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Euro Conference Sparks Debate on Campus and Beyond

April 24, 2012

Experts from academia, finance, media and policy came together at Brown University this month for a series of discussions about the global financial crisis, the European Union and the future of the euro. Co-sponsored by Brown, the Watson Institute and The Rhodes Center for International Economics and Finance, "The Failure of the Euro? Causes and Consequences for Europe and Beyond" was organized by Watson Institute faculty fellow Mark Blyth and Ross Levine, the James and Merryl Tisch Professor of Economics at Brown.


Among the highlights of the conference was a keynote speech from Martin Wolf, chief economics correspondent for the Financial Times. Wolf addressed a packed Martinos Auditorium at Brown University's Granoff Center during his hour-long presentation, entitled "Will the Euro Survive the Crisis?" Wolf identified himself as a "Euroskeptic," but added that he was hopeful that the euro would survive, saying, "I didn't like them creating this, and I like even less the idea of breaking it up." Wolf went on to describe the challenges and opportunities associated with eurozone reform.

The daylong event also featured five 75-minute panels, presented as conversations among three presenters, two discussants, and a moderator. Panels topics included "The Euro Crisis in Markets, in Politics and in the Media" and "The European Project: Can Europe Survive the Euro?" Panels were moderated by the likes of former television and radio anchor David Brancaccio, Vanity Fair Contributing Editor Bethany McLean and The Huffington Post's Executive Business Editor, Peter S. Goodman.

Goodman wrote an opinion column for The Huffington Post based on the conference titled "Euro Crisis Inspires Fresh Worries Of Threats To Global Economy."

The entire day's events were streamed live online. Videos of each of the panels, as well as Martin Wolf's keynote speech, can be found here.

A complete schedule and a full list of participants can be found at watsoninstitute.org/euro. More highlights from the day are also on Twitter @watsoninstitute #browneuro.

By Watson Student Rapporteur Lauren Fedor '12

Conversation: The Failure of the Euro? Mark Blyth with David Brancaccio

Mark Blyth in conversation with David Brancaccio of American Public Media's Marketplace Radio program. They discuss how to get Americans to tune into events in Europe, making complex financial and economics stories simple, and knowing when someone is pitching an angle to the media

Conversation: The Failure of the Euro? Mark Blyth with Vivien Schmidt

Mark Blyth in conversation with Vivien Schmidt of Boston University. They discuss whether or not Europe's political union can survive the stresses and demands of the Euro, the place of democracy in the Eurocrisis, and whether the ends of saving the Euro justify the means being used to save it.

Conversation: The Failure of the Euro? Mark Blyth with Stephen Kinsella

Mark Blyth in conversation with Stephen Kinsella of the University of Limerick, Ireland. They discuss PIGS and GIPSIs, Ireland's austerity program, whether the benefits of the Euro now outweigh the costs, and why there is no political resistance to austerity in Ireland.

Conversation: The Failure of the Euro? Mark Blyth with Simon Tilford

Mark Blyth in conversation with Simon Tilford from the Centre for European Reform in London. They discuss European crisis management, unexpected and expected problems with the Euro, the possibilities of economic reform in the periphery countries, and whether Germany can change its mind.

Conversation: The Failure of the Euro? Mark Blyth with Julia Lynch

Mark Blyth in conversation with Julia Lynch of the University of Pennsylvania. They discuss why both left and right accept austerity politics, the triumph of neoliberal ideas, the strange disappearance of unions from the debate over Europe and the lack of alternative ideas.