Travis McGee & the 2008 Financial Crash
From the 1979 Travis McGee novel “The Green Ripper” by John D. MacDonald:
“‘How did the conference go?’ I asked.
He shook his weary head. ‘These are bad days for an economist, my friend. We have gone past the frontiers of theory. There is nothing left but one huge, ugly fact.’
‘There is a debt of perhaps two trillion dollars out there, owed by governments to governments, by governments to banks, and there is not one chance in hell it can ever be paid back. There is not enough productive capacity in the world, plus enough raw materials, to provide maintenance of plant plus enough overage even to keep up with the mounting interest.’
‘What happens? It gets written off?’
He looked at me with a pitying expression. ‘All the major world currencies will collapse. Trade will cease. Without trade, without the mechanical-scientific apparatus running, the planet won’t support its four billion people, or perhaps even half that. Agribusiness feeds the world. Hydrocarbon utilization heats and houses and clothes the people. There will be fear , hate, anger, death. The new barbarism. There will be plague and poison. And then the new Dark Ages.’”
Travis McGee, the hero of many MacDonald thrillers, quips: “Should I pack?”