Daniel W. Drezner

A Very Important Post about…. eurogoggles

[NOTE:  The following is a public service message from the hard-working team at FP Magazine to the policy wonks and market analysts inside the Beltway–ed.] Has this happened to you in 2011?  You’re stressed out from a long day of reading/writing/number crunching/contingency planning and you’re looking to unwind and enjoy yourself.  Then you see the ...

[NOTE:  The following is a public service message from the hard-working team at FP Magazine to the policy wonks and market analysts inside the Beltway--ed.]

Has this happened to you in 2011?  You're stressed out from a long day of reading/writing/number crunching/contingency planning and you're looking to unwind and enjoy yourself.  Then you see the latest announcement of a European summit meeting and proclamations of a breakthrough deal that will resolve the plight of the Greek economy, the fragile state of European banks, and the perilous credit rating of southern Mediterranean countries. 

As you see stocks rise, credit markets soar, and the euro appreciate, the euro-optimism becomes intoxicating.  Pretty soon, the euro-giddiness starts to get to you.  You start to tweet things like, "the corner has been turned," post on Facebook that, "it's time to Europarty!!" and talk up the metric system again.  Nicolas Sarkozy looks like the brilliant progenitor of grand ideas and grand summits, and Angela Merkel is the shrewd politician who made the bankers blink

[NOTE:  The following is a public service message from the hard-working team at FP Magazine to the policy wonks and market analysts inside the Beltway–ed.]

Has this happened to you in 2011?  You’re stressed out from a long day of reading/writing/number crunching/contingency planning and you’re looking to unwind and enjoy yourself.  Then you see the latest announcement of a European summit meeting and proclamations of a breakthrough deal that will resolve the plight of the Greek economy, the fragile state of European banks, and the perilous credit rating of southern Mediterranean countries. 

As you see stocks rise, credit markets soar, and the euro appreciate, the euro-optimism becomes intoxicating.  Pretty soon, the euro-giddiness starts to get to you.  You start to tweet things like, "the corner has been turned," post on Facebook that, "it’s time to Europarty!!" and talk up the metric system again.  Nicolas Sarkozy looks like the brilliant progenitor of grand ideas and grand summits, and Angela Merkel is the shrewd politician who made the bankers blink

After a few hours or so of this, all the problems in the world look eminently solvable.  In your head, you’ve devised brilliant, intricate plans that solve the Israeli/Palestinian peace process, the India/Pakistan enduring rivalry, and the BCS college football rankings.  Before you know it, you’ve organized and presented a talk in which you provide the Mother of All Powerpoint Presentations to Solving Global Problems, charging the entire, catered affair to the Brookings Institution. 

Beware!!  You are a victim of Eurogoggles.  As the Economist will observe, "in the light of day, the holes in the rescue plan are plain to see."  Both AFP and Bloomberg will point out that the policy euphoria has faded the next day.  It will turn out that details are left unexplained.  The size of the bailout package, which looked massive the night before, will prove to be a limp, unsatisfying half-measure the next day.  The bank rescue fund and the Greek deal remain incomplete.  All you’ll be left with is that vague sense of self-loathing at having been suckered again, and a strem of angry voice-mail messages from a DC think tank.  The walk of shame to your water-cooler the next day, in which co-workers mock your tweets of the night before, will be humiliating. 

Eurogoggles — don’t let it happen to you or your colleagues. 

Daniel W. Drezner is a professor of international politics at Tufts University’s Fletcher School. He blogged regularly for Foreign Policy from 2009 to 2014. Twitter: @dandrezner

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