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Tags: Experts | History | Euro | failure

Experts: History Will Remember the Euro As a Failure

Monday, 18 June 2012 06:53 AM EDT

History will view the euro as a failure due to a lack of proper institutional management, academics say.

Just over a decade in existence, the eurozone is on the verge of collapse at least in its present form, as debt-ridden nations like Greece teeter on the brink of exiting the currency union and defaulting on their debts.

"Yes, the euro is a failure because it lacks the institutional structure to deal with a major crisis should one arise," says Jack Goldstone, a senior fellow at George Mason University, according to Fox Business Network.

The eurozone, Goldstone says, is "sort of like a beautiful sailboat that runs fine in smooth wind, but has no motor if you are becalmed and approaching a reef."

Eurozone countries share one currency managed by one central bank, but have largely been able to conduct their own taxing and spending policies up to now.
While deficit caps were put in place, they weren't seriously enforced.

A fiscal union with a centralized body monitoring taxing and spending could have arguably prevented the crisis, but such a move normally ends up allowing one country to dictate fiscal policy to another, which is politically touchy.

"It is a failure because it was not followed by the necessary fiscal union. A currency union is a long-shot without a fiscal union," Cam Harvey, a finance professor at Duke University, tells the network.

Other experts agree that the euro didn't work.

"A decade isn’t very long in human history," says Richard Sylla, an economist and financial historian at NYU who says the euro can be classified as "kind of a failure," Fox Business Network adds.

While eurozone nations have pledged to better integrate fiscal policies, calls for a single entity to do as such are growing, including from Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, a multilateral lending institution.

"What is needed is a collective determination to advance toward a key stage in the development of the eurozone," Lagarde tells the daily Liberation, as reported by Reuters.

"We have to go beyond monetary union to bring together budgetary policies, also with supervisory instruments for the financial sector in the wider sense and with mechanisms for resolving banking crises. All this would be under a eurozone authority and not national central banks."

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Monday, 18 June 2012 06:53 AM
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