The Pesofication of America

Now available in print: Michael S. Greve, “Our Federalism Is Not Europe’s. It’s Becoming Argentina’s,” 7 Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy 17 (2012). Alternative title: “We will pay our debts—in pesos.”

Among the more salient points and predictions: bailouts of lower-level governments in the U.S. won’t take the form of rescues of individual states (this isn’t Europe). Rather, they will take the form of across-the-board—and in that minimalist sense programmatic and rule-like—financial assistance, probably under some already existing statutory framework. A bailout of teacher pension funds under No Child Left Behind is an option, as is the federal assumption of state health care obligations for employees and retirees under the not-so-Affordable Care Act. Some such scheme will be coming soon to a theater near you, regardless of the November election outcome.

The Journal volume contains several other informative essays on state debt and bankruptcy.