Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Market for Western Exports

The American ambassador has been caught with his pants down by Wikileaks. He coerced the government of Bangladesh to give deals to Conoco Philips and Chevron; he also leaned on the government to buy Boeing.

As the credit crunch deepens in the first world, it will increasingly push deals in the third world: the economy has to move away from living off credit and importing goods, to saving and exporting. We can cheerfully expect ambassadors to be acting as Robert Clives.

The emerging economies, of course, have learned their lessons since 1998: never trust western capital. So who's going to borrow from the west, when its own consumers and firms would refuse to? You guessed it: flunkeys like us.

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