February 6, 2012
You live in both the U.S. and Europe. How do you see each dealing with economic crisis?
In the U.S., even though there is a recession and people are very disillusioned about politics, there is an underlying optimism. Europeans are by nature pessimistic: they moan all the time. So there is this constant complaining about politicians, about the economy. And there is very little action.
The U.S. attitude is better?
It will help the U.S. and is helping the U.S. Americans will take any job, and Europeans will not take any job. Europe has impediments, of course. Somebody in Alabama can get in a car and drive all the way to North Dakota and get a job in the fracking industry, which is booming. That is not within the European nature. Even if someone could do it, we have the barrier of language.
How deep is the euro crisis?
Europe is the banker of the world: 50% of the total balance sheet of the [global] banking system is held by European banks. It’s very scary that European countries cannot control what is happening to the currency that is used primarily by these banks. These banks can become insolvent.
Your book Maonomics is about China. What lesson can the euro zone learn from China?
China’s capi-communism is the result of Deng Xiaoping’s analysis of the shortcoming of the communist system and the advantages of reform using the instruments of capitalism. I don’t see any European leader today doing that.
Read the rest of TIME Magazine’s interview with Loretta Napoleoni here.