Sakset/Fra hofta

Thomas L. Friedman har noen tall om USA som gir grunn til frykt, selv for en nasjon som er et oljeemirat ved Nordishavet.

If the old saying — that «as General Motors goes, so goes America» — is true, then folks, we’re in a lot of trouble. General Motors’s stock-market value now stands at just $6.47 billion, compared with Toyota’s $162.6 billion. On top of it, G.M. shares sank to a 34-year low last week.

That’s us. We’re at a 34-year low. And digging out of this hole is what the next election has to be about and is going to be about — even if it is interrupted by a terrorist attack or an outbreak of war or peace in Iraq. We need nation-building at home, and we cannot wait another year to get started. Vote for the candidate who you think will do that best. Nothing else matters.

Dette er de underliggende, strukturelle problemene. USA greier ikke/er ikke på topp og i front for å løse energikrisen. I tillegg kommer de kortsiktige finanskrisene, som bare er i startfasen. Det skal bli adskillig verre.

On top of it all, our bank crisis is not over. Two weeks ago, Goldman Sachs analysts said that U.S. banks may need another $65 billion to cover more write-downs of bad mortgage-related instruments and potential new losses if consumer loans start to buckle. Since President Bush came to office, our national savings have gone from 6 percent of gross domestic product to 1 percent, and consumer debt has climbed from $8 trillion to $14 trillion.

Anxious in America