AMERICA may be the mightiest country on the planet, but in the 21st century it teeters on the edge of a gigantic financial mess - a mess easily described by the relationship between its soft-touch President and the Giant - a bloated national debt that keeps on growing.
Barack's path to the presidency is fraught with pitfalls and annoyances - like his encounters with George Dubya, David Cameron, Angela Merkel, Vladimir Putin, IMF boss Christine Lagarde, and the dreaded rating agencies.
Add to that a mix of directionless politicians, crabby lawyers, bewildered regulators, and single-minded bankers and the powder-keg is complete. What can stop this great country from blowing up in our faces?
Dramatis personae - in order of appearance