Designed to bring Europe closer together, the euro has actually done the opposite: after nearly a decade without growth, unity has been replaced with dissent and enlargements with prospective exits. Joseph Stiglitz argues that Europe's stagnation and bleak outlook are a direct result of the fundamental flaws inherent in the euro project - economic integration outpacing political integration with a structure that actively promotes divergence rather than convergence. Money relentlessly leaves the weaker member states and goes to the strong, with debt accumulating in a few ill-favoured countries. The question now is: can the euro be saved?
Laying bare the European Central Bank's misguided inflation-only mandate and explaining why austerity has condemned Europe to unending stagnation, Stiglitz outlines three possible ways forward: fundamental reforms in the structure of the Eurozone and the policies imposed on the member countries suffering the most; a well-managed end to the euro; or a bold, new system he dubs the 'flexible euro;. This important book, by one of the world's leading economists, addresses the euro-crisis on a bigger intellectual scale than any predecessor.
About the Author
Joseph Stiglitz was Chief Economist at the World Bank until January 2000. Before that he was Chairman of President Clinton's Council of Economic Advisors. He is currently Professor of Finance and Economics at Columbia University. He won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2001.
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