by Mark Angelides
March 15th (or the Ides of March) was a bad day for Julius Caesar, but history aside, is something big going to happen on the Ides? As it goes, there are actually already several fairly momentous things taking place, and as the saying goes “a big news day is the best time to bury bad news”. The main stories we will be reading about are:
The debt ceiling
In November, 2015, the Obama administration set a date for the debt ceiling to run to, and from this day forward, unless there is an almost immediate agreement, the US will not be in a position to actually borrow more money. The $20 trillion limit is reached and the government must live off its savings (estimated $200 Billion) which experts suggest will cover costs until summer. It should be a fairly straight forward procedure to up the limit (it always has been before), but this presents the opponents of Trump with a grand opportunity to make him look bad. Will they take it?
March 17th, 1917, was actually the day when the Tzar of Russia abdicated, which led to the revolution and ultimately the Soviet Union. Does Barack Obama have a keen eye for history, or a mean sense of humour?
If Geert wilders and his PVV party can win in the Dutch elections on Wednesday, it could be the next big nail in the coffin of the EU. Wilders is firmly anti-EU and anti mass Muslim immigration. His first two acts (if he can actually form a minority government), are likely to be calling for referenda on Holland’s EU membership and calling for a halt on Muslim immigration.
Oddly enough, because Wilders will probably not be able to form a majority government, using referenda will be his only route to enacting his party’s aims. And the referenda will likely have more global impact than if he were to use standard acts of Parliament.
Brexit is Triggered
British Prime Minister, Theresa May, will have the option of triggering Article 50 (the EU withdrawal mechanism). After being bounced back and forth between the House of Lords and the House of Commons, she can finally (after almost 9 months) send notice to the EU that Britain is officially leaving.
To actually leave entirely will be a process of 2 years of careful negotiations about free trade, law repeals and much else. Speculation articles (like this one) will be rife in the media.
So with all this happening (and let’s not forget the Fed raising Interest Rates, too), what a perfect day to bury bad news. What will be the secret that they try and slip past us? Keep your eyes o the Magicians as they attempt the final misdirect.
by Mark Angelides