Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Paranoia and depression

I fear the future. Or perhaps I should say A future, the one that looks darn likely right now.

We're headed into a recession with the possibility of it being a real nasty one. We've got a surging inflationary push from increasing costs of energy and food (the drought as well as oil needs). We've got an upcoming deflationary push as the housing market drops - reinforced by the fact that credit card use has increased in a double digit rate the past couple of months. (Be fair, Kirk. 8.5% two months ago. 11% last month. That's "only" 9.75%, not really double digit growth.) [CORRECTION. 9.8% in May. 11% in June. That's earlier than last month. And it's definitely over 10%.] The oil is going to make everything more expensive. The approaching credit wall is going to stop access to 'money'. The result's pretty plain - stagflation. But that's not the worst of it.

Overseas, it appears to me that the US intends to let Israel 'clear the decks'. They're not going to permit a ceasefire proposal that doesn't give Israel what it wants. Since France is the one putting boots on the ground, France gets a say too, but it wants an actual ceasefire in place so they're not shot up by both sides. Which means they want a recognition of Hezbollah. It ain't gonna end soon.

And the longer it goes, the more it trends toward nightmare land. That's because Iran's getting more and more open about its support of Hezbollah. And Sistani in Iraq is getting more and more public about his unhappiness. All of which boils down to the "first pan-arabic war." And since such a huge proportion of oil comes from there, everyone's going to act to preserve their interest.

I have a nasty suspicion that school-children in a couple of decades will look at the kidnapping of the Israeli soldiers much as today we look at the assassination of ArchDuke Ferdinand. That wasn't really the trigger, but it's a single incident of focus that can be blamed as the trigger for what boiled into global - or regional war with players from across the globe.

I am not prepared for a world turned upside down again. And I fear that it's coming, ready or not.


Blogger Inigo_de_Montoya said...

You're not paranoid when bad things really are happening in your direction. I'm just a little less glum than you about economic prospects but possible even more glum about political and international prospects.

8/09/2006 2:35 PM  

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