Humanity has been here before, with strikingly similar conditions. It was the overuse of debt funding that led to a Roman crisis at the height of the empire in the year A.D. 33, as told by Lightner (1922), and quoted in Jubilee on Wall Street. Just exchange a few of the bank names, politicians and programs with those of the current global financial crisis and the parallels are disturbing:
When we make a hasty survey of the Roman Empire (read the global economy) to find the symptoms of decay (stagnant and falling GDP) there is brought to light as the outstanding feature industrial stagnation (overproduction) and commercial ruin (excessive debt from loads from subprime, consumer, and corporate debt, triggering bankruptcy, etc.). The year 33 A.D. was full of events in the ancient world. It marked two disturbances as the outgrowth of the mob spirit. The first was in the remote province of Judea where one Christus was tried before Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried (this was the real deal in debt forgiveness of another sort, but that’s another subject). The other event was the great Roman panic which shook the empire from end to end. The consternation accompanying the latter died down and it was soon forgotten (of course the empire later collapsed), but the murmurings of the former swept down the centuries until, bursting into flames, it enveloped the world.