Time to expose the reality of ‘debt market discipline’

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As another sovereign-debt crisis looms, Adam Tooze warns against repeating the mistake of delegating to anonymised ‘markets’ accountable political choices.

We are headed into a high-debt future. The recent Franco-German proposal for a European Recovery Fund shifts the burden somewhat off national balance sheets. If it comes to pass, €500 billion for a common fund will be significant. But by 2021 Italy’s debt will likely end up above 150 per cent of gross domestic product. France will find itself with debts running to over 120 per cent of GDP.

Will this turn out to be a source of instability and danger? The toxic legacy of the eurozone crisis might suggest so. Between 2010 and 2015, the normal operation of European politics was repeatedly disrupted and the economy of much of Europe plunged into prolonged recession, in a desperate struggle to stave off a sovereign-debt crisis.

Read the full essay at Social Europe

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