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Time to Start Hoarding Gold?
Old 04-10-2009, 12:08 AM   #1
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Time to Start Hoarding Gold?

I am usually not a doomsday kind of person, but lately I feel there are many indicators that make me seriously question the stability of the world, economically, environmentally, and infrastructure-wise.

I have been reading the book The Long Emergency and it's hard to see, with oil peaking, how we can manage our way out of this impending energy crisis. I also believe global warming is going to be seriously devastating to the environment in the next 20 years or so.

Labor-wise, I think it will be increasingly difficult for North America to compete with India and China, where the population works hard to get ahead. Not to sound pessimistic, but I think a harsh environment usually brings out the greatest potential in people.

Today I read that Russian and China spies have hacked into the electrical grid computer systems. Imagine what kind of panic and crisis would result from a week-long breakdown in the power system, if not longer. Stocks and mutual funds won't mean anything if we have no way of selling or cashing it (sans electricity).

I think there is a growing group of people who think like me. What are the best one can do to prepare for some kind of long-lasting disaster/infrastructure failure. Am I totally crazy?
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Old 04-10-2009, 12:23 AM   #2
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You've never met a rock solid lineman. I'd like to think that the blackout on the east coast a couple years back is the most we have to fear.

The question I have for you is: why now? why not 4-6 weeks ago when we were in the pits of despair?

Buy a generator. After your gas runs out on that a few times you can wager there'd be enough pissed off/determined people to get things runnin' again. By runnin', I mean financially/socially/infrastructurally/etc. -- if those are all words. Stockpile the gold, but the inflation, and transaction costs might kill you. If the anarchists don't get you first.

Steady as she goes.

Anyone calculate realistic ammuntion stockpiling guidelines yet? How many rounds did Will Smith run though when there were NO humans in I Am Legend?

-CC
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Old 04-10-2009, 12:41 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by CCdaCE View Post

The question I have for you is: why now? why not 4-6 weeks ago when we were in the pits of despair?
Because I am habitually late for everything?

It's more because of personal experiences. I have been doing some international traveling recently and it opened my eyes more as to how others live without high energy/material consumption. It made me ask myself what i can really do without a computer or modern technology.

The news about hackers hacking into the electrical grid was scary to me. All of our money is electronic. We have no cash or gold at all. Without electricity, we own no access to money.
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Old 04-10-2009, 12:45 AM   #4
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How long, after the power is off, down at the bank until withdrawals. 1 week?

You raise a good point. I don't know what the answers are. How long does it take for society to go from complacency to anarchy?

-CC
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Old 04-10-2009, 01:09 AM   #5
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You are describing quite a range of scenarios here, from a week long power outage to long term environmental changes.

For short term disasters, like a widespread power outage, having reasonable supplies of food, water and cash stocked up at home will go a long way. I have lived through a 10-day power outage after an ice storm before, and I survived (as did all my neighbors). Hoarding gold to face a week-long disaster seems a bit...overkill.

For longer term disasters: become more self-sufficient; Learn essential skills; Grow your own food; Reduce your dependency on the national power grid using renewable energies (solar panels, wind turbine, etc...). All these things seem far more valuable than hoarding gold to me. For example you could barter your homegrown vegetables or skills for other commodities. You might run out of gold after a few years, but survival skills will last you a lifetime.

As for global warming, there is no hiding from it and we'll have to learn how to adapt as its effects become clearer.

But I don't understand how gold is going to specifically help you weather shifting climatic patterns, challenging job markets and gas shortages.

Although I don't think you are crazy, I do think that you are overreacting a bit. A lot of these long-term potentials disasters are decades away and we still have an opportunity to make changes and find solutions. All is not lost.
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Old 04-10-2009, 01:25 AM   #6
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Yes, i agree it's quite irrational. FD, thanks for the analysis. I just feel that people are not really doing much to change their behavior. They were when gas was $4/gallon, but now at $2, they are back to the old driving alone habit.

P.S. I apologize for misspelling "hoard." I tried to go back and change it and it won't let me. At least it's the Middle English spelling.

