Open Lecture with Fred Bergsten: "Completing the Euro: A task for German leadership"

Fred Bergsten: "Completing the Euro: A task for German leadership"

Open Lecture with Fred Bergsten

Senior Fellow and Director Emeritus, the Peterson Institute for International Economics, member of the President’s Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations, and the Kurt Viermetz Distinguished Visitor of The American Academy in Berlin.

Moderator: Sascha Steffen, Associate Professor and Karl-Heinz Kipp Chair in Research, ESMT

With the Eurozone crisis in its fifth year, Germany’s role and the future of the Euro remain highly relevant. In contrast to those who rally against the common European currency, C. Fred Bergsten continues to argue that Germany has overwhelming reasons to make sure the Euro succeeds and that the Eurozone holds together.  While it would be unthinkable for Germany to expose itself to charges that it had “destroyed Europe for a third time,” however, Germany has yet to lay out a clear vision for how it proposes to keep the Eurozone intact and respond to the challenges that lay ahead. While Germany has so far demonstrated the willingness to pay whatever price is necessary to preserve the Eurozone, Bergsten asks if it should indefinitely rely on financing its partners, or if it should rebalance its own economy in ways that would help adjust their imbalances? Is Germany prepared to tackle its large current account surplus? Are there feasible policy options consistent with Germany’s affinity for stability, and abhorrence of fine-tuning, that could achieve such outcomes? Will Germany support the further reform of the Eurozone institutions that will complete the economic and monetary union?  Is it prepared to take these steps, and, if not, what is the risk of continuing to plod along? Dr. Bergsten hopes such strategies might help overcome the “high-level stagnation” that is the legacy of the Euro crisis and could otherwise remain so for some time.