It has been a long hot summer when it comes to global tensions: ISIS, Iraq, Israel, Gaza, the Ukraine, Russia, and impending sanctions against the latter. It doesn’t take the famous example of the Opium War to show that many conflicts that seem socio-political actually have an economic source, and who better to remind us of this than celebrated economists?
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Paul Craig Roberts, former assistant Secretary of the Treasury under President Reagan and who also worked as an editor of the Wall Street Journal before he was rated among the 1, 000 most influential thinkers, warned that Vladimir Putin is dead serious when he said that a “War is coming.” Nouriel Roubini, an economist not known for his optimism, tweeted a comparison between the events of 2014 and 1914. He added that sees a military conflict between China and Japan on the horizon.
Hedge fund manager Kyle Bass also is a prophet of doom, and points out that “all too often, war is a manifestation of economic entropy played to its logical conclusion. We believe that war is an inevitable consequence of the current financial situation.” Former Goldman Sachs technical analyst Charles Nenner predicts a war that will bring the Dow crashing to 5, 000.
Others, like Martin Armstrong, do not see war as an inevitable result of economic problems, but rather, a convenient distraction for societies and economies on the decline. Many have pointed out patterns in which currency devaluation has led to armed conflict. Armstrong goes on to say the bloody, enduring conflict in Syria is rooted in debt and spending.
While polls show most Americans do not want to be embroiled in another war, many economists believe that, either as a resolution or a distraction, war is usually the result of patterns that are observed in the world right now.