This blog post originally appeared on RealMoney Silver on Jan. 7 at 8:10 a.m. EST.We are witnessing the passing of two eras: Political change and economic change are going hand in hand. It is no coincidence.
"They said this day would never come."On the political stage, the initial and near-universal skepticism of the populist candidacies of Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee have been replaced by fear from the other machine -- that is, entrenched Democrat and Republican candidates who have incorporated their own brand and notion of change quicker than you can say Rumpelstiltskin. Voters' response in Facebook after Saturday night's debate was that nearly half of both New Hampshire's Republican and Democratic voters wanted more of a discussion on the economy. Why? Because the neglected middle class has had enough and doesn't want to take it anymore. The mantra of populism is surging with a force similar to the improbable and historical political triumph of Obama, an African-American candidate who easily carried the Iowa caucus even though only 3% of that state's population is black. As Frank Rich wrote in Sunday's New York Times, "The two men
-- Barack Obama
"We ride the tiger with our fingers crossed."So, too, are the times a-changin' on the economic/business stage. Despite the protestations, dogma and dismissive comments regarding a recession from the permabulls, who apparently still believe in fairytales (Goldilocks), higher commodity prices, weakening consumer spending and years of heavy borrowing has become the backdrop for economic and investment disappointment.
-- Barton Biggs