The fiscal cliff is a sort of prisoner's dilemma. Each player appears fixated on trying to rat to the electorate about the guilt of the other for the impending disaster. In the chaos following a fall down the cliff, the president and the Republicans each hope that they will escape with a light electoral sentence while the other is sent down for life.
Many of the risks in the year ahead could be the result of what might be characterised as drift. A lack of leadership and political will that leaves nations and regions without a clear strategy to solve serious long-term challenges. And in the sense of drifting apart through a divergence of interests over time.
Sunday the President faced one of his saddest duties, attending yet another memorial service resulting from one more horrific mass shooting. The President headed to Newtown, Connecticut to try to be 'Healer-in-Chief' again for the families of the schoolchildren and adults who were brutally murdered on Friday.
Investors were clearly thinking along traditional lines last week and wanted Romney, but the Obama victory doesn't have to be such a bad result for them. Chances of reaching a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff have increased a little bit with the outcome of these elections. And the outlook for getting to a more comprehensive agreement on getting back on a healthy fiscal track have improved somewhat with a second-term president and less power for the Tea Party.
Since starting to watch the election coverage over a range of different news channels on Tuesday evening I've listened to a lot of analysts try to suggest many different things, the most outrageous of all being Obama's second term will be that of a lame duck president. This is highly unlikely although how much social and domestic change takes place in the US over the next four years is open for debate. What is certain is that Obama will continue to pursue the economic policies of the last four years and that's where the continuity comes in.