Europe: Struggling to Keep Pace

We Americans often think that we are the best at everything. But I can say categorically that is not true. Two weeks of work in Europe reinforced the conclusion that our breads and pastries are no match for the bakery offerings in the Old World. Breakfast is just better over there.

The coffee is pretty good in Europe, too, and it fueled a great series of conversations centered on what’s ahead for the global economy. Following are a handful of key reflections from a very productive fortnight.

“How do you do it?” I was often asked. Thinking the question referred to the sometimes hectic pace of my travel, I highlighted the importance of organization and fitness.

But the curiosity was not about my personal endurance, but rather that of the American economy. The difference in performance on either side of the Atlantic over the past few years has been substantial.

Read GDP and Budget Deficit

A central reason for this has been fiscal policy: whereas the United States has been spending money with seeming impunity, European countries have been constrained.