Thoughts from 1992

What happens if a whole country – a potential ‘region’ in a fully integrated community – suffers a structural setback? So long as it is a sovereign state, it can devalue its currency. It can then trade successfully at full employment provided its people accept the necessary cut in their real incomes. With an economic and monetary union, this recourse is obviously barred, and its prospect is grave indeed unless federal budgeting arrangements are made which fulfil a redistributive role.

Wynne Godley – Maastricht and All That


I saw this paper from 1992(!) being re-tweeted by my former Economics professor Simon Evenett of The St.Gallen MBA. The author sees the issue of having an monetary union without a federal European government, thus preventing necessary actions (such as devaluation of currency) of individual countries.


As was clearly recognised in the MacDougall Report which was published in 1977, there has to be a quid pro quo for giving up the devaluation option in the form of fiscal redistribution.

Wynne Godley – Maastricht and All That


Currently Europe does not want to do either of both. Neither fiscal redistribution / transfer payments including a central European government, nor giving the option to drop out of the Euro. Where is the way out? Does the described situation from 1992 sound familiar?

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