Although the debt ceiling crisis appeared to turn a corner on Sunday evening with a cross-party agreement arising, the political theatrics that have ensued over the past few weeks over whether to raise the debt ceiling or not, has belittled the reputation of United States in the global community.
Global leaders have expressed concern and dismay at the political back and forth and recklessness that Republicans and Democrats displayed while the future of the global economy, one that is largely dependent on American solvency, was looming in the background.
China has been particularly outspoken and critical of the political circus surrounding the debate.
Chinese officials made unofficial statements to Morgan Stanley's Stephen Roach calling the debt ceiling debate “truly shocking” and “appalling.”
The Chinese state-owned newspaper Xinhua stated, "Given the United State's status as the world's largest economy and issuer if the dominant international reserve currency, such political brinkmanship in Washington is dangerously irresponsible."
New head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, admitted in a CNN interview that there has been a seemingly positive bias towards the United States of America in the past, however, the debacle of the past few weeks was “probably chipping away at that bias.”
Numerous commentators are saying that the criticism stemming from the debt ceiling crisis finds its roots in other issues that America has been facing over the past decade. These include expensive wars and nation-building projects in other countries that have been extremely unpopular in the global community and have bitten into the soft power of the United States.
However, the irresponsibility of the debt ceiling debates might have more of a lasting impact on the image of America due to the fact that the U.S. kept the world at limbo in a time of already heightened fears and uncertainty about the prospects for repairing a greatly damaged global economy.
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told the Huffington Post, "It looks very strange that we can't deal with this. It weakened our position as a moral example to the rest of the world."
Although an agreement has seemingly been reached, the debt crisis mayhem is not likely to be forgotten by global leaders and populations anytime soon. Critics are saying the fact that Washington was willing to play chicken with the global economy will likely lead to the questioning of the leadership role of the United States and the U.S. dollar as the reserve currency of the world.