Mention to someone that the impasse between Democrats and Republicans that threatens to trigger a U.S. Government default is going to be resolved quickly, and that person may question your analysis skills.
But the response to that could be this: Three seemingly intractable, economic/financial-related problems have dominated headlines recently, and two of them have been resolved. And if things occur in threes ... well, you get the idea.
EU: Greece's Health Matters
First, last week, heavily-debted Greece managed to work out a debt deal with the European Union that creates a €109 billion of $157 billion rescue package. The deal forces many investors to accept at least some losses on their bonds. A month ago, few thought getting bond holders to take a cut was possible. But they did. Score one for optimism.
To be sure, Greece must implement more austerity measures and faces years of budget cuts and efforts to increase central government revenue, but it appears now European officials have gotten ahead of the contagion. They've essentially created a New Marshall Plan for Europe: the EU has "gone long" with Greece and created an intervention fund -- the European Financial Stability Fund -- that's ready to take on Portugal, Italy and Spain, if the need arises.
NFL Deal: Rationality Prevailed
Second, the National Football League (NFL) and the NFL Players Association, the players union, approved a 10-year collective bargaining agreement -- including a fair agreement that not only grants owners between 52 and 53 percent of revenue, up from 47 percent, but also grants players unrestricted free agency after four years of service.
Some would argue that the owners won, and that the players, at best, maintained the status quo. However, when one considers that the union will get a handsome share of a very successful business' $9 billion in annual revenue, well let's just say unions in other sectors would settle for that: jobs and a healthy cut of a successful business. Score another one for optimism. And the NFL's fans.
Washington Impasse: Rhetoric for Dollars
Then there is the current acrimonious dispute in Washington between the nation's two major political parties, the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, over the debt ceiling and how much to cut the budget deficit by.
Admittedly, given that the two sides are still preparing separate debt deal plans and the U.S. Government runs out of both money and borrowing authority on Aug. 2, it doesn't look good, fiscally, or economically, for the nation.
Even so, the view from here argues that by late Tuesday, the real pros in Washington -- the dispassionate, rational minds in the Senate and House -- will agree to raise the debt ceiling in time to avoid a default, and also reach an agreement on a reduction in federal spending, probably a $2.7 trillion to $3 trillion reduction over 10 years.
The reason they will agree? Each side has too much to lose by a credit market-freezing and an economic growth-slowing default.
Conversely, the upside is substantial: with a debt deal, the two will have proven that coalitions representing different interests can compromise and solve a large problem facing the nation.
Again, things occur in threes.
So look forward to an agreement and harmony in Washington.