We Shouldn’t Hate Europeans

Let any bad thing befall the United States of America and its people, and you pretty much count on a cheering section to emerge. Yes, Osama Bin Ladin, “Pooty-Poot” and Ahmadinejad all enjoy watching Americans dying in lakes of fire and blood. Also, and much more obnoxiously, so does much of Western Europe. Not that we haven’t ever given up blood and treasure to pull their sorry butts out of perdition.

The latest gaggle of gloating goatees celebrates the hardships afflicting Wall Street during the recent failures of America’s investment industry. To observe European investment bankers watching Wall Street’s latest collapse unwind is find yourself teleported to another place and another time.

Imagine yourself in Bronx sports bar that magical fall night where Lawrence Taylor snapped Joe Theismann’s leg like the wishbone on a chicken. If you can imagine the crazy drunks celebrating like mad-men, you get the picture of how Europe has reacted to the recent trading on Wall Street. Our wonderful NATO allies in the EU look upon our current crisis with a ghoulish, bloodsucking enthusiasm.

The Los Angeles Times describes how Europe indulges in their most recent hateful binge of anti-american gloating. First they excoriate former Federal Reserve Chair Allan Greenspan with the sneering disdain they would normally level against John Wayne.

“Greenspan was considered a master,” Tremonti declared. “Now we must ask ourselves whether he is not, after [Osama] bin Laden, the man who hurt America the most. . . . It is clear that what is happening is a disease. It is not the failure of a bank, but the failure of a system. Until a few days ago, very few were willing to realize the intensity and the dramatic nature of the crisis.”

Yes, that’s right. He just blew right past Goodwin’s Corollary and compared Allan Greenspan to Osama Bin Ladin. I’m not sure whether Osama resents the competition or appreciates the attempted image make-over. Maybe Patrick J. Buchanan had a point when he spent a large portion of one his pathetic screeds lamenting the fact that we saved these deleterious pricks from Hitler.

Next, he compare our mortgage industry to the Albanian pyramid schemes famously chronicled by P.J. O’Rourke in Eat The Rich.

“The system is collapsing, exactly like the Albanian pyramids collapsed,” Tremonti said. “The idea is gaining ground that the way out of the crisis is mainly with large public investments. . . . The return of rules is accompanied by a return of the public sector.”

Ahh, that delightful last sentence… Maybe Tremonti agrees with Patrick J. Buchanan and laments that Benito no longer helps to make the trains run on time.

And Nobody, I mean nobody, does America-bashing with quite the same elan as our friends in Paris. To read such mordant darkness; written in The City of Light…

“Between the dread of a world in the midst of collapsing and the shiver of pleasure that finally something serious is happening to the kingdom of liberalism, how to orient oneself?” Eric Aeschimann wrote Thursday in the newspaper Liberation, a voice of French intellectuals whose disdain for capitalism persists in the 21st century.

Expressing nostalgia for “the good old days when bankers jumped out of windows,” Aeschimann condemned as “extortion” the rescue of U.S. corporate giants by the very state that free-marketeers resent.

Gosh, there’s nothing like a few suicides by defenestration to properly focus the mind. Maybe Archie Bunker secretly did eat quiche.

The Germans offer their contribution as well. They don’t quite measure up to the French, but then again, that whole nostalgia for the good old defenestration days still has me laughing out loud. Hanna Evers does her best to pretend that Germans have that unique moral superiority that is easily belied by a day trip to the ruins of Auschwitz.

“And I’m furious when I see the pictures of Americans who thought they were on the sunny side of life and now have lost their homes and have to live in their cars,” Evers said. “I definitely do not feel sorry for the bankers who lost their jobs in the last couple of days. I can’t believe that a country like the U.S.A. could have been so careless on a money issue!”

“I was taught that the U.S.A. is the motherland of moneymaking,” she added. “And now all I can see is a herd of headless chickens running around on Wall Street.”

And yet, while the cheap shot artistes deliver their cutting remarks, a storm prepares to descend on the other side of the Atlantic Basin. An article detailing Europe’s recent bought with the economic doldrums reveals the following startling factoid.

Since August 2007, European banks have recognized $230 billion in loan losses—nearly as much as the $250 billion in loan losses that U.S. banks have recognized over the same period. In recent months, European credit creation has ground to a halt. More troubling is the likelihood that the losses suffered by European banks will be exacerbated by an economic slowdown and by the ongoing housing busts in Ireland, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

There is a certain temptation to indulge in petty tit-for-tat French/German-bashing similar to that which I enjoyed earlier in the blog. This would not be good for either the US or Europe. But, it would be understandable, given the utterly classless and inhumane reaction of European people to the crisis hitting America’s economy.

However, Europe should not be shocked if a rise of American Neo-Nativism gets directed at them, as well as at countries nearer to the US such as Mexico and Venezuela. They should also not feel too shocked if that natavistic tide of illogical hatred has a strongly normative moral undercurrent.

After reading the hateful bilge that eminated from the same continent as our nation’s forefathers, I can’t imagine American workers and industries wanting to go the extra mile to help these people ever again. They may not need helping as badly as my link above suggests, but after their recent performance, they’d probably better not need it either.


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