May 18, 2010 Reading Time: < 1 minute

“If fiscal imbalances are not addressed through spending cuts and revenue increases, only two options remain: inflation for countries that borrow in their own currency and can monetize their deficits; or default for countries that borrow in a foreign currency or can’t print their own.

Thus, the recent events in Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Italy, and Spain are but the second stage of the recent global financial crisis. The socialization of private losses and fiscal laxity aimed at stimulating economies in a slump have led to a dangerous build-up of public budget deficits and debt. So the recent global financial crisis is not over; it has, instead, reached a new and more dangerous stage.”

“Governments that bailed out private firms now are in need of bailouts themselves. But what happens when the political willingness of Germany and other disciplined creditors – many now in emerging markets – to fund such bailouts fizzles? Who will then bail out governments that bailed out private banks and financial institutions? Our global debt mechanics are looking increasingly like a Ponzi scheme.”

Nouriel Roubini
Return to the Abyss
Project Syndicate

Marius Gustavson

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