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Taming the dollar

The euro was born out of America's abuse of the dollar's supremacy in the global financial system. The single currency will challenge that supremacy, but will still benefit America. And until the euro acquires a political voice, Europe will continue to play a support role to the US in world affairs

By Martin Walker   January 1999

As the euro is born, Europe’s political class worries about its immediate prospects. Will it be “hard” or “soft”? What form of economic governance will it require? When will “outs” become “ins”? But there are also strategic questions which attend the euro’s birth, in particular the impact it is likely to have on relations between the two richest and most powerful entities on the planet-the US and the European Union.

It is too easily forgotten that one of the main inspirations behind the euro was the resentment felt by most of Europe over the US’s misuse of the dollar’s supremacy…

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