Articles concerning: economy

The Euro is murdering the nations and economies of the EU quite literally. Since the fixed currency regime came into effect, replacing national currencies in transactions in 2002, the fixed exchange rate regime has devastated industry in the periphery states of the 19 Euro members while giving disproportionate benefit to Germany. The consequence has been a little-noted industrial contraction and lack of possibility to deal with resulting banking crises. The Euro is a monetarist disaster and the EU dissolution is now pre-programmed as just one consequence.

The ECB’s increasingly shrill mantra that it makes policy for the monetary union as a whole and not for its largest member (Germany) could well cause a black swan to appear — in the form of a German political shock this autumn. The Frankfurt-based officials have been ignoring the historical observation of Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Mundell that central banks of federal unions are intuitively alert to symptoms of monetary instability in their dominant economic member — for example: Ontario in Canada and New South Wales in Australia. (California, at around 13% of the US economy does not qualify as “dominant.”)

For leftist critics of the EU, reform looks unlikely — but aligning with right-wing Euroskeptics looks worse. Maybe there's a third option.

When European Union President Jean-Claude Juncker addressed the European Parliament in Strasbourg this past September, he told them the organization was facing an “existential crisis.” In part, he blamed “national governments so weakened by the forces of populism” that they were “paralyzed by the risk of defeat in the next election.”

John Maynard Keynes thought he had pretty well killed gold as a monetary standard back in the 1930s. Governments of the world did their best to help him. It took longer than they thought. Gold in the money survived all the way to Nixon, and it was he who finally drove the stake in once and for all. That was supposed to be the end of it, and the beginning of the glorious new age of paper prosperity.

In September 2010, a short time before the international financial summit of the Group of Twenty (G20) took place in South Korea, Brazilian finance minister Guido Mantega declared that the world is experiencing a "currency war" where "devaluing currencies artificially is a global strategy."

By announcing the outbreak of a "currency war," Mantega wanted to draw attention to the problems caused by the ongoing exchange-rate manipulations that governments put in place in order to gain economic advantages. In this sense, "currency war" denotes the conflict among nations that arises from the deliberate manipulation of the exchange rate in order to gain international competitiveness by way of currency devaluation.

That war is not productive may seem self-evident to Misesians but it is not to the "educated" public who have been taught that World War II ended the Depression and that deficit spending (of whatever kind it doesn't matter) spurs economic growth. Americans show not the slightest awareness that every dollar spent on the ongoing Afghan and Iraqi wars, the continuing occupations, and the rebuilding of those failed societies is one less dollar that can be spent at home, and that the whole adventure represents a giant transfer of American capital to the sweltering deserts and sun-baked slums of the Middle East. If they were aware of these economic realities would they not be more skeptical about administration claims that the terror war is enhancing our security?

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