Friday, February 27, 2009

Niall Ferguson's rivers-of-blood prophecy

Read Niall Ferguson as edited by Jesse - he talks straight.

About the only bit I don't quite agree with, is the ending - the note of hope is blasted too early in this battle. We are not going to stay in 1995, I'm quite confident about that; and one of the causes/consequences will be capital flight from/strike in America.

E.g.: "China, concerned about their U.S. reserves being devalued by U.S. monetary policy, is exchanging their holdings for long-term oil contracts from countries all over the world, locking in oil prices at exceptional levels, like the $11.40/barrel estimate for the Russian deal."

The elite, and foreign investors, will take care of what's left of their billions. Wealth will flee from inflation and taxation. Somewhere around the world will appear a new Liechtenstein.

Maybe in the calmer end of the Arab Street. Let's see American tax authorities try to lay down the law there.


Will said...

Boy, we in the US are f*%$ing stupid. Now I really fear for my children's future.

hatfield girl said...

This rivers of blood stuff makes me uneasy, S. It's as if the ground is being prepared for 'emergency' regulation, suspension of normal civil and democratic processes, etc.

Curiously the places where street violence or even civil war is supposed to break out are not he places, at least in Europe and including Russia within Europe, where the worst financial and economic degeneration is taking place.

That place is the United Kingdom, where London was a trading outpost of the US financial casino, existing because there was not the regulation that could be, and is being brought to bear within the United States, and where there was a regime led by a compliant financial and economic ignoramus.

There is a narrative being developed: civil strife requires the suspension of civil society for now. Civil strife has occurred in certain European countries, or at least threatens to occur or should occur. Let us at least step in early in the UK and ensure it does not occur here.

Neill Ferguson - who he, exactly? Not what posts does he hold.

Wolfie said...

I agree with you, the sudden change in tone is somewhat jarring and the argument doesn't provide the basis for it making it seem a false optimism. My earlier rather laconic position of say early 2008 is gone. The policy-makers have blown it either deliberately or by incompetence and now I fear the worse.

Sackerson said...

Hi, Will. My brother recently took American citizenship. He's with you, and I'm with you in spirit. America has turned itself around before.

HG: Hell hath no fury like a middle class impoverished, or an underclass on reduced benefits. It's the soft life before that will make this period painful. But I have long said we're fighting for democracy, not wealth.

Wolfie, we're all hoping for an easy solution, but we'd be stupid to depend on it. Meanwhile, each of us should take quiet, sensible, moderate precautions.

Odin's Raven said...

Ferguson is a popular historian. He appears on television, most recently with his Ascent of Money series, which was quite good. Less 'Establishment' figures may be more apocalyptic.

Taking the long view, the decline of Britain and America may be casually accepted by historians of future centuries, but the process will be unpleasant for those who experience it.