The last 100 years have seen its fair share of economic troubles. The benefit is learning from others’ mistakes. When the U.S. fell into a financial crisis in 2008, the government dumped trillions of dollars into programs to keep the economy moving. Four years later, the economy is starting to grow. The euro zone doesn’t seem to have paid attention. After all, it’s in its third year of financial turmoil without any real action being made to pull itself out. A decision was made two years ago to establish a $500 billion bailout fund, but it has yet to be carried out.

The biggest problem with dragging their feet is that confidence in the future of the euro zone continues to erode. The U.S., in contrast, forced relatively healthy banks to take cash infusions to build faith that the system could continue to run. Swift action might not guarantee swift recovery, but some action is better than none.

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