To ward off the threat of a worldwide depression that loomed at the end of the 2000s, governments opted to run up substantial fiscal deficits. In doing so, they sowed the seeds of the sovereign debt crisis. Saddled with often high debt burdens and modest growth prospects, developed countries must now rebalance their government budgets. Doing so too rapidly, however, would choke growth.
Faced with this dilemma, Japan and the United States have pursued growth policies while the euro-area members are quickly trying to rebalance their budgets. The Sovereign Debt Crisis explores the respective risks associated with these two strategies. It further investigates the consequences for the international monetary and financial system of developing countries’ public debts ceasing to be risk free.