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Reviving the West

LONDON – In 2008, at a time of financial peril, the world united to restructure the global banking system.

In 2009, as trade collapsed and unemployment rose dramatically, the world came together for the first time in the G-20 to prevent a great recession from spiraling into a great depression.

Now, facing a low-growth austerity decade with no national exits from long-term unemployment and diminished living standards, the world needs to come together in the first half of 2011 to agree on a financial and economic strategy for prosperity far bolder than the Marshall Plan of the 1940’s.

Time is running out on the West, because both Europe and America have yet to digest the fact that all the individual crises of the last few years – from the sub-prime crisis and the collapse of Lehman Brothers to Greek austerity and Ireland’s near-bankruptcy – are symptoms of a deeper problem: a world undergoing a far-reaching, irreversible, and, indeed, unprecedented restructuring of economic power.