Read e-book online A History of Monetary Unions PDF

By John F Chown

EMU may be trumpeted because the nice monetary test in financial union, yet as John Chown exhibits during this marvelous publication, there were many different examples of economic unions through the years - a few profitable, others now not so. during this complete historic evaluate, the writer writes approximately financial unions with an admirable completeness and covers such issues as: the top-quality, financial unions in nations and parts from Latin the USA to The British Empire to Japan and Korea with many in among, the EMU and its coverage ramifications and the CFA Franc quarter within the former French colonies.

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France and the UK compared Why did the French, the losers, introduce a stable currency eighteen years before the victorious UK resumed convertibility, and how did the French system ‘conquer’ so much of Europe? Sometimes, during periods of monetary upheaval, things have to get worse before they get better, and this is an example. France’s disastrous attempt to finance the war with paper money (the assignats) having collapsed, the only way out was to introduce a really credible monetary reform. Paper money had become worthless by about 1799: inflation, as a method of war finance, was burnt out, and in 1803 the 38 Monetary union in post-Napoleonic Europe French had no alternative but to revert to a really credible honest money.

Even if transaction costs could be substantially eliminated, the unified common currency has one important advantage over fixed rates in that price differentials between countries are transparent, enhancing competition. A paper by Frankel and Rose2 (August 2000) comes up with some surprisingly optimistic conclusions on the beneficial effect of currency unions on the long-run level and rate of growth of economies, arguing that currency union stimulates trade which in turn stimulates output. Currency unions, they show, promote bilateral trade and open economies with, they say, no ‘trade diversion’ away from non-members.

The LMU very nearly became the basis of a world monetary system, but collapsed, quite unnecessarily, as a reaction to the post-1870 rise in the bimetallic ratio and the fall in the price of silver. The United Kingdom, mainly by luck, escaped both problems, and the gold standard triumphed by the end of the nineteenth century. France and the UK compared Why did the French, the losers, introduce a stable currency eighteen years before the victorious UK resumed convertibility, and how did the French system ‘conquer’ so much of Europe?

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