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Hero and zero

Tim Black hails the Scot who has just conquered New York but fails the mayor who rules over it.

Essay preview

What is most striking about the US is just how unexceptional it is compared to other developed nations.

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Economy

Why Europe hasn’t ‘turned the corner’ just yet

In the manic-depressive history of the Euro crisis, the past week has seen the patient perking up and chatting enthusiastically about the future. On 12 September, Germany's constitutional court upheld Germany's participation in the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), a permanent bailout fund with up to 700 billion Euros at its disposal. There are proposals on the table for common Eurozone banking supervision, which may ultimately lead to banking union. And after years of avoiding it, the European Central Bank (ECB) has agreed, where necessary, to buy unlimited quantities of bonds from countries that have accepted rescue plans.

Europe's leaders have essentially agreed to a partial mutualisation of debt. In return, the Eurozone countries will start to move towards greater political union. The fundamental flaw in the whole common-currency project from the word go was that it represented economic union without political union. Could this be the first step along the road to resolving that contradiction? The Economist was upbeat: 'When history books trace the evolution of the euro crisis, September 2012 will mark the beginning of a new chapter.' But let's not pop the champagne just yet.

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From the archive

The rioters chained to the victim culture


The culture slot

Shakespeare’s long sixteenth century



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Top 10 articles for August 2012


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