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Speed of European response leaves US trailing

The recent amplification of the US-bred financial crisis has produced at least one salutary if unexpected lesson. Europe has so far shown that it works in practice, even if it still does not do so in theory.

In the past 48 hours, various European countries have scrambled to put together bail-out packages for troubled financial institutions in Germany, the UK, France, Belgium, Ireland and Iceland. And while this is by no means the end of the story, it has demonstrated that the European authorities and individual national governments can move very quickly to try to stem a growing crisis of confidence in the European financial system.

In the past 10 days, the conventional wisdom was that Europe would never be in a position to act as swiftly to rescue its financial industry with a comprehensive plan such as Washington's $700bn (€498bn) troubled asset relief programme. Yet the plan has yet to be approved, with all the political modifications demanded by US lawmakers. No evidence has so far emerged that Europe will need to orchestrate a similar plan of such magnitude.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 30th, 2008 at 04:37:32 PM EST
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