by Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
04 / 10 / 2010
The Great Recession and European debt crisis have had a profound impact on Europe’s macroeconomy and its public sector. Carnegie hosted Carlo De Benedetti, founder and former CEO and chairman of CIR, Paul A. Laudicina, managing officer and chairman of A.T. Kearney, and Gianni Riotta, editor-in-chief of Il Sole 24 Ore, to discuss how the financial crisis has affected European companies. Carnegie’s Moisés Naím moderated.
Though companies now function within a highly globalized economy and share best practices across continents, the response of Europe’s private sector to the global crisis has differed from that of the United States. European companies have turned to exports as a source of growth, while U.S. companies have sought to improve productivity. However, substantial differences have emerged within the European business community as well.
As companies adjust to the new global economic climate, the panelists suggested Europe’s private sector should capitalize on its current comparative advantage in quality-of-life sectors such as cars, food, and fashion.
Riotta argued that the role of governments in the economies of both the United States and Europe has shifted as a result of the crisis—expanding in the former and decreasing in the latter.