Sunday, August 5, 2012

The European Sovereign Debt Crisis

by Philip R. Lane

Journal of Economic Perspectives

Vol. 26, No. 3, Summer 2012

The origin and propagation of the European sovereign debt crisis can be attributed to the flawed original design of the euro. In particular, there was an incomplete understanding of the fragility of a monetary union under crisis conditions, especially in the absence of banking union and other European-level buffer mechanisms. Moreover, the inherent messiness involved in proposing and implementing incremental multicountry crisis management responses on the fly has been an important destabilizing factor throughout the crisis. After diagnosing the situation, we consider reforms that might improve the resilience of the euro area to future fiscal shocks.

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