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Showing posts with label financial SHTF. Show all posts
Showing posts with label financial SHTF. Show all posts

Sunday, February 23, 2014

What the U.S. Economic Collapse May Look Like

An interview between Chris Martenson (of Peak Prosperity) and Fernando Aguirre, a source of expertise on the hyperinflationary destruction of Argentina’s economy in 2001, occurred which may give us an insight on the U.S. economy will collapse. The interview and comments are below, however this interview was preceded by an article, titled "Watch Out, It's Coming" by Bob Rinear on International Forecaster concerning the impending U.S. Economic Crash. First selected comments from Bob Rinear's article, then the interview between Martenson and Aguirre.

Bob Rinear: This are Bob's comment's about the recent Fed taper where the Fed injected (printed) less money than in previous months which affected the Stock Market.

"I’ve said many many times to you all that a global “reset” is coming. The IMF World bank knows that there’s too much debt in too many countries for it to ever be repaid. Global currency fluctuations are so extreme and so rapid, it is sometimes impossible to carry on continuous trade. Just recently when Turkey’s currency was imploding, one carpet manufacturer had to call for currency pricing every 20 minutes so he could quote customers. This goes on world wide, every minute of every day Because of huge disparities over the amount of debts outstanding, versus the “value” of each countries GDP, it is evident that to have a continuous world where things stop blowing up every six months, it has to be changed."

"Countries all over the world are tired of the US in particular, as they’ve destroyed the value of the dollar for years, making it virtually worthless. No matter where we look, the evidence suggests “they have to do something”. Well, they’re doing something as we speak. In the background, in the shadows, outside the spotlight they’re working on a “replacement” for the US dollar as the global reserve. But more than that, they’re working out a complete rebalancing of all Countries debts, versus their “worth” in natural resources, Gold and Silver reserves, output per capita, productivity, demographics, etc."

UrbanMan Comments: The U.S. may be in a slide that is completely irreversible as the national debt continues to soar abve $17 Trillion and the debt limit for annual budgetary spending is suspended until 2015. China actively working to dethrone the U.S. dollar, which will in and of itself devalue the dollar tremendously, as well as all economic indicators - housing prices, unemployment, entitlement spending and stock market instability that will add weight to hyper-inflationary period that seems to be unavoidable. That is the "Watch Out, It's Coming" that Rinear talks about. Now let's look at the history lessons, albeit only a few short 13 years ago, in Argentina:

Background: Argentina is a country re-entering crisis territory it knows too well. The country has defaulted on its sovereign debt three times in the past 32 years and looks poised to do so again soon. Its currency, the peso, devalued by more than 20% in January alone. Inflation is currently running at 25%. Argentina's budget deficit is exploding, and, based on credit default swap rates, the market is placing an 85% chance of a sovereign default within the next five years.

Want to know what it's like living through a currency collapse? Fernando Aguiree speaks to Chris Martenson and gives us good look:

Chris Martenson: Okay. Bring us up to date. What is happening in Argentina right now with respect to its currency, the peso?

Fernando Aguirre: Well, actually pretty recently, January 22, the peso lost 15% of its value. It has devalued quite a bit. It ended up losing 20% of its value that week, and it has been pretty crazy since then. Inflation has been rampant in some sectors, going up to 100% in food, grocery stores 20%, 30% in some cases. So it has been pretty complicated. Lots of stores don't want to be selling stuff until they get updated prices. Suppliers holding on, waiting to see how things go, which is something that we are familiar with because that happened back in 2001 when everything went down as we know it did.

UrbanMan Comments: The U.S. annual average inflation rate since 2009 lays between 1.4 to 3.0% depending upon which government source you use. However, the government also says the unemployment rate is around 7%. How many of us can deny that their grocery money goes far, far less now days than years ago?

Chris Martenson: So 100%, 20% inflation; are those yearly numbers?

