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Notes From the Fieldby Martin Weil

September 8, 2011

Most important words of past decade not ‘war on terror’ but ‘made in China’

On the morning of September 11, 2001, America’s prospects appeared as bright as the clear blue sky over Lower Manhattan. The price of Brent crude oil was $28 a barrel, the Federal government was running a budget surplus, the US economy was turning (albeit imperceptibly) after the dotcom crash. The most powerful nation on earth was at peace.

Ten years on, the oil price hovers around $115 a barrel, the US is projected to run a budget deficit for 2011 of $1,580bn, the largest in its history; the economy remains deeply troubled after the financial crash of 2008; and America’s military and intelligence services remain at war, battling insurgency and radical Islamic terrorism, from Afghanistan and Pakistan to Niger and Yemen.

From the Financial Times’ “The end of US hegemony”.  In a sweeping and quite cogent analysis, the author traces the political and economic events of the first decade of the 21st century as regards the diminishing power of the US. Well worth a read, the article concludes,

Gerard Lyons, chief economist of Standard Chartered Bank, says the three most important words in the past decade were not “war on terror” but “made in China”. On present trends, he adds, the three most important words of this decade will be “owned by China”.

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