The headline in yesterday's Financial Times was "Trichet calls for worldwide tightening" (the head of the European Union's Central Bank). The Chairman of the US Federal Reserve, Bernanke, gave a radically different prescription when testifying before US congress the day before. He called for even more stimulous (in effect, printing more money).
Why the diometrically opposed prescriptions? Spend vs. Save?
My wife and partner, Jennie, usually sums things up in an easier to "get" phrase: "everone works their pay plan". She describes most human activity in this way...especially in the world of business and the business of politics. Enlightened self interest has been the best description for most human history when viewed back from the future.
For now at least: Europe makes stuff and exports it; The US makes money by buying stuff (2/3 of the US GNP is buying stuff). Everyone works their pay plan.