Friday, December 9, 2011

DEFined For The Rest of Us

Jim Cramer, the screeching American populist financial guru that I try to avoid at all costs, has lately taken to describing events in Europe in terms that are not only unfamiliar to me, but also are very - how shall I say? - unfinancial.  Herewith, a primer for the rest of us of the pre-video-game generation:  "A DEFense [readiness] CONdition (DEFCON) is an alert posture used by the United States Armed Forces. It prescribes five graduated levels of readiness (or states of alert) for the U.S. military, and increase in severity from DEFCON 5 (least severe) to DEFCON 1 (most severe) to match varying military situations. The actual preparations that take place under the five DEFCONs are difficult to describe because they vary between many commands, they have changed over time as new weapon systems were deployed, and the precise details remain classified. They are:
DEFCON 5: Lowest state of readiness; normal readiness (Blue)
DEFCON 4: Increased intelligence and security measures (Green)
DEFCON 3: Increase in force readiness; medium (Yellow)
DEFCON 2: Next step to nuclear war; war readiness (Red)
DEFCON 1: Nuclear war is imminent; maximum readiness (White)
During the Cuban Missile Crisis on October 22, 1962, the U.S. armed forces were ordered to DEFCON 3. On October 23, Strategic Air Command (SAC) was ordered to DEFCON 2, while the rest of the U.S. armed forces remained at DEFCON 3. SAC remained at DEFCON 2 until November 15. The next DEFCON Level 2 was during a Soviet missile test in the Pacific in 1989. For much of the Cold War, U.S. ICBM sites were at DEFCON 4, rather than 5. The United States reached DEFCON 3 during the September 11, 2001, attacks." (Wikipedia)  I'm not exactly sure how the above relates to the current economic situation in Europe.