Video: Why Britain needs the euro

This talk proved to be seriously contoversial online, before a word of it was uttered. Some people chose to stay away, others came but for different reasons, but thankfully most entered into the spirit of the thing. But what was the point of talking about the euro?

The intention of choosing this topic was not to say to the world: here is a bona fides libertarian and this is what bona fides libertarians think, but rather to explore an issue from a new and unexpected direction. Christian Michel is not the first person to suggest the euro, symbol of the European project and lever for the aquisituion of sovereignty, might not be a bad thing if considered on it’s own merits. The arguement goes, approximately, that an ideal currency should have wide circulation, have backing at the appropriate economic scale, and money printing should be limited to ensure price stability. Michel argued that the euro has wide circulation and is intended for wider circulation, that it is big enough and that the ECB’s mandate is to ensure price stability.

Looking at the reasons why the euro might be a good idea, helps us by reheasing the arguments about what it is we want from a currency and what the economics are.  The issue is, of course, immensely important but a well informed and prepared community of activists is a prerequisite for tackling any issue at all.

All that said, and without wishing to undermine it, isn’t a debate with people you disagree with so much more enjoyable than one where everyone agrees already? Regardless, here is the talk, as is, and much of the Q&A as well. The filming of the Q&A was impacted by a few technical glitches and the the video quality is even patchier than I expected. I hope you don’t mind.

A word about the introduction, which is probably a bit muddled. Sometimes a writer is hostile toward a topic but writes it up anyway and ends up paying the subject a compliment. Gordon Gecko’s greed speech in Wall Street is an example where good sense is placed into the mouth of a villain by a writer that disagrees politically. In the week ahead of the talk the libertarian rock god Frank Turner was accused of the heinous crime of being a libertarian and saying libertarian things and the Guardian printed a list of shocking quotes that sounded perfectly decent to me*. Likewise the profile of Christian Michel, which I borrowed from a book on money laundering, was perhaps from a hostile source (I haven’t read the whole book), but when taken literally it was most complimentary, and it was my intention to be complimentary. I hope that is a little clearer.

 

* remind me to spend a lot more money on Frank Turner merchanise…

 

 

  2 comments for “Video: Why Britain needs the euro

  1. Paul Marks
    Oct 1, 2012 at 11:15 am

    The masters of the Euro (the “European Central Bank” and others) have decided upon a policy of unlimited monetary expansion (all the rules and limits and…. have proved to be lies).

    However, the masters of the other major fiat (fiat – command, order, currency based on NOTHING apart from government force and fear) currencies have also decided on a policy of unlimited monetary expansion (are also committed to producing, from NOTHING, any amount of money).

    So the traditional free market position of favouring competition between currencies is moot at this point – as the major fiat currencies are all under the control of wildly misguided people (people filled with the false doctrines of Lord Keynes, indeed the false doctrines of some economists before Lord Keynes such as Irving Fisher – with his false doctrine that monetary expansion, the old meaning of the word “inflation”, does no serious harm as long as prices are not going up in the shops).

    The only way out of this nightmare is to return to useing commodities (gold, silver….) as currencies – not as “standards” for money, but directly as money. So if people agree to be paid and to pay in gold – gold is the money (not the “standard” for something else that is the money) ditto silver, or any other commodity buyers and sellers choose to use as money.

    If Christian Michel would turn his full support for a return for commodity currencies (rather than waste his time talking about the Euro – or other fiat currencies that are controlled by wildly misguided people) it would be better.

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