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An Optimist’s Version of Apocalypse Now

John Rubino sees a financial apocalypse in our near future. For him, the catalyst that triggers the process is rising interest rates accompanied by a falling dollar. In his post entitled Long-Term Bonds and the End of Our World he describes it as follows:

At some point in the next year or two, long-term Treasuries thus become the short of the decade. Falling bond prices will push up interest rates on all loans tied to Treasuries. Home mortgages, business loans, even credit cards will go up, while consumer borrowing and spending will shrink.

And then it gets interesting. With bond yields spiking and currency values plunging, the Fed and other central banks will, for the first time since their creation, be impotent. Lowering short term rates (already near zero) will be ineffective, while buying more bonds with newly-created dollars will force the dollar lower, making bonds even less attractive to private sector buyers. At some point along the way it will dawn on not just the smart money but on everyone that the falcon can’t hear the falconer, that events are beyond the control of monetary authorities. And everyone will head for the exits at once.

There are other possibilities that could trigger a financial collapse and Rubino’s timing of the next year or two is moot. However, for the moment, let’s grant his outcome. (I do believe it is plausible and likely.) Here is where he is entirely too optimistic:

That’s when the world as we know it — powerful central government, fiat currency, fractional reserve banking, global military empire, cradle-to-grave welfare — ends, and the debate over its replacement begins. As always, money will talk, which means those with gold and other real assets will have a seat at the table, and for the first time in a century Constitutional principals will get a fair hearing. Time to start re-reading the Federalist Papers.

We should be so lucky! Although Rubino doesn’t specifically define his expected time frames, the financial collapse seems to occur “in the next year or two” and “That’s when the world as we know it … ends.”To me, JohnRubinothat suggests an almost immediate transition to smaller government, no fiat currency, etc.  If he is correct on his financial scenario, I do not believe he can be correct on how the world ends, or at least is way too optimistic regarding the timing.

There will be a long time between the financial collapse and the end envisioned by Rubino. And this transition period is likely to be a version of Hell never known by our country.Is there any reason to believe that the “powerful central government” will willingly cede power? On the contrary, I believe it is more likely that they will seize more power as a result of a financial collapse. That is their nature. It is what happens during every crisis. Every attempt will be made to maintain the status quo including martial law. The government will not willingly call for a new Constitutional Congress. They will not willingly give their power and control back to “We the People.”

The fact that resources will be diminished is probably the basis for Mr. Rubino’s hope for a quick transition. However, that will not prevent those in power from doing everything they can to maintain and/or expand control. Resources, while diminished, will still be substantial. Substantially more than what the Soviet Union had available when they had totalitarian control for about 70 years.

Rubino’s catalyst is likely. Even more likely is his eventual end state, because it is human nature to want to be free. His implied transition time is incorrect and could take decades or more than a century. The transition will be ugly and could include periods of civil unrest, totalitarianism, anarchism, spilled blood and who knows what else. We will go through hell to get to his heaven. My fear is that my grandchildren’s grandchildren will still be deeply involved in the transition.

Despite my differences, John Rubino’s article is worthwhile reading.

17 thoughts on “An Optimist’s Version of Apocalypse Now”

    1. A third party effort cannot succeed in my opinion. At best it can make a reasonable showing and then build from there. Perhaps succeed in 2016 or 2020. That will probably be too late.

      1. Agree. Even here in Canada there are too many people who watch Glenn Beck and consider themselves on the “inside track” of information (those crooked Democrats, those bumbling Republicans). You have two hand puppets, a Donkey and an Elephant, and everybody arguing over them. The puppeteer just smirks.

        The 3rd Party option had a great chance 17 years ago and the PTB shut Perot down. A groundswell of support for Ron Paul got no traction in the Republican Party. If he went 3rd Party he’d be assassinated. So the situation has to be bad enough that a literal Nobody can rise up. And that Nobody could just as easily be a Bonaparte as a Jefferson.

        Do what you can to reform your system, but you must personally prepare yourself as best you can for the worst, and do it yesterday.

        “Money controls the world. Bankers control the money. Lucifer controls the Bankers.”

        1. J.-A.-I.-S.:

          Banking is not capitalistic, it is oligarchic and transnational in nature. Since it relies on monopoly and exists by gov’t blessing, it is more socialist than it is anything else. Whose dime sent Lenin to Petrograd?

          Socialism is alive and well in America and killing it dead. The best-looked-after proletariat in the world renews your driving license, indoctrinates your children, delivers your mail, writes your parking tickets and tells you who you can/can’t hire/fire and what you can do with your own property, IN ADDITION TO driving tanks and flying Predators. Besides these it has a dependable and massive cadre of single moms, illegal immigrants and gangbangers to ensure it is never voted out or dismantled regardless of party in power.

          The rest struggle uphill to keep shops open, mills and mines running and farms growing our food while bureaucrats and those gov’t-sanctioned “legal persons” called Corporations slowly squeeze the life out of them. (Jefferson warned about them too.)

          Nietzsche is no foundation to build any society on, unless you plan to exterminate all the “shopkeepers, Christians, cows, females, Englishmen, and other bourgeoise”.

          Do you?

          1. Your points in both comments are well taken. There is nothing to disagree with. As Yogi Berra allegedly said, “When you come to the fork in the road, take it.” We are now at that fork. The people seem to want to go one way and the politicians the other. It should be an amazing next decade or two.

      2. One misunderstanding that some people have is the thought that our taxes pay for our government services. If we all quit paying taxes today, the government would still be able to borrow the money needed to finance itself through bond sales. At least for awhile.

        The government budget for 2009 was $2,650 billion. The total revenue from ALL sources was $4.6 billion. Our tax dollars are barely a drop in the bucket.

        Pie chart of government spending:

        Government Revenue:

        Another problem is making the right choice for the solution to our problems. What should we do? End The Fed? If so, then the IMF will may very well replace it. Is that good? I see the various challenges ahead of us as a hydra. You cut one head off and two grow back in its place.

        Educate yourself, educate your friends, educate your neighbors and if you still have a job, educate your co-workers. Listen to all sides of the arguments. Ask yourself who gains from them?

        Watch these online documentaries for some additional background education:

        The Corporation:

        Watch it at home online here:

        The American Ruling Class:

        Watch it at home online here:

        In Debt We Trust


        The End of America:

        Watch it at home online here:

        The Future of Food:

        Watch it at home online here:

        Food Inc. (Buy or rent it):

        On the more extreme side of opinions…

        The Obama Deception:

        Watch it at home online here:

      3. Dan,
        You have identified the problem nicely. The Fed cannot stop monetizing or the Treasury cannot pay its bills. But if the Fed continues monetizing the dollar falls to nothing in value and is shunned by both international and domestic users. My guess is that the Fed, controlled by the Government no matter how much we like to talk about its independence, takes the second route.

      4. The 28th President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson, once warned his Nation: “Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men’s views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the U.S., in the field of commerce and manufacturing, are afraid of somebody, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.”

        The 1st President of the United States, George Washington, further warned his Nation: “It may be laid down as a primary position, and the basis of our system, that every Citizen who enjoys the protection of a Free Government, owes not only a proportion of his property, but even of his personal services to the defense of it.”

        Unfortunately the American people have failed to heed either one of them as evidenced by their allowing the capitalist coup against Roosevelt to fade from their history books and the murder of Kennedy to go unanswered for.

        With such a people supposedly standing behind him, one does wonder how Obama can survive with only these cowards and idiots to protect and defend him, or why he would even want to.

        But, and as the great American President Abraham Lincoln once observed by saying: “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”

        the ‘final chapter’ of this latest chapter in the ‘American Story’ is yet to be written, and maybe, just maybe, these poor souls will end up surprising us all again by willingly sacrificing themselves as individuals for the greater good of their Nation.

        The cost? Most assuredly high. The bloodshed? Beyond all description and measure to be sure. But as the great American Founding Father Thomas Jefferson once warned: “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

        Nietzsche was another who wrote about the need of tragic-heroes, revolutionary supermen: “The great men are necessary, the time in which they appear is accidental; that they almost always become masters over their age is only because they are stronger, because they are older, because for a longer time much was gathered for them.” -Twilight of the Idols

        “The human being who has become free and how much more the spirit who has become free spits on the contemptible type of well-being dreamed of by shopkeepers, Christians, cows, females, Englishmen, and other bourgeoise. The free man is a warrior. How is freedom measured in individuals and peoples? According to the resistance which must be overcome, according to the exertion required, to remain on top. The highest type of free men should be sought where the highest resistance is constantly overcome: five steps from tyranny, close to the threshold of the danger of servitude. This is true psychologically if by “tyrants” are meant inexorable and fearful instincts that provoke the maximum of authority and discipline against themselves; the most handsome type: Julius Caesar.”

        And Lenin another great revolutionary who with the help of the exploited Russians overthrew their exploiters and oppressors in the Russian Revolution: “The dictatorship of the proletariat is a stubborn struggle, bloody and bloodless, violent and peaceful, military and economic, educational and administrative against the forces and traditions of the old society. The dictatorship of the proletariat is the instrument of the proletarian revolution, its organ, its most important mainstay, brought into being for the purpose of, firstly, crushing the resistance of the overthrown exploiters and consolidating the achievements of the proletarian revolution, and secondly, carrying the revolution to the complete victory of socialism. Soviet power as the state form of the dictatorship of the proletariat. The victory of the dictatorship of the proletariat signifies the suppression of the bourgeoisie, the smashing of the bourgeois state machine and the substitution of proletarian democracy for bourgeois democracy.”

        Therefore, Lenin is right in saying: “The proletarian revolution is impossible without the forcible destruction of the bourgeois state machine and the substitution for it of a new one” (see Vol. XXIII, P. 342)

        The time for battle is upon them all, even if they fail to see it.

