This most recent post is...?

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Challenge of Debt or Debt Challenges

Iceland, Ireland, Greece, Portugal (Italy, Spain, USA)...

One of the nice things about political science is that you don't believe that things just happen...the good ones do not believe in randomness. What we do believe in is sovereignty which basically means somebody with power makes what is happening happen. That is what distinguishes us from the economists. They work with models and trends to understand events...pretty and tidy but always one step behind.

Regarding all of the debt talk the smart observers does not ask what will happen to the Debt (crisis, default, Euro-collapse). No one asks who does such talk serve? In the short term it puts fear into a lot of people which is an emotion that can certainly be manipulated.

Be wise: distinguish between effects of the reality of debt and the politics of debt. Economists worry about the former. Not us. We worry about how the debt crisis is used by the powerful. 

The big game is what I call DEBT BRINKMANSHIP. Europe versus USA. All of these odd deadlines! Soon the Greek parliament votes on whether to pay back debts. In August the USA says it cannot charge anymore to its credit card. Who would have thought anyone would take deadlines seriously in politics!?

What you see is two giant blocs, Eu and US, threatening to implode (with Fitch and Moodys chiming in) in a duel of implosion. They play on the game or ruse of failure. 'We are about to fail.' 'No we are.' 'No us' and so on. It gets everyone's attention and outsiders rush to invest their export earnings into the bonds/debt of the other bloc, either the US (so-called safe haven) or EU (China says it will invest more) depending upon who looks like they will NOT implode worse than the other. Back and forth.

The question is what's next? Every game gets old...just ask your kids. Could it be a Greece scenario? That is when the citizens get involved in a spectacular way. Could we then see brinkmanship over power rather than debt? The two blocs, citizens and elites, would attack each other but then always back down at the last minute, always unwilling or unable to take charge fully?? Have we entered the Age of Stunted or even Farcical Revolutions? 

No comments:

Post a Comment