I just loved this article. It really sets the stage for what’s going on in the world’s ecomony. When think about it nobody is really stepping up and taking charge. It used to be the Old U.S.A. but not anymore. Maybe that’s the whole problem. Give it a read and you’ll see what I mean:
There was something fitting about Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou’s reckless call for a referendum on the latest rescue package for his country. World leaders gathering in Cannes for a G-20 summit face stark realities. The global economy is faltering, and no country has assumed leadership in organizing recovery.
There is a loss of control, a vacuum of power. Papandreou’s disruptive decision — now apparently withdrawn — symbolizes this larger erosion of collective purpose. The world economy is adrift. We are moving from Globalization 1.0 to Globalization 2.0. In Globalization 1.0, countries benefited from expanded trade and worldwide technology transfers. From 1980 to 2010, global trade volumes grew fourfold. Countless millions were lifted from poverty; new middle classes arose in Asia and Latin America. In Globalization 2.0, the economic interconnections among countries are breeding instability and nationalistic rivalries.
Time was when the United States automatically assumed the leadership role. Beginning in 1948, the Marshall Plan provided Europe with the equivalent of $850 billion — needed desperately to buy food, raw materials and machinery — to recover from World War II. In the 1980s, the United States took the lead in defusing the Latin American debt crisis; in the late 1990s, it did the same with the Asian financial crisis. The architecture of the postwar global economy was largely a product of American leadership. But under President Obama — possibly no one else could have done differently — America’s capacity and desire to lead have flagged. The 2007-09 financial crisis, having started in the United States, discredited American ideas and competence. The sluggish economy, heavy government debts and constant partisan haggling sap the nation’s financial power and political will to aid others.