Debt Crisis Playbook

Believe it or not, today’s Greek financial crisis is hardly unique, as sovereign debt crises are fairly common. As a result, the policy prescriptions are fairly straightforward and well known.┬áThe bottom line? The crisis will persist unless the debt is partially forgiven. Any other method, such as extending the debt repayment schedule or lowering the interest rate, will merely prolong the nation’s economic misery. Of course, the most effective debt crisis resolutions include strict conditions for debt forgiveness; structural economic reforms such as product and labor market reforms are needed too. But until policy makers implement this tried and true formula for resolving sovereign debt crises, Greece’s economic malaise will continue.

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