Not everyone is so optimistic about the potential for restructuring. "With regard to Italy, restructuring in my view is out of the question without a breakup of the euro zone," says Steil.
European Central Bank Follows the Federal Reserve in Printing Money
Likelihood: Not terribly high, but growing
Outcome: Looks promising
Unfortunately, one of the most promising solutions is also not currently an option under the ECB's mandate. The ECB cannot currently print money—that is, buy assets from EU countries. It can only purchase those on the secondary market. But altering that mandate, says Zezza, may make for the most favorable solution. Changing the policy and announcing the purchase of unlimited quantities of bonds, he says, "should be an insurance for everyone holding these assets."
So could it happen? Germany will likely take convincing, not wanting to risk inflation, says Baumohl. But he thinks that the current crisis should make persuading hesitant states easier: "If cooler heads prevail and they understand that there is an emergency in Europe, they can move much more quickly, put in some clauses that would allow the ECB to do whatever is necessary to stabilize the sovereign debt issue."