Fjordman: On the Collapsing US Dollar
December 20, 2009
Somewhere in Europe
While I am normally not much of a fan of The New York Times, one of their articles in November 2009 about the ballooning US national debt is worth quoting. The White House estimates that the government’s tab for servicing the national debt will exceed $700 billion a year in 2019, up from $202 billion in 2009, even if annual budget deficits shrink drastically. Other forecasters say the figure could be much higher. Although other industrialized countries have heavy debt loads, too, the United States is a special case because of its sheer size.
Put simple, had the United States been a private person he would have been declared bankrupt by now and put under administration by the bank. But the United States is not a private person; it is still the world’s largest economy and with huge armed forces. It is worth quoting Takuan Seiyo in one of the installments of his brilliant From Meccania to Atlantis series:
“The strongest, most admired country in the world until just a few years ago is now a cautionary tale of the wages of sin and stupidity told to Chinese schoolchildren. A nation that works for a living can weather perhaps even such great storms. But the jobs of the American lower class have been outsourced to imported Mexicans. The jobs of the American middle class have been exported to China and India. The jobs of the American upper-middle class have been taken from the white males who held them by merit, and given to resentful identity groups that hold them by the fiat of the government’s preferred skin colors and favored genitalia. And the jobs of the American upper class have been reprogrammed from leadership and service, to ripping off the less clever via lawyering, banksterism, and padding one’s golden CEO parachute, and then expiation via funding and leading socialist NGOs. A freefalling dollar cannot help by increasing exports, when you have off-shored your manufacturing, and your main industries are predatory lawsuits, selling shoddy American housing to Salvadorians with faked mortgages, and marketing financial weapons of mass destruction worldwide. And a falling dollar is not a good inducement for the world to keep buying dollar-denominated U.S. debt. The cessation of that buying has such dire consequences to the United States that Chinese strategists have named them ‘the nuclear option.’”
I have sometimes encountered Americans online who are convinced that they will face an armed conflict with a rising China in the future. Perhaps. But they often seem to take it for granted that such a conflict will be triggered by Chinese aggression against “foreign devils.” I’m not so sure about that. Right now I don’t see what interest the Chinese should have in provoking a war. They are currently behaving smarter than the Americans in many respects. I suspect that the Chinese are quite happy with selling cheap toasters to the United States while their presidents are bankrupting the country by making the world safe for sharia, their businesses are outsourcing jobs to Asia and their universities are educating Asian students.
The USA, on the other hand, is a country with a massive national debt and large armed forces, a potent combination which has facilitated wars in the past. I don’t rule out the possibility that Chinese nationalists could create trouble at some point but frankly, if there is a war between China and the United States in the near future it may well be triggered by the USA, not China.
Whether the Americans, whose armed forces are infiltrated by Muslim Jihadists and Mexican gang members, would win a conventional war is a different matter. After the Muslim Nidal Hasan killed many of his fellow soldiers the US military intensified its efforts to recruit more Muslims to the military. Recruiting people from hostile cultures to protect your country is the behavior of nations that want to die, and apparently, that is what the West now wants to do.
The US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke was named Time magazine’s Person of the Year for “saving” the global economy. Man of the Year, as the award was called before our gender neutral age, has earlier been awarded to Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin (twice), the Ayatollah Khomeini and other distinguished gentlemen, so Mr. Bernanke is in good company.
Yet as the insightful financial observer Karl Denninger states, “Bernanke’s actions have singularly done more damage to the American economy - and America - than anyone in the history of this nation. He clearly eclipses Nixon in his dissembling, while making a mockery of the free market.” This is because “By encouraging the bubble economy during Greenspan's time in The Fed (Bernanke was the chief agitator for 1% interest rates - and holding them too low during the early part of the 2000s) and trying to restart the bubble economy this time around through both ZIRP and intentional distortions through the credit markets, shielding those who made bad decisions while cramming the inflationary pressures down the throat of trading partners, Bernanke has guaranteed the loss of global reserve currency status for The Dollar. Our Senate is too stupid to recognize this and stop his re-nomination.”
Regarding the financial crisis of 2008, Denninger comments that “We have fixed nothing in the last two years.” In his view, “…the root problem is an excessive level of debt in the system at all levels, a level of debt that exceeds capacity to pay, and as a consequence any and all attempts to restart the credit-driven consumption economy would fail, and if pressed too far the government will fail. The evidence strongly suggests that you are getting awfully close to your last chance to stop being stupid before the market hands you a lesson that has the potential to destroy both our economy and government.”
In case Europeans believe that the EU is in a much better shape, the same man also claims that the Eurozone is “an absolute train wreck” which is “dancing with jugs of nitroglycerine.”
The price of gold will probably continue to rise. Investors buy precious metals because they no longer trust many currencies, above all the US dollar, and they are right to distrust the dollar. Although the price of gold has already risen significantly, the expatriate American investor Jim Rogers believes this is not a bubble since virtually nobody still owns gold. As a friend of mine comments, “I think gold is going to hold the level for a while now, for some months bordering to half a year. Then, due to the money-printing, the sky will be the limit.”
I have heard several people who are into precious metals state that silver is currently preferable to gold, and platinum may be a good bet as well. Exactly which precious metal is better I will leave to the experts, but a combination of all three might be sensible, in addition to property or other assets. This could be one of the few cases where “diversity” really is a good thing. An ancient and time-tested advice is to never put all of your eggs in one basket.
According to blogger Dennis Mangan, “While predictions are difficult to make, especially about the future, Williams marshals the facts that support his analysis. Runaway government spending, aided and abetted by massive printing of dollars by the Federal reserve, have doomed the dollar. It is only a matter of timing. A hyperinflation will be accompanied by political upheaval and, in my opinion, could see the end of the U.S. as we know it. What shape that upheaval would take is anyone's guess.”
Not all observers agree that the USA is facing a hyperinflation; there are those who believe the result will rather be a serious deflation. Whatever will be the end result it is quite evident that the United States is now headed for turbulent times, financially and politically. Since ethnic diversity is rapidly increasing and national cohesion is decreasing correspondingly, a Second American Civil War could be considered one of several possible outcomes.
Frankly, I suspect that more or less the entire Western world is heading for serious financial instability and Multicultural tribalistic violence in the coming generation. The most important thing that the common man can do in such turbulent times is to be mentally and physically prepared to protect the life and property of his family as best as he can until the dust settles. This includes having guns and ammunition as well as money. All things considered I believe that Americans and Westerners in general would be smart to invest some of their savings in metals as soon as possible, starting with gold, silver and lead, not necessarily in that order.