The Eurozone as a Nexus of Contracts

Last last year, I had the pleasure of hearing a senior European policymaker address a gathering on the topic of the future of Europe. It was his considered view that no one could leave the Euro – and that the only path forward was more cowbell integration.  (It was 2011.  We were all so young and naive.)  Partly, this was a matter of facts-on-the-ground economic co-dependence. But he also believed in the strength of the overlapping treaties which would make exit all-but-impossible.  Indeed, I was struck at the time that Europe was imagined – at least in the heads of certain Europeans – as a bit of a sovereign arising from nexus of contracts. The contract terms in the Maastricht Treaty were sovereignty for prosperity.

Obviously, things have changed. But the metaphor looks like a better fit than ever.  It’s just that it looks like it is time for efficient breach of contract.

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