Recently, I watched a 2011 documentary on the History Channel entitled, “Prophets of Doom.” One of the programs main points is that, “Every great empire, no matter how powerful, eventually falls.” The program calls upon the expertise of some of the world’s most renowned authorities on such topics as financial instability, oil and water depletion, hostile technology and terrorist aggression. Using credible evidence from various sources, they make a case not for the world’s destruction, but for significant problems which they believe are looming.
My reason for sharing this is as follows: Because we are entrusted with our client’s money, we should be mindful of the risks which would pose a threat to their wealth. Following are some brief comments from the program.
One expert believes there will be a major financial crisis within the decade. He says there is an assumption that our natural resources and economic output will continue to grow each year at a healthy rate. The reality however, is that our resources are finite and global growth will eventually slow. The wealth of the past several decades has been built largely on credit and is quite unsustainable. He further stated that the global financial markets are a huge Ponzi scheme and that at some point this house of cards will come crashing down. All it would take to create a major crisis is for one significant debtor to default. Because the financial markets are so derivatives laden, and currencies are supported merely by confidence, if confidence fails, the financial markets would collapse.
One expert calls our economy a water economy. His reason? Without water, nothing else can exist. True enough, I suppose. We need water for just about everything. In 2010, Governor Schwarzenegger of California said he would not sign another bill until legislators addressed the water shortage. This expert explained how a main aquifer which runs north and south through the center of the U.S. is not replenished by rainfall and that our rivers and streams are more polluted than ever.
One expert explained (using U.S. government data) how easy it is to steal the crucial element of a nuclear bomb. Referencing one particular year in the U.S., he explained that the U.S. caught several hundred criminals doing this very thing. However, for every 100 we catch, how many do we miss? Moreover, when you consider Russia, Pakistan, Iran and several other countries with nuclear programs, most of which have more lax security than the U.S., this threat is increased.