In 2009, the sea-change brought on by Barack Obama in the White House was only part of the story. The world economy underwent a partial meltdown as 2008 came to a close, and 2009 began with a surplus of despair. A man who had campaigned on Hope and Change ran into economic reality. Meanwhile, in Europe, the eurozone 's troubles threatened the very existence of the European project, a project that the leaders of Europe had developed for 60 years. The Chinese curse, “may you live in interesting times,” had come to pass.