Guest Post: The Experiment Has Failed. Are You Ready?

Tyler Durden's picture

From Simon Black of Sovereign Man

The Experiment Has Failed. Are You Ready?

After about an hour’s worth of air traffic congestion delays around JFK airport, I finally departed New York City yesterday evening en route for Vilnius, Lithuania… one of my favorite inconspicuous corners of Europe.

The route took me through Helsinki, Finland for a brief connection, and I was on the ground long enough to witness something truly bizarre: a complete and utter lack of people.

I could practically count on two hands the number of passengers milling around the airport this morning during peak business hours… it was almost something out of a zombie movie.

Ordinarily I would have seen hundreds, thousands of people… and I have in the past as I’ve traversed this route many times before. And no, today was not a holiday.

Helsinki’s airport functions as a major transfer point, especially for European business travelers criss-crossing the continent or flying to Asia, which makes airport traffic an interesting proxy on the European economy (though not necessarily a reflection of Finland’s).

While a single example is not enough data to draw any significant conclusions, I mentally filed the observation as another snapshot of Europe’s deteriorating economic situation.

It reinforces what I observed here several months ago when I was last on the continent in April; it was as if a dark cloud was hanging overhead, and the general mood was absolutely sour. People seemed to be capitulating all hope and starting to make peace with the fact that their economic futures have been squandered by a stupid experiment.

Of course, I’m referring specifically to the ‘euro experiment’… however the euro is merely a symptom of a much larger experiment– that of fiat currency.

It wasn’t all that long ago that money was actually made of something scarce– a real asset that couldn’t be conjured at will by an appointed bureaucrat.

In time, money supplies grew to be controlled by governments and banking cartels in the form of worthless pieces of paper. Since then, it’s devolved further to strings of bits in a giant database; our money supply is nearly all digital.

As my friend Tim Price characterizes it, what passes as ‘money’ today is merely an abstraction of an abstraction of the real thing.

The euro experiment was merely a commingling of 17 different national fiat experiments… albeit a remarkably stupid one.

Under the normal fiat game, a country would at least have to stand on its own two feet and con(vince) the market that its particular brand of monopoly money was sound.

With the euro, even the trashiest economies in Europe were able to pass off Germany’s credibility as their own. And now, finally, after more than a decade, the market is calling that ridiculous bluff.

Spanish bond yields have risen to a euro-era record, well north of 7%. Italian bond yields are 6%. The talking heads on financial news are going bonkers… nobody can fathom these countries staying afloat with interest rates being so ‘high’. And they’re right.

What’s funny is that the 20-year average of Italian 10-year bond yields since 1993 is 5.9%. They’re currently priced at 6.06%. Italian bond yields aren’t spiking, they’re just reverting to the mean. The real spike hasn’t happened yet.

Italy is in such dismal shape that having to borrow funds at ‘average’ rates is going to push it into insolvency… the government can only limp along if it can borrow at absurdly low rates that don’t even keep pace with inflation.

Perhaps more than anything, this shows how truly broken the system has become… and what a colossal failure the experiment has been.

Of course, before things completely break down, they’ll resort to the same old tactics that bankrupt governments have relied on in the past–outright confiscation of wealth, capital controls, and financial repression.

It’s already happening across the continent, in fact.

In Greece, the government is helping itself to people’s savings at will, in their sole discretion… and forcing businesses to ‘prove’ the tax purity of their funds.

In Italy, the government has colluded with several banks (like BNI) to freeze customers out of their accounts with no warning or explanation.

ATM limits are being imposed at many banks across the continent, and Euro leaders are openly discussing more severe controls to stem potential capital flight.

The conclusion to draw from all of this is clear: finance the government, save the banks, screw the people. This reality, coming soon to a western civilization near you.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
JB's picture

Revelation 18:10-19 KJV

Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come. And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more: The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble, And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men. And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all. The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, And saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls! For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city! And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.