In short, this year’s untrustworthies report amounts to an accounting and forecasting house of cards that is camouflaging an impending social, political and economic crisis of a magnitude not seen since the Great Depression or even the Civil War. So here follows an unpacking of the phony accounting edifice that obscures the imminent danger.
This conclusion sets up the presentation of one of the central concerns that will drive the dialectic in the subsequent chapters: the concern that the doctrine of emptiness entails metaphysical and moral nihilism. If all phenomena are empty and thus conventional, then there is no ultimate reality to serve as the foundation to support the accuracy of the distinctions we draw between true and false, real and unreal, and right and wrong. The asymmetrical dependence of the conventional on the ultimate presented in chapter 2 is collapsed in a way that seems to threaten the whole Buddhist project.