If ever you are in need of something to watch and feel like wanting to hide behind the settee because of the horror unfolding in front of you then I can think of no better movie than The Big Short. Only thing is the film is based on real world events, not bogus ‘real world’ events but real ones namely the financial crises of 2007/8. I first watched this movie sometime in the summer and afterwards I felt I needed a bath. In short we were all hosed so that the rich could keep their wealth and indeed increase it.
The anger generated by the fraudulent behaviour in part fuelled the rise of Donald J. Trump – the loss of homes, income, reason to live probably did the rest. I have just rewatched the movie again and one thing really scarred me even more. Everytime I saw the characters on the screen who represented Wall Street I keep seeing Donald J. Trump. Now I have tried to be positive about the election of Mr Trump and have tried to believe that once the responsibility of office started to rest on his shoulders then he might change and start to realise that things are so much more complicated than he would have us all believe and that he doesn’t have all the answers and is perhaps willing to listen to good advice. I am no longer sure that is going to happen and two things have made think along these lines: First there is the whole nonsense about the replacement for the two Boeing 747 that transport the President of United States around the world. Currently these are aging aircraft that need to be replaced and to do so will cost a lot of money. The President elect decided he knew better about this whole issue even though he cannot know all the details and called for the contract to be cancelled. The aircraft are a vital part of the American command and control system and it is in everyone’s interest that that is maintained to the highest standards that the President elect doesn’t see that really concerns me. I maybe doing the man a great disservice but he seems to be saying that just because he owns Paul Allen’s used private aircraft he knows about the complexities of a flying command centre from which he can, should he wish, start a small or very large war.
The second thing is over the weekend he was very dismissive about receiving daily intelligent briefings saying that he didn’t need them because he was ‘…an intelligent man…’. I have no idea just how intelligent Mr Trump is but the arrogance to even think that he doesn’t need to be well informed to perform the role of the President of the United States is mind blowing and so I am no longer convinced that Donald J. Trump will change once he has taken office which is still over a month away. I am afraid that he will continue behaving in the same way he always has and that really frightens me because I suspect his honeymoon period may well be a lot shorter than many have thought it to be and so he will need to display calmness under fire and not strike out at the many petty affronts to him. Here are just some of the things that he is going to be faced with when takes office: (they are in no particular order)
- Getting all his nominees appointed – something that requires tact and diplomacy;
- Questionable legitimacy – he lost the popular vote and there are rumblings about lawsuits demanding recounts. If you thought thought the Brexit court case was impactive then just get you mind around the implications of this;
- Russia – this is linked to the legitimacy problem – Mr Trump can try and ignore these things but that won’t stop Congress and if you thought that the Benghazi hearings were bad then you ain’t seen nothing yet. After all the underlying implication of this whole thing is that a foreign government used espionage techniques to rig the election of the President of the United States of America. Even the most pro Trump member of Congress would have difficulty turning a blind eye to that;
- Keeping his election pledges – he made so many it is really difficult to see how he can keep many of them as most involve spending commitments which is controlled by Congress;
- China – it is one thing to bluster whilst you have no power but once you are the President of the United States every word and action will be scrutinised and if you get things wrong people can very quickly be harmed;
- The Unknown Unknowns – I have discussed this before but they will happen.
This probably takes us to the Summer when goodness only knows what will happen as the heat increases in the cities and one misstep by someone could cause a riot and then who knows what might happen.
I hope I am very very wrong for everyone’s sake. I would love to sit down in front of my computer just before christmas 2017 and be able to write that I was worrying over nothing and look how things have worked out. I really want to have to admit I was wrong but I fear I might not have that opportunity and this is where The Big Short comes back to play. Currently the Dow Jones is riding high on the back of , in part, Donald Trump’s victory. This is exactly what happened just before the financial crash.