Nobel Prize–winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz gives a clear-eyed examination of the eurozone and the economic future of the European Union in THE EURO: How a Common Currency Threatens the Future of Europe [W. W. Norton & Co.; August 16, 2016; $28.95 hardcover]. In this investigation of the flaws and great potential of the eurozone, Stiglitz persuasively argues that if the European Union is to survive, we must confront with urgency the challenges inherent with its currency. The euro, Stiglitz demonstrates, was born of a flawed system, but its future is not hopeless. With deep structural reform, he argues, the euro can be saved, and the European Union can prosper.
Among the topics Prof. Stiglitz covers in the book:
- The role that growing inequality played in anti-European sentiment and how growing inequality in the U.S. might put us on a similar course
- Why the United States has largely recovered from the 2008 recession, while Europe—especially the eurozone—remains mired in stagnation
- How austerity and the European Central Bank’s misguided inflation-only mandate led to the current economic crisis
- How the euro has led to an increase in inequality and has resulted in the weak countries becoming weaker and the strong countries becoming stronger (e.g., German GDP going from 10.8 times that of Greece in 2007 to 17.5 times that of Greece in 2015)
- To save the euro: the fundamental reforms needed in the structure of the eurozone and the policies imposed on the member countries
- Failing deep reform for the current currency, his bold ideas for a new system dubbed the “flexible euro”
- An amicable divorce: If the Eurozone fails to restore itself to prosperity, Stiglitz believes there are ways for countries manage a friendly and prosperous exit
The future of the euro and the fate of the European Union is one of the most pressing economic and political issues of our time. There is no one more qualified to confront and address this challenge than Joseph E. Stiglitz.