For many years Americans looked at Europe as a place for vacation and not as a place for economic innovation. However, recent events have proved them wrong – Europeans have proven themselves better at solving financial problems.
Many Europeans feel very triumphant now as Leon Brittan, who served as Home Secretary under Margaret Thatcher and was a top official at the European Commission, says that "There’s no doubt that it was a British plan that was copied by the U.S." As the financial crisis deepened, Europeans came up with a bailout plan that has set up the pace for Washington. This was clear when the Treasury Department decided to depart from its own bailout plan and invest up to $250 billion in banks across the United States. And that outcome left Gordon Brown, the British prime minister, and Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, in something of a commanding position to claim the title of wise men.
C. Fred Bergsten, director of the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, a centrist economic policy center, summed up the week this way: "When it came to crisis-response mode, the Europeans, especially the British, did take the lead and the U.S. changed course. ”The markets responded accordingly – Wall Street was up by 4.5 percent compared to a gain of 8.2 in Europe."
However, not everyone was as optimistic. Many blame the Europeans for not responding to the crisis earlier. European governments knew of the financial problems in the U.S., however, they ignored it thinking that the crisis is not going to reach their nations. According to an article from the New York Journal, “the fact that France and Germany, Switzerland, Spain and Britain are together anteing up more than $1 trillion to rescue their own financial institutions challenges any assertions that European bankers were any smarter or more prudent than their American counterparts.”
Full article can be found here: Suddenly, Europe Looks Pretty Smart.