Currency Crises, Monetary Union and the Conduct of Monetary Policy: A Debate among Leading Economists

By Paul J. Zak | Go to book overview

4. European Monetary Union, the Dollar and the International Monetary System

Introduced by Barry Eichengreen

Corden: Welcome. The topic of this session is the euro, the dollar and the International Monetary System, to be introduced by Barry Eichengreen.

Eichengreen: Max has asked me to talk for a few minutes about implications of European Monetary Union (EMU) for the dollar and the International Monetary System (IMS). I must say my thoughts on this subject were greatly stimulated by a conference the International Monetary Fund ( IMF) had last week. It finally found a way to obtain for itself a platform to talk about the EMU by addressing this very topic of how monetary unification will affect the rest of the world. Many strong statements were made there. In the interest of getting the discussion going, I will offer them to you in the way of questions so that you realize these are not necessarily assertions with which I agree. A number of people suggested EMU was potentially the most important change effecting the international monetary system since 1973 or 1944 or 1925. I do think it's true the long-run implications for the IMS will be profound. The implications fall under three headings. First, the implications of EMU for the euro's and dollar's respective roles as international reserve currencies. Second, the implications for the dollar-euro exchange rate. Third, the implications for wider international monetary reform.

At the IMF conference, a number of respectable scholars said that monetary unification has the potential to elevate the euro to a position of parity with the dollar as a reserve vehicle

-32-

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