See Jim Kunstler's latest posting
"Under a Flourescent Moon"
and Nobel-winning Paul Krugman's NY Times article from last week
Both these guys are saying the same thing (that a massive wealth has been lost from the U.S. economy and there is no way to avoid the repercussions), although Kunstler fleshes it out and makes it sound even scarier with a more rabid tone. I add this observation: this is not a case where we have lost the wealth and a counterparty has gained it, instead it's more like somebody who places a bet when they don't have the money to cover it. This wealth has disappeared from the world system (it actually never existed). All the worldwide economic activity that took place based on this wealth will now unravel.