It should be clear by now that the current financial and economic crisis is no mere ripple, but a full-scale storm. Comparisons to the 1920’s are no longer muted, and a sense of morbid sensationalism enshrines the news cycle of worsening conditions.
It is not without some fascination that I have witnessed the Australian dollar lose almost 20% of its value against the Euro in a matter of weeks. I try to use my Danish credit card instead of Australian cash to make the most of it. This I can understand. But the intricate dealings of what shaped the current crisis, and even more so what do about it, are still somewhat out of my league. I’m not completely ignorant, of course, and I do my best to stay up-to-date and read views and opinions of the state of the world (a good Danish-language primer is this one, by economy professor Torben M. Andersen).
But apart from making a good conversation topic, the crisis has severely damaged any political ambitions I may still have harboured myself. Once I dreamed of being a minister, perhaps even the prime one. And I may have thought to myself: why are so many politicians economists? Well, to quote the Bill Clinton 1992 campaign, “it’s the economy, stupid”. In situations like these, politicians are those that must act and do what they can to contain the crisis and stave off total meltdown. And I would have no idea how to fix this. Yes, I could probably learn. But I am convinced of the importance of economic wisdom within any government.
No matter your political conviction, it seems clear that any politician in a high office should have a thorough understanding of how the world works; including, but not limited to, the economy.
Which is exactly why Sarah Palin is not ready to go to Washington.