In 1979 when China opened its doors to prospectors, millions rushed in bug-eyed on the prize. They scurried for trillions of dollars of capital to plop down factories on their newly acquired claims. Those trillions first came from EurAmerica’s savings, that currency that had already been acquired through decades of previous achievements. When that was not enough to satisfy the frenzy, they buggered trillions more in future obligations of EurAmerica’s citizens on the promise that these glorious gold seams of the East would make EurAmerica rich beyond its wildest dreams.
And why not…EurAmerica had grown obese on other stakes plopped down around the world. We created equity from thin air to offset the obligations of third world and emerging countries and spent the arbitrage from our financial creations to feast in our homeland for decades. Yet none of these opportunities held a candle to China’s mother load. China would once again be the feast to engorge all our known senses with pleasure and reward. So EurAmerica indebted herself beyond all reasonable abilities to repay, knowing that this gold seam would pay off by its own merit.
But how could it pay off? Were not these same factories supplying EurAmerica with goods that their own citizens would have otherwise supplied? Were not these same factories paid for by the obligations of “EurAmerica’s citizens to work into the future to pay off the debts they had incurred in order to build these factories? And if these EurAmericans could not work to pay their debts to gain the riches they had hoped for from these factories, how could they buy the products that would eventually pay them the riches they had sought? It seems this time around, the door that was opened in China was the hinge of a Venus Fly Trap and EurAmerica was the fly.
Now that we have incurred this massive debt and our scheme for getting rich was found to be yet another Ponzi of get rich quick avarice to be piled on the heap of human foibles, it is now time to clean up the mess from the last three decades’ party. People will have to pay for this latest excess just as all in human history before us. Europe languished for 22 years after its 1871 financial extraction to fund America’s railroads. Some countries like Russia rose up from those excess in political system revolutionary defiance. Others chose military aggression while still others congregated in socialist shifts of wealth redistribution to deleverage the world from its dilemma.
We cannot yet predict the world shifting power struggle that will ultimately emerge from this great crisis. However, what started as Europe’s riots and later erupted into an Arab Spring in reaction to Wall Street’s grand foray was again played out in yesterday’s announcement by Europe’s leadership as another step in the unraveling puzzle. The information age has shifted the balance of power and bankers can easily see that 2011 will not be a repeat of 1871. Infighting will continue as EurAmerica sorts out who will pay the costs of financial obligations from this great extraction. But Europe’s announcement was a break through nonetheless.
European Banks will eat a distasteful sum. Their shareholders will pay the price as much as they can. Some banks will call upon the European Financial Stability Facility, which will in turn call upon governments, which will look for handouts and push for further austerity, which will in turn lower GDP growth, which will further exacerbate the debt crisis. In the end, a massive debt overhang will have to be managed by all of EurAmerica in a deleveraging and slower GDP growth, if not retracting, environment.
Banks only have so much in reserves and even those may be grossly overstated as a result of credit reserve requirement manipulations during the 1990s including bank reserve sweep accounts and parent/subsidiary loans that have as of now extended bank credits 1.1 trillion beyond bank deposits. EurAmerican governments could take all their reserves and destroy our international banking functions just as banks could take much of the housing stock, destroying millions of lives and our nation’s economic futures. Governments and central banks could print money throughout EurAmerica and destroy national economies for decades. And then what….
When a debt load becomes so excessive that it cannot be paid by the annual output of its guarantors, it becomes in essence equity. All of this past three decade Great EurAmerican Capital Extraction creditors, from our wealthy elite to retirees on fixed incomes, “own” pieces of the thousands of factories on the shores of the East. They may not have bargained for that outcome but that is what they got. Right now, rather than accept this eventuality, creditors are willing to shave their loan returns in order to keep their position of being first to be repaid rather than suffer what is amounting to an even greater uncertainty for equity shareholders. And thus we have the announcement from Europe’s banks.
In the end, accepting that their loan position is untenable and must be converted to equity will be the ultimate solution. That position is hard to swallow for many reasons just yet. European banks and governments had been playing a dangerous game of chicken, both refusing to budge on movement toward resolving this debt leverage. For now, the dangerous game of chicken stalemating any movement toward the final solution and putting the entire world in jeopardy has had a “great” move among many more to follow.
My solution for America’s turnaround: Convert debt overhang to equity. Clean up credit through credit amnesty. Put all unemployed people in domestic work opportunities through free market job voucher program. Turn on the switch and go.