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Title:Resolving sovereign debt crises: Opening or closing the tap? PDF Logo
Authors:Kohler, Wilhelm
Issue Date:2012
Series/Report no.:University of Tübingen Working Papers in Economics and Finance 39
Abstract:This paper first describes the ingredients the present crisis in the euro zone and then evaluates the key options that policy makers face in resolving the crisis and avoiding similar crises in the future. I argue that the crisis should not be seen as caused by government profligacy alone. In many troubled countries, an unsustainable build-up of private sector debt was involved as well. I argue that a more fundamental problem is that the euro zone lacks an adjustment mechanism for balance of payments crises that may arise in its member countries, with or without excessive government deficits. The metaphor of taps to be opened or closed by policy is used to discuss the core trade offs that policy makers face. I discuss monetary taps, bailout taps, austerity taps and devaluation taps. I propose a simple model of government bond markets with sovereign insolvency to be used in order to evaluate EU-type bailouts. I discuss the pros and cons of austerity as a precondition for such bailouts, and I criticize the use of Target2 as a mechanism to absorb balance of national payments crises.
Subjects:Euro
Sovereign risk
Sovereign default
Government solvency
Lender of last resort
External balance
Balance of payments
JEL:F33
F36
Persistent Identifier of the first edition:urn:nbn:de:bsz:21-opus-62798
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:University of Tübingen Working Papers in Economics and Finance

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