"Europeans really don't understand," he said. "The United States is the model democracy; it should be leading by example. Instead, there is no talking; there is no compromise. The lesson to the rest of the world is that the United States, these days, can't be relied upon."
President Obama said as much Thursday, in remarks from the White House.
"Probably nothing has done more damage to America's credibility in the world, our standing with other countries, than the spectacle that we've seen these past several weeks," he said. "It's encouraged our enemies. It's emboldened our competitors. And it's depressed our friends, who look to us for steady leadership."
The impact of the standoff came through in a commentary distributed earlier this week by the official Chinese news agency Xinhua, in which the writer suggested that, given the current impasse, "it is perhaps a good time for the befuddled world to start considering building a de-Americanized world."
The piece posited that the time has come for the world to leave the dollar behind as the international standard currency, a move that would be disastrous for American consumers used to low prices on imports.
The piece goes on, in even stronger language, to denounce the United States for its international policies. "Under what is known as the Pax-Americana, we fail to see a world where the United States is helping to defuse violence and conflicts. Instead of honoring its duties as a responsible leading power, a self-serving Washington has abused its superpower status and introduced even more chaos into the world."
The language of the piece is harsh, but the thoughts are hardly fresh. Also, they won't go away simply because the United States, once again, drove up to the edge of the cliff and dangled the world economy for a while before deciding not to actually drop it.
Earlier this year, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius gave a speech in Jakarta, Indonesia, encapsulating recent global history and the end of "The American Century."
"The world was bi-polar, with the domination of the United States and the USSR," Fabius said. "It was then, for a short time, uni-polar, dominated by the United States. In the future, we all want it to become multi-polar, with regulated multi-polarity. For the moment, in my view, it is zero-polar."
As such, the global cost of this government shutdown shouldn't be measured in dollars, as much as in prestige, some analysts say. In those terms, the losses were steep.
Joerg Wolf, editor in chief and a foreign-policy expert at the Atlantic Community, a Berlin-based think tank, noted, "It is mind-boggling that politicians are so slow to see the costs of their actions."
Wolf wonders if politicians really need to experience the consequences to appreciate them.
"The perception in the United States Congress does seem to be that, if a default causes problems for China, that's China's problem," he said. "The U.S. is playing with fire. There will be blowback."