Top Stories
Top Stories
The Guest Blog

The fallout from the default (aka the nuclear bomb)

Amb. Andras Simonyi, Center for Transatlantic Relations at SAIS/Johns Hopkins University
Getty Images

The shutdown debacle was watched from abroad with some surprise mixed with a portion of glee. In essence the world looked at it as a curiosity of American political life. Some were angered by it, as major lines of communication froze, governments from Europe, Asia, Africa or Australia were unable to reach their counterparts, do business. Visits were canceled, negotiations stalled. Hundreds of thousands of foreign tourists were unable to visit museums and government-operated sites, such as parks. This harmed America's soft power in the world, but all in all the shutdown is viewed as an American nuisance that will blow over and the world will be back to normal.

However, the failure to agree on the increase in the debt ceiling is not normal, but historic. It could be a major economic and political disaster of proportions never seen before that would be a huge blow to America's superpower status. It is difficult to imagine the immediate and long-term economic and political impact, and its effect on America's reputation and influence globally. America will recover sooner or later, but do not underestimate the lasting consequences.

Related Tags