We received a trinity of divine data over the course of the last week that served as a reminder of the good things human beings remain capable of. Christians are just entering their Holy Week, with Easter arriving next Sunday for the Eastern Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant faiths. So, perhaps some divine intervention played a role in the wonderful wins humanity scored last week.
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It was the kind of period that would have the fictional Robin character from the Batman series uttering, "Holy week Batman!" Still, it was the Joker who said, "You ever dance with the devil by the pale moonlight?" In our case, we certainly have danced with a devil of an economy over the past few years, and so it is about time for our hero to triumph just in time for Holy Week.
The divine trinity of data that reached the market last week included a positive course of action for Greece set by the previously fragmented European Union. Due to disagreement within the ranks, especially among politicians in Germany and France - where helping Greece against popular opinion would very likely cost the ruling parties their government; the EU instead found a way to help Greece by incorporating the International Monetary Fund (IMF) into the chaos. The most important point to come out of Brussels was that together the EU would indeed assist Greece to avoid default as a final draw if necessary. Actually, it was the united decision and support that allowed France's Sarkozy and Germany's Merkel to say so. Otherwise, they might have abandoned Greece for the sake of their own hides. However, it did not hurt Greece that its inappropriately named PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece & Spain) partner, Portugal, was downgraded by Fitch last week, sending the euro into another death spiral. The action likely helped Germany to see the contagious possibilities that accompany abandoning its Greek cousin.
The second blessed data point to reach the wires last week was news that America would finally do the right thing, and ensure all its citizens have health care. While this will cost some people a few bucks, it will also provide for the basic health care needs of 30+ million uninsured poor people (including writers), who otherwise suffer without it. While my old party embarrassed my human spirit, by employing deceit and dastardly tactics against this good-natured legislation, truth won out in the end. While the jury is still out on the economic impact of the new law, the market found reassurance that filotimo (Greek: love of honor) still exists in the world. The devil, however, sought to place bets on both sides of the table, and set brother against brother as the health care debate separated Americans more than any issue since slavery.
Finally, the United States and Russia took a step for the sake of humankind. While the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) is, in and of itself, inconsequential in ensuring the world from nuclear annihilation, every small step in the right direction is worthwhile. And while the actions of the two nuclear nations do not save the world immediately from Armageddon, the agreement does reduce the nuclear arms of each nation by one-third. That is no small achievement for man, and surely a pleasing one to God.
Indeed, these three great achievements of the past week should offer mankind reassurance in what good it is capable of achieving. Still, those involved in the hard fight bore a significant political cost to get this good work done. For Christians, it was reminiscent of what our Lord Jesus Christ endured for our sake. Those persecuted and all of us should rejoice this Holy Week, because He told us, "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
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