"Will the US request a bailout? Will the International Monetary Fund grant it? On
what terms and conditions? What writedown of US debt will be needed to restore
sustainability to its fiscal accounts? What impact will this have on world financial
These are not questions being asked today but they are questions worth
contemplating. Thinking the unthinkable is one of the lessons of the eurozone saga.
Another is the speed with which complacency can convert to crisis. So although I
am not predicting Armageddon, I would like to signal a series of factors that policy
makers of all nationalities would do well to keep in mind..."