– This week’s Economist sees Lexington bemoan those advancing the discourse of American exceptionalism, suggesting that “[t]he last thing the country needs is to be distracted from its practical problems by the quest for an elusive greatness”. Elsewhere, The Spectator’s Coffee House blog remembers Jimmy Carter’s fabled 1979 speech in which he spoke of a US “crisis of confidence”.
Delivering the annual lecture at The Ditchley Foundation last week, Strobe Talbott suggested that the “promise” of the Obama Presidency – both in the domestic and the international arenas – is now “at risk”. “[W]hatever fate is in store for the current president of the United States”, Talbott argued,
“one thing is for sure. His success in tackling the major issues of our time will depend on his establishing a degree of common purpose with his partners in national governance at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue and with his partners in global governance around the world.”
– Elsewhere, over at The Cable, Josh Rogin reports on the slow progress of reviews into US development policy – the Presidential Study Directive on Global Development and the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review. The Economist, meanwhile, highlights Brazil’s growing identity as a significant aid donor.
– Finally, the head of the UK Financial Services Authority, Adair Turner, cautions against the default acceptance of prevailing economic ideology, suggesting that policymakers would do well to draw on a diversity of economic opinion. Joseph Stiglitz, meanwhile, explores the Keynesian prescription for the global economy.