Now we know who is in charge here: Obama. This is not bad news; quite the opposite. The president, who has been watching this horror film closely, has taken an interest not so much in the fact that financial intervention was necessary to prevent the default of one of the E.U. member states, but in the size of the intervention. That remarkable maneuver to save the euro, devised just one week ago, is a weapon of mass dissuasion — a huge cannon the Europeans use to demonstrate their will to act decisively and without limits before any attempt to drive one of them into the abyss, as has happened with Greece and could happen to the others, beginning with the prime victim that is Spain. It seems the role of Obama has been to persuade his European friends, beginning with Sarkozy and Merkel, to act quickly and on a large scale, something that is not in the minds nor playbooks of these lazy, apathetic and divided leaders.
Obama is in charge because no one in Europe is in charge. Although it is something of a consolation that Obama is giving orders, because just imagine if the secretary general of the Chinese Communist Party were doing so. If the European leaders don’t wise up, this may be what happens during the next crisis. Right now, the European landscape is a desert, devoid of political leadership. There is none in the member states’ governments, and there is also none in the European institutions, not even in the new high functionaries, who should have been able to take some kind of leadership role in this monetary union but who often act at cross purposes. We must thank the International Monetary Fund, initially rejected out of hand as a source of funding, for later becoming a key element in this financial solution, destined to become a European Monetary Fund.
To save ourselves from shipwreck, many things have been improvised in the course of a weekend, in addition to the financial lifejacket: The European Central Bank has suddenly been given the authority to purchase all types of bonds from the member states, and the member states have gotten out the big shearing scissors. Since our leaders are not capable of managing Europe, the least they can do is take on this huge pruning job, which was organized to keep us from drowning in debt. We must also thank Obama, who worked hard so that certain parties would provide funds and others would make the cuts that needed to be made. But if we want to save the euro and grow economically, other political steps will have to be taken to bring us back to growth and job creation. Obama will not do this for us; the European leaders will have to, and if they don’t, let’s bring in better ones who will.