Mar 29, 2017

The miraculous European recovery

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, President of the ECB Mario Draghi and Fed Chair Janet Yellen (Franziska Kraufmann/dpa)

Don't look now, but the European stock market is officially outperforming the American one, after nearly a month of sideways movement in the S&P 500. This fact highlights how underrated the European economic recovery has been as a factor in the post-election surge in economic confidence, as the whole of the European Union is the U.S.'s largest trading partner.

Why is Europe booming? Economist Anatole Kaletsky suggests that the European Central Bank should be given credit. "A dramatic change to European policy and economic conditions occurred in March 2015, when the European Central Bank belatedly launched a bond-buying program similar to America's, but on a far larger scale," he writes. Effectively, the central bank has reduced European sovereign debt loads, which has boosted confidence and the economy.

Score one for the bureaucracy: The jury is still out, but it's plausible that in ten years time, both the ECB and the Federal Reserve will be credited for dragging the world out of the Great Recession, while parliaments and congresses bickered. In this age of democratic populism, it might the unelected bureaucrats who deserve our thanks.

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