[I changed it--CuppaJoe]
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Old 04-10-2009, 09:01 AM   #7
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Cuppajoe,

First take a DEEP BREATH. AAAHHH, that's better!

While I don't anticipate a total collapse of the Western financial system, we are living in some interesting times. I have been researching gold myself and am currently waiting for my tax refund, if any, as well as watching the current gold price slide for an opportunity.

There is a long thread (4 years) on Gold at the Financial Webring Forum and if you go to some of the most recent posts there are some interesting links:
Financial Webring Forum :: View topic - Gold

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Old 04-10-2009, 09:27 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodSense View Post
I am usually not a doomsday kind of person, but lately I feel there are many indicators that make me seriously question the stability of the world, economically, environmentally, and infrastructure-wise.

I have been reading the book The Long Emergency and it's hard to see, with oil peaking, how we can manage our way out of this impending energy crisis.
The USA is vulnerable to all energy sources since we refuse to explore and drill for oil or build reactors to meet our needs.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodSense View Post
I also believe global warming is going to be seriously devastating to the environment in the next 20 years or so.
I have not read anywhere where global warming will cause a devastating event withing the next 20 years. Considering the recent cooling and the recession I would expect a delay of any global warming effects.

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Originally Posted by GoodSense View Post
Labor-wise, I think it will be increasingly difficult for North America to compete with India and China, where the population works hard to get ahead. Not to sound pessimistic, but I think a harsh environment usually brings out the greatest potential in people.
Agree - we may never see again the low unemployment rates we had in the recent years.

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Originally Posted by GoodSense View Post
Today I read that Russian and China spies have hacked into the electrical grid computer systems. Imagine what kind of panic and crisis would result from a week-long breakdown in the power system, if not longer. Stocks and mutual funds won't mean anything if we have no way of selling or cashing it (sans electricity).
This is a real threat. It would be prudent to have emergency supplies


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I think there is a growing group of people who think like me. What are the best one can do to prepare for some kind of long-lasting disaster/infrastructure failure. Am I totally crazy?
I'm getting that sense also. I always wanted a house in the woods. Properly stocked and prepared it can be a retreat until things calm down. I'm kicking the idea around in my mind. Selling my current home and buy two smaller homes - city and country. The problem is being caught away from the country home and not being able to get there when needed. The country can be unsafe also. If you have your lights on and food while others do not anyone with a gun can be a threat. You do need other prepared individuals who can help with mutual protection.
You need to live your life but be prepared.

You omitted inflation and economic troubles due to the current US deficit and future entitlement programs.

I'm not big on gold. For buying things in real life, it is problematic when it is needed. The person you are buying things from must want it and the two of you must be able to evaluate its value. These would usually be small transactions. I don't know if there is a way to tell a real gold coin from a fake coin. Large retailers would not take gold. You could possibly take it to a dealer to get cash but you are putting yourself into a society without the rule of law.

It is good if you are moving to a safe country as dealers on the other end will take it. But getting it out of the USA is a problem - I think you must declare it when you leave the country - I don't know the law about shipping it outside the USA.
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Old 04-10-2009, 09:56 AM   #9
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Back before Y2K i ran the disaster scenario. Read up on fiat currency, read about our infrastructure going kerschitt when all the computers exploded. Got myself all worked up. Bought gold (still have it). Got concealed carry permits and a Curio & Relic license and added to the gun collection and ammo stockpile. Bought powder & bullets & a hand grinding mill & lots of matches & candles & oil lamps & water purification devices & 5-6 full propane tanks & plastic barrels & bleach & a generator & gas & sugar & MREs & ramen & canned goods. Very little of that do i regret.

However, after doing all the preparation i looked within myself and decided that i was a social animal. If mine was the only house with lights we were targets. If we were the only ones eating would we turn away our neighbors? How many would i take in or turn away? Two against the world? Decided all our preparation would only forestall our fate by maybe a week or two. Run for the woods? Along with everybody else? Sleep under a dripping bush rather than in a house filled with supplies?

