families?

Christian Gollier, professor at the Toulouse School of Economics, Visiting Researcher at Columbia University and President of the OEE’s Scientific Council, will conclude in relation to the OEE’s continuing work on savings in Europe.

Conference Timings & Location: 11am - 1pm, Salle Degas, Club Confair, 54 rue Laffite 75009 Paris, France

To register, please email or call +33 1 43 12 58 00

February: Households’ real estate and financial asset holdings:what differences in investment behaviour within the euro area? by Luc Arrondel et Frédérique Savignac

In the Banque de France’s letter Rue de la Banque  n°19 of February 2016, Luc Arrondel and Frédérique Savignac summarize the findings of some initial studies on the composition of household wealth conducted using the Eurosystem’s Household Finance and Consumption Survey (HFCS). Consistently with a previous OEE’s study, they disentangle the effects of household socio-demographic characteristics and the effects of institutional environment in each country on investment behaviours. Among other, they find that the overall level of wealth and the value of the main residence are linked to the functioning of the mortgage market and that risky financial investments tend to rise as the average replacement rates of pension systems decline.

To read Rue de la Banque n°19, click here

On the same topic, presentations by Sebastien Perez-Duarte (ECB) “Introducing the Eurosystem Household Finance and Comsumption Survey” and Florence Legros "Household structure and household wealth: Evidence from Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Portugal” at the conference organized by the OEE on 22 January 2014, are available on our website at the page Conference

FinKit Project

The OEE and IODS are part of the project FinKit led by CeRP Collegio Alberto. FinKit will provide trainers in Economic Financial Literacy with pedagogical tools focused on “wealth rich-cash poor” elderly women (55 years +) in Mediterranean countries.

To learn more, visit the Project's website

January: INSEE publishes study “French households financial wealth: Which changes in 20 years?”

INSEE has just released a study entitled “French households financial wealth: Which changes in 20 years?” by Jean-Baptiste Bernard and Laura Berthet. The study uses macro data from national financial accounts and micro data from the wealth survey conducted by INSEE from 1992 to 2010. The authors disentangle financial wealth-lifecycle profiles from birth cohorts and period effects.

The main findings are as follows:

- Total wealth increased from generations born in the 1910s to those born in the 1950s, and was stable afterwards. Inversely, there was no cohort effect on financial asset accumulation.
- In line with previous studies, there was no decumulation after retirement: Financial wealth increased from 25 to 55 years of age, and remained stable afterwards. Rather than age, the level of education, inheritance and legacy explains the main differences across households.
- The majority of savers reallocated a major part of their savings toward life insurance in the 1990s and this trend continued into the 2000s for the most wealthy households.

The study includes many additional findings that will be of interest to retail banking, insurance and asset management professionals.

To read the study, click here