Ashoka Modi, Oxford Press 2018, Tigard 337.142 MOD

Some economists will love this book, unless it counters their ideology. I don't have time to read 500 pages of modern European economics history.

That said, the author helpfully summarized his message in the introduction, and the index is good enough to find details in the main text. This would be a good book for researching the historical details of the Euro. It will be very good for researchers in the post-Euro future to learn what the hell were they thinking?

The central flaw in the Euro is that fiat currencies are inflated by central governments to stimulate economies, AKA surreptitiously reduce wages so that a country's products are less expensive and can sell internationally. In large, varied economies like the United States, subsidies are moved from rich states to poor states (Connecticut to Mississippi, for example) to help them develop.

The Euro was mostly created by internationalist German politicians, principally Helmut Kohl, chancellor from 1982 to 1988. The theory was that multiple currencies and exchange hindered free movement across open borders (computers fixed that). Sadly, underdeveloped economies like Greece and Italy could not inflate their currency to adjust, nor would Germany subsidize them. They only subsidized East Germany after reunification.

Internally to Germany, the Euro was popular with the intellectuals and the powerful, not popular with the young and the working class.

The Euro is a premature overextension of the laudable (to this "intellectual") effort to open borders and share culture across them. But the world is imperfect, and political systems answer to the people who vote for them, not to Europe as a whole. The Euro was premature overreach; individual nations in the European Union need the political and economic freedom to solve problems that their individual cultures produce. Perhaps Greece and Italy would still be corrupt and impoverished without the Euro, but it certainly did not help.

There is a very brief mention of Brexit, p. 334: "more than half of all Britons believed they would have a better future outside of the EU than inside it". From the 2019 perspective, it seems that a slim plurality of Britons favor Brexit, but they strongly disagree on which exit door to use.

EuroTragedy (last edited 2019-05-18 18:58:30 by KeithLofstrom)