Global Conference 2011
It's All Greek to Me: What's Next for the Euro Zone?
Wednesday, May 4, 2011 / 9:30 am - 10:45 am
Though last year's bailout plans bought temporary reprieves, the sovereign debt crisis in the euro zone keeps flaring up. Investors have been driving up borrowing rates for countries on the periphery, and a recent wave of rating downgrades for Spain, Portugal, Greece and Ireland have sent further jitters through the markets. Greece and Ireland have fallen behind their deficit reduction targets as austerity plans stifle their economies. Is it time for a fundamental restructuring of their debt? What are the risks to European banks, which hold billions in government bonds? Can the euro - and the unity of the 17-nation currency bloc - be salvaged? Will Germany serve as a backstop? If so, what kind of concessions will it demand in return? Can a permanent financial rescue framework be put into place? What other kinds of fiscal, structural and institutional changes could ensure the euro zone's long-term cohesion? Is the market's patience about to wear out?
Senior Fellow, Milken Institute; Professor Emeritus of Economics, Political Science and Public Policy, UCLA