As European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso arrived at the Los Cabos meeting of the G-20 last week, he made one thing clear: “We’re not coming here to receive lessons … in terms of how to handle the economy.” That’s because “the European Union has a model that we may be very proud of.” After all, Barroso noted, the crisis in the euro system all started because of “unorthodox practices” in the U.S. financial sector.
Even if Barroso didn’t want lectures while in North America, politicians from both parties in the U.S. are awfully keen to draw cautionary lessons from Europe. “People aren’t clamoring to invest in Greece today,” says House Speaker John Boehner, and “we’re not going to have many options” either, if the U.S. fails to reduce the deficit. Meanwhile, Bill Clinton has drawn the opposite conclusion from Europe’s travails: Austerity doesn’t work. “Europe is in trouble,” but “the Republican Congress has adopted the European economic policy,” he complains. Apparently, Europe isn’t a very clear teacher for the U.S. Maybe that’s because the student is from a completely different species.
[Full article at Businessweek.com]