Losing North Carolina? In last week’s column Barack Obama’s Really Bad Day, I discussed how Obama’s endorsement of same-sex marriage could hurt him in North Carolina — a State he carried by a razor-thin margin in 2008. The latest Rasmussen poll says it’s already happening; Mitt Romney has taken a decisive 51 percent to 43 percent lead over the President in the Tar Heel State. Adding to the Democrats’ woes, several gay-rights groups are demanding that that they move their national convention to another State to punish North Carolinians for supporting an amendment to the State constitution declaring marriage as a union of one man and one woman.
JPMorgan Chase can afford the loss. The media have been filled with stories about how some errant trades in its London office cost banking biggie JPMorgan Chase about $2 billion. But I haven’t seen any mention of the fact that the losses represent just a fraction of the $25 billion the bank received in bailout money. One big difference between bankers and bureaucrats is that the former will learn from their mistakes, not just keep repeating them.
The Greek crisis produces a new vocabulary. Will other European nations agree to pay “drachmail” to keep a “grexit” from taking place? If not, could the “Acropolypse” lead to “Eurogeddon” ultimately? These are just some of the new words being coined to describe the possibility that Greece will leave the European Union. No one knows for certain if such a “grexit” will take place, of course — or even what the consequences of it would be.
That small nation has a big impact. The financial headlines make it appear that Greece is the most important country in the world right now. Investor concerns about what will happen there have lopped billions of dollars off stocks in this country. But consider: Wal-Mart is just one of the 30 companies that comprise the Dow Jones industrial average, yet Wal-Mart’s worldwide annual revenue and annual Medicaid spending are 40 percent larger than Greece’s entire economy. Doesn’t it seem strange that such a small economy could have such a huge impact on the world?