"The End Is Nigh"

Authored by Jeff Thomas via InternationalMan.com,

Recently, US Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin stated, "If China doesn't follow these sanctions [against North Korea], we will put additional sanctions on them and prevent them from accessing the US and international dollar system."

By this, he meant that the US would shut China out of the SWIFT system, through which the great majority of international settlements are facilitated. In stating this, the US government is doing nothing less than threatening economic warfare against China, which would unquestionably prove catastrophic to the global economy.

This is astonishingly shortsighted, as the US can no more do without trade with China than China can do without trade with the US. Further, the US will unquestionably pressure its other trading partners (particularly the EU) to endorse and follow the sanctions. This they will not comply with, as it would serve to cut their own economic throats. The relationships between the US and their partners have been wearing thin in recent years, and the present threat against China is very likely to prove to be the final straw. The net effect would be to place the US out on an economic limb, alone.

There may be those who disagree with this premise, under the assumption that, to cut China out of the SWIFT system would destroy China's ability to make international transactions, forcing them to cave to US demands.

However, China, Russia, and others have seen this day coming and have created their own SWIFT system, world cable network, and world banking system. All that's needed to kick it all into gear is a major international need to bypass SWIFT. The US government has just provided that need with this threat. There would certainly be teething pains in getting the new system running on a massive scale, but the sudden worldwide need would drive the implementation.

This threat by the US at a time when it's broke is, in effect, economic suicide.

But, just as the ink is drying on this announcement, the increasingly impetuous US president has cracked a deal with Democrats to permanently abolish the US debt ceiling. As the debt ceiling was the last safeguard in governmental fiscal responsibility, he's effectively chosen to assure that the US will experience economic collapse.

Again, economic suicide.

It could be argued that the insatiable ego of “The Donald” has driven him to recklessness. Indeed, it's been his habit, when opposed on anything he wishes to do, to lash out, often creating far more dangerous deals, and saying, effectively, "So, there. I showed you. I'll do as I please, no matter the damage." This would suggest that he's the "Lemming in Chief," leading the US over a fiscal cliff.

It could also be argued that he is, instead, the "Patsy in Chief," and is being cleverly played by those who understand his personality weaknesses and repeatedly goad him into unwise decisions that will benefit them, but will ultimately be disastrous for the country.

Either way, what we're witnessing is a train wreck about to happen, and we're all, to a greater or lesser extent, on that train.

For many years, in predicting the economic collapse of what was once known as the “free world,” I've stated my belief that, whilst we cannot predict the actual dates when the primary events will occur, we can observe the lead-up events—that they'll increase in both frequency and magnitude the closer we get to the collapse. We've recently been in the stage where lead-up events have become weekly. We now appear to be entering the stage where lead-up events become daily. Once we've reached this stage, it's time to fasten our seat belts.

So, in returning to the image above, is this the end of the world? In a word, no. Those who profess the coming end of the world have been with us for, literally, thousands of years. They're just as misguided and incorrect today as they've always been.

It is true, however, that the world as we know it is about to undergo the most dramatic change that we'll witness in our lifetimes. Most certainly, we're presently in the greatest economic bubble the world has ever seen, which assures us that, when it breaks, the damage it causes will be correspondingly great.

But let's have a second look at the image above. It seems apparent that the three men in it are part of a religious group, recommending that mankind repent. As can be seen on the placard in the middle, "Ye must be cleansed."

Regardless of any religious connotations to this placard, there's accuracy in its economic connotations. A collapse is inescapable at this point. The system must be cleansed, much in the way an alcoholic must dry out, or an addict must get the drugs out of his system, before the recovery can begin.

When a crisis of these proportions occurs, it's not possible to simply acknowledge the collapse, then begin anew the next day. Just like the alcoholic or the addict, we can't just hit the reset button and start anew. After a collapse, a long and painful process must begin to cleanse the system. In a collapse of the severity of the one we're facing, the cleansing promises to be quite long and quite painful.

Twenty years ago, in predicting the coming collapse, Harry Schultz predicted, “ten years down; ten years up.” It may well be that his prediction was actually conservative, and we're now looking at a longer period, as so much additional damage has been done since his prediction.

But, before we leave this topic, it's important to look at one more factor. Historically, economic wars have a habit of becoming shooting wars.

It's not commonly known that the US war with Japan was precipitated by the US repeatedly putting the squeeze on Japan economically.

President Roosevelt froze Japanese assets in the US. He subsequently succeeded in cutting Japan off from three-quarters of their international trade. Finally, he cut them off from almost 90% of their oil supply.

