Saving Europe: How National Politics Nearly Destroyed the Euro

Saving Europe: How National Politics Nearly Destroyed the Euro

by Carlo Bastasin
     
 

ISBN-10: 081572196X

ISBN-13: 9780815721963

Pub. Date: 03/29/2012

Publisher: Brookings Institution Press

Three times in the few years since the global financial crisis erupted, the euro has come close to extinction, endangering both the world economy and history's most ambitious project in shared sovereignty. Yet each time, the case for a common currency proved to be more compelling than its weaknesses, and the euro survived. Saving Europe reveals how the nexus

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Overview

Three times in the few years since the global financial crisis erupted, the euro has come close to extinction, endangering both the world economy and history's most ambitious project in shared sovereignty. Yet each time, the case for a common currency proved to be more compelling than its weaknesses, and the euro survived. Saving Europe reveals how the nexus of international economics and national politics pushed monetary union to the brink of a breakup, how that disastrous development was avoided, and why the long-term viability of a common currency challenges politics as we know it.

Carlo Bastasin reveals and analyzes what has been happening behind the scenes in European negotiations since the financial crisis began with the collapse of major financial institutions in 2008. He argues that the crisis in the euro zone actually has a political origin, having emerged from the self-interested abuses of national politics. Moreover, the crisis is reinforced even now by the obstinate defense of national prerogatives in politics and finance as well as by the lack of commitment for shared or supranational sovereignty. While the prevalent view is that monetary union was a flawed project from the start and is in need of amending, Bastasin shows that the failures have to do almost entirely with national opportunism—not only in Greece but in most countries, including Germany—and concludes that the crisis will lead to Europe's political union.

Bastasin's work is an engrossing historical chronicle, interweaving moments of high drama with individual personalities on the world stage. German ChancellorAngela Merkel, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and national and European central bankers, among others, play key roles. Saving Europe is also a rigorous attempt to make larger sense of what has happened in the euro zone and what might happen next. Given the central importance of Europe within the fragile world economy as well as growing speculation that the euro might disappear, this is essential reading for anyone trying to grasp international economics and politics. Just as important, it is a compelling tale of people, personalities, power, and money. There is no other book like it.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780815721963
Publisher:
Brookings Institution Press
Publication date:
03/29/2012
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
405
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.30(d)

Table of Contents

Prologue: Other Peoples Eyes 1

1 The Origin of Mistrust 15

2 The Secrets behind the Banks 37

3 Europe's Awkward Ambitions to Change the World 57

4 Too Different for One Policy 73

5 First Doubts about the Euro 87

6 The American Crisis Becomes the European Crisis 100

7 The European Central Bank's First Rescue of the States 110

8 Karlsruhe, Ruling the World from the Province 123

9 The Well-Known Secret of the Greek Tragedy 135

10 Let Greece Default? 147

11 Bringing the Euro to the Brink, in Order to Save It 160

12 Sell Your Islands 174

13 Contagion 184

14 Dr. Faust Saves the Euro 195

15 From a New Complacency to the Irish Crisis 219

16 A Sophisticated Way to Commit Suicide 233

17 A Fateful Fight between the ECB and the Heads of Governments 250

18 The Crisis Reaches Italy and Spain 269

19 Berlusconis Moral Hazard and the German Waterboarding Strategy 297

20 Solution or Dissolution: Political Union or the End of the Euro 322

Epilogue: Toward the Political Union 348

Notes 355

Index 395

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