Buiter: “The temporary pause in the European debt crisis is as deceptive as the frenzy before the New Year”

The temporary pause in the European debt crisis is as deceptive as the frenzy before the New Year, says economist Willem Buiter.

The countries of the eurozone will eventually emerge from the sovereign debt crisis — with pain and difficulty. That is what Citigroup chief economist Willem Buiter, on a visit to Amsterdam on Friday during a roadshow, expects. Spain and Italy will get their finances in order and the ECB will jump in when necessary. Deep integration of fiscal policy, according to him, is not necessarily required.

Before all that happens, Europe will have another panic phase Buiter says. This was a really good must-read thought-provoking interview with a lot more on Europe integration, fiscal integration, demographics, the political economy of change, the whole nine yards. The interview also gave me some food for thought. I have the full story including a full translation of Buiter’s comments from Dutch for Credit Writedowns Gold members in the usual place. The first part is already up; more to follow as well as commentary on the S&P downgrades and what they mean for investors.


Edward Harrison is the founder of Credit Writedowns and a former career diplomat, investment banker and technology executive with over twenty five years of business experience. He has also been a regular economic and financial commentator on BBC World News, CNBC Television, Business News Network, CBC, Fox Television and RT Television. He speaks six languages and reads another five, skills he uses to provide a more global perspective. Edward holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia University and a BA in Economics from Dartmouth College.

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