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The Euro Crisis and Its Aftermath Hardcover – 8 May 2014


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: OUP USA (8 May 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199993335
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199993338
  • Product Dimensions: 23.9 x 2.3 x 16.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 164,364 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

Careful and persuasive. (John Peet, The Economist)

It is succinct and clear enough to serve as the best available guide to the euro mess for non-European, non-economists. (The Wall Street Journal's 'Washington Wire')

This is a brilliant book about the euro. It suprises with its refreshing mixing of history, politics, and economics. (Paul de Grauwe, London School of Economics and Political Science)

An excellent, well-balanced, and beautifully written book on the euro-crisis, its causes, its on-going developments, and its possible cures. Required reading. (Charles Goodhart, Professor Emeritus, London School of Economics and Political Science)

A highly readable and clearheaded account of not just what went wrong, but also what must be done to save the European project. (Dani Rodrik, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton)

No global financial issue is more pressing than the future of the EMU. If you are going to read only one book about it, read this one. Jean Pisani-Ferry is wise nad balanced while being simultaneously sharp and incisive. This is must-reading for anyone who cares about Europe's future. (Larry Summers, former Secretary of the U. S. Treasury)

I bet this book will be the source to go to on the Euro crisis... If policy nmakers have the wisdom, they will follow Pisani-Ferry's advice, and Europe will heal. (Olivier Blanchard, Director of Research, International Monetary Fund)

About the Author

Jean Pisani-Ferry is Professor of Economics and Public Management at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, and Commissionar-General for Strategy for the Prime Minister of France. Until May 2013 he was the director of Bruegel, the Brussels-based economic think tank he contributed to founding in 2005.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Athan on 26 July 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The acknowledgments section of this book is a who-is-who of the European banking establishment. ECB council members Jorg Assmussen and Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, IMF economist (and MIT legend) Oliver Blanchard, Euro funding "Cerberus" Francesco Papadia and Eurocrat Olli Rehn all feature. Those who missed out in the acknowledgments feature in the endorsements on the back cover, with guest appearances from Charles Goodhart and Larry Summers who salute the author's efforts from across the Channel and the Atlantic. Pisani-Ferry himself is, of course, the founder and former head of Bruegel.

So this was never going to be a book that would rock the boat. It is very much an account by somebody who is not only sold on the European Project, but pretty much embodies it.

That said, I bought the book for what it was, not for what it could have been if it was penned by somebody more prepared to criticize. This author was never going to ask the fundamental question, which of course is "do these guys actually belong together?" Nor was he ever going to ask "is the Euro an idea that had to be tried but perhaps did not work out?" But can he give a good account of the crisis?

The answer is a resounding "yes." This is now the go-to book if you want to refresh your memories from the past five years or indeed if you want to learn about the Euro crisis from scratch.
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Amazon.com: 5 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
As good as it could have been 26 July 2014
By Athan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The acknowledgments section of this book is a who-is-who of the European banking establishment. ECB council members Jorg Assmussen and Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, IMF economist (and MIT legend) Oliver Blanchard, Euro funding "Cerberus" Francesco Papadia and Eurocrat Olli Rehn all feature. Those who missed out in the acknowledgments feature in the endorsements on the back cover, with guest appearances from Charles Goodhart and Larry Summers who salute the author's efforts from across the Channel and the Atlantic. Pisani-Ferry himself is, of course, the founder and former head of Bruegel.

So this was never going to be a book that would rock the boat. It is very much an account by somebody who is not only sold on the European Project, but pretty much embodies it.

That said, I bought the book for what it was, not for what it could have been if it was penned by somebody more prepared to criticize. This author was never going to ask the fundamental question, which of course is "do these guys actually belong together?" Nor was he ever going to ask "is the Euro an idea that had to be tried but perhaps did not work out?" But can he give a good account of the crisis?

