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The Euro in Decline?

How the Currency Could Spoil the Global Financial System

A board with the currency exchange rates of the U.S. dollar and the Euro, March 10, 2016. Maxim Shemetov / Reuters

When the euro was created some 15 years ago, there was speculation that the new currency might come to challenge the dominance of the U.S. dollar as the international reserve currency of choice. But the euro’s guardian, the European Central Bank (ECB), had little appetite for such a role. Likewise, foreign exchange markets showed little support for supplanting the dollar’s hegemony with the euro, despite a move into euro-denominated bonds and a strengthening of the value of the euro over the 2000s. This has meant that the EU has, in large part, played a “helper” role in U.S. financial hegemony throughout the postwar era to today.

But now, Europe’s “helper” status may well be in question. The populist forces that have emerged throughout the continent challenge the legitimacy of the euro and threaten both the institutional and ideational foundations upon which it rests. With this uncertainty

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