CMC Attends Event with European Union Commissioner Olli Rehn

CMC was at a meeting recently with Olli Rehn, who serves as the EU Commissioner on Economic and Monetary Affairs.  Commissioner Rehn spoke about the current economic situation in Europe, with an emphasis on Greek, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy, the countries that face the most severe risks to their public finances and financial stability.  He does not foresee Europe entering a double-dip recession, although the recovery from the financial crisis has proven slow and bumpy.  He expressed confidence that Ireland is on its way to recovery and that Portugal is making progress in the right direction.  He admitted, however, that he Greek situation is altogether more complicated and problematic.  He concluded with a reference to American history and former Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, saying that Europe is facing a “Hamiltonian moment” and it needs to make a quantum leap in economic integration.

CMC asked Commissioner Rehn about his perception on the potential threats to central bank independence from the left and the right of the American political spectrum, but he demurred, pleading ignorance of the situation, perhaps not wishing to involve himself in controversial matters on this side of the Atlantic.

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