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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


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Wed, 07/28/2010 - 18:28 | 493066 Übermensch
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Collapse of complex societies - Joseph Tainter

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 18:45 | 493097 themosmitsos
themosmitsos's picture

Foremost, this analysis is insulting to the Roman Empire in the most basic way ... they were the pre-eminent global power for hunderds (2-3-4-5 depending on how/when you count) of years, while we've barely lasted 20 (our age of dominance begins with the collapse of the USSR).

Plus they had better orgies.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 19:01 | 493119 Übermensch
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How did you get past the CAPTCHA question?

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 20:44 | 493291 Oracle of Kypseli
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He is actually the one that programs them. He makes them easy for you.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 21:08 | 493319 Bartanist
Bartanist's picture

I like when it returns an error saying that only two characters are allowed, but the answer requires 3 characters because of the sign and then it accepts the answer anyway.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 21:57 | 493388 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture


Thu, 07/29/2010 - 00:53 | 493566 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Yeah, happens to me all the time too.  That's OK, the Bearing has it wired.  Bearings are, you know, very simple machines...

Thu, 07/29/2010 - 01:24 | 493587 DollarMenu
DollarMenu's picture

Why does your posting of a simple fact of Captcha operations

garner 5 (at this writing) junks?

Thu, 07/29/2010 - 00:57 | 493568 DoChenRollingBearing
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+ bastante Oracle!

Quienes son los maricones que te junkean?

Thu, 07/29/2010 - 01:35 | 493599 Oracle of Kypseli
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No importa roller, tengo suficiente "amour propre", en este blog surfeando muchos egotistas y calle-wall mariposas.

Muchicimas gracias roller. Nos vemos en Miraflores. 

Wed, 08/04/2010 - 22:49 | 503883 themosmitsos
themosmitsos's picture

Hmmmm, σοβαρα κουκλιτσα μου; Puriatzu-san girle. Mariposa ;)

Ακους εκει Δελφι της Κυψελης!!! χαχαχαχαχα :)

Kαι με υπερασπιστηκες κιολας. Θανξ :)

Wed, 08/04/2010 - 22:50 | 503887 themosmitsos
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Hmmmm, σοβαρα κουκλιτσα μου; Puriatzu-san girle. Mariposa ;)

Ακους εκει Δελφι της Κυψελης!!! χαχαχαχαχα :)

Kαι με υπερασπιστηκες κιολας. Θανξ :)

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 19:24 | 493175 laughnow
laughnow's picture

Youre spot on here.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 20:45 | 493295 B9K9
B9K9's picture

I'm hedged either way. If the US collapses, then I have identified certain select states that will most likely perform extremely well as either stand-alone entities or as members of a new federation.

If the US somehow manages to hold itself together, then that will simply mean the Fed  was able to successfully blow another bubble. (Due in no small part to the military's ability to continue controlling key strategic commodities that provide important relevance to the those little green pieces of paper aka FRNs.) In this situation, regardless of the specific asset class, securitization will provide a windfall for those in-the-know.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 21:02 | 493311 Oracle of Kypseli
Oracle of Kypseli's picture

Fair thinkng B9K9, what I really want to see is a guy like General McCrystal sniff the come to Jesus moment, and just before have a military takeover and enforce the F******g law. Dismantle the corrupt insitutions, restore the republic and get out.

That is the least paifull scenario and the most satisfying for the people. Imagine 500 Ceaucescu hunging from the trees.

I read that revenge is sweet indeed. Maybe it was Clint Eastwood

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 23:50 | 493531 Brutlstrudl
Brutlstrudl's picture

Guys like McCrystal never get out and they never stop at 500. Clint Eastwood never said that but he made a lot of movies that made you feel that way.


Thu, 07/29/2010 - 00:14 | 493548 Lux Fiat
Lux Fiat's picture

I am only aware of one case where the scenario you envision worked out well - Cincinnatus.  Given human nature, and the rest of history, you are hoping on extremely long odds.  Any good trader knows that you do your best to stack the odds in your favor, or you court disaster "on a long enough timeline".

Our system allows voters to figuratively hang the politicians...out to dry, if enough can clue in and find their way to their polling stations, and elect true representatives.  The problem, in large part, is one of citizen awareness. 

Thu, 07/29/2010 - 01:44 | 493609 nuinut
nuinut's picture

the man that seeks revenge digs two graves

Thu, 07/29/2010 - 04:54 | 493697 boiow
boiow's picture

too true.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 21:09 | 493324 Bartanist
Bartanist's picture

Have you taken into consideration a shift in the earth's pole and a change in the resultant weather patterns and growing season?

