Currency Without a Country: Death Throes or Growing Pains of the Euro?

On May 4th, 2010
The Streit Council for a Union of Democracies
with the Center for Transatlantic Relations hosted a panel discussion:

Currency Without a Country: Death Throes or Growing Pains of the Euro?

Prompted by the evolving debt crisis in Greece, this event was particularly relevant given the controversial Greek bailout package from the EU-IMF was only approved days prior to our event. With a collection of panelists that represented the EU, the European Central Bank, IMF, and various think tanks, this event gave an excellent venue for our panelists to discuss their thoughts on the prospects of the euro, contagion worries of other European countries, and future financial and structural reforms that are necessary to prevent similar maladies from occurring again.

The panel was moderated by Amb. Kurt Volker, former US Ambassador to NATO and Senior Fellow and Managing Director, Center for Transatlantic Relations. Richard Conn Henry, President, Streit Council, offered opening and closing remarks.

The panel included:
Antonio de Lecea, Minister and Principal Advisor for Economic and Financial Affairs, EU Delegation to the US;
Georges Pineau
, Permanent Representative, European Central Bank;
Steve Hanke
, Professor of Applied Economics, Johns Hopkins University and Senior Fellow, Cato Institute; and
Uri Dadush, Senior Associate and Director of the International Economics Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

The panel, from left to right: Uri Dadush, Steve Hanke, Richard Conn Henry, Kurt Volker, Antonio de Lecea, and Georges Pineau

-Summary of the event
-Streit Council President Dr. Henry's opening remarks,
-Amb. Volker's introductory remarks,
-Dr. de Lecea's powerpoint presentation, and remarks,
-Dr. Pineau's remarks,
-Dr. Hanke's remarks were informed, in part, by his article on currency reform and the Euro, which appeared in Econ Journal Watch; you can find it here.  Dr. Hanke's has also issued commentary on the Greek debt crisis, which is available here.
-Dr. Dadush's remarks,
-The Panel Discussion,
-Question & Answer session,
-Mr. Brian Beary, from Europolitics, wrote an article reviewing this panel discussion; you can find the article here.

-Here is the video from the event, split into seven parts.

Participant Bios

Antonio de Lecea became Minister for economic and financial affairs, and Principal Advisor to the Head of the EU Delegation in Washington, D.C. in October 2009. Prior to this, de Lecea served as Director for International Affairs in the European Commission’s Directorate General for Economic and Financial Affairs. From 1999 to 2004, de Lecea was Economic Advisor in the Private Office of Romano Prodi, then European Commission President. Before joining the European Commission in 1986, he was a member of the Private Office of the Spanish Secretary of State for Finance in Madrid. Mr. de Lecea obtained a Ph.D. from the Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) in the European Doctoral Programme for Quantitative Economics, and a first degree in Economics from the Barcelona Autonomous University (UAB).

Georges Pineau, since November 2008, has been the ECB Permanent Representative in Washington D.C. with observer status at the IMF. Pineau worked as an Economist at the Banque de France in 1980. From 1986 to 1989, he served as an Advisor to the French Executive Director at the International Monetary Fund. From 1989 to 1992, Pineau served as a Market Economist at the Banque de France. From 1993 to 1994, he was the Rapporteur to the Foreign Exchange Policy Sub-Committee of the Committee of Governors of the EU Central Banks. From 1994 to 1998, he was the Head of EMS/ECU Section, Policy Division, General Secretariat at the EMI (Frankfurt/Main, Germany). From 1998 to 2008, Pineau served as Deputy Director General at the European Central Bank. Pineau graduated from Ecole Supérieure de Commerce (business administration degree), Poitiers, and Institut d’Etudes Politiques (M.A. economics), Paris, France.

Steve Hanke is Professor of Applied Economics, Co-Director of the Institute for Applied Economics and the Study of Business Enterprise at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore; Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C.; Distinguished Professor at the Universitas Pelita Harapan in Jakarta, Indonesia; member of the National Bank of Kuwait’s International Advisory Board (chaired by Sir John Major); member of the Financial Advisory Council of the United Arab Emirates; and a columnist at Forbes magazine. In the past, Hanke has taught economics at the Colorado School of Mines and the University of California at Berkeley. He has also served as a Senior Economist on President Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers; as a State Counselor to the Republic of Lithuania and Republic of Montenegro; and as an Advisor to the Presidents of Bulgaria, Indonesia, and Venezuela. He has also worked in Argentina, Estonia, Bulgaria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ecuador, Lithuania and Montenegro in establishing new currency regimes. He has also advised the governments of many other countries, including Albania, Kazakhstan and Yugoslavia.

Uri Dadush is Senior Associate and Director in Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s new International Economics Program. His work currently focuses on trends in the global economy and the global financial crisis. Prior to working at Carnegie, Dadush was the World Bank’s Director of International Trade as well as Director of Economic Policy, leading the preparation of the Bank’s flagship reports on the international economy. He was also the Director of the World Bank’s World Economy Group. Dadush has served as President and CEO of the Economist Intelligence Unit and Business International. Dadush was also a consultant with McKinsey and Co. in Europe. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in Business Economics.

Richard Conn Henry is a Professor in the Henry A. Rowland Department of Physics and Astronomy at The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, where he is also Director, Maryland Space Grant Consortium, and member, Principal Professional Staff, The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. Henry is also President of The Henry Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit devoted to the advance of education and career development for the American people. Henry is President of the Streit Council for a Union of Democracies. From 1976 to 1978, he was Deputy Director of NASA’s Astrophysics Division. Henry is a past Sloan Foundation Fellow; a onetime Fellow of Wadham College, Oxford; a recipient, Gold Medal, Royal Astronomical Society of Canada; and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Former Ambassador Kurt Volker is Senior Fellow and Managing Director of the Center on Transatlantic Relations at the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. He is also a Senior Advisor at the Atlantic Council of the United States and a member of its Strategic Advisory Group.  Prior to joining SAIS, Ambassador Volker was a career member of the U.S. Senior Foreign Service, with over 23 years of experience working on European political and security issues under five U.S. Administrations. He served as Ambassador to NATO from July 2008 to May 2009, straddling the transition from the Bush to the Obama Administration, and overseeing U.S. preparations for NATO’s 60th Anniversary Summit in Strasbourg, France and Kehl, Germany. Prior to his service at NATO, Ambassador Volker served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs (2005-2008) and on the National Security Council staff (2001-2005).  His Foreign Service assignments included Brussels, Budapest, London, and several positions in Washington, including a year on detail in the U.S. Senate.

Volker (second from right) asks Hanke (second from left) about the currency boards and creating a new structure for the euro.

Hanke (left) expounds on the need for an 'economic revolution' in Greece to combat this and future fiscal crises.

Pineau (right) discusses the IMF's role in the Greek bailout and prospects for the future of the euro, while de Lecea looks on.

Over 90 people from such organizations as Rand, the Department of State, Heritage Foundation, and various foreign embassies, attended this luncheon.

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