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Signs of Collapse?
The events in Cyprus continue to evolve. It has become evident that well-connected and informed depositors with uninsured funds were told of the coming capital controls and withdrew their funds prior to the government’s implementation of the deal with the European ‘troika’ (see this and this) reinforcing the increasingly-held belief that the elite prosper by gaming the system leaving the masses to bear the burden of profligate governments and a malfeasant corporate elite, particularly the ‘banksters’ (see this).
It is also important to note that the amount of a loss for depositors could now be as high as 100% (see this), indicating that losses will be much, much higher than previously suggested (the plutocrats who were foretold of the move and removed their deposits added significantly to the losses). An analogous move used by the state to put down protests by its citizens is kettling, where a cordon of police with riot gear and often on horseback herd large groups of people into areas without an exit and hold them there, catching up non-involved citizens who were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. In an attempt to ‘tax’ the Russian oligarchs, all matter of Cypriot was caught in the E.U.’s unprecedented move in recapitalising its banks. Social unrest is sure to follow…
I have tried to raise domestic concern for these events (see this) but we appear to be stuck in the ‘this-time-is-different syndrome’ (see this). I have recently noted that our own Canadian Federal government is preparing for a Cypriot-like confiscation of depositor funds (see this). It is important for Canadians to remember that history shows that Canada was one the of the most severally impacted nations during the Great Depression of the 1930s (see this) and while history may not repeat itself precisely, current events can certainly rhyme with historical ones. In ‘kicking-the-can down the road’ and denying the significance of the problems that will most certainly affect us in the not-too-distant future, our leaders are assuring an increased shock for the uninformed and ill-prepared masses (see this).
My initial advice for individuals during our ‘relative calm’ is three-fold:
a) get out of debt as quickly as possible, central banks cannot hold interest rates down forever–this may create the need for a significant drop in your ‘standard-of-living’ but better to do it now and have some control over this realignment of expectations, rather than having no control during a crisis and adding to your stress;
b) after you are out of debt, begin to save your surplus wealth through purchase of physical precious metals (no paper ETFs and held at a very reputable storage unit) or investments that could help you ‘weather’ the storm such as investing in home gardening supplies, updating your home’s insulation, or purchasing a wood-burning stove–get your money out of institutions that carry third-party risk (i.e. banks);
c) begin to supplement your food consumption with local sources, your own if possible–build a vegetable garden, plant fruit trees, find out where your local farms and farmers’ markets are.
Communities should be focusing on one thing: becoming sustainably self-sufficient in as many ways as possible; for example, food, water, and energy, the three foundations of our existence. A good sign is that there are transition movements springing up all across the globe (see this).
There is absolutely no way to predict when a crisis may occur–it could be tomorrow or ten years from now; so it is better to be prepared in the event of one, rather than to be reacting during one; this is why elementary schools practise various drills repeatedly during each school year or why we purchase insurance or carry a spare tire in our cars-just in case. Any consequences of economic collapse could occur quickly with little time to react, or it may occur over a prolonged period, allowing gradual adaptation. As Nasim Taleb argues in The Black Swan, it is the unknown, low-risk events that have the most significant impacts upon us. Being prepared for the coming economic tsunami is not only prudent but the first step towards self-sufficiency.
If you haven’t checked out my novel, Olduvai, please do:) Aiming to sell 422 copies: known sold to date–via FriesenPress, 4 hardcover, 2 paperback; via ebook sales, 2; via Amazon et al not known at this time; via me, 16 paperback and 3 hardcover, for a grand total of: 27 (395 to go…yikes;P)
April 1, 2013