My embarrassment: the most expensive Big Mac in Zurich


[Editor’s Note: The below article is a response to an article by Simon Black [senior editor at], which was published as part of eTN Midweek. To read the article, point your browser to the URL address:]

Sammamish, Washington – The last years, months and days of our country’s financial woes have been very unnerving. I have tried to mentally and emotionally stay above all of the chaos in Washington, and hoped that our leaders would come to their senses regarding the TRUTH about our finances. The recent bickering that went on only brought our plight to the attention of the whole world.

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When the financial reporting agencies finally downgraded our credit rating, I was not surprised, but realized it was the actions of our leaders that forced them to show the whole world slip in creditworthiness. Standard & Poors and Moody’s have their work to do.

This downgrade is deserved and it is only in a country like the USA that such agencies cannot be influenced by the government. It seems that it will be awhile before the USA is upgraded. We will suffer in the short-term, but hopefully in the long term we will find out way to fiscal responsibility.

What embarrasses me though is what I am reading now in the international media about the USA. What you will read below is by a financial advisor that I respect, Simon Black [senior editor at]. Simon writes today from Lithuania. I highlighted the most offensive wording in red.

When Simon brands the USA a “Third World “nation, it hurts. He claims we are a “banana republic.” I didn’t believe I would live so long to see this claim in print.

I have resided and worked almost half of my life outside of the USA in “emerging economies” like the Philippines, Thailand, Korea, Vietnam, China, Mexico, Czech Republic and Saudi Arabia. To be completely candid I enjoyed my expatriate life in these countries immensely…..and these last years living in the USA I have been looking forward to returning my favorite “emerging economy.”

I feel badly for my homeland.