Thursday, August 11, 2011

What is the Matter with August?

Blaming the Calendar Because It Cannot Fight Back

A Bad Month - and Not Even Halfway Over

The month of August should be a quiet one for world events.  It is late summer in the northern hemisphere.  It is hot which produces lethargic behavior.  It is a month of anticipation, getting ready to go back to school, back to work from vacation, gearing up for the long pleasant fall.

Historically some catastrophic events have happened in August.  World War I started in August and World War II was initiated (although the official date was September 1 when Germany invaded Poland).  Iraq invaded Kuwait in August.  And now August of 2011 is becoming the cruelest month of the year.

  1. The debt ceiling/deficit reduction debacle concluded in August, with no one satisfied and no satisfactory outcome.

    A masked rioter is seen in front of a burning car in Hackney, East London
    Not the usual face of London
  1. World equity markets are plunging as investors world wide react to uncertain world economic prospects

  1. In England rioting has broken out.  The government was totally unprepared.  The leadership of the London police has been decimated by resignations over the phone hacking scandal and major government officials were loathe tointerrupt their “holiday” abroad.  Once things calm down the future of the current Conservative coalition government in Britain is somewhat uncertain.

  1. Europe has continued to look for ways to bail out Greece, with little success except to throw more money at the problem.  Italy and Spain are teetering on the brink of needing help, and that help may be beyond the fiscal capacity of Europe to provide.  The future of the Euro is in question, although how exactly it can be broken up is not known.

5.  Verizon Communications has chosen August to mount a massive campaign to weaken its union contracts.  Sporadic unrest has already begun.

  1.  6.     In Wisconsin a bitter recall election of state senators will reach its climax next week when two Democrats face recall elections.  Estimates are that over $30 million has been spent in the bitter campaigns.

If Mr. Obama does lose his bid for re-election, history may well say that he lost it in August 2011.  A perceived or real lack of leadership is turning even his allies to criticism. The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank wrote of Mr. Obama press appearance on Monday

He delivered his statement on the economy beneath a portrait of Abraham Lincoln, but that was as close as he came to forceful leadership. He looked grim and swallowed hard and frequently as he mixed fatalism (“markets will rise and fall”) with vague, patriotic exhortations (“this is the United States of America”).

Labor Day, can't come too  soon!

No comments:

Post a Comment