A Decade of Debt

Carmen M. Reinhart

Peterson Institute for International Economics, Washington, DC

September 27, 2011

The Peterson Institute hosted a meeting on September 27, 2011, to release A Decade of Debt by Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff. The book traces the surge of public and private debt to record levels and, on the basis of extensive historical analysis, finds a strong association with slower economic growth and increased likelihood of debt restructurings. Another key result tends to be the role of "financial repression," and its contribution to debt reduction.

Carmen Reinhart has been the Dennis Weatherstone Senior Fellow at the Institute since November 2010 and previously spent 14 years as a professor of economics at the University of Maryland. She was recently named by Bloomberg as one of the 50 most influential people in the financial world and by Foreign Policy magazine as one of the Top Global Thinkers of 2011. She and Dr. Rogoff also received the Arthur Ross Book Award presented by the Council on Foreign Relations for the best book on international affairs in 2011. Their volume This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly has been translated into 13 languages and is by far the most widely cited study of the issue. Their new study for the Institute, A Decade of Debt, extends the growth and default dimensions of this analysis.

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