Public debt in advanced countries: problems and solutions

Public debt has surged in most advanced economies since 2007 and remains at historically high levels in many of them. What are the effects of this surge for economic stability and growth? Why have interest rates on government securities remained so low in spite of the rising supply of government securities? And, most of all, if high public debt is a problem, what is the solution. Carlo Cottarelli will discuss these issues based on a book (“What we owe”) that will be published in September. He will argue that there is a need to gradually lower public debt and that this is achievable through orthodox fiscal policy too, as long as high debt countries, particularly those more vulnerable, do not procrastinate the adjustment in their spending levels.