An Overview Of The Collapse
First, the world’s economy had been crippled by debt, created in the great credit default and property bubble scams that made a few very rich at the expense of a very great many. The first ripple of the economy’s cratering was the Depression from 2008 to 2012, which turned into the Double Dip of 2013-2014 as frantic state governments spent trillions to bail out banks they were told (by bankers) were too big to fail and tried to cope with crippling national debts brought about by short-term, big-spender thinking from spendthrift politicians who refused to tax the rich elite bankrolling their election campaigns and dictatorships. Most nations installed harsh austerity measures that further depressed growth and discouraged corporate capital spending at the very time they finally should have been running up debts for stimulus measures. In this, again, they were encouraged and cajoled and even threatened by bankers who sat on each others boards and owned each others shares. A cynic might have seen a scam in all that, one designed to benefit only the financiers, but politicians who had been bought and sold certainly didn’t.
By late 2016 world debt totalled over U.S.$50 Trillion with no nation in the black. States which had staved off defaulting on their debts through massive new loans from other nations and international banks reached their last gasp. The domino topple of defaults began in Southern Europe and in over-leveraged Mid-East states like Dubai, but quickly spread as each default made financial markets ever more risk-averse, calling in loans and threatening nations who wouldn’t consider even more austerity in the face of angry populations. Illinois was the first U.S. State to go broke, then California. By then, Argentina, Italy, Pakistan and several other nations had also defaulted. The European Currency agreement broke under the strain – Germany leading the way out – and worldwide, stock markets crashed in response. The so-called Christmas Crash of 2016 was the last death-knell of the post-WW2 world economic system. Billions lost life savings, jobs, everything. Governments world wide found they could no longer afford both military and welfare spending – and chose to keep their militaries and national security apparatus as their only remaining claim to legitimacy of power.
In the aftermath, the select list of the world’s richest companies – who had all remained suspiciously cash-rich through all this – embarked on a massive program of acquisitions and mergers and emerged even stronger and more consolidated in the hands of an ultra-elite of the mega-rich. In 2011, a “super-entity” of 147 tightly knit companies – all of their ownership was held by other members of the super-entity – controlled 40 per cent of the world’s total wealth. By 2020, a group of five corporate entities, all financial houses, formed a “Hub” of mutual ownership that also owned 100% the score or so largest of the world’s merged corporations. These scant two dozen corporate entities controlled 60% of the world’s wealth between them. The age of the Megacorps had arrived.