CFDP 1837

Greek Debt and American Debt: Graduation Speech at the University of Athens Economics and Business School

Author(s): 

Publication Date: November 2011

Pages: 13

Abstract: 

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 Codes:  D52, D53, E44, G01, G10, G12