American economic superiority just won't die
The US has always had a bit of a superiority complex when it comes to European economic policy. The social characteristics of most European countries stand in contrast to the American mock laissez-faire economic style and have generally been referred to as the reason why Europe fails to boom, dominate and innovate like the good old USA.
Things aren't great in Europe right now, and definitely not in the UK, but it does seem like the finger of blame for this whole global economic meltdown points squarely at the US. In fact, you'd kind of think Americans would be trying to keep hush about exactly how much of a shitstorm they've led us all into.
With all that in mind it's particularly galling to read an op-ed in the NYTimes headlined A Continent Adrift... Don't worry, the condescension doesn't end there. Krugman starts off by expressing his care and thought for Europe ("I’m concerned about Europe.") and then drops this bomb, "The clear and present danger to Europe right now comes from a different direction — the continent’s failure to respond effectively to the financial crisis.". The article just keeps going and going from there.
Possibly the most annoying bit comes midway through the article: Why is Europe falling short? Poor leadership is part of the story. European banking officials, who completely missed the depth of the crisis, still seem weirdly complacent. After eight years of Bush leading the world in circles it is particularly irritating to hear a lecture on "poor leadership". Bush years behind us, the current US banking officials are definitely not paragons of action and responsibility.
All things aside, yes we are in this economic collapse together, and no it's not productive to be worried about placing blame, but the last thing anyone outside of the US wants to hear is American boosters trumpeting their superiority in disaster.