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Europe, the U.S., and the Crisis
Ahead of the G20 summit, a lone protester delivers a speech on the financial issues, back dropped by the Bank of England, left, and the Royal Exchange, right, in central London's City financial district, Tuesday March 31, 2009. World leaders are gathering in London for the Group of 20 summit amid an unprecedented security operation to protect the meeting from possible violent protests. (AP)

Ahead of the G20 summit, a lone protester delivers a speech on the financial issues, back dropped by the Bank of England, left, and the Royal Exchange, right, in central London's City financial district, Tuesday March 31, 2009. World leaders are gathering in London for the Group of 20 summit amid an unprecedented security operation to protect the meeting from possible violent protests. (AP)

President Obama stepped off Air Force One onto British soil last night — his first venture across the Atlantic since cheering multitudes greeted him last summer.

What a difference this time. Heading into tomorrow’s G-20 summit, he faces a global challenge greater than any since perhaps World War II. And his European allies aren’t all falling in line with his agenda. Many blame American-style capitalism for the global economic crisis. Yet can anyone but America lead them out? Will they follow?

This hour, On Point: The view from Europe, on the eve of the G-20.

You can join the conversation. What’s at stake at the G-20 meeting? Do you expect anything to come out of it? What do President Obama and the world’s leaders need to accomplish in London?

Guests:

Joining us from London is Edward Luce, Washington Bureau Chief for The Financial Times. He’s covering the G20 summit in London.

Also from London, we’re joined by Richard Jackman, professor at the London School of Economics.

Joining us from Berlin is Joachim Fritz-Vannahme, director of European Affairs at the Bertelsmann Foundation. He’s former deputy editor-in-chief, and now an online columnist, for the German newsweekly Die Zeit.

And joining us in studio is Dominique Moisi, a founder and senior advisor at the French Institute for International Relations and currently a visiting professor at Harvard University. His new book, out next month, is “The Geopolitics of Emotion: How Cultures of Fear, Humiliation, and Hope are Reshaping the World.”

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  • Jeffery Ewener

    Excellent timing, to have this show the day after your interview with Simon Johnson.

    Before I heard him, I couldn’t understand why the Euro team’s focus on re-making the imploded financial industry was seen as so opposed to the Anglo-American team’s focus on pumping money into a sagging economy. Why not do both? So I figured.

    But Simon Johnson explains: Because pumping money into a corrupted & unreconstructed financial system is just throwing good money after bad — and into the hands of the same people.

    Certainly there’s a need for government to shore up the demand side of the economy, by spending big on job-creating investments. But doesn’t Simon Johnson’s (and many others’) analysis of our current plight suggest that the European strategy is the one that addresses the world economy’s most urgent & immediate needs?

  • Frederic C

    Emotions can be and are played on for financial profit and political gain.

    We must educate our populace by any means necessary or we will continue to play a losing game.

  • Jamie Deepears

    It may be to the corporate/bank/government’s advantage to dismantle the capitalist paradigm; they could get ahead of social unrest (after stealing the money). Is there a creative bridge we could construct to get us to the other side of this? We all have something in common. We all have a dog in this fight.

    Lest we forget, Nature bats last.

  • alphonsina

    Jane — Pronounce the guy’s name right! Joachim starts with a “Yo” sound, not “Wah” as if it were Spanish —-

  • Sherm

    Why should anyone expect any European country to agree on a remedy for the current economic crisis with either the U.S. or another European country when it took so long for them to agree on a common European Economic Community? They participated in the actions that created this problem, took profits and now turn against the U.S. This is real chutzpah!
    I would expect nothing different from any European country – especially France!

  • jeffe

    This program is not answering any questions about the issues, it’s awful. The moderator is cutting off callers which in some cases is a good thing as they seem like nut cases. The bottom line is what the last caller said, it is greed. We need to bring back good sensible regulations that do have have loop holes and heavy fines to keep the financial sector from hiding money in off shore accounts.

    In regards to the crisis, I have a friend who works in a legal department at a large investment bank in NYC.
    He told me that they all knew about this years(3) before this all hit. They all knew the risk was outrageous, that 30 to 1 leverages were insane. Not one person that he had contact with, and these are smart people, understood how the default swaps worked.

    So when the captains of industry say they did not see this coming, they are lying.

  • Frederic C

    Word jeffe,

    It seems there wasn’t a critical mass of truth to power speakers.

  • Frederic C

    What role did the growing popular awareness of China’s creditor status to the U.S have to do with undermining our confidence?

  • Frederic C

    The Generals are on the Hill. Interesting listening.

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