Turns out other countries just like having an American leader they can push around:
G-20 refuses to back US push on China's currency (AP)
Leaders of 20 major economies on Friday refused to back a U.S. push to make China boost its currency's value, keeping alive a dispute that raises fears of a global trade war...The G-20's failure to adopt the U.S. stand has underlined Washington's reduced influence on the international stage, especially on economic matters. In another setback, Obama also failed to conclude a free trade agreement this week with South Korea.
Here's where the scary gets funny:
Obama made a case that he had a stronger hand on the world stage, despite his failure to push through a tougher stance on China's currency...He contended he has now developed genuine friendships with leaders including Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and South Korean President Lee Myung Bak — and even China's Hu.
I never thought I'd hear "Yeah, she dumped me, but I came out ahead because I still have her phone number" from the leader of the free world.
Even The New York Times is heckling Obama's international impotence.
Obama’s economic view is rejected on world stage (New York Times)
After five largely harmonious meetings in the past two years to deal with the most severe downturn since the Depression, major disputes broke out between Washington and China, Britain, Germany, and Brazil.
Each rejected core elements of Obama’s strategy of stimulating growth before focusing on deficit reduction. Several major nations continued to accuse the Federal Reserve of deliberately devaluing the dollar last week in an effort to put the costs of America’s competitive troubles on trading partners, rather than taking politically tough measures to rein in spending at home.
The result was that Obama repeatedly found himself on the defensive. He and the South Korean president, Lee Myung Bak, had vowed to complete the trade pact by the time they met here; while Obama insisted that it would be resolved “in a matter of weeks,’’ without the pressure of a summit meeting it was unclear how the hurdles on nontariff barriers to US cars and beef would be resolved...
...The disputes were not limited to America’s foreign partners. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner got into a trans-Pacific argument with one of his former mentors, Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the Federal Reserve, after Greenspan wrote that the United States was “pursuing a policy of currency weakening.’’ Geithner shot back on CNBC that while he had “enormous respect’’ for Greenspan, “that’s not an accurate description of either the Fed’s policies or our policies.’’
Much of the rest of the world seemed to share Greenspan’s assessment. Moreover, Obama seemed to be losing the broader debate over austerity. The president has insisted that at a moment of weak private demand, the best way to spur economic growth is to have the government prime the pump with cheap credit and government stimulus programs. He quickly found himself in an argument with Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany.