Monday, November 29, 2010


The Lehmann Letter (SM)

Today's New York Times and Wall Street Journal carried stories on the Irish rescue package:

Let's hope that calm returns to world currency and sovereign-debt markets.

Of almost equal importance, however, is the evidence that Europe has once again found its way through the thicket and bound itself together ever more firmly. Expressed fears that the Euro-zone would come apart have not materialized.

Over the past 65 years Europe has transformed itself from the wreckage of World War II into a novel and forward-looking political entity. For centuries the European nations had been at each other's throats. Now they work together for mutual economic, social and political improvement. Trace their history from the birth of the European Payments Union in 1950, through the 1957 Treaty of Rome that created the Common Market, the Single European Act of 1986 that dismantled trade barriers, to the 1992 Maastricht Treaty that established the European Union, the Euro and the European Central Bank, and you see a solid record of progress.

Compromise and accommodation are the most important ingredients in this accomplishment. The European nations have subordinated their individual interests in order to achieve a common goal that they knew would eventually generate maximum benefit for all. That's why there is little evidence of backsliding and dissolution despite the stresses and strains of periodic crises. Perhaps we, on our side of the ocean, could learn something from the folks over there and their devotion to the common weal.

© 2010 Michael B. Lehmann

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