Industry NewsMarkets & Economy

Embrace the lesson of Europe’s disaster

Commentary: US must be competitive in the world, or be Europe
Published on Jun 1, 2012

Tough day. The details will be media-inescapable; work on context instead. U.S. job data for May were poor, and April's revised so. However, jobs are growing, incomes are rising (a paltry 0.2 percent monthly, but rising), and the National Association of Purchasing Managers' service index for May arrived at 53.5, a little off from April's 10-month high but a healthy distance above 50 breakeven. The U.S. concern is delicate: Until this newest data there had been good reason to hope that the U.S. locomotive could begin to pull the world. Now the chance has risen that global drag may stall us, too. Take heart: That's a risk, far from a done deal. The global picture and financial flows have been widely misdescribed -- partly from ignorance, partly confusion, partly salespeople trying to rile their herds, and everybody trying to jam a genuinely new situation into old models and experience. Since the dawn of central banking 135 years ago, the fundamental prescription during an economi...

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