I want to leave that invitation open, because I, and perhaps others, know nothing about how daily life in Canada has been impacted by the global downturn. ______________________ European bond markets trembled a few months ago when there was the threat of default on government bonds issued by Greece; following that, there downgrades on the bonds issued by Spain and Portugal. During that time, interest rates demanded by investors on Greek bonds rose, sharply. Meanwhile, the U.S.- with debt more massive, and borrowing running amok- soldiered on with scarcely a ripple in the U.S. bond market. U.S. interest rates remained low, demand for U.S. bonds remained relatively strong, and in spite of massive borrowing, no one is saying the U.S. is facing more than a hypothetical crisis. Part of the difference has to be that the U.S. government is practically free to print more money to pay its bills, as it's currently doing. Another part may be due to the fact that, years ago, the U.S. set its currency up as a reserve currency, and got other nations to agree to price commodities in U.S. dollars. But why there has not been, as of this date, a serious loss of confidence in the value of holding USD is a little hard for me to understand- other than to see it as a house of cards, ready to come down. Following the G-20 meeting, and the sound rebuff dealt President Obama's suggestion that other governments should increase spending, rather than impose restraint, the USD dropped sharply in value against the Euro and certain other currencies (it didn't against the Mexican Peso). It will be interesting to see what happens, next week, when the currency markets are again open.