The euro: bad idea, poorly executed

October 16, 2012

Kim Schoenholtz and I have a piece up at the Huffington Post:

When the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the 2012 Peace Prize to the European Union (EU), they cited advances in “peace, democracy, and human rights.” The common currency zone we call the Euro Area isn’t mentioned, unless it’s implied by the phrase “grave economic difficulties.”

If the EU has been a success, the European Monetary Union (EMU) is revealing itself to be the opposite. One might argue that the euro was a mistake from the start, that the history of fixed exchange systems is littered with failure. We have some sympathy with that view, but we’d like to make two different points. First, flaws in the design and implementation of the EMU have made the crisis worse. Second, the decentralized decision-making process of the EU, with political power concentrated in countries rather than Europe, makes effective crisis management nearly impossible.

More here.

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