Despite what David Brooks says.
The rising debt seems to be a direct consequence of cutting taxes and raising spending -- decisions the Bush Administration made. The US may not be able to stop Chinese "mercantilism," but Chinese intervention in the foreign exchange market also is a rather direct consequence of a government decision. Brooks list of "ungoverned forces surging out of control" consequently seemed a bit odd.
Update: China seems intent on stepping on every stone as it crosses the river, and perhaps stepping on some stones twice. The PBoC set the RMB's central parity at 7.9982 today. However, the RMB closed back above 8, though only just at 8.003. Of course, there is no real difference between 7.998 and 8.003 ... but it seems like the Chinese wanted to test the waters before they let the RMB close above 7.
I will be on the spring conference circuit this week. I intend to post here, but no doubt at slightly odd hours and perhaps somewhat less frequently.