Greenback Apocalypse 2008
Everything old is new again. Corporations give lip service and big media dollars to their Green images. Both political parties suddenly support a more ecological approach to life. The climate crisis is only one of many that looms in the immediate future.
Echoes from our prediction in 2003: The housing bubble added a couple of years onto this projected date for the declining dollar, but it has arrived now in 2008. The problem is we remain addicted to worshipping GOD - Gold, Oil and Drugs. We need to reality check ourselves before we wreck ourselves. Even with fiscal intervention we can expect tough times ahead.
THE SLOW DEATH OF GREENBACKS
Instead of interfering in family business, perhaps our gov't. should concern itself with the oil-dripping "feeding tube" inserted into the US Economy.
Collapse06 3,640 words
Economic Collapse in 2006
By Iona Miller
“Are you ready to ride out the massive economic, political, and media power grabs by small elite empire builders who are destroying the incomes of labor and the middle class? Can you handle the rolling economic failures, which are already drowning nations around the globe in deeper and deeper waves? Are you ready for the collapse of the value of the dollar and a huge increase in the price of all imports, including oil? Do you know what to do about the massive corruption and destruction of the U.S. government by greedy corporations? Are you prepared for the gathering political storms which will wrack political parties, legislatures, and elections in the U.S. and around the world with polarization, fractionalization, controversies, and even violence over the Big Lies told by George Bush and his crooked cronies?” --Michael Wells Mandeville,
Surviving Impending Crisis
In recent years, we’ve been buffeted by the ill winds of terrorism, war, new epidemics, and earth changes, as well as doomsday predictions such as Y2K. But one doesn’t need to be a seer to read the handwriting on the wall about approaching economic catastrophe on the horizon that may make isolated tragedies pale in comparison. A little knowledge and insight can go a long way toward helping us survive impending crisis.
While financial changes may be short of apocalyptic, if they impact you personally they still cut to the core. They reflect on our well-being, access to medical care, our children’s futures, and a cascade of other human concerns.
For those already losing their jobs and assets, the axe has already fallen. Perhaps even more tragically many of us have lost the dream of an increasingly prosperous future. The effect permeates the whole global economic system, whether one lives in the U.S. or elsewhere.
Hard work or even education no longer guarantees security. But can we lessen our losses by lending an attentive ear to the clarion cry of history and visionaries? Drawing from the best both science and psychism offer, economist and social scientist Michael Wells Mandeville answers that question with a resounding, “Yes!”
Deducing Future From Past
In a fascinating new book, The Coming Economic Collapse of 2006, Mandeville discloses the converging astronomical, political, and social forces contributing to its seeming inevitability. However, he is not just a Cassandra, predicting doom and gloom, but also offers a way through this wilderness.
Synthesizing his years of financial experience with observations of recurrent cycles, such as the relationship between business and war, Mandeville feels confident that his predictions will hit close to the mark. At least much closer to the mark than those of political pundits whose big-business bias is clear.
Echoing the sentiments of political watchdog Michael Moore, Mandeville outlines the root causes of an impending “disharmonic convergence” of powerful forces. Telling it like it is, Mandeville confronts the robber baron tactics of the neo-cons (neo-conservatives) he dubs “The Imperial Faction,” using a Star Wars metaphor. He also blows the whistle on mass media, accusing it of turning into a vast propaganda machine.
Mandeville doesn’t rely exclusively on his own prognosticative powers. He draws from an unnoticed discovery (1999b, p.181) of respected psychic and medical intuitive Edgar Cayce for the advent and duration of crucial thresholds.
The collected readings of Cayce disclose a 24-25 year interval between the worst recessions and depressions in American history. The 2006-2008 frame fits absolutely into the 200-year pattern. Mandeville assures us, there will absolutely be a major crash during this frame, no matter what seems to be happening until 2006.
Combining this economic cycle with that of the 11.5 year-long sunspot cycle and its characteristic effect on our social behavior, leads to some intriguing deductions.
