We're in for a wild ride. Exponentially accelerating technological, cultural, and socioeconomic evolution means that every year will see more developments than the previous one. More change will happen between now and 2050 than during all of humanity's past. Let's explore the 21st century and ride this historic wave of planetary transition with a confident open mind.

Friday, May 28, 2010

European Union Versus United States

Reserve Currency Fight to the Death? Part 2: Looking at pros and cons of major monetary competitors to see whose currency will collapse first

In part 1, there was background on why United States can now proceed with attempts to financially collapse the European Union. Although Washington-Wall Street Complex completely mismanaged the socioeconomic functions of North America for 40 years now, until 1999 there was always time and breathing room to kick the debt problem further into the future. The appearance of the euro on the scene automatically made EU a dangerous rival. This antagonism is more acute than ever in 2010. That's because the upcoming second dip of the economic collapse inside US would cement euro's role as world's reserve/best safety destination and send human resources (in form of American braindrain) back to the old world.

It is now common (and increasingly publicly admitted by the parasitical elites) knowledge that US and UK are worse off than EU in terms of debt and structural inability to do anything about it (rapidly export and grow their way out of the hole). However, the competition in whose reserve currency will pop first will still be close since each union has substantial strengths and weaknesses that are unique to itself.

The credit rating agency attack dogs have been unleashed ( ripping into those European players who were already weakened by banksters) around the time when world was moving away from the dollar in the fall of 2009. The PIGS countries problem can be seen as a grand diversionary tactic to distract from USA's fatal condition. EU, led by Berlin, has fired back recently in the form of American style 1 trillion euro bailout meant to make EU outlast United States. US will correspondingly now throw everything but the kitchen sink. Lets look at the match up.


Pros -

1) Stronger political safeguards against banksters on average. There are better mechanisms at popular and pragmatic resolution of conflicts (proportional representation for most member states and also at continental level). People in member states have just a tad bit more say/power compared to financial parasites than people in individual states in US. It is slightly more difficult to loot Europe to the same extent as occurs(ed) in North America. This was evident in more rapid and gently more intense implementation of regulatory financial reform by EU member states since 2008. Less third world-esque socioeconomic conditions in general.

2) Trade balance with the rest of the world better than USA's. Depreciation of the euro helps European exporters more than American ones since they have more industry to make desired exports in the first place. EU has powerful states that can actually produce and export more value added needed goods such as cars and nuclear technology that non-Western world is ravenous for. Germany and France are more equipped than Texas and California in this regard (potential ability to keep non-producing states afloat and to strengthen the reserve currency via industrial production). Countries like Ireland have their healthy relatively debt free counterparts within the zone. Substantial gold reserves are present on the continent.

3) There is stronger infrastructure centric focus to give confidence to major world players in long term soundness of the euro. The continent is a lot more interconnected by high speed rail than US to keep real trade and growth going. Welfare state provisions in staples like education and health keep more money in the hands of poorer consumers to keep continental trade going on an individual level. In other words, Main Street is not as dingy, miserable, and desperate compared to its Anglo counterpart. This translates to better trained and educated workforce as a human reserve.

4) Direct investment business from abroad logistically easier. There are more neighboring non-euro using economies with a stake in the eurozone who bolster it through meaningful trade (fiscally prudent states like Norway, Sweden, and Russia). Hundreds of millions of  Eurasian peoples know who they'd rather see collapse.

5) Concentrations of ambitious oligarchs and political elites who understand the war preventing historical grand nature of EU project as a whole and who will go to radical measures to save it. Comparison can be made to elites behind US constitution (vast majority of ordinary people had no input in 1780s).

Cons -

1) Lack of American style centralized imperial leadership on continental level allows for same nationalistic problems that plagued US in early 19th century. Harder to justify subsidies to weaker nations even if their books and infrastructure are better than California's. Conversely, harder for leaderships of small nations to justify staying in the union. Threat of economic and political secession a lot more real. EU also has fewer and less powerful mechanisms to exploit and loot non-EU states the way US does. It therefore makes the continent more vulnerable to exploitation by oligarchs in US, China, and Russia.

2) Lack of numerical parity for euro use in the world compared to the dollar. Dollar still dominates and there is historic psychological comfort, investment, and commitment to it among the elites of the world. It's difficult to very rapidly disentangle due to professional careful research needed.

3) Lack of equally powerful credit rating agencies to hit back at credit worthiness of US states in retaliation. Lack of similar ability to project imperial power via naval and land forces to bolster euro as reserve and to humiliate dollar centric societies. Lack of European bases and troops on US soil as a form of intimidation. Pathological reliance on American elites for military protection and even ideological guidance. Not as capable (as Anglo counterparts) to create new financial instruments to throw against opponents.

4) Urban educated population a lot less controllable and less likely to go along with plans of EU leadership compared to their counterparts in New York, Portland, etc.

UNITED STATES: (one of course can just reverse what's listed above but here's a few key things to keep in mind)

Pros -

1) Physical ability and enormous propaganda megaphone to do mass diversions to distract from domestic and dollar problems. This can include anything from engineering a crisis such as a war or an economic implosion of EU's allies. The sheer amount of thermonuclear power that US has gives confidence to its "zone" as safety for the rich the world over. US is also able to manipulate price of oil more than any other entity and thus mess with the energy finances of the EU. Not mentioning the ability to just tell millions of investors the world over to not invest in Europe by downgrading credit worthiness. This will actually work briefly as a destabilizing tool when combined with other measures. Amazingly, enough people still believe in what credit rating agency swindlers say.

2) Better ability to do under the table deal making with Russia and China against EU's interests in order to preserve the dollar as reserve a while longer. Of course it may seem unlikely that Beijing and Moscow will go with Americans over Europeans but US has more things to offer with its military might. We don't know what a cornered animal is capable of in terms of switching policies and bargaining (see alliance building with Maoist China in the 1970s).

Cons -

1) Washington's bailout came way before EU's and now that it is running out there is danger EU can just outlast its monetarist competitor. US has already been looted thoroughly by the banks and there is little left to do in terms of paper shuffling. Similarly, there is little left to cut in US in terms of infrastructure and services. Unlike Europeans, Americans never created a solid welfare state to deconstruct and what existed was already reduced greatly over the past 30 years. If social unrest in US reaches Greek levels, then major powers will see the writing on the wall that (the historically tolerant) US peasantry has reached its breaking point.

2) Financial parasites in London may throw their lot with Europe thus creating infighting between Wall Street and London as centers of oligarchic power. This will depend on political decisions of the new British government. To see where rats from a sinking ship are headed (and what ship they're running from) will hint at what follows (note Wall Street higher ups getting increased police protection before the 2008 crash).

Overall it appears the European Union has an edge for short term survival of its currency. However, US has historically proven that it is capable of rather intense actions to bolster itself. We'll see what else is indirectly thrown at Brussels, Berlin, and Paris in weeks ahead and if they are able to muster equally intense counter attacks.

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