What the euro is all about

30 Jun, 2018 at 09:58 | Posted in Economics | 3 Comments

There are still economists and politicians out there who think that the euro is the only future for Europe. However, there seem to be some rather basic facts about optimal currency areas that it would perhaps be wise to consider …

The idea that the euro has “failed” is dangerously naive. The euro is doing exactly what its progenitor – and the wealthy 1%-ers who adopted it – predicted and planned for it to do.

suThat progenitor is former University of Chicago economist Robert Mundell. The architect of “supply-side economics” is now a professor at Columbia University, but I knew him through his connection to my Chicago professor, Milton Friedman …

The euro would really do its work when crises hit, Mundell explained. Removing a government’s control over currency would prevent nasty little elected officials from using Keynesian monetary and fiscal juice to pull a nation out of recession.

“It puts monetary policy out of the reach of politicians,” he said. “[And] without fiscal policy, the only way nations can keep jobs is by the competitive reduction of rules on business” …

As another Nobelist, Paul Krugman, notes, the creation of the eurozone violated the basic economic rule known as “optimum currency area”. This was a rule devised by Bob Mundell.

reaganomicsThat doesn’t bother Mundell. For him, the euro wasn’t about turning Europe into a powerful, unified economic unit. It was about Reagan and Thatcher …

Mundell explained to me that, in fact, the euro is of a piece with Reaganomics:

“Monetary discipline forces fiscal discipline on the politicians as well.”

And when crises arise, economically disarmed nations have little to do but wipe away government regulations wholesale, privatize state industries en masse, slash taxes and send the European welfare state down the drain.

Greg Palast/The Guardian

3 Comments

  1. Never let go, Prof. Wonderful work. I’m your biggest fan.
    From, working man In Georgia, USA.

  2. It’s funny, because Reagan ran unprecedented deficits , proving they don’t matter. It’s also funny because the dollar got stronger as the Fed loosened, and the Euro dropped as it tightened.

    • It was also used to justify later programme cuts. That was stated as the plan. Mobilized voters to vote Republican and Democrats to become fiscal conservatives.


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