The Forgotten 2023 Recession Will Never End...
...at least not anytime soon.
The conversation of a looming recession keeps getting stronger despite apparently falling away from the average consumer’s consciousness. It’s hard to blame these average consumers because their peers are spending mightily and unemployment is somewhat curiously falling. Those are normally excellent signs for an economy. However, inflation is still a problem, interest rates are making borrowed money unaffordable (all to fight runaway inflation), technology companies are conducting mass layoffs, and… yes, now banks are beginning to collapse.
Look, I’m all about content that’s a bit more evergreen, and I don’t care to chase the news, but something is going on here. Let’s explore a brief timeline of what’s happened this month (March 2023) alone.
Silvergate Capital collapsed on Wednesday 08 March 2023. Silvergate was a major lender to mainstream crypto, blockchain, and web3 companies. On its own, the collapse feels like a very isolated incident more related to the current crypto winter than to global economic woes. In fact, I’d forgive anyone for incorrectly pointing to Silvergate and proclaiming, “I knew something was fishy about that crypto stuff.” Of course, that’d overlook the fact that Silvergate didn’t deal in cryptocurrency, but instead dealt in lending and financing large crypto-oriented ventures that possessed solid backing and massive assets.
On that same date, however, something else took place that was historic. Silicon Valley Bank begin to spiral, creating the second largest bank failure of all time. It was the first large bank collapse since the economic collapse of 2008. Within a mere 48 hours, by Friday 10 March 2022, the bank had been shuttered and federal regulators had seized control of the bank’s deposits with plans to reopen under the regulator’s authority the following Monday for withdrawals.
But this post isn’t about bank failures.
It’s about what’s coming, and why it’s coming.
We, collectively, have withstood a lot recently. Despite this, we haven’t quite learned our lesson. We haven’t learned how to be a population of 8 Billion people in a global capitalist society. We haven’t learned how to transition our technologies—much less our processes—fast enough to meet the needs of progress. We haven’t learned how to mitigate reactionary forces, and we haven’t learned how to properly mitigate political conservatives who opine over overt racism, sexism, and fascism in favor of more level-headed economic or environmental conservativism that protects our fiscal health or even our planet.
What this means is that despite the warning of a near complete global economic collapse in 2008, we still wanted to return to business as usual. Then, despite collapsing ecosystems, despite geopolitical war, despite multiple regional pandemics and a global one, despite deforestation, despite receding glaciers, despite rising sea levels, and despite every other immense and immediate warning sign around us… we seemingly crave business as usual, even at the highest literal cost.
The best part of us, our human persistence and perseverence, has been completely hijacked and weaponized against us. Whether by governments or powerful groups as conspiracy theorists would have you belive, or by the meandering of our own mind's natural evolution.
What's to Come?
So yes, Virginia, there is a recession coming. Furthermore, there is a depression of immense magnitude coming. I can’t tell you when. It could begin this year, or maybe it’s already begun. Likewise, it may not begin for another 10 years, but it is coming. And as for why? It’s because we’ve been given every bit of instruction and feedback from our people, our systems, our businesses, and our planet, and yet we haven’t sufficiently course corrected, or even attempted to. I won’t even pretend to offer a solution within this piece, although the functional-health and mindfulness communities could probably benefit from a shoutout, but what’s certain is that the system we’ve been on for the past two hundred years works, but has serious flaws that cause it to be self-terminating if not sufficiently managed.
From nuclear winter to catastrophic climate change, and from ozone depletion to weaponized gene-manipulated viruses, we develop technologies that require massive responsibility because of massive consequences of misuse. Yet, we let these technologies either control our own societies (like the automobile) or we fail to regulate them at all (like the gun industry in America). It’s time that we collectively require and mandate that the anti-intellectualist strain of self-destruction is silenced, along with the prophetic end-of-world dominionistic philosophy, and anything else that speeds along our demise. It’s not political, nor really even economic. It's literal survival.
In short, a major recession or depression is coming. It’s coming because we’re doing absolutely nothing to prevent it from happening. Sure, there’s economic policy designed to stave off each current and immediate threat, but there’s nothing along the lines of reinforcing the underlying economic systems that run our planet or buttressing the required health, environment, and lifestyle requirements to allow humans to conduct business of any kind.
Until these facts change, the impending doom will keep coming, and coming, and coming in successive, yet certain, waves. This will happen over and over again until we take specific and unified action to stop it from coming. And you can take that to the bank… so long as it can stay open.