I wrote the following article almost exactly four years ago in March 2016. I may have submitted it to a local paper as a Letter to the Editor, but am not sure of that. Nevertheless, while browsing my computer, I came across it and decided that, due to today’s circumstances, it needed to see the light of day. I have not changed my mind about what I wrote then and, if anything, am more convinced that this is going to happen.
My wife and I moved to the Bitterroot Valley in western Montana from Jacksonville, FL, in the fall of 2010 and have learned to love this area and its people. It is so much better than NE Florida, or anywhere else in Florida, for that matter. We lived in Jacksonville for almost ten years and experienced both the boom of the early 2000’s and the bust of 2008, which saw the demise of Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns, the collapse of the real estate market, and TARP, which bailed out the large financial firms against the express wishes of 90-95% of the population. At that time, I took a 10% pay cut in my salary and my job was looking increasingly shaky when we took a “leap of faith” and moved 2500 miles to this location. It was a good decision.
Today, I have a feeling of déjà vu, like I’ve been here before. I can’t shake the sense that the current financial climate we’re in is reminiscent of 2007. I believe that we (and the rest of the world) are right on the edge of a cataclysmic disaster, the likes of which the world has never before seen. There is no turning back. The forces built up by 100 + years of fiscal mismanagement and the widespread, deeply-held belief that we can borrow our way out of trouble are, quite simply, too great to overcome any longer. Peak debt is here, both for the individual and the conglomerate. We have sown the wind. We are going to reap the whirlwind.
If I am right, we will see the end of many, if not most (or all) of the huge multi-national banks, the disappearance of debt-ridden corporations (large and small), the popping of financial bubbles all over the landscape (including sub-prime auto loans, college tuition, and real estate again), the sheer inability of the Federal government to pay its bills or finance its operations in the manner we are accustomed to, and many other unmentioned or unforeseen changes in the way we live. The stock market will shrink dramatically, hedge funds will disappear overnight, derivatives and other fiscally unsound scams (Social Security?) will completely collapse. The casino known as Wall Street will be seen for what it really is and the Federal Reserve, which is the main driver of current monetary stupidity will be called on the carpet and, hopefully, put out of business forever. And there will be wars, wars, and more wars, up to and possibly including nuclear war(s), because when societies and governments become desperate they lash out at anyone deemed to be a threat.
If I am wrong, then no one has anything to be afraid of and I will be made to look like a fool.
Which is it? The next few years will tell the tale and everything will be different. Of that, I am certain.