I don't regret the preparation & feel that there may be some good in more people being well prepared - stimulate the economy at least ! - just dubious about holding off the marauding hordes.
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Old 04-10-2009, 10:55 AM   #10
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I think it's prudent to have some food, water, cash, small gold and silver coins (in the event of financial collapse and you wanted to pay for a loaf of bread with a one ounce gold coin, it would be hard to make change), weapons, etc. But do I do all that? Not to a great extent. I could go a couple of weeks without buying food or water. I have some gold coins in the house, mostly the one ounce size that aren't all that useful. I have some cooking knives and a bb rifle. Those are the extent of my weapons. And I have a good stash of wine in the crawl space, aging gracefully. I am not going to spend my time preparing for the worst of all scenarios when it is highly likely that none of it will come to pass.
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Old 04-10-2009, 11:52 AM   #11
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Just curious, for all you stockpile-doomsday types: were you like this 14 months ago? Because all those collapse-of-all-civilization "indicators" I see listed above were just as strong back then.

If not, are you maybe just reacting to these 24 hour news channels where they exhaust every possible angle of the recession story, and the newscasters provide their personal opinion and interpretation of everything instead of just reporting it like they used to? And maybe they tend to hype the drama and disaster because that keeps people tuned in?

Just curious... because the 81-82 recession was more severe than ours so far (greater GDP drop and greater unemployment), and I remember back then they used to just mention it here and there on the 30 minute evening news, and nobody was talking about the end of all western civilization back then. So why now? I can't see any difference except for the media hype.
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Old 04-10-2009, 12:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CCdaCE View Post
You've never met a rock solid lineman. I'd like to think that the blackout on the east coast a couple years back is the most we have to fear.

The question I have for you is: why now? why not 4-6 weeks ago when we were in the pits of despair?

Buy a generator. After your gas runs out on that a few times you can wager there'd be enough pissed off/determined people to get things runnin' again. By runnin', I mean financially/socially/infrastructurally/etc. -- if those are all words. Stockpile the gold, but the inflation, and transaction costs might kill you. If the anarchists don't get you first.

Steady as she goes.

Anyone calculate realistic ammuntion stockpiling guidelines yet? How many rounds did Will Smith run though when there were NO humans in I Am Legend?

-CC
If you're going to stockpile more ammo, you'd better get in line according to this report I heard on NPR recently.

Gun Shop Owner Links Ammo Shortage To Obama : NPR
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Old 04-10-2009, 12:17 PM   #13
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This reminds of the survivalist mentality back before Y2K. Fortunately, that disaster did not happen and hopefully the future doesn't hold a doomsday scenario. I could go a couple of weeks without grocery shopping---just because we tend to stock up when there are good sales not because we are preparing for the worst. Like Calmoki I realize that I am a social animal---I hope if the worst comes we can work together for solution.
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Old 04-10-2009, 01:20 PM   #14
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...
Just curious... because the 81-82 recession was more severe than ours so far (greater GDP drop and greater unemployment), and I remember back then they used to just mention it here and there on the 30 minute evening news, and nobody was talking about the end of all western civilization back then.
...
Actually, I remember a LOT of that talk back in those years. Fortunately, unfounded. Hopefuly, the current fears will be unfounded but there are no guarantees.
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Old 04-10-2009, 03:56 PM   #15
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Just curious, for all you stockpile-doomsday types: were you like this 14 months ago? Because all those collapse-of-all-civilization "indicators" I see listed above were just as strong back then.

If not, are you maybe just reacting to these 24 hour news channels where they exhaust every possible angle of the recession story, and the newscasters provide their personal opinion and interpretation of everything instead of just reporting it like they used to? And maybe they tend to hype the drama and disaster because that keeps people tuned in?

Just curious... because the 81-82 recession was more severe than ours so far (greater GDP drop and greater unemployment), and I remember back then they used to just mention it here and there on the 30 minute evening news, and nobody was talking about the end of all western civilization back then. So why now? I can't see any difference except for the media hype.
Well, the poster of this thread mentions that he is reading the book The Long Emergency, and I do believe that his concern may derive from his reading.

