Thursday, 16 October 2008

Transatlantic Destiny?

The current financial crisis gives rise to a lot of interesting thoughts. This might actually be part of the chances that come with each crisis.

Commentators and would-be augurs these days are heavily trying to predict where the economy will go in the next weeks and months. Some say that a huge recession is ahead of us. Others say that recession will only hit America and perhaps Britain but that Germany, for instance, might get away with stagnation. Others predict that the consumer market will benefit from the financial crisis because as we are approaching Christmas people will be more likely to spend a bit of money on nice things and gadgets rather than keeping all the money in the bank - these days...

Whatever, there are many who say that if the American economy is going down and facing a recession, European economy will collapse, as well. And both commentators and business people are so keen on taking up this argument that it almost looks like becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Ok, globalisation has turned companies into globally integrated and interwoven enterprises. So if there is a recession in some part of the world auch a global enterprise will certainly be affected. And well, I really don't have the deep economic insights to give a qualified opinion. Yet, I wonder whether its really justified to draw the conclusion that every crisis in North America will materialise as a crisis in Europe - and across the world - as well. I wonder whether we are not about to talk ourselves into a crisis, into a recession, sort of under a fatalistic impulse. How strong are the economic dependencies between North America and Europe? Is Europe really destined to always get affected from what happens across the Atlantic?

In other words, I wonder how strong is the influence of negative, fatalistic thinking on what eventually is going to happen. Could we manage better with another mind set?

As I was saying above, I certainly lack to expertise to give a proper, economically and scientifically founded response. However, fatalism, I believe, is never a good companion anyway. Whatever the situation is all that people can do in such times is try their best to overcome the problems and get going again. Stay focussed.

And we should find a way to overcome any transatlantic destiny. Both North America and Europe are two very strong economies. They are interwoven and interconnected, but they still can exist on their own and have their own strengths. A well-working global economy, in my view, should aim at developing (or, perhaps, *only* strengthening) structures which enable one regional economy to "help" the other in times of crisis. I believe that globalisation has the potential to make this possible. Yet, again, it's not globalisation as such but globalisation done in the right way.

Call me a dreamer but I strongly wish that this will be one chance stemming from the current crisis to think about better ways to leverage a global balance of strengths - economical, scientific, societal, etc. - for the benefit of the people and for more economic stability and less vulnarability on a global scale.

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