The future of the Eurozone

A group of bankers and financiers gathered at a conference in Italy to discuss the Eurozone.  The event, co-sponsored by Wharton University, discussed a number of scenarios for the future of the Eurozone and the likeliehood of bailout defaults.Many of the experts remained unconvinced by the optimistic picture being put forward by EU officials and suggested that defaults on bailout agreements were increasingly likely.  The Gold Standard was used as an historical exemplar.  When countries using the Gold Standard found themselves in financial trouble, they would simply leave the Standard and sort out their financial troubles before re-entering. Similarly, some of the attendees suggested that if countries found themselves unable to meet the repayment schedules, an exodus from the Eurozone might follow.Many attendees felt that there was an unwillingness to even acknowledge such scenarios might happen. "European officials refuse to entertain the thought of any of the 17 eurozone members leaving the currency union, despite the drag on the long-term competitiveness of individual members and the growing unhappiness of their citizens living under the constraints of the euro".A full summary of the event is available on the Knowledge Wharton blog.