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Stock markets around the world plummeted after news of the US credit rating downgrade (EPA/FRANK RUMPENHORST)

Debt dive: why is the US at the mercy of anonymous credit agencies?

Without the firing of a single shot in anger, a country has been, at least in a sense, brought to its economic knees. The capitalist system, with variations and aberrations, is now reacting. Shares are…
Like other “dollarised” developing economies, Timor Leste will feel the pain of a US dollar decline. AAP

Despite the debt deal, the US dollar is on the nose in developing countries

Although the US debt ceiling crisis has been resolved for now, the saga has obvious implications for developing countries. Yet, as is often the case, political conflict is obscuring the persistent and…
President Barack Obama: will his resolve stand as the debt clock ticks down?

Does Obama have the courage to stand his ground?

As the political stand-off around the US debt crisis looks set to continue into the weekend, US President Barack Obama is being tested whether he has the courage to stand his ground. Last week the President…
Republican resolve to hurt President Obama - even at the risk of default - should not be underestimated. AAP

US debt crisis: don’t be surprised if Republicans get a bit crazy

I rang some people at big banks who do liquidity and balance-sheet management to see how they are preparing for the August 2 deadline for US debt funding. They seemed remarkably sanguine. The feeling is…
Minnesota’s three-week shutdown saw basic government services stripped back. Flickr/mngop

Minnesota shutdown broadens the blue-red chasm in US politics

Minnesotans have breathed a sigh of relief after the state’s Republican-led legislature signed off on a budget deal negotiated with Democratic Governor Mark Dayton, ending a three-week state government…
Intense US debt ceiling negotiations in a political war of nerve; but no resolution yet. AAP

No hard ceilings? The dance around US debt intensifies

International ratings agencies Moody’s and Standard & Poors have both indicated they would consider downgrading the US’s debt rating as negotiations aimed at raising the country’s statutory US$12.3…
US House Speaker John Boehner wants government programs cut: but is austerity politics the answer? AAP

US austerity politics playing on default fears mask a looming problem

For some time, it appeared that the severity of the global financial crisis had created a compelling “learning moment” that promised to return the world to a more civilised form of capitalism. Insufficient…

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