Daily Archives: March 18, 2008

Gideon Rachman

Some people are good in a crisis. Unfortunately, President Bush isn’t one of them. His comments on the global financial crisis yesterday were the opposite of reassuring. The simian furrowing of the brow suggested deep confusion. The bland assertion that “our financial institutions are strong” defied credulity. He even thanked Hank Paulson, the treasury secretary, for “working over the weekend”. Yes, that’s really going the extra mile, isn’t it?

Bush’s congratulations for Paulson have a nasty echo of his comments to the head of FEMA, Michael Brown, at the height of the Hurricane Katrina fiasco/tragedy – “Brownie, you are doing a heck of a job.” 

Gideon Rachman

There is a well-established pecking order of prejudice in western Europe. The British look down on the French, the French look down on the Italians, the Italians look down on the Spanish, the Spanish look down on the Portuguese – and everybody fears and ridicules the Germans.