Throughout history, alchemists have tried to turn base metals into gold. Unsurprisingly, they always failed. Today, something similar is being tried across the European Union — it is called the Euro.
This is not, however, an experiment whose failures would be insignificant. The Euro represents probably the biggest single risk to global financial stability in the world today. Its problems go back to its very creation. There were two intellectually defensible models for the euro.
The first was to say that it was such an important element of European “ever closer union” that everything possible had to be done to make it succeed. Some saw this as analogous to the American experience after the civil war.