After America’s Bankruptcy

Richard Salbato 10-24-2010


The primary reason for the massive Tea Party revolution and the change in congress was when the people realized that we have a growing National Debt that cannot be sustained even for a few more years.  I will show that in the past the people would have been kept in the dark about debts because of the controlled News Media.  Today because of cable TV and the Internet, you cannot keep this information from the people. 

After November 2nd I was confident that the new congress would bring us out of this mess and we would be saved from a National Bankruptcy. But now I am not sure they have ideas that are radical enough to save us. They are going to start with going back to the 1980 budget, which was also a deficit. And Obama will probably veto this.  The truth is that in order to save America we must take in a half trillion dollars in taxes more than we spend for the next 20 years.  That will cut the debt by only 10 trillion and if we add the future debts of Medicare, SSI, Fannie May-Freddie Mack and Government pensions, our present and future debt over that 20 years is 200 Trillion Dollars.

We could fix this problem and I will explain that  in a minute but first let me predict that in the coming year over 100 counties, cities, and even states will go bankrupt.  One already has and that is Prichard, Alabama. Two months ago all their money ran out and they stopped paying all their bills including their pensions to government workers who are now retired.

Let us think of how a National Bankruptcy could happen in the next two years. Throughout the world every nation that buys or sells oil does it in dollars.  So these nations have to have a large reserve in dollars to  pay their oil debts. America has relied on confidence in our Dollar for the last 50 years, when we were the last one standing after the war.  No other currency was trusted as you will see below.

But now there are secrete meetings going on all over the world of large nations talking about dumping the dollar as an exchange for oil.  What would happen if all that money came back to America and they demanded our exchange be in other currencies.  They would send this back to us by demanding that we exchange the dollars they have for other currencies.  We would be flooded with worthless dollars.

Fixing the Debt

If you think I am very negative about saving America from bankruptcy, you are right. In other to take care of this debt, drastic things have to be done both on spending and on taking in more taxes. We know from history that by razing taxes the government gets less.  The way to have more government income is to raise the GDP, the gross domestic product, the amount of money the people make. This is done by making America business friendly.

We know that we will never be able to compete in the world with low educated labor intense businesses. However, we have the largest deposits of natural resources in the world and could be exporting up to a trillion dollars a year in taken from our ground and waters.

In California alone we have 40 trillion dollars in the ground at Monterey in oil shale but the state does not let if be drilled.  In Utah, the fields of oil shale are being drilled so fast the state cannot keep up with the construction that is needed for the new labor coming into the state, and many are living in their cars in order to have the jobs. But this is just state owned or privately owned land and the feds have the most of it and do not let them drill.  When you put North and South Dakoda and Colorado together with that, we could be exporting oil all over the world.  That does not even consider off shore and Alaska. The next thing we have in such abundance that we can export is coal, natural gas, and steel.

A massive government and business partnership could use this to get rid of all unemployment in less than a year because of the housing, roads, pipelines and new cities needed to do this.

The next thing we need is foreign educated workers and foreign companies coming here because of the friendly business government we could become. I am not saying to be friendly to all millionaires.  I would tax the hell out of those billionaires and millionaires who make money without owning a business and produce nothing.  They make money by having others loose money in the markets and produce nothing for society.  

The other side of this is to reduce spending, and we must correct Medicare and SSI now and that will eliminate the 190 trillion of unfunded liabilities over the next 20 years. Then cut the fed so much that we have a half a trillion in excess per year to pay the debt we have now. Outlaw government unions.

Now you see why I am not encouraged that we can save America.  These things can be done, but you and I know they will not be done.  But some just do not believe America could go bankrupt.


History of National bankruptcies

National bankruptcy is a popular discussion topic of late. In light of the global financial meltdown and the runaway deficit spending of the United States in particular, observers are predicting that national bankruptcy is entirely possible. Those who insist this could not happen would do well to look at history, and all of the national governments that have gone bankrupt over the years.

