Friedman

by jh

Från läsvärda “What would Milton Friedman have thought about market monetarism” (The Money Illusion). Milton, i en intervju från 1999:

EPSTEIN Do you think the European Monetary Union will be a success?

FRIEDMAN I hope so, but I am very dubious.

EPSTEIN Why so?

FRIEDMAN Because the European Union is not an appropriate area for a single currency. There are some cases where a single currency is desirable and some where it is not. It is most desirable where you have countries that speak the same language, that have movement of people among them, and that have some system of adjusting asymmetric effects on the different parts of the country. The United States is a good area for a common currency, for all those reasons.

But Europe is the opposite in all these respects. Its inhabitants speak different languages, have different customs. And there is limited mobility between countries. The exchange rate between different currencies was a mechanism by which they could adjust to shocks that hit them asymmetrically—that hit one area differently from another. The Europeans have, in effect, entered into a gamble in which they have thrown away that adjustment mechanism. It may work out all right. But on the whole, I think the odds are that it will be a source of great trouble.

EPSTEIN What kind of trouble?

FRIEDMAN The trouble will not be for all of them. Some among them will be affected by developments that would have called in the past for a depreciation of their currency. But given that they are locked into a single currency, the alternative will be a recession.

Det får man väl säga var en ganska bra sammanfattning av vad som faktiskt hände?

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