I thought I would never read a headline like this in an Anglo-American newspaper. It was the headline for the "European View" column by Paul Betts in the Financial Times on Tuesday:
In the past 48 hours, various European countries have scrambled to put together bail-out packages for troubled financial institutions in Germany, the UK, France, Belgium, Ireland and Iceland. And while this is by no means the end of the story, it has demonstrated that the European authorities and individual national governments can move very quickly to try to stem a growing crisis of confidence in the European financial system.
In the past 10 days, the conventional wisdom was that Europe would never be in a position to act as swiftly to rescue its financial industry with a comprehensive plan such as Washington's $700bn (?498bn) troubled asset relief programme. Yet the plan has yet to be approved, with all the political modifications demanded by US lawmakers. No evidence has so far emerged that Europe will need to orchestrate a similar plan of such magnitude.
Of course, as Peer Steinbrück, Germany's finance minister, has noted, Europe is not so much seeing a little light at the end of the tunnel but rather the headlights of an oncoming train.