A Greatest Depression

This painful paralysis into which the globe is falling interprets as a Greatest Depression that we who are living at the cusp of Revelation 17/18 are facing.
Most Wealth has been Ink and Electrons. New wealth has been the Achilles heel of Malignant Materialism, as the unfolding financial crisis seems to be proving. The few past decades have seen vast new global wealth being amassed by all sorts of tricky leverage. A shrinking fraction of this wealth has remained tangible as land, buildings, vehicles, or collectibles. A growing fraction has become a raft of faulty monetary instruments. Gallons of ink and clouds of electrons replaced solid items that can be touched, seen, heard, tasted, or smelled. Virtual wealth supplanted tangible wealth.
Typically ink and electron wealth was generated as follows. Mr Rich mortgaged his tangible $1 million New York apartment for $500,000, and sold the mortgage to a finance company. The company combined it with other mortgages to use as collateral to borrow $2 million. With this $2 million the company leveraged the buy-out of a second company. The second company then issued $10 million worth of double-yielding junk bonds. These it sold to a hedge fund that paid for them with falling dollars bought with yen borrowed cheap. And so on.
The adage that “the trend is our friend” guided such hypnotic escalators of trust and drove up the prices of the bonds, stocks, and junk bonds of the rich. Yet none of the feverish financial flurry added one red cent to the world’s wealth. The real economy of the world stayed the same. No more apartments or factories appeared on the planet. The price of Mr Rich’s New York pad stayed the same. His income stayed the same. The real profits of the companies stayed the same. The price of bread and toilet paper stayed the same. But in grating contrast, the process generated ink and electron wealth for the rich folk sitting around the money table consuming its financial fare, and for the middlemen serving them, shuffling their money, raking in their own commissions, spreads, charges, and fees. Sadly meanwhile, the masses emulated the rich and fell into heavy debt.
A similar game has played out on the global stage. With each dollar that Americans earned, they bought $1.06-worth of goods, mostly foreign. Uncle Sam indulged the consumption by printing the $0.06 “dollar-overhang”. In turn, the process was fuelled by the governments of foreign producers. They printed more of their own money to buy up the dollars flowing into their countries. Instead of using them to buy American goods, they stashed them in their bank vaults to be used as security for their own battery of monetary instruments—loans, mortgages, stocks, bonds, and financial derivatives—as in America. So the world’s nations joined with America in swelling the oceans of ink and the skies of electrons covering the planet.
However, a huge lurking financial iceberg was drifting through these oceans and skies. But unaware of it, the Titanic of Malignant Materialism was blithely plying the financial ocean in its blind and blissful confusion. The central bank directors, stockbrokers, hedge fund whizzes, and economists steering it anticipated no crisis.[1] Their radar screens of economic graphs, charts, and formulas showed no iceberg. So they sailed full steam ahead, enjoying the trip, listening to the band, boozing at the bar, and flirting with the stewardesses and stewards.[2] But now the iceberg that was lurking past the next wave has come into view and has begun the supreme catastrophic reckoning that will crush and sink the confused economic Titanic of Malignant Materialism.
Although virtual wealth purports to match tangible wealth, all the ways that it does need the cement of trust. But crisis tests trust tremendously, making ink and electron wealth very vulnerable, as any of you who ever held a bond in a defeated country, lost a bearer certificate, or deleted a key money file know. Now the 2008–9 financial crisis has manifested this vulnerability. Financial indices have sliced through thresholds and are crashing through the floor amid panic and busy 800-numbers. Prices are lurching widely. What rose sensationally over years of boom is dropping stunningly in moments of bust. All that indelible ink and all those shimmering electrons have begun to evaporate into thin air and to turn as invisible as the new suit of clothes worn by that naked fairy taleking (like the Madoff $50 billion). Overnight, the rich are becoming poor and the masses will be freed from debt. But as the Titanic of Malignant Materialism sinks, to be never found again, the rich will grab the boats while the poor will freeze and drown.
The Progress of the Crash. The waves of the 2008–9 economic tsunami crashing on the financial shores of the planet seem to have started the Greatest Depression that will wring out and ring out the Confused Babylon of Malignant Materialism.[3] Certainly, the text of Revelation 17–18 fits the events leading into this financial crisis well. Its horns of the beast match the terrorist organizations and rogue regimes of the modern Muslim Militarism rising out of the Middle East. Its whore of Babylon Confusion fits the greed of Malignant Materialism rising out of the Christian West. But from within events even this cannot be certain. Revelation has kept the timing of the crash “a matter of prophecy”. It supplies no date as clear as the 1260 days predicting the Muslim Era and 1844, for example. It cannot risk chance anything from hampering the happening of the fall of Babylon. The event is just too important to risk something stopping it.
But Revelation does offer a few clues about timing within the fall of Babylon. Its afflictions are manifest in a single day. Its suddenness shocks leaders and businessmen. Its judgment, destruction of its great wealth, and overall destruction all happen in a single hour. Its markets collapse serially through gold, collectibles, certain items, food, transport, and finally labor (labor lagging last lessens losses for workers). And sudden violence ends it.[4]
Such clues might fit any of the following scenarios:
a chaotic 24–hour market crash over a single prophetic day of a day
a jarring two-week market collapse over a single prophetic hour of a 1⁄24thpart of a prophetic day of a year
a crippling one-year bear-market over a single prophetic day of a year
a flat 15-year global depression over aprophetic hour of a 1⁄24thpart of a prophetic day of 360 years
forty years of steady recovery over a prophetic hour of a 1⁄24thpart of a prophetic day of 1000 years.

But only history will tell what happened when! From within events—as we surely are—it is impossible to match events to timings. Overall though, things must get worse before spiritual economics can make them better. The other good news is John predicting the dual disappearance of the beast of Muslim Militarism and the Babylon of Malignant Materialism with his repetitive Babylon has fallen, has fallen because God has to carry out this will of His, to carry out a single intent.[5]




[1] Apart from a few economists who did expect trouble, like Galbraith (World Economy Since the Wars),Batra (Surviving the Great Depression),and Moffitt (World’s Money)
[2] Bill Bonner 2007/01/01. Icebergs in the Ocean of Global Liquidity. http://www.dailyreckoning.com.au/global-liquidity (last accessed 20070125)
[3]Bill Bonner, 2007/01/18. New woman, new economy, new inflation. http://www.dailyreckoning.co‌.uk/article/180120072.html (last accessed 20070125)
[4]Rev. 18.8; 8–17; 18.10; 17 & 19; 12–14; & 21
[5]Rev. 14.8 &18.2; & 17.17