Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Kunstler: civilizations build their most extreme monuments at the very moment of collapse

JK: The markets will begin digesting the Dubai news in earnest today, making for a holiday season of possibly momentous thrills-and-chills. The big debate going into Thanksgiving was whether the dollar would continue its downward trajectory, leading to some kind of currency failure, hyper-inflation, take your pick... or turn briskly around as investors bailed out of risk vehicles for the conventional safe-haven paper parking lot of US Treasuries. This debate between the inflationists and deflationists has defied resolution all year. Personally, I side with the deflationistas these days, though I believe our ultimate destination, in a year or so, is destruction of the dollar.

SHOOT: I was speaking to a banking buddy who told me that if the dollar is destroyed, the world economy is destroyed. I told him there is no difference between the US economy printing money and the Zimbabwean economy printing money. He said the US is too big to fail - China needs them. But what if China turns to gold as a currency? What if currencies no longer exist because they are no longer any indication of real value?
clipped from kunstler.com
 The monstrosity they built in their waterless convection-oven of a city-state makes Las Vegas look like a mere strip mall in comparison.
Ben Bernanke and his counterparts in central banks 'round the world could drop helicopter loads of paper cash on every rooftop, intersection, parking lot, field, forest, and camel raceway and never make a dent in the fatal web of false obligations we have woven for ourselves.
Lately, the much-repeated aphorism has circulated around the Web that civilizations build their most extreme monuments at the very moment of collapse.
Imagine living in a country where absolutely nobody in a leadership position is credible.  This is the kind of country we're becoming and it will not keep running that way for long.
The cinemas are full of blood-sucking teenagers.  Grown men swarm in the unemployment offices wearing sideways hats and butt-crack trousers. Why not just tattoo a message on your forehead that says: "Moron For Hire"?
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