The answer is a resounding "yes." This is now the go-to book if you want to refresh your memories from the past five years or indeed if you want to learn about the Euro crisis from scratch. Everything is in here, not necessarily in chronological order, but there is a very good narrative in place, all the way from the founding of the European Union's predecessors, to the logic that made currency union the latest and possibly last of its grand projects (page 25), through to the crisis and the manner in which its sundry phases were managed by the ECB, Angela Merkel and a gaggle of her hapless European counterparts.

As a person who followed the crisis from very close, I think the author is leaving some bits out deliberately. For example, the LTRO was put in place because weak peripheral banks had half a trillion Euros of debt to roll. That was the true reason. The author goes into some funky analogy from the fifteenth century, which amounts to believing Draghi's excuse, and totally avoids mentioning this fact. I can give other examples. Regardless, the story is told well, it is given in context and it flows very naturally.

Also, a forty thousand feet narrative is given. The one that says we won't get to the bottom of the problem unless we start planning the future (as opposed to only reacting to disasters at the last minute); that austerity can only be one part of the solution; that the Euro actually succeeded enough in unifying the European market for borrowing and lending that if we abandon it we are guaranteed a massive financial disaster from the asymmetric effects of the benefits to those who will find they can pay in shekels versus those who will go bankrupt because they never got the Euros (so far so conventional). He also seems to think that we broke new ground with the banking union that was agreed upon recently, that it was a major turning point and perhaps a saving grace of the Euro. This last point is not at all the public wisdom. All newspaper articles I read claimed it was not workable.

So all this gets you to page 125 out of 177 and then the real book starts. It's the chapter called "The Repair Agenda." The message here is clear: the European Union must become a federation like the United States of America. That is the only way it will get the necessary budget to conduct fiscal policy and that's the only way it can issue a common European bond, a safe asset, that the ECB will be allowed to buy. He makes one more time the case for the Bruegel two-tier bond system, whereby every country can issue up to an amount of 60% of GDP "blue bonds" guaranteed by the entire union and beyond that "red bonds" for which it will be responsible itself. Not a bad idea, of course.

Sadly, and the author admits this, the time for a European Federation idea has come and gone. The peoples of Europe do not want to live in a European Federation, they want to live in their individual countries and have expressed this wish through the ballot box on every occasion when they have had the chance.

So Pisani-Ferry proposes that we wait till the tide turns and hopes an aggressive ECB with help from the new banking union will prove enough of a support between now and then to prevent the Euro from exploding under the weight of slow growth, high debt, North-South imbalances and one-size-fits-all rates policy. Not too hopeful, then.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Excellent overview of the euro crisis for those unfamiliar 31 July 2014
By A. Menon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Euro Crisis and Its aftermath is a synopsis of the crisis that has unfolded in Europe after the fall of the US housing marked and the banking crisis that it catalysed. It is an excellent history of events and explains clearly what unfolded and to a certain extent why. Most of the book is a review of the crisis itself, the economics and the politics, it familiarizes the readers with how Europe got to where it was before the crisis as well as the interactions during the crisis and the actions taken by the bank which has taken Europe to where it is at the time of writing. The book concludes with an overview of the problems at the core of the Eurozone, which are institutional in nature and warns that much needs to be done and it will take a generation.

The book is split into four parts. The first part really is a brief history of the Euro and how it was the project to finally unify Europe in the second half of the 20th century. It discusses Germany and the Bundesbank and how the monetary stability provided by the Bundesbank was a core pillar in Germanys decision to pursue the Euro. It gives a quick view into the higher inflation environments that also catalysed a desire from the periphery and France in particular to anchor to Germany. It also discusses how the governments at the time recognized the economic repurcussions of a common currency and believed to a certain extent that a common currency would lead the way to a more unified political structure at some point down the road.

The book then moves onto the actual crisis and starts with using Iceland as a benchmark to look at some of the Euro area, for which Ireland was eerily similar and was assumed initially to be a candidate to follow the same path. The book starts with describing of the unfolding of Greece and how its intentionally misleading accounting eventually was admitted and this event catalysed the Euro Area crisis. The book then gives the history of the adoption of the common currency and the narrowing of sovereign yields which led to massive investment booms in southern europe (fiscal in Greece, private sector in Spain and Ireland). The lack of currency markets to be a signal to finance ministers gave way to complacency in different forms.

