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Please can we have just a little bit of good news?

Inflation, house prices, pensions, unemployment . . . It's all grim, isn't it?

Whether you look on this website, in the papers or on television, good economic news is hard to find right now.

And just to compound matters, we’re having to watch the unedifying spectacle of US politicians take their country to the brink, playing politics with something that could and should have been sorted out as a matter of course a long time ago.

The UK's financial industry was hardly blameless in the run-up to the financial crisis (remember Sir Fred Goodwin, and remember Northern Rock?), and Gordon Brown's government hardly covered itself in glory, either. Nor did profligate consumers show much self-control, with the result that today millions of people are up to their eyeballs in debt and struggling to make ends meet.

Yet it was the collapse of the US financial system in September 2008 that really brought the whole thing crashing down – and if that wasn't an indication that the global economy is now a house of cards with America slap bang at its centre, I don't know what would be.

Despite the pivotal role it plays within that world economy, however, stubborn lawmakers (particularly those in the Tea Party caucus) have been happy to see the US leave its debt ceiling unamended, even though commentators across the political spectrum and around the world have warned that failure to act could have devastating consequences for all of us.

I suspect that a deal will be reached in the next few hours, and the markets will breathe a sigh of relief once it’s all sorted out. But if the top politicians in the US – which likes to think of itself as the leader of the free world – are prepared to wait until the 11th hour before sorting out such basic things as updating their country’s overdraft, it’s no wonder that things in general are in such a parlous state.

Is it really too much to expect those who really should know better to pull their fingers out, and give us a little bit of good economic news just for once?

posted on 31 July 2011 18:31 byMM24 Adam

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