Out, Out Damn Spot
Sunspots range from “small” dark spots seen by astronomers on the surface of the sun to massive solar ejections. There is a definite relationship, familiar to some, between periodic solar storms, which influence the atmosphere of Earth, and behavioral disruptions in the human population. Sunspot cycles foster emotional flux, among other things increasing the ability of powers that be to manipulate large groups of people.
About every 11 years, the sun essentially turns itself inside out, magnetically. Highly charged material ejected from the sun races out through the solar system agitating the magnetic fields of all the planets it passes, including Earth. This supercharged energy impacts the life cycles of all systems in our complex ecology.
These raging storms perturb the upper ionosphere, charging not only the electrical displays of the Aurora Borealis, but the minds and hearts of men. The 11-year average cycle of maximal solar activity has been charted scientifically through 23 solar cycles, since the 1700s. NASA and NOAA compile this material, which is also used to predict threats to our electrical grids. Readings and summaries can be found on their websites.
Curiously, not only major weather disturbances (radical winds, floods and droughts that lead to firestorms), but also most historical human conflicts coincide with this cycle. A cursory look shows that both the American and French Revolutions, the Napoleonic Wars, the American Civil War, First World War, Spanish Civil War, World War II, Vietnam, and Gulf Wars have their roots in these flux cycles.
So do major economic contractions, recessions, and the Great Depression. The Twin Towers (and subsequent financial dive) were hit at the peak of Solar Cycle 23. This is not to say that sunspots “cause” these events, but they certainly amplify trends already in progress. The hidden relationships are more complex, less linear, and yet still very apparent.
Like the Moon affects the ocean tides, the solar cycle affects the tides of history. Events set in motion during solar maximum don’t reveal all of their natural consequences until a few years later.
Timing and Political Tides
In astrophysics there is a system called a “false vacuum” formed during the creation of a Big Bang universe. This false vacuum seems to have laws of its own, but they only work within the space contained by the anomaly. Outside of that temporary system, they have no reality. This could also characterize the modest bull economic bubble of 2003-2006, which will lull many back into the stock market and a false sense of security.
It is commonly agreed that stocks are still over-valued by as much as 100% and we may assume the general correction is yet to come. Remember, it was only during the Clinton administration that we were shocked the market could shoot up over 10,000 and it is only a bit under that highly inflated mark still.
Comptroller of the United States, General David Walker, repudiates Bush’s claims that the economy can rebound under the current fiscal strains. Maybe that is part of the agenda after all, to gut the entire entitlement system with insufficient funds, while still being able to tell the American people the money is better spent elsewhere “protecting” them.
The deficit cannot be cut in half within five years without changing basic fiscal policies. Walker says, “The idea that this is manageable or that we are going to grow our way out of the problem is just flat false.”
This arguably ill-conceived agenda was set in motion long before George Bush Jr. took up residence in the White House. Notions of U.S. global hegemony by controlling energy and employing force (“Pax Americana”) have a history longer than his candidacy. The roots of this ideology grew deep with the formation in 1997 of The Project for the New American Century (PNAC), preparing the way for regaining Republican control of the White House (Weiner, 2003).
The PNAC counted among its members Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, William Bennett, Jeb Bush, Bill Kristol, Paul Wolfowitz, James Woolsey, James Bolton, Richard Perle and Zalmay Khalilzad. Many of these serve strategic positions in the current administration.
In its early years the think tank’s ideas, including pre-emptive war, were considered too extreme to be realistic even by mainstream Republicans. In 1998 they tried to get Bill Clinton to depose Saddam Hussein by attacking Iraq.
Most of us are familiar with the power grab by which this alliance came to office by jockeying the election and invoking the power of the sympathetic conservative U.S. Supreme Court.
