Barack Obama is apparently spending his waking time getting nightmares, so it seems sleep has been eluding him. When the Republicans sneeze, his sleepless nights get worse. There can be nothing worse for a motivated leader's enthusiasm to be constantly dampened by crisis after crisis. Joke after joke has emerged-where else?-on bloÂgs about Obama's latest hurdle, coinÂciding with the celebration of his own Golden Jubilee birthday.
When he appealed to the House Republicans until 2 August to permit an increase in the country's debt ceiling, he was probably not prepared for the consequence that, to a small extent, defeated the purpose of that increase: that Standard & Poor would degrade the US economy, for the first time in nearly a century. US public debt is $14.3 million, and is set to rise.
The inevitable debate is now on in the media: Double dip or not? Some scholars say the US will emerge unscathed from the whole incident, which will eventually be a mere blip on the history map since such alarm was seen in 1995 and it didn't really bite. Others are less optimistic, speculating whether another “Lehman moment” awaits us.
One way or another, India played a key role in last time's global downturn-President Obama actually sought Prime Minister's Manmohan Singh's advice. While it is nearly certain that India will be affected by the slow economy, how it fares this time may be a litmus test of its resilience.