Discussing the global economic crisis, the context, and the history of the U.S. financial meltdown, Paul Jay continues our interview with William Engdahl, political economist and author. “I think it’s a symptom but not a fundamental cause of the crisis,” says Engdahl of the stagnation in wage increases in the United States. He continues to explain that, “if you go back to August 1971, when Nixon decoupled the dollar from gold, the United States went into what’s called in the Banking world ‘a Fiat Money System.’ Initially, after the decoupling, the U.S. dollar was backed by oil, but over the years, the United States became “increasingly dependant on the dollar being backed by the U.S. military power projection in the world. F16s and Abraham tanks instead of gold.” Engdahl continues to explain that, “this allowed the U.S. administrations to run deficits like no other nation in the world was able to. I think that is what now is reaching its limits.” As the U.S. financial dominance in the world comes to an end, Engdahl says he fears that, “certain powerful actors will turn to the U.S. military power projection around the world,” and that, “this is the real danger of a World War III.” He points out that the team Obama has brought into his administration is a, “really hawkish continuation of the old [Bush] team.”

F William Engdahl

F William Engdahl is an economist and author and the writer of the best selling book "A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order." Mr Engdhahl has written on issues of energy, politics and economics for more than 30 years, beginning with the first oil shock in the early 1970s. Mr. Engdahl contributes regularly to a number of publications including Asia Times Online, Asia, Inc, Japan's Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Foresight magazine; Freitag and ZeitFragen newspapers in Germany and Switzerland respectively. His newest book is called "Gods of Money: Wall Street and the Death of the American Century". He is based in Germany.