An assessment of the costs and benefits of a great debt-write off for European countries

According to a recent poll, two thirds of EU citizens believe that the single market has benefited only large corporations. Half believe that the European status quo has debased working conditions and that the current state of political integration brings nothing for the disadvantaged. That says a lot about the character of the Europe that Merkel and others want to save. *

Excerpted from Golem X:

“The web site (on “The Great EU Debt Write Off”) contains details of a ‘proof of concept’ study of the Jubilee idea done by Professor Anthony Evans and his colleagues at The ESCP Europe Business School. The study used up to date figures from the IMF and the Bank of International Settlement (BIS) to see what would happen if Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Spain, Britain, France, and Germany simply cross cancelled all the foreign debt they owed each other – a Sovereign debt jubilee.

Professor Evans said what he and his colleagues found “was astounding”.

* The countries can reduce their total debt by 64% through cross cancellation of interlinked debt, taking total debt from 40.47% of GDP to 14.58%
* Six countries – Ireland, Italy, Spain, Britain, France and Germany – can write off more than 50% of their outstanding debt
* Ireland can reduce its debt from almost 130% of GDP to under 20% of GDP
* France can virtually eliminate its debt – reducing it to just 0.06% of GDP

Among the ‘debtor’ nations a Debt Jubilee means Ireland reduces its debt load to from 130% of GDP to under 20%! That would virtually wipe out the crippling cuts being forced upon the Irish. While even among the ‘Creditor’ nations France benefits by nearly eliminating its debt. So the French people too would benefit.”

More details and commentary here. The article also explains why bankers are opposed to this reform.

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