2012 will overall be a continuation of the years since the economic crises erupted in 2008. The sovereign debt situation is similar to the situation around 1908 and 1930. You only have to read history to predict what will happen.
The low interest rate is causing massive capital dislocations and we will see the economy declining with increasing speed. With declining economies business will close down which in turn will cause bank failures, unemployment and even more strain on the government’s finances. This in turn will cause social unrest as people lose their jobs and the government is unable to meet expectations for outlays.
The unrest will be met with one more rounds of interventions of the kind that caused the problems in the first place; The unemployment will be met with subsidies, customs, trade restrictions, stricter labor laws, public employment schemes and debasement of currencies. This again will increase tension among nations.
The parliaments will face very tough choices reducing public expenses. This in combination with increasingly violent unrest will raise demand for strong leadership and we will see a trend towards more authoritarian governments if not dictatorships.
We will see more rounds of quantitative easing (euphemism for money printing) to save the currencies, the banks and public finances. The end of paper money is closing in, increasingly authoritative measures will be necessary to save the paper being worthless.
To sum up we will see declining standards of living, increasing domestic and international tensions, reduced liberty and a tendency towards dictatorships. I think this tendency will continue for some years to come.
To look at little further within the time frame of 3-5 years I think there is hope for a global revival of liberty and economic prosperity;
Socialism as a political system lost its popularity with the fall of the Berlin Wall. Everybody saw that it did not work nobody wants’ it back. Since then the world has been fascist, a middle of the road no principles political system. The governments are continuously trying to please well organized vocal powerful minorities sending the bill to everyone through numerous taxes and deficit spending. Bureaucracy and regulations have steadily been growing.
Now the time for fascism is beginning to run out. Just as the wall fell when people understood that socialism didn’t work I think fascism will fall as it is dawning that it don’t work either. Then there will be a case for liberty and I hope and believe we will see a number of countries making constitutionally limited governments.
The world is on the tip of the edge. There is currently a nasty drive towards dictatorships, decline and the dark ages. The final outcome depends on people standing up for liberty.