Thongs of happy Americans turned out on the Mall in Washington on January 20 to cheer Barack Obama’s inauguration.
And Europeans and much of the rest of the world also embraced the “hope” of Obama — as exemplified by a gathering in Berlin last July 24 before some 200,000 people.
After the troubles of the last few weeks it is not at all certain that the Obama hope remains alive — maybe it is on life support.
Pan Pylas of the Associate Press wrote today: “The raft of grim corporate news in Europe comes as the markets have largely given the thumbs-down to the passing of a $789 billion stimulus bill in Congress and U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s bank rescue plan, which could cost up to $2 trillion. On the Geithner plan, investors worried about the lack of detail, specifically the absence of any indications about how the banks’ toxic assets would be bought.”
“Policymakers will argue these details will be hammered out over time, but in the meantime the economic and financial black hole will potentially deepen, and for markets this meanswill likely remain elevated,” said Daragh Maher, an analyst at Calyon Credit Agricole.
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Above: Obama in Berlin.