Columnist Thomas Friedman has a rare knack of coining evocative phrases that become part of popular language—give or take a few horribly mixed metaphors.
The man who told us that the world is flat has now compared the current state of the global financial system to a traffic jam. Countries in our tightly knit global economy are akin to cars driving bumper to bumper, “so misbehaviour or mistakes anywhere can cause a global pile-up”.
There is no shortage of malfunctioning cars and errant drivers right now.
European governments continue to struggle against huge debt piles and fiscal deficits. The latest economic data from the US is insipid. North Korea thinks this is a good time for some scary war games. The US is close to rewriting the rules of the financial system. China needs to crack down on its bubble.
No wonder markets across the globe have tumbled. But let’s forget Friedman and his traffic jam. This now looks like Navjot Sidhu’s bicycles in a stand: one falls and the complete row will be down.