I had expected our leaders to have rational conversations after the poisonous 2012 elections were over. I was naive. The Democrats, scenting blood, pretended to reach out to Republicans, but really didn't. Now, smelling blood over Benghazi, the IRS, and media phone records, Republicans aren't even pretending to be playing nice.
Calm down, you say. Stocks are at all-time highs, house prices have recovered, and corporate profits are strong. What could possibly cause a crisis?
For starters, we still have too-big-to-fail banks that depend on short-term financial markets, which could dry up in an instant, as in 2008-09. Some, including my Fortune colleague Sheila Bair, think the government now has the tools to deal with this. I respectfully disagree.
The debt-ceiling question, supposedly on hold until September, has disaster potential too. If we slip over the brink this time, it could spook foreign buyers, run interest rates way up, run stocks down, and spark a financial panic.
I don't want to see a crisis, and I hope our alleged leaders, who aren't stupid, bestir themselves before one strikes. But I sure wouldn't count on it. Too bad for them. Too bad for us.