Breaking news everywhere that at last a major plan for a Euro area bailout is coming together, a mere year after one was urgently needed. Perhaps the most interesting part is the role that the politicians of each nation are playing:
America - Led by Tim Geitner the US has performed its cavalry role. Coming up with the idea of leverage to help increase the EFSF bailout fund and to knock the heads together at the G20 to push forward a solution before the world markets meltdown in the abscence of any leaderhsip. Stereotypically, America provides leaderhsip and clever thinking, althought this time no money....
France - The IMF leader Christine lagarde if French, unsurprisingly she has been very down on the chances for the World Economy in recent days. She knows that France has the greatest exposure to Greece and unlike the Head of the Bank of France knows that, Common Agricultural Policy style, the only thing that is going to save France is tying everyone else into her future and getting external funds to assist.
Italy - In Berlusconi they have comedy leader of a comedy economy. Run by a mix of mafia and state backed businesses, the people have little chance of being successful entrepreuners - instead the girls queue outside the presidents office. Farcical and sad.
Britain - Not being in the Euro allows the ususal position of commenting from the side, whislt also knowing that our own economy is so weak that not finding a solution will condemn us to an even grimmer future than we know about. At least our downcast politicians have a grasp on reality, thanks to the death-experience of 2008.
Germany - The pride of leading Europe has now given way to a continual estimate of the costs of this leadership. Merkel and others come out badly, refusing to give to anyone else whilst running their own surplus, berating everyone else for not being German. In the end, all rests with them committing Germany either to fund the saving of the Euro or to walk away to a rerun of the late 1930's.
I find it both re-assuring and odd at the same time that crisis after crisis, the same national stereotypes play themselves out.