The new economic climate. Deleverage to c. 1995?

Sunday, January 30th, 2011


Cover of the 1/29 to 2/4 2011 The Economist.

I wonder how the condition, if not the plight of America, will manifest itself in the surge of political instability as we see in Tunisia and Egypt. Moving out the autocratic regimes is always a welcomed occurrence for me. And how will America be affected? Is our diminished capacity to intervene a virtue in the long run? Which nations could seize on the turmoil to our disadvantage?

Paris 1919 by Margaret Macmillian well describes the nearly senseless political boundaries established in the Middle East lands by the victors of World War 1. For example, Iraq is a land of three distinct parts – Kurdish, Sunni and Shite – that had no business be jammed into one nation. It’s been a violent 100 years to undo this benevolently intended catastrophe.

I spoke with a charming and typically attractive 68 year old woman in Denver yesterday. She retired from television production with several years of work experience in the Middle East. Although she welcomes the abundant sharing of all varieties of information from Facebook to WikiLeaks, she feels that there must be a balance in the revelation of such info. As well, she is nearly dismayed by the amount, frequency and category of change that people are presently enduring. Hers was not a plea for the mythical ‘simpler times’ but for a chance to catch-up.

In many ways, from scheduling a dinner party to organizing a business related program, I sense that people are busy, too busy and busy at being busy. Taking to the streets will induce the needed the change- and this could be the Tea Party or the Muslim Brotherhood – but it will only be the first step of reformed behavior.