It could be argued that, at that point, Japan had no choice but to go to war, however badly it might turn out for them.

Could it be that the US government imagines that similar tactics will force China into a war, so that, when that war ends, the US would control China as it did Japan after 1945?

If that's their intent, the outcome would be unlikely to turn out as they imagine. Although the sabre rattling by US political leaders and retired generals is heard daily on the American news programmes, and the American people are clearly being indoctrinated to believe that war might be necessary, America has never been less ready for a war.

The US is a very different country from what it was in 1941. It does possess a sizable military; however, that military is no match for the combined forces of China and Russia. Moreover, the US is not the industrial giant it was in 1941. Its factories have largely closed and moved overseas. What remains is not sufficient for wartime production. The American people as a whole are heavily in debt and the government itself is broke.

By any standard, the actions being taken by the US are therefore reckless indeed. The end of the world is not nigh, but the end of the world as we know it most certainly is.

If there's a light at the end of the tunnel, it may lie in the fact that, in previous world wars, there were always countries that simply didn't take part. They sat it out in peace, while the rest of the world went mad. This is still true today.

*  *  *

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Manthong ergatz Fri, 09/22/2017 - 20:33 Permalink

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"If goods don't cross borders, armies will" -Fredrich Bastiat ... 

In reply to by ergatz

DaveA tion Sun, 09/24/2017 - 17:28 Permalink

We will have a massive trade surplus when trillions of dollars stashed overseas suddenly rush back to the the USA in a mad dash to buy something, anything before they're completely worthless.

After that, we'll never have a trade deficit again because everything we import will have to be paid for in advance with gold or real goods.

We'll still have a welfare state, but a more frugal one than we have now. Think tent cities in the desert receiving regular shipments of "meat by-products" laced with contraceptives.

In reply to by tion

tripletail Fri, 09/22/2017 - 20:47 Permalink

Aren't we witnessing old-school diplomacy, implying nations will do whatever is in their best interest, in spite of the interests of others? Seems sort of obvious, doesn't it?

Mustafa Kemal tripletail Sat, 09/23/2017 - 11:30 Permalink

"Aren't we witnessing old-school diplomacy, implying nations will do whatever is in their best interest, in spite of the interests of others?"Definitely not. The US is not acting in the US's interest. The ISIS leadership is not acting in the interest of muslims and Israel is not acting in  the interest of the Jews. However, it does appear that RC and BRICS are acting in their interest. Therefore, you can trust them.

In reply to by tripletail

smallblockchevy350 Fri, 09/22/2017 - 20:28 Permalink

I'm 30 and I had a vasectomy at age 28, because I have had  a feeling some bad shit is coming and I don't want to have to worry about my kids when SHTF.Don't want to raise kids to be brainwashed by society to be fucking idiots.If I was born 40 years earlier I would have had a family for sure. Robber barons already stole my generations chance at the American Dream anyway. Thank god I skipped college.So bring it on, my trigger finger is so itchy., Tired of working like a Mexican all day for monopoly money and at least I won't be fucking bored anymoire.

Inconsequential smallblockchevy350 Fri, 09/22/2017 - 21:20 Permalink

Like someone said on down, things have always been fucked up. If you were born earlier you, or your kids, would have been in korea or vietnam. The ussr was going to nuke us any minute, complete with drills for the kids at school. Things aint never been right, so try to enjoy life a little and figure out how to get out of the rat race/hamster on a wheel problem. You're young you can do it. 

In reply to by smallblockchevy350

Inconsequential DemandSider Sat, 09/23/2017 - 12:24 Permalink

China and other countries have been dumping boatloads of cheap goods on other countries for a thousand years, not 20-30 years. If governments don't put tariffs on these goods then that is the end of the industries in that country. If corporations buy out the government and get their way, then the jobs go to whatever country has the lowest wages, and here we are. The gov has a choice, it either protects its people and jobs and industry or it is run for the benefit of a slew of corporations and we call it globalization. Tariff act of 1789   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tariff_of_1789

In reply to by DemandSider

quesnay Fri, 09/22/2017 - 20:29 Permalink

"Historically, economic wars have a habit of becoming shooting wars."

Maybe, but you can't just cherry pick the examples you like. You have to include all the examples. I mean what about South Africa? What about Russia, Iran, Cuba, Sudan. We have had sanctions against all these countries, but gone to war with none of them.

