Latest Issue

The business

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…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect