I would like to draw your attention to the excellent book of Philip Coggan with the title “Paper Promises – Money, debt and the New World Order“, Allen Lane, 2011. I quote the last paragraph of his conclusions.
“In the past forty years, the world has been more successful at creating claims on wealth than it has at creating wealth itself. The economy has grown, but asset prices have risen faster, and debts have risen faster still. Debtors, from speculative home buyers to leading governments, have made promises to pay that they are unlikely to meet in full. Creditors who are counting on those debts to be repaid
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will be disappointed.”
“Clearing up the mess will be a long, slow process. It will involve many false starts, as occurred during the banking crisis of 2008 and as we have already seen in the European sovereign debt crisis. The debts may be repaid in inflated money, or devalued currency; they may be passed on to other governments with a greater capacity to repay; or they may result in outright default.”
“Breaking those paper promises will result in economic turmoil, as both debtors and creditors suffer. This is a crisis as severe as those that resulted in the end of the gold standard in the 1930s or the end of the fixed exchange rates in the 1970s. The global economy is changing; for many in the West, it will not be for the better.”
Sadly so, I have to agree with the author of this great book, which I strongly recommend reading.