Europe’s Orphan: The Future of the Euro and the Politics of Debt

Martin Sandbu. Princeton Univ., $29.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-691-16830-2
The Greek debt crisis makes this extended defense of the Eurozone especially topical. Financial Times writer Sandbu (Just Business) looks past current headlines to the ideals and realpolitik strategy behind the Eurozone, arguing that it remains Europe’s best hope for preserving global relevance. Sandbu mounts a thorough, three-pronged argument. First, he observes that Eurozone countries would have undergone the Great Recession of 2010 with or without the euro. Like the U.S., Greece, Ireland, and Spain overextended themselves with cheap, loose credit and would have done so with their own sovereign currency had they never adopted the euro. Second, the Eurozone helps member nations avoid fragmentation and remain vital in the face of rising superpowers India and China, as well as its local antagonist, Russia. Finally, Sandbu suggests that even further moves toward unity, such as issuing eurobonds, would be desirable. This book cogently explains why scapegoating the euro for Europe’s economic and political disunity is nonsense. Yet its central thesis is less a defense of the euro than an argument for a federated Europe. With even pro-E.U. leaders reluctant to embrace such a prospect, Sandbu’s vision comes across as stirringly ambitious but less than fully convincing. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/31/2015
Release date: 09/01/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 336 pages - 978-1-4008-7342-5
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