Back on 2 June, Barack Obama declared “The crisis in Europe’s economy has cast a shadow on our own. And all of this makes it even more challenging to fully recover and lay the foundation for an economy that’s built to last.”
That immediately triggered a sharp response from French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who declared “The crisis did not start in Europe… Lehman Brothers was not a European bank.”
Well, it seems Obama’s rhetoric is still ruffling feathers, as indicated in this from The Guardian’s Patrick Wintour, Ian Traynor, and Helena Smith:
The opening day of the G20 summit was threatening to deteriorate into a fractious row between eurozone countries and other non-European members of the G20, notably the US, as EU commission president José Manuel Barroso insisted the origins of the eurozone crisis lay in the unorthodox policies of American capitalism.
As Europe’s leaders came under intense pressure to act decisively to cure the euro’s ills, and a campaign gathered pace to relax some of the austerity programmes laying waste to countries burdened with unsustainable debt levels, Barroso insisted that Europe had not come to the G20 summit in Mexico to receive lessons on how to handle the economy.
When asked by a Canadian journalist “why should North Americans risk their assets to help Europe?” he replied: “Frankly, we are not here to receive lessons in terms of democracy or in terms of how to handle the economy.
“By the way this crisis was not originated in Europe … seeing as you mention North America, this crisis originated in North America and much of our financial sector was contaminated by, how can I put it, unorthodox practices, from some sectors of the financial market.”
Gee, think he’s got a point?
And then there’s Obama’s Democratic presidential predecessor, the guy who didn’t inhale but did deregulate — by ramming through the repeal of Glass-Steagall, the law put in place by the FDR administration to prevent a repeated for the Great Depression.