Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Bill Mitchell — Denmark should abandon its euro peg

In my soon-to-be-published book on the Eurozone I examined the case of Denmark in some detail in the context of the evolution of the European Monetary System, the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM), and the ratification process of the Treaty of Maastricht. Denmark was a participant in all the attempts to maintain fixed exchange rates after the Bretton Woods system collapsed in 1971. Further, while Denmark did not formally enter the monetary union by adopting the euro that doesn’t mean that they have maintained their currency independence. They chose instead to peg the Danish kroner against the euro (effectively continuing the ERM parities), which immediately meant that its central bank had to follow ECB monetary policy. Fiscal policy then became a passive player to ensure it didn’t exacerbate the peg parity and Denmark also bought into the Stability and Growth Pact fiscal rules. This meant that internal devaluation (wage cutting) was the only real counter-stabilisation option available to them when facing external imbalances and domestic recession. It hasn’t worked well as one would expect. In fact, the euro peg works against the interests of the Danish people, particularly low income workers prone to unemployment. Yet the nation has an obsession with maintaining it. Groupthink abounds. The correct policy strategy which would give the Danish government a wider range of policy tools to enhance the well-being of its people would be for Denmark to abandon its euro peg. It should do that virtually immediately.…
The post contains a history of currency unions in Europe and why the euro is another failed experiment.

Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Denmark should abandon its euro peg
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at the Charles Darwin University, Northern Territory, Australia

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