German Car Stimulus Jumpstarts Demand

With global banking bailouts still not working, it's nice to see a rescue plan showing its intended effects: Germany's scrapping bonus, which pays new-car buyers €2,500 to ditch their old banger, has raised sales so fast that companies are struggling to fill orders.

Despite Unrest, Europe's Center Is Holding

It's easy to read the last few months as one vast refutation of self-regulating capitalism and the elites who nurtured it. Many observers have thus warned that Europe's voters will flock to far-left parties now loudly crowing "told you so." Or, in the opposite direction, to the populist right, whose xenophobic rants have taken aim at globalizing capitalists and immigrants.Instead, Europe's center has held steady, and possibly even gained in strength.

Germany Suffers As Exports Implode

If Americans are in shock over the economic plight that the collapse of the housing bubble has wrought, Germans are simply baffled. In their view, they seem to have done everything right—they have a high savings rate, a solid manufacturing base and no exuberance in their real-estate market, while profligate Americans binge-spent their way to illusory growth.

Greenest Nation

This is a trick question. What big country is, by most measures, greener than Japan and Germany and produces more geothermal energy than all of Europe combined? It might help to know that this nation is also a pioneer in environmental stewardship, having passed many of the world's toughest regulations on vehicle emissions, energy efficiency and nature conservation.

Hey, What Would Mr. Obama Say?

America is back. That's the message the Obama administration is sending to foreign capitals. The new team has moved quickly to repair America's image abroad, promising to suspend torture, close Guantánamo and join the fight against climate change.

Germany Does About-Face, Embraces Keynes

Barely a month after German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück blasted fiscal stimulus programs like Britain's cut in the value-added tax as "crass Keynesianism," he and Chancellor Angela Merkel cobbled together a €50 billion emergency spending package of their own last week.

Deficit Hawks Reemerge As Crisis Debate Rages On

Remember the deficit hawks? The critics of blown-up government spending finally took center stage last week, after staying largely in the shadows as countries around the world threw hundreds of billions of dollars, euros and yuans at their banks and economies to help stave off the worsening recession.

Why Europeans Like Free Trade More Than Americans

After decades of American support for the free movement of goods, services and capital around the world, the tables appear to have turned. Nowhere has public backing for free trade been shrinking as rapidly as in the United States.

Driven Into the Ground

Auto manufacturers around the world are all looking for government handouts. But that does nothing to address their real problems.

Banking's Winners

Failing banks have gotten plenty of ink, but there are a few that have managed to thrive amid chaos.

The New Investment Banking Power Players

The market chaos has left no top investment bank standing. Of the Big Five, Lehman, Bear and Merrill are gone, while Morgan Stanley and Goldman are becoming commercial banks, which means they can no longer put up the house to borrow billions for high-stakes deals.

Europe Loves Obama But Would Never Vote For Him

What was most interesting about the throngs who came to see Barack Obama in Europe last week was never articulated in public. It's that they adore him for America (the Bild tabloid called the German reaction "love at first sight") but would never get to vote for someone like him at home.To be sure, Europeans swinging American flags again instead of burning effigies of the U.S. president is a refreshing sight.

The Odd Couple

Germany's unwieldy grand coalition is making for a confused foreign policy—and it could get much worse.