Global Maelstrom Coming Our Way

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My ol’ friend Sol wrote this. It’s well worth your read. Buckle up the seat belts. Major storms ahead.
~Eowyn

Many-Faceted Maelstrom

By Sol Sanders – Washington Times – May 10, 2010 
If you were taking a trip to Mars last week, you may not have noticed a record-breaking New York Stock market “bounce”. In microcosm it reflected the growing combination of crises around the world brought on by galloping technology and some of the oldest tribal issues in human society.
When a trader mistakenly pushed off instead of on, it unleashed the pent-up nervousness. For whether they acknowledge it or not, the stock market players know they are sitting on dozens of powder kegs simultaneously. Any one could blow and if and when it did, it would not only ignite predictable disasters but also set up vast unanticipated consequences. Luckily, this time it was only a rehearsal for what could come at any moment.
The possibilities are endless, as they always are in human affairs. But instantaneous communications [or persuading ourselves that we are in full command as with the late financial derivatives catastrophe] leads to super-hubris the world hasn’t known since Alexander. All the computers [and additional financial regulatory legislation] in the world can no more beat back the business cycle than the Viking King Canute could turn back the tides. That is why around the world a series of potential crises have unnerved those who have to deal with financial prospects.
On the Continent, politicians are finding out what was always self-evident: the Greece spendthrifts are not only threatening [along with Spain, Portugal and Ireland in their wake] the Euro but the whole idea of “the European project”. That is, the hope that after two civil wars that almost destroyed their civilization – replete with destruction of one of their cultural artifacts, the Jews – Europeans could construct a single state based on economic integration. Furthermore, a soft pillow rather than a safety net [retirement at 53!], “population control”, and imported cheap labor that refuses to assimilate, is bending traditional values to the breaking point. In Britain, where the European malaise is reflected, hosannas about having stayed out of the Euro won’t be much help with a “hung parliament” after an election without political substance. Whitehall and The City are unlikely to be able in the near future to meet the same challenges facing the southern tier of the EC without a major revolution in thinking. But Thatcherism is ancient history.
In the economic powerhouse which East Asia has been for most of the post-World War II era – first Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, and more recently Mainland China – things are equally rocky. More observers believe the jerry-built Chinese export machine can not carry the ball in a country that has neglected its overwhelming population in rural areas. Beijing may hold unprecedented quantities of American paper debt  – being devalued by the hour – but unless the U.S. consumer society [and the EU and Japan] recovers more quickly than most observers believe possible, China is itself debt-bound and facing disaster. One-party authoritarianism cannot deliver the kind of turnaround needed to meet the growing dissidence over widening income disparities and corruption that has again enshrined that old Chinese slogan, “the emperor’s writ stops at the village gate”.
Tokyo, still running on what remains of “Japan, Inc.” – the world’s most astute bureaucrats who had outlived their time in a globalized world economy – is paralyzed by the worst leadership since Hiroshima. The failure of Western political party structures to take hold – the new democracy was created by bureaucratic fiat, first Gen. Douglas MacArthur and later by Finance Minister bureaucrats playing politician – has foundered. Again, demographics are dictating disaster with a population dwindling faster than elsewhere, with fewer and fewer young people willing to maximize a technological treasure house. Among many problems is what to do about an increasingly menacing China and North Korea with Big Brother Washington tied down with two undecided wars in the Middle East.
But a Chinese implosion would not help. It would, in fact, threaten its neighbors –who have learned to compensate partially for their own failures by shipping high value components to assembly bases in China for reexportation to third markets. A downturn in commodity purchases brought on by any drop in recent Chinese drunken sailor worldwide purchases, already hinted at by the markets, will puncture everyone’s balloon. That’s from Australia, living relatively high on Chinese purchases and investment in its primary industries, to Russia with its high-priced energy deliveries to world markets. [In the instance another learned thesis on socialism by Canberra’s Prime Minister Kevin Rudd won’t help.] A recent public admission by the high command of the Kremlin’s failure to reform its military since the Soviet implosion, in part the result of a demographic catastrophe with lowering male longevity, shows just how much bluff Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s helter-skelter politics are. Lower energy prices might benefit the American economy, but they will create havoc in the Persian Gulf where more “Dubais” are waiting to happen.
A nervous Wall St.? You can bet your bottom dollar – they are.
Sol Sanders, veteran foreign correspondent and analyst, writes weekly on the convergence of international politics and business-economics. solsanders@cox.net

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0 responses to “Global Maelstrom Coming Our Way

  1. Good article–I’m not sure I believe in a blanket collapse but it is possible. If Europe goes so goes the rest of the world is an attitude of many, but like I said–I’m not sure I truly believe it. My one son believes in a peaceful solution to all the world’s woes. I believe in one big nuke and start over with two thirds of the world gone. Economic disaster??? but of course but We’re America…we will recover and we will survive.

     
  2. Yep, I think the world has about spent itself into financial oblivion.
    It’s going to be one hell of a war.
    -Dave

     

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