Could this change things on both sides of the Atlantic?

Could this change things on both sides of the Atlantic?

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    Who’ll come out best when there is so much uncertainty?

After a day which saw the Northern Rock bailout plan, the start of the EU treaty process in the Commons and the Channel 4 programme on Ken’s record as Mayor these are the headlines in the “serious” papers this morning. It’s hard to focus on a specific political theme because, as Simon Hoggart in the Guardian puts is “..Outside in the real world the stock market was melting down..”

If George Soros is right when he says that this is “much more serious than any financial crisis since the end of the war” it is going to dominate all our politics in ways that it is hard to predict.

Immediately will it have an impact on the US primary races just as they approach the critical day of February 5th when half the nation will vote on the competing candidates?

Thus it could underline what Gordon Brown has been saying about the back-drop to the Northern Rock crisis which by comparison might pale into insignificance. It could also underpin those White House hopefuls who make “experience” their main selling point.

On the political betting markets
there’s been a further hardening of Hillary Clinton’s position in the Democratic race – she’s now at 0.44/1. John McCain remains the odds-on favourite for the GOP crown although Mitt Romney”s price has tightened following positive polling news from Florida. In the UK the mayoral race betting has seen a move from Ken and a move to Boris. The Tory hopeful is at 1.36/1 compared with nearly 2/1 just a week ago.

Mike Smithson

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