Those dependent on the welfare state are unaware that their benefits are not sustainable. Most believe tomorrow will be like today and the checks will keep coming from Mother Government. Political power was gained based on promising these benefits. No politician will risk his position by trying to reduce them. No democratic society has ever rolled them back via peaceful political means. [At worst,] the economy and society could end up in ashes [and, at best,] the world is in for a long period of stagnation, retrogression and conflict. [Let me explain more fully.] Words: 1115
So writes Monty Pelerin (www.EconomicNoise.com) in edited excerpts from his original article* entitled Economic Armageddon Is Coming.
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Pelerin goes on to say, in part:
The U.S. and other modern industrialized nations are headed for economic collapse. Political excesses created unwieldly and insolvent social welfare states in every modern democracy. The notion of providing for those who cannot or do not provide for themselves has limits. As Lady Margaret Thatcher expressed the problem: “The trouble with Socialism is, sooner or later, you run out of other people’s money.”
The Political Problem
Governments in the developed world are out of money. They can either cut back the welfare state or attempt to fund it by ever-increasing taxes. The latter route represents economic suicide as increasing taxes destroys the economy. The former route represents political suicide. Dependency, once accepted as a way of life, cannot be cured without jeopardizing the existence of government and society.
The financial hole dug by most social welfare states is too deep to get out of. The finest turnaround manager in the world, unconstrained by politics, would be unable to remedy the problems. The mathematics of the problem are just too far gone. Radical cost-cutting and proper economic policies can no longer work. Hope and change may work in a political campaign, but slogans carry no weight against the iron laws of arithmetic.
The world is on the verge of massive sovereign defaults…[and] the best resolution of [such]…problems would be to default on…[their] unsustainable promises and debt. While not honorable, it is the only option that can reverse the inexorable debt death spiral that is destroying all welfare states. Without a liquidation of excess liabilities, economic growth cannot resume and economies will shrink and eventually implode. Japan, more than two decades into its economic purgatory, has managed to stall the implosion but not avoid it. The U.S. and other countries are on the same path.
This solution requires that government spending be brought into line with revenues and held there (or below) for a lengthy period of time. That requires reneging on many social promises and possible sovereign debt defaults. A depression would occur. Homes would be foreclosed and businesses closed.
Wealth, defined in terms of physical assets, would be re-allocated. New owners and uses of assets would result. So, too would a complete cleansing of the cancer that prevents economic growth. The economy would be traumatized, but recover rather quickly so long as government refrained from intervening. Pain and suffering are inevitable. Civil unrest is probable and so is the risk that governments could be overthrown.
[The above] solution is horrible in every sense but one — it is the better of two alternatives.
2. The Political Solution
There is no political solution, although that will not stop politicians from pretending there is. “Pretend and extend” is all they can do. Intervening with additional stimulus and more printed money buys some time, but worsens the economic problems. Problems and distortions are made bigger, requiring even more adjustment when they inevitably occur. Pursuing this strategy flirts with currency destruction which would destroy the savings and fixed incomes of the middle class.
The end result is the same as the economic solution — a complete and total collapse of the economy. The difference is that the collapse is more severe and that many [people] may be destroyed in a hyperinflationary blow-off. Since 2008, the money supply has almost quadrupled. Most of that money lies dormant in the banking system. Had it been loaned, we would have massive inflation today. Instead, it sits there like dry tinder awaiting a spark to ignite it.
The Road Ahead
The productive world has allowed its wealth to be squandered by profligate politicians and their governments. Unsustainable welfare states (Ponzi schemes in a sense that even Ponzi himself could not have imagined) consumed capital rather than allowing its re-investment and growth. Without capital growth, real wages must shrink and that is exactly what is happening today.
The world is in for a long period of stagnation, retrogression and conflict. The next hundred years could very well be referred to by future historians as an Economic Ice Age.
Short-term, this generation cannot avoid another Great Depression. The proverbial butterfly flapping its wings in Greece, Spain or other places could be the catalyzing event….[althought] it might be possible that the form of Japanese purgatory that much of the world has entered could be sustained for a decade or so.
