“The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable.”
-John Kenneth Galbraith
Much has happened in the first half of 2011 and if the second half turns out to be anything like the first half, well then fasten your seatbelts.
Let's quickly look at where we stand in our global situation at the midway point of this year.
|"He's got the whooole world..."|
So far we have seen the little Euro-state of Greece exponentially devolve as their country sinks further and further into debt, The result of this has been massive protests as citizens demonstrate violently and non-violently against austerity measures being imposed on them by their corrupt and lavishly spending government officials and their banker budddies.
Their country urgently needs another 12 billions euro bailout in order to prevent a default on previous debt, accepting this bailout will further indebt their nation and at best buy some 'valuable time' until the next due date of un-payable debt comes swaggering into town.
Much of Greek debt is on the books of German banks who are currently leveraged at a rate of 32-1. It's important to note that when Lehman Brothers went bust in 2008 they were leveraged at 31-1…hmmm !?!
Other nations such as Ireland, Spain, Portugal and even Italy are not far off in terms of their economic woes…watch out, if Greece goes down, then TSHTF!!! (H stands for Hit and F stands for Fan)
The U.S.A. has reached it's debt ceiling of 14.3 trillions dollars and has only enough fiscal manoeuvrability to delay this impending crisis until August 2nd.
Earthquakes and Tsunamis are wreaking havoc along with a few Volcanos, Tornados and Floods thrown in for good measure. Australia, New Zealand, China, Chile, Japan, Iceland, and The U.S. win the booby prize as this year's countries of geologic/ climactic misfortune (am I forgetting anyone?)
On the war front, Libya has gone from a stable dictatorship to 'hell on earth' in a few short months, as innocents in that country are caught in a power struggle between a megalomaniac and the insatiable petroleum appetite of corporate friendly governments.
Across the Arab world we have seen dictatorships fall to the will of 'pro-democracy' movements. From Tunisia, to Egypt and now Syria, Arab peoples have reached their frustration limits as to their inability to affect positive change in their lives.
In certain cases, the west has shown 'support' for these movements and in other cases such as in Bahrain and Yemen, well, not so much!
Of course there is war, and now the rhetoric is being ramped up in the devolving state of Pakistan, as many there fear that this 'Unclear War' could lead to a 'Nuclear War'.
The price of Oil is holding steady well above 100$ a barrel, and any hopes of economic recovery will be certainly taxed by this unforgiving and pernicious reality. Gold and silver continue to perform well on markets as a hedge against diminished currencies, yet the Dodd-Frank bill in the U.S. is said to make over the counter trading of these commodities illegal as of July 15th 2011…is there anything to be read into this?
The biggest news by far has been the Fukushima disaster in Japan, eclipsing last years celebrity spectacle of the BP gulf oil spill. The situation is increasingly looking hopeless as officials there are having a 'Chernobyl moment'. They are creating vast reservoirs of radioactive water waste attempting to cool the reactor fuel rods and prevent them from burning a hole right through the centre of the earth.
Now throw in a few scandals like those involving a politician's wiener and lewd Twitter images, Charlie Sheen, and the 'growing pains' of Justin Bieber, and the doomsday scenarios the Mayan supposedly predicted for 2012 don't seem so far fetched after all.
Dirty CT June 2011