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The Contrarian Trade of the Decade: The Dollar Refuses to Die

The Contrarian Trade of the Decade: The Dollar Refuses to DieWhich is more valuable: Wall Street’s debt/asset bubbles or the global empire? You can’t have both, so choose wisely. The consensus makes sense: the U.S. dollar is doomed because the Federal Reserve and the Treasury will conjure trillions of new dollars out of thin air to prop up the status quo entitlements, monopolies, cartels and debt/asset bubbles, and since little of this issuance actually increases productivity, all it will accomplish is the dilution / devaluation of the currency.

Put simply, the dollar will lose its purchasing power as the inevitable result of the need to print and borrow ever-increasing sums to pay interest on existing debts, fund Bread and Circuses to keep the masses placated and keep inflating the asset bubbles in stocks, housing, bat guano, etc. to maintain the illusion of prosperity.

This destruction of the dollar is TINA writ large: there is no alternative. The only way to keep the status quo from imploding is to print as many trillions as are needed, and this inevitably devalues the currency to the point of worthlessness.

OK, we get it: TINA so the dollar dies. But let’s consider TINA from the perspective of the Deep State. Destroying the purchasing power of the dollar destroys the engine of America’s power, which is the ability (“exorbitant privilege”) to conjure “money” out of thin air and be able to trade this “money” for cobalt, steel, semiconductors, etc. supplied by other nations.

If the dollar is destroyed by over-issuance, then how do we buy the cobalt and other goodies we need to keep the aircraft carriers and all their aircraft in working order? This is a problem, for if we can’t conjure “money” out of thin air and persuade everyone it still have value, then America’s global influence dissipates into thin air.

So what the consensus proposes as inevitable is financial trickery will destroy America’s global influence and its prosperity, and there’s no alternative. In other words, the Deep State will just throw up its collective hands and surrender its empire so Wall Street can continue inflating its bubble of phantom wealth, even as that destroys the dollar, America’s global empire and ultimately its prosperity.

Is this really inevitable? Isn’t it plausible that the Deep State might rouse itself from its various distractions and take notice that once the dollar loses purchasing power, the Deep State loses all its power? Are there really no adults left in the room who can make this basic observation?

For the sake of argument, let’s assume there are a few adults left who understand that the dollar is the linchpin of the entire empire and so it’s actually worth protecting. And let’s also assume these few adults understand that boatloads of parasites, leeches, speculators, etc. will have to be sacrificed, and all manner of politically sacrosanct bubbles, skims, scams, rackets, monopolies and cartels will have to be demolished, much to the dismay of the parasites, leeches, speculators, etc. who have gotten immensely wealthy off these bubbles, skims, scams, rackets, etc.

It seems impossible that the parasites, leeches, speculators, etc. at the top of the heap could be brought down. It’s certainly a stretch, given their entrenched power. It seems much more likely that the game of incrementally devaluing the dollar will continue indefinitely.

But what’s the endgame of this devaluation? Is it really so far away that the banquet of consequences will never be served? These sorts of things have a way of gathering momentum as self-reinforcing feedbacks kick in, and then the consequences are served up faster than anyone believed possible.

Which is more valuable: Wall Street’s debt/asset bubbles or the global empire? You can’t have both, so choose wisely.

The contrarian bet is the Deep State finally awakens from its troubled sleep and decides the Empire is more valuable than the bubbles, skims, scams, rackets, etc. and so the dollar will have to be defended regardless of the cost to those benefiting from its devaluation. Very few are willing to take that bet now, but let’s get comfortable and watch the printing-borrowing-trillions / devaluation game for a few more years and see how it plays out.


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Charles Hugh Smith
At readers' request, I've prepared a biography. I am not confident this is the right length or has the desired information; the whole project veers uncomfortably close to PR. On the other hand, who wants to read a boring bio? I am reminded of the "Peanuts" comic character Lucy, who once issued this terse biographical summary: "A man was born, he lived, he died." All undoubtedly true, but somewhat lacking in narrative.
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