Black is the New Green

The almighty dollar has some surprising vulnerabilities. Why America's financial health now rests in the hands of China and the oil producers.

Issue: Jan-Feb 2008

THE INTERSECTION of ongoing structural shifts in international energy markets with strategic trends in global financial markets poses the most profound challenge to American hegemony since the end of the Cold War. In 2006, Pierre Noël and I wrote in these pages about an "axis of oil"-a loose and shifting coalition of energy-exporting and -importing states, anchored by Russia and China, that is emerging as a counterweight to the United States (so far, most notably in Central Asia and, increasingly, in Iran).1 The ability of such a coalition to resist American hegemony is now compounded by the vulnerability of the United States to financial and monetary pressure by its major international creditors-most of which are at least putative members of the axis of oil.

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