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Byline: Simon Tay, Singapore
History may judge this was the year when the 21st century really began. Back in 2000, continuity seemed assured, with the US consolidating power and primacy. One decade on, changes potentially upend the global balance.
The financial crisis that began in the West in late 2008 is entering a second and more dangerous phase. The eurozone shows up not only sovereign financial problems but also the difficulties in exercising collective leadership. The US is not in acute crisis and its economy showed better demand in the last quarter of 2011.
Everyone agrees something needs to be done. Yet Washington, D.C. is gridlocked -- witness failure to agree ways to cut the …