The Day the Dollar Fails

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The Day the Dollar FailsWhen the dollar fails, you will remember every detail about the moment: where will be, what you will be doing, the people you will be with, the way you will feel…

You’re sitting on your sofa. The date is March 7, 2020. You’re watching the History Channel. On the television is a woman with thick glasses. The caption under her head reads, Jane Doe, Former Obama Economic Advisor. She says, “I remember how weird it was. We’d all be sitting there pretending to work, and nobody would say anything. We were all so scared to open our mouths. But every day, we’d hear something new from the Fed about more printing, or more easing. And then Mr. Obama would make some promise about cutting spending, but then Congress would authorize another hundred-million here, or another hundred-million there. It was just a sham. It was so weird, because the public was accepting it. Nobody in the office said anything out loud, but we were all whispering.”

Camera cuts to another an overweight man in his mid-sixties, wearing a suit. The caption at the bottom of the screen reads “John Doe, former U.S. Fed official. “Then we’d get another report from the CBO saying that the debt was $45 trillion, and then $50 trillion, and then $55 trillion. It was like nobody knew. Reports about the Chinese were coming in every hour it seemed like. We were told to tell anyone from the media it was all rumor. But we all knew, you know? The government was broke. How are you going to hide that?”

Camera cuts back to woman. “To a certain extent, we were just like everyone else in America. We saw the news too, and we wanted to believe it. But here we were every day seeing the reality. I remember some people comparing it to the Soviet Union. It seemed unreal. I mean, it was the U.S. We all thought it was forever, you know? We all wanted to believe it couldn’t end. I would look at my kids and think , ‘No, it’s going to be fine.’ But there I was at my job every day, watching it come apart. I mean, I… can’t believe how much I was in denial.”

Camera cuts back to man. “When the U.S. invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, it seemed justified, right? They blew up the World Trade Center and all that, right? But when we invaded Iran, I guess it was too much. Everybody knew why. Sure, the Iranians were making nukes, and they were screwed up. But that wasn’t why we invaded. We all saw that. It just seems so stupid now. I mean, didn’t we know what Russia and the Chinese would do? And didn’t we know we weren’t going to be able to hold it together? How can you try to fight that many wars and still fight a civil war at home?

And then what happened next… No… It seems like a hundred years ago, but I still can’t believe it. But then you think about it. What else were they going to do? They were politicians, and they didn’t have anything left. I think they really believed they were doing the right thing. I really do.”

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