“Tilt! Game Over”

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by Jeff Thomas, International Man:

Anyone who’s ever played a pinball machine can attest to the fact that the player easily becomes wrapped up in it, to the point of the exclusion of all else happening around him. He hits the flippers rapidly, glancing up from time to time at his increasing score. It becomes irresistible to jiggle the table frequently, in an effort to get the ball to go where the player wants it to go.

And, of course, every player is familiar with the disappointment that comes when he’s overplayed his body English and the machine stops suddenly, lighting up a sign that says, “Tilt! Game Over.”

Much of the world is now embroiled in an economic game similar to pinball. The stakes are becoming ever greater, the flipper buttons are being pressed ever faster, and those who are desperately attempting to keep the collapsing system going are shoving the table ever more recklessly.

At this point in the world economy, the number of possible triggers that could take the system down is growing ever more rapidly. And, for those who are paying attention, the list of dominoes that we’ll see fall is becoming ever more starkly apparent. Let’s have a look at just some of the more basic dominoes:

  • Creditor countries dumping US Treasuries back into the US market. (This has already begun and will continue until the dollar crashes.)

  • Cessation of the US dollar as the petrodollar. (This is about to begin, but will take several years to play out fully.)

  • Economic sanctions by the US against Russia and China (that are unlikely to have the support of the US’s allies).

  • Implementation of tariffs, resulting in a tariff war.

  • A rise in interest rates (as was consciously created in 1929 by the Fed in order to trigger a timed crash).

  • Bursting of the bond market bubble.

  • A major stock market crash.

  • Dramatic increase in mortgage defaults.

  • A spike in commodity prices, coinciding with a drop in asset values (inflation and deflation at the same time—the worst possible combination).

  • Collapse of the paper gold market.

  • A switch to the new IMF cryptocurrency and a major effort to end the use of cash. (This will succeed to some extent, but will create a worldwide monetary black market.)

  • US defaults on its debt. (This, too, will occur over several years.)

  • Collapse of the dollar.

Many of these events will be black swans. As can be expected, some of the events will be sudden, whilst others will take time to play out. In addition, although they’re likely to occur roughly in order, several will be in play at any given time.

Although each of these events can be anticipated, they won’t come with warning notices. Their actual occurrences will be unheralded. (As an example, when a stock market crash occurs, investors will wake up to discover that it’s occurred whilst they were sleeping.)

And, just as in pinball, the end of the game will come quite suddenly. The moment that the player will know that it’s “Game Over” will be when he goes to his ATM and finds that the screen is dark. The machine has been made inoperative overnight. Annoyed, he’ll go to the next-nearest ATM, but will find that that one, too, is shut down. He’ll go to others and, at some point, will realise that they’re all shut down.

Without spending cash in his wallet, he’ll then go to the local gas station or supermarket and attempt to pay with his credit cards but will find that they’ve all been made inactive. In trying to sort out the problem with the manager, he’ll be told that all credit cards for all his customers have been denied that day.

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