Countdown to Catastrophe

Brief

Countdown to Catastrophe

April 26, 2010

Abstract

This article, written for a lay audience, discusses the causes and consequences of catastrophic budget failure. When Americas ballooning federal debt becomes unmanageable, we might simply refuse to honor our obligations, triggering a worldwide financial collapse and an economic downtown that would make the recent unpleasantness seem like a walk in the park. Or we might create enough money to pay back our creditors, domestic and foreign, triggering a hyperinflation reminiscent of failed states like the Weimar Republic in the 1930s (or, more recently, Zimbabwe) that would wipe out the savings of anyone caught holding wealth in dollars.

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