Business: Europe's New Money Union

Six countries bring forth an odd creature called ecu

It was a shaky birth, but a birth nevertheless. In Brussels last week, six of the nine members of the European Community agreed to tie together their currencies—and, to some extent, their economies—in one big monetary union.

Beginning Jan. 2, the governments of West Germany, France, the Benelux nations and Denmark will start taking steps to ensure that their currencies move up or down, more or less, in unison. In addition, the members created a new form of money, the European Currency Unit, or ecu. For now, at least, the ecu will not be...

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