The changes coming are going to destroy people and fortunes. Some entrepreneurial types will stay ahead of events, protecting or even increasing their wealth. Most people, however, will be caught off-guard, trusting investment methods and guidelines that worked in a sane world but no longer work in the new world….
Editor’s Note: The author’s views and conclusions are unaltered and no personal comments have been included to maintain the integrity of the original article. Furthermore, the views, conclusions and any recommendations offered in this article are not to be construed as an endorsement of such by the editor.
The level of debt has surpassed the possibilities of being serviced. Mathematically, the debt problem cannot be solved, regardless of economic policies. That, unfortunately, is written. For it to be serviceable would be to violate the laws of mathematics and that cannot happen. [As such, America is quickly approaching a catastrophic economic collapse. As repelling as that sounds, it’s in your own best interest to learn just how bad the situation is. This article is an attempt to do just that.] Words: 310
In order to generate phony economic growth and to “pay” our country’s debts in the most dishonest manner possible, the Federal Reserve is 100% committed to the destruction of the dollar. Anyone with wealth in the U.S. dollar should be concerned that economic leadership is firmly in the hands of irresponsible bureaucrats who are committed to an ivory tower version of reality that bears no resemblance to the world as it really is. By upping the ante once again in its gamble to revive the lethargic economy through monetary action, the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee is now compelling the rest of us to buy into a game that we may not be able to afford. Words: 1410
I keep wondering to myself, do our money-printing central banks and their cheerleaders understand the full consequences of the monetary debasement they continue to engineer? [Below is what I think awaits us.] Words: 1013
Timing the U.S. debt implosion in advance is virtually impossible. Thus far, we’ve managed to [avoid such an event], however, this will not always be the case. If the U.S. does not deal with its debt problems now, we’re guaranteed to go the way of the PIIGS, along with an episode of hyperinflation. That is THE issue for the U.S., as this situation would affect every man woman and child living in this country. [Let me explain further.] Words: 495
For over two years now, I’ve been warning that the 2008 Crash was just a warm up and that the REAL Crisis would occur when the stock market realized that the Central Banks, lead by the US Federal Reserve could NOT actually hold the financial system together. Well, the Crisis I’ve been warning about is here. [Let me explain.] Words: 306
“World Debt 101″ examines some of the world’s largest economies and illustrates just how much they have borrowed and what measures many of their governments are now taking to curb spending and narrow those deficits.
Many articles are being written these days that more or less scope the dire financial circumstances the U.S. is in. That being said, I had not been able to find one “analyst” – even one – who had the guts to outline the probable outcome and general hopelessness of the situation and to offer any meaningful prescription for investors to survive this coming catastrophe – until now. Words: 710
Financial repression occurs when governments channel funds into their own sovereign bonds in order to reduce debt levels through mechanisms such as directed lending, caps on interest rates, capital controls, debt monetization, or by other means. The promise of financial repression is that it will hold down government borrowing costs and reduce government debt levels, but critics argue that financial repression merely targets the producers of society, i.e., the middle class, and therefore harms the economy. Let’s take a look at financial repression ands its supposed pros and cons. Words: 1486
This is the scenario nobody thinks is possible but really at the end of the day, it’s not like the US can print money and live on debt forever right so when something cannot go on forever what happens when it stops?
As Ayn Rand said “We can ignore reality, but we cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring reality” so, with apologies to Ayn Rand, let’s explore some examples of ignoring reality. (Words: 1132; Charts: 1)
We are on the precipice of enormous financial and economic change. It is not change for the good, especially for the United States. Excesses and mis-allocated resources of several generations are about to be exposed as modern industrial nations sink deeper into the economic hole they have dug for themselves. The purging of these economic mistakes will be painful, could create new wars as politicians attempt to deflect blame and may end up changing the political form of government in some countries. (Words: 364; Charts: 1)
Although our supposed leaders are presumably highly intelligent, educated, and knowledgeable, they act largely “brain-dead” as they lead the United States down an unsustainable path that guarantees eventual catastrophic financial destruction. Do you own enough gold and silver that you would feel safe in a such a financial melt-down? If not, why not? Words: 817
What would happen if someday the rest of the world decides to reject the U.S. dollar and that process suddenly reversed and a tsunami of U.S. dollars come flooding back to this country? It is frightening to think about. Just take a moment and think of the worst superstorm that you can possibly imagine, and then replace every drop of rain with a dollar bill. The giant currency superstorm that will eventually hit this nation will be far worse than that.
