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.
Markus K. Brunnermeier is the Edwards S. Sanford Professor of Economics at Princeton University and Director of Princeton's Bendheim Center of Finance. He has written extensively on financial crises and monetary policy. Harold James is professor of history and international affairs and the Claude and Lore Kelly Professor of European Studies at Princeton University. His books include Making the European Monetary Union and Europe Reborn. Jean-Pierre Landau is former deputy governor of the Banque de France and executive director of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. He is associate professor of economics at Sciences Po in Paris.
"If we turn to The Euro and the Battle of Ideas by Markus K. Brunnermeier, Harold James, and Jean-Pierre Landau, we start to find an explanation. The three authors are, respectively, a German academic economist, an English economic historian, and a French banker turned economics professor, and their book is an attempt to explain the euro's ideological and historic background. They explore the dichotomy between French and German political-economic philosophies. The first values flexibility and solidarity and state intervention; the second stresses rules and consequences and free markets."--John Lanchester, New Yorker
"In The Euro and the Battle of Ideas, the economists Markus Brunnermeier, Harold James, and Jean-Pierre Landau turn a sharp lens on the basic divide between France and Germany."--Rana Foroohar, New York Review of Books
"A book of depth and subtlety that is helpful in understanding matters well outside the questions it seems to address. . . . This is a fascinating and informative book."--Geoffrey Wood, Central Banking Journal
"[The authors] have the advantage of being deeply involved. . . . If Europe is high on your list of concerns, you should read this book; European leaders will."--David Warsh, Economic Principals
"[The Euro and the Battle of Ideas] demonstrates the value of sophisticated syntheses of policy analysis and intellectual history."--Foreign Affairs
Table of Contents
Other Princeton books authored or coauthored by Harold James: