US Economic Decline a Believable Scenario

Did we give you all our Predictions-Plus? You know, the things you OUGHT to believe, even if they are not guaranteed, sure-fire, absolutely, 100% in-the-bag.

Here’s another one:

The US Empire Has Peaked Out.

We don’t know if it is true or not. And in the last two centuries it was a mistake to bet against America.

But this is the 21st century. Things have changed.

Where is the world’s fastest train?

Where is the world’s tallest building?

Where is GDP growing fastest?

Where are most cars being made…and sold?

Who graduates the most engineers? Who pours the most cement? Who produces the most steel?

The fact is, if the word has an “est” on the end of it, it is probably not referring to the USA. Unless it is talking about debt. Of which, the US has the MOSTEST in the world.

What a change this is from a few years ago. Remember when the US was on top of the world…trying to get other nations to straighten up? Now, it’s America who is slouching…while the rest of the world wags its finger.

Here’s The Telegraph:

“We’re not going to allow our American friends to melt the dollar,” said Mr. Mantega, [Brazil’s finance minister] who views the US government’s move to pump $600bn (£387bn) into its economy as an unfair attempt to help exports.

“There are infinite measures that we can take. One of them is to manage the entry of speculative capital in the short-term.”

His comments came after Chile’s central bank announced a plan to buy $12bn (£7.7bn) of US dollars on international markets on Monday in an attempt to stem its own currency appreciation.

The Chilean peso has gained by more than 17pc cent against the US dollar since June, fuelled by increases in the price of copper, which is Chile’s biggest export.

It was Mr. Mantega who coined the term “currency war” last year as he voiced concerns that Brazilian exports were being damaged. In October he tripled the tax on foreign investments in some bonds to six per cent, a measure he said had since been “effective”.

Now, it’s the “banana republics” that are doing the responsible thing. They’re trying to protect themselves.

It’s the US Fed that has gone bananas – trying to print its way out of a debt deflation.

The emerging economies are growing fast – like the US in the 19th and early 20th centuries. In a few years, if this continues, they’ll overtake America as the biggest economies on the planet. Then, a few years later, they’ll have the most lethal military forces too.

Maybe it won’t happen. We don’t know. We can’t tell you what tomorrow’s newspapers will say, let alone those 10 or 20 years in the future.

But this is not an ordinary prediction. This is a “Prediction Plus.” You ought to believe it, even if it turns out not to be true.


Because there’s a downside to every upside…

Because every empire eventually declines…

Because the US is a high-cost, high tax, high debt economy, competing against cheaper economies less burdened by debts and taxes…

Because the US is full of zombies, people who produce nothing, while emerging markets are relatively zombie-free…

Because the US has enjoyed two centuries of success; failure is bound to await somewhere…

Because the US is broke…with a $200 trillion funding gap…

Because US labor claims to be “skilled”…but what kind of a skill is a degree in “communications” or “sociology”?

And because US assets are already fully priced – as if the US could expect to be the world’s hegemonic power forever.


Most importantly, investors still buy US bonds and the US dollar in a crisis. When the real crisis comes, they’ll wish they had bought something else.

Bill Bonner
for The Daily Reckoning

The Daily Reckoning