Category: Politics

Explain the looming potential US debt default?

Explain the looming potential US debt default?

  • Government doesn't have enough dosh to pay for stuff, so will need to borrow more on 3 Nov, beyond a pre-agreed debt ceiling.
  • So either the US defaults (i.e. stops paying for things like interest obligations on previous borrowings), or it raises the debt ceiling.
  • Only way to avoid default is if Congress agrees to raise or suspend the debt ceiling.
3689

Describe what Republicans & Democrats are thinking re a potential 03 Nov default?

  • Republicans don't want to raise debt ceiling, i.e. they want smaller and not bigger government.
  • So they are proposing prioritising payment of some (but not all) obligations (i.e. debt service, military and some welfare), or a raising of the debt ceiling in exchange for a reduction in social spending (Medicare, food stamps, social security).
  • The Democrats simply want the debt ceiling raised.
3686

The “Hollandisation” of the UK that irks the US?

The “Hollandisation” of the UK that irks the US?

  • The US worries that their major ally is becoming like Holland (abandoning pursuit of power & withdrawing from the international geo-political stage).
  • UK reducing military expenditure as % of GDP, absent from Ukraine Minsk negotiations, absent from Libyan crisis, and tepid response to China's handling of Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters.
  • UK appears to be kowtowing to China to attract trade and investment, plus was the first G7 country to join China's rival to the US-dominated World Bank.
3629

Macrosnap Canada Election?

Macrosnap Canada Election?

  • Massive defeat of decade-long Conservative rule (under Harper) by Liberals (under Trudeau).
  • Vote for change in policy: Away from right, to centre-left, i.e. translates as rejection of fiscal austerity.
  • Vote for change in political vibe: Away from negative (US-style politics of enmity) to more positive/collaborative politics.
3618

UK vs. US approach to dealing with China?

  • UK: Tactical (short-term) accommodation with strategic (long-term) economic aim (securing trade & investment relationship).
  • US: Tactical & strategic balance between accommodation (e.g. economics), pressure (e.g. human rights) & resistance (e.g. to Chinese maritime claims).
  • US concerned about UK sacrificing principle for commerce and withdrawing from international geopolitical stage.
3612

Brazil blues continue?

  • Deepest recession since 1930s persists.
  • Due to end of commodities boom, fiscal mismanagement and political infighting hindering reform.
  • Political crisis over corruption at state-owned petrol company continues unabated.
3609

What is Wahhabism?

  • Branch of Sunni Islam - described as "orthodox" and "ultraconservative".
  • Saudi Arabia's dominant faith.
  • Al Qaeda, the Taliban & ISIS draw on Wahhabism for their ideologies.
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