The Great Debate UK

Germany should be happy to let Greece go

February 21, 2012

When the Greek crisis began, there was much talk of contagion as the greatest short-term risk. In my view, this worry is almost irrelevant because bondholders are in any case facing a haircut of over 70%, so the question of default or bailout is now merely a technical detail.

A funny sort of Union

February 13, 2012

The pictures from Athens at the weekend showed a city in turmoil: protests turned violent, buildings were alight and an anti-German feeling was clear for all to see. German flags have been burnt as Greek politicians have agreed to yet more austerity, which means reduced pensions, a 20% cut to the minimum wage and mass layoffs in the public sector.

Hungary: The Greece of Eastern Europe

January 9, 2012

By Kathleen Brooks. The opinions expressed are her own.

It used to be Greece that was the canary in the coal mine, these days it’s Hungary. The new year got off to a bad start for the Eastern European nation after it experienced a failed bond auction, causing its bond yields to surge.

from The Great Debate:

The abyss and our last chance

By Carlo de Benedetti
December 1, 2011

By Carlo De Benedetti
The opinions expressed are his own.


In a magnificent book published a few years ago Cormac McCarthy imagines a man and a child, father and son, pushing a shopping cart containing what little they have left, along a back road somewhere in America. Ten years earlier the world was destroyed by a nameless catastrophe that turned it into a dark, cold place without life.

The euro is on life support, and the on-off switch is in Frankfurt

November 30, 2011

By Laurence Copeland. The opinions expressed are his own.

The short term solution to the problem of how to manage the euro zone crisis may now be right there in front of us. The central issue, as far as Germany is concerned at least, is how to reconcile bailing out the other member countries with keeping up the pressure on them to put their fiscal house in order. Quietly, without any official recognition of the fact, the ECB has taken charge of the situation and is now effectively running fiscal policy for most of the euro zone by simply buying enough Greek, Italian, Spanish and maybe French bonds to keep yields from going too high, but not buying so many as to reduce yields to anything like comfortable levels.

Belgium: A role model for the rest of Europe?

November 24, 2011

By Mark Hillary. The opinions expressed are his own.

In addition to the economic meltdown, there is another political story in Europe at present – Belgium.

from Bethany McLean:

The euro zone’s self-inflicted killer

By Bethany McLean
November 18, 2011

By Bethany McLean
The opinions expressed are her own.

There were a lot of things that were supposed to save Europe from potential financial Armageddon. Chief among them is the EFSF, or European Financial Stability Facility.

Put the euro zone out of its misery

November 9, 2011

By Laurence Copeland. The author is a professor of finance at Cardiff University Business School. The opinions expressed are his own.

from Hugo Dixon:

Chaotic catharsis

By Hugo Dixon
November 7, 2011

Chaos, drama and crisis are all Greek words. So is catharsis. Europe is perched between chaos and catharsis, as the political dramas in Athens and Rome reach crisis point. One path leads to destruction; the other rebirth. Though there are signs of hope, a few more missteps will lead down into the chasm.

Capitalism and democracy under threat from euro zone crisis

November 3, 2011

By Laurence Copeland. The author is a professor of finance at Cardiff University Business School. The opinions expressed are his own.