Originally conceived as part of a unifying vision for Europe, the euro is now viewed as a millstone around the neck of a continent crippled by vast debts, sluggish economies, and growing populist dissent. In Europe’s Orphan, leading economic commentator Martin Sandbu presents a compelling defense of the euro. He argues that rather than blaming the euro for the political and economic failures in Europe since the global financial crisis, the responsibility lies firmly on the authorities of the eurozone and its member countries. The eurozone’s self-inflicted financial calamities and economic decline resulted from a toxic cocktail of unforced policy errors by bankers, politicians, and bureaucrats; the unhealthy coziness between finance and governments; and, above all, an extreme unwillingness to restructure debt.

Sandbu traces the origins of monetary union back to the desire for greater European unity after the Second World War. But the euro’s creation coincided with a credit bubble that governments chose not to rein in. Once the crisis hit, a battle of both ideas and interests led to the failure to aggressively restructure sovereign and bank debt. Ideologically informed choices set in motion dynamics that encouraged more economic mistakes and heightened political tensions within the eurozone. Sandbu concludes that the prevailing view that monetary union can only work with fiscal and political union is wrong and dangerous―and risks sending the continent into further political paralysis and economic stagnation.

Contending that the euro has been wrongfully scapegoated for the eurozone’s troubles, Europe’s Orphan charts what actually must be done for the continent to achieve an economic and political recovery.

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August 30th, 2017

Posted In: Debt Relief

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2 Comments

  • Athan says:

    Tremendous, if naive, analysis I disagree with many of the premises and even more so with most conclusions of this book.Thing is, there’s so much stuff in here that’s right and so much stuff I’d never thought about before and so much that’s totally original that it’s difficult to deny it’s one of those books that taught me tons and made me think and helped me convert many of my prejudices into views.In the ten days since I picked up “Europe’s Orphan” my views on the EUR and Europe have evolved so…

  • A. WYKES says:

    The best way to be enlightened about it all is still………. About the first sensible read on the 2010+ eurozone crisis, but still too narrowly-focussed and, despite the welcome Spinelli angle, lacking historical depth (no mention of Werner, Schuman, Adenauer, Monnet) although that would show how little in this crisis has actually been new. Hopefully this book will stimulate further constructive discussions that rely less on the national governments getting their act together – this has been a crisis of regions and classes, not nations, whatever the…

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