But as the century ended, so did this extraordinary run. Tech stocks crashed, the
The dollar is falling in value versus other major currencies and plunging versus gold. The whole world is watching, scratching its collective head, and wondering what has changed. The answer is that everything has changed, and nothing has. The spectacular growth of the past two decades, it now turns out, was a mirage generated by the smoke and mirrors of rising debt and the willingness of the rest of the world to accept a flood of new dollars. Like a family that has maintained its lifestyle by maxing out a series of credit cards,
A quick scan of world history reveals them to be depressingly familiar. All great societies pass this way eventually, running up unsustainable debts and printing (or minting) currency in an increasingly desperate attempt to maintain the illusion of prosperity. And all, eventually, find themselves between the proverbial devil and deep blue sea: Either collapse under the weight of their accumulated debt, or keep running the printing presses until their currencies become worthless and their economies fall into chaos.
[Excerpt of book by James Turk and John Rubino]