Geopolitical Consequences of the Credit Crunch
By Niall Ferguson, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution
Reviewed by Francis P. Sempa, Contributing Editor
The prolific British historian Niall Ferguson recently spoke at the Hoover Institution on the geopolitical implications of the current financial crisis. Ferguson examined and debunked the increasingly conventional view that the crisis will result in a "post-American world."
Ferguson recalled that in the late 1980s we witnessed similar predictions of American decline, most prominently displayed in Paul Kennedy's influential book, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers. Two years after Kennedy's book was published, the Berlin Wall fell, the Cold War ended, and the Soviet Union collapsed, leaving the United States as the lone global superpower. The conventional wisdom quickly shifted from American decline to the unipolar moment.
The current credit crunch is real and serious, Ferguson noted, and governments are intervening in the crisis as if in a wartime situation. But we are not headed for another great depression like that of the late 1920s and 1930s. Nor are we...