You talk about the 81-82 recession being more severe than the current one. But what we didn't have in 81-82 was Peak Oil. I didn't live in the US back then (so correct me if I'm wrong), there was an oil embargo. But an embargo is/was/and can be "temporary". Today we are talking of the end of cheap oil "for EVER and all over the world".....this is Peak Oil. Many more are now comming out and warning of this possibility being upon us now or very very soon. If we don't have substitutions for oil, we have to face the truth which is that there is no way that we can continue to expect the way of life we are currently living.
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Old 04-10-2009, 04:43 PM   #16
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Today I read that Russian and China spies have hacked into the electrical grid computer systems. Imagine what kind of panic and crisis would result from a week-long breakdown in the power system, if not longer. Stocks and mutual funds won't mean anything if we have no way of selling or cashing it (sans electricity).
If this concerns you, then keeping a month's worth of cash at home might not be a bad idea. I see no reason to hoard gold.

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I think there is a growing group of people who think like me. What are the best one can do to prepare for some kind of long-lasting disaster/infrastructure failure. Am I totally crazy?
There probably isn't very much that one can do to prepare for that. You can have all the food and ammo and gold in the world at home, but the problems will still be overwhelming in a disaster/infrastructure failure, as we found after Katrina. It just isn't within most of our capabilities to visualize what such an occurrence would be like. Hoarding gold won't help, IMO. Keep your gas tank full and your laundry done. Put in some canned goods and water, and tuck a few thousand away somewhere at home. Start a vegetable garden if you like. Then, let your fears go, and enjoy life as our time here is so brief.
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Old 04-10-2009, 04:54 PM   #17
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1967 - The guy who was trying to sell us a certain product for the next Boeing spec I was working on - paid for his new house on the run up in silver. And we had a another guy in our research team(hired from California) almost a Phd - gold, guns and freeze dryed food - had two German Shepards, lived on a hill out in the boonies and thought Ann Rand was a tad too liberal for his taste.

On the other hand my boss thought - if it ain't in the Boeing Design manual or written up as a Boeing spec - it ain't s^*t so don't do a lot of deep thinking or worrying about it.

Or course this time may be different - but today's Yahoo says sell all the old gold jewelry while the price is right.

heh heh heh -
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Old 04-10-2009, 06:27 PM   #18
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On the other hand my boss thought - if it ain't in the Boeing Design manual or written up as a Boeing spec - it ain't s^*t ...
...
After spending half of my life flying Boeing airplanes,I think he got that about right.
Not perfect, but better than the others.
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Old 04-10-2009, 06:50 PM   #19
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For the doomsday type scenarios I've never agreed that gold is the thing to have. It's shiny, soft, conducts electricity well, etc. but really it's valuable because we say it is today while in this stable environment.

If the proverbial shyte hits the fan I can't imagine someone clutching a brick of gold having more trading power (or any type of power) than the guy/girl with things like shotguns, fuel, food, water, territory to grow things, shelter, etc.

For shorter term emergencies like no power for a month I think it'll still be the US Dollar that does the talking, although the relative value of certain commodities will certain move quickly.

Key is remember:
1. They are no longer your friends and family, it's just brains they're after
2. Get to someplace high, since it's unusual for them to climb
3. If someone in your party gets bitten don't wait and hope, shoot them in the head
4. Never assume a barricade is strong enough, have enough people for sentry duty
5. Stay away from places where you can be cornered
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Old 04-10-2009, 08:23 PM   #20
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After spending half of my life flying Boeing airplanes,I think he got that about right.
<Off-topic> Small world -- I bet we've talked before. I used to work at LA Center and I probably slowed you to 250 way up high more than once... you're welcome. </offtopic>

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Imagine what kind of panic and crisis would result from a week-long breakdown in the power system, if not longer.
We already get this in places after ice storms and tornadoes, and there's no panic. People fire up the gas grill, have block parties, read books, go to bed at sunset and wake at sunrise. Not much different than camping out, except in your own home. Families probably get closer, actually. The Amish have managed just fine without power as well, so it can't be all that bad.
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