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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Where is Bruce Willis when you need him?

My brother and I meet in the lunchroom each day to do the Herald Sun quiz. Sometimes when the clues for the “Who Am I?” are too easy, we make up our own. A few weeks ago Dean gave me the clue “we owe him everything.” Of course, too easy, that’s Bruce Willis.

You know what I’m talking about right? That feeling you get when you sit down to watch a movie and you see Bruce’s name in the credits. It’s relief. It’s conviction. Coz, you just know that it’s all going to be ok.

So where is he right now? The USA are up to their oozit in debt (oozit is a highly technical term, so don’t feel badly if you’re not familiar with it), Standard & Poor’s reduced their credit rating from AAA to AA+, and a minority government is not helping matters (MS Palin, you need to come back and answer me some questions ma’am….).
So exactly how did the US get themselves into this mess?

Well, the Treasury of the United States of America reached the legal limit of its debt in May of this year. In the past, this has never been a real problem because Congress (House of Representatives and the Senate) just kept increasing the “debt ceiling” as required, so that Treasury could continue to borrow in order to run the country and service the nation’s debts.

This time is different. In November last year, the Democrats lost control of the House of Representatives, and this has caused some major headaches, including a standoff regarding raising the debt ceiling. This came to a head when Treasury announced that as of 2 August 2011 it would not be able to meet all of its obligations, including social security cheques (due the following day), interest on its $14.3 trillion of bonds (due 15 August) and a host of other payments.

Of course, an agreement was reached at the last minute, reminding me of a famous Winston Churchill quote “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing—after they’ve tried everything else.” However, I’m still trying to work out if any party actually came out of the agreement as a winner.

I should mention that other than suburban Melbourne, America is my absolute favourite place in the world, and I love Americans. BUT (yes this is one of those some of my best friends are buts….) they’ve possibly been getting a tad too big for their star spangled britches.

I’ve no doubt that the government will act swiftly and sensibly to get their house in order (yep, a very deliberate pun), but it won’t be a smooth ride so fasten your seatbelts.

The big question on everyone’s quivering lips at the moment is – are we heading for GFC 2? Will all this uncertainty and tea party politics send us back into recession? Of course, no one knows the answer to that, but I think it’s highly unlikely.

The sharemarket is over-reacting at the moment (and how!!), but hopefully it will settle down soon and we can all breathe out.

In the meantime, Bruce if you’re reading this blog, it sure would be great if you could yippee-ki-yay yourself on over to save the day. Oh, I just realised, America can’t afford him right now….

So after a real rollercoaster of a week, let’s end on a fun note. Here’s one of my fave Bruce Willis quotes from Die Hard 2 - the lesser of the Die Hards let’s be honest, but still very watchable:

“Hey, well, as far as I'm concerned, progress peaked with frozen pizza.”

Ahhhh it makes me giggle. And after the past few days, I’m hearing ya Bruce, I’m hearing ya.

Add your favourite Bruce Willis movie quote in the comments section below, and I will award a nice bottle of red wine for the one I like best*.

* Please note that judging is completely arbitrary and subjective.

Talk soon,


  1. "Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m all for conversation, but maybe you could just shut up for a moment?" - it’s from the Fifth Element


  2. None of them want to pay taxes again....


    Harry Stamper

    Dean Hendrie