Introduction -- pt. I. The public debt problem ; 1. What is public debt? ; The surge in public debt ; How high public debt can cause a financial crises ; How high public debt can reduce economic growth ; Public debt, moral imperative and politics ; A pause to recap -- pt. II. The shortcuts. Printing money ; First case study : should European countries leave the Euro Zone? ; Financial repression ; Default ; Second case study : the Greek Crisis ; Debt mutualization ; Privatization -- pt. II. The main road. Economic growth ; A bit of austerity ; Institutional fiscal constraints -- Conclusion : the unbearable lightness of public debt
"As the former director of the International Monetary Fund's Fiscal Affairs Department, Carlo Cottarelli has helped countries across the globe confront their public finance woes. He also had direct experience in advising his own country, Italy, about its chronic fiscal ailments. In this straightforward, plain-language book, Cottarelli explains how and why excessive public debt can harm economic growth and can lead to crises such as those experienced recently in Italy and several other European countries"
- Includes bibliographical references (pages 171-183) and index