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Best columns: U.S. contagion, EADS dreams
That &ldquo;hot new theory&rdquo; about how the world economy can truck on without the U.S.? &ldquo;It&rsquo;s completely wrong,&rdquo; says Daniel Gross in <em>Slate</em>. The just-frozen $35 billion Air Forc
 

The U.S. can still spread a cold

That “hot new theory” about how the world economy can truck on without the U.S.? “It’s completely wrong,” says Daniel Gross in Slate. “Decoupling” posits that the U.S., accounting for 30 percent of the global economy, still matters but no longer “determines the fate of the globe.” New economic powerhouses like Brazil, Russia, India, and China, with their new middle classes, would trade with each other if the U.S. “lagged,” the theory goes. Well, “decoupling worked well for a few minutes.” In the first half of the year, the U.S. faltered while the rest of the world hummed along. “In recent weeks, there’s been a shift.” Europe, Japan, and even China are now faltering. “We Americans are no longer in the soup alone.”

EADS: Foiled again

The $35 billion Air Force tanker deal let European Aeronautic Defence & Space dream of “taking on North America—Boeing’s home turf,” say Keith Epstein and Carol Matlack in BusinessWeek.com. Well, the dream’s on hold. After a long battle, EADS and Northrop Grumman won the huge contract, then were favored to win the re-bid, and now are “back to Square One,” after the Air Force scrapped the whole process until there’s a new U.S. president. EADS has a “toe hold” in the U.S. military contracting game, but it wants a big presence, and the tanker deal was supposed to “get things moving in a major way.” EADS can still win the new contract, but “a certain bitterness” has replaced its “giddy mood of empire-building.”

 

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