Monday, August 8, 2011

Leadership Vacuum

The piecemeal approach to address the continuing and worsening financial and growth crises has exposed the biggest missing element – leadership.  There is none and it is an international problem.  The Swiss are in panic mode and need to prevent any further strengthening of their currency;  the ECB is floundering  trying one solution after another – the most recent is the purchase of Italian and Spanish bonds; the US is doing little to nothing when it needs revenues and its tax rates are the lowest in history because its political structure is in a state of collapse – and S&P placed the blame at the feet of the Republicans and their moronic  tea party core; European tax payers – and more to the point German taxpayers – are being asked to absorb Euro debt of the peripheral Eurozone members when the problem is structural economic imbalance.  The political will to do anything, apparently anywhere, is zero.  As I write this, the Dow dropped 200 points in 2 minutes.

If Europe keeps using band aids rather than addressing its structural problems, then the Euro is in deep trouble and, with nationalism on the rise, so is the EU.  If the tea party and Republicans are not removed from the table, then the US moves closer still to banana republic status.
Trouble is no longer on the horizon – it’s in full view.
Economic problems are structural and long-term coordinated plans are required.  There is no magic bullet and everything short-term has been tried. In the US, raising taxes and spending on infrastructure and science are required – in other words, spending.  In Europe, a little introspection and planning regarding the economic imbalances between the core and the rest must be undertaken. What is missing is leadership. Leadership would inspire confidence, also in short supply. But, in Europe and particularly in the US, waiting for leadership is like waiting for Godot.
By the way, for those involved in donor oriented development programs, watch the money dry up.

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