31 December 2008

The way it is.......

"The much touted notion that the US is the preferred destination for private wealth, thus sustaining an out of balance trade deficit through a financial services economy, is rubbish at best, and propaganda at worst. It is rooted in the Dick Cheney nostrum that "Reagan proved that deficits don't matter."

What we have today is a very lopsided vendor financing arrangement, wherein the US is largely supported by China and Japan whose industrial policy currently recommends their support of a US debt that is increasingly unpayable.

If and when China and Japan are no longer able to support the continued growth of US deficit financing, the dollar and the bonds will contract (decrease) in value, and perhaps precipitously, like a house of cards. It is much worse than we had imagined, and more concentrated on these two countries, along with Saudi Arabia, than we had thought.

For now the balance is maintained because of self-interest and fear. But we cannot stress enough the highly artificial nature of the arrangement, and its inherent instability, now that the charade of sustained private investment flow is shown for what it is. There is no economic theory to support this model other than a distorted form of neo-colonial parasitism. Substitute US paper dollars for opium and you get the idea.

Japan and Saudi Arabia are understandable as virtual client states under US military protection, but we struggle with how China was taken into this arrangement which is so potentially destabilizing of their internal political and economic stability.

This is why the world has not developed a sound replacement for the dollar hegemony. It is because if they do, they must navigate around the probability, not possibility, of a collapse of their dollar reserves, and a dislocation of their own export driven economies, much worse than we might have imagined. It is not a matter of economic inventiveness; it has become a matter of will.

Who will be the first to flinch? History shows it is rarely a conscious decision, but rather some incident, an accident, some trigger event, even one so small, that it creates astonishment at the size of the avalanche it unleashes.

To make it clear and simple, this is the first evidence we have seen to suggest that hyperinflation is in fact possible in the US. As you know, we have been strongly adverse to the extremes in outcomes, both in terms of a sustained deflation and a significant hyperinflation.

That has now changed. The dollar is a Ponzi scheme, the waters of debt are overflowing the dam of artificial support, and only a few countries, two of them somewhat unstable, are holding back the deluge."

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