Niall Ferguson is surprised by how little anti-European sentiment there is within Europe. The preferred solution for many is “More Europe”; Ferguson unpacks the true implications of this idea.
More Europe, Ferguson argues, implies a federal system and the accompanying issue of eurobonds, with full faith and credit of all member governments. What those advocating More Europe fail to acknowledge is that any federal system implies a transfer of resources from the more efficient and productive core to the periphery.
In the case of Germany, Ferguson estimates the cost will be a transfer of up to 8% of GDP per annum for the foreseeable future. With the prospect of a full-blown European banking crisis following a trigger event such as Greek default as the alternative, is it a cost worth paying?
Author: Named by Time magazine in 2004 as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, Niall Ferguson is Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a Senior Research Fellow at Jesus College at the University of Oxford. Ferguson has written many books, articles and papers, and has written and presented five major television series including “The Ascent of Money”, which won the 2009 International Emmy award for Best Documentary.
The opinions expressed here are those of the author, not necessarily those of the World Economic Forum.
Image: EU flags outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels REUTERS/Yves Herman