People riding a runaway train can party and remain oblivious to the fact that the train is about to crash into a huge obstacle. Our runaway financial train is about to destroy the status quo as it crashes into the obstacle of mathematical consequences – the inevitable financial train wreck. “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.” [Let me explain.] Words: 974
It is relatively easy to predict further commodity price inflation as a result of the massive money printing going on worldwide and that hard assets, not paper assets, will help protect purchasing power but it is much more difficult to project where else this money printing leads and to what extent a crash is inevitable. What is the endgame? Will it be another financial crash such as in 2008 or will it be a more destructive financial and economic crash that causes a severe but temporary disruption in the delivery of goods and services? Words: 1470
The internet is awash (drowning?) in hundreds of doom and gloom videos providing dire warnings of coming world depression, food shortages, rioting in the streets, rampant (hyper) inflation, deepening banking crisis, economic apocalypse, financial Armageddon, the demise of America – well, you get the idea. Below is a small sample of such videos with a hyperlink to each.
For those who didn’t get the memo, TEOTWAWKI stands for “the end of the world as we know it” and that is what David Korowicz predicts – a disaster of unprecedented proportions sometime this decade – an “ultimate” crash that will be irreversible – that will be TEOTWAWKI! Words: 1395
Something really strange appears to be happening. All over the globe, governments and big banks are acting as if they are anticipating an imminent financial collapse. Here’s some of what is being said and is apparently happening. Words: 1200
Many people refer to me as a “doom and gloomer” because I run a website called “The Economic Collapse”. [Just because] I am constantly pointing out that the entire world is heading for a complete and total financial nightmare, [however,] I don’t think that it does any good to stick your head in the sand. I believe that there is hope in understanding what is happening and I believe that there is hope in getting prepared. [This article does just that.] Words: 2432
Governments everywhere are becoming more distressed and desperate as economic realities dominate the political doublespeak. The world is at a dangerous point. Much of what we thought we knew and assumed regarding governmental behavior and economics is beginning to be reassessed. Governments of the world are out of money and out of ideas. The ponzi scam that has been perpetrated for over fifty years is collapsing under its own weight. There are not enough suckers and capital left to sustain the fraud. [Let me explain further.] Words: 999
Warning: New evidence points toward an imminent financial collapse and the destruction of American wealth. Income, investments, retirement, and even personal safety are now at severe risk. In this new video I lay it all out for you. Words: 515
The deficits aren’t going to stop anytime soon. The debt mountain will keep growing…Obviously, the debt can’t keep growing faster than the economy forever, but the people in charge do seem determined to find out just how far they can push things….The only way for the politicians to buy time will be through price inflation, to reduce the real burden of the debt, and whether they admit it or not, inflation is what they will be praying for….[and] the Federal Reserve will hear their prayer. When will the economy reach the wall toward which it is headed? Not soon, I believe, but in the meantime there will be plenty of excitement. [Let me explain what I expect to unfold.] Words: 1833
…The US Government and its catastrophic fiscal morass are now viewed by the world as a ‘safe haven’. This would easily qualify for a comedy shtick if it weren’t so serious….[but] the establishment is thrilled with these developments because it helps maintain the status quo of the dollar standard era. However, there are some serious ramifications that few are paying attention to and are getting almost zero coverage from traditional media. [Let me explain what they are.] Words: 1150
With the U.S. election just months off, political pressures will mount to favor fiscal stimulus measures instead of restraint. Such action can only accelerate higher domestic inflation and intensified dollar debasement culminating in a Great Collapse – a hyperinflationary great depression – by 2014. [Let me explain why that is the inevitable outcome.] Words: 2766
Whether our current economic crisis will end with massive inflation or in a deflationary spiral (ultimately, either one results in a Depression) is more than an academic one. It is the single most important variable for near and intermediate term investing success. It is also important in regard to taking actions which can prepare and protect you and your family. [Here is my assessment of what the future outcome will likely be and why.] Words: 1441
