Brandon Smith, Contributor
The idea of “collapse”, social and financial, comes with an incredible array of hypothetical consequences ranging from public dissent and martial law, to the complete disintegration of infrastructure and the devolution of mankind into a swarm of mindless arm chewing cannibals. In an age of television nirvana and cinema overload, I have found that the collective unconscious of our culture has now defined what collapse is based only on the most narrow of extremes. If they aren’t being hunted down by machete wielding looters or swastika wearing jackboots, then the average American dupe figures that the country is not in much danger. Hollywood fantasy has blinded us to the tangible crises at our doorstep.
The reality is that collapse is not a singular event, but a process. It is a symphony of doom, composed of a series of exponentially more powerful crescendos. If the past four years since the implosion of the derivatives bubble have proven anything, it is that catastrophe has the ability to drown a nation slowly like a river of molasses, rather than sweep it away like a flash flood. That said, almost every recorded collapse of modern societies in the past century has been preceded by a primary trigger event; a moment in which the mathematical certainty of failure becomes clear, even if the psychological certainty is muddled.
In 2012, we still await that trigger event, which I believe will be the announcement of QE3 (or any unlimited stimulus program regardless of title), and the final debasement of the dollar. At the beginning of this year, I pointed out that we were likely to see such an announcement before 2012 was out, and it would seem that the private Federal Reserve is right on track.
Last month, the Fed announced that it was formulating a plan to “expand its tool kit”. This includes an openly admitted possibility of a third round of quantitative easing starting as early as September:
This timeline appears to coincide perfectly with the breakdown of the EU, which may also see a climax event in September. In that month, EU policymakers will return from summer holiday. German courts will make a ruling which could put an end to any chance that the country will support a eurozone rescue fund. The Dutch, which are anti-bailout, will vote in elections. Greece will be attempting to renegotiate its financial lifeline. And, the ECB will have to assess the impending chaos in Spain and Italy:
As far as the Fed’s ability to remedy the fiscal situation goes, let’s clear something up right here; the Fed has NO TOOLKIT. Sorry, but central banks have only two options when attempting to shift the tide of the economy: They can lower interest rates to zero, and, they can print-print-print. That is it. We’ve had TARP, numerous bailouts, QE1 and QE2, Operation Twist, and interests rates have been kept near zero for years! These so called solutions have been strapped like millstones around our necks and absolutely nothing has been accomplished since 2008.
Real unemployment still stands at over 20%. The housing crisis remains an unstoppable juggernaut. Europe is on the verge of meltdown (despite the trillions in American taxpayer dollars handed to EU banks). The national debt continues to grow at a pace far beyond what the Obama Administration and mainstream economists (who should have been fired long ago) predicted in 2010. There are no secret magic tricks up the sleeve of Ben Bernanke. Even if the Fed actually wanted to save our financial system, and our currency (which they don’t), there is nothing they can do except make the situation worse. Central banks are perhaps the most useless institutions ever devised, unless, of course, their true purpose is to diminish the financial health of a country and siphon away its economic sovereignty…
Enter the death of the dollar.
The IMF has been consistently calling for the end of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency, and for its replacement by the SDR (Special Drawing Rights):
The new president of France, Francois Hollande, has recommended the expulsion of the dollar as the go-to reserve, a deeper relationship between France and the BRIC nations:
China has been demanding an end to dollar primacy for years:
And so has Russia…
And so has the UN…
It’s not as if it’s a big secret that the dollar is on everyone’s hit list. Until recently, alternative economists could only point out circumstantial evidence that this sentiment was a product of collusion between the world’s central banks and elements of various governments. Suggesting that China, Russia, the UN, the IMF, and the Federal Reserve were working in tandem to devalue the dollar and replace it with a global currency has always elicited at least a few jeers and the ever present standby catch-all accusation of “conspiracy theory”. However, the times they are a’ changen’…
With the exposure of the Libor Scandal, we now have definitive proof and even open confessions from international banks, the Federal Reserve, and the Treasury, admitting that the true debt problems of major institutions have been hidden, deliberately, in tandem with multiple agencies in multiple countries, from the general public, with the full knowledge of numerous governments. The most vital and shocking element of the Libor Scandal is that it shows, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that there is indeed a conspiracy which has melded the corporate world and the political world into a single ominous creature.
