John Gray at the Globe and Mail argues that if the end of the 20th century saw the fall of the USSR, the first decade of the 21st century has seen the fall of the USA.
"The era of U.S. global leadership, reaching back to the Second World War, is over.
You can see it in the way the United States’ dominion has slipped away in its own backyard, with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez taunting and ridiculing the superpower with impunity.
Yet the setback of U.S. standing at the global level is even more striking.
With the nationalization of crucial parts of the financial system, the U.S. free-market creed has self-destructed while countries that retained overall control of markets have been vindicated."
One major causes of the current crisis are bungled social engineering efforts by Freddie Mac And Fannie Mae, which are highly policitized government supported enterprises.
The information on the true worthlessness of many of the assets that have spread like a poison through the financial system has arrived only belatedly; and the market is rightly reacting to it.
The real question is why this information did not come front and center sooner.