When the euro was created a couple of decades later, one of the implicit goals, at least to the French, was to challenge the dollar’s dominance in the global monetary system
by Matthew Lynn
The phrase is sometimes attributed to the post-war French President General De Gaulle, but in fact it was coined by his then finance minister, and later successor at the Elysee Palace, Valéry Giscard D’Estaing.
In 1968, in the midst of a campaign by his leader against role of the dollar in the global monetary system, Giscard came up with the term “exorbitant privilege” to describe the special status the American currency has long held in the world economy.
When the euro was created a couple of decades later, one of the implicit goals, at least to the French, was to challenge that. A single European currency would be big enough and strong enough to take on the mighty greenback, and eventually even topple it from its throne.