The Great Debate UK

from Felix Salmon:

Europe’s lethal uncertainty

By Felix Salmon
September 6, 2011

As markets plunge again today, ostensibly on existential worries about the eurozone, you might want a plain-English explanation of what the root of the problem is. And John Lanchester is a great place to turn for such things:

Germany at the crossroads

August 30, 2011

By Laurence Copeland. The opinions expressed are his own.

Baby-boomers like me, who grew up in the shadow of World War II, have to acknowledge with gratitude that the Germany which again dominates Europe is in most respects a model democracy – multiracial, prosperous and contented. However, there is one worrying aspect of the German mentality which seems to have survived intact from its unhappy history, and it is an aspect which is likely to be tested to the full in the coming weeks and months.

from Felix Salmon:

Lagarde leads from the front on Europe

By Felix Salmon
August 30, 2011

Going into the Jackson Hole conference, everybody was breathlessly awaiting Friday's speech from Ben Bernanke, which turned out to be incredibly boring. The most important speech of the meeting, by far, came on Saturday, and came from the new head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde. In decidedly undiplomatic prose she came right out and said what needed to be done:

from Felix Salmon:

Larry Summers’s inadequate plan for Europe

By Felix Salmon
July 18, 2011

Larry Summers reckons that "with last week’s tumult in Italian markets, the European financial crisis has entered a new and far more dangerous phase"; he's right about that. But his prescriptions for what must be done, laid out in the second half of his column, are a mess. For one thing, they're impossible to implement from a political perspective. For another, they contradict Summers's own diagnosis of what the problem is, as laid out in the first half of his column. And in any case they're a textbook case of too little, too late: even if implemented they wouldn't actually fix the problem.

Units and unities: can currency change really resolve the Greek tragedy?

June 22, 2011

As the Greek tragedy goes into what looks like its final act, there is increasing talk of the country leaving the euro zone and refloating the drachma. Perhaps the Athens street mobs favour this “solution”, but what would it involve, and would it work?

from Felix Salmon:

Could the EFSF engineer a Greek restructuring?

By Felix Salmon
June 20, 2011

We're now close enough to a Greek default that the likes of Daniel Gros are coming up with schemes for how to avoid such a thing:

The death of the euro is greatly exaggerated

April 8, 2011

-Laurence Copeland is a professor of finance at Cardiff University Business School and a co-author of “Verdict on the Crash” published by the Institute of Economic Affairs. The opinions expressed are his own.-

Would the euro solve Switzerland’s problems?

April 1, 2011

By Kathleen Brooks. The opinions expressed are her own.

While some market commentators are questioning if the euro zone should even exist, authorities in Switzerland might be looking with envy at the 27-member currency bloc.

from Felix Salmon:

Why Europe’s periphery should restructure their bonds

By Felix Salmon
January 18, 2011

The drumbeat for debt restructurings on Europe's periphery is becoming too loud to ignore. The Economist has now come out strongly in favor; its leader gives the strongest case for biting the bullet now. And Mohamed El-Erian has now officially signed on:

from Felix Salmon:

Restructuring European debt

By Felix Salmon
December 10, 2010

Are we going to see debt defaults in Europe? Yes—and Barry Eichengreen has a positively crystalline explanation why. It's a first-rate example of economic concepts being explained in plain, easy-to-understand English: