Monday, July 18, 2011

We are all connected, and both Europe and the US need to deal with debt!

Reuters has an important opinion piece by Larry Summers, the former Secretary of the Treasury and chief White House economic advisor. I quote the opening paragraph:
"With last week’s tumult in Italian markets, the European financial crisis has entered a new and far more dangerous phase. Where the crisis had been existential for small economies on the periphery of Europe but not systemically threatening to either the idea of European monetary union or to the functioning of the global financial system, it now threatens both European integration and the global recovery. Last week’s drama surrounding bond auctions in Europe’s third leading economy should convince even the most hardened bureaucrat that the world can no longer let policy responses be shaped by dogma, bureaucratic agenda and expediency. It is to be hoped that European officials can engineer a decisive change in direction but if not, the world can no longer afford the deference that the IMF and non-European G20 officials have shown towards European policy makers over the last 15 months."
At a time when the European economic system is at high risk, the Congress should not fool around with that of the United States. It is time to pass the extension of the debt ceiling and to begin serious work on a long term plan to deal with the U.S. debt!

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