Preparing For Disaster
by Dr. Jeffrey Lewis, Silver-Coin-Investor The other day, I overheard a conversation among a group of concerned Californians. They were having a debate about how they might be prepared for the next really big earthquake. Most folks living in the North Ridge area, and where I am located in northern California, are certain that the ‘big one’ will hit some day. There are probabilities based on geological historic data. Based on that data, we know it will happen, we just don’t know when. Consequently, the majority do nothing about it. For a variety of reasons, it always makes me happy to hear people discussing preparedness. Partly because it is relatively simple and inexpensive to cover the basics and also because it’s a fascinating topic in its own right. It also means that, deep down, people are capable of expanding and acting on their understanding of what they should do in an emergency. But I never get used to hearing–or rather NOT hearing–much discussion about the monetary side of this discussion. That is, simply protecting or preserving some, even small amount of personal financial wealth. Why is it so easy to leave out the monetary portion of the earthquake kit? Monetary and wealth concerns should be a central component of any emergency kit–not a peripheral. But I never get used to hearing–or rather NOT hearing–much discussion about the monetary side of this discussion. That is, simply protecting or preserving some, even small amount of personal financial wealth. Why is it so easy to leave out the monetary portion of the earthquake kit? Monetary and wealth concerns should be a central component of any emergency kit–not a peripheral. Granted, as a precious metals focused commentator and analyst, I’m somewhat biased. That’s fine with me. We can acknowledge bias without letting it define us. To be fair, I did hear mention of ‘economic collapse’ in the discussion I overheard. But it was made in jest – the MadMax card so often thrown into the fires of these discussions as a way to avoid thinking through a potentially complicated series of events that will eventually unfold. (Indeed, propaganda has been very effective at assigning meaning to possibilities, like financial collapse). Yet, when it comes to the economy and finance, any hint of collapse, or any euphemisms used to describe it activates the conspiracy radar in many of us. Mention ‘dollar collapse,’ “bank closures,’ ‘another Lehman event,’ and of course ‘hyperinflation,’ and you’ve tapped into the irrational mind. This is where I felt I had to chime in–for better or for worse. The shame is that we have more historical, as well as current evidence/indicators, showing we are headed toward another, bigger financial/banking crisis from ongoing chronic conditions to a high risk of outright collapse. In the developed world, the financial system runs solely on the confidence of electronic credit. This, in turn, fuels a massive consumer economy that is dependent on that credit to enable the delivery of food, energy, and services in a just-in-time manner. This system of credit functions on a network with very little underlying redundancy, which means that once a few main nodes go down, the whole thing goes down. It would be as if one great big fault line ruptured everywhere. You don’t need a conspiracy-minded viewpoint to know what caused the series of events leading to, through, and beyond the last crisis (and the one before that and the one before that!). To this day, the issues that caused the last financial panic have not been solved–they were simply swept under the carpet. Nothing was fixed. No measures were implemented to prevent the same ‘accidents’ from happening again. We have more debt and less organic capacity to manage it. We have only a printing press maintained, literally, by those who profit most from it—the government and Wall Street Banks. In fact, we are much more fragile as a result of the concentration of power that grew out of the so called ‘solutions’ to the last crisis. All that is left is the same track we’ve been on: Creating money and credit from nothing, further distorting the flow of productive capital, thereby generating a positive feedback loop that is impossible to stop. It is only well known, accepted, and ‘available’ policy measures for counteracting such a crisis (dropping cash from helicopters, creating more credit out of nothing) would simply make it all much worse and lead to the same situation every fiat currency that has ever existed inevitably experienced. One study by David Korowicz, Financial System Supply-Chain Cross-Contagion: A Study in Global Systemic Collapse (http://www.feasta.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Trade-Off1.pdf ), looked at the fuel strikes that occurred in England in the beginning of this century. In a matter of days, everything stopped. Grocery stores emptied, hospitals shut down, and banks closed. Speaking to this crowd I pondered aloud: One might want to ask oneself who the voice is inside your head who is saying, “This can’t happen here.” After you listen and learn the answer to who that is, maybe you’ll decide it’s time to forget about the guns, MadMax, bunkers, prepper television shows, and consider having a little more food, water, medicine, liquor, cash, and a maybe a few hundred dollars’ worth of old silver, dimes, and quarters.