Congress has shown tremendous restraint in fighting calls for rapid action in the proposed $700 billion bailout of shaky banks. Its patience should be rewarded, by taking time to consider the global impact of its actions.

Although different in scope, the “credit crisis” that’s undermined Wall Street has steadily infected institutions elsewhere. The Benelux nations – that’s Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg – for example, have now rescued their lending giant, Fortis, from the brink of insolvency for $16.3 billion.

British leaders tossed away “stiff upper lip” rhetoric to preserve Bradford & Bingley, an investment bank which teetered upon the same slippery foundation as its American counterparts: a predilection for ill-advised mortgages and too-low amounts of liquidity.

As investor fears worsen and markets descend into hellish volatility, few economies around the world will be insulated. In fact, it’s arguable this global meltdown could easily further separate the world into haves, and have-nots.

These are worst-case scenarios, of course. Yet the scope of the problems with the basic financial underpinnings of the world’s oldest economies means anticipating the worst is perhaps the proper, conservative approach.

(It’s something government, mortgagors and banks should have done in the first place.)

The bill before Congress – with its enthusiastic support from the White House and the government’s top economic minds – is a necessary evil. Yet the problem it addresses – saving the banks while insulating American taxpayers – is bigger than this country alone.

The seeds of this financial crisis were sown here. That’s the price of being an economic superpower. To tackle this scenario government-by-government, country-by-county, ignores the reality of modern global finance.

Sure, some of the verbiage is different. When European governments intervene in the financial sector, institutions are “nationalized.” When the American government acts, it’s a bailout. These are two words for the same principle.

There’s advantage in working together toward this common problem. Not only can resources be shared, but knowledge as well. In these trying times, nobody has a monopoly on wisdom.

Nor does wisdom stop at borders or our shores.

The U.S. government has cultured a reputation for working in a silo. It’s financial sector has not, co-mingling with offshore interests in developing a true, global economy. Now the whole system is sick and needs a remedy.

Solving one part may solve one part. A comprehensive approach, which recognizes the actions of one country will have an impact upon many, could solve most if not them all.

Congress is taking the time to ensure this bailout bill is best for America and American taxpayers.

It should also take time to ensure it works for the world.


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