Fernando Aguirre: Those are our numbers in a matter of days. In just one day, for example, cement in Balcarce, one of the towns in Southern Argentina, went up 100% overnight, doubling in price. Grocery stores in Córdoba, even in Buenos Aires, people are talking about increase of prices of 20, 30% just these days. I actually have family in Argentina that are telling me that they go to a hardware store and they aren't even able to buy stuff from there because stores want to hold on and see how prices unfold in the following days.

UrbanMan Comments: What would you do if grocery store and other comodity prices doubled within, say even a month, let alone one day? The majority of us living within a budget would have to priotize what we wanted as opposed to what we needed. However, the average American household has something like 3 to 4 days of food in their pantry. Many people would be calling in sick to work in order to be at the grocery store before they opened. Think of the riots when stores would refuse to open or sell until prices were set that day. Who would be setting those prices?

Chris Martenson: Right. So this is one of those great mysteries of inflation. It is obviously 'flying money', so everyone is trying to get rid of their money. You would think that would actually increase commerce. But if you are on the other end of that transaction, if you happen to be the business owner, you have every incentive to withhold items for as long as possible. So one of the great ironies, I guess, is that even though money is flying around like crazy, goods start to disappear from the shelves. Is that what you are seeing?

Fernando Aguirre: Absolutely. Shelves halfway empty. The government is always trying to muscle its way through these kind of problems, just trying to force companies to stock back products and such, but they just keep holding on. For example, gas has gone up 12% these last few days. And there is really nothing they can do about it. If they don't increase prices, companies just are not willing to sell. It is a pretty tricky situation to be in.

Chris Martenson: Are there any sort of price controls going on right now? Has anything been mandated?

Fernando Aguirre: As you know, price controls don't really work. I mean, they tried this before in Argentina. Actually, last year one of the big news stories was that the government was freezing prices on food and certain appliances. It didn't work. Just a few days later those supposedly "frozen" prices were going up. As soon as they officially released them, they would just double in price.

UrbanMan Comments: When there are price controls, you will see several things,... 1 - a burgeoning black market; bartering and alternative currency transactions,..... meaning gold and silver. Again, food riots would ensure.

Chris Martenson: Let me ask you this, then: How many people in Argentina actually still have money in Argentine banks in dollars? One of the features in 2001 was that people had money in dollars, in the banks. There was a banking holiday; a couple of weeks later, banks open up; Surprise, you have the same number in your account, only it's pesos, not dollars. It was an effective theft, if I could use that term. Is anybody keeping money in the banks at this point, or how is that working?

Fernando Aguirre: Well, first of all, I would like to clarify for people listening: Those banks that did that are the same banks that are found all over the world. They are not like strange South American, Argentinean banks – they are the same banks. If they are willing to steal from people in one place, don't be surprised if they are willing to do it in other places as well.

UrbanMan Comments: Hyper inflation and impending economic collapse would force the government to implement banking and other financial controls. This could be banking holidays; could be limits on transaction amounts; could/would be a government order to turn in gold and silver bullion; may be government take over of all retirement accounts. So ask yourself how prepared are you for hyper inflation and a economic collapse?

Monday, July 29, 2013

18 Similarities Between The Last Financial Crisis And Today

By Michael Snyder on The Economic Collapse Blog, posting an article with the title "It Is Happening Again: 18 Similarities Between The Last Financial Crisis And Today"

#1 According to the Bank of America Merrill Lynch equity strategy team, their big institutional clients are selling stock at a rate not seen "since 2008".

#2 In 2008, stock prices had wildly diverged from where the economic fundamentals said that they should be. Now it has happened again.

#3 In early 2008, the average price of a gallon of gasoline rose substantially. It is starting to happen again. And remember, whenever the average price of a gallon of gasoline in the U.S. has risen above $3.80 during the past three years, a stock market decline has always followed.

#4 New home prices just experienced their largest two month drop since Lehman Brothers collapsed.

#5 During the last financial crisis, the mortgage delinquency rate rose dramatically. It is starting to happen again.

#6 Prior to the financial crisis of 2008, there was a spike in the number of adjustable rate mortgages. It is happening again.

