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Stephen Archer is a speaker with great charisma. By using illustrations and personal experiences and not being afraid to share his own point of view of the current situation and who is to blame for it, he engages the whole audience, at the same time helping us all to understand the credit crunch a little better.

— Warwick Business School

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Has the US Peaked?

The question is somewhat rhetorical. China will take over USA’s GDP and therefore size as a trading nation by the end of the next decade or thereabouts. After this point one might argue that the debate is over. By then India will also be catching up.

I must pay respect to Paul Kennedy who has written much on this subject.  He writes incisively and yet with a heavy heart.

The change in importance and power for America should not come as shock or surprise. The simple fact is that the rest of the world has caught up in education, industry and financial abilities. This is simple to appreciate. However, from a position of such strength why cannot the US re-assert itself and re-invent its strengths.

To some extent it will, it is a free market economy and a dynamic, creative one at that.  The biggest risk to the US is that it does not see this coming. The US psyche is not very adept at feeling comfortable with being second best, this occasional lack of humility and reality in this regard may hold it back.

What else may hinder the US recovery? Well the leakiness of its state when it comes to security matters (Wiki Leaks) does not bode well. The shifting military power to Asia in particular and the growing financial independence of the BRIC countries is an important shift.

The biggest short term weakness for the US is its colossal indebtedness and to the foreign bond holders – especially China. This seriously dis-empowers the US in its economic and political desires.

Can the US manage its way out of this? The skill and intellect is there. The constitution is a problem. A 4 year Presidential term (read 2 years if you take into account the mid terms) means that the president always has to manage home soil polls before its standing on the world stage and its sure ability to do the right think economically. The US constitution is self stifling – perhaps this is why since 1776 no one has copied it!

So let’s not write off the US. And then perhaps as a global number 2 it will be an even better global citizen?


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