Russia’s Bankruptcy

Few developed nations have had economic histories as complicated and challenging as Russia’s. When Gorbachev took office in 1984 Russia was so broke it could not pay its army and riots were braking out. Because of the control of the news media, not even the CIA saw this coming. They had to quickly get rid of all the surrounding nations they were supporting and dump major industries into private hands. This was the real fall of communism and not any real outside force.

Then again in 1998, the former communist country suffered another financial crisis unlike any it had experienced prior. This time period was also known as the “ruble crisis” because of the ruble’s central role to Russia’s struggles. Following months of downward pressure on the ruble by currency speculators, Wikipedia states that “Russian stock, bond, and currency markets collapsed as a result of investor fears that the government would devalue the ruble, default on domestic debt, or both” in August 1998. Inflation soared past 80% before the year was out, with many banks closing down and the ruble losing over two thirds of its value from August to September alone. Nor has the crisis been forgotten, with the UK’s Telegraph wondering in November 2008 “will Russia go bankrupt again?”

Yugoslavia’s Bankruptcy

 Nothing pushes a bankruptcy faster than fear so when Yugoslavia went bankrupt and people were rioting in the streets, the international news media called it separatist movements. Like Russia it broke up into many separate nations each with a new monetary system. And none paid their foreign debts.

Between 1982 and 1999 Most of South American Nations went bankrupt

As I wrote about last week in The World is Bankrupt Now all the South American countries accepted Socialism as a way of government and as always is the case, within 30 to 40 years they all went broke around the same time. The IMF, the International Monetary Fund lent them billions of dollars, but unknown to the people, these nations put up for collateral their natural resources, water, electric, oil, gas and lumber.  In time they had to refuse to pay, go bankrupt and reform new capitalist countries. 

Argentina’s 2001 Bankruptcy

In their article “The Ghost of Argentina, Spiegel tells the story of Argentina’s bankruptcy in 2001. There was a run on banks following a collapse of the country’s national currency. So desperate and panicked were Argentina’s citizens that “many spent nights sleeping in front of the automated teller machines.” Eventually, the situation became so chaotic that President Fernando de la Rúa fled an enraged mob by helicopter. Despite all the protests and bank runs, the nation simply could not repay its $145 billion in foreign debts.

Iceland’s 2008 Bankruptcy

An even more recent national bankruptcy than Argentina’s 2001 fall from grace was Iceland, which became a casualty of the global financial crisis in 2008. According to BusinessWeek, the cause was a rapidly devalued currency: “the country cannot pay back its external debts, and the Icelandic currency, the krona, has become essentially valueless in the rest of the world.” The upshot of a worthless krona was that Iceland could no longer pay for imports, on which the country is heavily dependent. Worst of all, BusinessWeek notes, is that “with Iceland sitting outside the major currency trading blocs, there may be no one with the incentive or ability to save it.” Despite going hat in hand to the International Monetary Fund and Russia, the UK reportedly threatened to sue Iceland over unreturned money.

Germany’s 1920 and 1945 bankruptcies

Germany has the dubious distinction of having gone bankrupt not once, but twice in recent memory. The first bankruptcy came in the 1920s as a result of losing World War I. The “crushing reparations payments” (reportedly three times the value of all the property in the country) imposed by the Treaty of Versailles reduced Germany to a state of being “completely, hopelessly broke”, according to Unfortunately, this led to severe hyperinflation of German currency, which eventually got so out of control that “a wheelbarrow full of 100 billion-mark banknotes could not buy a loaf of bread.” The end of World War II produced another bankruptcy in 1945, as most of Germany’s industrial capacity and factories were destroyed by the allies.

Great Britain’s 1945 bankruptcy

Germany was not the only country to go bankrupt after World War II. Following suit, Great Britain demonstrated that even winning a war is accompanied by significant losses. Indeed, a New York Times article reported in 2006 that the UK was only then making its final payment on $4.34 billion in loans extended by the U.S. all the way back in 1945. To put that sum in perspective, $4.34 billion in 1945 is roughly equivalent to $140 billion today, a sum that was “double the size of the British economy at the time.” So ravaged was the British economy following the war that almost all national resources were dedicated to paying war debts for five full years after its completion.

