Two factoids that may make a very important trend:
1- Europe has moved ahead of the US in stock market value for the first time since WW 1. Add up Europe's 24 stock markets and their captialization comes to $15,720 billion compared to $15,640 billion for the US. It's mostly the hot London financial center, but there are clear implications of an erosion in US financial prowess. In the past, this has meant the erosion of economic prowess.
2--Brand America is eroding abroad as well. Folks abroad increasingly fear the US, not respect it. And they are not all from the Middle East. The image of the US is way down in Europe and Latin America.
We are all making a big mistake in dismissing this kind of data. It has big implications for business, foreign policy and our own careers. And not good implications either.