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The gathering storm

Commentary: US may be alone in capacity to tackle debt and budget gap

Learn the New Luxury Playbook at Luxury Connect | October 18-19 at the Beverly Hills Hotel

"It's quiet out there -- too quiet." That line appeared again and again in 1950s horse operas, and we Western kids practiced daily the eye-squinted and growled delivery. We also worked at whistling the call of the meadowlark, the way the Native Americans in those oaters signaled each other before their attacks. In our games, the short straws were the cowboys; our Sioux and Cheyenne always won in thrilling slaughter. It is August, traditionally void of news, but this is really quiet. Eerie quiet. Europe has fallen silent. Even the European Union no-content boys in Brussels have paused posturing. Monti, Rajoy, Hollande ... so quiet you could hear a euro drop in the Rhine. Mario Draghi at the European Central Bank, after his excursion into bluster, has corked himself altogether. Today German Chancellor Angela Merkel broke her speaking fast to announce foursquare support for Greece and how much she wants it to stay on the euro (she may be a master of Europe on the order of ...