Daniel Thornton, an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, argues that the Fed’s policy of providing liquidity has “enormous potential to increase the money supply,” resulting in what The Wall Street Journal’s Real Time Economics blog calls “an inflation inferno.” [Personally,] I think it’s too soon to make significant changes to a portfolio based on inflation fears. Here’s why. Words: 550
The developed economies of the world have opened the money spigots…[and this] massive money and credit creation is sitting in the banking system like dry tinder just waiting for a spark to set it ablaze. How quickly it happens is anyone’s guess, but once it does we are likely to be enveloped in a worldwide inflation unlike anything before ever witnessed. [Let me explain further.] Words: 625
LOOK! Everyone needs to see this. United States owes a lot of money. As of 2012, US debt is larger than the size of the economy. The debt ceiling is currently set at $16.394 Trillion, estimated to be hit around Sep 14, 2012. In the infographic below that enormous amount is illustrated in $100 bills. It’s frightening! Words: 605
The U.S. already has more government debt per capita than the PIIGS (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain) do and it just keeps getting worse and worse thanks to both political parties. We are on the road to national financial oblivion yet most Americans don’t seem to care. They don’t realize that we have enjoyed the greatest prosperity we will ever see…and that when the debt bubble bursts there is going to be an immense amount of pain. That is a very painful truth, but it is better to come to grips with it now than be blindsided by it later. [Let me explain.] Words: 1140
Even as I write these words, the world’s largest economy — the E.U. — is coming unglued at the seams, the world’s second largest — the U.S. — is careening headlong toward a fiscal cliff that promises to gut its GDP, nearly all of Asia — including Japan, China and India — is slowing…and yet most investors still don’t get the message. [Let me go on to explain just what that message is.] Words: 1357
[You are being forwarned – again – that Europe and the U.S. are now on a collision course with a second Lehman-type megashock….A snowball of events – bank runs spreading across Europe – are bringing us a few steps closer. What [can we expect] next? Let me explain. Words: 1795
This short video – on the sustainability of government spending – should be watched by everyone, including those not yet old enough to vote. It should be shown in every high school and college classroom.
Investment “rules” that were relevant for a century are obsolete. They were based on a world where economies grew, people’s standard of living increased and outcomes tomorrow better than today. Arguably each of these conditions will not hold in the future but if they don’t, neither do the rules of thumb that guided investing last century. These guiding principles developed and worked in a world that that no longer exists but applying them in the future will result in devastating financial outcomes. [Let me explain.] Words: 1261
The world is hurdling toward what seems to be certain economic collapse so, if your expectations are similar to mine, then you should be exploring ways to prepare for something that eventually will become an economic dark age. Investment performance is always relevant and it has never been more important than in these difficult economic times – nor has it ever been more difficult. Markets have already changed and are getting worse…As the economy worsens, market movements [like the two 50% declines we have seen since 2000] are likely to become more pronounced [and, as such,] it behooves anyone with exposure to the stock market to understand what is happening and [take action to] protect themselves against further 50%, and possibly larger, downsides. [This article outlines how best to do just that.] Words: 1491; Charts: 2; Tables: 1
A new financial policy initiative known by the label “Financial Repression” may soon become our worst nightmare. ‘Repression’ rhymes with ‘depression’ which could be what we have to look forward to as rampant price inflation and permanently lower living standards take hold. Get ready to be conscripted into a citizen army assembled for the greater cause of saving the nation from being swamped by a tsunami of debt. Let me explain. Words: 1585
“Regardless of whether or not you feel taxes need to be raised, a big set of tax hikes is scheduled to happen. To be sure, some of those hikes will be undone in compromises, but many if not most will sneak through.” [Let me explain.]
