(If you have access, read this article from the New York Times.)
Remember 2004? The War on Terror still had some support. The W was re-elected. A Romanian pop song was somehow made popular by a youtube video of a chubby white boy lip syncing. In America, banks were giving million dollar loans to people barely making 40K. They bought enormous houses which they couldn't even afford to heat. And in Europe, the EU endeavored to make East European countries full members. Banks in Western Europe were handing out loans to Eastern Europe like it was their J-O-B.
Fast forward to 2009. The War on Terror barely gets news. Why? Obama is trying to convince people he won't kill their grandmothers. There are too many youtube videos to even keep track. Forclosure is all the rage in America. In Europe, the EU will not alter criteria for membership -- making it nearly impossible to expand further eastward. Companies in Hungary and Bulgaria are left with huge debts and essentially left on their own to cope with the crisis. Oh and don't think of trying to find a job in Western Europe. They don't want you and are passing laws to keep you out.
I do miss 2004: