The fourth episode of our podcast, Atlantic Talks, is now available. This week’s guest is journalist Helena Garrido, a commentator for RTP and RDP, and columnist for Observador newspaper.

Helena Garrido graduated in economics, but it was in journalism that she decided to make a career. She started in 1986 at Jornal do Comércio. Since then she has gone through the main newsrooms of the country – Público, Expresso, Diário Económico, Jornal de Negócios, RTP. She was deputy director of the Diário de Notícias and Diário Económico and editor-in-chief of Jornal de Negócios.

In this episode of Atlantic Talks, Helena Garrido talks about the economic history of the United States, the differences between American and European economic ideologies, and how a new wave of Portuguese economists trained in the United States have been gaining relevance in national politics.

Any of these economists who are trained in the U.S. can have a much more pragmatic perspective, much more focused on results, and with a much more logical and axiomatic reasoning. But they also value private initiative, individual freedom and some of them, not all of them, have an enormous faith in the functioning of the market. – Helena Garrido.

The first was Miguel Beleza, who at the age of 24 moved to the United States to do his Ph.D. in economics, and who in 1990 became Minister of Finances. Since then there have been four more Ministers of Finance in Portugal with training in the United States: Jorge Braga de Macedo, Fernando Teixeira dos Santos, Mário Centeno, and João Leão, the current officeholder.

The difference for Europe, she says, is large, especially in times of crisis when less conventional solutions are needed.

Americans, while they may be very ideological, when the time comes to solve the problem, they think ‘we’re going to solve the problem with the best tool we have regardless of ideology’ and they don’t want to know if the model is Keynes, if it’s State, if it’s not the State. (…) Europe is very much a prisoner of the rules it has created for itself. In a kind of policing each other, they created so many rules that they found themselves without the ability to react. – Helena Garrido.

On the current crisis, she considers that at this time “we do not have Europe and the United States working as a team”, as during the financial crisis of 2008, but she believes that in the future relations between the two economic blocs will return to normal, as they are very similar culturally. Until then, Europe must take advantage to become less dependent, both in the economic area and on security and defense issues.

To listen to this episode just select one of the following links or search it where you normally listen to your podcasts.