Debt mutualisation: Lessons from the US

Some argue that debt mutualisation across the eurozone is the answer to the current crisis, pointing to the US experience for support. This represents a very selective reading of history, argues David Rowe


Some proponents of mutualising debt through eurobonds, with joint and several liability of all members, point to a famous episode in US history for support. Shortly after the federal constitution replaced the much looser articles of confederation, Alexander Hamilton, first secretary of the Treasury, sought to have the federal government assume the remaining revolutionary war debts of the individual states. He was successful in gaining congressional approval, but only after much controversy.


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