Whilst the Democrats and Republicans rail away at each other, and whilst the Mayor of London, Prime Minister, and all manner of others denounce thuggery and yobs, I am struck by troubling parallels that face America and Britain.
The fact that the rating agency Standard & Poor's downgraded the U.S. credit rating from AAA to AA+ a few hours after the Treasury discovered a two trillion (!) dollar error in their calculations suggests that their "economic analysis" was just window dressing to a publicity stunt.
There is something fundamentally wrong in the rating agencies' approach: they unilaterally redefined their role from doing their job -- assessing the ability of sovereign issuers to service their debt -- to rating countries.
Few people are concerned about the elderly, the poor, and the sick. Rather, this debt deal, like everything else, is driven by fear of disturbing the Asian markets. We are worrying about the downgrade, not the citizens
For those who are fretting that the budget negotiations will "break down," they can stop worrying. Much of the damage from the debt ceiling debate has already been done and we are already experiencing the ramifications.