Last Days Of The U.S. Empire? Video


by Henry Blodget

The global financial markets were startled this week when Brazilian oil giant Petrobras sold an astonishing $70 billion worth of stock in the largest stock sale in history.  Petrobras will use the money to fund aggressive offshore drilling–the kind that is being hotly debated in the U.S. after the Gulf oil spill.

The Petrobras sale follows other huge stock sales by gigantic international companies, such as the IPO of the Agricultural Bank of China, which was the largest ever.

Compared to these offerings, the upcoming $20 billion IPO of American automotive giant GM seems almost quaint.  And this is symbolic of America’s changing place in the world.

The US economy is still the world’s largest, but the gap is closing. Many think that, in another decade or two, China will surpass the United States to become the largest economy in the world.

As the U.S. tries to clamp down on business, meanwhile–re-regulating industries like Wall Street that many blame for the Great Recession–the rest of the world is charging ahead.  As we discuss banning offshore drilling for our oil companies, Petrobras et al, drill instead. As we outlaw stem-cell and other biotech research on moral or safety grounds, Chinese companies  make the breakthroughs instead. And so on.

None of this means the “end” of America, of course. The “British Empire” has been in decline for a century now, and Britain’s doing just fine.  But it’s certainly symbolic of the country’s changing place in the world.

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