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.
2014 World Cup Simulator Paints Bleak Picture for United States
View gallery FILE – This undated file photo provided by the General Dynamics Land System shows the production of an Abrams tank in Lima, Ohio. The U.S. decision to suspend delivery of tanks, helicopters and fighter jets to Egypt is more of a symbolic slap than a punishing wound to the military-backed government for its slow slog toward a return to democratic rule. (AP Photo/General Dynamics Land System, File) CAIRO (AP) Egypt’s foreign minister said Wednesday that relations between his country and the United States are in “turmoil” following Washington’s decision to suspend delivery of tanks, helicopters and fighter jets to Egypt. The suspension, announced last week, came in response to the unrest in the wake of the July 3 military coup that ousted Mohammed Morsi, Egypt’s first freely elected president, and that led to the deaths of hundreds in police crackdowns. In an interview with state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy said that there is “unrest in relations” between the two countries, warning that the strain could affect the whole Middle East region. The interview was published Wednesday. However, Fahmy said he was “not worried about this turmoil in relations,” because it’s also a chance for the two to “better evaluate their relationship in the future.” The Obama administration’s decision to cut off military aid was meant as a warning that it no longer can be “business as usual” with Cairo, as President Barack Obama put it last week. In announcing the decision, the State Department did not say how much of the $1.5 billion in annual military and economic aid to Egypt was affected. It held up the delivery of Apache helicopters, F-16 fighter jets, M1A1 Abrams tank kits, which are put together in Egyptian factories, and Harpoon anti-ship missiles. But the U.S. decision is more of a symbolic slap than a punishing wound to Egypt’s new military-backed government for its slog toward a return to democratic rule. The military-backed government enjoys the support of wealthy Gulf Arab states such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. These oil-rich states have poured billions of dollars into Egypt’s anemic coffers and to continue the common fight against Islamists.
Egypt: Relations with United States in ‘turmoil’
On second thought, don’t. US, Germany, Ecuador, France. The US beating a B/C German side on home soil in a friendly is one thing. Facing their best in a World Cup is quite another. US, Spain, France, Nigeria. The current FIFA rankings tell me that the US are better than are France. I’m not sold. US, Spain, Chile, England. I want no part of a win or go home match versus England. US, Germany, Portugal, Nigeria. Three points at best. US, Belgium, England, Chile. Again, it’s the playoff against England that worries me. US, Argentina, France, Algeria.