When unable to do so, debt is paid by borrowing against future growth and in capitalism’s end game, aggregate debt exponentially expands until it can no longer be repaid except by exponentially depreciating paper money.
In 2010, in Will the US Devalue the Dollar, I wrote: “… Today, the US, the world’s largest debtor, can no longer pay what it owes except by rolling its debt forward and borrowing more in what the late economist Hyman Minsky called ponzi-financing, financing common in the final stages of mature capital systems.”
“… the United States government and its agencies have, by far, the largest pile-up of interest-bearing debts ($15.6 trillion), the largest accumulation of unsecured obligations (over $60 trillion), the largest yearly deficit ($1.6 trillion), and the greatest indebtedness to the rest of the world ($4.8 trillion).”
Martin D. Weiss, www.moneyandmarkets.com, 2010
Four years later in 2014, the aggregate amount of US debt is now $17.2 trillion of which the Federal Reserve has become the largest buyer; as China, for years the largest buyer of US debt, is losing its appetite for America’s increasingly suspect IOUs.
As a consequence, in what Professor Antal Fekete calls the world’s largest check-kiting scheme, the Federal Reserve has become America’s lender-of-last resort.
THAT WHICH CAN’T GO ON FOREVER WON’T
Central banks around the world are now printing money virtually out-of-thin air, virtual money, in order to provide the requisite liquidity that severely stressed capital markets require. This money, however, never reaches the economy-at-large. It is instead fueling asset bubbles in global stock markets sparked by the speculative frenzies induced by the bankers’ excess credit.
The credit boom is built on the sands of banknotes and deposits. It must collapse… If the credit expansion is not stopped in time, the boom turns into the crack-up boom; the flight into real values begins, and the whole monetary system founders.
Ludwig von Mises, Human Action, 1949
In Time of the Vulture (2007 1st ed.) wherein I predicted an imminent catastrophic economic collapse, I wrote:
The collapse of the present financial edifice can come from many directions and from many causes. So will it be in the TIME OF THE VULTURE. When the abyss is no longer avoidable, it may be a dollar crisis that pushes us over the edge or it might be a failure of a major investment bank such as Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Citicorp, or Deutsche Bank or another over leveraged hedge fund like Long Term Capital Management or the inability of a small bank somewhere in the daisy chain of financial institutions to meet its obligations on a Monday morning.
In 1931 the failure of an Austrian bank, Credit Anstalt, set in motion a series of bank failures that was to plunge the world into the abyss now known as the Great Depression. Who knows what will be the cause this time? What bank? What currency? What default? What event?
Only one thing is sure. The present financial edifice, built on an inherently unstable foundation of paper money and ever-increasing mountains of debt, is vulnerable as never before. It may be a sudden movement or a gust of wind or a sonic boom; but whatever it is: It can no longer be said it will be unexpected
HOW WILL IT END ACCORDING TO R. BUCKMINSTER FULLER (1895-1983)
Last month, I spoke at the spring 2014 Liberty Mastermind Symposium in Las Vegas. The title of the event was Countdown to Collapse. There, I described how I had come to predict an event which to many was completely unexpected, especially by the pundits and experts expected to be aware of such an outlier.
In my presentation, I referenced two individuals, although well-known in certain circles, they are not often associated with the current crisis. The first was Buckminster Fuller. During his long and productive life, Fuller wrote 28 books, received 47 honorary degrees and 28 patents. He was a futurist, humanist, inventor (the geodesic dome, etc.) and after whom the carbon-based molecule, the Buckminsterfullerene, is named.
The Buckminsterfullerene is one of the largest objects to have been shown to exhibit wave–particle duality. Its discovery led to the exploration of a new field of chemistry, involving the study of fullerenes. (source:Wikipedia)
Fuller, however, was well aware of a coming crisis. In 1981, Bucky wrote that a catastrophic crisis—a crisis without precedent—was then in progress. Fuller described the crisis as a class-one event, an event set in motion by the Universe, i.e. God.
Humanity is moving ever deeper into crisis…it is a crisis brought about by cosmic evolution irrevocably intent on completely transforming omnidisintegrated humanity..into a completely integrated, comprehensively interconsiderate, harmonius whole.
Buckminster Fuller, Critical Path, 1981
Fuller’s introduction to Critical Path was titled Twilight of the World’s Power Structures,
, ..Today’s (1980) world-power-structures struggle is one between the USSR and big capitalism, which we now call lawyer capitalism, which deliberately took the world’s private-enterprise corporations out of the fundamental jurisdiction of America. They have kept their USA operations going in a seemingly normal way, so people in U.S. America haven’t really realized that these companies are officially situated elsewhere despite the incredible amplification of those great corporations’ annual profits, who annual totals payable to these corporations stockholders are of the same magnitude as the annual increase in the USA’s joint internal and external debt increases.
…Sum-totally, what has been taken from the people of the USA runs into many trillions of dollars. In the quarter of a century since Eisenhower, America has become completely bankrupt, with its world leadership, its financial credit, and its reputation for courage, vision and human leadership gone.
…In one way, the USA and USSR citizens are in much the same socioeconomic position. The Communist Party which runs the USSR consists of 1 % of their total populations, while the USA is controlled by about the same 1 %, who are the Lawyer-Capitalist strategists of the great USA corporations.
pp. 113-4, Critical Path, Buckminster Fuller, 1981
In 1983, Buckminster Fuller was awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Ronald Reagan who referred to Fuller as:
A true renaissance man, and one of the greatest minds of our times, Richard Buckminster Fuller’s contributions as a geometrician, educator, and architect-designer are benchmarks of accomplishment in their fields. Among his most notable inventions and discoveries are synergetic geometry, geodesic structures and tensegrity structures. Mr. Fuller reminds us all that America is a land of pioneers, haven for innovative thinking and the free expression of ideas.
