US Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner, is in Beijing to reassure America's single largest creditor that it's bonds are "safe". Chinese Prime Minister, Wen Jia Bao, recently asked for reassurance as China is saddled with US government papers.
The Peking University audience to which Geithner addressed humiliated Geithner by laughing out loud when he said "Your assets are safe".
A former Central Bank governor of China told the press Geithner's math was dubious when Geithner claimed US could reduce its fiscal deficits substantially in the foreseeable future. It is rare that Chinese hosts so openly disparage a guest.
The coup de grace came when the ex Chinese central banker said "The Federal Reserve Bank is the world's largest investor in junk assets."
Three signs of any empire falling: a decaying economy, declining morality and a world losing respect of the emperor seen to be increasingly naked. The US unfortunately is well on its way to meeting those three pre-conditions. The Bloomberg report on Geithner's visit in Beijing is here.