Crisis Separates the Champs From the Boobs

Brown and Sarkozy shine while Bush stalls, says columnist
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 14, 2008 12:10 PM CDT
Britain's PM Gordon Brown listens to a question after delivering a speech to an audience in London, Monday Oct.13, 2008.    (AP Photo/Matt Dunham. Pool)
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(Newser) – The financial crisis hasn't just transformed the business world, writes Financial Times columnist Gideon Rachman; it's transformed world politics as well. Who are the winners and losers of the market upheaval?

  • Gordon Brown seems more and more the "improbable savior" of the financial system. The British bailout has been taken up in Europe and the US, and the lugubrious PM is now an economic hero.
  • George W Bush is the anti-Brown: the normally chipper president looks "panicky and out of his depth."

  • The Germans have tarnished themselves. Angela Merkel's go-it-alone strategy was immature, and her government should never have said the crisis was an American problem.
  • Nicolas Sarkozy, meanwhile, has done well; the French president brokered an impressive EU consensus this weekend.
  • And Barack Obama has won major points—not because of any big economic insights, but by appearing "calm, consistent, and controlled" while Bush and John McCain floundered.