Not quite the Diplomat, Chp 8


‘In 2004, America attracted 80 per cent of global savings. In this mad world, the savings of poor Chinese peasants purchase American Treasury securities to help keep interest rates in the US lower and the financing of the deficit more secure. The trade-off for the Chinese and other Asians for investing in this mountain of paper is that it eases the pressures on them over the exchange rate of their own currencies and over the size of their surplues with America. They fund US debt so that Americans will continue to buy their products.’ p.219


‘America spends on defence more than Europe, Russia and China combined – indeed, probably as much as the rest of the world put together. Through the last decade defence spending has amounted to about 4 per cent of America’s GDP. America could knock over any government in the world if it wanted to do so. It has the technollogy to destroy with greater precision than a military machine has ever had before, though as many Iraqi and Afghan causualties testify the precision is far from perfect. It can spy on us all, friend or foe, its satellites reporting back what we say and photographing everything we do, though there is here a second caveat.’ p.225


‘American investments in the Netherlands in that year were almost as great as in the whole of Asia. Over the past decade US firms have put ten times as much capital into the Netherlands as into China, and twice as much as into Mexico.’ p.224


‘How on earth can America regain that global image? How can it rebuild international order based on agreement, and how can Europe help?’ p.233





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