The International Monetary Fund’s Christine Lagarde used the word “challenging” to describe the Cyprus rescue to which she pledged $1.3 billion. She might say the same about where the IMF stands with the U.S. Congress.
Automatic cuts set to take effect today will pinch U.S. government functions as the country enters a more austere era that could push discretionary spending as a share of the economy to its lowest level in at least 50 years.
When the housing bubble burst in 2006, U.S. policy makers looked to Japan for clues about what to do -- and not do -- in response. Now their attention is shifting to Europe as America gets set to follow that region with a concerted attack on its budget deficit.
U.S., Chinese and Japanese officials say they will press euro-area countries to do more to merit outside help when the world’s largest economies gather tomorrow for a meeting dominated by Europe’s sovereign-debt woes.