Serving the High Plains

Steve Hansen: The recent ‘Brexit’ warrants closer attention

Former QCS Managing Editor

The news was dominated last week by the “Brexit,” a shortening of “British exit,” which has nothing to do with leaving the road while driving on the right side of the car in the left lane.

This was Britain’s vote to exit the European Union, or EU, which is not pronounced like your daughter’s word for repulsive.

Unless you have British friends and an occasional Briton as a customer, as some motel operators in Quay County do, the Brexit is not high on most Quay County residents’ radar.

It shouldn’t be, I suppose, unless you have a bank account or a pension plan, or invest in stocks and bonds.

Most of us should pay attention to the Brexit. It may be as significant to financial markets as mad cow disease was to beef markets at the close of the last century.

Currently, the Brexit is causing havoc in stock and bond markets. U.S. markets, which decline if Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen mistimes a shrug, took a beating after the Brexit vote.

London’s FTSE stock market, (yes, “Footsie”) lost 12 percent of its value.

Investors hate uncertainty.

The English pound is already devalued, so it might be a good time to visit London or buy a Jaguar. Buy the car, that is, not fix it.

Down the road, the impact may deepen. The shared language, despite the funny accents, has helped U.S. relations with the EU while England has been a member.

Our trade relations with England may change, even though as allies we’ll continue to be as close as Saturday night customers at a pub bar.

Why the Brexit? As in America, the pendulum of opinion is swinging away from the benefits of big and toward local control.

And Britons, with their high unemployment, are leery of accepting more immigrants as required by EU membership.

That is especially true of immigrant populations in which they perceive a high number of people who believe that minor theological differences entitle them to commit murder.

Americans are already seeing a similar pendulum swing through the popularity of presidential candidate Donald Trump, who likes the Brexit.

So, Quay County, keep the Brexit on your radar. Its impact might be as close to you as your TV, even though the images seem to be from far away.

Steve Hansen writes about our life and times from his perspective of a retired Tucumcari journalist. Contact him at:

[email protected]

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