Scottish independence: Nobel Prize winning economist claims Scottish voters have been 'badly misled' over post-independence currency

Paul Krugman is currently researching economic and currency crises

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The Independent Online

A Nobel Prize winning economist has warned Scots to be “afraid, be very afraid” if Scotland goes independent, claiming voters have been “badly misled” on the dangers of using the British pound in Scotland post-independence.

In an opinion piece in The New York Times Paul Krugman, an MIT and Stanford economics professor whose current research is focused on economic and currency crises, warned voters comparison between Scotland and Canada is unfounded, insisting it is “all too likely that it [Scotland] would end up becoming Spain without the sunshine.”

Mr Krugman, who was awarded a Nobel Prize in economics in 2008, points out that Canada’s currency is not tied to their dominant American neighbour, allowing them to weather recent economic storms, while in comparison Spain – tied to the Eurozone – bore the cost of the housing bust alone.

From 2000 to 2007 Spain, like many other countries in the Eurozone, faced a catastrophic fiscal crisis, Mr Krugman writes, which translated into a “horrific depression”.

The effects were particularly harsh, Mr Kurgman claims, because Spain shared a currency but not a government – a measure which Mr Salmond seeks to ape in Scotland by using the English pound.

The world leading economist continues: “an independent Scotland using Britain’s pound would be in even worse shape than Euro countries, which at least have some say in how the European Central Bank is run.”

Mr Krugman concludes: “I find it mind-boggling that Scotland would consider going down this path after all that has happened in the last few years. If Scottish voters really believe that it’s safe to become a country without a currency, they have been badly misled.”

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