July 29th, 2011
04:36 PM ET

World reacts to U.S. debt crisis

An editorial and op-ed round-up from the world's English language newspapers.

SAUDI ARABIA—“[I]nternational markets are becoming increasingly nervous about the fate of the dollar, the world’s only reserve currency and in times past a haven for anxious investors,” says an editorial in the Jeddah-based Arab News.

“Saudi Arabia is paid in dollars for its oil. Our currency is tied to the dollar. The Kingdom has approximately 2 trillion invested abroad, the greater part of it in the United States. The value of those investments, the value of our oil earnings and the value of our currency are all under threat as politicians in Washington grandstand for their constituents and argue bitterly from two utterly polarized positions.”

AUSTRALIA—““Had Australia – or any other country – tried to build up debt on the U.S. scale, their currencies would immediately have been punished and their folly quickly exposed, ” says an editorial in the Sidney Morning Herald.

"That has not happened to Washington. The arrival of what might, following Paul Keating, be called the United States' banana republic moment has been long delayed, and the delay will make the shock of it worse.”

CANADA—“For the U.S. to begin defaulting on its obligations would be catastrophic, not just for Americans, but for all those who depend on U.S. stability and leadership,” says an editorial in the Toronto-based Globe and Mail.

“The power the U.S. exercises on the world stage comes largely from its economic strength. Default would demonstrate the U.S.’s inability to meet its commitments. In addition to the economic consequences, that could lead to a loss of its moral authority in international affairs – and that would be a very bad thing.”

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES—“While the U.S. is used to the spectacle of noisy squabbles in Congress, the current game of chicken at the heart of the world's leading economy is unsettling to say the least,” writes Alan Philips in the Abu Dhabi-based National.

“In past years, the raising of the U.S. debt ceiling has been treated as a technical issue to be nodded through by Congress. But this year the ideological battles lines are drawn between those who demand cuts, and those who see borrowing yet more money as the only way. But there is another point of view which is gaining attention. This view holds that there is nothing exceptional going on here. Rather, the progress of liberal democracies from affluence to the brink of bankruptcy – and beyond – is normal, and indeed inevitable.”

CHINA—“When countries across the world hold breath watching the debt negotiations between the Democrats and Republicans in Washington, they are once again ‘kidnapped’ by U.S. domestic politics,” writes Deng Yushan in China’s government-run Xinhua.

“Given the United States' status as the world's largest economy and the issuer of the dominant international reserve currency, such political brinkmanship in Washington is dangerously irresponsible, for it risks, among other consequences, strangling the still fragile economic recovery of not only the United States but also the world as a whole.”

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Topics: Debt Crisis • Global • Listen up!

soundoff (377 Responses)
  1. V

    Wow, I have no idea what is worse, The politicans in D.C. or the American people. Just seeing the responses being posted makes me think that the main problem is not just with our government. We seem to be more focesed on who wins than solving the problem. No matter what is passed, we will be at the same place just down the road. All we are hearing if just talking points not how it truly works, and I want to know what else has been agreed to behind close doors with these bills.

    You know what. Just send me their with a camera crew( so that the public knows that I'm not playing with them). And solve this problem that seems to never end. I am just tired with government telling us that they are the only ones that can fix this. If government was that great then they would not get power from the people.

    We need real solutions not talking points or promises. Stop making the people afraid of it and telling them who is to blame for it because both sides are not clean. Just stand up and say, "blame me for all the problems, now lets all come together and see what we can do for our Country."

    July 31, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Reply
  2. All too obvious

    I have spent the past hour reading all of the posts here. Some have made valid points. Some points made here are just foolish and ill-informed. Let's look at the obvious:
    1st- Most of the people that run our country are elitetist and are in it to achieve thier own agendas, be it for power or money.

    2nd- For too long the U.S. has tried to be the world police. In doing so, not only do we spend vast amounts of TAXPAYER money, but also end up alienating those we try to help more often than not.

