Great Opening

Pity that they lose their brilliance once they are in a position to establish policies. This is Larry Summers at the FT, writing, obviously, about the euro´s troubles:

In his celebrated essay “The Quagmire Myth and the Stalemate Machine”, published in 1972, Daniel Ellsberg drew out the lesson regarding the Vietnam war that came out of the 8,000 pages of the Pentagon Papers, which he had secretly copied a few years earlier. It was simply this: policymakers acted without illusion. At every juncture they made the minimum commitments necessary to avoid imminent disaster – offering optimistic rhetoric, but never taking the steps that even they believed could offer the prospect of decisive victory. They were tragically caught in a kind of no-man’s-land – unable to reverse a course to which they had committed so much, but also unable to generate the political will to take forward steps that gave any realistic prospect of success. Ultimately, after years of needless suffering, their policy collapsed around them.

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