“To prepare the ground for the PNAC-like ideas that were circulating in the Hard Right, various wealthy individuals and corporations helped set up the far-right think-tanks, and bought up various media outlets â€“ newspapers, magazines, TV networks, radio talk shows, cable channels, etc. â€“ in support of that day when all the political tumblers would click into place and the PNAC cabal and their supporters could assume control.” (Weiner).
By the time George Bush, Jr. accepted his candidacy, he had much, much more going for him than the massive Republican war chest. A review of the players in this drama shows how they quickly locked down military-policy creation for the Bush Administration.
The media had also been bought and paid for. Right wing commentators still have a stranglehold on talk radio with few exceptions (Monks, 2002). The so-called liberal media is a pure myth.
The PNAC group has used fear and patriotism as the basis for their permanent-war strategy and to decimate social programs, gut the military, and the job market. The real agenda seems to be grabbing wealth and power from average citizens, at home and abroad.
They have made things scarce for everyone but themselves, essentially creating a plutocracy. It has been called “crony capitalism,” and even termed “kleptocratic” (Conason). They used their policy of pre-emptive attacks not only on the electorate and foreign powers, but also against the media, which might have otherwise objected more strongly.
Weiner wonders if they are warming up to attack Syria, Iran, or Lebanon next, in the name of so-called “free markets.” And liberation. A slang American term for stealing anything is “liberating” it.
Lowered Expectations: Media Spin
In a reversal of the Manifest Destiny of early American spirit, we are now being programmed by a spin-doctoring media that would sell us an “unmanifest destiny” of lowered expectations and “homeland insecurity”. The co-opting of the media by political and financial interests has led to an unholy alliance. Mandeville characterizes the situation as not producing news at all, but creating “a knee-jerk propaganda machine.”
Theoretically, media is held as a “public trust” under the terms of the Fairness Doctrine. During the Reagan administration emphasis shifted from this trust to a paradigm of market participation. Most of the Mass Media isn’t held in trust for the masses, but is owned by a few private entities worldwide, creating an illusion of uniformity.
Right wing editorializing by the “usual suspects” is ubiquitous, but diverse viewpoints have all but disappeared from the airwaves. Despite the holier-than-thou moralizing of this contingent they are subject to the same foibles as anyone, as shown by the fall from grace into addiction by the king of the commentators, “Drug Rush” Limbaugh.
Spin-doctoring has become the norm, including deceptive accounting, hyped threats, and military readiness. The administration is complaining now that the news coverage coming out of Iraq as of October isn’t positive enough. Is it possible that mass media complicity is breaking down?
The conservative Supreme Court was instrumental in repealing the Fairness Doctrine. Conservatives also lobbied to eliminate federal funds from intellectually freer public broadcasting. In this hypocritical atmosphere, it would seem the moral highground is still up for grabs.
Like the robber barons of the 19th century, they are greedy for even bigger monopolies. This year Congress narrowly defeated a bid by corporate media to allow further consolidations. In much the same way that about seven companies now produce most of the food in the world, a few companies have a virtual stranglehold on television, radio, and print media.
Despite the Congressional strictures, GE/NBC just (October ‘03) merged with Vivendi Universal. This unites the massive GE telecommunications systems and NBC’s industry leading broadcast network and well-established cable properties with Universal Picture Studios, and the Spanish language broadcast system Telemundo, creating a massive media company. The merger welds together production and delivery services.
Fool’s Gold Rush
Those who get nervous over the vagaries of the investment market often turn to land and gold as a hedge against deflation. It is essential to realize in evaluating its value to you and your future that gold is an artificially controlled market. It may value some as tides of panic sweep over financial markets, but it will never produced the extraordinary performance of the sales pitch some dealers will offer you.
When the Japanese economy collapsed years ago along with the devaluing of the yen, Japanese housewives bought bars of gold as a hedge. This simply tied up even more of the scarce working capital that could jump-start the economy. It had a reverse effect; hoarding the gold made the situation much worse.