One of the things that’s being lost in the welter of rhetoric around the debt crises of sovereign nations is that these are not normal debtors, and government debt is not the same as personal debt. If you or I are in debt we are obliged to fulfil the terms of our repayment obligations or to go bankrupt or to pretend to die and go off and live on the life insurance. A country in the same situation has a range of other measures available to it…[Let’s explore their options and what their implications would be for the country and its citizens.] Words: 1145
Financial Repression is a form of wealth confiscation and redistribution that is in some ways as effective as taxation – but the government never directly calls it that. It never appears in the budget (directly), and while it is dependent on a comprehensive network of laws and regulations – none of those go through the legislature with a stated intention of creating Financial Repression. So while the economic net effects are similar to a huge and comprehensive set of investor taxes being used to pay down the national debt, the “taxes” are never a campaign issue because voters and investors don’t understand what is happening – they only feel the results. [In this article I lay out for you what is slowly developing and expected to escalate dramatically in the next few years.] Words: 5800
The inability [of Congress] to reduce spending and tax its citizenry represents a competitive disadvantage for the U.S.. It is the mark of a country that cannot keep its fiscal house in order, does not care about repaying its debts and, [as such, it] may well be heading for collapse. Words: 978
Why are both debtors and creditors willing to build a status quo of massive unprecedented debt? [After all, the delusions of] creditors that debt is wealth and should never be liquidated, and of debtors that debt is an easy or free lunch have been smashed by the juggernaut of history many times before…[and] I think they will soon be smashed again. [Let me explain.] Words: 1150
One of the problems with the debate over the “national debt” is that there’s no generally agreed upon definition of that term. Is it what the federal government owes, or what it owes foreigners, or what the whole country, private and public sector together, owes? Does it include off-balance-sheet items and contingent liabilities? There’s a hundred-trillion dollar gap between lowest and highest on this spectrum, which allows each commentator to confuse the rest of us by picking the measure that best suits their point of view. [Let’s try to decipher the true state of the nation.] Words: 1468
A monumental change is coming, and for most Americans, it will be painful—especially for the unprepared. [Let me explain just what is happening, why it can not go on as is and what we can likely expect in the future.] Words: 1144
Our empirical research ( Growth in a Time of Debt) on the history of financial crises and the relationship between growth and public liabilities shows that burdens above 90% are associated with 1% lower median growth – and the United States’ debt level is currently hovering around 90% on a gross basis and 60% netting out assets. Politicians like to argue that their country will expand its way out of debt but our historical research suggests that growth alone is rarely enough to achieve that…[given] the debt levels we are experiencing today…[As such,] we need to be cautious about surrendering to the “this-time-is-different” syndrome and decreeing that surging government debt isn’t as significant a problem in the present as it was in the past. [Let us explain why.] Words: 1175
By threatening to drop money out of helicopters to fight deflation – to leave a paperweight on the “print” button if you will – Bernanke convinced the market and all of Wall Street that the Fed would always be there to step in and save the day. [In fact, however,] the whole thing was a bluff meant to prop up the markets – the famed Bernanke Put – and it was a lie. The markets will be realizing this in the coming months, if not sooner, and when they do, we’ll see the REAL Collapse: the one to which 2008 was just a warm-up. [Let me explain.] Words: 444
We are in the latter stages of the debt death spiral where debt and interest payments can only be made by adding more debt. This process has a sure ending. Like the flush of a toilet, the spiral goes faster and faster until it finally ends. [Let me put forth just how serious the problem is.] Words: 431
At the risk of looking/sounding like some crazed religious fanatic usually seen carrying a sign or proclaiming: “Repent, the end is near,” I shall avoid the word “repent”. To me, the rest of that proclamation appears accurate and reasonable, at least with regard to our economic condition. [Let me explain:] Words: 1896
Our civilization would not be able to handle such a transition from an expansionary credit based economy where goods and services were readily available into a paradigm of credit contraction, supply shortages and destitution and this is what is coming. There is no way to prevent it – only to defer it until a later date – and that day will soon be upon us. Words: 590
I think the U.S. government and our central bank has a tremendously transparent view of what is coming down the road in terms of financial distress….I believe the evidence [I present below] shows that they are preparing for this eventual crisis in a command and control fashion, without alerting the public to the coming implosion. The most immediate trigger event is the looming peril of a collapsing economy followed by inevitable civil unrest. I believe they will use the despair that flows forth from the fiscal wreckage as an excuse to institute martial law. Call it “crazy”. Call it “conspiracy theory”. Call it “coincidence”. Call it “fear mongering”. Call it whatever you like but I find it far more insane to shrug off the strange behavior of our power structure, and simply hope that it’s all irrelevant to the future. [Once I have put forth my evidence and explained its implications in this article I think you will agree.]
