The global economic orthodoxy is being widely rejected by people who are pessimistic about the direction their country is taking. Most people have little faith that the lives of their children and future generations will be better off.
Difficult decisions need to be made now, and not just about individual countries but also about the composition and functioning of the euro zone as a whole. There is still time for policymakers to regain control. But not much.
If President Obama loses his bid for re-election it will probably be because of the economy but not America's economy. How do you put on a bumper sticker, "I saved GM but had no power over the Euro?"
The euro appears to be a marriage of incompatible partners. Fortunately, there are alternatives to an ugly divorce. Rules that can be bent for banks can be bent for people and nations.
Angela Merkel's increasing isolation among European leaders should increase the chances that the austerity mongers may yet relent. But Merkel, thus far, shows no sign of moderating her stance.
The recent decision of the Spanish government to ask for a $125 billion recapitalization program was not an easy one. However, the Spanish package is substantially different from its predecessors.
The continued European debt problem poses both economic and political risks to the United States.
What to do? Attack the problem at two levels: first, by recognizing the interdependencies across countries (the contamination effect) and acting upon them; second, by putting the sick patients in quarantine.
We are living through very difficult and challenging times, with much attention on Spain as this country struggles to get its economy moving again. The launch of El Huffington Post represents yet another way that today's global challenges are pulling us closer in partnership.
The recurring crisis in the eurozone is not driven by financial markets' demands for austerity in a time of recession -- as is commonly asserted. This is becoming more obvious here in Spain.
I think the economic crisis in Europe keeps growing because of a diabolical combination of ignorance, too much power concentrated in too few hands, and the fact that those who ought to be making the necessary decisions lack the power.
Inconvenient truths point to the fact that spurring on the technocrats may help, but eventually the politics of Europe itself have to change.
We are doing everything halfheartedly, taking part in a frenzied campaign to keep ourselves heartened, to convince ourselves not to give up.
Because Germany, uniquely among European nations, is enjoying an economic boom, it will take real courage for the German Social Democrats to propose a fundamentally different course.
There's a new scarlet letter in town. Actually, it's the same letter -- "A" -- but it stands for a different word that's increasingly regarded as shameful: Austerity. The darling idea of 2010 and 2011 has become the pariah concept of 2012. And the evidence of profound change is all around, from France and Greece to Germany and -- gasp -- the Republican Party. The change, when it comes to the conventional wisdom on austerity, has come from a combination of public pressure and leadership: one pushing up from below, the other pressing down from above. None of this means that we should break out the Keynesian champagne any time soon. But it's clear the forces of austerity are in retreat. And that's a very good thing.
By 2010, I decided to spend some time writing in Greece. I had open accounts to settle there -- family, friends, closets. What I hadn't planned though was that it's hard to settle with the already bankrupt. I landed in a suicidal country itself deeply in the closet financially, morally, even sexually.