Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Stock Markets and the History Chart of the End of the World (With Presidential Cycles) - 28th Aug 20
2.Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook... AI Tech Stocks Buying Levels and Valuations Q3 2020 - 31st Aug 20
3.The Inflation Mega-trend is Going Hyper! - 11th Sep 20
4.Is this the End of Capitalism? - 13th Sep 20
5.What's Driving Gold, Silver and What's Next? - 3rd Sep 20
6.QE4EVER! - 9th Sep 20
7.Gold Price Trend Forecast Analysis - Part1 - 7th Sep 20
8.The Fed May “Cause” The Next Stock Market Crash - 3rd Sep 20
9.Bitcoin Price Crash - You Will be Suprised What Happens Next - 7th Sep 20
10.NVIDIA Stock Price Soars on RTX 3000 Cornering the GPU Market for next 2 years! - 3rd Sep 20
Last 7 days
Global Stock Markets Break Hard To The Downside – Watch Support Levels - 23rd Sep 20
Beware of These Faulty “Inflation Protected” Investments - 23rd Sep 20
What’s Behind Dollar USDX Breakout? - 23rd Sep 20
Still More Room To Stock Market Downside In The Coming Weeks - 23rd Sep 20
Platinum And Palladium Set To Surge As Gold Breaks Higher - 23rd Sep 20
Key Gold Ratios to Other Markets - 23rd Sep 20
Watch Before Upgrading / Buying RTX 3000, RDNA2 - CPU vs GPU Bottlenecks - 23rd Sep 20
Online Elliott Wave Markets Trading Course Worth $129 for FREE! - 22nd Sep 20
Gold Price Overboughtness Risk - 22nd Sep 20
Central Banking Cartel Promises ZIRP Until at Least 2023 - 22nd Sep 20
Stock Market Correction Approaching Initial Objective - 22nd Sep 20
Silver Bulls Will Be Handsomely Rewarded - 21st Sep 20
Fed Will Not Hike Rates For Years. Gold Should Like It - 21st Sep 20
US Financial Market Forecasts and Elliott Wave Analysis Resources - 21st Sep 20
How to Avoid Currency Exchange Risk during COVID - 21st Sep 20
Crude Oil – A Slight Move Higher Has Not Reversed The Bearish Trend - 20th Sep 20
Do This Instead Of Trying To Find The “Next Amazon” - 20th Sep 20
5 Significant Benefits of the MT4 Trading Platform for Forex Traders - 20th Sep 20
A Warning of Economic Collapse - 20th Sep 20
The Connection Between Stocks and the Economy is not What Most Investors Think - 19th Sep 20
A Virus So Deadly, The Government Has to Test You to See If You Have It - 19th Sep 20
Will Lagarde and Mnuchin Push Gold Higher? - 19th Sep 20
RTX 3080 Mania, Ebay Scalpers Crazy Prices £62,000 Trollers Insane Bids for a £649 GPU! - 19th Sep 20
A Greater Economic Depression For The 21st Century - 19th Sep 20
The United Floor in Stocks - 19th Sep 20
Mobile Gaming Market Trends And The Expected Future Developments - 19th Sep 20
The S&P 500 appears ready to correct, and that is a good thing - 18th Sep 20
It’s Go Time for Gold Price! Next Stop $2,250 - 18th Sep 20
Forget AMD RDNA2 and Buy Nvidia RTX 3080 FE GPU's NOW Before Price - 18th Sep 20
Best Back to School / University Black Face Masks Quick and Easy from Amazon - 18th Sep 20
3 Types of Loans to Buy an Existing Business - 18th Sep 20
How to tell Budgie Gender, Male or Female Sex for Young and Mature Parakeets - 18th Sep 20
Fasten Your Seatbelts Stock Market Make Or Break – Big Trends Ahead - 17th Sep 20
Peak Financialism And Post-Capitalist Economics - 17th Sep 20
Challenges of Working from Home - 17th Sep 20
Sheffield Heading for Coronavirus Lockdown as Covid Deaths Pass 432 - 17th Sep 20
What Does this Valuable Gold Miners Indicator Say Now? - 16th Sep 20
President Trump and Crimes Against Humanity - 16th Sep 20
Slow Economic Recovery from CoronaVirus Unlikely to Impede Strong Demand for Metals - 16th Sep 20
Why the Knives Are Out for Trump’s Fed Critic Judy Shelton - 16th Sep 20
Operation Moonshot: Get Ready for Millions of New COVAIDS Positives in the UK! - 16th Sep 20
Stock Market Approaching Correction Objective - 15th Sep 20
Look at This Big Reminder of Dot.com Stock Market Mania - 15th Sep 20
Three Key Principles for Successful Disruption Investors - 15th Sep 20
Billionaire Hedge Fund Manager Warns of 10% Inflation - 15th Sep 20
Gold Price Reaches $2,000 Amid Dollar Depreciation - 15th Sep 20
GLD, IAU Big Gold ETF Buying MIA - 14th Sep 20
Why Bill Gates Is Betting Millions on Synthetic Biology - 14th Sep 20
Stock Market SPY Expectations For The Rest Of September - 14th Sep 20
Gold Price Gann Angle Update - 14th Sep 20
Stock Market Recovery from the Sharp Correction Goes On - 14th Sep 20
Is this the End of Capitalism? - 13th Sep 20
The Silver Big Prize - 13th Sep 20
U.S. Shares Plunged. Is Gold Next? - 13th Sep 20
Why Are 7,500 Oil Barrels Floating on this London Lake? - 13th Sep 20
Sheffield 432 Covid-19 Deaths, Last City Centre Shop Before Next Lockdown - 13th Sep 20
Biden or Trump Will Keep The Money Spigots Open - 13th Sep 20
Gold And Silver Up, Down, Sideways, Up - 13th Sep 20