George Soros…is more concerned with surviving than staying rich…He doesn’t just mean it’s time to protect your assets. He means it’s time to stave off disaster. As he sees it, the world faces one of the most dangerous periods of modern history—a period of “evil.” Europe is confronting a descent into chaos and conflict. In America he predicts riots on the streets that will lead to a brutal clampdown that will dramatically curtail civil liberties. The global economic system could even collapse altogether. [Perhaps] we should be, too, [but as] we have often explained, [such comments ar nothing more than] the fear-based promotions of the power elite to frighten the middle classes into giving up power and wealth to globalist institutions. Let us explain.
Damnit, how long do we have put up with this crap? Will we ever have an honest conversation on the facts of the matter related to what’s going on in the banking system — and has been since 2007 and indeed for the last 30 years? …That’s [unlikely] because there has been no recognition of the truth, not in Greece, not in Portugal, not in Ireland and not in the United States and here’s truth: Government cannot spend more than it taxes. Period! There is no “if”, there is no “and”, and there is no “but.” All the games played over the last 30 years, were, [and still] are, in fact, scams. Let me explain why. Words: 1700
What passes for journalism at CNBC and the rest of the mainstream print and TV media is beyond laughable. Their America is all about feelings. Are we confident? Are we bullish? Are we optimistic about the future? America has turned into a giant confidence game. The governing elite spend their time spinning stories about recovery and manipulating public opinion so people will feel good and spend money. Facts are inconvenient to their storyline. The truth is for suckers. They know what is best for us and will tell us what to do and when to do it. [Let me give you some examples.] Words: 1130
Today’s western financial world operates much like government-sponsored medical systems. Mask the problem and give the bankers the pharmaceutical drugs (bail out money) to help them dull the pain and keep them on life support. Letting the free markets work in curing the ailment is not an option because then there would be little need for doctors (governments) or the manufacturers of these drugs (central banks). The banks are sick and should be allowed to pass on…so the virus known as debt does not affect the rest of the population. Unfortunately, the governments and central bankers have only one prescription drug of choice to keep them alive [and that seems to be the supposed cure-all of] printing money… [Let me explain further.] Words: 970
“An essential point in the social philosophy of interventionism is the existence of an inexhaustible fund which can be squeezed forever. The whole system of interventionism collapses when this fountain is drained off: The Santa Claus principle liquidates itself.” [This article discusses the reality of the current economic crisis and] what is required to revive the economy. Words: 1666
When the supply of something is increased sharply relative to demand, the value of that commodity will decline. If the supply continues to increase rapidly and indefinitely, then that item will become worth less and less, with the potential to finally become nearly worthless. This is the Developing Disaster facing the US Dollar and the world. This is the factor that could become the single most important criterion in investment allocation decisions and possibly even for individual financial survival…[Let me explain this further by reviewing the 7 major problems facing the U.S. (and thus the world) and how they all will lead to problem #7 – devolution.] Words: 1520
Everyone must be wondering where this “unprecedented global financial crisis”, (the World Bank’s words), is heading. What follows, for what they are worth, are my cogitations on this crisis. Words: 1641
The U.S. is headed inexorably toward a systemic failure, a complete and utter collapse of the financial system. TARP and all the other machinations have not improved the underlying insolvency of the banking system. They have, however, deferred a collapse and ensured that it will ultimately be worse. [Let me explain.] Words: 1385
The U.S. economy is in an intensifying inflationary recession that eventually will evolve into a hyperinflationary great depression… [at which time] a $100 bill in the United States will become worth more as functional toilet paper/tissue than as currency. The U.S. government and Federal Reserve already have committed the system to this course through the easy politics of a bottomless pocketbook, the servicing of big-moneyed special interests, and gross mismanagement. The article is long but well worth the read. Words: 3565