        Unfortunately the American people have failed to heed either one of them as evidenced by their allowing the capitalist coup de etat against Roosevelt to fade from their history books and the murder of Kennedy to go unanswered for.

        Let other people you know learn about socialism! Spread the word… the more people who know the truth, the greater the force against the capitalist system! Resistance forever!

        Here are a good links toward the introduction of socialist ideology (The only solution for the United States):


        ……..(‘(…´…´…. ¯~/’…’)
        ……….”…\………. _.·´


      5. A few quotes;
        US government alone will need to finance $4.5 trillion worth of bonds next year
        At the end of October 36 % of the public debt was due within a year.
        the government will have to cough up $1.6 trillion just by the end of March.

        Now, we all know that the measly $ trillion that the banks got can’t possibly cover even a fraction of their exposure. Soooo, GOV and banking are in a race to run out of money. The FED is pulling out the rug next quarter so, the banks may win the race.
        There is NO predicting the completely irrational bond buyers. I suspect that Mac and Mae will collapse next quarter because the FED will discontinue purchases. All the recent FHA activity was secured at Mac?,, I think.
        When the US defaults, oil will become COD. Since GOV is only worried about GOV [and military], I suspect that fuel deliveries to farmers and food producers will be unreliable. We only produce 41% of our own oil.
        The Canadians will get their arms twisted to continue to supply us. We’ll still come up short.

        We can shed crocodile tears and tell the East that we just don’t have the food. That should certainly destabilize a few oil-producing countries. Next quarter looks to be Armageddon because there’s no wealth left in the country. Cook argues that America will be discarded. Next quarter, we get deep into option-arms and Alt-A. We also have to rollover something like $ 1.3 trillion of CRE. Calif may default by then. All of these details will chase away bond buyers.
        When the US appears to lose all possibility of repaying our debts, even high interest will fail to attract buyers.

        If BRIC can continue to decouple, the hot money will flow to them. I expect a spike in commodities. This will hit hard in the US.
        Our # one problem is that the PTB in GOV will not address the real problems. As long as that continues, future measure will be JUST as effective as past measures. My fingers are tired.

      6. I buy your analysis that Rubino is too optimistic. But I buy Ron Paul’s analysis that people will begin to just ignore the federal government. When people stop using dollars, the Federal Reserve will go away by default. Plus, when people stop using dollars, they will also stop sending money to the IRS. I don’t know how the federal government will pay for the American version of the SS, but I doubt that many soldiers or law-enforcement types will be terribly interested in working for free. I don’t think we will see the totalitarian control of the Soviet Union because we are at the same socio-political place right now that Russia was in during the early 90s. Our empire is coming to its knees.

      7. I’ve thought for a long time that 2010 would be the year when the “powers that be” could no longer prop up the financial system, and that collapse would then occur. They have been preparing for this point in time for quite a while, the Constitution has been diluted, executive orders put in place, our troops have been hardened in urban warfare -some have been privatized – making them more unaccountable and malleable.

        Conversely, there are something like 4.5 million armed militia in this country who are also preparing, and they will not go quietly if the government tries to force its will openly on them. I think after the highly suspicious events of 9/11, WMD, etc. etc. they are probably very skeptical of engineered events designed to cow them.

        So, when the economic turdola hits the proverbial fan, and government strong arms the people, we will have an obvious recipe for civil strife. With 200 million hand guns on the streets already, and a massively centralized food distribution network (from factory farms directly to the supermarket) there is the potential for a huge dislocation in the supply of basics to the average US household.

        We all know what happened in New Orleans during the flooding, it was ugly, but containable. What is potentially coming our way will not be containable in the same fashion. There is a very real fear of widespread chaos and anarchy, especially in the major urban areas.

        For our elites, they’ve waited generations to finally be at a point where they could literally control the world. The frustration they will have over seeing this vision begin to evaporate during a meltdown of the US population will likely drive them to be heinously lethal in order to try and keep the wheels on the wagon. But I’d guess they will fail over the medium term, Americans may be the slowly boiling frog at this point, but there is some jump left in them – and when they finally leap out of the boiling water and confront what it is that is really ailing them, then there are likely to be some very scared elites running to their offshore safe havens.

        I too wish this could happen swiftly and not drag generations of our young in to the fray, but it remains to be seen if that is avoidable.


        1. Our military all take an oath to the Constitution. They take it much more seriously than our politicians. Perhaps it is merely wishful thinking on my part, but I believe most of them to be committed and loyal to that oath. Again, a slim reed but perhaps a way to avoid the ugliest scenario.

      8. I have to agree with your analysis. The financial collapse is certain. There is simply no political will to stop it from the one side and the side with power is probably following the Cloward Piven strategy as if we actually had a choice anymore. Like you, I think Rubino is overly optimistic. Power is very hard to give up especially for the crop that has it now. Lincoln was willing to shed blood to prevent the dismantling of the republic and he is revered by almost all to this day. It could get very ugly indeed.

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