Tuesday, December 04, 2007

American Tragedy

So George W. Bush has not had his opinion changed by his own intelligence reports?

So those reports indicate that Iran does not have nuclear weapons, and indeed has dramatically slowed such programmes that might lead to the development of such weapons.

Now, I am all in favour of being a little cautious, given the implications that would arise were Iran indeed to gain a nuclear capability.

Unfortunately the United States is saddled with a President who can not admit even a scintilla of doubt- no matter what. Having isolated his country and presided over a catastrophic economic weakening, the worst President in American history seems to have forgotten nothing and learned nothing.

I can't decide whether his arrogance is rooted in malignity or stupidity, but he has no political capital left. The tragedy is that we still have to wait for just over one more year for this catastrophically limited man to leave office.

It may yet be that still further disasters lurk for this man so that he can leave a truly uniquely disastrous legacy. However, unfortunately for Mr. Bush, politics is not like a game of Hearts- you can not still win if you "shoot for the moon"- all you leave are even bigger screw ups.


Edna B. said...

Boa Tarde,
sou do Brasil e cehguei até vc por meio de Joni Mitchell
fala português ou espanhol?

Nicholas Vardy said...

The accuracy of incessant references to the "catastrophe" of the U.S economy eludes me... Last time I checked, the economic growth for Q3 was revised upward to 4.9%; productivity growth the same number (the highest in 4 years). The only thing thing lower seems to be the unemployment rate-which stands at 4.7%. Oh, and the federal deficit as a percentage of GDP which is down to 1.2%.

And all that against the headwind of a subprime nonsense. Picture the triumphalism in Brussels if any major economy in the EU would ever come within striking distance of any of those numbers...

Bottom line: Don't let grumpiness about an unsympathetic figure in the White House cloud your judgement about economic realities. If perception is projection, then it says more about the psychology of those making the sweeping (and inaccurate) assessments than the underlying reality

Cicero said...

Hi Nick. Nice to see that your confidence in the US remains almost Panglossian! However, to quote from a piece recently published by Morgan Stanley, entitled "Recession Coming":

"We think overall housing starts will run below one million units in each of the next two years -- a level not seen in the history of the modern data since 1959,"

"US demand is likely to contract by 1pc each quarter for the first nine months of 2008, but the picture could be far worse if the Federal Reserve fails to slash rates fast enough. It is betting on a quarter point cut this week, with three more cuts by the middle of next year."

"Although the US job market has apparently held up well, an average monthly fall of 138,000 in the number of self-employed workers over the last quarter suggests it may now be buckling. Consumers face what could be a perfect storm,"