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Missing: Shock and Awe in Europe's Crisis Response
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Love it or hate it, everyone can agree that Hank Paulson's September 2008 request for a $700 billion blank check from Congress was bold.

It was also the exact opposite of Europe's glacier-speed response to its current crisis, which has hovered like a black cloud over the global economy for nearly three years.

While Paulson and Fed chief Ben Bernanke embraced an urgent "shock-and-awe" approach to avoid a depression, European leaders have all too often relied on a "wait-and-see" response.

"Europe's response is best described by the word 'dysfunctional,'" Cam Harvey, a finance professor at Duke University, said in an email. "They delay the inevitable with a series of band-aids knowing full well that major surgery is needed."

This thinking can help explain the global markets' collective "meh" reaction to the deal reached over the weekend to hand Spanish banks a roughly $125 billion bailout. 

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