The following is an excerpt from Europe's Promise:
"The Airbus story is an important one, because it is emblematic of a key component of Europe's highly successful industrial strategy - close government-industry partnerships and taxpayer-supported "national champions" in key industrial sectors. [emphasis added]... In 1967 Airbus was initiated as another collaboration among three of the earlier partners, the British, French and German governments (the British eventually dropped out). Many Euroskeptics predicted that Airbus would fall flat on its face, just as they predicted - wrongly - about the introduction of the euro. But continental cooperation built Airbus into an aerospace giant that today has more than fifty-seven thousand employees scattered across sixteen sites in four different European countries (Germany, France, Britain, and Spain).
"Free market purists in the United States, and in Europe too, condemn such government-industry partnerships. Indeed Boeing executives complain loudly thet Airbus is an EU welfare project, kept alive by massive government loans and subsidies. But to this charge the Europeans plead guilty, happily so, because government support for firms competing in global markets is part of the highly successful European industrial and technological strategy. Today in the post-economic crash era, in which state regulation and state direction of economies have a new-found legitimacy, this American free market fundamentalism seems nostalgically quaint, especially since the government-owned sovereign wealth funds of China, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states, and elsewhere manage about $3 trillion in assets and investments all over the world, and huge state-owned enterprises such as Russia's Gazprom, Saudi Arabia's Aramco, and China's SINOPEC rely on much greater government involvement than does Airbus. The economic rules have shifted dramatically, but the United States, even under the Obama administration, still remains mired in an antiquated free market ideology. [emphasis added]
"Connections between European governments and particular industries are often stronger than any such connections seen in the United States, and they have been a winning industrial strategy. European government involvement usually includes assistance from research universities, such as Tampere, Finland, where the university's engineering labs are essentially an extension of Nokia's reserach and development arm. In addition to Tampere, other places in Europe have become leading high-tech centers with government support, including the regions around Munich, Geneva and Milan, where one can see vibrant biotech and software hubs. Southern France has an "arc of innovation" stretching from Airbus's massive airframe assembly plants just outside Toulouse to the microchip fabrication labs near Nice. There's so much technological production going forward that a stretch of Europe from southern Germany and Austria to the top of Italy and into southern France and Switzerland reports the highest per capita income in the world."
The US seemingly is attempting to become the world's financial capital with its emphasis on huge banks that even with financial reform it refuses to reduce in size. Evidently, the US thinks that Wall Street, and in particular Goldman Sachs, can be the word leader in financial services. This is a particularly hare-brained strategy on the part of the US - to become the world's gambling casino for rich investors given that the rest of the world, and Europe in particular, is becoming intent on reducing and controlling the casino-like aspects of its economies particularly after all the problems they've had with the Greece debacle caused largely by Goldman Sachs' involvement. So while the US refuses to have an overt industrial stategy, it is tacitly championing Wall Street to be the world's financial capital. This strategy may fall flat on its face as the rest of the world wises up to the fact that the world wide near depression of 2008 was largely caused by Wall Street.