_thebullmarketinpo...

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For most of the past twenty-five years the West generally, and the United States particularly, experienced a surprisingly apolitical interlude. The great perturbers of world war, cold war, sweeping social reform, and crippling resource constraints went largely absent. Only from the cramped viewpoint of the present could tussles over the NEA, Supreme Court justices, and spotted owls seem momentous. Politics receded. For investors, this meant that politics became a much less important variable in the grand calculus of interest rates, innovation, global integration, and so on.

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01_The Bull Marketin PoliticsTheres always a bull market somewhere.February2008For most of the past twenty-five years the West generally, and the United States particularly,experienced a surprisingly apolitical interlude. The great perturbers of world war, coldwar, sweeping social reform, and crippling resource constraints went largely absent. Onlyfrom the cramped viewpoint of the present could tussles over the NEA, Supreme Courtjustices, and spotted owls seem momentous. Politics receded. For investors, this meantthat politics became a much less important variable in the grand calculus of interest rates,innovation, global integration, and so on. Jim Cramer, TheStreet.comThe recent past can therefore be conceived of as a sort of political bear market, one wherethe degree to which ordinary life including economic activity was mostly unaffectedby politics. There have been many such bear markets, during which the economy and thelives of most citizens chug along rather nicely, or at very least, without substantial overtinterference from the state. By contrast, during a bull market, political influence overfinancial matters, public policy, decisions of war and peace takes on great importance.After a placid quarter-century, many cannot bring themselves to believe that the futureholds anything more than a continuation of the recent bear market in US politics. Buttremendous structural changes to the worlds economy render impossible

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