I'm not claiming sanctions work, or don't make war more likely I'm merely asking to 'raise the bar' on 'scientific thinking' and not cherry picking data to support a theory i.e. "sanctions lead to war". Maybe, but it's just as likely that cultural differences and border and resource conflicts leads to "sanctions AND war", therefore sanctions and war correlate, but are not cause and effect.

webmatex Txpl9421 Sat, 09/23/2017 - 06:29 Permalink

For many years, in predicting the economic collapse of what was once known as the “free world,” I've stated my belief that, whilst we cannot predict the actual dates when the primary events will occur, we can observe the lead-up events—that they'll increase in both frequency and magnitude the closer we get to the collapse. We've recently been in the stage where lead-up events have become weekly. We now appear to be entering the stage where lead-up events become daily. Once we've reached this stage, it's time to fasten our seat belts. I have been waiting so long, BRING IT ON!

In reply to by Txpl9421

indaknow Fri, 09/22/2017 - 20:44 Permalink

All dying empires threaten their perceived adversaries.  It never works out and usually the dying empire is the last one to get it. Sad really, they all seem to think they have learnt the lessons of history yet they all inevitably succumb to their own hubris.

Manipuflation Fri, 09/22/2017 - 21:03 Permalink

It sure has been been hard being a Milwaukee Brewers fan for most of my life.  You have them some credit this year no matter what happens.  They have lost two starting pitchers and have been pitching by committee and winning enough to keep it interesting.  The Brewers don't have the big money.  There is no other team like that.  No one respects the Brewers but they can beat you.   

Manipuflation Manipuflation Fri, 09/22/2017 - 23:55 Permalink

Eventually you run out of pitching if your starters go down.  That is baseball.  I do have to give a hat tip to Craig Counsel for doing what he did with what he had.  I don't think the Brew Crew have to hang their heads over that season.  It is isn't over but there is no pitching left.  Bring up some triple A rookies and let them throw.     

In reply to by Manipuflation

Downtoolong Fri, 09/22/2017 - 21:42 Permalink

All wars have been driven by economics. The fight is always over wealth and the preservation of power and control over others to preserve and grow that wealth.All the other reasons, rationalizations, and justifications are bullshit. 

Blue Steel 309 Sat, 09/23/2017 - 02:42 Permalink

Just as humans always march towards death, the end is always nigh. We are near the peak when an event will happen causing the death/rebirth of civilization. Considering that cycle is multi generational, it is unknown if any of us will be alive to see it happen.

Batman11 Sat, 09/23/2017 - 03:48 Permalink

We stepped back onto an old path that still leads to the same place.1920s/2000s - high inequality, high banker pay, low regulation, low taxes for the wealthy, robber barons (CEOs), reckless bankers, globalisation phase1929/2008 - Wall Street crash1930s/2010s - Global recession, currency wars, rising nationalism and extremism1940s - Global warWe must remember not to set up the initial conditions again.

D-REGZ Sat, 09/23/2017 - 08:21 Permalink

The fact is this bullshit economy cannot survive without the requisite cheap shit from China. Lots of people's wages/raises have been replaced by $5 toasters alone.

Hugh Mann Sat, 09/23/2017 - 09:37 Permalink

The end is not nigh unless we allow it. We are at the bottom of this pyramid supporting the parasites at the top. Stop supporting them and watch how fast they collapse. We outnumber them many millions to one so what's the fucking problem? Imagine what would happen if everyone suddenly got 10 credit cards, maxed them out and the told the banks to eat cake. If everyone in the military gave the one-finger salute to the war mongers. Imagine what would happen if everyone stopped showing up for kangaroo courts. Imagine what would happen if everyone stopped paying their bills.  We have the resources, manpower and technology to create a paradise and the only thing preventing it is us. We need to put aside our petty differences and start working together for a common goal. We all want the same thing.  

