Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2008

Gordon Brown

Politicians routinely talk up their achievements, but Britain's Prime Minister exceeded even the most bombastic standards of his profession in a recent parliamentary debate. "We not only saved the world ... ," he began, before incredulous hoots, from opponents but also from Labour ranks, drowned out the rest of the sentence. Brown had intended to make the marginally more modest claim of delivering the global banking system from destruction. How did Flash Gordon, the Scottish superhero, achieve this feat? His recapitalization scheme for British banks, unveiled in October, quickly became the model for other countries' rescue efforts and inspired the recalibration of the U.S. plan.