During the confusion preceding the current war in Iraq, gold climbed in price keeping pace with the fears of the public. Yet gold really ceased to be a secure investment when the Federal Reserve went off the gold standard long, long ago (Mullins, 1993). The problem is the supply can be increased to meet any demand, though gold shills claim differently.
Black Gold; Black Markets
Almost no one has failed to recognize the central role of oil trade in the global situation. Any number of factors can affect the volume of the flow of oil and its price. Up till now, the preferred standard for oil purchase has been U.S. dollars. Petrodollars are a key driver of the US economy. The US simply prints more to outrun its global trade deficit.
Oil dollars are also a mainstay in the world economy. Two-thirds of world trade is conducted in dollars; two-thirds of foreign currency reserves are held in dollars. Right now as the dollar goes, so goes the economic fate of the world. But the premier position of the greenback is being challenged by the euro, and this competition may increase in the future.
Russia is seriously considering switching to the euro as its standard for oil purchase. This is complicated as it could quickly deflate the value of the dollar against other currencies, and the Russian black market system actually uses the greenback as its currency. Still, Russian Prime Minister Putin has suggested Russia trade out of dollars for euros. Russian citizens responded, trading greenbacks for euros, increasing their deposits fourfold.
Russia is the second largest exporter of oil after Saudi Arabia. Their daily output now exceeds the Saudis. Russia supplies half of Europe’s energy. Seeking a stronger alliance with Europe, it could hasten the decline of petrodollars on the world market.
Since 2002, Russia has been acquiring euros, increasing its share from 10% to 25% of its foreign reserves. Russia, Germany and France formed a new alliance in response to the unilateral attack of the US on Iraq. Maybe Iraq had committed the cardinal sin by adopting the euro as its only currency of exchange in 1999.
If Russia begins massing euros it can let go of a great deal of its greenbacks, devaluing them against the euro and yen. The current US deficit devalues the dollar even more. Even if the price of oil doesn’t change, other Middle Eastern countries might begin looking to the euro for payment.
Right now 68% of foreign reserves worldwide are in dollars, and 13% in euros. China conducts 20% of its trade with Europe yet now holds only 5% of its reserves in euros and 90% in greenbacks, but this too could shift as it has in oil-producing Venezuela and Iran.
A weak dollar not only creates an economic brushfire, it also complicates international military relationships. If US dollars begin flying home demanding payment, big trouble is sure to follow.
The artificial bubble of over-valuation of DJI and NASDAC stocks, land prices, gold, and the US dollar pops between 2006 and 2007. Just how deep the meltdown goes will be in part determined by unpredictable human factors, such as panic and hysteria, or further terrorist acts and other unpredictable world events.
As the bubble pops it will funnel down in a sort of squeeze play into a convergence of all the foregoing factors. The pattern noticed by Cayce suggests an absolute frame of reference for crucial changes. Not all recessions have conformed to this 200-year cycle, but the large ones have, including the Great Depression.
The rest of the scenarios and events are just the symptomology and possible causality of the crash. But the crash will come despite the appearance of prior trends, as unexpected as the financial fallout of 9/11. Watching these sociopolitical threads helps us understand what is likely to happen and what to watch out for.
Mandeville predicts that “the powers that be that manipulated public opinion during the faux war on Iraq will use the same powers of manipulation and media sorcery to create a temporary boom for the re-election campaign.” Currently, they have signaled a switch to a slow descent in the value of the dollar. It has been 1% per year, but 5% in just the last six months, and likely another 5% or more by next spring. This devaluation is likely to continue.
This may create a false recovery, which can actually expand the job base during 2004. A brief recovery may be underway now, since the blank check spending by the Defense Dept. is finally trickling through the system. Increased spending in California and chip sales significant increase are probably driven by demand from the military, rather than private consumers.
Political observers such as William Greider, former editor of Rolling Stone and the Washington Post, are also predicting a “rough patch” for the American consumer over the next decade, and also strongly suspect further devaluation. Greider (2003) suggests the only remedy for the overall system where corporations have captured the government is a radical rearranging of power.