Hopi say it is coming.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 21:28 | 493345 woolly mammoth
woolly mammoth's picture

A Pole Shift ain't nothin. Now a sudden shift in the earths crust, well, that's the one that will ruin your day. Those Mammoths in Siberia didn't flash freeze from some pole moving around.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 22:00 | 493395 New_Meat
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algore was talking to the PO'lice in SF, so has no comment on the matter - Ned

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 22:31 | 493438 Bananamerican
Bananamerican's picture

"Hopi say it is coming"

Changey say it aint

Thu, 07/29/2010 - 01:09 | 493578 Cammy Le Flage
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Wordy Up.  Yes it is.  Just listen to Tribe Called Quest - electric relaxation.  relax ya self.

Thu, 07/29/2010 - 01:26 | 493588 Pimp Juice
Pimp Juice's picture

Banana, that's some funny shit.

Thu, 07/29/2010 - 01:30 | 493596 MayIMommaDogFac...
MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture


Wed, 07/28/2010 - 21:17 | 493330 economicmorphine
economicmorphine's picture

What makes you think the states you have identified would let you in?  Naive, my friend.  Very naive.  

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 21:46 | 493369 Rebel
Rebel's picture

Excellent point . . . which is why I moved already. Sold everything, and got the heck out of Silicon Valley. I am settled in, and have been accepted by the natives.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 22:08 | 493409 kalasend
kalasend's picture

What happened to Silicon Valley? Ain't it gonna be the last cylinder left working in the engine?

At least that's what everybody says....

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 22:14 | 493416 Rebel
Rebel's picture

Silicon Valley is full of brilliant minds, and motivated and hard workers. The thing is, though, they have utterly no skills in any scenario other than continued VC funding, new startups, and quick IPO's/buyouts. If things go bad slowly, Silicon Valley will still have good people with good ideas, and will continue to innovate. If things go bad quickly, as in a snap type crisis, Silicon Valley is one of the last places you would want to be. I left in 2006. Perhaps I was a little early, but felt I wanted to get my family to a rural area in the heartland.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 22:33 | 493441 Bananamerican
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"Ahh Michigan"

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 22:37 | 493453 Rebel
Rebel's picture

No, I did not fall for those ads.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 23:04 | 493494 AssFire
AssFire's picture

I hope not Texas, we don't want your type here.

Thu, 07/29/2010 - 06:50 | 493760 Rebel
Rebel's picture


I must have made you mad in a previous post somewhere. Yes, moved to Texas, to a little redneck town of about 300 people. I use the term "redneck" with great affection and admiration. I grew up in Texas, so consider myself native. I am assuming I did something specific to offend you, as I have always found Texans to be very welcoming and hospitable.

Thu, 07/29/2010 - 08:27 | 493823 grunion
grunion's picture

Burton, Texas. Right?

Thu, 07/29/2010 - 08:34 | 493828 Rebel
Rebel's picture

No . . . probably a nice place, but not the place I selected.


Wed, 07/28/2010 - 23:37 | 493516 Bringin It
Bringin It's picture

I tried to drive out of Silicon Valley one 4th of July weekend back in the late 90's and saw that it was impossible in every direction.  For a place where all food and water have to be imported and full of demanding, avaricious people, I found the experience of being trapped in with them all pretty shocking.

So far, locals seem to be pretty sanguine regarding the $20B budget shortfall in CA.  The stte controller says the state will run out of money in October if nothing is done by then.  Solutions are especially hard to come by now, as everything remotely painless has already been done.

If you want to follow along, this is a good site as they have to keep their audience of state workers somewhat informed.

Thu, 07/29/2010 - 07:45 | 493762 Rebel
Rebel's picture

I keep in touch with my Silicon Valley friends. They appear to be optimistic that things will get better, and back to "normal". They are very analytic people, so when I start talking about facts and data, they get agitated, in that it starts creating a sense of Cognitive Dissidents . . . their beliefs are not supported by the facts they can see. So, they change the topic.

Thu, 07/29/2010 - 00:29 | 493555 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Hey Rebel,

I left the Valley in 2006 too. Was resident there from 1999. Saw the boom (and how) and rode out the bust too. I agree.

It will collapse fast. There is a very monochromatic sense to life there. As described by you.

I'm back in India, so obviously accepted by the natives! :-) But not easy being here, watching India being through the grinder of globalization.

Glad to hear you found your way to peace.


Thu, 07/29/2010 - 04:04 | 493679 kalasend
kalasend's picture

I don't digest...Unless you're talking about moving out of the country, Silicon Valley is still the place for the properly skilled. I mean, tell me another place INSIDE THE USA where you can find comparable level of income and living environment. 

Also, where in the USA do we still export products/services that make sense (if it is exporting something at all) and has a future?

For the budget shortfall...well I've long ago given up hope for any reasonable return of the tax money I paid. And you get taxed federally wherever you go.

I understand that financially this state and this country isn't looking good. But I don't see end of the world either. 

Thu, 07/29/2010 - 07:01 | 493764 Rebel
Rebel's picture

Silicon Valley has certainly been a hotbed of opportunity. A person with an idea, and willing to work hard is given a chance to make it big. I will grant you all that. I found the living experience there to not be good however. High standard of living, with a low quality of life. Everything is very sterile, and it is sort of a "plastic" lifestyle. Every person has different tastes, but I find the rural lifestyle very good . . . lower standard of living, higher quality of life.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 22:23 | 493423 russki standart
russki standart's picture

Unless you have a bug out back and a place to retreat with ample food, water and ammunition, you are only financially hedged. Could it happen? Not likely, but then Barton Biggs recommends buying a farm as a way of hedging risk.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 20:00 | 493239 russki standart
russki standart's picture

Hmmm, ever spend time at a private Vegas pool party?

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 20:46 | 493297 Oracle of Kypseli
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Many things in Vegas stay in Vegas, but if you partake in one of these private pool parties the clap will follow you everywhere. 

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 21:51 | 493378 Rebel
Rebel's picture

That is funny . . . you are clever.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 22:25 | 493430 russki standart
russki standart's picture

Oracle, you are correct. I remember visiting Vegas in 1982 and my friend indulged himself with a professional. During our trip home, I heard him whimpering whilst urinating. I asked him: Was it worth it? He replied, At the time yes, now NO.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 21:50 | 493376 TJW
TJW's picture

"Plus they had better orgies."

Speak for yourself.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 22:25 | 493431 Bananamerican
Bananamerican's picture

"the downfall of empire was actually greeted by the bulk of the people as the barbarians were welcomed at the gate with open arms"

and i, for one, welcome our new Mexican overlords...

Thu, 07/29/2010 - 00:39 | 493560 Lux Fiat
Lux Fiat's picture

???  Mexico is far more screwed up than the US.  I've had the pleasure of traveling to and living in some parts of the "non-Western" world.  Yes, the US has severe problems and a populace where many seem amazingly oblivious to the very real potential for changes that could wrench their world.  But for all of our problems, we are in better shape than many other parts of the world.  Horrified at times as I am over the apparent path we are currently taking, I temper my perceptions of the present with those of the past.

And, ahem,..."Remember the Alamo!"

Thu, 07/29/2010 - 01:26 | 493589 MayIMommaDogFac...
MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture

Depends a lot on which orgies you get invited to.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 22:34 | 493445 caconhma
caconhma's picture

The only thing that still can save America is a military takeover. The problem: our military leaders are the products of our society, i.e., they are corrupt and very mediocre.

Thu, 07/29/2010 - 01:05 | 493575 aldousd
aldousd's picture

I don't think you can say that unless you're one of them. (military leaders) or one of our past military leaders who is him/herself not so.  Our military leaders are far removed from 'our society' during their time of service. they eat and breathe the chain of command and protocol.  If anything, we can hang their results on the resolve of their leaders (the executive administrations who ultimately tell them what direction to go in,) because they are, in military action (not necessarily in TV interviews) good at separating their own inclinations toward action from what the official orders are.

Thu, 07/29/2010 - 01:37 | 493601 mamba-mamba
mamba-mamba's picture

In my opinion, a military coup would cause an immediate all-out rebellion.

However, the top military in this country (USA) are well indoctrinated to the concept of civilian control of military force, and I don't think there would be a coup.

Thu, 07/29/2010 - 02:57 | 493654 AR15AU
AR15AU's picture

And what do military rulers do to rebellions? They put them down. LOL. And no, not a coup led by the joint chiefs of staff. How about a para-military coup.

