Join the Centre for International Governance Innovation, the Hertie School of Governance and the Embassy of Canada to Germany to mark the launch of the latest book by journalist Paul Blustein, Laid Low: Inside the Crisis that Overwhelmed Europe and the IMF. 

The event will feature a presentation by author Paul Blustein, followed by discussion with Paul Carrel, Chief Correspondent in Berlin, Reuters and Mark Hallerberg, Hertie School of Governance. 

About Laid Low: 

The latest book by journalist and author Paul Blustein to go behind the scenes at the highest levels of international economic policymaking, Laid Low chronicles the International Monetary Fund’s role in the euro zone crisis. Opening with the sensational arrest of IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn during a pivotal point in the crisis, the book makes clear that this sordid episode was only one in a series of setbacks for the IMF as financial conflagration spread from Greece to Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Cyprus — threatening to engulf a region comprising nearly one-fifth of world economic output.

The author lays bare how the IMF joined in bailouts that all too often piled debt atop debt and imposed excessively harsh conditions on crisis-stricken countries. As the book reveals, IMF officials had grave misgivings about many of these rescues but went along at the insistence of European policymakers—to the detriment of the Fund’s credibility, with disheartening implications for the management of future crises. The narrative ends with a tale of the clash between Greece’s radical Syriza government and the country’s creditor institutions that reached a dramatic climax in the summer of 2015.

Reviewers from leading publications have lauded Blustein’s previous books on financial crises as “gripping,” “riveting,” “authoritative,” and “superbly reported.” The Economist said his first book “should be read by anyone wanting to understand, from the inside, how the international financial system really works.” That is all the more true of Laid Low, where Blustein again masterfully applies journalistic skills and methods — in-depth interviews, confidential documents, financial forensics and the craft of great storytelling — to recount the biggest and most risk-laded crisis the IMF has ever faced.

Event Speakers

Photo of Paul Blustein

Paul Blustein

CIGI Senior Fellow

Paul Blustein is a CIGI Senior Fellow. An award-winning journalist and author, he has written extensively about international economics, trade and financial crises. Prior to joining CIGI in 2010, Paul was a staff writer for The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, and journalist-in-residence at The Brookings Institution. Laid Low is his fifth book.