Four years later, sentiment is mired at recessionary levels, in spite of serious attempts to break free. Are we now psyched out, resigned to a gloomy future, or is there light at the end of this long, dark tunnel?
After the euphoria from the Spanish bailout ends, look for sovereign bond yields to once again rise, along with credit default swaps on that debt, and for global markets to continue lower. There is simply no magic bullet or elixir that can save Europe from a tremendous amount of pain.
Unless Europe takes a good look in the mirror and honestly acknowledges that shoveling more money into a black hole is not, ultimately, the answer to its problems, it will slip further and further into the abyss.
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.
Many Italians might be forced to go back to the Mediterranean diet that their parents and grandparents were relieved to abandon during the decades of economic growth. It's unclear how these developments will affect the local food culture.
Is your money market account stuck in a rut? If so, you're not alone. Money market rates have been locked into a long and steady descent for a few years now. Finally, though, there are signs that this could change in the months ahead.
In the Financial Times, Stein Ringen, a professor of sociology at Oxford, takes a lash to forecasting-happy economists, this time over the eurozone. The column provides a lesson in how difficult it is to resist the allure of prediction and the appeal of the simple dichotomy.
No one should underestimate the severity of the crisis gripping the Euro zone. But press speculation on the euro's demise -- often with the tone that it was about to happen -- any second! -- has been more about media fashion than understanding of Europe.
For the Romney campaign, Europe has taken over from China as the punching boy that represents the foreign other. In reality, to say or suggest that Europe has nothing to do with the American economy or American job growth is to live in pre-globalized fantasy land.
The time has come for the eurozone -- Germany and France in particular, but also Austria, Finland and the Netherlands -- to decide how they would like European integration to evolve; and they need to do so quickly.