The answer to that question is simple, the US of course. Some months ago I made a comment to Skip that the EU would be lucky to survive another ten years. It now looks like my estimate could have been generous. Greece is all but bankrupt, Portugal and Spain are teetering on the brink, Italy and Ireland are close behind. This week, Britain announced that it forecasts a budget deficit larger than that of Greece. All is not well in the New European Empire.
In a one-size-fits-all economic arrangement there are bound to be casualties. The cap simply won’t, and can’t, fit some countries. Imagine the US joining an extended form of NAFTA, perhaps called AFTA, which includes all or most countries in Central and South America. To create a common currency with equal value in all member states would be disastrous, not to mention the fact that ‘free movement’ rules would have to be observed. So much for immigration controls!
These free movement rules are very much a one-way street. For example, compare the number of Polish and Latvian emigres in Britain with the number of Brits in former Eastern Bloc countries. During a recession it’s virtually impossible to provide jobs for the unemployed in your own country, without trying to cater for the requirements of ex-pats from another twenty six member states. read more »
Let's get one thing straight. The government and its misguided housing policies caused our current financial mess. And, as a result, the government should help fix it.
That said, exactly "what" should have been fixed, "how" and for "how much" are the right places to focus our attention. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't make sure everyone knows exactly how we got in this mess.
The origins lie in the Clinton Administration's misguided attempt to raise the percentage of homeowners in America by forcing banks to give loans to people with, shall we say, less than stellar credit, (those "sub-prime" mortgages you keep hearing about).
So how did they do this? With two government (read: taxpayer) sponsored companies called Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. As the Clinton Administration leaned on banks to loosen credit restrictions, (even having Janet Reno threaten lawsuits), Congress forced Fannie and Freddie to buy the sketchy loans as soon as the banks and mortgage companies wrote the loans. So the lenders made the loans (hey, why turn down a commission?), and everyone made bonus at the end of the year. read more »