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Dispute over George Soros’s perpetual bonds proposal

May 1st, 2020

A conservative columnist believes that the ‘perpetual eurobonds’ proposed by George Soros would weaken national sovereignty and turn states into debt slaves. A liberal commentator acknowledges that the scheme has some risks, but nonetheless believes that such bonds would benefit Hungary.

In Magyar Nemzet, Imre Boros thinks that George Soros’s idea to boost European economies by issuing perpetual bonds is a dangerous idea. The conservative economist thinks that if governments get access to huge funds without ever having to worry about repaying the debt, they will start mindless spending. Moreover, national economies will become more dependent on external investors who may use the purchase of perpetual bonds to pressure governments, Boros fears. Countries that issue such bonds may become the debt slaves of international investors, Boros cautions.

Index.hu’s Gergely Brückner, on the other hand, contends that perpetual bonds are not a particularly inventive means to boost the economy – but they are also less than frightening. The liberal columnist recalls that similar bonds were issued by the US and the UK, and banks also have perpetual securities. Brückner explicitly rejects the suggestion that perpetual bonds are intended to push countries into debt slavery. He acknowledges, however, that it is very difficult to gauge the exact interest rate at which it would be reasonable for states to issue the bonds, particularly in times when national governments are in dire need of funds. He adds that it is also unclear if and how the EU could collectively issue them. In conclusion, Brückner thinks that perpetual eurobonds would still benefit Hungary – but he acknowledges that there is no chance that the government would endorse them.

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