OK, the storm’s been a brewin’ for quite some time. Good piece by Felix Salmon about the dearth of leadership in the EU and how that spells trouble for the organization. He connects this well to the problem of misaligned interests, or rather that they’re all trying to get out of this situation with as little damage as possible:
And this is why the current Europe crisis is looking so bad. Interests aren’t aligned at all: everybody wants to push the costs of the crisis onto someone else. And in the past couple of weeks, things have gotten significantly worse: the northerners have started quite explicitly threatening the southerners with a lack of cooperation and the consequent inevitable default if they don’t pick up their game.
Makes sense to me. The end of the post is by no means uplifting, but I think most uplifitng scenarios wouldn’t be very honest at this point:
But the essence of leadership is, well, leading. It’s not simply agreeing to do the same thing that the other 16 guys want to do. In Brazil, Lula set the course, and the international community — as well as his own technocrats — implemented it and made sure it worked. There was no doubt who was in charge. In Europe, no one has a clue who’s in charge, and 17 different people all want to set the course. Which means, I fear, that it’s doomed.
Krugman’s been depressing (and right, per usual) on this front, too. Yet more good news in the world…