America Now a bargin basement

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America must live with being a bargain basement
By John Gapper
Published: November 30 2007 18:35 | Last updated: November 30 2007 18:35

It is the holiday season in New York City. Thanksgiving is over, the decorations are up on Fifth Avenue and the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Plaza has been lit – this year with energy-efficient light-emitting diodes rather than the traditional lightbulbs. All that remains is for New Yorkers to spend money.

To shop in New York this year, however, is to hear a rich array of European accents. In Bloomingdale’s the other day, two French women were debating the quality of Ralph Lauren towels. As I crossed Avenue of the Americas this week, I heard a British family complaining about the eggs they had for breakfast.

In 1973, Genesis released an album called Selling England by the Pound. It was the time of the oil shock and the album looked back nostalgically over a wealth of English sub-culture. Coincidentally, the Genesis tour of the same name is being recreated in December in New York by the Canadian band The Musical Box, which will perform a multi-media tribute in Tribeca.

These days, with oil approaching $100 a barrel and the Middle East once again overflowing with petrodollars while the US frets over the possibility of recession next year, America is being sold by the dollar. LINK


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