Magellan's Notebook

News and commentary on worldwide events.

Month: December, 2012

EDWARD R. MURROW on what we should detract from the Second World War

The Keep Calm and Carry On  posters almost look dull in comparison.

Click here to see the poster.

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On the Euro crisis

SIXTY-EIGHT years ago in Carroll, New Hampshire, a two hours’ drive north of Boston, a generation’s global economic policy was blueprinted. For European monetary reform, a similar epoch began at the 1991 Maastricht summit. Hiding below a table, passing notes to his prime minister, the misbehaving British diplomat Sir John Kerr signified the meeting’s gravity.

The implementation of the euro, which was negotiated at the Maastricht meeting, kindled a rebirth of economic globalization, and with it, a freshly minted brand of economists. For the first time, a world government had become possible, and during the next decade, the United Nations and European Union would amplify their powers. Now, organizations such as the International Monetary Fund, a fully matured wunderkind of the Caroll conference, are commandeering the recovery.

This autumn, the German Supreme Court sanctioned further EU involvement in regulation, thereby clearing the way for continued assistance to Greece. While making strides in the noticeable arenas of concern, those spearheading a return from the doldrums would be keen to scope the seeds of trouble that have yet to sprout.

The Spanish, too bashful to request aid in their current time of need, now face additional anxiety as the Basque independence movement reinvigorates its push for a sovereign state. In France, a sluggish economy consistently underperforms financial forecasts as President Hollande yearns for an impracticable commerce of austerity and prosperity. Oppositely, Finland’s economic tour de force is too great an accomplishment for an EU member. The weary Finns are deliberating an exit, should they be coerced into disproportionately bankrolling their neighbors’ cleanup efforts.

If the Maastrict conference is to rival its New Hampshire predecessor for historical moment, German Chancellor Angela Merkel must lead now, and chiefly as a European citizen. ♦