The Effects of the Euro on Financial Markets, Activity and Structure
The introduction of a single currency in Europe has led to both qualitative and quantitative improvements in the functioning of euro-area financial markets. The effects of enhanced competition have often occurred in sectors where they were maybe not so widely expected. For instance, this paper finds that the euro has acted as a catalyst for greater competition between sovereign issuers and markets within the region. Such a form of competition has great benefits if it leads to a convergence of national legal and regulatory environments toward the ‘best practice’ and the highest standards. Although the euro was designed as a regional currency to serve an area of 300 million or so inhabitants, it has already become a global currency. This has implications for the management of an increasingly global economy as financial stability and in particular crisis management often require global responses. This paper finds that in one recent crisis – the 11 September terrorist attacks on the United States – the rapid reaction of central banks in Europe and America served the interest of global financial stability well.
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