    3rd- We have become THE free bank, that is to say, we give away way to much money to countries that never have to repay the "loans" we provide. The burden is in turn put on the taxpayer only to have the countries we make loans to turn around and bite us.

    4th- Illeagal aliens recieve benifits that they have no right to. Why should the American taxpayer provide free health care, education, ect. to those here illeagally?

    5th- Our government consistenly, to get a vote on legislation, cuts deals with states to build "bridges to nowhere".

    6th- Why do we worry about being protectionist when other countries manipulate thier currencies?

    7th- We give tax breaks to corporations that export jobs that support the tax base. No jobs, no tax base.

    8th- Why is it that we allow politicians to recieve a retirement benifit for having served only 1 term? Why do we allow them to vote for thier own pay raise? Why do we not have term limits? The only job I know of where you can screw up and not get fired.

    9th- Why do we not use the money we send overseas for our crumbling infrastucture? This alone would create jobs, expand the taxbase and improve the country as a whole.

    10th- Why is it that our millitary may not get paid, yet congress will?

    The list could go on for pages. I have served my country in 2 wars, paid my taxes and have done all I can to be a productive member of our society. The U.S. is a great country. But it is being torn apart by political folley and greed. It seems as if our goverment is hell bent on the rich getting richer at the cost of the average American, who IS the backbone of the country. We can no longer tolerate foolishness in our leadership. Both Democrats and Republicans share equally in the blame for the mess we are in. If we were look back at the founding fathers, they all had different ideas as to how and what our country should be, yet they found the common ground amongst them and went forward. I truly believe that if they knew what was going on now, they shake thier heads in disgust.

    July 31, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Reply
  3. Bonita

    Can't the Chinese yuan be made into the international currency? We live in such a dependable world!

    July 31, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Reply
  4. Bonita

    Is this crisis real or is US government aiming something else at this time being?

    July 31, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Reply
  5. Tallic

    Change comes from 2 ways: Discussion and Force. Discussion has failed. Too bad there's no real option for force in this country.

    July 31, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Reply
  6. T klimchuk

    No money no oil i doubt the oil prducers will accent IOUs

    July 31, 2011 at 9:23 pm | Reply
  7. Aaron L.

    It's all sugar-coated lies. They won't tell you what they really think of "Amerikans."
    As an American citizen living in Canada, I must tell you that they really don't like us that much. If you hear otherwise it's a blatant lie. The only people they don't like more is Quebec.

    July 31, 2011 at 10:58 pm | Reply
  8. Kevin in Atlanta

    I could swear a Democratic Republic was based on compromise. Or perhaps my liberal, marxist, leftist high school social studies teacher was lying to me...

    I just don't know anymore...

    August 1, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Reply
  9. Albert Alexander Lucio

    Less concerned about domestic political gamesmanship over debt ceilings than with the ongoing Sino-Russian discussions about an international reserve currency. If petroleum were to price on the basis of a competing reserve currency the U.S. would not be prepared for the inflationary shock.

    November 13, 2011 at 8:53 pm | Reply
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  14. Dave Lych

    I've been listening to the news, like you have, as we are pummeled with the details of the only two candidates the Twenty First Century can offer? Really? – And frankly, to me both Romney and Obama are hell bent on collapsing this economy in favor of a corporate owned America; they will never going to get my vote. So heads up, news media land. I want choices, and not the garbage offerings you throw at us. (Palin, Bachman)
    The rest of the work's view of us is critical. If the international currency, which is now dollars, is dropped because it is becoming worthless, we will be in a work of hurt you can not begin to fathom – We could all loose our jobs and homes.
    I want more choices for President, and I want good choices. I want real debates and lots of them – put them up on PBS. I want people with skills and I don't care about perfect hair. If you have to have to rely on a teleprompter, I wont vote for you. Either we get hold of our government, clean it up, toss out the bums, and balance the books, or its curtains for the good ole, USA

    July 26, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Reply
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