Regularly reading the Financial Times (Britain's leading financial daily) can put an American in a fighting spirit. At least, it puts this American (transplanted former Englishman and naturalized American citizen that I am) in such a disposition.
I have in mind, this time, an article in Monday's edition by Jeffrey Garten, titled "We must get ready for a weak-dollar world." The article makes two broad assessments:
1) "The two most significant structural consequences of the recent financial debacle are the massive deficits and debts of the US and the shift of economic power from west to east. There is only one effective way for governments to address the combined impact of both: press for a sea change in currency relationships, especially a permanently and greatly weakened dollar."
2) "The issue is no longer whether the dollar is in long-term decline but which of two options will be taken. Should Washington and other capitals calmly and deliberately manage the transition to a new era, or, by default, should they let the market do it, with the risk of massive financial disturbances. Today, governments have a choice. Soon they may not."
What I don't like about the article is that it is -- from an American point of view -- defeatist and that objectively, it may turn out to be true.
But before contesting the latter point -- that such decline is inevitable -- it is vital to understand that a weak dollar driven by permanently excessive public debt directly threatens not only our prosperity but also our sovereign ability to protect our liberty in this heartless world. There is no better evidence of such a possible American future than the event 53 years ago this month that put paid to British pretensions to greatness and independence -- the Suez crisis of 1956.
Briefly in 1956, when Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalized the British- and French-owned Suez Canal, Britain took understandable offense and organized its retaking. Allied with Israel and France, Britain arranged for Israel to invade Sinai, after which Britain and France militarily intervened with the intent to have the world agree to let them continue to manage the canal.
Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.
In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.