Much chortling in the Wall Street Journal, of course. Its lead editorial stated: "... Germany is now likely to veer away from the precipice and steer a saner course. Whew. That was a close one. It was close not only for Germany, but also for Europe and perhaps the global economy .... 'Is this the most dangerous man in Europe?' asked The Sun tabloid of London this year, printing an especially unattractive picture of a leering Mr. Lafontaine. He may well have been, and now he's gone. His surprise resignation marks the passing of a cloud over Europe's economic future. Mr. Schroeder now has a chance to have another try. Let's hope he has learned his lesson as well as M. Mitterand did in 1983. As the French president said, 'I was carried [away] by victory, we were intoxicated.' German beer sometimes has the same effect."
But what I really loved was this editorial reaction in the NY Times: "[Lafontaine had] loudly demanded that the new European Central Bank lower interest rates. On the merits, he had a case [!], but the political realities were that the central bank dared not appear to be caving in to such pressure [!!]. With Mr. Lafontaine gone, a rate cut now may be more likely [!!!]."
Central bankers uber alles!
One thing's for sure, it's a lot more congenial world now for Bill "I Cause Your Pain" Clinton and Tory Blair.