Thu, 07/29/2010 - 10:55 | 494065 EternalVigilance
EternalVigilance's picture

Military big part of the problem.  The military industrial complex which Eisenhower warned about has come to past.  The industrial effort used to end WWII was one of the greatest accomplishment in this century.  The problem was once the war machine was created it was impossible to dismantle.  Korea, Viet Nam, "the war on terror" all with the same results started with the purpose of feeding the parasitic machine.  This country must break free from control of the corporate oligarchy before we collapse under a mountain of debt and bureauracy   

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 22:37 | 493451 DarkAgeAhead
DarkAgeAhead's picture

I think Tainter's dead on as far as his analysis of disintegrating complexity but off in other areas.

You might like Biophysical Economics, a theory developed by Charles Hall a professor SUNY ESF in New York.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 22:52 | 493476 MrSteve
MrSteve's picture

Long out of print, Sidney Homer's History of Interest Rates details the price of all documented loans- wheat, gold, etc from the time of the roman empire through to "modern times". Jared Diamond's Collapse studies the energy subsdy that all empires have used, from cedars in Lebanon to slaves in Rome and palm trees on Easter Island. The end of resource subsidy sinks empires, fiat money might only be pneumonia, not lung cancer for USA.

Thu, 07/29/2010 - 02:23 | 493637 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

That is a brilliant book, and to sum it up - the Roman, the Chacoan, and the Mayan empires ended, because there no longer were economic reasons for these to exist ("the marginal return on social investment declined").

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 18:29 | 493068 Econolingus
Econolingus's picture

"If Jim Rickards is correct, however, the realization will be America's last, just before US society disintegrates."

Like the fly that hits your windshield, the last thing to go through America's mind will be its asshole.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 19:01 | 493122 Stevm30
Stevm30's picture

Good one.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 21:33 | 493355 e_goldstein
e_goldstein's picture

bah ha ha ha ha

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 18:32 | 493072 Spitzer
Spitzer's picture

Anyone that cant see this bond bubble staring us right in the fucking face needs their head examined.

Rick Santelli gave today's 5 year auction a A+ and said the bid to cover was the best since 2006. I take that to mean....


Wed, 07/28/2010 - 19:09 | 493146 israhole
israhole's picture

The giant shell game, where criminals at the Treasury "sell" new issuance to criminals at the Fed, via the criminal investment banks.  I also believe it will vaporize in an instant, but the game continues until then.


Fake demand for worthless paper.  I suspect they're keeping it afloat just long enough to make laws forcing 401k's and pensions to own this shit. 

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 22:08 | 493408 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

Dude, don't "suspect".  We work with an Argentine organization--utterly professional and utterly BS at their situation. 

And here is the head cwm:

- Ned

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 18:34 | 493076 bayoutrader
bayoutrader's picture

So now what? Do the united states become countries a la Russia? Do we become a possession of China? What's next?

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 18:38 | 493087 svendthrift
svendthrift's picture

National and ethnic disaggregation.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 18:55 | 493111 Mercury
Mercury's picture


Thu, 07/29/2010 - 01:46 | 493611 MayIMommaDogFac...
MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture

National and ethnic disaggregation.

That rolls off the tongue so smoothly but makes me feel rather ill at the same time.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 19:12 | 493152 Max Hunter
Max Hunter's picture

I have one thing to say to any country that thinks they "own" the U.S. ;  Come and get it..

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 20:02 | 493242 russki standart
russki standart's picture

And why would they want it? If we end us as a Mad Max Society, it would be better to stand back and let us destroy ourselves first, and then pick off the choicest bits.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 21:50 | 493377 Rebel
Rebel's picture

I don't think it ends in a Mad Max scenario, at least not in all places. I think some states can step up and provide reasonable governance, and people move back to a simpler lifestyle. The question in my mind, is how far does the clock get reset too . . . 1960? 1860? 1760?

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 22:28 | 493434 russki standart
russki standart's picture

It would not surprise me, post collapse, if most of the assets purchased by banks via Federal Reserve Notes are forcibly taken back, given that most of the populace was defrauded in the first instance by a corrupt, illegal and criminal Federal Reserve banking racket.

Fri, 07/30/2010 - 11:19 | 496219 RichardENixon
RichardENixon's picture

I'm figuring the clock gets reset to about 10,000 B.C., but then I'm known around these parts as "Negative Nate."

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 21:57 | 493387 Max Hunter
Max Hunter's picture

There may be 'Mad Max' areas or moments.. But it won't be like the movie.. As negative as I feel about our society, I don't think it will get like that.

Ownership and Debt will mean little when the SHTF.. But.. There will be a resemblance of order.. for the most part..

