While politicians call this "debt," the rest of the world calls it an investment. Most people, both foreign and at home, believe the United States is a great country with a lot of things going for it, particularly when compared to the rest of the world.
Switzerland, Singapore, Finland and Sweden, the top four most competitive nations in this year's Index, did not get where they are today without making tough, unpopular choices and longer-term strategic investments. Those that do not grasp this reality are condemned to face an uncertain future.
If Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao is concerned about the Eurozone debt crisis, than it is a signal for just about every other major economy to start sweating bullets.
It doesn't matter who will live in the White House next year, the country will continue to sink into the mire as long as the two political parties are in street-fighting mode, and economists fly at each others' throats because they do not agree on a solution to the debt issue.
Greek officials should certainly hope that collective European action will succeed in stabilizing these other two countries' economies. But they should also realize that too great a success could, ironically, map into a higher probability of a Grexit.
Instability in Europe's banking system could very well affect many of our own financial institutions. Rising unemployment could cause political instability, a disruption in the flow of goods and yet another reunion of The Spice Girls to distract the populace. Yes, these are grave concerns.
I know: foreign policy does not matter in a presidential election. But what about money? What if we realized that one-third of our indebtedness comes from war and other military expenses that escape the campaign? Does it not matter?
The ECB doing 'whatever it takes' which means conditional funding to sustain solvency while keeping fiscal 'overly tight' is extremely euro friendly, which fulfills the ECB's single mandate. And very unfriendly to 99% of the people who live there.
Mario Monti, the Prime Minister cum Minister of Finance, toured the capitals of Europe to obtain support for Italy, indicating that Italian sentiment would turn anti-Euro without such help.
The more Germany tries to save the Eurozone, the more it become the union's scapegoat. The best response: ignore the populists, and keep on trucking.
The Fed is like a poker player who has been dealt a weak hand. It's easy to criticize a losing player, but when one looks at the cards, it's hard to say exactly what should be done differently.
Stocks are sharply higher thanks mainly to comments by Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren.
Unless Romney changes tack, Obama will win the foreign policy debate without breaking a sweat. This would be unfortunate, because there is in fact a debate to be had about national security, and Romney has in fact begun that conversation.
For the improvement in the labor market to continue, America needs to minimize the risk of derailment by three clear and present dangers: the reluctance of Congress to deal with the fiscal cliff, Europe's inability to get ahead of its crisis, and a possible geopolitical shock emanating from Iran.
Today, the ECB announced that, as speculated by the markets, it would purchase bonds of Italy and Spain, in order to reduce financing costs. Yet, the markets were disappointed. There are three reasons why this disappointment was almost predictable.
Another day, another central bank failure.