Jim Rickards Compares The Collapse Of The Roman Empire To The US, Concludes That We Are Far Worse Off

Tyler Durden's picture

In the latest two-part interview with Jim Rickards by Eric King, the former LTCM General Counsel goes on a lengthy compare and contrast between the Roman Empire (and especially the critical part where it collapses) and the U.S. in it current form. And while we say contrast, there are few actual contrasts to observe: alas, the similarities are just far too many, starting with the debasement of the currencies, whereby Rome's silver dinarius started out pure and eventually barely had a 5% content, and the ever increasing taxation of the population, and especially the most productive segment - the farmers, by the emperors, to the point where the downfall of empire was actually greeted by the bulk of the people as the barbarians were welcomed at the gate with open arms. The one key difference highlighted by Rickards: that Rome was not as indebted to the gills as is the US. Accordingly, the US is in fact in a far worse shape than Rome, as the ever increasing cost of funding the debt can only come from further currency debasement, which in turn merely stimulates greater taxation, and more printing of debt, accelerating the downward loop of social disintegration. Furthermore, Rickards points out that unlike the Romans, we are way beyond the point of diminishing marginal utility, and the amount of money that must be printed, borrowed, taxed and spent for marginal improvements in the way of life, from a sociological standpoint, is exponentially greater than those during Roman times. As such, once the collapse begins it will feed on itself until America is no more. Rickards believes that this particular moment may not be too far off...

In this context, Rickards presumes, it is not at all surprising that both individual Americans and domestic corporations have set off on a massive deleveraging and cash conservation wave: the subliminal sense that something very bad is coming, is becoming more palpable with each passing day. The bottom line is that the Fed, just as our founding fathers had warned, could very well end up being the catalyst to the downfall of American society as it cannibalizes all productive output and transfers the wealth to the oligarchy, while paying for this transfer in the form of unrepayable indebtedness. Ostensibly, had the army of Ancient Rome agreed to be paid in paper instead of (even diluted) precious metals, thus creating the first central bank in history, the collapse of that particular overstretched empire would have been far quicker. On the other hand, it would have prevented the disaster of Central banking in its current form, as civilization would have learned about its evils far sooner. Alas, that did not happened, and it now befalls upon the current generation to realize just how much of a destructive influence central banking truly is. If Jim Rickards is correct, however, the realization will be America's last, just before US society disintegrates.

Must hear two part interview can be found here:

Part 1

Part 2