In the Deep Mid-Winter
Ill winds sweep across the fruited plain in the cruel heart of winter. America can resolve nothing. The state-of-the-union is a kind of hysterical nausea, and the nation hunkers into its crib of toxic diverse identities waiting for history to bitch-slap it back on its feet. History’s big sister, Reality, stands by, witnessing all. Spring… is… coming….
Things break up in spring. Nature unlocks what was frozen. The bodies emerge from the melting ice and ripen. The air is electric and thunderbolts frighten the gathering mobs in the public square, the Walmart parking lot, with rumors of war. The earth shakes and monuments fall. That’s how it’s shaping up for 2019.
Sometimes nations just lose their shit. The complex collapse of American life proceeds as the public and its leaders fail to comprehend the forces in play. What the Federal Reserve actually accomplished with its ten years of extend-and-pretend policy was not an economic “recovery,” but a degenerative disease of the social contract. If you look more closely, you can sense what will be unleashed when the ground thaws.
There will be a reckoning in the financial markets. Something ominous is rumbling over in bonds. No more high-yield for you! Among the victims of a credit freeze in “junk” (high-risk) lending: the shale oil industry. Watch it start to roll over this spring as money becomes unavailable for the exorbitant operations that comprise fracking. The swift collapse of the shale oil industry will shock the country, but it is really just the downside of its improbably rapid and acrobatic rise since 2005 on the false premise that profits don’t matter in a business venture. Only the fall will be even sharper than the rise: a few measly years. And, of course, the bond market represents the supreme untruth of the age: that debts can be racked up forever and never paid back.
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