The United States Isn’t A Top-tier Creditor, In One Map

A longtime journalist with The Guardian, Simon Winchester is also the author of The Professor and the Madman.

First of all it was Morse, then it was voice transmissions. The first radio station was above a record store, which still exists in Pasadena in Southern California. People loved it. The first proper radio station was in Madison, Wis., and then the rest is history. The national conversation really got going. More On Simon Winchester ‘Vast Ocean Of Stories’ In Biography Of The Atlantic On the regional differences that never really go away I’ve been somewhat involved in this remarkable dictionary produced in Madison, Wis.: The Dictionary of American Regional English, which shows very firmly how the language is very different all over the country. And the food is different. The different types of pie in America are it’s quite extraordinary. So it might look as if because there’s a Walgreen’s and a McDonald’s at every interstate highway system interchange in the country it seems the country is all the same, but you get off the interstate and it isn’t. It’s very, very different, so regionalism survives in a big way in this country. On government big, small and shutdown There’s an irony I want to mention … I write about the bringing of electricity to rural America and the role that the government played in the 1930s with the Rural Electrification Administration and very moving stories of farmers who never had electricity finally getting it.

United States Supplanted by China’s Thirst for Oil

government on watch for a credit downgrade; Ezra argues that it makes perfect sense to downgrade America’s political system. But how does the United States stack up internationally? For that we turn to the BlackRock Investment Institute, the research arm of the giant money manager. It has created the “BlackRock Sovereign Risk Index” which aims to combine key aspects of creditworthiness of 48 countries around the world. It factors in plenty of things that have to do with the substance of different countries’ finances, such as their current debt and deficit levels, banking system strength, and exposure to debt denominated in foreign currencies. But it also adds an important layer that it calls “Willingness to Pay.” It measures the effectiveness and efficiency of governments to meet their obligations, and counts for 30 percent of the total index. Perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising after the last couple of weeks of government shutdown and debt ceiling chicanery in Washington, but by BlackRock’s reckoning, the United States is not among the top-tier credit risks by this ranking. Here’s a complete map: You can check the detailed analysis for each country in an interactive graphic here . By BlackRock’s reckoning, the world’s most creditworthy nations–those with both solid finances and solid political systems that ensure bonds will be repaid–are the likes of Norway, Singapore, and Switzerland. The United States, as the map shows, is in the second tier, more similar to South Korea and Austria and Malaysia in its creditworthiness. For anyone who follows the news, it is hard to disagree. Neil Irwin is a Washington Post columnist and the economics editor of Wonkblog. Each weekday morning his Econ Agenda column reports and explains the latest trends in economics, finance, and the policies that shape both.

United States Senate Lesson: When in Debt, Just Get a Higher Credit Limit [Video]

United States Supplanted by China’s Thirst for Oil October 13, 2013 | Comments (1) This segment is from this week’s Digging for Value, in which sector analysts Joel South and Taylor Muckerman discuss energy and materials news with host Alison Southwick. The twice-weekly show can be viewed on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It can also be found on Twitter, along with our extended coverage of the energy and materials sectors, @TMFEnergy . The United States appears to be losing its status as the world’s top oil importer, thanks to the colossal turnaround in crude oil production caused by hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling techniques. While China’s 6.3 million barrels per day of crude oil imports are just slightly higher than the United States 6.1 million per day, the trajectory of the two countries’ crude consumption varies significantly. The United States could be the world’s largest crude oil producer by the end of the decade while oil demand drops as fuel efficient cars takeover our highways. Meanwhile, China is in the early stages of unconventional shale exploration, and with a growing middle class, fuel consumption is set to rise precipitously. See more on this topic in the following video. Stocks to buy to play the United States energy bonanza Record oil and natural gas production is revolutionizing the United States’ energy position. Finding the right plays while historic amounts of capital expenditures are flooding the industry willpad your investment nest egg. For this reason, The Motley Fool is offering a comprehensive look at three energy companies set to soar during this transformation in the energy industry. To find out which three companies are spreading their wings, check out the special free report, ” 3 Stocks for the American Energy Bonanza .” Don’t miss out on this timely opportunity; click here to access your report — it’s absolutely free. Alison Southwick and Taylor Muckerman have no position in any stocks mentioned. Joel South owns shares of Ford. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Ford. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days .

7. A budget committee consisting of members from both chambers would be expected to put together a conference report by Dec. 13. In addition, furloughed federal employees would receive backpay, just as happened with the previous shutdown in 1995. The government, in other words, is eventually going to pay for every single thing that it told us it couldnt. But, to be fair, the government honestly cant afford these things because it will have to rely on borrowing to do so. This is the very nature of a debt allowance increase. Despite the administrations assurances that debt ceiling increases dont raise debt directly, they certainly helpdebt to have some room to grow. Theres not a single instance in history, of course, where that very thing hasnt happened. When President Obama said in his most recent weekly address that it wouldnt be wise to just kick the debt-ceiling can down the road for a couple months, his sage advice can only be called irresponsible. If we want to be consistent, the president was offering an example to any average American who cant pay monthly bills even with existing credit cards that it wouldnt be wise for them to delay on getting that new credit card.