Sunday, May 16, 2010

Will the New Bailout Save Europe?

With the announcement of "rescue packages" for Greece and other European countries facing ruin, we have heard cheers from the Usual Suspects, beginning with the New York Times, which declared in an editorial:

Europe's leaders stared into the abyss and finally decided to act. The nearly $1 trillion bailout package, arranged over the weekend, is intended to head off Greece's default and stop the crisis from dragging under other weak economies -- Portugal, Spain, Ireland and Italy are all vulnerable.

The European and American markets celebrated on Monday. The CAC-40 index in Paris rose almost 10 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 3.9 percent. It was certainly the right thing to do. Coupled with the European Central Bank's promise to buy bonds from stricken European countries, it arrested the financial turmoil -- at least for now.

The last sentence is unintentionally prophetic, for whatever "good effects" the bailout supposedly will create, they will be short and will pave the way for future crises. While Greece and other European countries have been facing disaster, it is nothing like the disaster that looms because the economic piper has yet to be paid.