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The US Senate has passed a revised version of the plan, which is set to go before the House of Representatives today. In a disgraceful reflection on the Congress, the bill had to be loaded with $US150 billion in inducements to win the support of the Senate. This included tax credits that the pharmaceutical industry and the high-tech sector had been demanding.

In other words, it was not enough for senators to vote for a bill that would save the US economy from what an industry newsletter, the Bank Credit Analyst, calls “a black hole”. They had to be able to satisfy the special demands of lobbyists and donors.

This lack of national interest, and the assertion of sheer venality, has raised the risk of lending to the US because these legislators are the same people who make the spending and taxing decisions that will determine the national fiscal future.

America’s century: is the sun setting on an epoch?

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