Niall Ferguson: Empires Fall Abruptly, And The American Empire Is On The Brink


Niall Ferguson, writing in The Australian, believes that the American Empire could be on the brink of extinction. His theory, based on a historical critique of how empires fracture and fall, notes the fiscal instability of the Hapsburg Spanish, Bourbon French, and British Empire prior to their falls.

Ferguson then notes that the American Empire could be next, not just because of the size of its debt, but because of the size of payments needed to service that debt. He suggests that debt servicing costs, specifically interest payments, could rise above that of defence spending within the next decade.

And that’s where it gets frightening for Ferguson, who notes that those cuts in defence spending would lead to the decline of the U.S. Empire, a withdrawal from portions of the world, and the expansion of China in the Asia-Pacific region.

Further from this, its quite obvious that this could have an impact in multiple areas the U.S. currently dominates. An example would be South Asia, where India and Iran could rise to compete over dominance in Afghanistan and Pakistan. China could even play there too.

Check out Niall Ferguson’s guide to sovereign debt crises >

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