Greek Debt and American Debt: Graduation Speech at the University of Athens Economics and Business School
14 Pages Posted: 1 Dec 2011
Date Written: November 1, 2011
This is the graduation speech I gave on receiving an honorary doctorate at the University of Athens Economics and Business School. I talk about my Greek family, about how I got interested in economics, and then how in the 1990s I came to think about default, collateral, and leverage as the central features of the financial/macro economy, despite their complete absence (even now) from any textbooks. Finally I suggest that the Greek debt problem, and on a bigger scale, the American debt problem, can only be cured when lenders are prodded to forgive. That would be better for the borrowers but also for the lenders.
Keywords: Greek, Parents, Mathematical economics, Yale, Mortgage, Collateral, Securitization, Leverage, Foreclosure, Forgive, Principal
JEL Classification: D52, D53, E444, G01, G10, G12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation