Recently, George Soros said the financial system had effectively disintegrated, and the problem is more like the collapse of the Soviet Union than the Great Depression. Since the Great Depression is an American term for a semi-worldwide phenomenon, and since he was talking to an American paper, I’d have to assume he was talking mostly about the United States. When the Soviet Union collapsed, it broke up into 15 entities. Is he saying the United States will similarly break up? What happens when we discover the bailouts are actually like pouring gasoline on a fire?
Rupert Murdoch recently said something of interest as well: that nations will be redefined and their futures fundamentally altered. Rather provocative. Which nations would those be, Rupert? Ireland with its impending collapse? Britain with its projected “summer of rage?” Latvia with its junk status? Maybe Ukraine, where depositors can’t withdraw from their bank accounts. What about the US with its economy contracting at an astonishing rate and its ballooning budget deficit?
Today’s article picture of doom:
This British newspaper declared our Great Depression for us. Meanwhile, over the pond here in the US, we’re growing more confident by the day that everything is all right. We have to read foreign papers to get the dish on a plan to nationalize our bankrupt banks or to hear about how some homes are worth less than their copper pipes. Reading about the US in foreign newspapers presents a completely different impression of us than we get at home, of course. An Indian paper mentioned George Soros’s opinion of the US economy (hint: he disagrees with the optimists). In fact, it almost seems as if we’re the homeless guy on the train who keeps coughing loudly, without covering his mouth, and the international community is slowly stepping away.
Instead we talk cheerfully about giving the Federal Reserve ultimate power as a solution to our very temporary crisis, which is especially appalling since the Fed has been proven in court to be a private institution.
Our papers lately have had very optimistic headlines. Most economists feel that the health of a nation’s economy is a bit of self-fulfilling prophecy, and therefore consumers need to be encouraged in order to avoid hoarding and encourage spending. That’s why we get so much cheerleading in the news, with naysayers being ridiculed.
It’s true we have a great country full of resourceful people. But it’s also true that we’ve acted in a very short-sighted manner, and we’ve exported the industries that make a country fundamentally strong. We’ve become a service-oriented country that primarily sells services to itself. And now the people buying those services are running out of money.
Today’s article of doom: cell phones more deadly than smoking.