The Trouble with Economic Reform:
Understanding the Debt Crisis in Spain and Italy
The ‘great recession’ of the late 2000s began as the collapse of the ‘Anglo-Saxon’ model of highly leveraged capitalism, but the countries that have suffered most have been the Southern European democracies, often referred to as the ‘PIGS’[i]. The transformation of what started as a banking crisis into a sovereign debt crisis has ended up engulfing countries who, for the most part, were not particularly associated with the financial excesses of the boom years, and has allowed debate to move away from reform of the financial system in the Anglo-Saxon countries to the sustainability of government spending in Europe, and particularly Southern Europe, and the future of the euro currency.
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