Sunday, April 7, 2013

5 Tips to Prepare for a Cyprus-Type Event

1) Have your Standard Preparedness Supplies in Order: You’ll need food, water, means of self defense, medical care and shelter for a multitude of events and this is no different. Having food means you wont have to worry about running to the store to buy food for the next few days just when people’s accounts get frozen, credit cards are no longer accepted and cash is becoming scarce. Same goes for medicines you may need or fuel to move around. 

2) Have Cash. We’ve gone through this before. While a fiat currency can lose value very fast its unlikely that the Dollar or Euro will become worthless overnight. When banks close and ATM go empty, cash is king. Suppliers are scared and go for cash only, at times forcing retailers to do the same. This happens often with fuel during economic crisis. I recommend a minimum of one month worth of expenses in cash at hand.

3) Have Precious Metals. Gold and silver in well recognized coins. This is your insurance in case the fiat currency does go belly up eventually. Even if it doesn’t, while the currency loses value because of whatever is going on, your PM are safe from that devaluation. While the price of PM goes up and down, it always retains a somewhat similar purchasing value throughout history. 

4)  Buy a safe, then buy another one. If you think of it, its cheap insurance so as to keep your money safe in case of a break in, no pun intended. Most petty thieves looking for quick cash, cellphones or prescription drugs wont even know what to do and will leave the safe alone but as criminals notice that people keep more cash at home because of the distrust of banks, break ins and home invasions will become more common. A determined criminal will either steal the safe entirely or manage to open it using power tools. A second, very well hidden safe is the best way to increase the chances of keeping most of your savings safe. Do keep a bit of cash, cheap jewelry and other typical safe stuff just in case in your first “decoy” safe. 

SentrySafe SFW123DSB 1.23 Cubic Feet Combination Fire-Safe, Medium Grey $155.99

SentrySafe 7250 Waterproof Floor Safe, 540 Cubic Inches, Gray  $120.59
5) Off Shore Banking. No, you’re not Jason Bourne or 007, but even if you just have a couple hundred bucks in it, an account in another country gives you the choice of moving the money out of the local banking system. Maybe you don’t get the chance to transfer it, but what if you do? If you do see something fishy going on you can transfer it and maybe save your money. Nothing happens? No harm done, you just lose a couple bucks on the transfer fee. What you wont be able to do is open an account in just a day or two when you need it in a hurry. What country you ask ? Google up to find where the big fish keep theirs. Hopefully you have it and rarely move money to it. But having it gives you options, and options are always good to have.



Don Williams said...

1) Re the financial bailout and collapse, there is a good movie out called "Killing Them Softly". It has Brad Pitt as a hitman called in by the mob to discover who robbed a poker game and to kill the robbers.

What is interesting is that it intersperses scenes of bleak US urban decay, poverty, drugs, robberies, a guy being beaten brutally and several assassinations with TVs in the bars and car radios playing speeches by George W Bush, Hank Paulsen, and Barack Obama during the crisis.

It underlines the point that the gangsters are the amateurs when it comes to brutality, deceit, betrayals and robbery.

The final scene has the hitman bitterly mocking Obama as Obama gives his victory speech in 2008 , saying America is a community.

Brad Pitts' mockery is made even more plausible when you compare Obama's rhetoric in 2008 with the misery America has endured in the five years since due to Obama selling out to his rich campaign donors.

The hitman then notes that this country has been built on a political lie from day one --starting with Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence.

See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4UzPdUzygvE

Don Williams said...

1) I've read that many foreign banks no longer wish to open accounts for US citizens because of the paperwork/regulatory burden imposed on them by the US IRS and Treasury.

2) A possible exception appears to be HSBC , which has numerous branches here in the USA, mostly in major cities.

I don't necessarily recommend them but for illustration purposes they have a demo here showing how one can immediately transfer money from a US account to foreign accounts with a laptop and the internet--both here and while on foreign travel.

What I thought was interesting in the demo is that you can disconnect some foreign accounts from showing up when you log on in a specific country.

E.g, if you are in the UK you can access your USA and Swiss accounts and then disconnect the Swiss account before you leave for America so that only the UK and USA accounts show up when you log on in America.

3) Service fee is not cheap by middle class standards ($50/month+ or $100,000 account balance) but not out of reach.

4) There was also a hilarious news story recently about what can happen if you try transferring money the old-fashioned way --smuggling gold across a border:



TampaMark said...

Smuggling gold is ignorant. You just trade it for gold stored off shore. Like the banks do.

Anonymous said...

Hello Ferfal,

Your point about having two safe boxes got me thinking about a cartoon I saw of two thugs holding a pipe wrench and nerdy looking guy tied in a chair. In the caption one thug asked the other, how are we going to get into his expensive commercial grade safe? And the other replied, simple, with a $5 wrench.

The safe is good to prevent smash and grab operations. Most safe containers sold at Wal-Mart can be broken into in less than 2 minutes by two guys with prying bars. Now if the owner has a high end real safe box, maybe even in a vault or surrounded by concrete walls and bolted the thieves may just decide to apply the $5 dollar wrench method.

Perhaps, you should revisit the topic, again, of hiding places for valuables and Opsec around the house when you get a chance.

Have a good day.

Jose Garcia

TampaMark said...

A follow-up on number 5), off-shore banking. I have looked at Picunix, a PayPal type (Gold Based Internet Currency - or GBIC) transaction service that holds your money in grams of gold. You can convert to any currency and buy from merchants who can accept payment worldwide. There are fees but they seem reasonable. Don't know of anyone personally who uses Picunix but it is on my list of places to put my cash in case of a Cyprus-Type Event.

TampaMark said...

Another thought on number 5), one may not have the time to execute any banking transaction until the event is completely over. In the US these things typically take place on the weekend. I remember in high school Nixon telling us we were off the gold standard on a Sunday night. So if and when that happens, on the following Monday your bank account could be confiscated and you would be left without any recourse.

Victoria said...

This is cool!