VINCE Cable may not have improved his prospects of becoming Foreign Secretary one day but his frank speaking about the American debt crisis at the weekend will have been applauded by many observers. He criticised the diehard Republicans who refuse to compromise with President Obama and added, for good measure, the undoubted if undiplomatic truth that the biggest threat to the world financial system comes from a few right-wing nutters in the American Congress rather than eurozone. The deadline for decision -- August 2 -- is now exactly one week away and the text books say that if no budget agreement has been reached by then the United States of America will have run out of money and be unable to pay its employees or meet its international commitments. The reality may not prove to be as dramatic as that but obviously the situation is serious and unless resolved quickly likely to make worse a global economic situation that is already far from robust. In the midst of the negotiations President Obama presents a remarkably -- even worryingly -- cool manner that suggests he is confident he will get his way. By comparison the Republican leader, John Boehner, is thought to have difficulty in reaching a compromise with the president because of the hard economic positions of the powerful Tea Party Republicans who want no tax rises and large spending cuts. The next election is sixteen months away.
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