Sovereign Debt in the Euro Area: A Re-assessment


January 10, 2013, 12:00 AM EST
Peterson Institute for International Economics, Washington, DC

Event Summary

The Peterson Institute hosted a panel discussion "Sovereign Debt in the Euro Area: A Re-assessment" January 10, 2013, to give a fresh assessment of sovereign debt developments in the euro area, including possible debt restructuring and public debt sustainability.  While the situation in the euro area has thankfully stabilized, the legacy of public debt for vulnerable economies from both past policies and the damage done by the recent crisis remains a pressing global concern.

Jeromin Zettelmeyer, nonresident senior fellow at the Peterson Institute and deputy chief economist and director of research at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), made the leadoff remarks.  Zettelmeyer joined the EBRD in 2008 after 14 years at the International Monetary Fund and was the lead editor of the last three EBRD Transition Reports. He is vice-chair of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Fiscal Crises and was rapporteur of INET Council on the Euro Area Crisis.

Anna Gelpern, visiting fellow at the Peterson Institute, provided a legal and comparative perspective on the Greek situation and any potential debt restructurings.  Between 1996 and 2002, Professor Gelpern served in legal and policy positions at the US Treasury Department, where her portfolio included international debt, development, international financial institutions, and financial crisis response.  Gelpern is also a professor at Washington College of Law and a visiting professor at Georgetown Law School.

William R. Cline, senior fellow at the Institute, presented his latest independent analyses of debt sustainability of the key euro area economies.  Cline has been with the Institute since its founding in 1981 and is one of the world's leading experts on international debt.  During 1996–2001, he was on leave to serve as deputy managing director and chief economist of the Institute of International Finance (IIF).

Event Materials

Presentation: Sustainability of European Sovereign Debt [pdf]
William R. Cline
January 10, 2013