- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.