David Marsh

THE EURO - The Politics of the New Global Currency

DER EURO - Die geheime Geschichte der neuen Weltwährung

By David Marsh

This book, published in both English and German, is the first comprehensive political and economic account of the birth and development of the Euro. Der Euro by David Marsh - Murmann VerlagThe Euro by David Marsh - Yale University PressToday the Euro is the supranational currency for sixteen European countries and the world’s second largest reserve currency. David Marsh tells the story of the rivalries, intrigues, and deal-making that brought about a currency for Europe. Drawing on exclusive narrative accounts from all the pivotal players in the drama as well as hundreds of secret documents from international archives, he analyses the achievements and shortcomings of its first decade of existence.

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Helmut Schmidt, the former German Chancellor, says: “It was a pleasure to read ‘The Euro.’ It reminded me of a number of historical details that I had forgotten; I also learnt a number of things that I hadn’t known or hadn’t understood so far.”

The book was launched at the British embassy on 18 February with a speech by European Central Bank board member Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, in London at the German Ambassador’s residence on 25 February with former Bundesbank president Karl Otto Pöhl and in Frankfurt on 3 March in the House of Finance, Frankfurt University, with European Central Bank president Jean-Claude Trichet.  On 18 February Mr Bini Smaghi said, “It’s a real “Marsh book” – a pleasure to read, even though some quotes and statements might sometimes be controversial.” On 3 March Mr Trichet said, "I am very happy you have engaged in such a work and also impressed by the work itself.... Your book is very much appreciated.”

Sir Geoffrey Mulcahy, Chairman of the British Retail Consortium and former Chief Executive of Kingfisher plc, said in Management Today, “This book is an exiting, interesting and very readable history of the euro.... It is not just for economists or financiers. It's a must-read for anyone running a business. Writing in The Observer, William Keegan said, “Marsh has achieved the seemingly impossible feat of making what the Brits tend to regard as a boring topic, best avoided, into a great story.” The Financial Times said the book is “packed with details of bruising encounters and blunt speaking backstage…. a compelling political story, which has not previously been written as well.” The Sunday Times called it “excellent.” The Economist described it as “gripping…. an indispensable guide to monetary union.” The Times said, “There are not many economists in Marsh's generation who have been present at so many of the vital moments or who can call on such an impressive roster of interviewees as background research.” Germany’s Börsen-Zeitung called the book “a critical and balanced analysis - its neutral and dispassionate tone compares positively with the current mass of Euro publications." Wirtschaftswoche described it as “full of details and anecdotes, entertainingly written.

Politicians from different sides of the political spectrum have praised the book:  

Lord Norman Lamont, the former Tory Chancellor of the Exchequer, says: “David Marsh has painstakingly put together the tortuous path that led us to the creation of the Euro. He has a huge background knowledge, particularly of German thinking. As someone who was intimately involved in that process, I found I was reminded about several events but also discovered several I had not known about before. It is only if we understand the past events that we can understand what guides European policy makers today. Everyone, including Eurosceptics, needs to read this book.”

Lord Nigel Lawson, the former Tory Chancellor of the Exchequer, says: “Whatever the future evolution of the Euro, this very well-written and exceptionally well-informed account of its origins and emergence is essential reading: full of insight and in every way the definitive work on the subject.”

Lord Denis Healey, the former Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer, says: “Like George Soros, I find that David Marsh’s book on the Euro is thrilling. I was particularly glad to find that he agreed with me and Gordon Brown that the conditions for British membership of the Euro were not yet wholly fulfilled, but with luck may be met at some time in the next 20 years.”

Lord Geoffrey Howe, the former Tory Chancellor of the Exchequer, says: “Splendidly skimmable reminder for nostalgic Euro-veterans like myself, equally valuable introduction for newcomers of today – and written attractively for both.”

Jacques de Larosière, former Governor of the Banque de France, says: “This is a masterful book for practitioners, students and historians, written in a brilliantly clear style. Although I thought I knew it all, I have now realised how much more David Marsh has unearthed about this extraordinary adventure.”

John Redwood MP, former Conservative Cabinet Minister, says: David Marsh has written an important book, garnering the testimony of many of the senior players who put together the Euro and saw it to launch. He has written the story of the currency so far from an historical perspective, understanding the Euro's origins lie a long time ago in Franco-German history.

Former Labour Minister for Europe Denis MacShane MP says: The Euro is the most important development in European history since the Treaty of Rome. David Marsh's book reveals the politics, the personalities, the plotting and the passions behind the world's new currency. It is readable, informed and anyone who wants to understand Europe should read it.

Sir Kit McMahon, former Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, says: “In this outstanding, even-handed book, and drawing on an amazing range of contacts, having known most of the main players in the drama personally, David Marsh has placed the Euro firmly in its historical and political context. This makes it a jolly good read as well as an unrivalled aid to understanding an important part of the international monetary jigsaw.

Among academic commentators Lord Professor Emeritus Meghnad Desai of the London School of Economics says: “I am reading The Euro and enjoying it immensely. It is a towering achievement.” Professor Harold James of Princeton says: vintage Marsh, it reads wonderfully, couldn't put it down.Chris Collins, Director of Research at the Margaret Thatcher Foundation, says: “The Euro is a virtuoso piece of research, elegantly synthesising sources few other people could have assembled or even understood. I'm hugely impressed by it.” 

David Marsh is chairman of London and Oxford Capital Markets, a City of London-based corporate finance and investment company. He is also the author of The Bundesbank: The Bank That Rules Europe (1992) and Germany and Europe: The Crisis of Unity (1994).

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For further details including book purchases, bulk copies and news on book launch events, please contact:

Wiebke Räber, London and Oxford Group, + 44 (0)20 7796 9911, wiebke.raeber@londonandoxford.com

For all other questions about the book, including reviews, please contact:

For English edition: Katie Harris, Yale University Press, + 44 (0)20 7079 4900, katie.harris@yaleup.co.uk

For German edition: Dagmar Landgrebe, Murmann Verlag, +49 (0)40 3980 8313, landgrebe@murmann-verlag.de

Hidden facts and fresh insights from The Euro

  • The book provides fresh insights into the behind-the-scenes Franco-German-British wrangling over European currency management – including the drama of Black Wednesday in 1992 when Britain left the ERM

  • Marsh examines the European Central Bank, the Euro’s stability after the credit crisis, the prospects for Euro expansion – and the chances that it could break up. He concludes that, in view of Britain’s monetary history and unusual uncertainties about the future,  the UK will not join the Euro at least until 2025

  • The book includes more than 100 interviews with personalities behind the Euro’s birth - including 15 past and present Finance Ministers, 13 Central Bank Governors, 10 Prime Ministers, 3 Foreign Ministers and 1 President

  Leading personalities who figure in the book include  
Pierre Bérégovoyy Denis Healey Helmut Schmidt Willy Brandt James Callaghan Jacques Chirac Jacques Delors
Tony Blair Hans-Dietrich Genscher Margaret Thatcher Valéry Giscard d'Estaing Édouard Balladur Elisabeth Guigou Henry Kissinger
John Maynard Keynes Helmut Kohl Wim Duisenberg Angela Merkel François Mitterrand Karl Otto Pöhl John Major
Gerhard Schröder Helmut Schlesinger Theo Waigel John F. Kennedy Jean-Claude Trichet Paul Volcker Hans Tietmeyer

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