Economics focus: Easy-money riders | The Economist:
An early warning about the dangers of keeping interest rates low
Mainly the mis-allocation of resources
And a smack-down on European dreams
Charlemagne: Calling time on progress | The Economist:
"Europeans thought they were progressing towards an ideal civilisation. Now time is up, and it hurts":
To accept that progress is an illusion is only one step. To change behaviour is another. Until now, much of Europe has chosen to put its values before growth. In reality, the 35-hour working week in France was not a mark of progress, but a brake on job creation and a spur to deindustrialisation to lower-cost countries; the French may have more time on their hands, but they have little money to do anything with it. Retirement at 60 in an ageing society is not a sign of civilisation, but a cruel joke played on the next generation. The euro-zone crisis has exposed such hypocrisy. It may still take time before Europeans conclude that they must compromise their ideals in order to secure the growth needed to preserve what they can of their lifestyles. But if they did, that would be real progress.