Economics - Oct 28
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America and the Dollar Illusion
Gabor Steingart, Der Spiegel (Germany)
The dollar is still the world's reserve currency, even though it hasn't deserved this status for a long time. The devaluation of the dollar can't be stopped -- it can only be deferred. The result could be a world economic crisis.
Der Spiegel Editor's Note: The following essay has been excerpted from the German best-seller "World War for Wealth: The Global Grab for Power and Prosperity" by SPIEGEL editor Gabor Steingart. SPIEGEL ONLINE is publishing a series of excerpts from the book.
(25 Oct 2006)
Long article written in a readable style. It does a nice job of putting together the parts of the picture. The basic subject should be familiar ground for EB readers.
Submitter Steven Lesh writes:
For some historical background on how the US "Empire of Debt" (the title of a very well-written book by Bill Bonner and Addison Wiggin) came to be, see Dr. Michael Hudson's books "Super Imperialism" and "Global Fracture". You can download "Super Imperialism" in Adobe Acrobat .pdf from his web site - www.michael-hudson.com/books/superimperialism.pdf
The hunger for oil conquers all
Peter Fabricius, Pretoria News
In Africa, as elsewhere, it seems, oil trumps all. Especially when war in Iraq makes the stuff scarce and expensive.
The 1999 Petroleum Revenue Management Programme (PRMP), signed between the World Bank and the Chad government, was hailed as a model of how to ensure that the oil resource curse in Africa became the blessing it should be.
(16 Oct 2006)
GAO Chief Warns Economic Disaster Looms
AUTH, Associated Press via My Way News
David M. Walker sure talks like he's running for office. "This is about the future of our country, our kids and grandkids," the comptroller general of the United States warns a packed hall at Austin's historic Driskill Hotel. "We the people have to rise up to make sure things get changed."
But Walker doesn't want, or need, your vote this November. He already has a job as head of the Government Accountability Office, an investigative arm of Congress that audits and evaluates the performance of the federal government.
Basically, that makes Walker the nation's accountant-in-chief. And the accountant-in-chief's professional opinion is that the American public needs to tell Washington it's time to steer the nation off the path to financial ruin.
...To show that the looming fiscal crisis is not a partisan issue, he brings along economists and budget analysts from across the political spectrum. In Austin, he's accompanied by Diane Lim Rogers, a liberal economist from the Brookings Institution, and Alison Acosta Fraser, director of the Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.
"We all agree on what the choices are and what the numbers are," Fraser says.
Their basic message is this: If the United States government conducts business as usual over the next few decades, a national debt that is already $8.5 trillion could reach $46 trillion or more, adjusted for inflation. That's almost as much as the total net worth of every person in America - Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and those Google guys included.
A hole that big could paralyze the U.S. economy; according to some projections, just the interest payments on a debt that big would be as much as all the taxes the government collects today.
(XX Oct 2006)
The article has appeared in many online publications. -BA
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