Date: April 5, 1999
Contact: Dianne Labreck
Jan Hogendorn, the Grossman Professor of Economics at Colby College, will discuss the European Union's adoption of the euro currency when he delivers the annual Grossman Lecture at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 8, at Colby in Waterville. His talk, "Emu or Ostrich? What Could Go Wrong With the Euro?" will be in Lovejoy 100 and is open to the public free of charge.
On January 1, eleven European Union nations launched a single currency, the euro, creating the world's second-largest economy behind the United States. The euro already is being used for electronic financial and business transactions, but euro coins and notes won't be issued to the general public until January 2002. The eleven participating countries hope the new single currency will give their integrated economies an advantage.
The euro generally has been warmly received and is expected to be trouble free, says Hogendorn, but there are areas for concern. Some supporters have ignored potential difficulties. The adoption of the euro means countries must give up their independent monetary and fiscal policies as well as the tax and transfer mechanisms that could be used as weapons against regional economic difficulties. Finance, industry, commerce and international relations all will change for the participating nations. "This doesn't mean I think the euro will fail," says Hogendorn. "But, there have been ostrich-like responses ‹ heads in the sand."
A reception will follow the lecture.