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Thu Apr 25, 2019, 02:42 PM

America's Misuse of Its Financial Infrastructure

America’s Misuse of Its Financial Infrastructure
by Henry Farrell Abraham Newman April 15, 2019

The National Interest

...A few key officials worried about American overreach. In a 2016 speech, President Barack Obama’s Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew spoke of the great security benefits of America’s financial hegemony. However, he warned that this hegemony could not be taken for granted. If the United States abused its financial dominance, “financial transactions may begin to move outside of the United States entirely—which could threaten the central role of the U.S. financial system globally, not to mention the effectiveness of our sanctions in the future.” Lew’s speech attracted some attention, but a new administration was elected only six months later.

THE TRUMP administration believed fervently in the unilateral power of the United States to impose its demands on the rest of the world, and was highly skeptical of arguments about limits and backlash. The Obama administration’s ginger embrace of Iran was reconfigured into a stranglehold, while sanctions against Chinese firms became a bargaining counter in a wider fight over trade and technology. Delirium tilted over into imperial folly, as high officials began to think that they could use America’s economic power to reorder the world better to their liking. As they have sought to turn the apparatus of infrastructure into a true tool of empire, reducing allies into near-vassals, control risks slipping from their grasp. Both friends and adversaries are reconsidering the advantages and disadvantages of attachment to an infrastructure that has become a means of force projection.

A lot more at the link. 3 pages


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