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The sad final days of the Deutschmark and the meaninglessness of economic league tables

By John Plender   May 1998

So it’s goodbye to the once mighty Deutschmark. After last month’s grudging fiat from European central bankers, economic and monetary union is inevitable. Schadenfreude all round, as the Bundesbank is condemned to the status of a sub-post office in the European central banking system.

This abandonment of national currencies is clearly momentous. But European idealists should not let it go to their heads. Emu’s origins, remember, lie in French economic diplomacy that could fairly be described as war by other means.

I first understood this when I interviewed the then head of the Bundesbank, Karl Otto P?hl, for the BBC’s…

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