The Euro: And its Threat to the Future of Europe

From Nobel Prize-winning economist and best-selling author Joseph Sitglitz, author of Globalization and Its Discontents, this is the essential, must-read guide to the future of Europe. 

Solidarity and prosperity fostered by economic integration: this principle has underpinned the European project from the start, and the establishment of a common currency was supposed to be its most audacious and tangible achievement. Since 2008, however, the European Union has ricocheted between stagnation and crisis. The inability of the eurozone to match the recovery in the USA and UK has exposed its governing structures, institutions and policies as dysfunctional and called into question the viability of a common currency shared by such different economies as Germany and Greece.
Designed to bring the European Union closer together, the euro has actually done the opposite: after nearly a decade without growth, unity has been replaced with dissent and enlargements with prospective exits. Joseph Stiglitz argues that Europe's stagnation and bleak outlook are a direct result of the fundamental flaws inherent in the euro project - economic integration outpacing political integration with a structure that promotes divergence rather than convergence. Money relentlessly leaves the weaker member states and goes to the strong, with debt accumulating in a few ill-favoured countries. The question then is: Can the euro be saved?
Laying bare the European Central Bank's misguided inflation-only mandate and explaining why austerity has condemned Europe to unending stagnation, Stiglitz outlines the fundamental reforms necessary to the structure of the eurozone and the policies imposed on the member countries suffering the most. But the same lack of sufficient political solidarity that led to the creation of a flawed euro twenty years ago suggests that these reforms are unlikely to be adopted. Hoping to avoid the huge costs associated with current policies, Stiglitz proposes two other alternatives: a well-managed end to the common currency; or a bold, new system dubbed 'the flexible euro.' This important book, by one of the world's leading economists, addresses the euro-crisis on a bigger intellectual scale than any predecessor.

The Euro: And its Threat to the Future of Europe

Top Customer Reviews

Dr Barry Clayton The author is a professor of Economics at Columbia University. He is the author of many books on, for example, inequality and globilisation. Many A level students will be familiar with his text books on Economics. He has worked with President Climton and served as chief economist of the World Bank. In this book he is concerned about the failure of the EU to produce a well functioning economy marked by rapid growth and low unemployment. He blames the adoption of a single currency in 1992 for the failure.

Stiglitz argues that to adopt the Euro without providing for the institutions to make it work was a massive error. This error he says has led to recessions and depressions as in Greece and elsewhere. The Euro has created the same problems as the gold standard did. Nevertheless, he believes the Euro can work , given reforms. The key reforms needed are in the structure of the currency union not in the economies of the individual countries. He argues that if these reforms are not made it would be better to scrap the Euro altogether. He proceeds to explain how the split-up can be best managed. He offers his time visiting many of the eurozone countries plus his six years teaching in Europe and serving on a Spanish advisory council as evidence of intimate knowledge of the problem. He is quite convinced that the existing euro experiment is deeply flawed.

The author has another aim. He writes to demonstrate how well intentioned attempts at economic integration can backfire when dubious economic doctrines are shaped more by ideology and political interests than by evidence and economic science.

Stiglitz examines a number of themes that have concerned him in recent years

Brendan I chanced across this book following an article in the daily mail. I have now had it two days and have read 70%, difficult to put down.
If you would really like to understand what is going on in the world, economically, democratically, financially, and socially, not just the EU or Euro area then read this book, it all makes sense, and I haven't even got to the conclusions yet
Frankly we should make it mandatory reading for all of our politicians who dally around in our lives so profoundly, with no idea what they are doing

Epicurus Only on chapter 6, but this is an un-put-downable work, all the more remarkable coming from such a staunch pro- European-Project fighter.
Extremely relevant to all Brits in the coming Brexit course-charting and negotiation strategy.
Mary Renault remarks in The Last of the Wine that the Athenian general relieving the failed Commander in Syracuse looked in his eyes, and saw Death behind the chair. That was a seminal moment in our Western history; Stiglitz sees Death behind the chair for the European Project unless we acknowledge that the Euro, at least in its current membership and operation, was a mistake of equal hubris and catastrophic potential to that made 2,000 years ago by the Athenian democracy, which brought about its end.....

The Euro: And its Threat to the Future of Europe

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