Europe's Anchor of Stability

Despite the euro's youth, it has proven to be a remarkable success. Not only has it eliminated exchange-rate risk from trade and investment within the euro zone; it has also provided an anchor of stability for euro-zone members in the face of severe external shocks, including soaring oil prices, the threat of terrorism, two wars, and the sub-prime mortgage meltdown in the US.

FRANKFURT – At less than ten years old, the euro is by all measures a young currency. Yet it has become a reality of daily life for almost 320 million people in 15 European countries. In the wake of the euro’s performance during this year’s global financial crisis, even its strongest critics cannot deny that the euro is an astounding success.

This past summer, millions of travelers avoided paying cumbersome and expensive charges to change their currency. But the advantage for trade and investment implied by the absence of foreign-exchange risks within the euro area is of greater economic importance. The common currency completes the single market for the euro area’s member states.

Since 1999, members of the European Monetary Union (EMU) have experienced a number of severe exogenous shocks: the rise in the price of a barrel of oil from around $10 to $150; the collapse of equity markets after the dot-com bubble imploded; the spreading risk of terrorism after the September 11, 2001, and two wars. Starting last summer, the breakdown of the market for US sub-prime mortgages triggered turbulence in financial markets, with no end in sight.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.

required

Log in

http://prosyn.org/pNHw4rC;
  1. China corruption Isaac Lawrence/Getty Images

    The Next Battle in China’s War on Corruption

    • Chinese President Xi Jinping knows well the threat that corruption poses to the authority of the Communist Party of China and the state it controls. 
    • But moving beyond Xi's anti-corruption purge to build robust and lasting anti-graft institutions will not be easy, owing to enduring opportunities for bureaucratic capture.
  2. Italy unemployed demonstration SalvatoreEsposito/Barcroftimages / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

    Putting Europe’s Long-Term Unemployed Back to Work

    Across the European Union, millions of people who are willing and able to work have been unemployed for a year or longer, at great cost to social cohesion and political stability. If the EU is serious about stopping the rise of populism, it will need to do more to ensure that labor markets are working for everyone.

  3. Latin America market Federico Parra/Getty Images

    A Belt and Road for the Americas?

    In a time of global uncertainty, a vision of “made in the Americas” prosperity provides a unifying agenda for the continent. If implemented, the US could reassert its historical leadership among a group of countries that share its fundamental values, as well as an interest in inclusive economic growth and rising living standards.

  4. Startup office Mladlen Antonov/Getty Images

    How Best to Promote Research and Development

    Clearly, there is something appealing about a start-up-based innovation strategy: it feels democratic, accessible, and so California. But it is definitely not the only way to boost research and development, or even the main way, and it is certainly not the way most major innovations in the US came about during the twentieth century.

  5. Trump Trade speech Bill Pugliano/Getty Images .

    Preparing for the Trump Trade Wars

    In the first 11 months of his presidency, Donald Trump has failed to back up his words – or tweets – with action on a variety of fronts. But the rest of the world's governments, and particularly those in Asia and Europe, would be mistaken to assume that he won't follow through on his promised "America First" trade agenda.