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Get Rich Investing in Stocks by Riding the Electron Wave

The US Golden Age Is Over, Destruction of an Empire

Politics / US Economy Sep 14, 2009 - 12:27 PM GMT

By: Bill_Bonner

Politics

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleEdward Gibbon described the happiest age of mankind as the period of the “five good emperors” between AD98 and AD180, when Marcus Aurelius died.

What was America’s Golden Age?


It is much too soon to write the history of America’s decline and fall. Still, that doesn’t stop us from guessing.

We would name the period between the fall of the Berlin Wall and the fall of Lehman Bros – a period of only 19 years – as the peak of US power and wealth. Of course, Americans were dreaming during those years. The dreams were the usual imperial sort – that the US Empire was such a benefit to the rest of the world that the foreigners would support it indefinitely. Rome didn’t take any chances; it forced its conquered nations to render tribute…slaves…gold…and wheat. The American empire depended on trade…and the dollar. As long as the United States had a commercial advantage, the empire was profitable. But as the 20th century aged, so did the US economy. Its competitors – notably Germany and Japan – had a big advantage. They had been bombed out in the ’40s. They could build anew. America’s trade advantage slipped away…and then its trade balance went negative in the mid-’80s. It has been getting more negative almost every year.

The trade losses shrank after the fall of the House of Lehman. Americans cut back. But today we get news that the trade deficit has just grown more than in any month in the last 10 years. Have Americans suddenly become big spenders again? Probably not. But we’ll have to wait for another explanation; we don’t have one.

No account of America’s glory years – roughly the period between the reign of George Bush I and that of his son, George Bush II – would be complete without mention of the events that happened on this day eight years ago. A small group of terrorists pulled off an amazing coup – bringing down two of America’s iconic buildings, right in the heart of New York City…and on primetime TV! Historians might be tempted to use this event as a milestone, marking the end of the period of maximum happiness in the United States of America. We caution against it. It was only later that it became apparent that the US reaction to the terrorist incident was suicidal. The nation desperately needed to bring its ambitions back in line with its means. It needed to save and invest in new factories and new infrastructure. Instead, it wasted trillions fighting phantoms and nobodies. But as far as anyone knew, US influence, prestige and power remained near its zenith throughout the wars on terror and Iraq.

The fall of Lehman changed things. Then it was obvious that not only was America vulnerable, she was an enemy to herself. She had diddle-daddled during the glory years, dawdling with the lion cubs that would grow up and maul her. Now, in the period we are living through, she attempts to go back to sleep and rerun her balmy dreams. That is what “recovery” is all about – a return to the land of nod and nonsense…in which people think they can actually become wealthier by squandering money they don’t have on things they don’t need.

