Today’s news that Hillary Clinton has no interest in being Obama’s 2012 running-mate struck me as representing a dim glimmer of sanity in a world gone darkly mad.
Moody’s having been predicted to downgrade Irish debt, Fitch beat them to the punch, downgrading the plucky country by two levels. The head of financial regulation at the Irish Central Bank said the Government had not ruled out the possibility of negotiating with senior bondholders in Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide Building Society. What they might be negotiating – rapids above Victoria Falls, perhaps – wasn’t made clear.
As the US private sector shed another 39,000 jobs, Wall St spirits were raised by the near certainty of QE2, an action likely to reduce jobs still further if the past is anything to go by.
Continuing on its doom-laden way, the IMF’s press release incontinence became more serious as it warned the Bank Of England to pump more money into the economy, and reduce cuts in public expenditure. This didn’t seem to leave the debt-laden British Government with much room for maneouvre: perhaps this is it’s way of drumming up business, as later today it also insisted that more bailouts will be needed if the banks are to stand any chance of paying the bailers-out back. Just to ram the point safely home, the IMF cut its forecast for 2011 global growth drastically.
Japan joined the ZIRP QE club (in the face of Chinese purchases of the Yen) as the Chinese rounded off a spell of helping the eurozone by telling the EU to shut up about the value of the Yuan. Depite this, the US stepped up its Yuan moaning-stimulus programme with a variety of critical soundbites. The euro hardened against every major currency, despite its obviously delicate position on the cliff-edge of destruction.
And as Europe braced itself for a predicted new wave of Al Q’eida terrorist threats (having already arrested 13 people in four countries) Brussels put out a release saying that EU entry attitudes were softening towards Islamist Iran’s ‘best friend on Earth’ Turkey.
I’m off to bed now, ever hopeful of waking up in a different place.