Global Economic Slump Poses Risks, Openings for U.S.
WASHINGTON — The economic slump roaring across the world’s geopolitical map poses weighty challenges, as well as some unexpected opportunities, for President-elect Barack Obama.
Japan and major European countries have joined the United States in falling into recession. China has seen its remarkable three-decades-long export-fueled rise slowed. Oil-based economies on Washington’s worry list such as Iran, Russia and Venezuela, are reeling, too.
The U.S. led the rest of the world into the economic crisis, and many global players hope Washington can lead the world out. International investments pouring into low-interest U.S. Treasury securities in recent weeks show that, even if the U.S. has lost prestige internationally in recent years, it’s still deemed one of the safest places to park money.
The financial crisis drives home to other nations that “without an America that is successful financially, economically and therefore also politically, they’re not going to be successful,” said Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter. “If we don’t function well, no one functions well.”