Coming soon to a country near you?

From Jim Rickards‘ @jamesgrickards Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis. #currencywars

Rickards is speaking here about alternatives to Keynesian economic theory.

The most promising new school is complexity theory. Despite the name, complexity theory rests on straightforward foundations. The first is that complex systems are not designed from the top down. Complex systems design themselves through evolution or the interaction of myriad autonomous parts. [Explaining why restricting autonomy is the favored approach for administrative government mavens, AKA “Czars.”]

The second principle is that complex systems have emergent properties, which is a technical way of saying the whole is greater than the sum of its parts — the entire system will behave in ways that cannot be inferred from looking at the the pieces. The third principle is that complex systems run on exponentially greater amounts of energy. This energy can take many forms, but the point is that when you increase the system scale by a factor of ten, you increase the energy requirements by a factor of a thousand, and so on. The fourth principle is that complex systems are prone to catastrophic collapse. The third and fourth principles are related. When the system reaches a certain scale, the energy inputs dry up because the exponential relationship between scale and inputs exhausts the available resources. In a nutshell, complex systems arise spontaneously, behave unpredictably, exhaust resources and collapse catastrophically. When you apply this paradigm to finance, you begin to see where currency wars are headed.

On March 20 Greece has a bond payment of 14.5 billion euros ($18 billion) due. Close enough to the Ides of March for government work.

“[E]xponentially greater amounts of energy.”

Source: PBOC, ECB, FED, BoJ (via Things That Make You Go Hmmm…)

Iceberg ahead, Sir! Steady as she goes, Helmsman.

Nancy Pelosi is being coy about her support for the Government bailout of the Government. Congressional Liberals are whinging about ‘Satan Sandwiches.’ The statist street is suggesting Obama has betrayed them – again. The Vice President called the tea party “terrorists.” “Hostage takers,” is the Progressive phrase of the day. If the hard left doesn’t like it, it must be good, right? After all, the Wall Street Journal is calling the debt deal a ‘big win’ for the tea party, though continuing to criticize those who were elected for keeping their campaign promises.

It’s a set up. All this angst is to reinforce the idea that the tea party philosophy is rigid and unreasonable. It is not rigid, it is principled. It is not the least unreasonable. Still, in the next round we’re going to hear, “You terrorist cretins refused to compromise last time, and THIS TIME you’re not getting your way.”

Here’s the terrible thing those moronic Hobbits wrought:

  • $9 trillion Baseline increase over ten years
  • $0.917 trillion spending reduction
  • For a $8.083 trillion Baseline increase over ten years

  • Add to that a $1.5 trillion Budget Act Super Committee tax increase, (my prediction) and you get… a $9.583 baseline spending increase over ten years.

And that’s if future Congresses don’t go back on the promises of the current pirates, and the largest tax increase in American history is enacted by letting the Bush tax cuts expire.

Oh, and we get to have a fantasy vote on a Balanced Budget Amendment in the Senate.

Status quo on the debt trajectory. Size and scope of government unchanged. Summary: We avoid a liquidity crisis by increasing the ongoing solvency crisis.

Here are two examples of what the debt ceiling deal means will continue.

Graphs courtesy Zero Hedge.

You decide if that represents an immediate, existential threat to the United States.

If the tea party are Hobbits, John McCain is Boromir

Nominations for Grima Wormtongue are open.

John McCain quoted the Wall Street Journal the other day to the effect that tea party aspirations for an end to fiscal insanity resemble a J. R. R. Tolkien fantasy.

…[T]he tea-party Hobbits could return to Middle Earth having defeated Mordor.

Yesterday, the Journal found it expedient to explain the obvious:

These columns drew much notice after John McCain quoted our July 27 “tea party hobbits” line on the Senate floor. Senator (sic) Sharron Angle responded that “it is the hobbits who are the heroes and save the land.” Well, okay, but our point was that there’s no such thing as a hobbit.

Serious debt reduction achieved in a bi-partisan kumbaya outbreak is a fantasy. It’s right up there with belief in the Tooth Fairy and the Social Security ‘Trust’ fund. And it will forever be a fantasy, absent some major shake-up. The Journal’s core assumption is that not raising the debt limit is the worst thing that could happen. Perhaps not.

As to fantasy, the same could reasonably have been said, and was, of the Declaration of Independence. The difference between the Revolution and the debt ceiling question is the immediacy and level of perceived risk.

If you do not think resolution of the Federal spending question involves an imminent, existential threat to the Republic, why would you think Hobbits are imaginary?

If you assume we will return to fiscal sanity at some later date – savings and investments intact, ‘social compact’ reformed – because the GOP will fix it all when they take the Senate and Presidency in the next election: You may be indulging in a fantasy. As Senator McCain has demonstrated, we wouldn’t even be having the debate if we hadn’t elected the Hobbits.

If you assume the Democrats will seriously address spending, or even co-operate in so doing, you are beyond fantasy.

The WSJ‘s analogy could be extended. The Hobbits didn’t want to take on Sauron, they were forced to. They got little aid and no little betrayal from a corrupt establishment. They won, despite terrific odds which would only have become worse had they decided the problem could wait for an election in Mordor.