The surface calm during our cool summer is beguiling and more than misleading. Over the years RR readers have had an early heads up on a number of national and international issues affecting us that are now coming home to roost, and several of them are already here. All of them were pooh-poohed by the local Left, taking the cue from their national leadership. Here’s a short list.
Greece is still in the tank and sinking deeper. Now the IMF is trying to quietly muscle in ahead of other creditors as it sees Greece hitting the bottom next year despite the Eurozone bailouts which have had no impact on Greece’s GDP growth. There simply is no there there; Greece is a country that could economically disappear from the world scene with no impact save a haircut to those who lent it money. Some time ago RR readers received a formula with which compute the probability of default; it worked in spades. Other countries like Spain, Portugal, Italy, and even Belgium are standing in the EU’s default line.
Incipient financial ruin of America’s cities and states is acknowledged worldwide. Again our light thinking Left denied for years the role of public service unions and their pension planning with sleazebag politicians. Now we have witnessed a quiet pivot by progressives who are quietly trying to fix the unfixable without ever uttering things like SEIU. For a snoot full of how obvious the problem is to all but the national liberal chorus and, of course, the oblivians, read ‘The Unsteady States of America – Why the pensions nightmare is only just beginning’ in the 27jul13 Economist. Again, RR reported on this inevitability almost seven years ago when the SESF report presented to the local Board of Supervisors was risibly ignored.
The current poster child of municipal malfeasance and corruption is Detroit whose 700K citizens have been characterized by Michigan’s governor as innocent “good people” on whom this financial disaster has come like an unpreventable act of nature. Never mind that it is these same people who have continued to vote for the most corrupt collection of politicians decade after decade. Now they all are looking with expectant faces toward Washington for what could become the first of a national avalanche of bailouts and bondholder haircuts as at least 100 more cities are stewing in their own versions of such Chapter 9 fiscal fiascoes.