The International Monetary Unit — the IMU — is coming. Gold is going up, and the dollar is going down. The New World Order is ascendant.

And if you aren’t completely underwater yet, you will be.

It’s like the scene at the end of The Terminator, at the moment when Sarah Conner’s iconic Polaroid  is snapped near the Mexican border by a local kid for an easy $4. Storm clouds are rising in the North. The end is about to begin.

I didn’t believe it until now. Everything is about to change.

After reading Aftershock: Protect Yourself and Profit in the Next Global Financial Meltdown by David Wiedemer, Robert A. Wiedemer, and Cindy Spitzer, I googled the term “aftershock economy.” There were 1,290 results on June 14, 2010.

I am now reasonably convinced that the number of search results for the term “aftershock economy” is going to inflate dramatically — and very soon indeed.

If I could bet on it, I would take that bet in a New York second.

Realistically, though, money is short at this time, and my ability to make any more “risky” decisions has been largely curtailed by the ugly facts. So while I feel very sure about this one, I just can’t do it right now.

But that’s another story entirely.

Oh, wait. Actually, that is the story. And it’s a story many people share.

As the authors of Aftershock point out, home prices in the U.S. appreciated about 80% between 2001-2006. According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, wages increased just 2% over the same period.

Then in 2006, the housing market collapsed. Homeowners who had lived on the increasing paper profits of their homes over the previous decade faced sudden and surprising destitution. By 2008, with the seizure of the financial system in the U.S., the stock market collapsed in turn, and millions of people — mostly men — lost their jobs in a panic of corporate layoffs.

One after another the bubbles burst in a predictable sequence of spectacular implosions: starting with real estate and reverberating in tectonic waves through stock values, private debt, and discretionary spending.