east of eden Sat, 09/23/2017 - 12:12 Permalink

I always enjoy the morning, the most. It gives me the time and space I need to do continuing research on important topics, especially as detailed and expounded upon in ZH.There has been some bullshit floating around every now and then about (a) Canadian banks and (b) Canadian gold - or rather the fact that the BOC sold it's final 3 tons of gold. A lot of Canadians have pointed out (to our less educated and capable brethern, south of 49) that we keep our gold in the ground, to which we received a lot of loud guffaws, and a plethora of 'yeah, but you have to find it'. Well, no, we already know where it is.So today, while researching an exploration and development company (name withheld for obvious reasons), I began to realize just how right we Canadians are about the gold we hold in the ground, and what we could expect to earn, on an annual basis, from export sales, that were paid in gold. Here is the summary: The existing, built and soon to be producing shuttered mines in a 440 square hectare area of central Ontario and Quebec, has over 10,000 tons of gold, and that is just in a tiny area of land that constitutes .00338 of the total land mass of Canada. The yields are so rich that many of those mines yield 2 ounces of gold per tonne. So even if you only allow for the possibility of finding 1 tonne of additional gold per square kilometer in the rest of Canada, on average, you are talking a total current probable production total of 150,000 tons of gold. I imagine that is more gold than even the Rothschild’s have. Doing the math (my calculator almost choked), the net present value of probable gold reserves would be 7.68 Quadrillion dollars, regardless of annual gold earnings. Assuming a fairer price for gold of 5K US, that means that just with our gold in the ground reseves, Canada has enought wealth to pay off the entire debt of the planet, 50 times over, or, to put it another way, if you only just consider the value of in situ gold in Canada, we have enought wealth to raise the standard of living of every single person on the planet by 4,000%. Something to think about. And something for the damned Albertan's to think about as well, since they are always complaining that they don't get their 'fair share'. Annual sales of carbon products (at at average price per BOE of 42.00 CAD) would yield an additional 1,200 tons of gold per year, and then we are also talking lumber, cow/cattle, manufactured products, dairy, banking and professional services, fish and sea products, tourism, transportation, nickel, molybdenum, copper, tungsten, silver, iron ore, mettalic coal, the 'noble' metals, etc, etc, etc. Assuming a total export value of 500 Billion, those exports would provide an additional 10,000 tons of gold PER YEAR. At the present time, the value of Canadian GDP and trade balances would require us to have 500 tons of gold per year (outbound),  on hand to settle trade imports. That leaves an annual excess of over 11,000 tons of gold, that we could do anything we wanted with.  Given the facts, there is simply no problem for Canada, now, or in the future. The only real concern, is the Americans and their zio-nazi backers, who, would probably try to do anything to get their hands on that gold. But is there anybody out there that really believes that other, larger, world 'power's' and trading partners would allow the American's to usurp that gold? I don't think so. We could muster millions and millions of fighters (and many of them probably Americans too), simply on a promise to provide a lifetime pension to their families. There is a reason there is a thin, red line that stretches from Newfoundland to British Columbia. One is because we do not share American 'values', if you can call them 'values' at all, and the other is that Canadians can, and will, make this a much better, safer, more peaceful and prosperous world, if only by default. Americans would be well advised to consider what it would mean living and trading next to one of, it not THE richest countries on earth. Put down your weapons. Stop your threats, against us, and especially against the rest of the world. If you want to have jobs and trade, then let it be so, and we will ensure that people are compensated properly, have pension plans, health care, pharmacare,  that will be there for them, but we will never deal with murderers, and we will certainly never succumb to the threats from bullies. You have been deceived and hood winked by greedy, vicious bastards who have convinced you that there is only so much wealth to go around, and that you better 'get yours' while you can. Nothing could be further from the truth, but then, that is how those people operate, isn't it. You get a sliver, at the price of your blood, and they get the rest of the pie by making you so fucking crazy that you can't think straight. And if the son of a bitch who was so proud, at a tender age of 17, to be dropping napalm on tens of thousands of innocent men, women and children, is reading this, he should know -  this is the true 'value' of the Canadian currency and the Canadian way, not what some damn compromised idiot in the Eccles building is told it should be.

atlasRocked Sat, 09/23/2017 - 12:37 Permalink

The author is  a liberal liar - he recites how the liberal liar Roosevelt economically chocked Japan, withotu mentioning the reason FDR did this was because the Japanese were SLAUGHTERING TENS OF THOUSANDS of chines in Nanking and elsewhere.  Using typical liberal evidence inversion - he conveniently omits the US was FUNDING and APPROVING the Japanese slaughters by feeding their economy while their soldiers slaughered children and women in the streets with bamboo shards shoved up their vaginas, and disemboweled parents in front of their kids.  Liberals always prevaricate like this in debate.   It's really sick the author subtly approves of street slaughter by Japan, as he paints economic sanctions as the real enemy.      

besnook atlasRocked Sat, 09/23/2017 - 12:54 Permalink

i won't dispute what you posited except to comment that the west was the great asian slaughterer not japan. the real reason japan had to be stopped was because japan was getting too big and powerful for its britches therefore a future threat to the western colonial powers in the pacific and asia. the nanking treachery was simply the public reason given.

In reply to by atlasRocked