#7 Just before the last financial crisis, unemployment claims started skyrocketing. Well, initial claims for unemployment benefits are rising again. Once we hit the 400,000 level, we will officially be in the danger zone.

#8 Continuing claims for unemployment benefits just spiked to the highest level since early 2009.

#9 The yield on 10 year Treasuries is now up to 2.60 percent. We also saw the yield on 10 year U.S. Treasuries rise significantly during the first half of 2008.

#10 According to Zero Hedge, "whenever the annual change in core capex, also known as Non-Defense Capital Goods excluding Aircraft shipments goes negative, the US has traditionally entered a recession". Guess what? It is rapidly heading toward negative territory again.

#11 Average hourly compensation in the United States experienced its largest drop since 2009 during the first quarter of 2013.

#12 In the month of June, spending at restaurants fell by the most that we have seen since February 2008.

#13 Just before the last financial crisis, corporate earnings were very disappointing. Now it is happening again.

#14 Margin debt spiked just before the bubble burst, it spiked just before the financial crash of 2008, and now it is spiking again.

#15 During 2008, the price of gold fell substantially. Now it is happening again. #16 Global business confidence is now the lowest that it has been since the last recession.

#17 Back in 2008, the U.S. national debt was rapidly rising to unsustainable levels. We are in much, much worse shape today.

#18 Prior to the last financial crisis, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke assured the American people that home prices would not decline and that there would not be a recession. We all know what happened. Now he is once again promising that everything is going to be just fine.

Are the American people going to fall for it again?

Add to Michael Synder's points is that the stimulus from the Fed's printing money and dumping into the market is or has to stop at some point. Everything Bernanke makes a comments about slowing or stopping the fiat currency printing, the markets go crazy in a bad way. Not that I have any trust in the market financials anyway. They are hocus pocus.

The welfare rolls continue to grow. We are on target for 1/3 of the American population to be on welfare and this is not counting Social Security Insurance or Disability. Add to the underfunded state and muncialaity retirement costs from cities like Detroit going bankrupt, and there will be many more, is ading to the population rosters of financially strapped and therefore at risk.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Inflation or Deflation?

Occassional I get questions on the differences between inflation and deflation as it relates to it affecting the economy, causing a economic collapse and therefore regulating people to daily survival. I struggle to explain either and am much better at explaining the effects. Kinda like explaining a sharp stick jammed into your eye,........I can't explain the medical effects other than the fact that it would subsequently hurt like hell, affect your vision and depth perception, and maybe be a cause for life threatening infection.

Then along comes this good article from Tyler Durden on Zero Hedge. Titled "Will It Be Inflation Or Deflation? The Answer May Surprise You", this article is easy to read and understand and may give the prepper some ammunition to explain causes and effects as it relates to the need to prepare for a collapse. The enitre article with graphs and charts cane be found on Zero Hedge.

Is the coming financial collapse going to be inflationary or deflationary? Are we headed for rampant inflation or crippling deflation? This is a subject that is hotly debated by economists all over the country. Some insist that the wild money printing that the Federal Reserve is doing combined with out of control government spending will eventually result in hyperinflation. Others point to all of the deflationary factors in our economy and argue that we will experience tremendous deflation when the bubble economy that we are currently living in bursts. So what is the truth? Well, for the reasons listed below, we believe that we will see both.

The next major financial panic will cause a substantial deflationary wave first, and after that we will see unprecedented inflation as the central bankers and our politicians respond to the financial crisis. This will happen so quickly that many will get "financial whiplash" as they try to figure out what to do with their money. We are moving toward a time of extreme financial instability, and different strategies will be called for at different times.

So why will we see deflation first? The following are some of the major deflationary forces that are affecting our economy right now...

The Velocity Of Money Is At A 50 Year Low

The rate at which money circulates in our economy is the lowest that it has been in more than 50 years. It has been steadily falling since the late 1990s, and this is a clear sign that economic activity is slowing down. The shaded areas in the chart represent recessions, and as you can see, the velocity of money always slows down during a recession. But even though the government is telling us that we are not in a recession right now, the velocity of money continues to drop like a rock. This is one of the factors that is putting a tremendous amount of deflationary pressure on our economy...

The Trade Deficit

Even single month, far more money leaves this country than comes into it. In fact, the amount going out exceeds the amount coming in by about half a trillion dollars each year. This is extremely deflationary. Our system is constantly bleeding cash, and this is one of the reasons why the federal government has felt a need to run such huge budget deficits and why the Federal Reserve has felt a need to print so much money. They are trying to pump money back into a system that is constantly bleeding massive amounts of cash. Since 1975, the amount of money leaving the United States has exceeded the amount of money coming into the country by more than 8 trillion dollars. The trade deficit is one of our biggest economic problems, and yet most Americans do not even understand what it is. As you can see below, our trade deficit really started getting bad in the late 1990s...

Wages And Salaries As A Percentage Of GDP

One of the primary drivers of inflation is consumer spending. But consumers cannot spend money if they do not have it. And right now, wages and salaries as a percentage of GDP are near a record low. This is a very deflationary state of affairs. The percentage of low paying jobs in the U.S. economy continues to increase, and we have witnessed an explosion in the ranks of the "working poor" in recent years. For consumer prices to rise significantly, more money is going to have to get into the hands of average American consumers first...

When The Debt Bubble Bursts

Right now, we are living in the greatest debt bubble in the history of the world. When a debt bubble bursts, fear and panic typically cause the flow of money and the flow of credit to really tighten up. We saw that happen at the beginning of the Great Depression of the 1930s, we saw that happen back in 2008, and we will see it happen again. Deleveraging is deflationary by nature, and it can cause economic activity to grind to a standstill very rapidly.

During the next major wave of the economic collapse, there will be times when it will seem like hardly anyone has any money. The "easy credit" of the past will be long gone, and large numbers of individuals and small businesses will find it very difficult to get loans.

When the debt bubble bursts, cash will be king - at least for a short period of time. Those that do not have any savings at all will really be hurting.

And some of the financial elite seem to be positioning themselves for what is coming. For example, even though he has been making public statements about how great stocks are right now, the truth is that Warren Buffett is currently sitting on $49 billion in cash. That is the most that he has ever had sitting in cash.

Does he know something?

Of course there will be a tremendous amount of pressure on the U.S. government and the Federal Reserve to do something once a financial crash happens. The response by the federal government and the Federal Reserve will likely be extremely inflationary as they try to resuscitate the system. It will probably be far more dramatic than anything we have seen so far.

So cash will not be king for long. In fact, eventually cash will be trash. The actions of the U.S. government and the Federal Reserve in response to the coming financial crisis will greatly upset much of the rest of the world and cause the death of the U.S. dollar.

That is why gold, silver and other hard assets are going to be so good to have in the long-term. In the short-term they will experience wild swings in price, but if you can handle the ride you will be smiling in the end.

In the coming years, we are going to experience both inflation and deflation, and neither one will be pleasant at all.

UrbanMan 's comments:  While to some investors having cash on hand, and I mean in your safe, is not a wise way to have money work for you, but is averages the effects of several posibilities,..inflation and deflation, bank closures, ability to purchase items in the early days ot a total collapse until paper fiat currency isn ot accepted.   

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Is the Chance of a Collapse Decreasing?

Are you one of the preppers who has started to slow preparation for, or even days go by when you are not thinking of a potential collapse? I have several friends of mine who either say or do things to indicate a general belief that the chance of a major SHTF is decreasing. One of my friends bought a very expensive dining room set and the other a small sports car. Me? It was like "Dude's, are you kidding me? Now is not the time to incur more debt especially with items that will have no intrinsic value if the economy tanks.

This prompted me to ask some more people I know who are prepping if they thought there is better possibility that an economic collapse is being delayed and/or potentially could be staved off.

