Why should Americans care about Greece?

By Felix Salmon
May 3, 2010
on All Things Considered Sunday, talking about "why Europe's debt crisis matters to Americans". It's a question I've been asked quite a lot of late, and I have to admit I'm having difficulty answering it. I'm a sovereign-debt geek -- just ask me about collective action clauses, exit consents, and the Sovereign Debt Restructuring Mechanism next time you're suffering from insomnia -- so I naturally find all of this fascinating. But I appreciate that not everybody else does, and I'm having difficulty working out whether they should or not.

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I was on All Things Considered Sunday, talking about “why Europe’s debt crisis matters to Americans”. It’s a question I’ve been asked quite a lot of late, and I have to admit I’m having difficulty answering it. I’m a sovereign-debt geek — just ask me about collective action clauses, exit consents, and the Sovereign Debt Restructuring Mechanism next time you’re suffering from insomnia — so I naturally find all of this fascinating. But I appreciate that not everybody else does, and I’m having difficulty working out whether they should or not.

So, I have two questions, if I may:

  1. Should the prospect of default in Greece or elsewhere in Europe concern the average American?
  2. If so, why?

All answers gratefully accepted.

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