Looks like there's a bit of financial friction between Germany and the US.
Just in from Reuters:
Era of U.S. financial dominance at an end: Germany
Thu Sep 25, 2008 12:16pm EDT
By Noah Barkin and Kerstin Gehmlich
BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany blamed the United States on Thursday for spawning the global financial crisis with a blind drive for higher profits and said it must now accept more market regulation and a loss of its financial superpower status.
In some of the harshest criticism of the United States since the crisis threw Wall Street banks into financial disarray this month, German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck said the turmoil would leave "deep marks" on both sides of the Atlantic, but called it primarily an American problem.
"The world will never be as it was before the crisis," Steinbrueck told the Bundestag lower house of parliament. "The United States will lose its superpower status in the world financial system. The world financial system will become more multi-polar," he said.
Chancellor Angela Merkel's government, a partnership of her conservatives and Steinbrueck's Social Democrats (SPD), pushed the G8 to agree measures to boost financial market transparency during Germany's presidency of the club last year.
But their drive collapsed amid opposition from Washington and London. Merkel's party and the SPD are keen to claim credit for Germany's G8 push ahead of a federal election next year.
U.S. ON DEFENSIVE
German criticisms of Washington were echoed by leaders of governments from around the world meeting this week at the United Nations in New York. Many criticized the financial record of President George W. Bush's administration and warned that U.S. financial mistakes now threatened the global economy.
The crisis has put the Bush White House, which has long advocated a hands-off approach to markets, on the defensive and forced it to rethink its financial policy.
At the same time it has emboldened voices in Europe, Latin America and elsewhere, who are uncomfortable with American-style capitalism and who want tighter regulation of markets.
It appears the groping/massage georgie gave Angela didn't work out quite as he had planned . . . .