Many of us in the United States are living in a delusional world. We are caught up in one of the most tumultuous political election campaigns of our country.
We are so busy fighting one another, liberal versus republican, rich against poor, black versus white, gay against straight, working mom versus stay at home mom, you name it, that we can’t see the forest through the trees.
While we in America have been busy worrying about the election campaign and the latest Kardashian trend, the economic state of countries around the world have been in a gradual decline, some have even reached the point of total collapse.
And in America, we are not only ignorant that this is happening but we are completely unaware of what it means for the future of America.
The Dangers of Economic Collapse
Lest you think I’m overselling the magnitude of the problem consider the following: in any but the most dire circumstances (where the level of civilization is rolled back several grades), money is the ultimate resource for obtaining what you need.
If you want to participate in society, money is what will put a roof over your head, either rented or owned. Money is what you will use to pay for your lease or pay down your mortgage.
Money is needed to obtain commodities from the most fundamental to the most advanced, everything from food to clothing to medical care to transportation to weapons.
Since most of us don’t know everything right off the top of our heads and cannot claim to have expertise in every skill set known to man, we use money to pay for the experience and expertise of others in order to solve our problems.
We need money to pay for the things we use to maintain our equipment, everything from that nice shiny truck or SUV sitting in your driveway to a bottle of oil for lubricating your pistol.
No matter how you feel about money, its evils, its virtues and its effect on our society as a whole, it matters not one lick.
What matters is that money will make most problems go away if you have enough of it. If you don’t have enough money you will notice you have more and more problems, and what problems you do have seem to grow larger and larger.
For many people around the world the economic shutdown and subsequent collapse that will result from this viral pandemic will mean the loss of housing, the loss of the ability to provide food and medical care for their families.
For some of you, it probably feels like you have a chunk of ice in your guts right now. It is not time to panic, not yet, but you will need a plan if you want to make it through this thing.
If you haven’t started preparing yet, it is definitely time to pay attention, and to become informed for what’s coming. In case you weren’t aware, here’s how things are measuring up in other parts of the world:
Financial stocks are already crashing across Europe. Italy, Greece, and Spain are currently experiencing a devastating meltdown of banks. France is in decline and Germany’s central bank is in trouble too.
- The capital level of Italian banks has sunk down to only slightly above Bangladesh. Stocks in Italy are down 32% in the last year and the Italian banking system basically collapsed at the start of 2016.
- In Greece, more than 35% of all banking system loans have been categorized as non-performing.
- Stocks in France were down 20% in the 12 months preceding June of 2016.
- Spanish banks have experienced persistent losses from their most recent crisis and are struggling to raise capital to the tune of billions of dollars to cover those losses.
- Germany is facing an ongoing implosion of Deutsche Bank, the largest and most prominent bank in the country. The stock market in Germany has dropped 19% over the last 12 months and Deutsche Bank stock recently hit an all-time record low. The collapse of Deutsche Bank will resemble the Lehman brothers collapse magnified time three.
United Kingdom’s Brexit Aftermath
The United Kingdom appeared to be faring slightly better than most with a decline of only 13% prior to the Brexit vote that occurred on June 23rd, 2016.
Stock markets plummeted, with a global stock market loss of approximately two trillion dollars accompanying the news that Britain voted to separate from the European Union.
Stocks dropped all over Europe, some one-day drops were more than 12 percent. Unfortunately, we have yet to see the full impact on the United States.
The 2015 – 2016 Stock Asian Stock Market Collapse
Asia is not faring any better. China is in the middle of the most severe economic decline they have experienced in several decades. Their stock market dropped more than 40% over a 12-month period between June 2015 and June 2016.
If you’re familiar with Mr. George Soros, it’s rumored that he is selling stock and buying up gold, a move he last made in 2007. The Japanese stocks have declined 26% in the past year and their GPD has dropped into the negative once again.
The 2016 Brazilian Recession
We also need to look to South America and what’s happening there. Brazil is the 9th largest economy in the world. Most of us are aware that Brazil won the bid back in October of 2009, to host the next World Olympics event.
The Olympics will be held in Rio de Janeiro, the largest city in Brazil and are scheduled to begin August of 2016.
The unfortunate thing is, less than 50 days prior to the launch of the Olympic games, the government of Rio de Janeiro declared a state of financial emergency and requested help from the federal level to prevent “a total collapse in public security, health, education, transport, and environmental management”.
As a result, the Brazilian federal government approved an estimated $850 million bailout to increase security and ensure that the Olympic games will go on as scheduled.
Dilma Rousseff, former Brazilian President, was forced to step aside for six months following a Congressional vote to begin impeachment proceedings for budget manipulation tactics.
Her replacement, Michel Temer, accepted resignations of three cabinet members, including the minister of tourism, within two months. These resignations came as a result of allegations that they participated in the massive corruption scandal centering around Petrobas, a state-run oil company.
So Brazil, amidst one of their deepest recessions since the 1930’s is further reeling from political corruption scandals and political paralysis, along with being ground zero for the Zika epidemic.
Rio de Janeiro has gone deeper into debt to host the Olympic games which are may be threatened as athletes, including golfers, Jason Day and Rory McIlroy, skip the games, for fear of the Zika virus.
In 2009, Brazil was viewed as an emerging power, with an economy larger than the UK by 2011. In 2014 when Brazil hosted the World Cup, protestors filled the streets to oppose the funds spent on the stadium.
Less than two short years later, Brazil is mired in its longest recession. Unemployment has risen to 11.2%, the President has been impeached, and attacks are on the rise. It’s clear that it certainly doesn’t take long for one of the largest economies to go from mountain high to rock bottom.
Venezuela’s Total Collapse
Over the last two years, the downward spiral of oil revenues has resulted in a pit of economic despair that has worn down traditional standards of living for Venezuela.
The Venezuela economy has completely collapsed. President Nicolas Maduro made an official request for financial help from UNASUR, which resulted the call for an economic sub-committee charged with revitalizing the economy of Venezuela.
Americans and those in many other countries take for granted that they have milk in the fridge and flour and pasta in the cupboard, these are considered basic staples for any home.
But at the time of writing this article, in Venezuela, these basic commodities are not only scarce but outrageously expensive. The price of milk is 70 bolivars or roughly $7.00 U.S. in a government-run supermarket and is more than 4x that in a private supermarket. On the black market, milk is priced at 7,000 bolivars, more than $700 U.S.!
Venezuelan people must follow strict rulesf on which day of the week they can shop at the government-run grocery store for subsidized food. Lines can be hours long just to get inside and find there’s nothing left but toothpaste, oil, or bar soap.
Some people are hungry enough that they are seeking alternative food sources, reportedly even cats, dogs, and pigeons.
Food for the government-run supermarket is now being transported under armed guard due to constant attacks on food trucks. There has been protesting and looting as frustrations build over the confusion and uncertainty of food availability. Police are firing rubber bullets at civilians desperate for food to feed their families.
In addition to the stock market crashes since June 2015, CNN Money reports that millionaires relocated in droves to the U.K., Canada, Israel, Australia, and the U.S. during 2015. Paris lost approximately 10,000 millionaires in 2015 as reported via a global wealth sector analysis by New World Wealth.
The loss for China was slightly less at 9,000 millionaires exiting the country in 2015, Italy saw an exodus of 6,000, India lost approximately 4,000 millionaires, and Greece 3,000.
This fleeing of the wealthy in droves is an indicator of a poor economic system, the wealthy are often the first to relocate since they have the means. This mass exit of millionaires often further hurts local economies.
Although Americans who haven’t started prepping are certainly behind the eight ball, perhaps it’s not too late to take note of what’s happening in these other countries and learn from it.
The U.S. has already been affected although not many people are aware of it. There are steps that you can take now to prepare for an economic collapse. Will you be ready to feed yourself and your family when the economic crisis hits your country if it hasn’t already?
Things to Do Now to Prepare for Economic Collapse
- Analyze your current stock market investments or other financial preparations you may have to ensure risk is minimal if a crash occurs.
- Reduce your expenses where possible, increase your income if you can, and get out of debt.
- Buy precious metals and separate yourself from reliance on paper currency as much as possible.
- Boost your security measures and prepare for increased attacks, looting, protests, and riots as things get worse. Understand that martial law may be enacted locally, regionally, or nationwide and what that would mean for your family.
- Make sure you have adequate supplies on hand including a bug out bag (BOB), several escape routes planned out and practiced, and at least one or more bug out locations or places for safe shelter.
- Understand food will be in short supply within a matter of days and your money either won’t buy much or won’t even be accessible to you if banks shut down unexpectedly. Consider these foods to hoard, and start building your stockpile. Locate a reliable source of fresh water in the event public utilities shut down.
- Consider alternative ways to power, heat, and provide water to your home so you do not have to rely on public utilities and services to survive. Alternative methods can include solar, wind, or hydro for power, use of a well or rain water catchment system, composting toilet, and/or greywater containment systems.
- Stockpile first aid supplies, any daily medications, allergy medications and treatments you may need as these may disappear quickly from shelves or simply be unavailable when the economy collapses.
There’s no way to predict the exact timing of an economic crisis but it’s clear from what’s happening around us that many people all over the world have found themselves in the midst of chaos unprepared.
Don’t be caught unaware and without supplies. Save yourself and your family the humiliation of standing in long lines, begging or scavenging for food, or worse by getting prepared now.
Born and raised in NE Ohio, with early memories that include grandpa teaching her to bait a hook and watching her mom, aunts, and grandmothers garden, sew, and can food, Megan is a true farm girl at heart.
For Megan, the 2003 blackout, the events of 911, and the increasing frequency of natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina, spurred a desire to be more prepared. Soon to be living off-grid, this mother of four and grandmother of ten is learning everything she can about preparedness, survival, and homesteading.