Carmen Reinhart, 09 April 2010

Carmen Reinhart of the University of Maryland talks to Romesh Vaitilingam about the sequencing of the cycle of debt build-ups – from private debt surges to banking crises to sovereign debt crises – and the four ‘deadly D’s’ that once again threaten many governments as a consequence of the current crisis – deficits, debt, downgrade and default. The interview was recorded at the Royal Economic Society’s annual conference at the University of Surrey in March 2010.

Mathias Hoffmann, 20 March 2010

If a European Monetary Fund does happen, how would it work? This column proposes a European Sovereign Insurance Scheme to sell bond insurance on EMU members' sovereign debt. In good times the insurance fees would allow the EMF to build up a capital cushion. In bad times, the EMF could use these funds to facilitate an orderly unwinding of the default – while imposing tough conditions.

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.

Paul De Grauwe, 07 February 2009

Spreads of sovereign debt within the eurozone have increased dramatically during the last few months, largely as a result of panic in the financial markets. When it engages in quantitative easing, the ECB should privilege the buying of Irish, Greek, Spanish and Italian government bonds to eliminate the distortions and the externalities that these spreads create.

Carmen Reinhart, 25 July 2008

Carmen Reinhart, in work with Kenneth Rogoff, has developed a comprehensive new database spanning eight centuries for studying debt and banking crises, inflation, currency crashes and debasements. She talks to Romesh Vaitilingam about the lessons for today’s global financial crisis, noting that although we may not have seen explicit sovereign debt defaults for a while, a growing number of emerging markets are now defaulting through inflation.

Carmen Reinhart, 22 May 2008

Emerging economies are increasingly moving from external to domestic debt. Conventional wisdom says that this is an improvement that signals a lower risk of sovereign default. But this column presents evidence that history disagrees and argues that defaults are likely to persist.

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.

Bernardo Guimaraes, 08 October 2007

Emerging nation debts are desirable for moving capital from richer to poorer countries, where it is relatively scarce. However, debt crises in emerging nations have negative effects on the global financial system. New research suggests that if emerging economies’ debt payments were negatively related to the world real interest rates prevailing on the maturity of their debt contracts, the risk of default and its volatility would be significantly reduced. A switch to such debt contracts would decrease the incidence of sovereign debt crises.

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