Sunday, 1 January 2012

Countdown to Catastrophe?

Well, the clock has counted in 2012 and I just wonder whether it will mark a new era in Western Civilisation.

In my post about recession I blogged about the UK cutting its cloth according to its ranking in the world, but the same goes for the rest of the highly indebted western countries.

I've actually been impressed by how persuasive our political elite have been in conning investors into conning the public that all is rosy even when its most patently not. I thought the whole house of cards would collapse many months ago. I've been predicting it for the past couple of years and somehow the politicians are able to keep extending their credit, more than likely by raising mandatory retirement ages and therefore making us more productive over our lifetimes and therefore able to secure more capital against our future value (just how close does that come to the definition of slavery I wonder?). However in 2011 the cracks started to show, as we saw politicians lose their jobs, as their economies outstripped the cash cows they could milk. Possibly a trend that will continue for 2012.

But just how much longer can the political elite do the smoke and mirrors act and fool investors that all is rosy, when it most obviously isn't? You see, the West is no longer the powerhouse it once was: that mantle has passed to the second and third world countries, who have not exhausted their natural resources or have huge numbers of cheap labour.

The Euro is faltering mainly because it was a flawed political project rather than a sound financial one, but its also faltering because of uncertainty as to whether the richer European countries can afford to keep it running.

The thing is, what happens when eventually the elite lose their grip and we slide into the abyss? Will the German public blame their politicians or the lazy Greeks for the decimation of their economy and will they demand reparation? Will the Chinese sit idly by as their labour costs rise, making them uncompetitive and India starts to utilise its cheap labour force to overtake them? Will the Chinese retaliate by putting the price up of the rare mineral resources they've been buying up around the world? Will the American public stay quiet as they realise China has bought all the rights to the rare minerals required to produce cheap electronic goods and started to increase prices to anyone but Chinese companies?

In past global conflicts, the English-speaking world has been the bastion of stability, prevailing through two world wars. I'm pretty sure this time around we have neither the resources nor the will to win that we once had. Did I say global conflict? Well, global politicians have been deluding themselves and the public for so long, the consequences have now outstripped mere local issues.

Its interesting that the safest place globally would seem to be South America, as their various bankruptcies have already done the bulk of financial realignment for those countries, plus their various mineral resources are starting to come into play.

Our leaders are too busy attempting to prop up the past rather than planning for the future, making any realignment of power all the more drastic and dangerous.

At some point over the next couple of days I'll review my predictions for 2011, see how I did and make some  new ones for 2012.

Happy New Year Everyone.

2 comments:

  1. you paint a plausible but terrifying picture ,globalisation means the world economy acts like a perfect market i.e cheap labour third world etc, are we moving eventually from petrodollar to petro yen ? will euro implode ? heres hoping getting to next year in one piece

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  2. Depression brings with it tensions which will surface eventually. By forestalling the inevitable our governments are just racking up those tensions.

    Some countries are gaining money, some are losing it and again human nature says the have-nots envy the haves.

    The thing is if we had a recession back in the early naughties when it should have happened, it would have been a little blip. The fact that everyone carried on as if the money would never run out by borrowing more and more means that blip grew into the insurmountable mountain of debt we have today.

    The crash, if it happens quickly will be horrific.

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