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Crisis watch: Why Greece should default

Greece can revive its economy through a carefully managed default. It might even be good for Europe’s financial system

By Simon Johnson   April 2010

Kazakhstan may be far removed from the eurozone, but its recent economic experiences are highly relevant to the latter’s current travails. As the weaker members of the eurozone struggle with debt crises and austerity, Kazakhstan is emerging from a massive banking-system collapse with a strong economic recovery.

For most of the last decade, Kazakhstan gorged on profligate lending, courtesy of global banks—just like much of southern Europe. The foreign borrowing of Kazakh banks amounted to around 50 per cent of GDP, with most of the money used for construction. As the cash rolled in, wages rose, property prices reached near-Parisian…

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