State of the Union: Ten Economic Graphs That Should Scare The Hell Out Of You

Crisis takes a much longer time coming than you think, and then it happens much faster than you would have thought. ~ MIT economist Rudiger Dornbusch

At President Obama’s State of the Union Address this year, which was heavy on recycled platitudes and light on substance, the president did more to prepare for the upcoming general election than actually give a genuine assessment of the state of the union, but that’s pretty par for the course. A sincere state of the union by the President of the United States may be more than most Americans are ready for yet – the horror of listening to the president describe the true economic realities we face might be more than many people could handle. I hope I’m wrong and most Americans would welcome an honest word from a major politician as a breath of fresh air.

What would a sincere state of the union address look like? The president could just show us graphs of economic data and leave it at that. It would be the most radical truth-telling we have heard from the White House in a long time. If you really want to know the state of union and you have the stomach for it, here are ten economic graphs that show just how precarious the state of the union really is and just how long our current economic troubles are likely to last:

1. Graph of the world’s reserve currencies and the duration of their reserve currency status since 1400 C.E.

world reserve currency

Are you seeing this? When I saw this on ZeroHedge earlier this month, I decided instantly that this graph should be everywhere. Nothing lasts forever and this graph eloquently and poignantly demonstrates that world reserve currency status is no exception.  What does “world reserve currency” mean? It means that different countries use that currency to trade with each other. Whoever controls the world’s reserve currency has a major, but temporary and ultimately artificial advantage over those nations and people who do not control the world’s reserve currency. Right now it’s the dollar, but as you can see from the graph above, the dollar is the sixth world reserve currency in six hundred years, meaning if history is any indication, we’re about due to lose that status. When this happens, the value of the dollar will dramatically collapse and the effects on the U.S. economy will be catastrophic.

See all ten graphs in my full article at The Silver Underground.

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