As the news item, A Greek tragedy reported, the level of debt in Greece and also in Portugal, Spain, Ireland and Italy, has caused worries, not just for their creditors, but also for the whole eurozone. Here we give you the opportunity to listen to a podcast from the Guardian in which some of the paper’s main economic columnists, along with Observer commentator, William Keegan, discuss the effects of this debt on the euro. To quote the introduction to the podcast:
“In Brussels, European leaders have pledged ‘determined and co-ordinated’ action to help Greece – they won’t let it fail. Our Europe editor Ian Traynor says the announcement of a deal was designed to keep the markets happy.
But leaders of wealthier euro nations like Germany are hoping they won’t have to ask their voters to bail Greece out. Kate Connolly, our Berlin correspondent, explains why Germans are so reluctant to provide financial assistance.
It’s being seen as a defining moment for the euro. Economics editor Larry Elliott says not signing Britain up to the single currency was the best decision Gordon Brown ever made.”
The debt crisis facing the Euro Guardian daily podcast (12/2/10)
- To what extent is Greece’s debt a problem for the whole eurozone?
- Consider the arguments for and against bailing Greece out (a) by stronger eurozone countries, such as Germany and France; (b) by the IMF.
- What support for Greece would minimise the problem of moral hazard?
- How would you set about establishing whether the current eurozone is an optimal currency area?
- How do the current problems of debt affect the arguments about whether Britain should adopt the euro?
The leaders of the G20 countries gathered in Pittsburgh on 24 and 25 September 2009 to discuss a range of economic issues. These included co-ordinated action to ensure the world economy maintained its fragile recovery; reforming the IMF; agreeing action on bank regulation and the limiting of bankers’ bonuses.
The following is a selection of podcasts and videos looking at various aspects of the summit and its outcomes. The first one, to set the scene, is a webcast from the IMF looking at the state of the world economy and the role of macroeconomic policy and banking regulation. There are also some articles looking at the achievements of the summit. (See here for G20 draft communiqué)
World Economic Outlook, September 2009 (video) IMF Webcast (22/9/09)
G20: Who will feel the pain and when? (video) BBC Newsnight (25/9/09)
G20 leaders meet in Pittsburgh BBC Today Programme (25/9/09)
‘Little change’ in bank regulation BBC Today Programme (25/9/09)
World Bank’s Zoellick on G20 Summit (video) CNBC News (25/9/09)
G20 ‘was a successful meeting’ BBC Today Programme (26/9/09)
Obama on G20 plans for financial reforms (video) BBC News (25/9/09)
Greater role for emerging powers BBC News, Amartya Sen (25/9/09)
Preventing Another Global Crisis (video) CBS News (25/9/09)
Obama hails progress at G20 (video) Reuters (26/9/09)
World map of deficits and stimulus spending
The cost of the financial meltdown: Deficits and spending BBC News
G20: Banks to be forced to double capital levels Telegraph (25/9/09)
Will tough new G20 measures work? BBC News (26/9/09)
Analyst View: G20 ends reign of G7 in Pittsburgh Reuters (25/9/09)
Leaders bury differences over bonuses to agree standards FInancial Times (26/9/09)
Same tune, different fiscal instrument on bank bonuses Times Online (25/9/09)
G20: History and fudge Peston’s Picks, BBC News (25/9/09)
What the G20 said on bonuses (and why it didn’t say much at all) eFinancialCareers (27/9/09)
Hamish McRae: G20 communiqué signals transfer of power to the emerging world Independent on Sunday (27/9/09)
The G20 fantasy Guardian (27/9/09)
- Explain the issues faced by the G20 countries.
- To what extent is trying to reach international agreement on co-ordinated action a prisoner’s dilemma game? Is it, nevertheless, a positive sum game?
- What was agreed at Pittsburgh and to what extent will it lead to action as opposed to being mere rhetoric?
- The G8 is effectively dead, having being replaced by the G20, plus Spain, The Netherlands and various international bodies, such as the IMF. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this move?