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Lezing | Research Seminar

FGGA Research Seminar: When all else Defaults: Government as the Ultimate Debtor?

dinsdag 16 april 2019
No registration is needed for the seminar. After the seminar, refreshments will be served.
Turfmarkt 99
2511 DP Den Haag


In his monumental study of ‘When all else fails: government as the ultimate risk manager’, David Moss interpreted the history of public policy in the United States as the building of pervasive social safety nets for failing markets. Can we find a similar evolution in recent times of increasing household leveraging: do European welfare states come to act as ultimate financial risk managers of and for households? A recent example that the article documents were systemic bank bailouts that also protected savers. But in doing so, European welfare states have become the overstretched debtors of last resort. The massive deleveraging of private balance sheets in the wake of the Great Financial Crisis since 2008 has left a large legacy of public debt. Innovations in public debt management, such as perpetual and growth-indexed government bonds, can be understood as applying the entrenched wisdom of welfare state institutions to public finance.


Waltraud Schelkle is an Associate Professor in Political Economy at the European Institute of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Her research interests are the evolving economic governance of EMU and social policy reforms directed at financial markets. Her most recent book “The political economy of monetary solidarity: understanding the experiment of the euro” was published by Oxford University Press in 2017. She has published in journals such as the Journal of Common Market Studies, Review of International Political Economy and Journal of European Public Policy. Her current projects include work on the independence of central banks and on pension systems after the crisis.

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