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  1. Wealth
February 23, 2009

All a matter of time

By Spear's

Normally a new President is given a hundred-day honeymoon, but not Barack Obama.

Normally a new President is given a hundred-day honeymoon, but not Barack Obama. His first day turned into a mini-disaster when, after lecturing the White House staff about the New Ethic, his choice for Secretary of the Treasury Mr Tim Geithner, appeared not to have filled in his tax return for his IMF salary, an error repeated a few days later with another Obama must-have appointment.

Obama should have listened to his own rhetoric and canned Geithner there and then. But Tim ‘Not Nice but Dim’ instead attacked the Chinese for pegging the Yuan to the Dollar, only to find he had to fly to an economic meeting in Rome where he had to bow to the Chinese as being the key to global recovery.

Back in Washington and still full of self-importance, Tim now had to unveil his $2 trillion package to save the banks and the economy, only he forgot to fill in the numbers on his plan, just like on that tax return.

The Dow plunged 347.90 points/4.21% on this offer it hoped it couldn’t refuse, but which turned out to be one it couldn’t understand. So on Obama’s 30th day in office the Dow was still falling on the non-news, as Gold was propelled through the first $1,000 jackpot mark.

After 30 days, the mess Obama inherited has just got a whole lot worse, which is why there ain’t no time for that honeymoon after all: the American and world economy is hovering on the brink of disaster, and ‘Tim Not Nice but Dim’, the one who didn’t like paying his taxes but loves to spend taxpayer dollars, is, or is not, in charge of the Obama recovery.

So 30 days have been wasted, which when added to the 30 days wasted during transition and the final 30 days of the dying, or dead, Dubya presidency, means a whole quarter has been wasted at the most critical time for the US economy ever.

Meanwhile, what’s left of Motown is revving up to deliver its auto bail-out Mk. II, which will prove to be just a tab for the prolongation of life after gas-guzzling death, as it follows the $787 billion Economic Stimulus Package Mk. I and the bank bail-out plan Mk. III out the door of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and down the taxpayer drain.

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No wonder the worldwide relief at seeing Dubya and his dogs get into the Presidential helicopter for the last time and the great hopes raised on Inauguration Day have long since dissolved, along with the snow.

It’s not any prettier in Britain or Europe either, where Brother Brown is dispensing taxpayer pounds like a poor relation, and the Eurozone has plunged into an even deeper output decline, with collapsing banks and piles of unsold cars littering the landscape, while the Bourses of Europe collapse in step with Wall Street, as their governments all work on auto and bank bail-outs and economic stimulus packages.

Are they all doing the right thing, or have all these alumni of the World of Politics just got it plain wrong? Or are they doing the right thing, but have been sleeping on the switch and are just too late? Or is this crisis beyond them all and we’re all heading into the abyss anyway?

The stock markets are confirming all three probabilities, but unfortunately markets cannot tell us what to do when they get sick, they just go sick. That’s why the world and his dog, probably Dubya’s as well, are stampeding out of equities and into bonds and, above all, into Gold, that ultimate safe-haven investment, but also the harbinger of yet further ills to come…

At least Michelle made it to the front cover of Vogue to help alleviate the gloom.May her husband achieve similar success in his second and third non-honeymoon months in office, or the ‘three strikes and your out’ bell will start ringing out failure.

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