Jon Christian Ryter
March 13, 2009
What happens when the world's greediest industrialists and even greedier bankers bite off more of the Utopian dream than they can chew? They choke. The good news is there is now a very real, very serious chink in the armor of globalization. World trade is plummeting because the transnational money barons: the industrialists, the bankers and the global merchant princes who saw the human chattel of the third world as the primary consumers of the 21st century have literally overextended themselves and although they collectively possess all of the money in the world, they literally ran out of the green stuff (or multicolored stuff), and their house of cards is about to topple. The bad news is that 24 million Americans who were thriving at this time last year are now struggling for survival. Gone also is the era of easy credit, rising equity in our homes, having a comfortable retirement from 401K planning done 30 or more years ago, and for the middle-age worker with a comfortable income, and the very real prosects of waking up in a few weeks or months and finding that jobs held for 30 years or more are now gone.
We, as a society, have finally seen first hand that there are limits to "unlimited wealth." The robber barons of global politics are soon to learn that there are also limits to which the financial resources of the working class consumers in the United States can be stretched or seized by the temporary custodians of the government before the people fight back. The economies of all of the industrialized nations are shrinking at a frightening rate. This summer, international trade will fall to its lowest level since the start of World War II.
As hard as it will be here, the impact will be felt the hardest in those nations whose economies are currently being developed—a group of 129 nations who experience budget shortfalls from $270 to $700 billion this summer, crippling that development. The World Bank, which offers the human capital-rich emerging economies "safety net" loans, warned that it could only accommodate a few of those nations since only about 25% are developed enough to be viewed as a safe risk. The World Bank, which offers low interest loans to developing nations, warned international financial institutions that it could not guarantee the loans since it lacks the liquidity to cover even the low end of that estimate.
In February, World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said more investments are needed in the developing economies to sustain the investment dollars (or Pounds, Euros or Reichmarks) already invested in the third world. How big of a plug is needed? Frankly, there is not one large enough. The ramifications are that the poorest nations where globalization was just beginning to have an impact will remain poor for the next decade or two. Like with commercial borrowers in the United States, emerging nations with good credit standings will be able to borrow even though there will be less money available and it will cost borrowers much more it.
In the developing nations in Southeast Asia from Indonesia to China, where London School of Economics graduates earning 6-digit incomes manage European and American transplanted factories, and other US and European-trained Asian executives now manage the increasingly westernized economies of the emerging nations in Southeast Asia as the transfer of wealth from the West to the East takes place, a new turn of events is happening to people just getting accustomed to penny affluence. The money flow expanding those economies has dried up. No money. No jobs. No paychecks.
The fear in the international banking community, and in the international political arena, is that globalization is collapsing, and this financial crisis—not the Fannie Mae subprime mortgage crisis—will be the catalyst that collapses the economies of the world. To date, the banker-industrialist scheme to globalize the economies of the world has resulted in a net losses of $50 trillion last year. The current occupant of the White House is still blaming the financial crisis on former President George W. Bush's handling of the subprime mortgage crisis (which I have shown repeatedly was a crisis caused, in part, by community activist Barack Hussein Obama's leveraging banks to provide unsecured mortgages to minorities with bad credit histories.) Only, the financial crisis, which was concealed by the Federal Reserve System, former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, and the current occupant of the White House, Obama. The lost wealth is equivalent to one whole year's worth of global economic output. The report, published by the Asian Development Bank, blamed the write-downs on bonds and currencies and the stock market shrinkage on the United States, claiming that trade deficits financed by the oil exporting nations, China, Japan and Indonesian exports to the United States and, to a lesser extent, to the industrial nations in Europe and Latin America.
Sounds like NAFTA and the "share the wealth of America" program was not a good idea. Nor was allowing liberal politicians wanting to erase not only their "carbon footprints" from the face of America, but their forensic fingerprints from in hip pockets of the environmentalist who wanted to end oil exploration and drilling in the United States. Everything has a price. The price of these two— for 2008—now totals $50 trillion.
The rich no longer have the resources to fix the problem. The financial contraction is become so bad it's squeezed the wealthiest of the wealthy, threatening to topple centuries-old financial dynasties. The contraction will squeeze the emerging economies beyond their economic endurance. Zoellick told the New York Post that "...[w]e need to react in real time to a growing crisis that is hurting people in developing countries. Action is needed by government and multilateral lenders to avoid social and political unrest." Worst hit are the East Asian markets, largely because the need for liquidity to bolster a weak, sagging US market has caused the rich nations, particularly the United States, to drain the financial resources of the global banks, squeezing the third world emerging nations out of the money equation. "Clearly fiscal resources have to be injected in the rich countries that are at the epicenter of the crisis," said World Bank Senior Vice President and the bank's chief economist Yifu Lin. "Channeling infrastructure investment to the developing world where it can release bottlenecks to growth and quickly restore demand can have an even bigger bang for the buck, and should be a key element to recovery."
"This global crisis," Zoellick reiterated "needs a global solution. Preventing an economic catastrophe in the developing nations is important for global efforts to overcome this crisis." The globalists here, in Europe, and in Asia see the real possibility that cracks in the global economic union may be signaling the fracturing the golden age of world trade.
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Economist Jeffrey Sachs believes the collapse of globalization is not only possible but, with the rise of nationalism in the United States and the Europe Union nations, it's very likely. We are already seeing the United States toughening its position on world trade in order to emphasize domestic issues: in particular, the displacement of American workers and the diminished role of labor unions in the emerging nations. Obama, at the urging of big labor, appears to be moving in the direction of protecting US companies at home by imposing trade restrictions aimed at slowing the flow of imported goods into the country and the flow of US money out of the country. Clearly, whether permanent or temporary, this financial crisis has triggered what could very well be a period of deglobalization and a reversal of the volume of world trade that has risen steadily since the end of the Reagan years.