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Making the European Monetary Union

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  • James, Harold

    (Princeton University)

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    Abstract

    Europe’s financial crisis cannot be blamed on the Euro, Harold James contends in this probing exploration of the whys, whens, whos, and what-ifs of European monetary union. The current crisis goes deeper, to a series of problems that were debated but not resolved at the time of the Euro’s invention. Since the 1960s, Europeans had been looking for a way to address two conundrums simultaneously: the dollar’s privileged position in the international monetary system, and Germany’s persistent current account surpluses in Europe. The Euro was created under a politically independent central bank to meet the primary goal of price stability. But while the monetary side of union was clearly conceived, other prerequisites of stability were beyond the reach of technocratic central bankers. Issues such as fiscal rules and Europe-wide banking supervision and regulation were thoroughly discussed during planning in the late 1980s and 1990s, but remained in the hands of member states. That omission proved to be a cause of crisis decades later. Here is an account that helps readers understand the European monetary crisis in depth, by tracing behind-the-scenes negotiations using an array of sources unavailable until now, notably from the European Community’s Committee of Central Bank Governors and the Delors Committee of 1988–89, which set out the plan for how Europe could reach its goal of monetary union. As this foundational study makes clear, it was the constant friction between politicians and technocrats that shaped the Euro. And, Euro or no Euro, this clash will continue into the future.

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    Bibliographic Info

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    This book is provided by Harvard University Press in its series Economics Books with number 9780674066830 and published in 2012.

    ISBN: 9780674066830
    Handle: RePEc:hup:pbooks:9780674066830

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    Web page: http://www.hup.harvard.edu/

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    Cited by:
    1. Giuseppe Bertola & John Driffill & Harold James & Hans-Werner Sinn & Jan-Egbert Sturm & Ákos Valentinyi, 2013. "Chapter 4: US Precedents for Europe," EEAG Report on the European Economy, CESifo Group Munich, vol. 0, pages 95-107, 02.
    2. Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde & Luis Garicano & Tano Santos, 2013. "Political Credit Cycles: The Case of the Euro Zone," NBER Working Papers 18899, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Jörg Bibow, 2013. "Lost at Sea: The Euro Needs a Euro Treasury," IMK Studies 35-2013, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    4. Dragos G. TURLIUC & Andreea N. POPOVICI, 2013. "TOWARDS THE EUROPEAN BANKING UNION-Literature review," SEA - Practical Application of Science, Fundația Română pentru Inteligența Afacerii, Editorial Department, issue 1, pages 221-229, June.
    5. Giuseppe Bertola & John Driffill & Harold James & Hans-Werner Sinn & Jan-Egbert Sturm & Ákos Valentinyi, 2014. "Chapter 4: Banking Union: Who Should Take Charge?," EEAG Report on the European Economy, CESifo Group Munich, vol. 0, pages 91-108, 02.
    6. repec:cmj:journl:y:2013:i:27:turliucd,popovicia is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Niels Thygesen, 2013. "Global and European Monetary Arrangements: from Bretton Woods to EMU," SUERF 50th Anniversary Volume Chapters, SUERF - The European Money and Finance Forum.

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