Wall Street likes the Trump administration’s tax cuts and anti-regulatory fervor. And Wall Street could care less about the culture wars or Trump’s vulgarity and corruption, as long as he doesn’t ignite a trade war or, even worse for the global economy, bomb Iran or North Korea.
While some Americans are on a sugar high about what appears to be a booming economy, economists are looking at the risks. I didn’t pick the right one. After reading this opinion piece by Robert J. Samuelson in the Washington Post, did you?
“Here’s today’s quiz: What poses the greatest threat to the U.S. economy? (a) federal budget deficits; (b) China; (c) trade deficits; (d) ineffective schools; (e) the Internet; (f) none of the above.”
“The correct answer is (e) the Internet — the technological wonder of the age.
True, all the other threats are real. Runaway budget deficits could raise interest rates. China could overtake the United States in some high-technology industries. Inadequate schools could mean scarcities of skilled workers. All these developments could slightly slow economic growth or raise unemployment.
By contrast, the Internet — if turned against us through hacking and cyberattacks — could conceivably shut down most of the economy. It represents a “potential threat to all Americans using any information and communications technologies” — that is, almost everyone.”
Since all of my assets are merely numbers on a computer screen, that makes me very nervous indeed.