In the USA they should be aware of earthquakes. The US Geological Service is a body central to our understanding and knowledge about them. Even so the complexities may be less understood by most people and the media.
It is the difficult area of Collapse Dynamics and how they affect structures, however well built or central to communities, that are a particular issue.
But this item is not about geophysics it is about money. The idea is that a 'quake may cause some buildings to fall, others to be so badly damaged that they cannot be used but others may survive but their weaknesses difficult to judge until the next 'quake.
A principle that can be applied, with a little difficulty to financial systems and markets and by extension to nation states and other political entities. The Austrian School of Economics is not necessarily the one of choice but often the web site, The Mises Institute has some pertinent things to say.
A recent post deals with the US dollar as a reserve currency, that is one that underpins a great deal of world trade and financing and is supposed to help the US economy. But the message in the last two paragraphs is, in building terms, that falling down is easy if you know how and if the US does not curtail borrowing the Chinese walls could come down.
On the other hand the IMF are saying that the USA should lift its "debt ceiling" very soon to avoid major turbulence on world markets and presumably the consequences for its own currency and the economy. But who matters in this?
A book review on the LSE web site, a long hard read, deals with the question of who is the piper calling in terms of the centrality of Hedge Funds and how they operate. Given that a lot of the statistics etc. are decidedly dodgy, they move both money and locations at will and there are great mysteries about what their money is and why this is not encouraging.
So if our existing financial structures are given a shaking it could just be that the Hedge Funds are in fact supporting walls put up by a fly by night builder who took the money and ran.
If the USA does stop the extra monies it is highly vulnerable in the view of some expert opinion. On the other hand if it does not stop them then it is highly vulnerable according to others.
If the 'quake does come where will the epicentre be? It may not be on Wall Street, my bet, sorry speculative investment, will be on the, pictured above, Change Alley in the City of London.
Unluckily, the USGS web site is closed for business.