US peso circles the drain, may suck global economy down with it

With the US dollar circling the drain in the wake of unchecked defecit spending by the irresponsible Bush administration, the world economy is being disrupted. In China, people wiht hard currency assets are converting them from dollars to Yuan, with enormous bank-queues of those who are selling US currency as fast as they can (Cuba's gotten in on the act, trading its dollar assets for Yen and Euros).

So far, the dollar's slide to nine-year lows doesn't reflect panic. But some analysts say a run on the dollar is possible. And even an orderly drop could affect everything from mortgages to prices at Wal-Mart.

The good news for Americans: It's getting easier for manufacturers to sell products overseas, and more likely that tourists from Germany will flock to US National Parks.

But the downside could be significant. America, the world's leading importer of goods, is now buying them at higher prices. And if the dollar's dive makes foreign investors wary, US interest rates may have to rise to attract buyers of federal debt.