Financial specialist Marsh to discuss economic, political collision in Europe



In a week dedicated to defining Europe, financial specialist David Marsh believes the way of interpreting Europe in a globalized political economy is less clear than ever before.

“We are at the mercy of definitions, I think,” Marsh said. “It’s a much more difficult question to frame than it is to answer.”

Marsh, the co-founder and managing director for the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum, seeks to fit the economic recovery of Europe into tangible terms at 10:45 a.m. today in the Amphitheater.

To recover from financial turmoil, Marsh said to approach European economics in a simple way: Look at the birth and the early years of the euro, how the currency fits into present economic unrest in the region, and predict what the short- and long-term effects of instability might be.

Often, economies and politics collide in the debate of where Europe should go next, Marsh said.

“It’s certainly far, far more than finance,” he said. “European politics … is now much more diverse and much more complicated and difficult to manage — much more multi-faceted, [and] much more difficult to identify as well.”

Financial fluctuations in Europe have gravitated toward Greece in recent months, especially with the country voting down further reform and austerity measures in July unless a bailout from creditors came forward.

“The persistent wrangling between Greece and its creditors, which will no doubt continue to occupy us for months to come, has underlined a second central thesis: the divisions in Europe between the creditors and debtors,” Marsh said.

The OMFIF is a platform for the public and private sector to engage in economic and financial discussions. The off-the-record talks, which are meant to foster more transparency in the financial sector, bring together nearly 60 central bankers and representatives from institutions two to three times per year.

Marsh, who first began his career with Reuters and worked with the Financial Times for nearly three decades, contributes to The Wall Street Journal’s “Marketwatch.” He currently serves as the senior advisor to Soditic, a diversified financial services organization, and is the chairman of the advisory board of London & Oxford Capital Markets.

He has authored five books, including Europe’s Deadlock: How the Crisis Could Be Solved – And Why It Won’t Happen, which was released in 2013.

“History shows us how periods of unstable equilibrium can last a surprisingly long time,” Marsh wrote in the book. “Consequently, we should cherish no false illusions about a quick end to the euro crisis.”

Though Marsh has been key in continuing the conversation of the European political economy, he is still cautious about the continent’s future.

“Europe, it is often said, has over the years emerged victorious from many travails,” Marsh said. “Yet this time may indeed be different.”