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 22:30 | 493436 russki standart
russki standart's picture

As long as you own guns, and live within a like minded self sufficient community. Just spend some time in a third world shithole like Zambia and you will quickly find out how social order disappears. Better yet, read about Argentina, post 2002 collapse.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 22:30 | 493437 russki standart
russki standart's picture

As long as you own guns, and live within a like minded self sufficient community. Just spend some time in a third world shithole like Zambia and you will quickly find out how social order disappears. Better yet, read about Argentina, post 2002 collapse.

Fri, 07/30/2010 - 16:31 | 497019 DarkAgeAhead
DarkAgeAhead's picture

MadMax areas already exist.  That's the dark beauty of the future...there exist glimpses of it in the present.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 21:47 | 493370 Bringin It
Bringin It's picture

Max - re. Come and get it

The Israelis are way ahead of you bro.  Thy already came and took it.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 22:02 | 493397 Max Hunter
Max Hunter's picture

Yeah.. I'm with you bro.. They will fuck up though.  They always have.. We'll get it all back.. for a while.. again..

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 23:42 | 493522 Bringin It
Bringin It's picture

I certainly hope so.  I want to be helpful, but for now that looks like waiting to help pick up the pieces after the bust.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 20:01 | 493240 thesapein
thesapein's picture

Depends who owes whom gold, no? As long we only owe paper, we should default and become nation states. If we we owe gold, someone may come knocking.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 22:10 | 493411 Max Hunter
Max Hunter's picture

I have a 12ga Semi for just such occasions..

If the world thinks afghanistan has been a hard place to conquer, just send an invading army this way and see what happens..

Yamamoto was asked after the war; when it seemed you had the Americans defeated, why didn't you invade? His response; because there would be a gun behind every blade of grass.

They'd be better off chucking the shinny stuff up for a loss..

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 22:27 | 493433 thesapein
thesapein's picture

I doubt they would have to invade. Just sign some papers, that's all.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 23:10 | 493497 Max Hunter
Max Hunter's picture

If any country was stupid enough to make a deal with this country after JFK then fuck em. As far as i'm concerned, they are participants of the crime.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 23:38 | 493518 Budd Fox
Budd Fox's picture

Since Yamamoto was shot down and killed by P-38 Lightnings the 18th of April 1943, I am extremely curious to see that post war wisecracking interview.

You ignorant fascist moron....

Thu, 07/29/2010 - 00:58 | 493572 theopco
Thu, 07/29/2010 - 09:19 | 493884 zenmeister
zenmeister's picture


Thu, 07/29/2010 - 12:39 | 494302 Max Hunter
Max Hunter's picture

I do see now that the comment may not have been made..  It appears to be war time propaganda..

Doesn't make my point wrong.. You moron.. What's the difference?  Are you saying it's a good idea to invade the U.S.? you moron.

Can you actually make a point?  Or was it just your goal to shoot down a comment because you didn't like what I was saying.. Moron

Your ass misses your head.. Reunite them.. please.  After you deposit your shill payment from your asshole employers..


Thu, 07/29/2010 - 19:00 | 495212 Budd Fox
Budd Fox's picture

Au contraire, ignorant fascist moron was fully directed to the crapload of fascist antisemitic junk you keep spitting.

You ignorant fascist moron...

Thu, 07/29/2010 - 01:50 | 493614 mamba-mamba
mamba-mamba's picture

I have seen that quote many times, but it appears that no source has ever been found.

I think it is just an internet legend.

Check out the wikipedia entry for Yamamoto. He did say some interesting things in books and letters. Here is an example:

In the first six to twelve months of a war with the United States and Great Britain I will run wild and win victory upon victory. But then, if the war continues after that, I have no expectation of success.


Thu, 07/29/2010 - 05:33 | 493712 KevinB
KevinB's picture

Someone might have interviewed Yamamoto after WWII, but the conversation would have been one-sided. He was shot down and killed in 1943.

Thanks for playing, though.

Thu, 07/29/2010 - 08:39 | 493840 grunion
grunion's picture

Watch for when lethal man traps become legal...

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 20:56 | 493308 israhole
israhole's picture

Actually, this is it and nothing else.  Israel-firsters continue to run us into the ground unitl we're kaput.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 21:47 | 493368 Missing_Link
Missing_Link's picture

Right, because somehow all of America's fiscal woes are the result of an evil foreign conspiracy run by Israel!

