The recent and now habitual convulsive decisions by the US judicial institutions, to count votes which had been disregarded and subsequently to stop counting them until Monday, caused a reflex action on the Nasdaq and Dow Jones Stock Exchanges but the underlying reality is that the US of A is heading for an economic crisis. Clear as the clouds darkening the blue skies of Clinton’s happy-go-lucky Presidency, the grey men waiting in line to step into the White House are going to face a black scenario in the coming years. All empires have their cycles and as the world moves into top gear, these cycles are more and more short. The USA managed to take advantage of the Soviet Union’s reformation into the CIS and the evident period of grace needed to make the adjustments. While the western world laughed and jeered at the initial difficulties experienced by Russia and its allies, the laughs of derision seem to be turning to smiles of friendship and sincere handshakes of respect, as Russia puts its economy in order, re-starts diplomatic offensives and appears again as a major player in the world political, diplomatic and economic scene. The USA, on the other hand, after years of economic boom, seems to be facing the first signs that a “yellow card” or even a “red card” may be imminent. Unemployment starts to rise for the first time in decades, from 3.9% to 4%. This event, coupled with many others, may lead the Federal Reserve bank to react, cutting interest rates, which could create a shockwave in the US and world economies. While the USA has made a great contribution towards the world’s scientific and medical progress in recent years and while it has stimulated what it regards as pluralistic democracies, it must also be remembered that Russia has always existed as a counterweight on Europe’s eastern frontier. The immovable mass and unstoppable force of Russia will never cease to exist. What is encouraging about the world of today is that its former enemies are now queuing up to pay their respects. History moves in mysterious ways.

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey Pravda.Ru Lisbon

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