Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Bottom of the pile came Portugal's Fernando Teixeira dos Santos, dragged down by a poor national economic performance and his low European profile.

Spend, lend, bend
By Ralph Atkins in Frankfurt

Published: November 18 2008 02:00 | Last updated: November 18 2008 02:00

Europe's finance ministers have been put through their paces - not just by economic turmoil but also in this latest Financial Times guide to the guardians of the continent's public purses.

Now in its third year, the FT survey benchmarks performance by drawing both on data and a panel of economists and commentators to reveal who is best at the job and the most respected - and to point to potential future stars.

The challenges this year were greater than ever. The troubles might have started across the Atlantic but the real economic impact on Europe of the near-collapse of the banking sector has been severe, sending many countries into recession ahead of the US.

Amid the worst conditions for at least a generation, finance ministers had to spot early the scale of the global crisis, avoid misjudgments, remain credible as politicians - at home and abroad - while keeping a grip on public finances as economic growth collapsed around them. How did they fare?


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