They used to call economics the 'dismal science'. Now it's politics.
For over 150 years since Thomas Carlyle first coined the phrase, it has been the political class that has looked to lift our heads beyond the day-to-day and the 'art of the possible' and to present electorates with political solutions which, most of the time, just might work.
But soaring rhetoric isn't working anymore - and neither are the policy solutions. Not in America or Europe, not anywhere.
Project Twist in the US seems to have left markets in a tangled mess.
In Europe we lurch from Eurozone crisis to crisis with no economic solution in mind, and none over the horizon.
Following the IMF and World Bank meetings in Washington this weekend, we now all look to the November G20. But what hope there? The economist policymakers who continue to drive the policy solutions offer nothing for us to hold onto other than their own insular back-stabbing.
They entreat their peers and the political class with nothing but their own rhetoric now.
And it is clear politicians don't have the answers to this crisis. For it is a crisis of confidence in politics and economics.
All our politicians are now setting expectations for a very bumpy ride. They are talking us down with talk of economic 'war'. What happened to 'hope', what happened to 'leadership'?
The dismal science seems to have taken our politicians to a fairly dismal place.
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