Now I've heard everything.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 22:14 | 493398 Bringin It
Bringin It's picture

Missing Link - would you acknowledge that the relationship with Israel has played any part in America's imminent downfall?  How many billions of FRN's have we dumped on your friends?  How much of those billions have come back to buy Washington?  How many of your enemies have we embraced as our own?  How despised have we become in the rest of the world as a result? 

And finally, who runs America's money policies that are bleeding the country dry?  People complain about the leadership or lack there of in the country.  What ethnicity, with alligence to a foreign entity is represented out of all proportion in the media, banking, legal, and government leadership positions?

Your friends used to somewhat acknowledge this, but then talk about 'exceptionalism', like 'the Maestro'.  Remember the Maestro?  Looking back from where we are now, was he exceptional? or just reliably with the program to keep the juice flowing as a kind of novicaine response to anti-war sentiment?

And before you get your panties in a bunch, I'm not in any way critical of the average Joe who happens to be a Jew.  It's clear that many such people, unlike yourself are disturbed by what has transpired.

Thu, 07/29/2010 - 09:30 | 493897 lynnybee
lynnybee's picture

you should not have been junked so many times.   why is it that people can't handle the glaring truth ?     what is the common link amongst these people ?    Greenspan, Bernanke, Geitner, Rubin, Summers, Blankfein, Dimon, Barney Frank ?    seems obvious to me !  

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 23:00 | 493486 obelisks
obelisks's picture

Oh no not the old " foreign conspiracy " response again  ! Just ask who owns the Fed and by the way .......AUDIT THE FED NOW !!!

Thu, 07/29/2010 - 08:42 | 493845 grunion
grunion's picture

Somewhere in the FINREGs is a line exempting the FED from an audit.

Fri, 07/30/2010 - 23:19 | 497468 Bringin It
Bringin It's picture

Audit the Fed.  Amen to that.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 23:13 | 493503 Max Hunter
Max Hunter's picture

'Now I've heard everything.'

Actually, I'm guessing you haven't heard or read much about anything.. Just keep your head up your ass and your TV (Talmud Vision) up loud enough so you can still hear it.

Thu, 07/29/2010 - 09:05 | 493870 Mojo
Mojo's picture

Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling!
Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes...
The dead rising from the grave!
Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!

Thu, 07/29/2010 - 15:58 | 494804 KevinB
KevinB's picture

You, sir, have no dick.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 18:34 | 493079 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

Ahh but the end was so delightfully decadent......

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 18:35 | 493081 VK
VK's picture


Wed, 07/28/2010 - 18:51 | 493105 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

Orgies...oh my! 

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 22:34 | 493447 thesapein
thesapein's picture

And fights to the death for the entertainment of all!


Thu, 07/29/2010 - 01:03 | 493574 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Hey Thespian,

What do you think UFC on TV is all about? All the blood and guts, no gore.

It went from boxing, to WWF, to WWE, to UFC.

Same with Sitcoms. Same with the movies.

Blood and Sex, Blood and Sex, Blood and Sex.

Rome indeed. Modern style.


Thu, 07/29/2010 - 01:54 | 493618 MayIMommaDogFac...
MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture

...and the crowd screamed out for more.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 18:38 | 493085 RobotTrader
RobotTrader's picture

Sheesh, what's with all the doom and gloom?

Everyone keeps talking about some kind of economic collapse, yet it never happens.

In fact, the market is shucking off the absolute worst economic news of the decade.

Gold has been crushed since Rickards provided those lofty targets.

Why doesn't Eric King interview the CEO of Jones Lang LaSalle or Wyndham Worldwide?

These opulent hotels are attracting new patrons in droves.  Where is the Great Recession?

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 18:42 | 493093 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

All the new patrons are models and they are making a killing with their fathebook ad space.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 19:09 | 493143 Spitzer
Spitzer's picture

just another white western stun cunt.

Asian women deliver

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 21:58 | 493389 russki standart
russki standart's picture

And so do Latinas! Viva Colombia!!

Thu, 07/29/2010 - 01:57 | 493621 MayIMommaDogFac...
MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture

white western stun cunt

Like a Taser?

Thu, 07/29/2010 - 02:41 | 493645 Spitzer
Spitzer's picture

no just a bitch that thinks too highly of herself.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 18:53 | 493107 faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

Everyone keeps talking about some kind of economic collapse, yet it never happens.

LOL. Thanks for the laughs.

Oh wait - were you serious? LOL even more. I look forward to your post-collapse commentary.

"But, but, but...everything was fine, up until the end...nobody saw that's a picture of naked chicks..."

