I tweeted last night, “When bad news from Europe tomorrow makes stocks tank, and the idiots in DC blame it on Super Committee fail, could someone correct them?” Apparently, no one told the AP or Washington Post, so I’m still wondering.
Fears that talks to reduce the U.S. deficit will collapse added to existing worries about European debt to push global markets lower on Monday.
A special deficit-reduction supercommittee in Washington was expected to admit failure in its quest to agree on how to improve government finances by $1.2 trillion over the coming decade. The main hurdle in the bipartisan panel’s negotiations was how much to raise in new taxes.
The talks’ expected collapse revived market fears that politicians — whether in the U.S. or Europe — are often unable to take the decisive action required to reduce debt during a difficult period of economic slowdown.
And indeed, the Dow is down 200 points, so this fiction will continue.
This is ridiculous. The collapse of the talks has nothing to do with the stock market. Europe is leading the world to depression. US lawmakers failed to replace $1.2 trillion in budget cuts with some other $1.2 trillion in budget cuts. Either way, there will be $1.2 trillion in budget cuts. Every rating agency has come out and said that this will not have any impact on US long-term borrowing rates. And even if they did, like Standard and Poor’s did earlier in the year, it had absolutely no impact on those borrowing rates. In fact, those rates plunged even lower.
To sum up, there will be no impact globally from the failure of the Super Committee. There will be no impact outside of the 10 miles square in the District of Columbia. That’s why the committee failed. There was no advantage to either party to make a deal. In fact, both parties perceived an advantage to not make a deal. And since the fallback was spending cuts, even distasteful spending cuts, it was attractive to both parties – to Democrats because the cuts avoided entitlements and hit defense, to Republicans because taxes would not be touched.
Where debt issues might make a dent in the global consciousness will occur when Republicans try to roll back the defense trigger. But even then, if it’s replaced with some other unspecified cuts, there will be no ripple effect. The cuts will still be cuts.
You can read blow-by-blow descriptions of Super Committee FAIL in the Huffington Post and the New York Times. But know this: the failure of the Super Committee represents only one thing: a triumph of democracy. The secretive, anti-democratic process to funnel through unpopular actions failed because outside the legislative system, there was enough pressure brought to bear to stop it. Given that the outcome shows how democracy can work, you would think that, if anything, stocks would get a boost if the European leaders weren’t tanking their economies.
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