One guy told me that fuel prices, food and other commodities costs are all holding steady. Interest rates still at historic lows, so he is optimistic that a collapse can be avoided. I reminded him that I, too, hope for the best, but still prepare for the worst.

Another person says it looks like the federal government is solving the funding problem, finding ways around sequestration and it is more likely some problems will be resolved even given the vast diferences between the two parties in power. I didn't even reply to this but I sure as hell thought "What planet are you living on?"

Here's my short list just on recent events that tell me different, that point to ignored problems and an increased likelyhood of a coming collapse,....and in fact the longer it is put off my sleight of hand programs, policies or artificial money coming into play, the bigger and deeper the collapse will be.

CNN Money is reporting that England's economy is falling back. The United Kingdom's debt has rating has been downgraded to 'AA+' from 'AAA', due to the lack of growth, annual deficit and growing debt - and no prognosis to get better. In fact, the prognosis for England is dim, with recesson appearing on the horizon.

Lack of Food. Here in the states we see several large cities with food banks for the truly needy about empty. I am not talking about the "welfare cheats" but the absolute desperate who rely on community food banks to eat.

Severe Environmental conditions in the U.S. with overall Exceptional Drought conditions and some places experiencing the worst drought in the last 100 years. The heartland is producing less and less food while the demand is greater and this of course is a recipe for increased prices. We have over 47 million Americans on food stamps with another estimated 12 to 15 million that are eligible. There is a huge government effort to get these people signed up. Regardless of how you see this program, the simple fact is that we can't afford it. To be sure there are some people who think we can afford it, and a host of other spending as well.

U.S Cities falling. Large and medium U.S. cities, such as Detroit MI, Dayton OH, Las Vegas NV, Fresno CA, Chicago IL, El Paso TX, Sanford FL, Newark NJ, Philadelphia PA and I am sure others are all facing one or more problems relating to deficit spending, increased local taxes, abandoned buildings, shrinking population (tax base), growing debt usual associated with decreased revenue and increased pension outlays, increased crime and violence which will increase yet because of por economic conditions and reduced law enforcement budgets.

Even after gun control legislation failed, all over the United States there is an ammunition shortage that is really unprecedented. From a couple of my geographically diverse friends, common calibers such as .22LR, 9mm, .38 Spl, .40 cal, .223, and .308 are practically impossible to buy. Other calibers like .300 Win Mag, 7mm, and .243 are available. There has been a reported shortage of 12 gauge buckshot, but slugs are still routinely available. BTW, keep your eyes and ears tuned for another round of anti-second amendment laws to be proposed.

On the precious metals market there has been panic buying of physical gold and silver, as China, Russia, India and others started increasing their physical gold purchase. Preppers are telling me that their local shops don't have Silver bullion. The main reliable precious metals has been silver coins for melt value. Prices will go up before the supply gets stabilized, if it does get stabilized. Buy it while you can.

The Possible Collapse scenario of terrorist strikes of a very significant nature or smaller terrorist strikes which would prompt widespread martial law are higher today than they were three weeks ago with the much publicized terr bombing at the Boston Marathon and the lesser publicized event at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Watts Bar Nuclear Plant where a security guard had a chance contact with, and interdicted an armed trespasser who inserted by boat onto the property. Shots were fired, no casualties. Trespasser withdrew. All we all know that Islamic terrorists would like nothing more than to target U.S. Nuclear, conventional power and chemical plants with the emphasis being on chemical and nuclear due to their serious contamination issues.

All in all, I'd say that the collapse is much more likely now, and in fact, we just may be heading unimpeded to towards SHTF.  Don't be the ostrich who has it's head in the ground.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

How Will a Cashless Society Affect Survivalists?

This is part of an article entitled "Winds Of Digital Change" by Bob Rinear, that was sent to me by a retired investment banker who is now an avowed prepper moving from the North to establish a home in Northern Arizona awaiting what he believes is the economic collapse of America. I am posting this to stimulate thought on how a cashless society can effect our ability to prepare to survive. I'm not too worried about having digital money after a economical or financial collapse as digital money will give way to barter or dealing in preciuous metals - hence the need to own physical gold and silver - but the longer we live in a cashless society, the greater of an impact, a negative impact, it will have on our preparations.

 There's absolutely no doubt that at some point in the future, they are going to abandon the idea of "cash" and all transactions will be done with a swipe.

Consider "money" for a while. It has been around in one form or another for thousands of years. When the first coinage was used to "buy" goods instead of using the barter system, there's no doubt that several things happened. One is that it became stupendously easier to get what you wanted or needed. But by association it creates a massive boom in "business". For instance let us suppose you were the farmer and you had hundreds of cows and steer. Well you might want to get a pair of pants or some boots. But the shoemaker didn't want a milk cow or a steer. So you guys couldn't do a lot of business and your feet still hurt. Once the concept of using coins (lets just say currency) really took hold, you could buy your pants and boots from the Shoe maker, and the house builder could "buy" your cows and meats. The velocity of business increased exponentially. Expanding that, all forms of increasing "good" took place.

People could "buy" books and pay tuition to schools. They could easily pay for musicians to play for their parties, etc. Education exploded, the arts became more widely accepted.

Money was a darned good thing.

Then of course there came a time when they figured out that carrying gold around was a bit of a pain, and the first concepts of "currency based on gold" was issued. This was the first good stabs at "currency". The idea being you'd use a slip of paper with a number on it as your vehicle to buy something. The paper "note" would correspond to an amount of gold you could exchange the note for if you wished. While many credit the Europeans for coming up with this and to some extent they were very important as to it's ultimate adoption, the Chinese began the practice 2000 years ago.

The Song Dynasty in China was the first to issue paper money, called "jiaozi", around the 10th century AD. Although the notes were valued at a certain exchange rate for gold, silver, or silk, conversion was never allowed in practice. Then, the successive Yuan Dynasty tried again and was the first dynasty in China to use paper currency as the predominant circulating medium. The founder of the Yuan Dynasty, Kublai Khan, issued paper money known as Chao in his reign. The original notes during the Yuan Dynasty were restricted in both area and duration as in the Song Dynasty. (notice that even today most will call the Chinese currency the "yuan" instead of the Renminbi which is its actual official name).

Of course you all know that here in the states President Nixon closed the "gold window" which basically severed our currency from any backing what so ever. We became "fiat" meaning that our currency was only backed by Uncle Sam saying it has value. It couldn't be exchanged at the banks for gold any more. Since that time, we've seen all manner of things happen, just as they have in the past. They PRINTED ever more gobs of the stuff. Well guess what? We've seen all that before. All of it.

The Romans printed money, the Greeks, the Argentineans, the Germans, you name it. All through history they have printed more money than they had "metal" (gold or silver) to back it and it always ended badly. It has only been in the past 45 years that we've embarked on what amounts to a completely "fiat" global situation. No one's money is backed by anything any more. This is new.

We have to ask the question, what happens when they push us into a completely digital cash-less society? We know that when we went from barter to "money" our societies saw a massive increase in activity. We know that when we went to a "currency backed by money" system the entire world experienced the biggest growth spurt the planet had ever seen. But in the last 40 years we've gone to a "currency backed by nothing" system and we're seeing that groan and creak because of the abuses of printing too much of it. Not to mention the downsides of theft, extortion, illegal activity, etc. It is a failure, and they know it. The system will be revamped.

So consider this. At "some" point, even if the so-called currency of the future is indeed backed by some percentage of gold, there will be NO PAPER MONEY. Every transaction will be a card swipe, a smart phone pass, etc.

So there it is folks. At some point in our not too distant future, the idea of "cash" will be tossed in the garbage bin. Everything you do will be recorded digitally. Now we have to try and figure out just how that affects us. For some the effects will be quite large. Consider the drug dealer. He plies his trade in the dark and uses cash. Well if there's no cash in our system, how does he get paid? Consider all the "under the table" folks. You know, the guy that cuts ten of his neighbors lawns each weekend for 30 bucks cash. How does he get paid now? If it is all digital, there's a trail, a completely unbroken trail. He can't hide that from the IRS any more.

