The War in Ukraine Marks the End of the American Century
Posted on June 12th, 2022

Courtesy The Unz Review

The ferocity of the confrontation in Ukraine shows that we’re talking about much more than the fate of the regime in Kiev. The architecture of the entire world order is at stake.” Sergei Naryshkin, Director of Foreign Intelligence

Here’s your ‘reserve currency’ thought for the day: Every US dollar is a check written on an account that is overdrawn by 30 trillion dollars.

It’s true. The full faith and credit” of the US Treasury is largely a myth held together by an institutional framework that rests on a foundation of pure sand. In fact, the USD is not worth the paper it is printed on; it is an IOU flailing in an ocean of red ink. The only thing keeping the USD from vanishing into the ether, is the trust of credulous people who continue to accept it as legal tender.

But why do people remain confident in the dollar when its flaws are known to all? After all, America’s $30 trillion National Debt is hardly a secret, nor is the additional $9 trillion that’s piled up on the Fed’s balance sheet. That is a stealth debt of which the American people are completely unaware, but they are responsible for all the same.

In order to answer that question, we need to look at how the system actually works and how the dollar is propped up by the numerous institutions that were created following WW2. These institutions provide an environment for conducting history’s longest and most flagrant swindle, the exchange of high-ticket manufactured goods, raw materials and hard-labor for slips of green paper with dead presidents on them. One can only marvel at the genius of the elites who concocted this scam and then imposed it wholesale on the masses without a peep of protest. Of course, the system is accompanied by various enforcement mechanisms that swiftly remove anyone who tries to either break free from the dollar or, God help us, create an alternate system altogether. (Saddam Hussein and Muammar Qaddafi come to mind.) But the fact is– aside from the institutional framework and the ruthless extermination of dollar opponents– there’s no reason why humanity should remain yoked to a currency that is buried beneath a mountain of debt and whose real value is virtually unknowable.

It wasn’t always like this. There was a time when the dollar was the strongest currency in the world and deserved its spot at the top of the heap. Following WW1, the US was the owner of the majority of the world’s gold” which was why an international delegation decided that the world’s currencies would no longer be linked to gold but could be pegged to the U.S. dollar, because the greenback was, itself, linked to gold.” Here’s more from an article at Investopedia:

The arrangement came to be known as the Bretton Woods Agreement. It established the authority of central banks, which would maintain fixed exchange rates between their currencies and the dollar. In turn, the United States would redeem U.S. dollars for gold on demand….

The U.S dollar was officially crowned the world’s reserve currency and was backed by the world’s largest gold reserves thanks to the Bretton Woods Agreement. Instead of gold reserves, other countries accumulated reserves of U.S. dollars. Needing a place to store their dollars, countries began buying U.S. Treasury securities, which they considered to be a safe store of money.

The demand for Treasury securities, coupled with the deficit spending needed to finance the Vietnam War and the Great Society domestic programs, caused the United States to flood the market with paper money….

The demand for gold was such that President Richard Nixon was forced to intervene and de-link the dollar from gold, which led to the floating exchange rates that exist today. Although there have been periods of stagflation, which is defined as high inflation and high unemployment, the U.S. dollar has remained the world’s reserve currency.” (How the U.S. Dollar Became the World’s Reserve Currency”, Investopedia)

But now the gold is gone and what’s left is a steaming pile of debt. So, how on earth has the dollar managed to preserve its status as the world’s preeminent currency?

Proponents of the dollar system, will tell you it has something to do with the size and strength of the U.S. economy and the dominance of the U.S. financial markets.” But that’s nonsense.

The truth is, reserve currency status has nothing to do with the size and strength” of America’s post-industrial, service-oriented, bubble-driven, third-world-sh**hole economy. Nor does it have anything to do with the alleged safety of US Treasuries” which– next to the dollar– is the biggest Ponzi flim-flam of all time.

For full report

The War in Ukraine Marks the End of the American Century, by Mike Whitney – The Unz Review

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