Bloomberg News

Evercore’s Altman Says European Crisis Is Like ‘Chronic Disease’

October 25, 2011

Oct. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Roger Altman, chairman of Evercore Partners Inc. and former deputy U.S. Treasury secretary, said Europe’s debt crisis resembles a “chronic disease” and could take years to solve.

“I don’t expect there to be an explosion moment like Lehman,” Altman said today in an interview on CNBC, referring to the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in September 2008 that sent markets into a tailspin. “I also don’t expect that there’s going to be a sudden solution.”

European leaders are grappling with a sovereign debt crisis that has roiled global markets and fueled investor concern about a global recession. Policy makers are trying to reach an agreement on bolstering the region’s rescue fund and re- capitalizing banks. Altman said the European Central Bank will need to be “stronger and more flexible” to help solve the crisis.

“The ECB today is too constrained -- it’s too narrow,” Altman, 65 and founder of the New York-based firm, said. “It’s going to take too long to get the ECB into the shape it should get into.”

--Editors: William Ahearn, Steve Dickson

To contact the reporter on this story: Laura Marcinek in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scheer at

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