Read an interesting article at Truthdig today.
The Chinese Communists invaded Washington on Monday demanding not that we sacrifice our freedoms but rather that we balance our budget. Creditors get to make that kind of call. And the Marxists of Beijing, who have turned out to be the world’s most prudent bankers, are worried about their assets invested in our banana republic.
“China has a huge amount of investment in the United States, mainly in the form of Treasury bonds. We are concerned about the security of our financial assets” was the way China’s assistant finance minister put it. Briefing reporters at the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue, he added, “We sincerely hope the U.S. fiscal deficit will be reduced, year after year.” Quite sincerely, one suspects, given a U.S. budget shortfall this year that is slated to reach $1.85 trillion.
Suddenly, it was U.S. officials who were promising deep reform to their disgraced economic system rather than demanding it from incompetent foreigners. President Barack Obama’s economic team of Clinton-era holdovers, who a decade ago had hectored China on the virtues of fiscal responsibility, now were falling over themselves to reassure the Chinese that their $1.5 trillion stake in U.S. government-issued securities is safe, and that they should buy more at this week’s $200 billion Treasury auction. If they don’t, we’re in big trouble...
...And don’t blame any of this on peacenik liberals. The new conciliatory—nay, deferential—tone toward China precedes the Obama administration, having begun in bilateral talks during the last years of the Bush administration as the U.S. economy began its ignominious downfall. It was George W. Bush’s treasury secretary, Henry Paulson, who set the course when the former Goldman Sachs chairman realized how dependent were his Wall Street buddies on Chinese goodwill...
...The tone of this week’s talks, ironically held at the Reagan Building and co-chaired by Geithner and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, finally signaled the end of the Cold War assumption that regimes with labels like communist and capitalist could not form profitable partnerships...For those who recall the rhetoric of the Cold War, the idea that we would someday be cooperating with Chinese Communists because they had humbled us economically rather than militarily is a startling turnabout. How did they get to be better capitalists than us, and being that they are good capitalists, why are we still spending hundreds of billions a year on high-tech military weapons to counter a potential Chinese military threat when the weapons they are using are all market-driven deployments?...
I feel like we're in an episode of Punk'd. Except for it isn't Ashton Kutcher playing a joke on us.
It's America playing it on herself.
Shaming as a political tactic
3 weeks ago