From These Organizations:
Who Will Solve the Economic Crisis?
September 20, 2011 | From theTrumpet.com
When the future of the world “rests on a phone call,” I want a different world.
The time has come for “decisive” action, said Greece’s finance minister, or else the world risks a chain-reaction, domino-type meltdown.
Thus is the precarious state of the world’s economy. It is so bloated with debt—and so interconnected by obscure, untested, financial derivative products—that a small country on the far side of the Atlantic threatens destruction of Europe’s and possibly even America’s biggest banks.
If Greece defaults on its debt, nobody really knows who will be left standing.
What a world.
What America’s leaders do know is that what happens in Europe will not long remain in Europe. Yet, America may be powerless to stop it.
On Friday, in a sign of how desperate conditions are, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke announced that the Federal Reserve would provide unlimited dollars to the European Central Bank. European money markets are close to freezing up. European banks are either unwilling or unable to lend to each other. Confidence is breaking down. Contagion threatens.
“The only reason for this move must certainly be that [the Federal Reserve is] acting to prevent what they fear will be another Lehman-type crisis,” writes economic analyst John Mauldin. “Otherwise it makes no sense. They can give us any pretty words they want, but this was not something calculated to make the U.S. voter happy. To do this, you have to be convinced that ‘something evil this way comes.’ And to recognize the costs of not doing anything, and try to head them off” (emphasis added).
If you have forgotten, the Lehman Brothers collapse was the trigger that set off the chain reaction that eviscerated Wall Street in 2008. Despairingly, it is happening again, despite the trillions of dollars in bailouts.
According to Fitch Ratings, the 10 largest U.S. prime money market funds have lent $309 billion to European banks (as of July). And now, it is as if these banks have suddenly realized that Greece might actually default—and are now scrambling at the last minute to get their money out.
The fear is that U.S. money market funds have started a run on European banks that will break them. You can’t just yank out hundreds of billions from an already precarious banking sector without threatening “economic Armageddon.” But that’s exactly where we are back to—three years later.
The difference of course is that instead of just an insolvent banking core, now the world’s governments are verging on bankruptcy too. Greece might be bailed out, but who can bail out Spain? And no one can bail out America.
The global economy is “heading for collapse,” says Ayn Rand Institute president Yaron Brook. The best America can hope for is a repeat of the Great Depression, he says. But if we are not careful, America will experience a repeat of the fall of the Roman Empire.
“The fundamental problem,” Brook says, is that our leaders seem to believe they can solve our economic problems by just taking on some more rules and regulations. But without “real structural change” toward self-reliance and true free-market capitalism, the best we can do is “buy time,” but “we can’t change the outcome.”
For now, the world’s leaders appear to be kicking the can down the road and hoping for the best. On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve is widely expected to announce another round of quantitative easing (money printing), or as it has been dubbed, “operation twist.” Markets have become addicted to the debt drug. If more money is not announced, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth—and possibly the sound of stock markets and banks collapsing.
Brooks is right: America and the world does need a real structural change. But not just in the way he thinks.
The world’s whole economic system is geared toward the worst of man’s human nature—greed and competition. These are the prime factors driving the global economy. Businesses and corporations advertise a “get it now”-type philosophy, encouraging people to borrow and spend money they don’t have. Governments all over the world spend money to satisfy voters. Politicians hand out pork projects to buy congressional votes.
Too many people want more from society than they are prepared to give. And too many people want to take from others so that they can live better.
This greed in human nature is a prime cause of our current economic problems.
People don’t like living with the consequences of greed and competition, but who will be the first to bring under control his own spending? Who will be the first to set an example of self-discipline and self-restraint? Which government will be the first to live within its budget—even at the risk of recession?
Unless human nature can be changed, this world will not solve its economic problems. But time is running out. With each subsequent crisis, the can is getting heavier and harder to kick.
A crisis is approaching.
On Monday afternoon, the results of Greece’s emergency conference call were made known. Would Greece get bailed out again? Would it be allowed to default? What would happen to the eurozone? Would American banks get taken down too?
Leaders agreed to have another conference call tomorrow.
A bit anticlimactic? Yes. But when the future of the world rests on a phone call, you know there will be no shortage of climactic days ahead.
What people need to ask themselves is: Is that a world you should have to live in? For a futuristic view of a soon-coming better world—a world free from central bankers, printing presses and looming threats of economic collapse, read The Wonderful World Tomorrow—What It Will Be Like by Herbert W. Armstrong. •