By Jared Dillian
I was watching the 6 o’clock news and saw images of closed banks in Greece and people lined up at ATMs. I’m sure you did, too.
This must seem surreal to most people because it seems so remote. But put yourself in these people’s shoes for a second. You have money in the bank. Suddenly you can’t get to it. After standing in long lines, you can only get 60 euros at a time, which isn’t going to last you very long.
What if you didn’t plan adequately and haven’t stashed away any cash? The banks will be closed for a while. What happens?
How do you pay for rent? Or food?
How does your employer pay you?
Do you go homeless? Or hungry?
Do you get really angry, take to the streets, blame someone or something (probably the wrong thing), break stuff, set things on fire?
Will Greece descend into anarchy?
Of course, not everyone in Greece is hurting. Many people saw this coming and took action. They took all their money out of the banks, put it under the mattress, or maybe stored it in a safe. Maybe they bought gold, or diamonds, or something else. These people aren’t standing in lines at ATM’s. They aren’t going to go homeless or hungry.
But these people get a pretty bad rap—at least here in the US, where we call them “doomsday preppers.” Or “bunker monkeys.” Or “conspiracy theorists.” Or “gold bugs.” They take a beating.
Jim Rickards tweeted the other day, “I’ll bet there a lot of Greeks saying, ‘I wish I had bought some gold.’” Truer words have never been spoken.
This week’s issue of The 10th Man is not a gold promotion, but rather a broader discussion about how you can prepare for financial catastrophe. People keep fire extinguishers and first aid kits in their cars. They test their smoke alarms twice a year. They purchase flood insurance or, in my neighborhood, hurricane shutters.
Why would you do all these things but just leave your money in the bank and hope for the best?
(For the rest of the article, click the link.)