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Europe’s Financial Crisis: A Short Guide to How the Euro Fell Into Crisis, and the Consequences for the World by John Authers

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Chapter 1. Genesis of the Euro

The euro puts an end to competitive currency devaluation—a scourge that has been the cause of war. The euro creates potentially the largest capital market in the world, encouraging investment and the creation of employment. Welcome euro—euroff! Godspeed!

—Lord Cobbold, a U.K. foreign exchange hedge fund manager, in a letter to the Financial Times, January 1999

The euro started life as an attempt to ensure European economic integration. But the member countries had not converged enough when the system started, with the result that a fixed common currency perversely served to force them further apart.

“I’m OK. Euro K!” The T-shirts, distributed to employees and clients by the Dutch bank ABN Amro, caught the mood of ...

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