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George Soros, the anti-Bush billionaire, says the current world-wide financial crisis is the end of America and the start of India and China.

Soros, who made his billions undercutting currencies worldwide, is of course to me a natural suspect in the fall of the dollar worldwide. However, I have a different interpretation of what the worldwide sell-off that occurred Monday on Martin Luther King's holiday when our markets were closed actually is.

Monday the world went into a stark raving panic and markets lost billions -- perhaps a couple trillion dollars.

Markets in China, Japan, Britain, Germany, France and India thought President Bush's stimulus package simply wasn't enough. They could be right, but why the wild-eyed panic?

If a recession comes to America and American women between the ages of 25 and 55 stop putting sixty bucks worth of gas in the SUV, so they can head to the mall and buy stuff they really don't need — if that stops, then what comes to all those other countries is collapse.

The stuff Americans buy is made in Asia, by and large, but ordered and processed by companies in the U.S. and Britain and France and Germany — and all those countries suffer if the American shopper closes her wallet and says no mas.

The Euros' comfy lifestyle is threatened and people in Asia face once again a life of thatched huts and bicycles and eating God knows what.

Seriously, the consequences of the American shopper are clearly far too great to underestimate: Our shopper buys, the world is fat and happy. Our shopper closes up, the world is back to dusty backwater economics.

Don't take my word for it. The market collapse on Monday showed precisely that. Markets around the world saw a tidal wave sell-off because they were afraid you might not go buy some more crap you don't need.

Congratulations, you're more powerful than you thought.

And that is My Word.

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