A New Drachma?

According to a 2002 BBC report, Greece was the least prepared to make the switch to the euro in 2002. During the transition only 1/6 of all businesses in Greece had received their euros. Now, Greece r…

Euro-Zone Rates

Please match each of the following countries with its unemployment rate and borrowing rate: Countries: Germany, Greece, Ireland; and the U.S. and the U.K. Unemployment rates: 9.1%, 7.7%, 7%, 15.9%, 14…

Debt Deja Vu

Again, Greek debt was in the news. This time, though, the focus was other defaults. For as long as nations have existed, they have borrowed money and then been unable to repay it. The first report of …

Helpful Acronyms

Reading about the potential contagion of Greece’s debt problems, I discovered STUPID in Schott’s Vocab, a NY Times blog about words and phrases. Schott quoted Reuters Breakingviews, “…

Japan's Sovereign Debt

Hoping to sell more Japanese government bonds (JGBs), in a rather novel advertising campaign last June, the Japanese finance ministry said that, “Women have a thing for men who own JGBs.” …

A Debt Tour

Calling it “financial disaster travel journalism,” author Michael Lewis (The Blind Side and The Big Short) takes us to Iceland, Ireland, and Greece in 3 Vanity Fair articles that are wonde…

Fiscal Insight

Picture this political cartoon: In some unknown ocean, a Chinese submarine confronts a U.S. navy vessel with the Chinese submarine captain saying, “Turn around or we sell all your T-bills.”…

Grading a Country

We could say that the graders of sovereign debt use a “rubric” to decide whether a country has a high or a low score. In the classroom, students are given rubrics which specifically descri…

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