Although this time around surely no one would have tried to prohibit Barack Obama from delivering a speech right in front of the Brandenburg Gate, the fact that his first trip to Germany as president is merely a fleeting visit to tranquil Baden-Baden and not a big spectacle in bustling Berlin has provoked no reaction worth mentioning in our country, either from politicians or the public.
And why should it? The new president’s term has scarcely begun, and almost all his official visits lie ahead of him; previously, he’d been only to Canada. Given the present crisis and empty coffers, working meetings geared toward results are more appropriate for politicians than a program of touristy forays, throngs waving flaglets and bulletproof glass, the whole culminating in a neo-feudal state banquet.… Seguir leyendo »
In our interconnected world, the American financial crisis quickly became a worldwide financial crisis. Here are four accounts of how the economic meltdown felt in Europe.
Back To The Blitz
Many Londoners are seething at the subprime-mortgage disaster in America.
Erin Go Bust
In Ireland, we wonder if all that wealth really have vanished so quickly, so comprehensively.
In Gold We Trust
Germans are reacting to the spreading financial crisis with remarkable calm.
The Ice Storm
Icelanders, aghast, have been told that we owe millions of dollars — to whom, we don’t know.
“Some problems may lie in store for us, but I don’t foresee a catastrophe,” said a woman I know, a business consultant in risk management. When I asked her to be specific, she referred to the Swedish banking crisis of the early 1990s. It was dealt with pretty successfully, she said, by measures similar to those now being put in place, though of course you can’t compare Sweden to the United States.
“This shouldn’t surprise you,” my octogenarian neighbor, formerly an exemplary comrade in East Germany and still a convinced socialist, smugly remarked. “It’s the great crisis inherent in the transition from monopoly capitalism to state monopoly capitalism; in other words, the final stage of your system.… Seguir leyendo »