After helping to maintain the integrity of the European monetary union, the U.S. and the I.M.F. seem to have finally realized the danger of leaving more than half of West's economies in a state of chaotic recession.
The huge waste and appalling mismanagement – displayed during the Greek debt negotiations – have also shown to the Washington pair that they were partly responsible for an intractable euro area crisis and a serious economic and political weakening of the Western alliance.
Now, in fairness to a de facto manager of the world economy (I.M.F.) and its principal shareholder (the U.S.), it is true that they did try to do the proverbial "something." But they did that without the determination necessary to get the Europeans back from the precipice.
Worrying in his re-election campaign about the one-fifth of U.S. exports going to Europe, President Obama called in vain a number of times on the German chancellor to withdraw her devastating austerity diktat to the sinking euro area economies. Repeated appeals of the American president were not only turned down; they were also publicly ridiculed. The German leader bristled that "adding more debt to an already large debt" made no sense.
As a result, the euro area was left to bleed as the German chancellor ordered that "those who violated the budget rules (French, Italians, Portuguese and Greeks), and those who failed to supervise their banks (the Spanish), had to be taught a lesson." Predictably, deepening recessions and rising unemployment swept away from power the incumbents in France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece.