Friday, March 20, 2009

The beginning of the end?

Terence Corcoran wonders whether we’re witnessing the beginning of the end of America:
Helicopter Ben Bernanke's Federal Reserve is dropping trillions of fresh paper dollars on the world economy, the President of the United States is cracking jokes on late-night comedy shows, his energy minister is threatening a trade war over carbon emissions, his treasury secretary is dithering over a banking reform program amid rising concerns over his competence and a monumentally dysfunctional U. S. Congress is launching another public jihad against corporations and bankers.
Peter Foster’s take on Obama’s Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, and his climate protectionism:
Like so many of President Obama’s other choices for his cabinet, Mr. Chu is turning out to be a disaster, both for his quasi-religious belief in global warming pseudo-science and for his Do-It-Yourself economics. Meanwhile he doesn’t seem to know much about energy beyond his own research cul-de-sac of solar, wind and biofuels.
And Mark Steyn on the implications of Congress taxing back those AIG bonuses:
I mean, it is a ludicrous, piffling, trivial matter with huge implications, which is to say that these Senators and Congressmen who are effectively demanding these bonuses be returned, and have passed what is, I regard, as an unconstitutional bill of attainder, they are making it less likely that we will ever recover a normal business environment, because they’re saying effectively that America is now a banana republic, that we’re a land where contract means nothing, even if the contract clause is one that Dodd and these other buffoons have specifically voted for just a couple of weeks ago.
It certainly seems like Obama and his people are driving America in the wrong direction. Let’s hope not because if so, so goes the rest of the world.


Halfwise said...

I agree with your concern, that as the US goes, so goes the world, at least the world as we experience it.

Still, a systemic collapse seems inevitable, with the USD losing all credibility and its reserve status, and tax burdens in the US becoming punitive as government programs at every level wither for lack of funds.

Preparing for this crash will require some imagination, since we may have to figure out what a Canadian economy would be like without the US as a major market. Does the C$ drop so that Ontario and Quebec manufacturers still have some form of competitiveness in the diminished US market? Or does the C$ reflect its new value in the world as a currency backed by real commodities: food, oil and metals?

Cash in your greenbacks, gents. There will never be a time when they can buy more loonies than right now.

Between bankers' and investors' perfidy and government incompetence, I see no way for the US to come back until some form of uprising.

JR said...

It's all very worrysome, Halfwise. And you've posed some more potential problems most of us haven't considered. What to do? Is there anywhere to hide?

Halfwise said...

You can buy gold, but it is priced in US $ and we hold C $, so right now it is not a bargain north of the border compared to its appeal in the US. You can lock in long term debt at low interest rates figuring you can pay it back with diminished dollars. You can figure out how to be less reliant on things you are used to, and more self-reliant instead. You can find some cheap land somewhere with that borrowed money, that you could grow something on. Then, breathe, and keep living more or less normally, hoping I am wrong.

JR said...

I like your last suggestion.