[In the guest editorial below, our good friend Tom McCafferty, a veteran commodity trader and author of numerous books about trading and the markets, recalls the challenges of boot camp in sizing up America’s economic predicament. The nation will need every ounce of strength, courage and Yankee know-how it can muster to avoid slipping into a deep economic coma, says Tom. Are we up to it? With Europe on the brink of collapse, we may find out sooner rather than later. RA]
“Get off your dead ass and onto you dying feet!”
Those of you who spent your wayward youth as part of the Corps can remember your First Sergeant bellowing these words, as you ended a rest break half way through a 50-mile hike at Camp Lejeune on a hot August day. Guess what? Europe is about to become you new First Sergeant.
Europe is headed for a major depression … like the good old days of 1929! The Great Depression lasted over a decade in the U. S., even with all the market and job creating stimulus FDR could beg, borrow and steal from Congress. It took World War II to get us working again. Then, if we, our allies and even our enemies, hadn’t bombed just about every factory and storage facility in the world, leaving the U.S. with the only working factories and cargo fleet intact in the world, we still might not have gotten out of it. The Great Depression could easily have gone on for decades and decades.
If Greece thinks they deserve a 100% haircut on their precious bonds and opts out of the EU, you can bet half the banks in Europe and a few in the U. S. will tank. This will be quickly followed by Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Ireland — by then the EU will be the smoking wreck that Europe was in 1945. This will quickly spread to Asia (where will China, Japan, Vietnam, India, etc. sell all their crap?). The U. S. will be caught debating how much to borrow so it can hire every citizen as a government employee.
Retrieving ‘Core Values’
Sad to say, this may be the type of wake-up call it takes to get back to our core values. Do we still have the spirit that:
• Carried us through the Revolution of 1776
• Allow us to expand into a nation from coast to shining coast
• Absorb people of all nationalities, races and religions
• Recover from a devastating Civil War
• Win two World Wars
• Explore space
• Master computers, Internet, medicine and science
• And a hell of a lot more!
The s**t is about to hit the fan — what will our reaction be? Remember, Rome fell, as did the Holy Roman Empire. Where is England’s great empire? All of Europe went through this after the two great wars. Even China lost the 18th and 19th centuries. It is nothing new, and many, many countries never had their day in the sun!
We’ll Have to Pull Together
When we were blindsided at Pearl Harbor or when we looked up and saw Sputnik in the sky, what did we do? We united. We pulled together. We crushed our enemy and put a man on the moon. The lack of leadership at the top and the lack of bipartisanship just below must stop. The Greatest Generation pulled our irons out of the fire last time. Now we need the same type of effort from Tea Partiers to the Occupy Wall Streeters to the Wall Street itself to teachers and civil works to Unions to entrepreneurs to all businesses and business people, even the unemployed. It will take a Herculean effort for the U. S. to survive the next decade. If we do it with vigor and determination, the century will be ours. If we don’t — buy gold, freeze-dried food and find a warm cave.
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