The European Union (EU) is now in a full-scale panic over how to arrange financial bailouts for its least capable members. Yet few officials within the 27-nation federation have pondered the possibility that the best arrangement may be no bailout - and no EU as well. The recent experience of Iceland, which isn't a member (yet), could serve as a lesson for both Europe and the U.S. This contrasts with the subsidized nations elsewhere in Europe whose conditions are approaching a breaking point, most of all, in riot-torn Greece, on the cusp of secession (or expulsion) from the EU. Not far behind are Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain. The comparison should serve as a lesson on why governments, here or abroad, shouldn't insulate businesses from the consequences of bad decisions.
But for some reason they are upset about a European Union plan to charge them for their carbon dioxide emissions on flights going to and from EU countries, despite the fact that all the U.S. carriers who have complained about the EU plan boast about their strategies to lower their “carbon footprint.” USA Todayreports that the scheme, beginning next year, could raise round-trip ticket prices to Europe by as much as $30.
The scenario has a familiar ring. A country goes on a credit binge. Borrowers in large numbers receive approval for home mortgages and other loans that they can't afford to repay. A sharp upswing in defaults and foreclosures of these now-securitized loans helps trigger a world financial crisis. And a frantic government bails out investors to prevent a depression and defuse political chaos. That's Ireland we're talking about.