The current US federal government shutdown - which is more of a slowdown - has merely set the stage for an even more nerve-racking deadline on October 17 when the US will cross their debt ceiling. At most the government could get by for another couple of weeks with $30bn cash on hand, but without a deal the US will in effect be in default in a couple of weeks.
I really had hoped that we would be able to avoid talking about peripheral Europe once March's Greek bond payment and orderly default on its debt was out of the way. The focus has of course shifted from Italy to Spain in the past month, as Mariano Rajoy's 100-day honeymoon as Spanish prime minister has come to a rather sudden and painful stop.
In today's free market economy, there has to be a role of government whereby the principles of competition and improved customer delivery, particularly in the public services, are defined and refined for the greater good of society as a whole - and that part-owned private companies can be structured to be liable to perform to this greater good.