The third part focuses on the responses of lack of them. With the Euro area having an existential crisis that was balkanizing the banking sector (which was precisely the opposite of the intention of the adoption of the currency) the finger pointing began. In the treaties signed, no bailouts was among the most explicit and politically among the most challenging especially with the poster child of the Euro crisis being Greece to the common citizen. The desire to have the banks pay was high until people realized a banking crisis would destroy the domestic economies, the desire to save the banking system broadly was not a regional issue as most banking systems were mainly domestic and the ability of the national governments to save their domestic banks became extremely burdensome due to the relationship between the sovereigns and the banks and the rigidity of the currency. The authors detail how the tailwinds of joining the Euro and the liquidity of a global currency that came with it started facing the major headwinds of balkanization and a gold standard like rigidity. The author discusses how the central bank approached the issue and the disputes among those within the bank with several of the bundesbank members resiging eventually. The author discusses austerity and some of the causes of the desire for it as well as the economic consequences of the approach in a common currency framework and finally the discussion of breaking up of the Euro area and the possible repurcussions of that.

The fourth part focuses on repair and reform. Much of the first three sections focused on how the Euro area got where it did and why the focuses were what they were and the events that unfolded given the history and the constraints. The repair and reform agenda looks hard at the institutional failings of the common currency and the patchwork of fixes employed and what they mean for the future. In reading the final section the reader is given strong arguments against the sustainability in its current form of the currency union. The reminder that the current arrangement is not resilient to strong shocks is made and that integration is a requirement for a stable long term currency union. The political capital that was there to start the Euro has been used and citizens are disillusioned and visionary leaders are lacking. The banking union is a step in the right direction but the capitalization for the resolution authority remains incomplete and currently insufficient to address the regions banking interlinkages.

This is a good book to understand the history and sequencing of the crisis in the euro area. It gives an understanding of the politics, economics of the countries and to a certain extent their goals out of joining the currency union, which unfortunately dont gel with what is required to sustain the currency union. The reform and repair section is a stark reminder of the institutional deficit that the architecture faces and the lack of political desire to get to the needed institutional framework. One unfortunately gets a sense that the problems of yesterday will resurface in the future. Having followed the crisis carefully i enjoyed reading the commentary and it is a good reminder of the precise sequencing my only criticism is that parts of the book one can see are written a bit hastily. By that I mean that there are parts where one knows that most of the book was written but then minor ammendments were needed due to newsflow requiring updates to the content. The preamble is dated before some of the comments later in the book are dated for example.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
An excellent primer on the Euro crisis 29 Jun 2014
By rvarghese - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Pisani-Ferry does an excellent job covering the origins, events and possible solutions to the Euro crisis. This is all made accessible to the lay reader without being overly simplistic regarding the economic and political elements of the crisis. My one minor criticism is that I think he underplays the role of the ECB in its failure to respond aggressively to the crisis. But all in all, this is an excellent addition to a still-evolving chapter of economic history.
An Excellent Crisis Overview 21 Aug 2014
By Prof. Dionysios Chionis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
for the end of the economic crisis in the euro area there is a need to change a lot of issues in the current economic policy. In an attempt to identify 'what' and 'how' the book of Professor Fery-Pisani offers a comprehensive analysis of the proposed changes combining both theoretical and empirical aspects. The author is not appear very optimistic for the future perspective of Eurozone and I was expecting to describe and to odffer more radical policy advices for the necessary changes of European framework. In any case I hope that the ' Euro Crisis and its aftermath' being part of the eurocrats policy toolkit
highly recommended 13 Dec 2014
By R. van Rhienen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a great read for those that want to better understand the background of the current european crisis. It is written in a clear and understandable way. A must read!
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