Friday, April 19, 2013

Brad DeLong : Europe Fails to Learn the Lessons of History

A marvelous, high-flying, multi-millenial overview of why Europe and the Euro are having so many problems even now. Be patient with the typos and read it all.
Brad DeLong : Europe Fails to Learn the Lessons of History: Notes on Political Union for Barry Eichengreen's "Future of the Euro" Conference, as Delivered: First, I would have to be even more rash than Charles le Temeraire, last duke of sovereign Burgundy, to opine about classical Dutch history with Jan de Vries in the room, but let me do so to point out that this session's topic, "political union", is a vague and sketchy concept. The political union of the strongest power in 17th century Europe, the seven United Provinces of the Netherlands, was made up of the components. First, there was a talk shop in the Hague--which had rather less power than is currently assembled in Brussels and Strasbourg. Second, the same guy, the Prince of Orange, was nearly always the stadthouder, the chief executive, of all seven provinces. Third, one of the provinces, Holland, was 60% of the total, and so if consensus was not reached could threaten to go it alone and do what was necessary--but when it did so take down names and have a long memory of who had played ball and who had not.