Governments in U.S. and Europe struggling to solve financial issues

Jeremy Hobson Sep 26, 2011
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Governments in U.S. and Europe struggling to solve financial issues

Jeremy Hobson Sep 26, 2011
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Jeremy Hobson: Our regular Monday guest Julia Coronado. She is chief economist with the investment bank BNP Paribas and she’s with us live this morning from Washington. Good morning.

Julia Coronado: Good morning.

Hobson: So Julia, this plan is emerging — I know it’s still sort of in the rumor phase at this point — but is it making you feel any better about the European debt crisis?

Coronado: There’s certainly a lot of credible elements to the plan, and each of the elements addresses some of the key concerns. But the big question, of course, is the ability — the political wherewithal — to get such a plan passed. And that’s been the question all along — do European policy makers have the ability to get these kinds of plans through their own countries?

Hobson: Well, we’ve heard plan after plan, it seems like. As an economist looking at this, do you have a plan? Is there something that you think would just solve this if only they could pass it?

Coronado: Well again, there’s lots of great ideas. And this plan that’s been put forward has a lot of very good ideas. We’ve done debt restructurings in the past, we’ve done bank recapitalizations in the past. So we have the toolbox, it’s just a matter of whether what the market is really looking for is signs that European countries are willing to come together at this point.

Hobson: I’m glad you brought up the phrase “come together,” because there’s a situation going on where you are in Washington where we’ve got the possibility of a government shutdown by the end of this week if the two sides can’t agree on a short-term spending bill. How big of a concern is that for economists like yourself?

Coronado: You know, these things we used to take for granted — that surely they’ll get these things done before the deadlines. But given the debt-ceiling debacle earlier in the summer, investors are really a lot more skittish about these political risks and these political events. So unfortunately, I think politicians are playing with fire — and they haven’t quite realized that yet.

Hobson: Julia Coronado, chief economist with the investment bank BNP Paribas, thanks as always.

Coronado: It’s my pleasure.

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