"The Euro and the Battle of Ideas" now available

Monday, Aug 8, 2016
by vrosenth

Why is Europe’s great monetary endeavor, the Euro, in trouble? A string of economic difficulties in Greece, Ireland, Spain, Italy, and other Eurozone nations has left observers wondering whether the currency union can survive. In this book, Markus Brunnermeier, Harold James, and Jean-Pierre Landau argue that the core problem with the Euro lies in the philosophical differences between the founding countries of the Eurozone, particularly Germany and France. But the authors also show how these seemingly incompatible differences can be reconciled to ensure Europe’s survival.

As the authors demonstrate, Germany, a federal state with strong regional governments, saw the Maastricht Treaty, the framework for the Euro, as a set of rules. France, on the other hand, with a more centralized system of government, saw the framework as flexible, to be overseen by governments. The authors discuss how the troubles faced by the Euro have led its member states to focus on national, as opposed to collective, responses, a reaction explained by the resurgence of the battle of economic ideas: rules vs. discretion, liability vs. solidarity, solvency vs. liquidity, austerity vs. stimulus. 

Weaving together economic analysis and historical reflection, The Euro and the Battle of Ideas provides a forensic investigation and a road map for Europe’s future.

To read the first chapter click here.  

To purchase the Kindle version click here. 


"The advent of the Euro is a singular event in monetary history. This is the best and most important book so far on an experiment with profound economic and geopolitical implications."--Lawrence H. Summers, former Secretary of the U.S.Treasury

"I very much appreciate this book’s efforts to explain the highly diverse approaches to economic and fiscal policy in Europe and to shape them into a common strategy. If this could succeed in reality in today’s Europe, much would be gained indeed."--Wolfgang Schäuble, Finance Minister of Germany

"International divergences in economic policy are as much the result of differences in intellectual frameworks as of variation in economic circumstances. This valuable book explains the critical differences in national economic philosophies and how they have conditioned policy choices over the past decade."--Ben S. Bernanke, former Chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve

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