Saturday, March 07, 2009

The worst case scenario for the meltdown

I don't necessarily buy all the particulars, but if you want a distilled expression of the terror felt by people who spend their time thinking about the global financial crisis, here is a succinct summary of how dire the situation is, and what we potentially face in terms of second-order political and social impacts:
It is high time for the general population and socio-political players to get ready to face very hard times during which whole segments of our societies will be modified, temporarily disappear or even permanently vanish. For instance, the breakdown of the global monetary system we anticipated for summer 2009 will indeed entail the collapse of the US dollar (and all USD-denominated assets), but it will also induce, out of psychological contagion, a general loss of confidence in paper money altogether (these consequences give rise to a number of recommendations in this issue of the GEAB). 

Last but not least, our team now estimates that the most monolithic, the most "imperialistic" political entities will suffer the most from this fifth phase of the crisis. Some states will indeed experience a strategic dislocation undermining their territorial integrity and their influence worldwide. As a consequence, other states will suddenly lose their protected situations and be thrust into regional chaos.
This is couched as a prediction, rather than as a possible scenario, and as such I am not convinced. With that said, the case for the realism of this scenario is well made.

And just to be clear, when the authors talk about "imperialist political entities" being likely to suffer the most, they're talking about the United States. Even the NIC hasn't had the temerity to say this directly.

Dmitry Orlov looks more prescient by the day.

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