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  • Cited by 79
  • Otmar Issing, Former Chief Economist, European Central Bank
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
May 2010
Print publication year:
Online ISBN:

Book description

Today, 318 million people in 15 countries use the Euro, which now rivals the importance of the US Dollar in the world economy. This is an outcome that few would have predicted with confidence when the Euro was launched. How can we explain this success and what are the prospects for the future? There is nobody better placed to answer these questions than Otmar Issing, who as a founding member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank (1998–2006), was one of the Euro's principal architects. His story is a unique insider account, combining personal memoir with reference to the academic and policy literature. Free of jargon, this is a very human reflection on a unique historical experiment and a key reference for all academics, policy makers, and 'Eurowatchers' seeking to understand how the Euro has got to where it is today and what challenges lie ahead.


'It is hard to think of a single monetary event more important than the creation of European Monetary Union. Otmar Issing, the intellectual force behind the first decade of the European Central Bank, has written a brilliant account of the debates and struggles behind the birth of the Euro, an event which has reshaped the world monetary order.'

Mervyn A. King - Governor Bank of England

‘Professor Otmar Issing was an exceptional and decisive actor in the making of the Euro, first as the chief economist and member of the Directorate of the Deutsche Bundesbank and then as the chief economist and member of the Executive Board of the European Central bank. His book is remarkable for its accuracy, lucidity and pertinence. It gives the reader the unique perspective of a major decision-maker, who is both a living symbol of the successful transition from the national currencies to the euro and a privileged witness of those historic events.’

Jean-Claude Trichet - President of the European Central Bank

'In this superb account, Otmar Issing, architect of the European Central Bank´s monetary policy, explains the successful launch of the most remarkable experiment in monetary history. Both an insider and a noted academic, nobody is better equipped than Dr Issing to rid the world of its many mistaken beliefs about the world´s second most important currency.'Martin Wolf, Financial Times

'Just on time for the 10th anniversary of European Monetary Union, Otmar Issing brilliantly strikes the balance of achievements and future challenges of the Euro. Strongly recommended reading - especially for Europe`s leaders and politicians who should take his admonitions seriously.'

Axel Weber - President of Deutsche Bundesbank

‘No one can tell the story of the birth of the Euro better than Otmar Issing. An original member of the Executive Board of the new ECB, he served for 8 years - longer than any other founding member - developing the strategy and the tactics that made the idea of the Euro work. In this book, he shares the financial insights of an innovative economist and the practical wisdom of a seasoned leader. The book is exceptionally well written, laced with touching personal stories. There is no better way to understand the amazing birth of the Euro than to read this book.’

Professor John B.Taylor - Stanford University

'… he provides a stimulating and authoritative account of the origins and philosophy of a venture that he rightly describes as historically unprecedented.'

Source: The Business Economist

'This is an important book. … the author presents both the academic and policy perspectives surrounding the development and subsequent management of a single European currency. … a comprehensive - yet non-technical - treatment of the key economic issues … the author is uniquely placed to give real insights into the political concerns and influences of different member states … a highly informative and valuable information source.'

Source: Economic Outlook and Business Review

'No one is better qualified to write this book than Otmar Issing.'

Source: Financial World

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