“No man is an island” said the poet, and neither is any continent, or for that matter, even any island. While some actions and events reverberate farther than the other, there’s no talking about a country’s economy without having to consider its impact on the rest of the world. When the country in question is as large, influential and as ubiquitously involved as the United States of America, the ripples easily turn into tsunamis, often causing more devastation on distant shores than they did at the place of origination. In the case of the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the further repercussions, Europe may have avoided the brunt of the issue, and may have been faster to respond to some of the initial problems, but did it ever recover as much as US did?


Despite the loose unification provided by the European Union, Europe has a much different political and financial structure than the US, making the effects of the crisis on particular countries as varied as the countries themselves. Some of them had more investments in the US real estate market than others, some relied on various forms of credit more their neighbors perhaps did, while some simply, out of choice or necessity, had a more isolationist policy, and stormed the crisis without even rally noticing it’s there.


Since they didn't have a way to organize a united front against the looming issue, European countries responded by holding out for their own interests, and dealing with the crisis internally. While this fragmentation might be the main reason that echoes of a would-be long-gone crisis can still be heard howling through the Old World, it also allowed observant people to predict the way the crisis was about to unfold, and to find ways to deal with it by seeing how the others are faring with their own attempts.


Aside from economists and people whose job is solely to monitor the fluctuations in the global markets, people with the most insight and ability to accurately assess the severity of the situation and ways it was likely to unfold in, were international businessmen. For example, Branislav Grujic, a Serbian businessman who had in 2008 already had construction investment companies in a number of European countries, was one of the first people to predict the onset of the crisis in the region, as well as one of the first to later announce that it may have begun subsiding. With companies in markets as diverse as those of Russia, Serbia, Switzerland and others, he was able to compare how much of the issue was present in either of them, and how it was handled.


Even though combined initiative and actions of people like him may have eventually led Europe out of the worst part of the slump that the crisis has pushed it into, some hesitation and uncertainty is still felt in the European market. With the crisis halting many projects, and forcing abandonment of others, it does feel like Europe would be a couple of years ahead of where it is now, had the crisis been handled in a more systematic manner.

Author's Bio: 

James D. Burbank has worked for years in traditional as well as online marketing. He has worked in Central Asia, Europe and Australasia in recent years.