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 18:54 | 493110 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

Rich and powerful Romans only relocated to their villas in the South of France 

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 18:55 | 493112 lumen ex lumine
lumen ex lumine's picture

nice tits.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 19:02 | 493123 Übermensch
Übermensch's picture

RT, from your posts I'm guessing you have ADD.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 19:06 | 493136 Spitzer
Spitzer's picture

what the fuck kind of bullshit is that ?

Anyone with one ear into the gold market knows that July is the weakest month for gold. Time to load up.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 19:28 | 493138 THE DORK OF CORK
THE DORK OF CORK's picture

Robottrader - get your head out of those charts and start looking at the physical economy - resourse capital extraction has reached its peak and credit money was still going exponential until recently - that means there is not much time left.

No amount of efficiency will work because in a debt money system all surpluses are consumed to feed the debt monster.

Not to worry collapse is still some time away.

But of course to a trader a year is a eon and a decade eternity.

Thu, 07/29/2010 - 00:51 | 493564 Lux Fiat
Lux Fiat's picture

Robottrader - get your head out of those charts and start looking at the physical economy

Au contraire - I think that RT has been looking at the "physical economy" for quite some time. 

Thu, 07/29/2010 - 02:56 | 493651 Shell Game
Shell Game's picture

I can't believe how many ZH readers don't, 1) recognize 'sargasm' when they hear it, and, 2.) don't know RT by now. sheesh!

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 19:09 | 493145 RunningMan
RunningMan's picture

Not sure why RT gets junked. He's an old-timer at ZH, and the content - charts or pictures - are both interesting. Maybe people can't appreciate sarcasm anymore?

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 22:39 | 493458 msjimmied
msjimmied's picture

Newbies...they don't know any better. Notice how they all go for the established alpha posters?

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 19:39 | 493204 ElvisDog
ElvisDog's picture

Gold crushed??? Today it's $1165, down from its recent peak of what, $1270 or so? That's crushed? Not if (like me) you've been dollar-cost-averaging gold since 2000.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 21:11 | 493327 Fast Twitch
Fast Twitch's picture

That Fast Twitch, he never notices me...sigh

Fri, 07/30/2010 - 16:33 | 497025 DarkAgeAhead
DarkAgeAhead's picture

You find some quite distinctive photos to provide fantastic contextual support to your posts!  Good work.

You really should set up a RobotTrader flickr set.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 18:41 | 493092 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

America may be like Roma, but America adds delusions of virtual grandeur to its acquiescence.  The similarities of Rome and the US are very accurate, as with any Grand Nation that has encapsulated the masses, the status quo has often had safe days and uneventful nights.  Now and for the last 150 years man has had the power of hundreds of men under the roof of a car.  When this changes we will travel back into time.  But a time when Federal Governments are powerless.  The federal government system is a joke, and money is a joke.  The Federal Reserve Banksters have taken advantage of this scenario with fervor, and now it had crested.  It is in so deep the market has already crashed but due to a "do-over" that is the soliloquy "mark to market" (can there be any other?).  The Treasuries will hold out as long as possible; for after all they have no where to go.  Roma will burn until it has its merit back.  It can have its strength back when it has its monie back.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 18:44 | 493095 ZackAttack
ZackAttack's picture

This implies to me that, just as there came a point sometime after Constantine where the Romans started looking back fondly on Nero and Caligula, we will look back on the glorious days of Bush and Obama.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 18:47 | 493100 e_goldstein
e_goldstein's picture

ask yourself not what the romans did wrong; instead, ask yourself what the Visigoths did right.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 19:50 | 493219 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

"ask yourself what the Visigoths did right"

They SHOWED UP on the doorstep... How's that?

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 21:58 | 493390 Missing_Link
Missing_Link's picture

They kicked ass and took names.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 22:15 | 493417 Mr Creosote
Mr Creosote's picture

Hostile takeover.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 23:20 | 493463 Bananamerican
Bananamerican's picture

weren't the Visigoths running AWAY from Atilla

at the time, when they ran into a decadent, played out Rome? A Rome by the way that blithely accepted Visi's into its own armed forces (a la US and our mexican friends/future "citizens". Mexicans are like Visigoths with mustaches. They'll make great inquisitors in the new dark age) 

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 23:03 | 493489 The 22nd Prime
The 22nd Prime's picture

Let's not forget that sperm is a WMD. Slower maybe but damn effective stuff.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 23:32 | 493517 berated
berated's picture

Simply outstanding! Post of the day.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 18:50 | 493104 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

Market didn't crash yet because of the feeling that there's a "Bernanke put" out there in the form of QE2. On the other hand there will be a reluctance to use it and there are those who believe the Fed is "running out of ammo". If the latter becomes a doubt you'll see another flash crash.

