What do you get when the producer of the world’s reserve currency takes on too much debt? Nothing less than the end of the US Treasury-based monetary system.
So says Eric Jansen, economic and financial market analyst and proprietor of iTulip.com. In chronicling the decline of the global economy over the past decade, Eric has formulated a framework called the “Ka-POOM” theory, which endeavors to understand how the immense run-up in global debt will be resolved.
In short, it looks at the at the credit bubble that began in the early 1980’s, started accelerating in 1995, and has now reached epic proportions. The amounts are so staggering at this stage that Eric believes it is too politically undesirable to let natural market adjustments clear them away – the magnitude of the deflationary pain this would create is simply unacceptable for politicians looking to get re-elected. The only other available option left is to service these debts via a dramatically devalued currency. Hence the key role the Fed is playing today.
The Fed is at the epicenter of this process, intervening heavily in markets to keep the natural corrective market forces at bay. In this, it has a dual strategy. The first is to keep asset prices high (i.e., fight asset deflation), which it is doing by keeping interest rates historically low. The second is to keep wage and commodity costs under control, which it primarily does via devaluing the currency (maintaining a “weak dollar”).
And, of course, through its intervention, the Fed is doing all it can to keep the current financial system in place to perpetuate the process for as long as possible. The end result is a fundamental shift in risk from Wall Street to the taxpayer.
So the big question is: how long can this last? Is there a point at which confidence in the system breaks and market forces finally overwhelm the intervention.
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