When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Already a subscriber? Log in .

You've reached your limit of one free article.

Get unlimited access to Worldcrunch

You can cancel anytime .


Exclusive International news coverage

Ad-free experience NEW

Weekly digital Magazine NEW

9 daily & weekly Newsletters

Access to Worldcrunch archives

Free trial

30-days free access, then $2.90
per month.

Annual Access BEST VALUE

$19.90 per year, save $14.90 compared to monthly billing.save $14.90.

Subscribe to Worldcrunch
eyes on the U.S.

European Eye On 'Antics' Of Looming U.S. Debt Debacle

Op-Ed: In view of the global consequences of even a temporary U.S. default, American politicians are being astonishingly irresponsible. That they have lectured Europe on economics is laughable.

U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner (Medill DC)
U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner (Medill DC)
Jan Dams

DIE WELT/Worldcrunch

BERLIN – In recent months, U.S. President Barrack Obama has repeatedly called German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other European leaders to talk economics. Obama applied so much pressure that many felt that it was tantamount to interfering in these countries' internal affairs. Why all the pressure? To bring it home to the Europeans that, no matter how much it cost, they had to solve their debt crisis. If they didn't, capital markets -- and the US economy -- would be severely damaged.

But now that the euro zone has at least temporarily solved its problem by throwing billions of euros at it, investors are still jittery. And the reason for their jitters this time isn't Europe. It's the USA, in what looks to Europeans like surreal squabbling over budget policy.

For some time now, observers around the world have been expecting the Americans to get over the bickering, raise the debt ceiling and move on. That has always been the case in the past, and so assumptions were that reasonable members of both parties would prevail this time too. But after every meeting, the impression grows that irresponsible hardliners on both sides have taken their parties hostage. And America with them.

The conflict, of course, is about a lot more than different approaches to budget policy. For some Republicans, this isn't just about making sure there are no new tax hikes. They also don't care that a large part of Obama's financial woes were caused by his Republican predecessor, George W. Bush. What they do care about is damaging the president. Even the good of the economy doesn't appear to be a price too high to pay. The Democrats' overbearing attitude, on the other hand, is no help, making it difficult for moderates in both parties to agree on some form of compromise. It's a dangerous mix.

If things stay this way, the world faces catastrophe. Already, the big U.S. money market funds, fearing a liquidity crisis, are hoarding cash in the event of the worst case scenario: America's inability to pay its bills. That cuts European banks off from access to significant financing options. The same thing played out when Lehman Brothers went bust, and everybody knows what happened next.

One can only hope that the influential members of both US political camps can manage to reach agreement -- and convince their party members to go along with it -- before the August 2 deadline. The consequences of a US default would be nothing short of disastrous. But with an eye to coming elections, partisan antics seem to be winning the day in Washington.

photo - Medill DC

Read the original article in German

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.


How A Xi Jinping Dinner In San Francisco May Have Sealed Mastercard's Arrival In China

The credit giant becomes only the second player after American Express to be allowed to set up a bank card-clearing RMB operation in mainland China.

Photo of a hand holding a phone displaying an Union Pay logo, with a Mastercard VISA logo in the background of the photo.

Mastercard has just been granted a bank card clearing license in China.

Liu Qianshan


It appears that one of the biggest beneficiaries from Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to San Francisco was Mastercard.

The U.S. credit card giant has since secured eagerly anticipated approval to expand in China's massive financial sector, having finally obtained long sought approval from China's central bank and financial regulatory authorities to initiate a bank card business in China through its joint venture with its new Chinese partner.

For the latest news & views from every corner of the world, Worldcrunch Today is the only truly international newsletter. Sign up here.

Through a joint venture in China between Mastercard and China's NetsUnion Clearing Corporation, dubbed Mastercard NUCC, it has officially entered mainland China as an RMB currency clearing organization. It's only the second foreign business of its kind to do so following American Express in 2020.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that the development is linked to Chinese President Xi Jinping's meeting on Nov. 15 with U.S. President Joe Biden in San Francisco, part of a two-day visit that also included dinner that Xi had with U.S. business executives.

Keep reading...Show less

The latest