A new year, and a new president – plenty of grist for my prediction mill, or, at least, for the obligatory January "predictions" column. Not that there's anything special, really, about it: all punditry is prediction, in an important sense. Every time a writer advocates a particular policy or decries another, the author is predicting a certain outcome, good or bad. The question is, which policies will win out in the battle of ideas? As we look at the incoming administration, especially in the context of trends that have been building over time, a certain scenario begins to emerge, with the first act unfolding on the domestic stage:
- Hyperinflation and the collapse of the dollar. The trillions President-elect Obama plans on spending to "cure" [.pdf] our economic malaise will prove poisonous to the dollar, with hyperinflation an inevitability. Whether this reaches Weimar levels remains to be seen, but one can easily imagine all sorts of unpleasant, Weimar-like consequences.
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