What does the World Think of U.S. ?

Robin Koerner is co-founder/president Watching America.Its a fascinating web page showing what most of the world thinks of America (primarily through their media).

They not only link to, but also translate much of the foreign media.

This is a rather fascinating subject, with implications for both the equity and fixed income markets.  Our debt — government bonds — are so widely held by other country’s
central banks and foreign private investors — its simply foolhardy to
ignore their concerns.

We don’t have to kowtow to foreign bond holders — but ignoring/grossly offending them kinda seems like a poor long-term financial strategy.

I recall a NYT article from last year, where a senior Morgan Stanley analyst had just returned from  an overseas trip. He was highly agitated over the decaying global opinion of the U.S. In the past, we may have not have been loved, but the nation was at least respected. Now, he saw disdain and outright hostility towards the country as well as its corporate products. His bigget fear: a backlash leading to a boycott of "Brand America." One possible negative scenario was reduced global sales, adding to the balance of trade deficit, reducing corporate revenues and — potentially — dramatically weakened profits.

The uglier (but less likely) worst case scenario is a coordinated dumping of US bonds and dollars. A dollar crash and US credit collapse then follows. This is not particularly likely, given our economic inter-relationship with Japan and China, but it is still ugly to think about.


Discover What the World Thinks About U.S.

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