Fortunately, as near as we can tell, most private citizens are now awake. A report at the beginning of this week showed that they repaid debt at a rate four times faster than economists projected. Savings rates are rising. Spending is falling. People are doing what they should do – they’re cutting back.

But the feds continue their efforts to sabotage the correction and destroy the empire. They have already blown-up the budget – with $9 trillion in deficits expected over the next 10 years. Now, they’re working on the dollar.

Yesterday, the dollar fell to $1.45 per euro. Gold remained just below the $1,000 an ounce mark. And the Dow rose 80 points.

Stock market investors seem to be looking forward to another big bull market. But with the economy deteriorating, they are probably just dreaming, too. Median household income fell 3.6% over the last 12 months. Of course, that’s just what you’d expect in a correction. But it’s not what the feds were hoping for. So, they’re pulling out all the stops to try to turn it around. Most important, they’re pulling out the stop that keeps the dollar from rolling down the hill.

The empire sinks into the mud. Yes, this is the downhill period…the slide into corruption…the period in which Juvenal complained that Romans were only interested in “bread and circuses.”

When you are on the board of a decent corporation, for example, if you have a direct financial interest in a matter under consideration you’re expected to “declare an interest” and absent yourself from the vote. But in a mature democracy, the most self-interested citizens are those most likely to vote. Currently, about 20 million people work for government. About 45 million receive Social Security benefits. About 34 million depend on food stamps.

(People who count on the government to feed them, warned Jefferson, “will soon want bread.” That doesn’t seem to worry many people. But at least the state of Maryland has an Orwellian sense of humor about it. People who depend on government for food are given “Independence” cards.)

That’s 99 million people who have a direct interest in expanding government outlays…with some overlap, of course. And it doesn’t mean that every person receiving a Social Security check is going to back the feds. But it doesn’t count all the millions more who get subsidies, bailouts, welfare payments (often masquerading as tax credits), government contracts, and so forth, either.

Well, how many people does it take to win a national election? Obama won with 63 million votes.

The dollar’s weakness hasn’t been missed by it biggest foreign holder – China.

Reported earlier this week in the Telegraph:

“‘We hope there will be a change in monetary policy as soon as they have positive growth again,’ said Cheng Siwei…talking about America.

“‘If they keep printing money to buy bonds it will lead to inflation, and after a year or two the dollar will fall hard. Most of our foreign reserves are in US bonds and this is very difficult to change, so we will diversify incremental reserves into euros, yen, and other currencies,’ he said.

“China’s reserves are more than – $2 trillion, the world’s largest.

“Mr. Siwei continued: ‘Gold is definitely an alternative, but when we buy, the price goes up. We have to do it carefully so as not to stimulate the markets,’ he added.”

Then, two days ago, in came a report that China is going to issue bonds of its own – in yuan.

This news is a shot across the bow of America’s imperial currency. It signals that China is moving into position to eventually challenge the greenback. Investors will have another alternative to the dollar…another bond issued by another government and backed by another economy…maybe one that is on the way up, rather than on the way down.

Meanwhile, Americans grow poorer. Bloomberg reports:

“‘The decline in incomes we’re seeing certainly has implications for consumer spending, particularly post-housing bubble when families can’t tap into home equity through loans,’ said Heather Boushey, a senior economist at the Center for American Progress, a research organization headed by John Podesta, a leader of the Obama administration transition team.

“The poverty rate is likely to keep rising through 2012, even after the recession ends, adding to pressure on the Obama administration to enact a second economic stimulus package, said Isabel Sawhill, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, a policy research group.

“‘We will likely have not only a jobless recovery but also a poverty-ridden recovery,’ Sawhill said. ‘The stimulus money is going to go away long before the poverty rate peaks.’”

Bill Bonner [send him mail] is the author, with Addison Wiggin, of Financial Reckoning Day: Surviving the Soft Depression of The 21st Century and Empire of Debt: The Rise Of An Epic Financial Crisis and the co-author with Lila Rajiva of Mobs, Messiahs and Markets (Wiley, 2007).

Copyright © 2009 Bill Bonner

http://www.lewrockwell.com

    © 2009 Copyright LewRockwell.com - All Rights Reserved
    Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.


© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules