Ice-Nine Plan by Jim Rickards
The main metaphor I use in my newest book The Road to Ruin: The Global Elites’ Secret Plan for the Next Financial Crisis (claim your free copy here) is something called “Ice-9.”
Ice-9 may be familiar to some listeners and readers, maybe not to others, but this is something I borrowed from the novelist Kurt Vonnegut.
He wrote a short novel in the early 1960s called Cat’s Cradle. Some readers may be familiar with it. If not, I recommend a copy. It’s short and hilarious.
My book, on the other hand, is not funny at all. I discuss the end of the financial system and the very real possibility of people losing all their savings. Hopefully, it’s engaging, entertaining and readable, but I can’t honestly say it’s funny. But Kurt Vonnegut’s is, even though he talks about a doomsday machine.
It involves a variation of a water molecule a scientist invented. It was different, a variation of water different in one respect: It melted at 114 degrees Fahrenheit, and it was frozen at room temperature. If one molecule of this unusual water came in contact with a regular molecule of water, the regular molecule would turn to ice-9. This happened over and over again, in geometric progression.
Ice-9 was kept in a vial. But if the vial was opened and one molecule was poured into normal water, all that water would freeze. Then it would spread, and would sweep through the lakes and the rivers and the oceans. And all the water in the world would ultimately freeze.
Of course, everyone on the Planet Earth would die. It was a doomsday machine, a metaphor for nuclear annihilation. This book came out right around the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis, so it was quite topical.
In my book, I take that metaphor of ice-9 and apply it to the financial system. The point I make is that one part of the financial system cannot be shut down in isolation. A contagion beginning in one part spreads to the entire system. That’s because the minute one part shuts down, everybody runs for a different part in a quest to get their money back.