As the Eurozone leaders in Brussels finally agree on a bailout deal for Greece, we take a look Yale’s new updated edition of The Euro: The Battle for the New Global Currency by David Marsh, which investigates the controversial currency’s tumultuous history, its status in global economics and politics, and the pressures that present enormous challenges for the Euro’s future.
It appears that financial markets have rallied thanks to the long-awaited €109bn (£95bn) rescue package for Greece and the strengthening of the eurozone’s bailout fund, which was hammered out at an emergency summit of eurozone leaders in Brussels last night. While the Euro has previously represented a remarkable triumph of political will, great pressures are building on the single currency, thanks to the escalating crisis in Europe.
Back in 2009 (on the tenth anniversary of the Euro) Yale published The Euro by David Marsh, which was the first comprehensive political and economic account of the birth and development of the currency. In his book Marsh elucidated the story of the rivalries, intrigues, and deal-making that brought about a currency for Europe, analyzing the achievements and shortcomings of its first decade of existence.
In his new, fully revised and updated edition, Marsh tells how complacency and recklessness have holed the Euro below the waterline, with Greece, Ireland and Portugal rescued from ruin via hastily assembled bail-out packages, amid rising resentment among countries and electorates bearing the cost. With the aid of copious interviews and previously untold stories, Marsh chronicles the monetary union’s rise and fall, and records how it is fragmenting into opposing blocs of creditor and debtor nations. He explains how politicians ignored years of financial imbalances heralding growing problems for the Euro, why the Euro has increased rather than lowered Germany’s economic dominance and why Greece and other hard-pressed Euro states will be forced to restructure their debts,
Ultimately Marsh believes the Euro will not collapse, partly because China and Japan support it as an alternative to the fading dollar. However he concludes monetary union can survive only if it become a less ambitious grouping with fewer and more homogeneous members. “The battle to maintain the Euro as it was originally conceived has been lost. The new task will be to safeguard what is to come.”
Hidden facts and fresh insights from The Euro:
–How the legacy of France and Germany’s tortuous relations affects the Euro
–Why the UK is unlikely to accept the Euro before 2025
–The impact on the Euro of the US credit crisis
–How the Euro has rebounded against the aspirations of its founders
–How Italy and Spain have massively lost competitiveness
–Why radical changes must be adopted to prevent a European upheaval
About the Author
David Marsh is chairman of the Germany-headquartered management consultancy SCCO International and co-chairman of the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF) that links central banks, sovereign funds and private sector financial groups. He is a frequent contributor to German and British publications, and he lectures widely on political, economic, and business issues. He lives in London.