The Flinchum File

Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions
Subscribe to the Flinchum File
View Archives

Exporting Fear

Steve Schwarzman is CEO of private equity giant Blackstone (not Blackrock).  He is attending the world’s most exclusive think-fest in Davos, Switzerland, and I watched an interview with him this morning on CNBC.

He touched on an interesting subject.  Is the anger in U.S. politics spilling over and polluting the world?  He seemed to think that it is scary for the rest of the world, when the world leader is angry and dysfunctional.  I think that is right, but this is not the first time that U.S. politicians behaved like petulant children.  However, it is the first time that such behavior had 24/7 coverage, which is beamed around the world in real time.

One of the most important duties of any president is to understand the importance of diplomatic speech.  After all, offending your negotiating partners, especially at the outset, just doesn’t make sense!  Do we even consider that important quality when electing a president?

Does the U.S. have a duty to export confidence or fear?

Besides, who wants to cozy-up with an angry and petulant partner?