Friday, June 29, 2007

New Signs of US Decline

World Opinion

"In one measure of Bush's unpopularity," a new Pew poll shows "he is less trusted on foreign policy than Russian President Vladimir Putin by allies Britain, Germany and Canada, even as faith in Putin has plummeted."

The poll also found that majorities in 26 countries now have a less favorable view of the United States than they did in 2002. Also, "opinions of the American people have declined over the past five years in 23 of 33 countries where trends are available."

Successful Competition

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The main challengers to U.S. economic power — Brazil, Russia, India and China — have overtaken the United States in dominating the global energy industry, according to a new study by Goldman Sachs. The rising power of the four countries — nicknamed the BRICs — is already evident in the metals and mining sector and is starting to be felt in insurance and consumer-related industries . . .

At the end of the first Gulf War in 1991, 55 percent of the 20 largest companies in the energy industry by market capitalization were American. But in 2007, 35 percent of the 20 largest energy companies are from BRIC countries and about 30 percent are American. "The U.S. is now lagging with the smallest percentage number of energy companies worldwide."

In many cases "it really does look like the attitude of European and also the BRIC countries' oil companies has been very different to the more traditional-based players in the Anglo-American world — much less colonialist, much more inclusive, really working together to come up with solutions in a way that seems to have been beyond the traditional competitors."

"We're starting to see this replicated in the mining industry, where 20 percent of the top 20 companies are now from BRIC countries. We believe this sort of pattern will be repeated industry by industry."

It is already evident in the insurance business, where BRICs account for about 10 percent of the top 20 companies, and in the global beverage industry, where the new economic powers are just starting to show with about 5 percent. The BRICs will soon be moving into the food and pharmaceutical sectors.


MarcLord said...

Wow, I didn't see those capitalization numbers before.

Also, 'BRICs' should now be labeled 'BRIICs,' because Iran joined the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (a NATO counterbalance) last year.

Gee. Maybe the US didn't win the Cold War after all.

Fleming said...

Marc, I'd say the US won, but like so many big lottery winners they've thrown it all away and ended up in debt. At least some lottery winners enjoyed a lot of good liquor and collected a few dozen luxury cars before they crashed; the US just got drunk on power and collects unnecessary wars. . . most of them for the benefit of other people.