What to do with the debt? Two economists with opposing positions discuss it


The debate fractures academia as violently as questions of gender or identity. What to do with the trillions of euros in public debt accumulated by the states of developed countries since March 2020 and the start of the Covid crisis? A seemingly innocuous question which for several weeks has deeply divided economists.

It is that the States have not looked at the expense to cushion the recession, and have borrowed heavily on the financial markets. In France, the total amount of public debt is approaching 120% of gross domestic product (GDP), or twenty points more than a year ago, light years away from the 60% provided for by European budgetary treaties. A mountain of loans without consequence so far: the insurers or investment funds which give credit to France have not demanded higher interest rates to entrust them with money; on the contrary, the State, like all its European neighbors, has never been financed at such low cost as in the last twelve months, and even at negative rates.

It must be said that a very large part of the newly issued debt has been absorbed by the European Central Bank (ECB), which now holds more than 2,500 billion euros in public debt, or a quarter of the debts of the countries of the euro zone. But now ? Do we have to repay all of these credits? Cancel part of it? The ECB, which made these purchases by monetary creation, pre

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