Pakistan’s 2008 bankruptcy

Russia isn’t the only country that has been dragged into default by a decline in the value of rupees. In 2008, BusinessWeek reported that Pakistan “faced default on its huge foreign debt” amidst the beginnings of the financial crisis late that year. Remarking on the effects of looming default on the country at large, BusinessWeek states that “electricity goes out for as much as 12 hours a day, the gasoline lines get longer, and depositors rush to banks to pull out their meager savings.” Much of this trouble owes to Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves dropping to $4.3 billion (a 75% free fall over the year prior) primarily because of soaring oil prices, which comprise roughly a third of Pakistani imports. Topping things off, the rupee lost about 25% of its value in 2008 alone.

Zimbabwe’s 2008 Bankruptcy

Zimbabwe offers perhaps the most tragic story of national bankruptcy. In 2008, CNN reported that the embattled African country was “in the midst of an outbreak of cholera, food shortages, hyper inflation, and renewed calls for President Robert Mgabe to step down.” Unable to repay its $4.5 billion debt and struggling with an astounding 80% unemployment, Zimbabwe’s plight eventually worsened to such an appalling degree that one informant told CNN “most areas hadn’t had water for at least a year.” Yale University’s Center For The Study of Globalization reached similar conclusions back in 2005, dubbing Zimbabwe “the world’s fastest shrinking economy.”

Ecuador’s Six Bankruptcies

Ecuador is another nation unfortunate enough to have gone bankrupt twice in its history. In fact, according to Bloomberg, Ecuador’s announcement that it would default on $30 billion in interest payments was the second such announcement in this decade alone. Addressing the world with defiance and self-righteousness, Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa flatly stated “I have given the order that interest payments not be made. The country is in default.” Arturo Porzecanski, an international finance professor at American University in Washington, spoke for much of the international community (and certainly Ecuador’s creditors) by calling the country a “serial defaulter.” “A lot of other countries have had one or two defaults”, Porzecanski explains, “but Ecuador tops them all.” All told, the South American country has gone bankrupt six times since its 1830 separation from Gran Colombia.

France’s Many Bankruptcies

In an article entitled Can European Countries Really Go Bankrupt?, the San Francisco Sentinel uses pre-twentieth century France as an object lesson. As the Sentinel reminds us, “France became insolvent eight times” between 1500 and 1800. While it is tempting to dismiss such long-ago events as irrelevant to modern considerations, we should remember France’s place in the world during those times. Because the United States either did not exist or was still forming from 1500-1800, France (along with England) was one of the world’s foremost superpowers. Indeed, it was largely France’s exorbitant financial support for the American War of Independence that made the country “so deeply in debt as to be effectively bankrupt” in the late 1700′s, according toWikipedia

Spain’s Many Bankruptcies

The same San Francisco Sentinel piece names Spain as another national familiar with bankruptcy, having defaulted on its financial obligations seven times during the 19th century alone. In fact, Wikipedia reports that Spain was actually the first sovereign nation in history to declare bankruptcy, doing so as far back as 1557. It should be noted that Spanish King Phillip II “had to declare four state bankruptcies” during his time on the throne: 1557, 1560, 1575 and 1596. Such stories are sobering reminders that national bankruptcy is very much real, and has happened repeatedly throughout history to nations that fail to take proper precautions.

New Zealand’s 1950 Bankruptcy

New Zealand sold off most of its state owned assets, electricity and communications, to pay its foreign debt.  

After America’s Bankruptcy

I have given all these examples to show that a Nation can go bankrupt.  But I also show that it can come out of it and sometimes better off and in every case a new and improved government.  All have the same cause, governments that got to big.

If we do go bankrupt but have a socialist government at the time, it will nationalize everything and things will get worse.  If we go bankrupt with capitalists in power, we will have pain but will come back quickly and will be stronger and better off.

What all of us have to worry about is the value of the America Dollar after a bankruptcy. Considering that Europe will also go bankrupt, I cannot answer that question.