Consider anything you buy. Did you think you'd be slick when you were cheating on your spouse by buying him/her gifts with cash? No longer, now the wife would be able to find those "charges". In fact, if Uncle Sam is dead set on knowing every single thing about you, then a cash less society is his orgasmic fantasy. But what I want to know is this... what is the resultant effect on the economy? Will sales rise because you can swipe faster than you can trade cash and wait for change? Will jobs be created because it will no longer benefit someone to hire someone else "under the table", or will the percentage of poor explode because those folks will not be utilized anymore?

As much as a cash society is flush with the ability for abuse, how does one measure the "good" that hidden transactions represent? I have found no logical way to explore it to be honest with you. But I know that there have been times in my life where I've "lent" some money to someone, where it bailed them out of a tough jam, and it would have been disaster if they had to let others know they "needed" the funding.

There's been other times where just handing my table waitress an extra tip, brought us service above and beyond the normal. What is the ancillary effect of moving cash around that isn't attached to a digital string? How does one give their kids an allowance, or pay the neighbor kid for shoveling your driveway? How many businesses were built in America by someone with dogged determination starting out by going door to door selling cookies or shoveling snow? Would all those kids be forever pushed out of the budding entrepreneurial pool?

How big is the Bureaucracy going to be that tries to watch over all that digital snow? Who's the Government troll that will dissect all the digital payments you make? Is not Government intervention in our lives at a level we already see as abusive? Then we have the security side of it all. What happens when there's the "glitch" like we've seen lately, where you log in and your bank account shows "0" in it? You can't even buy a gallon of milk until you get that account fixed, how long does that take? Then consider the implications for "them" to completely stop you in your tracks. If cash is not accepted for any good or service, the Government can absolutely crush you simply by shutting off your "digital account". Think about it deeply folks because the implications for abuse boggle the mind.

I have thought a lot about this over the past few months as I see more and more digital card readers pop up in every area of our lives. You see commercials for readers you pop onto your phone so you can swipe cards wherever you are. You saw the beginning of it when years ago McDonalds put card readers in their outlets. Now it's Starbucks and virtually every convenience store. The march towards a completely digital world is marching forward and picking up steam. Just 40 years ago the concept would have been science fiction. Today it is not only reality, it is roaring forward.

From where I sit, it is my opinion that right now all of this digital money is being seen as a benefit. That is because it "supplements" the status quo, it "adds" to your ability to do business. But, once the hammer falls and it is "law", I see a much different picture. I see disruptions in so many areas, that the "net net" of it all is very negative. It is the ultimate "big brother" eye in the sky. With that in mind, it "has" to stifle economic activity.

Let me leave you with this thought. Imagine a major drug dealer in say Miami. While selling drugs is clearly illegal, and many people are hurt by it (the drug user, turf wars, etc.) the fact is that the millions made by the dealer and his gang is spent. Homes are built, cars are sold, pools installed, travel booked, etc. Despite the creation of the cash being illegal, the resultant spending of the cash is "good" for the economy. A digital society could put the dealer out of business, which is good. But the businesses that would have benefitted from that dealer spending his illegal gains is hurt, which is bad.

Which one will end up having more societal impact? It is a troubling question.

Governments are broke and they're on a wild hunt for tax income and tracing money is their game. Digital money makes it easy. Just this week we see news that the IRS is allowed to read personal emails. We saw news stating that they inspect Facebook and twitter for hints that you might have more money than you're stating. Digital dollars is their golden goose and thus it will be implemented. We all have to understand that, and decide what it means to each of us. I can't tell you the day, but there's no doubt in my mind that it will happen in the next ten years. A long time you say? Nope, just the blink of an eye, ask my great grand mom, she'll tell you.