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"Electronic money in a race with Emu."
Economic and monetary union or electronic money? Recent
suggestions that the start of Emu might be delayed
beyond 1999 raise the intriguing possibility that a
viable international electronic money will be available
before the European single currency. Depending on your
perspective, this would be either disaster or nirvana.
Disaster, because governments and central banks in
countries with weak currencies would lose the seignorage
that currency issue brings, and the sovereignty it is
supposed to provide (but may not). Disaster, because it
would destroy two central aims of Emu: the sharing of
power between monetary authorities, and the attempted
imposition of currency soundness by institutional fiat.
Nirvana, because it would provide people with a powerful
protection against the random and hidden taxation
imposed on them when governments inflate, and because it
would create monetary soundness via market forces.
EMU_boo (5 kb)
FT on the Web: <www.ft.com> or <www.usa.ft.com>. Selections
avaliable, not this one, but read today's "Smart building"
for the security and ID gadgets to track-attack-siphon.