Counting the Cost

Beyond the fiscal cliff

What are the global implications of US debt and just what are the politics behind the economics?
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2013 07:06

On Friday, January 11, our first new show for 2013 will be broadcast, and we are pretty excited about it.

Not only has our team expanded in the few weeks we took off over Christmas and New Year, but we are moving into a new home in Studio B at Al Jazeera English headquarters in Doha.

We have got our own mini-video wall (still pretty big, but not quite like the one in the AJE newsroom) which was shipped over from our former Broadcast Centre in Kuala Lumpur and recommissioned. The Doha studio team has done a great job of setting up a brand new on-air space, from which Counting the Cost will be the first regular show to broadcast.

So this last week has been a busy one, working on the new look for the show whilst still keeping the important and established elements of the old one - which we have been producing now for three and a half years.

For example we are keeping the same name and colour scheme, but Counting the Cost will definitely have a different look and feel to it.

So, on the show this week we are planning a good look at the US debt situation. Yes it avoided the much-vaunted 'fiscal cliff' - but at what long-term cost? And what do we really know about US debt? The debts in many European economies have been well documented, but if the $16tn budget deficit in the US is not addressed at some point, what sort of effect will that have?  

It all coincides with Barack Obama, the US president, nominating Jack Lew as his next treasury secretary. Lew, on paper, seems like a good choice - he worked for the Clinton administration in the boom years - but he needs approval from both sides of the House, and that is where the whole thing could run into problems.

James D. Boys is joining us on the show this week to discuss all of that. I interviewed him on Al Jazeera news last week and was very impressed with the way he explained the politics behind the economics in the US.

We are also connecting with the CEO of Rolls Royce Motor Cars, Torsten Müller Ötvös. I am always interested to see how luxury brands are coping in these economic times. Strangely, they all seem to be doing fine. Would you believe a 21 percent increase in sales in mainland Europe? We will see how things are going at this BMW-owned brand.

And speaking of Europe, we are also in Italy and Spain looking at the real human stories behind the eurozone crisis. So often we talk about debt and unemployment numbers, but they only tell you so much. When you see and hear about the real suffering going on, it makes an economic story much more human.

So please join us for the new look Counting the Cost this week on Al Jazeera English. We hope you like it.

Watch each week at the following times GMT: Friday: 2230; Saturday: 0930; Sunday: 0330; Monday: 1630. Click here for more Counting the Cost.

Follow Kamahl Santamaria @KamahlAJE and business editor Abid Ali @abidoliverali


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