Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Well Wishers

The following sounds like it’s from Don DeLillo, but is from AFP:

Outside the New York Stock Exchange hundreds of tourists joined police, TV crews, school children, hot dog vendors, and a white-bearded busker playing “Amazing Grace” on the flute.

Swedish visitor Agneta Blomgren, 43, photographed her mother Berit outside the exchange. An electronic board displaying plunging share prices provided the backdrop.

“We wanted to come and see it,” Blomgren said. “The Americans aren’t world leaders any more. It’s time for a shift and this is the symptom of that. Power is shifting away — perhaps to China.”

Try not to sound so upset, Agneta.

In the Financial Times, Phillip Stephens wrote, “For reasons that still elude me, one or two European politicians seemed to delight in the troubles of an ally that still guarantees their security.” The reason is: Europeans have grown so accustomed to living under American protection they don’t remember what a threat is.

But if I were Agneta I wouldn’t break out the Champagne just yet. It takes more than a few weeks of sliding stocks to dethrone the American menace. And last I checked, China (Oh, that I could hear from Agneta after one day under Chinese rule) has done what everyone in the West has done: cut their interest rates and hope for the best.

But thanks for the tourist dollars, Agneta. Be sure to buy some shirts.



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