The Euro

The Battle for the New Global Currency
Revised Edition

David Marsh

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On the tenth anniversary of the Euro, a look at its tumultuous history—and its future prospects

This book is the first comprehensive political and economic account of the birth and development of the Euro. Today the Euro is the supranational currency for sixteen European countries and the world’s second-largest reserve currency. David Marsh tells the story of the rivalries, intrigues, and deal making that brought about a currency for Europe, and he analyzes the achievements and shortcomings of its first decade of existence.

While the Euro represents a remarkable triumph of political will, great pressures are building on the single currency. Drawing on more than 100 interviews with leading figures associated with the Euro, and scores of secret documents from international archives, Marsh underscores the Euro’s importance for the global economy, in particular for U.S. and British economic and political agendas.

Hidden facts and fresh insights from The Euro:
  • How the legacy of France and Germany’s tortuous relations affects the Euro
  • Why the United Kingdom is unlikely to accept the Euro before 2025
  • The impact on the Euro of the U.S. credit crisis
  • How the Euro has rebounded against the aspirations of its founders
  • How Italy and Spain have massively lost competitiveness
  • Why radical changes must be adopted to prevent a European upheaval

David Marsh is chairman of SCCO International and co-chairman of Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum. He is a frequent contributor to German and British publications, and he lectures widely on political, economic, and business issues. He lives in London.

"A compelling political story. . . . [Marsh has] an eye for captivating details."—Ralph Atkins, Financial Times

“…gripping … Mr. Marsh’s book has extra value because it draws on hundreds of interviews with the bigwigs involved in setting up the Euro … and is built on the foundation of his earlier history of Germany’s Bundesbank. The result is an indispensable guide to monetary union.”—Economist

“… [An] excellent new book.”—David Smith, Sunday Times

"An amazingly detailed and thoroughly readable account of the long march to the Euro. This is the stuff of a political thriller: the deal-making behind a currency constructed not just as a financial instrument but also as a way of overcoming centuries of conflict. Anyone interested in European politics and economics, as well as Europe's place in the wider world, would enjoy it."—George Soros

“…an exciting, interesting and very readable history of the euro…It is not just for economists or financiers.  It’s a must-read for anybody running a business…David Marsh has researched his subject extensively…accessing both official and unofficial records…detailed description of key events and personalities adds colour, interest, and understanding to the evolution of the euro, making for an exciting read.”—Sir Geoffrey Mulcahy, Management Today

“Marsh has achieved the seemingly impossible feat of making what the Brits tend to regard as a boring topic, best avoided, into a great story. What is more, it manages to be balanced, examining all the topical, as well as historical, issues ….”—William Keegan, The Observer

“… [a] very entertaining book … This account takes us right back to the beginning, to Charlemagne and beyond to show that monetary union has always been a potent symbol of territory and authority … and Marsh describes the intergovernmental wrangling in great style, including some incidents never before reported.”—David Lascelles, Financial World

“… [an] important and highly readable book … Marsh brings to life the historical genesis, birth pangs and now remarkable achievements of [the Euro] … [Marsh is] one of the best German and European correspondents of The Financial Times – and a man who has better contacts in the German banking and political class than anyone else in the world … we now have a very good history of the currency written in a very non-technical and accessible way.”—Denis MacShane, Tribune

“… entirely readable. Uncovering hitherto untapped archival material, [Marsh] adds to our understanding of the events that led up to the launch of the single currency … a gripping account ….”—Stewart Fleming, European Voice

“There are not many economists in Marsh’s generation who have been present at so many of the vital moments or who can call on such an impressive roster of interviewees as background research. He is especially good on the way that the two great European projects of our time – economic and political union – have counteracted each other.”—Philip Collins, The Times

"[The Euro] is an exceptionally well-researched tale of intrigues, rivalries, and arm-twisting. . . .Marsh has a lively style and good eye for anecdote.  He actually makes something as unappealing as the history of the euro a page-turner."—Joseph A. Harriss, The American Spectator

'… a detailed and illuminating account of [the Euro's] origins, its record and its prospects … Marsh's book, based in large part on highly revealing interviews with most of the key protagonists, brings out very clearly how all these battles were fought, and ultimately resolved, by individuals with strong views and diverse personalities … [a] penetrating analysis.' — Roger Morgan, Times Higher Education

'[The Euro is] an insightful journey … Marsh draws heavily on archival research and, in particular, upon interviews with most of the key players involved … Such invaluable source material … [casts] fresh and illuminating light upon pivotal 'landmark' events … a powerful and enthralling read … any reader will derive much insight and enjoyment from the unfolding narrative … [it] deserves to be read widely.'— Ian Harwood, The Business Economist

'…the first recording of the politics, economics and personalities that led to the birth of the euro.'— Mark Hennessy, Irish Times

'…chronicles in meticulous detail how the European single currency came into being.' — Anthony Hilton, Evening Standard

‘…a gripping account of how the euro came about.’—Survival, Dec/Jan 2010

“What a time to write a book about the euro…..anyone who wants to understand why the euro project is where it is now, this book is indispensable. And that includes the armies of ‘Eurosceptics’.”—Mark Johnson, Euromoney Magazine

“David Marsh’s excellent history of the euro, now updated to include the events of the first half of 2011, is a masterful summary of the high ambitions behind the currency and the unwillingness and inability of Europe’s leaders to acknowledge and deal with the flaws in the system.”—Nick Butler, The Tribune

“This is a hugely impressive work that deserves to become a standard reference on the genesis and chequered development of the euro.”—Chris Mulhearn, European Quarterly

Chosen as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2009 by Choice Magazine
ISBN: 9780300176742
Publication Date: August 23, 2011
352 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
22 b/w illus.
Europe's Deadlock

How the Euro Crisis Could Be Solved — And Why It Still Won’t Happen

David Marsh

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