The current administration has turned huge budget surpluses into massive deficits, kicked back hundreds of millions of dollars to corporate donors through dangerous environmental policies, wrecked our foreign policy, while 3.3 million jobs in the US have evaporated.
Greedy corporations are the new political machines. They literally harvested 100s of millions of dollars of shareholder value and saver’s wealth, pocketing the proceeds. They are poised to do so again in the false recovery.
Despite the myth that shareholders are “owners”, they rarely have any influence in management decisions, which are controlled by self-interested boards of directors who award themselves huge perks. We must mobilize to challenge them and our role as consumers.
We must literally stop “buying into” the cultural lie of insiders with unchecked power and pathological personalities. We must stop believing the propaganda of commerce. Mandeville also suggests our real political struggle is not within partisan politics, but in transforming the media into a medium of fair communication and equal opportunity persuasion for a wide divergence of viewpoints.
Many commentators (Greider; Conason; Chomsky) have suggested we look back to our ancestors for clarification of our present direction:
“This is something that most people don’t understand about the contemporary conservative movement: They’re not really particularly interested in the promotion of the general welfare, as the Constitution puts it, or about uniting the country against foreign enemies or helping to achieve domestic tranquility.”
“All the goals that the founders had for the United States are not ideas that contemporary so-called conservatives are much interested in. I’ll tell you what they’re interested in: They’re interested in achieving their own power, in amassing their own wealth, in protecting themselves â€“ and their interests â€“ against the interests of the majority. Those are the goals of the leaders of the movement that now calls itself conservatism. And it has very little to do with American traditions and American ideals.” (Conason, 2003b)
And why should we care about the values of our ancestors? Well, this author for one is genetically linked to it. My paternal grandmother Mary Hopkins is the direct decendant of Declaration of Independence signer, Stephen Hopkins, who wrote some of the original tracts against unfair government. What I learned from my family history is that if you have a value, you must stand up for it, no matter what the force of the opposition.
Conason, Joe (2003). Big Lies: The Right-Wing Propaganda Machine and How It Distorts the Truth.
Conason, Joe (2003b). “Joe Conason Talks With Buzzflash.com About His new Book, Republican Hypocrisy, and the Sins of the Mainstream Media.” Buzzflash.com, August 1, 2003.
Greider, William (2003). The Soul of Capitalism: Opening Paths to a Moral Economy. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Greider, William (1989). Secrets of the Temple: How the Federal Reserve Runs the Country. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Ivins, Molly (2003). Bushwhacked.
Krugman, Paul (2003). Lessons In Civility: A Reality Check on the Three-Years of the Bush Administration.
Mandeville, Michael (1999a). Return of the Phoenix: Book One â€“ The Veil. Black Canyon Arizona: MetaSyn Media.
(1999b). Return of the Phoenix: Book Two â€“ The Great Break Up. Black Canyon Arizona: MetaSyn Media.
(1999c). Return of the Phoenix: Book Three â€“ The Prophecies. Black Canyon Arizona: MetaSyn Media.
Mandeville, Michael (2003). The Coming Economic Collapse of 2006: Trends, Predictions, & Prognostications. Black Canyon Arizona: MetaSyn Media.
Moore, Michael (200). Stupid White Men.
Moore, Michael (2003). Hey, Dude, Where’s My Country?
Monks, Edward (2002). “The End of Fairness: Right Wing Commentators Have A Virtual Monopoly When It Comes to Talk Radio Programming”. Commentary: Edward Monks. Register Guard.
Mullins, Eustace (1993). Secrets of the Federal Reserve. Jekyll Island: The London Connection.
Schauf, Tom (2002). Top Secret Banker’s Manual: For Bankers Only.
Weiner, Bernard (2003). “How We Got Into This Imperial Pickle: A PNAC Primer”. 5/27/03.