Maybe a little bit off topic...
The world economy will be dollar based at least for the foreseeable future. Current dollar lows (and the huge budget deficit) are a temporary issue, and they are actually playing in Americas advantage by making their exports more attractive and reducing "discretionary" imports into the US (for example French cheese, wines, and other products), so helping Americas trade deficit. While the government budget deficit is a serious problem, USA has a history of successful solutions for this issue, and enough controls over its financial market to avoid a disaster. More importantly, the American government AND
industry have the resolve (nice term borrowed from Mr. Busch) to act upon the problem, when needed. Unfortunately, this is not the case for Europe.
The European economies have much more serious, long term problems. The first one is the growing social funding deficit, which will only get worse and worse over time. The second problem is excessive taxation which discourages consumption and consumer spending (which, in turn, is the main driver for the economy - consumption means jobs for more people, who in turn have more money to spend).
Just have a look at a couple of example. How much does it cost you to buy a house in France? Can you afford a house like the one somebody with a similar education / level can buy it the US? How much will be your pension? Compare it with the retirement package of somebody who works for a major American company. And you will probably have to work until 65 years old (or more), while your American peer will retire before 60. And, to make things worse, European governments lack the decisiveness (and public support) to act upon this problem.
So far, European economy has been relying of high tech exports (physical goods and technology), to keep a healthy trade balance. But things are changing. Emerging economies in Asia are taking over the technology front, at least in manufacturing area. They are also learning fast, and soon will become the leading producer AND
developer of consumer technology goods. Just look around and see how many of the goods that you use daily (your computer, telephone, TV
, DC player, etc.) are still made in Europe - most likely most of them (if not all) come from Far East. The same will happen (or is happening) with cars - the Far East cars are simply better and cheaper than whatever the European companies can put on the market. Importantly, companies like Toyota and Hyundai are spending several times more in R&D, so the technology and price gap between European and Far East cars will start growing.
Second, European exports are becoming simply too expensive to be attractive. European governments know that and just last week asked for help - guess who - to prop up the dollar and avoid further appreciation of the Euro.
I work for a major consumer goods company. Traditionally, 10-20 years ago we would buy making and packing equipment from well-established European suppliers (Germany, Switzerland, etc). Then the Italian era came - a lot of equipment would be supplied out of Italy because it has cheaper (and almost as good) as the one from Germany. Now, we (and all other major companies) are looking East. Just to give you an example - Coca Cola has recently switched its standard bottling equipment supplier from a European company to China.
Finally, the success of European economy has depended, what a paradox, on the success of America through direct financial help shortly after World War II
, and then imports from Europe and huge foreign capital investment by American companies into European operations.
Net, American economy is much more flexible and resilient - it has the capability to build itself from within. European economy has grown thanks to cheap supplies from the colonies during 18th and 19th centuries, and then, American help (direct and indirect) during secong half of 20th century.