UPDATE: So now it is late in the day Monday on the East Coast as I write this and Wall Street has taken its biggest dive since December of 2008. But what I said a day or so ago when I first posted this remains true, I think. Investors want to know what the rules will be but are not getting any clear signals due to a serious lack of leadership. And I understand some calming words by our president failed to have any positive effect — platitudes are not what we need. We need action from a strong leadership in both congress and the administration from people who are not afraid to be honest and are not afraid to take criticism from the often loud-mouthed but quite ignorant and mean-spirited rabble.
ADD 1 : I mention the Afghanistan war in this post, but what I did not mention in my original post was that 31 Americans were killed in a helicopter crash Friday, the largest number of U.S. casualties in a single incident in that decade-long war. In war people get killed (and this is a small number when compared to past wars when the daily American casualties were counted in the hundreds and even thousands) — we have to expect that. But what we should be asking ourselves and what I think the majority of Americans seem to be blind to is the question of why are we still there? And if we have good reason to be there, what is our strategy? Whatever it is, it does not seem to be working. The all-volunteer military and the practice of fighting wars off the budget books so it is not as easily accounted for has made it possible to get into protracted wars with no clear goals or end in sight. It is a terrible waste of money and human life. The electorate as a whole is guilty of not standing up and taking note of this issue and our leaders and potential leaders fail as well. A lot of guilt to go around.
Before we all get excited about the U.S.’s credit rating being downgraded by S&P, don’t we have to question that credit rating agency’s credibility?
It was among those highfalutin credit rating agencies that did not see the big crash of 2008 coming, the ones who gave glowing ratings to all those junk financial schemes that put us all where we are now. Really it is all a sham.
Some people are probably making money on all the instability betting against America.
But apparently there is a real problem in the markets with extreme instability leading to investor fear and a downward trend, the worst in a couple of years (and probably a great time to buy for those who can afford the risk — and do you think someone or someones plan it that way sometimes?).
The problem in understanding what the markets want out of government I imagine is that markets are not ideological, such as all Republican and certainly not all Democrat (or conservative or liberal). I don’t think the markets in general give a hoot about who is in power, other than someone who would do away with the capitalist system altogether.
The markets just want to know what the rules will be. Once investors know what the rules are they know how to play the game. Some will play it honestly, some will cut corners, and still others will cheat the system wherever they can, but you can’t cheat unless you know what the rules are, the rules you are attempting to break.
Maybe it is about time the centrists in our government, if we have any left, get some courage and defy the reactionaries on the right and the radicals on the left and go for stability.
I imagine the electorate is still in the middle where it always has been. But it has no leadership to follow.
President Barack Obama comes off as something of a centrist, but he seems to lack that certain something that is hard to define but that makes one a leader. I also think he lost some of his credibility when he indicated during his campaign that he would get us out of war and then started a new one himself in Libya as well as led us deeper into the Afghanistan morass — and we’re still in Iraq, lest anyone forget. He came in promising to defy Wall Street and then got into bed with that crowd.
What we need is a centrist post ideological candidate with some type of proven track record.
But where would we find such a person?
I write all this off the top of my head. So I have to concede that Obama said he would continue efforts in Afghanistan because that was one might say a righteous war, but the clear implication was that even in that he would go full speed ahead and wrap things up — not so.