The Year of the Red Monkey

donald-j-trump-1342298_640A lot of people were surprised by the Brexit, and a lot are now astonished by Trump success. Sorry, this could be expected: we are in the Chinese Year of the Fire monkey, and as a Feng shui half-educated amateur and user, I had predicted it. Just remember that monkeys are considered the tricksters of the Chinese Twelve Animal Signs and this means that Monkey years are exciting and “interesting” years. But remember that the fortune cookie proverb, “May you Live in Interesting Times” is actually considered a curse! If you want to check, look at the website of the Lotus Institute and you will read the following:

The elements of this year are Yang Fire over Metal, which means there is automatically a clash as Fire melts and weakens Metal. […] when there is a clash of this kind, there will be opposing energies and you can expect governments and people taking different sides. So there is a high probability that there will be a war of mostly words between people, politicians running for office and internationally between countries. There will be more threats than action. Political fights, especially infighting is expected, as the Fire Element is involved with words and speaking. Certain world leaders will be acting even more provocatively than usual […] It is also expected that there will be sudden instability in many formerly solid governments and leaders that previously looked impervious to criticism will be challenged as the Monkey makes the stable suddenly unstable [...]”.

But you do not need to be a Feng Shui expert to know that things were going wrong: the increase of inequality in the US, with the 1% richest being the only ones improving their situation, the absence of hope due to a dogma of crazy liberalism, even if Obama tried to correct some things, and the impression – not only an impression, I think – that  governments are powerless and that the corporate world and Wall Street are running the show have pushed a large number of Americans (and before them of Brits and perhaps soon of French or Germans) in the arms of what we use to call populists. Yesterday the UKIP, today the the  “Trumpism”, and maybe tomorrow the Front National in France.

Should we panic? Some of Trump’s declarations during the campaign were quite crazy, and this is bad. Today, economist Paul Krugman has written in the New York Times a quite strong editorial, where he was announcing catastrophes in particular for the world’s economy: “It really does now look like President Donald J. Trump, and markets are plunging. When might we expect them to recover? Frankly, I find it hard to care much, even though this is my specialty. The disaster for America and the world has so many aspects that the economic ramifications are way down my list of things to fear.

Still, I guess people want an answer: If the question is when markets will recover, a first-pass answer is never. Under any circumstances, putting an irresponsible, ignorant man who takes his advice from all the wrong people in charge of the nation with the world’s most important economy would be very bad news. What makes it especially bad right now, however, is the fundamentally fragile state much of the world is still in, eight years after the great financial crisis“.

However, it is not the end of the world. From a US point of view, it is quite impossible, even for a clever President, to do anything without going through the Congress, and the leaders of the Senate have not been strongly supporting Donald Trump. I doubt that crazy plans are going to go through. US democracy relies on a balance of powers between the President, the Congress, the justice and the media, and that is good today.

From Finland’s and Europe’s point of view, let’s see. The new president has announced this morning that he plans to create jobs with a national plan to rebuild the US infrastructures, which is a copy and paste of Roosevelt’s New Deal: this is good news for the world, and the opposite of what Europe and Finland are doing now, if we look at the 2017 budgets. He is also planning apparently to have a dialogue with Moscow, which could release the tensions at our borders and in the Middle East, and even put an end to the economic sanctions against Russia, which would be good for Finland. For the rest, let’s hope that the new US President will be surrounded by wise advisors, and that he will not be too trigger-happy with the nuclear arsenal…





Categories: International

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