Daniel W. Drezner

The fifth dimension of global political economy

[NOTE:  the following reads much better if you read it using the voice of Rod Serling!–ed.] There’s a subtle art to reading broadsheet American journalism.  Reporters strain for objectivity, and in the process, strain to avoid anything that smacks of the prejorative.  If you squint real hard at the text, however, you can occasionally detect moments ...

[NOTE:  the following reads much better if you read it using the voice of Rod Serling!–ed.]

There’s a subtle art to reading broadsheet American journalism.  Reporters strain for objectivity, and in the process, strain to avoid anything that smacks of the prejorative.  If you squint real hard at the text, however, you can occasionally detect moments when the reporter is dying, just dying, to state their blunt opinion on the matter at hand. 

I bring this up because Liz Alderman of the New York Times, in her story on the possibility of a big deal in Europe to enlarge the European Financial Stability Facility, appears to be ever-so-subtly banging her head against her keyboard: 

The rally in American stock markets was set off by a report late Tuesday on the Web site of The Guardian, a British newspaper, that France and Germany had agreed to increase the size of the rescue fund — the European Financial Stability Facility — to as much as 2 trillion euros to contain the crisis and backstop Europe’s banks. But almost as soon as those hopes soared, European officials quickly brought them back to earth, with denials flooding forth from Brussels, Paris and Berlin.

This latest round of rumors and rebuttals about a European solution was a repeat of earlier situations. Such episodes have played out several times since the debt crisis intensified this year. Most recently, investors have been pegging hopes on a meeting of Europe’s leaders set for this coming Sunday in Brussels, anticipating that a comprehensive solution to the debt crisis might be unveiled (emphasis added).

Ms. Alderman has filed more than one story this week on this theme — and she’s hardly the only writer stuck in this rut. 

It would appear that Ms. Alderman has discovered that there is a fifth dimension of reporting, beyond that which is known to ordinary economic journalism. It is a dimension as vast as developed country sovereign debt and as timeless as currency itself. It is the middle ground between austerity and stimulus, between national sovereignty and supranational authority, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of European political economy. It is an area which we call… the eurozone. 

Ms. Alderman is clearly yet another victim of…. the Merkel Algorithm.  And all I can say is, welcome to the club, Liz.  Welcome to the club

 Twitter: @dandrezner

Trending Now Sponsored Links by Taboola

By Taboola

More from Foreign Policy

By Taboola