Latest From Delphi: World Still on the Brink
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  • ddh

    Prof. Mead,

    I share your anxiety that the few recent good US economic reports are ephemeral and illusory, but I object to a sentence in your piece that Tom Friedman could have written: “Additionally, lack of competitiveness will continue to augment in Europe with a major fall in the Euro’s value needed to to restore growth . . .” That sentence is the visual equivalent of fingernails on a blackboard.

    How can something missing (lack of competitiveness) augment? “Augment” usually means adding to something to make a greater effect. In this case, something is lost–not added–so “augment’s” meaning starts a squabble with the subject “lack” as well as the prepositional phrase that follows. In addition, “continue” adds nothing to the meaning and should have been discarded as excess verbiage.

    It would have been better to have written “Additionally, the lack of competitiveness in Europe will worsen with a major fall in the Euro’s value needed to to restore growth . . .”

  • Mrs. Davis

    More important is that the “good” news hasn’t been based on good foundations. The growth in equity prices resulting from the rapid growth in money supply. With stricter credit standards and zero percent interest rates the money has no where to go but equity and commodity markets. And the bubbles are blowing.

    And the good corporate news is not a result of booming consumer demand, but growth resulting the removal of competitors and continued expense control. Certainly there is no growth in new housing construction, the traditional path out of recession, on the visible horizon.

    It is difficult to see where the optimism is coming from.

  • Stacy

    ddh, Better yet…

    “A major fall in the Euro’s value will be needed to restore growth as European competitiveness continues to deteriorate. . . .”

  • ddh

    Stacy,

    Your sentence is a step forward, but I prefer active voice:

    “The Euro will need to depreciate to keep Europe’s lagging competitiveness from putting the brakes on GDP growth.”

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