This much is certain: Never in recent decades have Britain’s intelligentsia and political elite been in such a fog – baffled by Brexit and troubled by Trump. I can’t remember a time when so many op-Ed writers end their articles with the limp observation that “only time will tell.”
It’s almost as if you can hear an audible shuffling of papers and clearing of throats, as the great and the good struggle to explain how great events might unfold in 2017. Most of them – us really – were so wrong about remaining in the European Union or the inevitability of Hillary. We have no idea exactly what is coming next.
It’s well past time for a little humility.
Speaking in Liverpool this week, Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, admitted that many ordinary people had been screwed by the rise of globalism. “The combination of open markets and technology means that … a globalized world amplifies the rewards of the superstar and the lucky,” said Carney. “Now may be the time of the famous or fortunate but what of the frustrated and the frightened?”
What indeed? The usually bold and confident Governor didn’t seem to have much of an answer.
How much damage will the Brexit vote do to the U.K. economy? It seems that the economic forecasts change almost weekly.
After dire predictions during the summer of a great slowdown, promoted by uncertainty over the implications of the Brexit referendum, Britain should finish the year as the fastest growing economy of the G7 economies – according to a survey by Scotiabank. The Bank of England recently upgraded its outlook for the near future.
What will Donald Trump do to the environment and America’s standing in the world? The omens are not good, but it’s hard to know if America will be the laughing stock when so many other countries are facing a similar challenge.
The voters smashed the china and there is very little agreement – here or back home in the U.S – on how it’s going to be put back together again. As “The Thunderer” (aka The Times of London) said in a recent editorial, it is not business as usual.
To be continued.