Giancarlo Corsetti, Harold James, 12 April 2010

The fiscal crises in some EU countries have put considerable strain on the region. This column argues that the solution requires a credible demonstration of political will from its political leaders. It suggests a voluntary commitment to support struggling governments with financial means provided at a penalty rate and against a clearly defined spending reduction programme.

Charles Wyplosz, 20 March 2010

As the debate over a European Monetary Fund continues, this column argues that Germany’s enthusiasm for the new fund lies in its desire to impose fiscal discipline on countries it didn’t want in the Eurozone in the first place. The EU is not Germany and despite its dysfunctional diversity, the avoidance of a currency crisis in Greece shows that it works.

Jeffrey Chwieroth, 19 March 2010

Jeffrey Chwieroth of the London School of Economics talks to Romesh Vaitilingam about the evolution of economic ideas at the International Monetary Fund, drawing on his book, ‘Capital Ideas: The IMF and the Rise of Financial Liberalization’. They discuss changes in IMF thinking about capital controls, the Tobin tax and macroeconomic policy – as well the possibility of IMF intervention in Greece. The interview was recorded in London on 16 March 2010.

Michael Burda, 13 March 2010

Greece’s recent deficit-cutting budget was met with planned strikes and protests in the streets. This column argues that the painful fiscal adjustments could turn out to be a good thing for Europe’s political integration, but the region has to take the next step and set up a European Monetary Fund.

Augusto de la Torre, Eduardo Levy Yeyati, Sergio Schmukler, 06 March 2010

The fiscal crisis in several European countries has led many commentators to suggest novel solutions, including a holiday from the euro. This column examines the much-cited example of Argentina and argues that such ideas look better on paper than in practice. What these countries need is a “good old bailout” – conditional on “getting the house in order”.

Juergen Matthes, 27 February 2010

The situation in Greece has called into question the EU’s ability to deal with fiscal crises. This column argues that the EU’s political vulnerability is likely to prevent it enforcing existing rules for fiscal discipline. The IMF should therefore be called in. This would take the blame off the Eurozone, re-establish lost credibility, and avoid moral hazard.

Domingo Cavallo, Joaquín Cottani, 22 February 2010

Martin Feldstein argued last week that Greece should take “a temporary leave of absence with the right and the obligation to return at a more competitive exchange rate.” In this column, Argentina’s highly regarded former Minister of the Economy and a co-author argue that the idea won’t work. A better solution would be to adjust the Greek tax system.

Charles Wyplosz, Richard Baldwin, 22 February 2010

Martin Feldstein suggested last week that Greece take a “holiday” from the Eurozone, rejoining with a depreciated nominal exchange rate. This column argues that the idea is not just impractical, it’s dangerous for the Eurozone.

Charles Wyplosz, 09 February 2010

The latest turn in the global financial crisis has ensnared the debt of some European nations. The fact that these nations are members of a monetary union has generated much confused comment. Here one the world’s leading experts on Eurozone monetary and financial matters sets the record straight, debunking 10 myths and setting forth 10 frequently overlooked facts.

Paul De Grauwe, 11 May 2010

This column, first published 15 December 2009, shows the main outlines of the crisis were clear months ago and suggests actions that – had they been taken early – would have mitigated problems facing the Eurozone today. The column concludes: "All this leads to the conclusion that the Eurozone governments should make clear where they stand on this issue. Not doing so implies that each time one member country gets into financial problems the future of the system is put into doubt." If only those words had been heeded months ago.

Charles Wyplosz, 14 December 2009

Greece’s public debt is in turmoil. This column says that the country is nowhere near defaulting, but the Greek government should heed the financial markets’ warning and end three decades of fiscal profligacy. It suggests that Greece adopt immediate deep spending cuts and reform its budgetary process to credibly enforce discipline.

Carmen Reinhart, 26 January 2009

Financial crises are historically associated with the “4 deadly D’s”: Sharp economic downturns follow banking crises; with government revenues dragged down, fiscal deficits worsen; deficits lead to debt; as debt piles up rating downgrades follow. For the most fortunate countries, the crisis does not lead to the deadliest D: default, but for many it has.

Carmen Reinhart, 05 May 2010

This column, first posted 19 April 2008, argues that sovereign debt crises have historically followed financial crises. Although data covering only the last thirty years might have given few hints about Greece's current problems, the Reinhart-Rogoff database spanning eight centuries reveals that today's event are very much in line with historical experience.

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