There is no one European identity, no one voice that speaks for the myriad of countries that make up the EU. Before increased monetary and fiscal integration can take place, European leaders need to focus on enhancing their political union.
European Central Bank (ECB) Chairman Draghi has a very big agenda. Armed with only a printing press, he's pledging to directly bail out the GIIPS (Greece, Italy, Ireland, Portugal and Spain) and indirectly bail out their economies.
Stock markets around the world continue to levitate despite the fact that the fundamentals behind the global economy continue to deteriorate. But that weak and worsening economic data didn't stop investors from sending stocks higher.
Aside from the risk to the German taxpayers, a failure to come out of this crisis with real reforms sets the stage for an even bigger debacle at a later date. The Germans deserve commendation for their commitment to a united Europe.
Haven't similar experiences in the debt crises of the 1980's, Russia in 1998, and Argentina in 2001 taught us that waiting too long to restructure in situations of clear insolvency can be more costly in the end?
This crisis is not happening quickly. It's more of a slow-motion train wreck -- Greece's crisis started in 2009. But that leaves a puzzle -- why is the American stock market not reacting to obvious warning signs?
At this grave hour in which the future of Europe and that of the global economy are at stake, let's not forget that European institution-building has always been more effective when based on the national interests of the member states.