Via Mark J. Grant, author of Out of the Box,
Apparently this is the message that popped up on the Congressional computer system when they were scheduling the last, last, last minute meeting before jumping over the cliff. The techies worked for hours I have heard but to no avail. What is interesting about this is that neither the computer geeks nor the people in charge of our government has any responsible position that is really useful to prevent the failure that is about to take place. The best that can even be hoped for now is some minor change in the rigging which may be heralded as “the fix to fix all fixes” but will be of little importance when considered in the light of day. I think the odds of any grand scheme that will honestly make a difference is equivalent to the value of a toe nail clipper when performing brain surgery.
If all of the focus is on taxes, which has been the case to date, then all of the solutions considered are for a problem that is of a secondary nature. No one wants to be really honest you see. No one wants to confront the primary issue which is that the social programs in place or being considered are not affordable. If we cannot afford the debt we now have then we surely cannot afford new debt for new programs. Until and unless the focus of the debate shifts around to what is really important then no useful conclusion will be reached which is why I am bereft of any optimism at this point. I would also note that the leadership skills of those in Washington D.C., on either side of the aisle or in the White House, have all of the adroitness of a runaway barge on the Mississippi river. The demi-gods may go with the flow but that is about it.
“We penetrated deeper and deeper into the heart of darkness. It was very quiet there.”
The equity markets have not panicked yet but I fear that is coming. There is a double edged sword here and both equally able to cut you. The first is that we go over the cliff and nothing happens and stalemate is not averted and we join John Lennon in “Nowhere Land” and hope and prayers give way to loss of faith and the prayers turn from a better day to thoughts that Salvation may not come. The second is that some deal is struck and that the effects of compromise are worse than the original construct. The crux of the problem is at the core of the values of the country. Some people want a more socialized environment where wealth is spread and those that earn pay for the lifestyles of those than do not or cannot while the opposite camp rejects that notion except for a safety net which is far below the desires of the other camp. America is divided and the lines are distinct. The socialization on the Continent has infected the American shores and the “have nots,” larger in numbers, are squared off with the “haves” in a fight to determine the core values of the country.
In the meantime the Fed buys, bonds compress and may compress more than I originally thought as a flight to safety takes place besides more demand than supply and panic ensues as an answer, if found at all, is not a solution but the hollow cry of the political banshee in the feckless wind. The drama may ring with “out, out damn spot” but I fear the dry cleaner is not functioning well these days and that being hung out to dry is all that may be reasonably expected.
“This thing that we call 'failure' is not the falling down, but the staying down.”