FOLDER. What to do with “Covid debt”? The debate that ignites economists

Economy file

Who will pay the debt that has been flying away since the start of the pandemic and the successive confinements? Should we reimburse it, erase it or just ignore it? Is there a limit to debt, other than the increasingly contested European rules in a context of low interest rates? Or are we discovering a new world? The debate ignites economists and worries citizens. Positions are multiplied by forums and interviews. Gaël Giraud (research director at CNRS), Jézabel Couppey-Soubeyran (University Paris-1 Panthéon-Sorbonne) or Aurore Lalucq (MEP) lead the camp of economists who want to erase the debt, to leave with a white slate. Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank, ruled out this option in the name of respect for European treaties. Two commissions (one chaired by Jean Arthuis, the other by Olivier Blanchard and Jean Tirole) reflect, to enlighten the executive, on the debt and the post-Covid economy. Every week, books devoted to debt and currency – Les Economistes aterrés, Jacques de Larosière, François Villeroy de Galhau, Agnès Verdier-Molinié, Patrick Artus, Natacha Valla and Michel Aglietta, Stéphanie Kelton – offer new insights on this subject . “The Obs” brings the debate to life.

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