Tony Blankley
How dangerous is the European financial condition? On Monday, while stock markets from the DAX and FTSE to the New York Stock Exchange were up sharply on report of French and German cooperative murmurs regarding sovereign debt negotiations (and on temporary easing of U.S. double-dip recession fears), the financial and political European press were warning of a coming financial crisis of unmatched dimensions.

The ever stiff upper-lipped London Financial Times let loose with uncharacteristic wails of woe: Its five column above the fold front page headline panted: "Time is short for eurozone," while its editorial page -- in a rare single top to bottom of page leader -- shouted with a now quivering upper lip: "Save Europe's unity now."

Typical of elite continental press, the German Der Speigel, under the headline "Financial Crisis Returns" reported:

"Sovereign bonds were once considered among the safest of all investments. Yet with Greece teetering and several more eurozone countries on the watch list, the continent's banks are in trouble. The European Union is struggling to come up with an antidote. ...The mood was decidedly somber.... Three years after the collapse of the Lehman Brothers investment bank in September 2008, the crisis is heading toward a new peak. The banks no longer trust each other and, during the past week, prices of insurance policies to protect investors in the event that credit institutions go bankrupt have soared to the highest levels ever observed."

The London Financial Times anchored its reporting with the exclusive comments of the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, explaining that he had urged European leaders "to take a 'big bazooka' approach to resolving the eurozone crisis, warning they have just a matter of weeks to avert economic disaster."

The London Financial Times approvingly reported the prime minister's call for European (French in particular) bank stress tests, bank recapitalization and building a firewall around Greek debt default by enlarging the firepower of central 'European financial stabilization facilities' from about 400 billion Euros to 2 trillion Euros. That is close to three trillion dollars -- real money even in multi-trillion, debt-crazed Washington.

The piquancy of the British premier's advice to the French and Germans was savored in Cameron's warning that while he wanted the eurozone to deepen its financial integration to avoid crises, he "demanded safeguards to prevent France and other Eurozone countries from distorting the European Union's single market in an attempt to shift financial services from Britain to the single currency area."

Tony Blankley

Tony Blankley, a conservative author and commentator who served as press secretary to Newt Gingrich during the 1990s, when Republicans took control of Congress, died Sunday January 8, 2012. He was 63.

Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.

In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.

©Creators Syndicate