Who will rescue the rescuers?

Published on 8 August 2011 at 11:11


“Is the world going bankrupt?" headlines Der Spiegel, wondering about the implications of US public debt, the euro crisis and chaos on the markets. The Hamburg-based magazine paints a bleak picture in which policy in Europe and the United States is struggling to keep up with financial markets, which are increasingly unstable and destabilised by initiatives that aim to restore order.

Ever since governments took on extensive debts to save banks three years ago, no one has provided a satisfactory answer to the question of who will rescue the rescuers, warns Spiegel. To date, "European bailouts are mainly defined by the fact that they arrive too late and are later found to be inadequate." The magazine also argues that those who believe that China will provide a solution are misguided: the Asian powerhouse, which is striving to keep control of an overheated economy that may become the next bubble, cannot be relied on to save the world economy.

In conclusion, “the moral of this sorry tale can be summarised by three words: solid public finances." That implies a painful drive for more austerity, as well as the delegation of national sovereignty. "The wellbeing of the West will be determined by the capacity of governments to plan for the long term — well beyond the next round of elections."

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