Rough seas, rising energy and Argentina's abandoned peg...
Plan B I'm right there with Mark 1 Boats! They are not for everybody. But a house boat or a small trawler on a river or lake is not a bad plan.
My wife and I sailed the Caribbean for several years. We were almost sell-sufficient with solar panels and a small generator.
We actually lived a post apocalyptic lite life twice. We have been in three Category 5 hurricanes on islands. Where the cavalry does not show up. Once in Grenada and the other on St. Thomas.
Grenada was dangerous! People with no food ,water or shelter are desperate. Desperate people are dangerous. That was terrifying for about two weeks while we were trapped there. There was no food no water no electricity. We were in a boat yard and gangs would walk thru day and night looking for anything to survive. Some were scary and some were just broken people.
NUMBER 1 Lesson Cash is KING.
NUMBER 2 When the electric goes everything else goes.
NUMBER 3 Get away from people unless you know and trust them.
St Thomas was not as bad but still no cake walk.
No electricity for four months. We were were able to our first 5 gallons of gas after two weeks. Groceries stores opened after three weeks. Very limited 4 people in the store at a time after waiting inline four two to three hours. Then again desperate people. The condo manager and walked the perimeter with guns for two weeks. Once word got out we were crazy one one seemed to come around any more.
With no electricity you cant get the fuel out of the ground. Banks don't open ATM's don't work , groceries stores only take cash.
Just a few items I would have on hand. A small generator/ inverter. small 12 v/ 110v cooler your house refrigerator is way to inefficient for the small essentials you will need. 12v lighting and a few deep cycle batteries and a way to charge them.
A four wheel drive vehicle so you can drive around all the Tesla in the middle of the road.
I could go on but you get idea.
Another option is a small town or out in the country. Just make sure your not near a prison. If it gets bad enough they turn them loose because they cant feed or take care of them. That did happen in Grenada and neighboring islands in St. Thomas.
I always have $10,000 cash on hand. Its necessary.
I hope this does not sound to dramatic and provides a little incite if things get really bad.
Bill, thanks for the continued great stories. Long ago when my family visited Maine, US for vacation there was a gentleman who built rental cabins with hand made fireplaces. The fireplace was built with fieldstone and somehow constructed to allow the air passing thru the flue to heat the stone. This stone would throw off so much heat in the evening we had to open the windows! I enjoy your worldly travels and the wonderful pictures. bernie scheurle
"What do Americans drink? Beer or wine?"
Is that even a question? Instead of drinking wine by the bottle or case, we drink it by the barrel. The only unanswered question is whether this is going to end very badly, or in the end of a once great country. As in, Orwells' "1984" anybody?
My sense is that a successful Plan B should consist of a bolthole, a few bottles of beer, some dry firewood and investments in gold, energy and cryptocurrencies that are about to be listed on coinbase. Inverse equity ETF's will soon be the best play in the world, as the dollar crashes relative to other stable currencies. Would not hurt to have some farmland and non-GMO seeds for an organic garden and chickens for fresh eggs. Oh, I almost forgot to mention plenty of ammo to fend off those that want to pilfer from the garden.
Hi Bill and Elizabeth too, I worry about your oak beam mantle...it's cracks and age. Is it a matter of time to replace it... perhaps you could make one with Rock. It would be pretty too! I adore fireplaces also and my father had a wood stove all his years. I can still feel the heat it was very hot. I used to put wood in it for him and poke it then I could see the bright orange color.. oh so beautiful!
This United States is a mess now and it'll never be the way it once was. It's right on Q for the plan, from the wicked. How do they sleep at night if at all.
I vaguely recall that during the inflationary times of the late 1970's through 1981 various pundits claimed that raising interest rates actually contributed to a rising inflation. After all, jacking up the price of financing just about everything would obviously require producers to pass this cost on to consumers.
And so if the Fed starts increasing interest rates, especially in baby step fashion, won't their rate hikes actually accelerate inflation? At least until the Fed pushes rate hikes high enough to generate a "real" positive interest rate (now calculated at 8%).
The Fed should surely understand this dilemma. It will be interesting to hear what Jerome Powell announces next Wednesday, I predict he will mix his jawboning with actually starting to take action. I think he might announce .25% hikes every month during the rest of this year and then reassess in 2023...unless "economic conditions require a different course of action". But even a 3% hike by the end of the year won't significantly impact inflationary expectations. But what will happen to the housing market if mortgage rates go up 3% with more increases on the horizon?