Concerning the "Bond Bubble": while everyone is saying that we're near a bottom in yields, that thought might seem naively optimistic in a year or so. 2.95% will seem fantastic compared with 0.95%

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 19:55 | 493227 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

"that thought might seem naively optimistic in a year or so. 2.95% will seem fantastic compared with 0.95%"


On QE2

Won't happen until S&P cash hits an 8 handle, or the elections go off... I'm betting the former... 

Congress & the FED are hoping that equity markets are going "check" through the TURN & RIVER here... While JOHNNY CHAN (the bond market) is thinking otherwise...

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 18:56 | 493113 MacedonianGlory
MacedonianGlory's picture

Crisis of the 3rd century

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 18:56 | 493114 nope-1004
nope-1004's picture

I agree with Rickards, however, have to wonder how many Americans will even know the empire is falling when it is?  Shit... as long as American Idol and Dancing with the Stars is on at 8, then will anyone even know?

To be fair, I believe we are in the middle of what Rickards is saying right this minute, but that the propaganda machine known as the US gov't and its outlets are blinding many.

I'm in a business that has fallen 60%.  Sales are down, mood is horrible, and no one has any money.  What Rickards is saying is going on right now.  The transfer of wealth via QE1 and QE2 is taking place right before our eyes.  The only difference is that capitulation on FRN's hasn't occurred.


Wed, 07/28/2010 - 19:02 | 493125 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

Ordinary Romans had to keep on living despite being oppressed. Contemporary historians have documented quite adequately that there was a sense of decay and collapse. It wasn't quick and it wasn't subtle at all.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 23:22 | 493512 Bananamerican
Bananamerican's picture

The Empire became gradually less Romanised and increasingly Germanic in nature: although the Empire buckled under Visigothic assault, the overthrow of the last Emperor Romulus Augustus was carried out by federated Germanic troops from within the Roman army rather than by foreign troops. In this sense had Odoacer (a pissed off greedy german merc) not renounced the title of Emperor and named himself "King of Italy" instead, the Empire might have continued in name. Its identity, however, was no longer Roman—it was increasingly populated and governed by Germanic peoples long before 476.

The Roman people were by the fifth century "bereft of their military ethos"[104] and the Roman army itself a mere supplement to federated troops of Goths, Huns, Franks and others fighting on their behalf. Many theories have been advanced in explanation of the decline of the Roman Empire, and many dates given for its fall, from the onset of its decline in the third century[105] to the fall of Constantinople in 1453.[106]

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 19:57 | 493233 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

At least the ROMANS had Maximus Decimus Meridius...

We have Justin Beiber for Christ sakes... What a bunch of p***ies...

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 22:23 | 493424 Mr Creosote
Mr Creosote's picture

Don't forget Barney Frank's favorite Roman.

Thu, 07/29/2010 - 03:13 | 493659 VFR
VFR's picture

reminds me of the recent Tony Hayward Testimonial. Watching it I thought it was going to break out into into some hilariously staged spoof at any moment.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 19:03 | 493126 Mercury
Mercury's picture

When Congressmen actually start laying down in the House and Senate chambers to eat/vote/administer botox that will probably be the tipping point.  I think Barney Frank has already been fitted for a toga. Ties are a bit constraining...

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 20:05 | 493247 russki standart
russki standart's picture

It is easier to hide little boys under togas, Barney knows.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 19:02 | 493127 woolybear1
woolybear1's picture

my business is off 70%, even the people who have lots of money are not spending

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 21:35 | 493356 Kali
Kali's picture

Yikes!  And I have been crying because my biz has been flat for the last 3 months after 5 years  of  25+% annual growth.  July, this month, scared me though, the beginning of the month tanked,  I was down 80%, but it slowly recovered as of today's date.  A chunk of my biz is considered recession proof, it's down a tiny bit, but the only thing keeping me afloat right now.  My other two sectors are anemic and increasingly sickly, making 12% of "usual".  I already temporarily shut down an R&D pilot cuz I need to stash cash.  Getting harder and harder to make payroll.  BTW, my biz has no debt, i don't believe in debt-financing my business.

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 22:06 | 493405 Suisse
Suisse's picture

I've made all my stock losses up, and then some. I love Bernanke.

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