It's kind of a heady subject but I think a large portion of what will be our downfall will be the Marshall plan and the Bretton Woods agreement not to mention the Federal Reserve Act. When we bailed Europe out after WWII, it was the precursor for the dollar becoming the reserve currency of the world. You say "what's the problem? We've become rich by passing our buck." Yes, we have enjoyed good times, but each and every one of those dollars is a Federal Reserve Note. Note means debt! Each dollar spent into existence is a note of debt. Who holds all of our debt? China, Russia, Japan, The middle eastern states. A bunch of our enemies. Venezuela is our third largest supply of oil led by Canada and Mexico. Mexico is running out. So keep on printing those notes of debt. The problem we see now is that the banks are dirty and unwilling to lend to one another, which is exasperated by the consumer being maxed out. If the consumer doesn't take loans then the only money being created is the money created when the government sells bonds to the Federal Reserve. The Government can not create money as fast as the consumer can so the velocity of money slows to a crawl. Sure the government could take another $700,000,000,000 loan (note) and have the Fed monetize it, but then the current dollar holders like China would start to cash in because they don't want to be holding valueless dollars. I hope I'm wrong but I think it is going to get much worse before it gets better.
Has anyone heard the word "Derivative" in the news? There are twentyfour trillion dollars in outstanding derivatives floating around out in high finance country but there are only about twenty trillion U.S. dollars in existence... "What, me worry?"