The Brexit votes have been counted. The Brits have decided to leave the European Union. And the financial markets are taking it hard. Right now, futures on the London stock exchange are down 8%. The pound is down 9.8 percent, more than double its previous record decline of 4.1 percent. We’re living in interesting times.
No doubt, some of you are suddenly wondering, what exactly is Brexit? And what’s at stake? Up top, you can watch a four-minute primer created by The Wall Street Journal. Bloomberg has its own two-minute version here (or view below). The Toronto Star breaks down Brexit in 13 points. And The Guardian went so far as to create a guide just for Americans. (For anyone who wants to dissect the propaganda for leaving Brexit, you can watch the feature-length documentary film, Brexit: The Movie, released last month.) Please feel free to add other primers in the comments below.
For Americans reading this, I’d point out that Brexit and Trump share some important things in common: they’re both about putting up walls, placing blame on immigrants and minorities; exploiting the resentments of the economically disadvantaged; dismissing experts and establishment figures; and risking upending a fragile world order. How England looks on June 24th is perhaps a small preview of how America might look on November 9th. Only there will be trillions more at stake.
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