If you think for a moment the present crisis is just another business cycle, a phase we must go through, think again.
• 533,000 jobs lost in the month of November alone while the figures for December are no less promising
• The recent string of bank failures and the resulting credit crunch
• Industrial giants like Ford and General Motors on the verge of bankruptcies and government’s frantic attempts at rescue
• Unprecedented daily swings in the Dow Jones and other market indicators
• The plummeting of oil futures and the corresponding drop of prices at the pump
• Reports of labor unrest in conjunction with business closures (such as of Republic Windows and Doors in North Side Chicago)
• The folding of such icons of the publishing world as the Chicago Tribune
• The rise of modern-day piracy
This bullet list is nowhere near complete; and I’m certain you could modify it at will, as almost daily we’re being treated to tidbits of news and information that only yesterday would have made our heads spin. One thing, however, is beyond dispute: the situation we’re facing defies all comparisons. Even the Great Depression of 1929 was, relatively speaking, a local phenomenon. The present crisis is global in every conceivable dimension because of worldwide trade-agreements, the interconnectedness of the markets, and geopolitics. To my thinking, it signifies nothing less than a general loss of confidence in the West and its bankrupt economic policies. For better or worse, raw capitalism, rampant and unchecked, has hijacked the institutions of liberal democracy; and the entire world is falling apart at the seams.
I’ve long since stopped listening to conservative talk-show hosts for a variety of reasons, but occasionally a sound byte can’t escape me. Glenn Beck had it right the other day when he said:
"Unlike the contestant in More-On Trivia that couldn't find the downside of printing money, there is always a price to be paid. The dot-com bubble burst. We cured it with a housing bubble. It burst. We're curing that with a money bubble. It's the last bubble. When this one bursts, there ain't anything left because our money will be worthless. Indeed, once the “money bubble” is burst, there’ll be no place to hide!"
In her Solari blog, Catherine Austin Fitts writes: "People often ask whether I am concerned about inflation, deflation, peak oil, or a global financial meltdown . . . . [But] the risk scenario I weight most heavily is not listed above. I call it the “Slow Burn.” She then goes on to explain what she means by “Slow Burn”:
"The “slow burn” is a political culture and economy managed through principles of economic warfare in which insiders systematically protect themselves and centralize control and ownership of resources by using:
• Central banks
• Currency and lending systems
• Regulatory and enforcement policies
• Controlled media and entertainment