And then we have the fiscal side. With congress raising of the debt ceiling by $2.5 trillion, Janet Yellen was authorized to jump back into the credit markets on 12/15/21. And look at her go! Before this month is out, Janet will have added over $trillion to the national debt (currently she has borrowed over $950 billion since mid December). Imagine that! 40% of the $2,5 trillion debt increase exhausted in the first 2 months.
I just can't get my mind around the fact that our government spends every single tax dollar it takes in and then needs an additional $trillion in 2 months to do exactly what? Improve our lives? Or simply waste valuable resources? The government spends our money and that of future generations because they love to spend other people's money, especially if it might buy a vote or start a war. God bless them all to hell!
What, me worry? LOL
In times of corruption, evil judicial and political manipulation individuals will always use other less well-placed souls to get their revenge on a family. For instance, HRH the Duke of York had committed an alleged indiscreton many, many years ago and with unwitting turpitude has caught the entire British monarchy and the economic health of the entire British Commonwealth of Nations in the cross hairs of one man and his grotesque cadre, George Soros. With that said, the equally grotesque and judicial and political system of New York state is being used to manipulate and take down an institution that has helped Great Britain keep people and organizations from falling through the cracks in an otherwise very divisive situation for the better of a century. If MI5 and the CIA can't protect the anglo/American economic climate from such as that, what the hell are they good for?
Bill, Thank you for your continued lessons in history and global knowledge. It is a pleasure to just read these insights above and beyond the depth of your financial Insights. A shout out to you for fireplaces in the kitchen. As the life center of many families, the warmth and comfort is most welcome for meeting, talking and sharing. I come from an old Italian heritage and the kitchen table has always been the center of family discussion.
Living in the bright and sunny hills of No. California, one would not expect the importance of the wood stove. However as being experienced across the globe, failure of the utilities to keep the power on and through neglect forest overgrowth has sponsored many large and damaging fires, we have spent many days already with no power and, for No. California, winter days of 20 - 30 degrees and feet of snow.
So now I pleasure in sitting by the fire and reading your updates of the day. Thank you for keeping your readers eyes open!
I noticed "In Praise of Plan B" that your grate is the typical grate which allows unburnt wood to fall out the bottom. Goggle gratewalloffire.com for a grate that reflects more heat into the room with no unburnt wood only ashes to remove the next morning. I have one in my 48" Rumford Fireplace. I love the glow and warmth from the hot coals.
I have enjoyed reading you newsletter for some time now and like the new format, especially you sense of history and sarcasm which makes for an educational and fun read. Try tackling "What Made America Great"? The answer, of course, is we the people!
Reckon on the family farm, since 1874
please tell Bill Bonner that if he wants a good fireplace to investigate the "COUNT RUMFORD" fireplace in England . There is a book on the fireplace and how to construct ! It will suck the sheets off your bed ! I have built 8 of these in Alabama and 1 in Argentina and they all work perfectly and my friends have even asked for the technique ! Good Warming ! Penn Montgomery
In my opinion the "snollygosters" in DC will simply take your money and discount it at 65% into crypto. This should help pay off the debt. Heck why not discount it even more.
So get your rear in gear and make my Discover Card, work for my THIRD try to purchase one year for the $100 price.
Speaking of the electricity going out, everyone should have a Plan B. It’s probably more important now than it’s been since Thomas Edison invented the lightbulb. The first thing I tell people is that if the electrical grid goes down, for any reason, either regionally or nationally, you may lose water service as well as natural gas. Both depend on electrical power from the grid to operate. Water service also goes down due to flooding and freezing. So all those local weather related power outages you have experienced where you still had water and could rely on your gas fireplace, water heater and stove - in a widespread and protracted grid failure that’s probably gone.
At a minimum you should have a way of boiling water without the use of electricity. I urge everyone to get prepared for an extended, months long power outage. It this world it is more likely than ever. Have a Plan B, and prepare to implement the plan
Great story from Bill, and it raises an important question: first because it can affect a lot of people in different countries and secondly because it is my Question. What happened to mortgages on houses in Argentina? Suppose someone had a nice decent house for say 250000 USD worth, but he or she bought it in Argentina Pesos. dont know the rate but lets say it was also 250000 pesos in a year x. If the peso declines in value to one third in a number of years, did the bank still keep the sum of money to pay back at 250000 pesos? How did the interest develop over time, did the bank keep contractual fixed interest for the period stated in the contract? remember the situation in Germany where they printed million DM pieces of paper, got some left from my grandfather. Presently i do not have any mortgage but I like to know how banks etc are going to react to serious inflation of 30% or 100%. thanks, Willem (which is the same as Bill)