Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Hiding cash

A deflationary resolution to the global financial crisis may, in the best case, see banks limit the amount of money that account holders can withdraw. In the worst case, large banks will go bankrupt and debt-burdened governments won't be able to bail them out, and savings accounts will be decimated as a result. Either way it might make sense to keep actual cash on hand to pay for basic necessities when the collapse happens.

The trick with hoarding cash is that a thief can steal it, so if you're going to hoard it, hide it well. A two-part post by Jeffrey Strain, "Conversation with a Burglar" (part 1) (part 2) has some savvy advice about this, particularly regarding the places one should avoid hiding valuables. The key points are these:
  • Most of the places you think are good hiding spots are actually the first place a burglar will look.
  • Besides a bolted-down safe, the best defense is to leave a small fraction of your stash in obvious hiding places (in a drawer or the back of a closet for example) so that a thief will think he's found most of the money and then leave quickly.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

The house of cards will collapse

If Greece decides to default on its debt in an orderly fashion, or if it simply descends into chaos, it may be the spark that that finally collapses the global financial Ponzi scheme. Or Greece may ultimately agree to the EU's terms, thereby delaying and exacerbating the inevitable pain for a little longer. There are simply too many players involved and too many weak points in the system to know exactly when and where the triggering event will happen, or how the collapse will unfold, (inflation vs. deflation) but the collapse will happen one way or another.

I've made some preparations for both a deflationary spiral and hyperinflation, and beyond that I've resigned myself to the fact that I have little power to affect or predict the final outcome.