Maybe it’s as simple as this.

The US is the epicentre of the global financial system. Financial systems rely on confidence to succeed. Confidence in the US generally, and its financial system specifically, relies on confidence in the US leadership. Leadership in the US resides in the White House. There is no leader in the White House. And there won’t be until next January.

The consequence, as Fareed Zakaria puts it in Newsweek, is that: “People around the world once saw the United States as the most modern, sophisticated and productive economy in the world. Now they wonder, was this all a house of cards?”

Maybe it really is as simple as this: the US has no effective leadership when, at a cataclysmic moment in time, it and the world sorely needs one.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey