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The State of the Globe 2004/05: Is Everybody on Edge Yet?

What are the central questions facing the international community in 2005?

December 27, 2004

What are the central questions facing the international community in 2005?

From the newspaper headline of the year to the looming dangers in the global economy, we present key perspectives from around the globe. The core message in most of them reflects a world on edge. Everybody has a lot of homework to do to turn things in a more positive direction.

“China tells U.S. to put its house in order.”
(Financial Times, November 23, 2004, edition)

“The $40 trillion world economy is dangerously out of balance. America is guilty of excess consumption — whereas the rest of the world suffers from under-consumption.”
(Stephen Roach, Morgan Stanley chief economist, November 2004)

“Psychologically, offshoring feels very different. For the first time, the boot is on the other foot. This chapter of globalization is being written more by non-western entrepreneurs than by western consumers.”
(Christopher Caldwell, senior editor at the Weekly Standard, February 2004)

"We cannot accuse China of social dumping — if we Europeans and Americans engage in agricultural dumping."
(Antonio Amanuel Oliveira Guterres, former Prime Minister of Portugal, November 2004)

“China’s custom is that we never blame others for our own problem. The United States has the reverse attitude, whenever they have a problem, they blame others.”
(Li Ruogu, deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China, November 2004)

“Seek knowledge even unto China. That is the duty for every Muslim.”
(The Prophet Muhammad)

“If gloomier predictions turn out to be correct and the dollar falls by 40% or more, then this would, in effect, amount to the biggest ‘default’ in history.”
(The Economist, November 2004)

“Any other country with America’s external imbalances, deficits and policies would have seen her currency collapse. The bond market, stock market and economy would have collapsed — and the IMF would be coming in.”
(Felix Zulauf, president of a Swiss asset management firm, January 2004)

“Even if a country itself is not at risk, it may be contributing to global imbalances and placing the rest of the world at risk.”
(Rodrigo Rato, managing director of the IMF, September 2004)

“Japan is to the U.S. financial markets what Saudi Arabia is to the world oil markets — the primary provider of capital.”
(Joseph Quinlan, chief market strategist for Banc of America Capital Management, July 2004)

“They say in the future a typical factory will host three workers: a man, a computer and a dog. The computer will do all the work. The man will feed the dog. And the dog’s job? To bite the man — if he touches the computer.”
(Todd G. Buchholz, author of “Bringing the Jobs Home,” October 2004)

“If we let Wal-Mart negotiate with OPEC, we would be paying $1 a gallon for gasoline.”
(Gary Stibel, managing partner at New England Consulting, July 2004)

“I would boycott Google — if I could. But I can’t. It’s like boycotting gas.”
(Rogers Cadenhead, website developer and author, May 2004)

“Happy Warholidays!”
(Holiday greetings from, December 2004)