Unhappy Union

Unhappy Union: How the Euro Crisis and Europe can be fixed (2014) by John Peet and Anton LaGuardia is a book that looks at the problems caused by the Euro, the history of ERM and where the authors proposes fixes for Europe.

Peet and LaGuardia have both been correspondents for The Economist on Europe. They know their subject matter intimately.

Chapter 1 looks at the depths of the Euro crisis, Chapter 2 goes through the history of Europe, Chapter 3 looks at how the EU works, chapter 4 the launch and early days of Europe and Chapter 5 and 6 go through the details of the crisis. Chapter 7 & 8 describe how Europe has changed and Chapter 9 look at the European Parliament, Chapter 10 and 11 on Europe’s new foreign policy and Chapter 12 compares the Euro Zone to the US and describes what the authors can be done to fix Europe.

The book has some interesting revelations, such as that the Germans did seriously think about throwing Greece out of the Euro.  The chapters on history are fun to read and even amusing in parts. The chapters on the crisis are hard going, the Byzantine details of the way Europe works make for difficult and fairly dull reading despite the enormously serious nature of the crisis they are describing. Chapter 10 and 11 highlight the problems with the EU.

The book describes the curious experiment that the Euro is. It seems the authors may inadvertently be fuelling scepticism of the Euro as they painstakingly describe the mess of European decision making. The chapters comparing the recoveries in the US to the Eurozone lend weight, again inadvertently to the idea that the Euro was a mistake.

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