S&P's downgrade of U.S. debt on Friday got immediate reaction stateside. But the historical first for the U.S. isn't just American news, setting off a purely American blame game. Other countries are also watching, some with morbid curiosity as a superpower stumbles, some frankly panicked about the economic repercussions worldwide. Here's a quick sample of foreign media coverage.
France: Who's Next?
Le Monde's main news article on the downgrade, when it happened, divided the AFP material into sections under the following subheadings: "'We must do better'" (a quote from White House press secretary Jay Carney); "A historical first"; "A 'calculation error,' according to Washington" (the quote is from the Treasury Department, which finds S&P's downgrade rationale faulty); "A decision which 'comes at the worst moment for Europe'"; and "Beijing blasted 'Uncle Sam, crippled with debts." Le Monde also ran a number of other stories on the downgrade, including one on "the other credit agencies not yet ready to follow S&P" and one entitled "the Obama administration goes on the offensive against Standard & Poor's." Meanwhile, an economics professor is quoted in Libération, another French publication, as wondering: "After the downgrading of the U.S. debt, who else 'will find themselves in the credit agencies' radar?'" Le Nouvel Observateur likewise focuses on the European implications of the American downgrade.