Friday, February 10, 2006

* Empire of Debt by Bill Bonner

Empire of Debt by Bill Bonner

In France, people don't seek to maximize their incomes. Instead, what they want to maximize is their leisure. They spend more time talking about how to cook the bacon than they do about how to bring it home. p11

Asians now own enough US assets to buy a controlling interest in every company on the Dow. p16

And you thought Wilt Chamberlain was a stud?
Genghis Khan was so successful that a recent DNA study of 2,123 men from across Asia permitted scientists to estimate that he may have as many 16 million male descendants spread out from Manchuria to Afghanistan. p43

Between Augustus came to power and day Jesus was born - 27 years - consumer prices in Rome nearly doubled… Whenever the Romans needed more money to finance their wars, public works, circuses, etc. they reduced the metal content of the coins (equivalent to running the printing presses today). By the time of the last emperor in 476AD, the silver denarius contained only .02% silver! p51 … While this seems like a dreadful rate of inflation (losing 99.98% of its value!), it is not really as bad as the current US dollar example. In less than 100 years, the dollar has lost 95% of its value. If this rate continues for another 150 years, the dollar will do in 1/2 the time what took the denarius almost 500 years. p61

The total value of all assets in America today is about $50 trillion. Current US debt is $37 trillion. Add to it the present liability of social security and medicare and America is broke… It couldn't pay its debts even if it wanted to. p294

Decimation defined: When a company of soldiers performed badly in battle (or cowardly), they would be lined up and every 10th man was executed. At Stalingrad in WWII, the Russian Marshal Chuikov resurrected the ancient Roman tradition to improve discipline. p325

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