US superpower status is shaken
By Paul Reynolds
World affairs correspondent, BBC News website
Will Uncle Sam still bestride the world in future?
On the practical level, the US is already stretched militarily, in Afghanistan and Iraq, and is now stretched financially.
On the philosophical level, it will be harder for it to argue in favour of its free market ideas, if its own markets have collapsed.
Some see this as a pivotal moment.
The political philosopher John Gray, who recently retired as a professor at the London School of Economics, wrote in the London paper The Observer: "Here is a historic geopolitical shift, in which the balance of power in the world is being altered irrevocably. The era of American global leadership, reaching back to the Second World War, is over... The American free-market creed has self-destructed while countries that retained overall control of markets have been vindicated. In a change as far-reaching in its implications as the fall of the Soviet Union, an entire model of government and the economy has collapsed. How symbolic that Chinese astronauts take a spacewalk while the US Treasury Secretary is on his knees."
---I read elsewhere that rumors are circulating about a week-long bank holiday, and read the encouragement to have food on hand & necessary paper money around. I happened to buy a stash of bus cards the other day, and my pantry is full. I can survive pretty well without money for weeks at a time, so I'm not worried. My bank is also somewhat small and local, and I have practically no money invested in it!