You have probably noticed this, too, dear readers, but the times appear to be changing. Bob Dylan’s decision not to go to Stockholm to personally accept his Nobel Prize for Literature, a slap in the face for all those who support him for it, aside, we also have events in the United States. Whether things are changing more than they would have if the US was not using an antiquated Electoral College to determine the winner of its general election, we will never know, but probably they are. Whether the changes in train would have occurred anyway is the next question, and another one: Is it not in some ways better to move through the changes earlier rather than later? The answer on the last one is almost certainly that the world at large would be a safer and more stable place if the United States was on a healthy trajectory. But the issues that led to the election result need to be faced and dealt with, and citizens of the United States need to see the result of their choice, and reach whatever conclusions are appropriate.
Meanwhile, the Chinese leaders are probably feeling less constrained, at least during this interregnum, the dead space before January 20. In terms of signs suggesting the shape of the future, we have the Chinese continuing a sell-off of some of their holdings of US T-bonds, which has little real significance, and a US congressional panel proposal this week of a ban on SOE purchases of US companies. Now, if that is a marker for the future – and it might be – then we might actually be on the edge of a much-delayed discussion on reciprocity. Which would not, regardless of how it is going to be characterized, result in nuclear winter. Have a pleasant weekend!