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Euro's Dark Ages?

WSJ: The risk of war escalates in the Taiwan Strait. FT: Don’t blame the euro for Ireland’s crisis. Daily Beast: Bernanke becomes an American scapegoat.

Attacks on US monetary policy are unfair

Columnist Martin Wolf writes in the Financial Times that China has condemned the United States for its quantitative easing policy. Wolf argues this is unfair because the US is not deliberately trying to drive down its currency.

QUOTE: Yet, unlike the US, China is indeed “printing money”, in order to buy foreign currency and protect external competitiveness.

Corruption prolongs Greece’s recession

George Mesthos writes in GlobalPost that the international community should stay focused on Greece’s economic woes, which continue to be affected by the nation’s high level of corruption. The corruption adds to the cost of doing business in Greece and leads to fewer new investments.

QUOTE: Greece loses about 8 percent of GDP to corruption. In comparison, if all had gone according to plan, the Greek government’s austerity measures would have brought the deficit down to 7.8 percent of GDP — in other words, no corruption, no deficit.

A growing risk of war in the Taiwan Strait

J. Michael Cole, deputy news editor at the Taipei Times, writes in the Wall Street Journal that there is a growing risk of war over Taiwan as China’s expectations rise for eventual unification, and Taiwan increases its ability to defend itself.

QUOTE: Beijing is doomed to disappointment, though, because its position on Taiwan is based on a key assumption: The prospect of material gain will eventually transcend politics and be sufficient to win hearts and minds. This is misguided.

Thanks to Uncle Sam

Warren Buffett, chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway, writes in the New York Times that the US government deserves gratitude for managing to pull through two years ago when US companies and the American public were facing an economic catastrophe.

QUOTE: So, again, Uncle Sam, thanks to you and your aides. Often you are wasteful, and sometimes you are bullying. On occasion, you are downright maddening. But in this extraordinary emergency, you came through — and the world would look far different now if you had not.

Don’t blame the euro for Ireland’s crisis

Author Philippe Legrain writes in the Financial Times that the euro should not be blamed for Ireland’s economic crisis. Rather, the problem is that savings funded property bubbles, which eventually burst.

QUOTE: The blame for that lies with herd-like investors, flawed banks and foolish governments, not the euro. After all, America, Britain, Iceland and other non-euro countries all had huge property bubbles too.

The West should moderate sanctions against Myanmar

Brahma Chellaney, a professor of strategic studies at the New Delhi-based Center for Policy Research, writes in the International Herald Tribune that the West should consider lifting or moderating its sanctions against Myanmar. Chellaney argues that the West has not had sanctions against China, despite its human rights abuses, and therefore the nation has prospered.

QUOTE: Why deny Myanmar the international-trade opportunities that have allowed the world’s biggest executioner, China, to prosper?

Bush left the US economy in tatters, yet he regrets nothing

Columnist Ruth Marcus writes in the Washington Post that former US President George W. Bush watched the US national debt almost double, and yet he says he regrets nothing.

QUOTE: Bush inherited a budget in healthy shape. He left it in tatters. The faltering economy played a supporting role, but the chief factors were of Bush's making: his tax cuts, his wars, his prescription drug bill.

Britain must prepare for eurozone dark age

Columnist Simon Heffer writes in London’s Daily Telegraph that Europe should “break the dream” and bring an end to the eurozone as its now known. He argues that Germany should leave the eurozone, and this would ultimately make it easier for other countries within the system. In the mean time, Britain must prepare for difficult economic times in Europe and focus on trading with other regions.

QUOTE: When the inevitable happens to Europe – when Angela Merkel recognizes the political suicide of spending her electors' hard-earned money on foreign wastrels – there will be a brief (or perhaps not so brief) economic dark age in the eurozone.

Federal Reserve chairman becomes an American scapegoat

Charlie Gasparino, a senior correspondent for Fox Business Network, writes in the Daily Beast that the American public and Republican politicians should stop ridiculing and blaming Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve. Gasparino argues that they are using Bernanke as a scapegoat when the real problem has been the banking crisis and state of the economy.

QUOTE: Bernanke as head of the Wall Street clean-up squad, and chief regulator of the banking business has become the poster child of populist scorn that's really a function of a failed economic (fiscal) policy he has no control over.

China views those who attempt to seek justice as threats

Columnist Frank Ching writes in the China Post that China does not protect its citizens. Instead, it treats those who attempt to report a crime, natural disaster or abuse as criminals themselves.

QUOTE: It appears that any attempt to seek justice in China, no matter how valid your cause, will be opposed by the government, which sees any organized protest as a threat.