US Faces Extraordinary Risk of Economic Catastrophe – Much like 2004 Atocha Scenario

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Even if the polls indicate that Hillary Clinton is the likely next President, there is a high risk right until the day of election that outside influences could cause the US to elect a President who is in the best case "unfit".

Donald Trump and his surrogates have spouted complete nonsense for months, and appeal strongly to a single segment of the US population. There is also a highly reactionary element of the US population that may already realize that he is unfit to leave his gilded perch above 5th Avenue (and is unfit to serve in any elected role), but who just might vote in his favor in the event of a terrorist attack in the weeks immediately preceding the election. It goes without saying that Donald Trump’s election and his economic policies would lead to immediate and unprecedented global economic crises.

Unfortunately, the scenario isn’t entirely unprecedented. As it entered 2004, Spain had the strongest economy in Europe. Under Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar and the Partido Popular (PP), Spain’s economic policies were attracting investments of large multinationals from around the world. Aznar also lead Spain to be active in the US-led campaign in Afghanistan and was preparing to deploy troops to Iraq, which was highly controversial.

Aznar had been decisively leading in polls prior to the general elections scheduled for the Spring of 2004. However, when Al Qaeda operatives struck Madrid’s Atocha station on March 11, 2004, they not only killed 192 and injured over 2000, but also caused Aznar to be defeated days later by Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party. In the years that followed, Zapatero and the Socialists pursued a xenophobic policy that removed Spain from involvement in military campaigns abroad. They also adopted economic policies that laid waste to the Spanish economy.

One way to partially protect oneself from a similar situation in the US is to move money now to online savings accounts and short term CDs.

Editor’s Note: Unlike the situation that the US faces, Jose Luis Rodriquez Zapatero was not a Donald Trump. While he destroyed the Spanish economy, he did not wage war against minorities or women in Spain. He did not unilaterally control access to nuclear weapons. While the US faces a risk of a similar scenario, it faces a still much greater risk to the country, and to putting world civilization in danger in the current election.

Ari Socolow
Ari Socolow: Ari Socolow is the Chief Economist and Editor-in-Chief at BestCashCow. He is particularly interested in issues relating to bank transparency and the climate crisis. Since co-founding BestCashCow in 2005, Ari has been frequently cited in the media as an expert on local and national savings accounts, CD products, mortgage and loan products and credit card rewards products.

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