"Exiting the Euro Crisis"
Life in the Eurozone, with and without Sovereign Default
Editor(s): Franklin Allen, Elena Carletti, and Giancarlo Corsetti
© Wharton Financial Institutions Center, 2011
Publication type: Chapter
What do economics and history have to tell us about the ways euro zone countries are likely to resolve their problems of fiscal unsustainability and banking system insolvency? In answering that question, I am among the most pessimistic observers of the likely future of the euro and its membership. In my view, the euro zone's likely failure to avoid at least some departures, if not total collapse, reflects its poor initial institutional design. Countries were joined together that were unlikely to be able to survive as a common currency zone, and there were no credible institutions in place to enforce long-term fiscal discipline or to coordinate the resolution of exigencies. Why doesn't everyone share my view? I think their relative optimism can be traced to differences in worldview. My worldview is that of a non-European economist and historian. Here is why that worldview leads to pessimism.
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