Reagan might not have been so effusive in his praise had he known what Fuller had written about the US government and the office of the presidency:
The USA is not run by its would-be ‘democratic’ government. All the latter can do is try to adjust to the initiatives already taken by LAWCAP’S [lawyer-capitalism’s] great corporations. Nothing could be more pathetic than the role that has to be played by the President of the United States, whose power is approximately zero. Nevertheless, the news media and most over-thirty-years-of-age USA citizens carry on as if the president had supreme power. All that he and the Congress can do is adjust to what the ‘free-enterprise system’ has already done. They are riding on the snapping end of the power-structure dragon’s tail. [bold, mine]
p. 118-9, Critical Path, Buckminster Fuller, 1981
Fuller believed, however, that after the crisis a far better world would emerge. In 1981, he predicted the world’s power structures, communism and capitalism, were both going to collapse. Ten years later in 1991 communism fell and, now in 2014—the world’s most powerful power structure—what Fuller called lawyer-capitalism, is also collapsing, a victim of its own financial and moral bankruptcy.
According to Fuller, the bankruptcy of the US is not a negative. It is a positive, a class-one evolutionary event set in motion by the Universe, i.e. God, to bring about a world of unprecedented cooperation, abundance and true democracy for all of earth’s citizens.
…class-one evolution is about to put the USA out of business through international bankruptcy. This will be a powerful example of class-one evolution at work. The bankruptcy need not be the end. It is simply nature’s way of ridding the planet of the most powerful of yesterday’s sovereignities and thereby setting off a chain of 149 additional desovereignizations, altogether removing the stubborn barrier [i.e. nation-states] to the free circulation of the Earth’s world-around metals, foods, and income energy supplies and people.
…We are now in a position to get rid of the 150 sovereignities and have a recirculatory, interaccommodative, world-around democratic system.
p. 287, Critical Path, Buckminster Fuller, 1981
A better world is coming.
HOW WILL IT END ACCORDING TO EDGAR CAYCE (1875 –1945)
In my talk in Las Vegas, I also discussed the predictions of Edgar Cayce, the famous American psychic. Like Buckminster Fuller, Cayce is not usually associated with the current crisis; but, like Fuller, Cayce also predicted catastrophic changes were coming and that a better world would follow.
Those who received psychic readings from Cayce included President Woodrow Wilson, Thomas Edison, Irving Berlin and George Gershwin. Cayce was especially known for his predictions of coming severe earth changes.
Cayce’s predictions of catastrophic earth changes are directly connected to the present crisis; and, like Buckminster Fuller, Cayce said the crisis is a prelude to a better world.
..these Earth changes are the “birth pains” to a coming new era when the Earth will enter a long period of higher consciousness and soul growth, in which brotherly and sisterly care for all people will prevail. Following the changes, which he sees as cleansings, he sees a golden age for the inhabitants of our blue and white planet.
According to Cayce’s readings, the earth changes would begin slowly, leading to an increase in intensity, frequency and unpredictability in earthquakes and weather anomalies such as violent storms and droughts. Later, these changes would drastically increase in frequency, intensity and violence as the new world was being birthed.
Edgar Cayce died in 1945, just as the incidences of natural disasters began to increase.
THE NEW WORLD TO COME
In Topic 35 of Time of the Vulture (3rd edition, 2012), A New Paradigm Emerges – The Birth of a New Age, I wrote that the economic crisis is only part of a vast paradigm shift now taking place, a shift that would change life on Earth in unimaginable ways.
Buckminster Fuller’s vision of the future was one of abundance and sharing, a vision quite at odds with that offered by today’s corporations and political elites. Another of Bucky’s contemporaries, Dr. Carl Jung, the famous psychologist, had a story regarding these conflicting visions.
The water of life, wishing to make itself known on the face of the earth, bubbled up in an artesian well and flowed without effort or limit. People came to drink of the magic water and were nourished by it, since it was so clean and pure and invigorating.
But humankind was not content to leave things in this Edenic state. Gradually they began to fence the well, charge admission, claim ownership of the property around it, make elaborate laws as to who could come to the well, put locks on the gates. Soon the well was the property of the powerful and the elite.
The water was angry and offended; it stopped flowing and began to bubble up in another place. The people who owned the property around the first well were so engrossed in their power systems and ownership that they did not notice that the water had vanished. They continued selling the nonexistent water, and few people noticed that the true power was gone.
But some dis-satisfied people searched with great courage and found the new artesian well. Soon that well was under the control of the property owners, and the same fate overtook it. The spring took itself to yet another place—and this has been going on throughout recorded history
Excerpted from Owning Your Own Shadow by Robert A Johnson
Published by HarperSanFrancisco, 1993 pp.vii-viii
Dr. Jung’s story is especially relevant in these times. Those closest to the spigots of credit are unaware their water is about to vanish; and, while this may be bad for them, it could be good for the rest of us.
p. 119, Time of the Vulture, 3rd edition, 2012
History is about to change. The well of clear abundant water is once and for all being taken away from those that claimed the well and water as their own. It isn’t. It is ours.