The Market Oracle posted an absolute MUST READ yesterday--an interview with Shadowstats Economist John Williams. See the entire piece here.
TER: How do we get through this, John?
JW: If there's no solution for the system—and I don't see one; I think it just has to run its course—there still is good news. We as individuals have ways of protecting ourselves, our families, our friends, our businesses—whatever is important to us. To do that we have to preserve the value of our wealth and assets in order to ride out the storm. As terrible as it will be, it will end. A time will come when things become self-righting and the people who have been able to survive will be able to do some extraordinary things.
TER: And what do you advocate in terms of individuals preserving wealth and assets?
JW: Hold some gold, silver, precious metals. I'm talking physical possession. Preferably coins because coins, sovereign coins, are recognized as such. They don't have liquidity issues. Having some assets outside the U.S., and certainly some assets outside the U.S. dollar, is a good thing. I like the Australian dollar, the Canadian dollar, the Swiss franc in particular. They won't suffer the same hyperinflation in Australia, Canada and Switzerland as we do in the U.S., so those currencies will tend to act as ways of preserving wealth. Over time real estate is a traditional store of wealth, but it's not portable and sometimes it's not liquid.
If I'm right about what's going to unfold, a significant shift in government is possible; suppose the government moved so far to the left where maybe private ownership of property was not allowed. Having a lot of assets in real estate under those circumstances might not be so good. I think generally real estate is a good bet but you also have to consider the risks. Use common sense. Think through different things that could happen.
Most importantly, build up a store of supplies, more than you would normally consume over a couple of months, particularly food and water, canned goods. Having those goods can save your life in a number of ways. You'd have food to eat, and if you have extra you can use it to barter. I met a guy who'd been through hyperinflation and found for purposes of the barter system those airline-size bottles of high-quality scotch proved quite valuable. Buy things that you would otherwise consume and rotate your inventory. Don't go out buying all sorts of things you'll never use. Keep what makes sense to you and your circumstances. Make sure you have things that are stable. Not too perishable.
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