Tags: Rogoff | eurozone | restructure | debt

Rogoff: Eurozone Countries Will Likely Have to Restructure Their Debt

By    |   Wednesday, 09 July 2014 10:21 AM

While the eurozone debt crisis has eased substantially during the past two years, a debt restructuring will probably still be necessary, says Harvard economist Ken Rogoff.

Eurozone leaders are in conflict over how to revive their economies, he writes in an article for Project Syndicate. The French and Italians call for an end to austerity, while northern nations seek structural reform,

"Ideally, both sides will get their way, but it is difficult to see an endgame that does not involve significant debt restructuring or rescheduling," Rogoff notes.

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"Although there are many explanations for the eurozone's lagging recovery, it is clear that the overhang of both public and private debt looms large."

Government debt has risen sharply since the financial crisis, and household and bank debt have increased too, he maintains.

"Debt overhang traps countries in a vicious circle. Exceptionally high public and private debts constrain a country's options and are indisputably associated with slower growth, which in turn makes it difficult to escape a debt trap," he writes.

"In general, neither pure austerity nor crude Keynesian stimulus can help countries escape high-debt traps," Rogoff argues. "Throughout history, other measures, including debt rescheduling, inflation and various forms of wealth taxation (such as financial repression), have typically played a significant role."

The eurozone economy clearly remains weak, with growth registering just 0.2 percent in the first quarter.

"Activity indicators in the eurozone have softened again in the last few months with even the recovery's main engine, the German industrial sector, losing steam in the face of weak demand and the strong euro," Jonathan Loynes, chief European economist at Capital Economics, tells DPA news agency.

German industrial production plunged 1.8 percent in May.

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While the eurozone debt crisis has eased substantially during the past two years, a debt restructuring will probably still be necessary, says Harvard economist Ken Rogoff.
Rogoff, eurozone, restructure, debt
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2014-21-09
Wednesday, 09 July 2014 10:21 AM
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