The collusion has become so brazen, central banks around the globe now institute policy initiatives within the same hour of each other:
Years back, I wrote an article about the most important signs to watch for when facing a heightened state of collapse. One of those signs was the advent of openly admitted corruption on the part of the banks. When criminals become absolutely transparent and nonchalant about their criminality, it is usually because they no longer fear the threat of justice or reprisal. This is exactly the atmosphere we have in 2012. But, what could possibly have made the banksters so confident that they are willing to flaunt their racket to the world? I can only surmise that an event is on the horizon. One so distracting that the hucksters believe we will forget all about them.
Looking at it from another perspective; if I was a globalist hell bent on undercutting the dollar as the world reserve and replacing it with a centralized standard while turning the U.S. into a third world pit in the process, I would probably pull the plug soon. Here are some reasons why:
Drought Crisis Provides Inflationary Cover
The drought which has struck half of the U.S. agricultural centers and which has also hit Russian production is the perfect cover event for dollar devaluation. The full view of crop production and yields will be revealed this autumn, and according to the mainstream, the numbers will be dismal. Maybe they will be, maybe they won’t, but the likelihood of inflation in food prices all over the planet is high. If the Fed announces QE3 and sets an implosion of the dollar in motion, the price spikes this will cause in commodities, especially grains and other foodstuffs, can be easily blamed on drought, rather than the destruction of the greenback. At least for a time.
Syria And Iran Theater
If the UN pulls observers from Syria, expect an attack by either the U.S., Israel, or both is on the way. Expect Russia to be quite unhappy. Expect China to respond with financial warfare. Expect Iran to fulfill its mutual defense pact with Syria and come to their aid. Expect hard core catastrophe. I have been warning about Syria as a catalyst for global crisis for quite some time. Long before anyone ever heard the name “Assad”:
Every time I catch a glimpse of the MSM, whether it be MSNBC, CNN, or FOX, they are all spewing the same rhetoric: The U.S. should have invaded Syria months ago. It would seem that the American people are being psychologically prepped for a new war, but in reality, they are being prepped to be distracted from the banking sector’s primacy in the economic calamity that is about to unfold.
European Seesaw Of Destruction
With the EU in shambles, and only getting worse, the ECB has been attempting to work around the rules of its own charter which forbid the infusion of capital directly into governments. The latest weapon in the fight against the financial stupidity of EU member countries? European stimulus! That’s right folks, the U.S. is not the only country that will be raping its own currency this year! Be sure to catch the euro-sized version of QE:
I believe, in keeping with the collusion central banks have already shown, that the Federal Reserve and the ECB will announce new stimulus measures very close to each other, if not in tandem. The continued devaluation of the Euro will help to hide the effect of the falling dollar as the two currencies seesaw back and forth, allowing for a delayed reaction from the public as well as investment markets. Investors looking for a safe haven currency will be scrambling in confusion.
Stocks Ready To Bust
Finally, it is very likely that the Fed will wait for markets to dive in the wake of faltering demand for goods and raw materials in all major economies, as well as declines in manufacturing. As I have said in the past, the Fed wants us to beg for QE3. The only reason this decline has not occurred yet is because investors that are still participating are salivating for new stimulus and expect it shower them with riches soon. So, to put this in perspective, the Dow is above 13,000 right now because investors have already priced in a QE package not just in the U.S., but in the EU as well. If they do not get it fast, they will pull out, and stocks will plummet. The market addiction to fiat injection is so pervasive now, I cannot imagine how they would react if the pipeline was cut off. It would probably induce a fiscal bloodbath.
What Will Collapse Really Be Like?
I expect the event will be spectacular in some ways, but subdued and subversive in many other ways. Triggers may be swift and startling, but the reactions of the populace slow, uncertain, and presumptive. There will be fissures in our foundation, but the complete extent of the danger may take a few more years to become evident. While the public continues to maintain its fixation on some Mad Max nightmare scenario, the real collapse will be taking place right under their noses in the form of 25%-50% increases in food and fuel, tightened job availability with pensions swallowed by austerity, food lines hidden by food stamps until the government finally defaults and pulls the rug out from under entitlement programs, etc. For a time, it will look and feel like a slightly darker version of today, and not the cinematic melodrama that we have come to envision. The worst of times that we often find extolled in the pages of history books come at the cost of years of almost equal disparity, and usually, the lead up is far more difficult to handle than the finale…
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