Monday, December 19, 2016

Robert Pringle - What Brexit and Trump's Victory Have in Common

Robert Pringle offers his post US election analysis and concurs with many others we have featured here on the blog. He sees public distrust of those in charge of the present system as a prime cause for the election results we have seen around the world (we can now add Italy to the list). Below are a few excerpts from his recent blog article.


"Many facile comparisons have been made between Brexit and the election of Donald Trump today.
They have an important element in common. But the commentators have missed it.
It is said that both represent a backlash against globalisation. Others say it is a revolt of the uneducated, the marginalised, the people who have been left behind.  Others  emphasise the reaction against excessive immigration: “We want our country back”.
Many blame “experts”. The overwhelming majority of US economists sided with Clinton. The majority of the governors of the Federal Reserve  and the entire policy-making establishment in Washington are Democrats.
Nearly 400 economists including several Nobel Prize winners wrote an open letter denouncing Trump.
Have the experts done so startlingly well as to deserve the public trust, the status, the cushy jobs, the limousines and honours that go with it? Has the economy done well under their expert stewardship?
This is where we get nearer to the nub of the issue."
. . . .

They voted against gross unfairness

"They were voting against unfairness. They were signalling their disgust at the disgraceful behaviour of governments and the financial elite, behaviour that any 10-year old should be ashamed of. Against the power of money and greed.
They were voting against cronyism, the revolving doors between the banks, central banks and governments, in short, against a corrupt political system.
And they were voting against technocrats who had promised financial stability and delivered one crisis after another."
. . . .
Added news note (9 am 12-19-16): IMF's Lagarde found guilty - IMF meets to decide her future. I would be surprised if the IMF asked her to step down based on the last sentence below but we should know soon. Here is a bit more from CNN:

"A special court made up of members of parliament and magistrates announced the guilty verdict on Monday in Paris. But it also said Lagarde won't be fined, serve any jail time, or receive a criminal record."

Update 12-20-16: As expected the IMF issues a statement in support of Christine Lagarde and we should expect that her term at IMF will continue. The guilty verdict appears to essentially be a slap on the wrist with no actual consequences.

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