Empire of Debt the Movie

From Bill Bonner, in New York but on his way to New Orleans, where people realize that gold is real money…

Today, Bloomberg reports something we’ve all know for a while: the United States is consuming more goods than it produces – that much is evident just by looking at September’s $64.3 billion trade deficit.

The U.S. trade deficit will most likely approach the $800 billion mark for 2006, but not just because China refuses to let their currency rise relative to the U.S. dollar, as many politicians would like to make it seem.

“In general, the Democrats have blamed china and its pegged currency for much of the loss of manufacturing job, and they have blamed President George W. Bush and congressional Republicans for not doing enough to protect U.S. workers,” continues the Bloomberg piece.

“More flexibility by the Chinese would undoubtedly give freer rein to market forces within that country, which would be in its own interest,” reports Bloomberg. “And it might slow the rapid rise in the U.S. deficit in trade with China, though only a bit.


“So, what’s your meeting on?”

“We’re making a movie.”

“Oh, yeah? What’s it on?”


We’d just jumped in a cab in front of the Merrill Lynch building at One World Center in NY and were circling around Ground Zero on our way up West Side to Midtown. If questioned later by the police, we would have sworn Woody Allen was the cabdriver; his accent was so quintessentially Manhattan. That is, I suppose, if we hadn’t have caught a glimpse of him in the rearview mirror. What we did see of him could have spared thirty or so pounds and live quite happily.

“Debt?!? Like, credit card debt? American consumer debt?”

“Yeah, that’s it.”

It was fairly early on Wednesday morning and we’d stayed way too late at a DVD release party the night before. Patrick and Christine, the husband and wife director and producer team with whom we’ve been discussing our film, threw a party for the release of their first documentary: WordPlay, a film about Will Shortz, the editor of the New York Times crossword puzzle, and a host of competitors at the annual crossword tournament they hold in Stamford, Connecticut each year.

“Credit card debt…” the cabbie whinnied. “Aw c’mon… why didn’t you choose a more cheerful subject… something funny and entertaining… something the whole family could enjoy… something like… like… I dunno… gay pedophiles who become serial murderers… yeah, that would definitely be more cheerful.”

“Gay pedophiliac serial killers?”

“Yeah, that would be way more entertaining and enjoyable than credit card debt.”

“Well, it’s not just about credit card debt…”

“Don’t get me started. Whatever kind of debt it is… it ain’t funny. Is this a horror movie you’re making?”

“Well the producers we’re working with specialize in horror films… and comedies.”

“Oh, perfect. You know what else you need in your movie? A campaign to rid America of the Cute Penguin syndrome we’re experiencing… yeah, kill all cute penguins… DOWN with Cute Penguinism, I say… down with Cute Penguinism.”

Later, as our meeting was drawing to a close, Patrick suggested he wasn’t sure that he and Christine could find a drier subject than crossword puzzles…. but maybe Empire of Debt was it.

Bill Bonner

Bill Bonner

Since founding Agora Inc. in 1979, Bill Bonner has found success and garnered camaraderie in numerous communities and industries. A man of many talents, his entrepreneurial savvy, unique writings, philanthropic undertakings, and preservationist activities have all been recognized and awarded by some of America’s most respected authorities. Along with Addison Wiggin, his friend and colleague, Bill has written two New York Times best-selling books, Financial Reckoning Day and Empire of Debt. Both works have been critically acclaimed internationally. With political journalist Lila Rajiva, he wrote his third New York Times best-selling book, Mobs, Messiahs and Markets, which offers concrete advice on how to avoid the public spectacle of modern finance. Since 1999, Bill has been a daily contributor and the driving force behind Markets and Money.

Bill Bonner

Latest posts by Bill Bonner (see all)

Leave a Reply

1 Comment on "Empire of Debt the Movie"

Notify of
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Jim Bernard
The privatization of Telstra is a big scam. For decades the company has had huge revenues (presently revenues of 22 BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR) and very limited expenditures. It should be about $25 a share or more, but because the government colluded with brokers and set the share price quite low to begin with (supposedly to benefit dads and mums investors- who got burnt anyway because of the long term intention to sell off the entire company, and the desire of the brokers etc to keep the share price low till full privatisation) then it should soon go up to… Read more »
Letters will be edited for clarity, punctuation, spelling and length. Abusive or off-topic comments will not be posted. We will not post all comments.
If you would prefer to email the editor, you can do so by sending an email to letters@marketsandmoney.com.au