The known unknowns and the unknown unknowns of the EMU

by Jean Pisani-Ferry on 26th October 2012

Extensive prior research on the economics of European monetary union highlighted some potential risks (the known unknowns) but overlooked others (the unknown unknowns). Asymmetries among participating countries, the potentially destabilising character of a one-size-fits all monetary policy, the weakness of adjustment mechanisms, the lack of incentives for fiscal discipline, the possibility of sovereign solvency crises and their adverse consequences were all known and understood. But policymakers often relied on a complacent reading of the evidence.