Opinion

Mohamed El-Erian

“Made in Egypt, by Egypt, for Egypt”

Mohamed El-Erian
Jun 29, 2011 20:39 UTC

It is a great pleasure to be with you today. I would like to express my deep appreciation to the Board of Trustees of the American University in Cairo … and extend my immense congratulations to AUC’s graduating class of 2011.

At this time, and more than ever, AUC and other centers of learning in Egypt occupy a very important position in a country that is in the midst of historic transformations. In today’s Egypt, universities are — and should be — much more than centers of learning. They are critical facilitators of beneficial change for millions of Egyptians; for current and for future generations; and for the well-being of a country, a region, and a global system.

People look to our centers of learning for education and thought leadership. They look to them for guidance in navigating complex economic, institutional, political, and social transformations. And they look for them to develop the future leaders of society at every level.

All this gives our centers of learning a critical role in Egypt’s already rich and inspiring history. It is a privilege for AUC and other universities in Egypt. It is also a huge responsibility.

I have no doubt that, with sustained effort and steadfast commitment, you will deliver; and do with pride and excellence.

Europe struggles with bad choices

Mohamed El-Erian
Jun 6, 2011 14:50 UTC

By Mohamed El-Erian
The opinions expressed are his own.

Very few of us like to be confronted with unpleasant choices. If we are, we will tend to delay a decision. And if forced to make one, we will likely opt for the choice that, in our minds at least, seems less disruptive upfront — even if we know it is likely to involve discomfort down the road.

This simple human analogy is critical in understanding why Europe’s increasingly ugly debt crisis refuses to go away. It sheds light on the choices made up to now; and it speaks to why an increasingly incoherent policy response will likely end up in tears for Greece and potentially other European economies and institutions.

Let us wind the clock back to just over a year ago when Europe first bailed out Greece, a country no longer able to pay its bills. Together with two monetary institutions — the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund — European politicians faced unpleasant choices and had to respond. But rather than decisively addressing the problem, they essentially opted to kick the can down the road.

  •