I mean, to add to that, I'm already hearing, you know, it's -- it's all over the place that people -- Capitol Hill right behind me -- are concerned that even this relatively minor thing that they're having a big argument about right now, FEMA and disaster, is causing this gridlock. So how they can do the heavy lifting if they can't do the light lifting?
EL-ERIAN: The image that you always have to keep in your mind is that the global economy and the markets are in the backseat, and the policymakers are on the front seat. And what is happening on the front seat is the following. First, the drivers are very erratic. Secondly, they're not even looking through the windscreen; they're arguing with each other.
In that situation, people get very nervous. In that situation, you lose confidence. That is true for Europe. That is true for the U.S.
We have two distinct issues. We have a political issue and an engineering problem. In Europe, both are very hard. In the U.S., it's mainly political issue. If we get the politics right, the engineering isn't that difficult.
FREELAND: And the problem is that engineering does become more difficult if Europe falls apart. So, you know, Americans tend to focus, when they think about the U.S. problems on domestic politics, if you see this huge external shock from Europe, today is going to look like a fabulous, great economic situation.
AMANPOUR: Let me just ask -- I'll be right with you, George -- just to follow up on what you said about China, I mean, we've been talking about headwinds to the American economy. Now comes the headache of China, which is softening. And that could be a major problem. People say you can't count on China to engine the world economy. Do you think that's over the top or is that right?
FREELAND: I actually think the concerns about the emerging markets being an independent drag on the world economy are a little overblown. You know, this slowdown that we're seeing in China, that was engineered by the Chinese who were worried about too much inflation.
I think the bigger issue is, when you talk to people in emerging markets -- and I know Mohamed does a lot, as well -- is their total loss of confidence in the West, in both the U.S. and in Europe. You know, they're saying, we're used to you guys, you know, being the people running the global economy, and now we see you really both don't know what to do and don't have the will to do it.
WILL: Austan's quite right. The leaders of Europe are very intelligent people. It takes a lot of intelligence to produce a really sophisticated mistake like the euro, and it takes courage and political courage to stand back and say, "We made a mistake. Let's unwind this nonsense."
What we did in this country with housing is we took measure after measure to keep the housing market from reaching its bottom and correcting the overhang of all the houses we built, so we're still living with that. And they're going to make the same mistake in Europe.
GOOLSBEE: Look, I think, in Europe, they've kind of turned this into a bad Monty Python skit, where, you know, the guy comes out and says, "We need to act," and the next one says, "You're right, let's draft -- no more talking, we're start acting." "I second the motion. Let's start doing something." I mean, they're not actually doing anything. They just keep agreeing that they're going to work in concert.