by Charles Hugh Smith
Of Two Minds
Financialization was never sustainable, and neither was the destructive globalization it enabled.
All the happy-story analogies to past pandemics being mere bumps in the road miss the mark. A popular claim is that the 1918-1919 flu pandemic killed millions but no biggie, the Roaring 20s started the following year. It’s onward and upward, baby, once we toss the masks.
Wrong. Completely, totally, dead wrong. The drivers of the past 75 years of growth — globalization and financialization–are dead, and so is everything that depended on them for “growth”. (Growth is is italics because once external costs and currency arbitrage are factored in, most of what’s been glorified as “growth” is nothing but losses covered by accounting trickery.)
Here’s what’s poorly understood: globalization and financialization die when they stop expanding. Just as a shark dies if it stops swimming forward, globalization and financialization die once they stop expanding, because their viability depends on expansion.