2

The Euro on the Mend

PARIS – A year ago the eurozone was in serious trouble. A series of policy actions – the creation of a rescue fund, a fiscal treaty, and the provision of cheap liquidity to the banking system – had failed to impress financial markets for long. The crisis had moved from the monetary union’s periphery to its core. Southern Europe was experiencing a sell-off of sovereign debt and a massive withdrawal of private capital. Europe was fragmenting financially. Speculation about a possible breakup was widespread.

Then came two major initiatives. In June 2012, eurozone leaders announced their intention to establish a European banking union. The euro, they said, had to be buttressed by transferring banking supervision to a European authority.