I don't know about just beginning. I've always figured that the very existence of the Euro shows that they we're hip to this fact. The pull towards the left, the unusual cooperation, I think, are all responses to the fact that you can't go your own way when you're tethered to an 800 pound gorilla jumping off a cliff.
Really, until it bites us in the ass, the world slump is the most fun capitalists, and US consumers have had since the Europeans blew themselves up last. The boys know this of course, which doesn't make them hero's or slaves of statistics.