Two seemingly unrelated stories:
1. According to the White House OMB, the projected deficit over the next decade will be 9 trillion dollars. According to this story, this amount is "more than the sum of all previous deficits since America's founding." In case these amounts seem too vast to wrap one's brain around, here's a neat little program that might assist the mathematically bewildered.
2. According to this commodity investment manager, oil supply is "collapsing" and we can expect all-time highs - beyond the previous record of $140 per barrel - by 2011-2012.
At the moment there's the unarticulated but assumed expectation that we'll be able to pay down the national debt once we get out of the Great Recession. But the very conditions that will allow us to move out of the Recession will cause a spike in oil prices, either leading to the intense return of deflation in the form of economic collapse, or a drastic spike in commodity inflation. Or, as this investment manager explains, both scenarios are simultaneously possible, with the U.S. hitting an economic wall ("a second leg down in the real estate market") while the dollar collapses and gold and oil soar, with these commodities becoming the defacto replacement as the international currency.
In short, while among the chattering classes there are now smug congratulations and back-slapping taking place for a job well-done in preventing a worldwide Depression, there seem to be the conditions afoot - fostered by the very mechanisms of salvation - that portend a Third World financial future for the U.S. Then again, with a first world military, who knows how we'll react to such ignominy.