The ponzi scheme that is behind the consumerist driven American empire is starting to vividly unravel and has been unraveling for some time, even as so many people still claim, and actually believe, that "nothing has really changed" --because on the surface every day reality still looks relatively the same for most people, not including auto industry workers, new truck dealers, and all the poor souls in the financial and mortgage industry, for instance --and expect things to bounce back "any time now". Meanwhile the behemoth pile of toxic debt still lurks overhead waiting to finally tumble and kick up a whole lot of dust in the faces of the First World simultaneously as oil prices have fallen almost to the low lows we saw back before 2003 that helped to enable all our gluttonous habits and expenditures and will perhaps be a final short tease before disaster. But what we are seeing is a momentary reaction in an irrational and confused market-place. Some ups and downs are going to be expected..
The global economy is mostly contracting, save for places like the UAE and other oil rich nations. Demand for oil has fallen, consumers are spending less, and businesses are starting to close their doors. Meanwhile, the value of stocks and paper money is now or soon will be disappearing. The other side of the equation of the oil based economy is that oil has become scarce. So the wealth that has allowed us to live in luxury is already starting to slip between our fingers like the sand in so many oil rich deserts.
It's only a matter of time before the price of oil jumps back up again (probably with the driving season next year). Don't be suprised to see $4 gasoline again--and higher as America's "liquidity" in investments is hindered and countries start exporting less oil to our doorsteps with time. Perhaps all of the recent pirate activity in the news will be the harbinger of energy conflicts to come - a sort of Mad Max on the seas struggle in which individuals or countries struggle to procure more of the drug that had spawned the 20th century.
Here's a clip of James Howard Kunstler in a CBC special report about our oil addicted society and some of the things that will change (with Spanish subtitles!). Every time I travel through the countryside some of the more simplified and ranshackle places I see act like a potential lens into the future: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPqHtWNI6kU