The US is noted for the fact that as crappy as we are in transparency and various other good things we are the least bad major economy in the G20. Proportionally to population and per capita GDP our housing bubble was and is definitely better than elsewhere. China for example is at least flirting with a crash landing of epic proportions. The odds of the emergency landing working to the extent that the leadership is not faced with the choice of execution or exile within five years are still in favor of the leadership but in single digits to one. Given private and public bookkeeping tricks that's about as good as it gets on predictions when it comes to China. But the loss of 2-3 GDPs worth of wealth through either inflation or reduced asset prices is going to hurt. Total funded and unfunded debt may be a lot better than any other large economy as well. For example there is very little evidence that any significant number of banks in the EU and Far East are solvent. The caveats of the EU stress test last year are not comforting: bonds held as part of the bank's portfolio did not count against them. In the Far East China has not kept track of illegal private banks and in Japan there are no provably solvent banks. Unemployment, CPI and other economic data are generally more accurate/relevant than elsewhere because of a proportionally larger set of private check figures and somewhat less bad news to hide. So everyone is hoping for a dead cat bounce in the economy the Ds prior to the election, the Rs after the election. This will happen but I doubt it will be as big as everyone hopes because if we are best of show then when the water hits bottom in the rest of the world as in Ireland and Greece the economic outlook will get butt ugly.