Saturday, August 11, 2012

6 Documentaries on the European Sovereign Debt Crisis

The European sovereign debt crisis has been a dominant force in the banking system, financial markets, and global economy over the past couple of years. Each day we have a different headline, either explaining how things are getting worse and worse, or how a big solution is imminent. But what is the cause of the crisis? How did it come about? And how will it ultimately play out? These documentaries provide a concise and engaging means of understanding the euro zone debt crisis.

1. The Great Euro Crash
This documentary starts the viewing by explaining the well intentioned ideas underpinning the Euro. Along with the history of the Euro, it also explores the present crisis and looks at how the future shape of the Euro may evolve. There's a few interesting interviews with present and past power brokers of Europe.

2. Debtocracy
The poster-child of the Euro crisis has to be Greece. Greece is a country that epitomises the crisis; it spent profligately, racking up large fiscal deficits and taking on more and more debt, all the while becoming less and less competitive with the rest of Europe. In many ways it was only a matter of time before Greece encountered a crisis. But what's next for Greece? This documentary explores the causes and potential solution to the Greek crisis.

3. Debt and Redemption
This documentary focuses on one of the many enabling factors of the crisis: derivatives and investment bankers. While ultimately it was poor economic policies, low productivity and competitiveness, and fiscal mismanagement that caused the crisis, this additional factor of mis-sold derivatives and financial contracts certainly didn't help.

4. Catastroika
In combating the debt crisis the governments of the various countries in Europe have taken on harsh austerity measures and aggressive programs to raise cash and revenues. Much of the austerity drive has been mandated by the terms of the various bailouts. This documentary looks particularly at the cash raising part - privatisations. Privatisations are often controversial, but have many potential benefits and some risks.

5. Britain's Trillion Pound Horror Story
The UK is not immune to the Euro crisis, sure it didn't join the currency union, but it's experience isn't too far removed from Ireland's. Britain has likewise accumulated a large sovereign debt load, but has recently embarked on significant austerity moves to sure up it's fiscal sustainability. 

6. The Great Euro Crisis
The last stop on the video tour of the European debt crisis is "The Great Euro Crisis". This documentary probes into what may come of the Euro - will Greece stay in, will get kicked out, or will it opt out? One thing is for sure: the Euro will not look the same in 5 years time; but it remains to be seen what will come..

Thanks to for finding all these documentaries (and others!) 


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