The Rafael del Pino Foundation hosted the lecture by Michel Camdessus entitled "Cultural Roots of the Crisis and the Search for a New Paradigm", as part of the series of Master Lectures "Lessons of the Crisis", on 25 February 2010.
Michel Camdessus stated that "I find it indecent to call Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain PIGS, and I think it is stupid to think that the difficulties of these countries could shake, let alone bring down, the Euro. The Euro has the status of an international reserve currency and very prudent management by the ECB. Countries in difficulty should be helped, but without panicking about contagion phenomena that are not justified. I say this because I think that what is happening now in the markets about Spain is totally unreasonable; it means that there is no comparison between the level of indebtedness of Greece and Spain, which are totally different. Spain, for example, has had a prudent policy so far, its indebtedness is lower than the average of the countries in the European area".
Regarding the debate on controlling the pay of French senior managers and the financial sector, Michel Camdessus stressed that: "This is not a small contribution to the economic adjustment packages, it is a matter of collective decency. This type of remuneration is totally unacceptable, all the more so in times of hardship for the poorest. There are abuses that need to be corrected. My job is only to implement in France the very moderate measures of the G20; we will have to go further".