Lessons from Argentina's Economic Collapse
I still managed to hold the High Score 9800 points another week. The wisdom is worth recording whether you are a bull or bear. It is Four Parts, I just have room for Two parts, I recommend you print copy and put it some place incase things turn Argentina like here.
Lessons from Argentina's economic collapse Esteban Morales
(Editor's note: the article that follows is a very sobering account of the effect that the collapse of the Argentine economy (1999 - 2002) had on its citizens, as seen through the eyes of one of them. The economic collapse wiped out the middle class and raised the level of poverty to 57.5%. Central to the collapse was the implementation of neo-liberal policies which enabled the swindle of billions of dollars by foreign banks and corporations. Many of Argentina's assets and resources were shamefully plundered. Its financial system was even used for money laundering by Citibank, Credit Suisse, and JP Morgan (sound familar?). The net result was massive wealth transfers and the impoverishment of society which culminated in many deaths due to oppression and malnutrition. I am not sure the same thing is about to happen here, but I am sure that there is a distinct possibility that it might. Just food for thought - JSB)
Wednesday, 13 December 2006
Lessons from Argentina's economic collapse Esteban Morales
Part Two GOLD:
Someone hit me in the head please because I messed up about the gold issue.Everyone wants to buy gold! "I buy gold. Pay cash" signs are everywhere, even on TV! I can't believe I'm that silly!I just didn't relate it to what I read here because they deal with junk gold, like jewelry, either stolen or sold because they needed the money, not the gold coins that you guys talk about. No one pays for the true value of the stuff, so big WARNING! Sign on people that are buying gold coins.Since it is impossible to determine the true mineral percentage of gold, small shops and dealers will pay for it as regular jewelry gold.What I would do if I were you: Besides gold coins, buy a lot of small gold rings and other jewelry. They should be less expensive than gold coins, and if the SHTF bad, you'll not be losing money, selling premium quality gold coins for the price of junk gold. If I could travel back in time, I'd buy a small bag worth of gold rings.Small time thieves will snatch gold chains right out of your neck and sell them at these small dealers found everywhere. This is VERY common at train stations, subways and other crowded areas.So, my advice, if you are preparing for a small economical crisis, gold coins make sense. You will keep the value of the stuff and be able to sell it for its actual cost to gold dealers or maybe other survivalists that know the true value of the item.In my case, gold coins would have been an excellent investment, saving me from loosing money when the local economy crashed. Even though things are bad, I can go to a bank down town and get paid for what a gold coin is truly worth, same goes for pure silver. But where I live, in my local are small time dealers will only pay you the value of junk gold, no matter what kind of gold you have. So, I'd have to say that if TSHTF bad, gold jewelry is a better trade item than gold coins.
GUNS, AMMO AND OTHER GEAR
After TSHTF in 2001, only the most narrow minded, brain washed, butterfly IQ level idiots believed that the police would protect them from the crime wave that followed the collapse of our economy.A lot of people that could have been considered antigun before, ran to the gun shops, seeking advise on how to defend themselves and their families. They would buy a 38 revolver, a box of ammo, and leave it in the closet, probably believing that it would magically protect them from intruders.Oh, maybe you don't think that firearms are really necessary or your beliefs do not allow you to buy a tool designed to kill people. So you probably ask yourself, is a gun really necessary when TSHTF? Will it truly make a difference?Having gone through a shtf scenario myself, total economical collapse in the year 2001, and still dealing with the consequences, 5 years later, I feel I can answer that question.YES, you need a gun, pepper spray, a machete, a battle axe, club with a rusty nail sticking out of it, or whatever weapon you can get hold of.A LOT has been written on survival weapons.
Everyone that is into armed survival has his or her own idea of the ideal gun battery. Some more oriented to a hunting point of view, others only as self defense means and others consider a little of both, and look for general purpose weapons.Talking about guns, there is one special subject I want to rectify, and it's the point on what's the primary weapon for the survivalist, specially a urban survivalist that has to function in a society, yes, even after the SHTF.People, if you are interested in real world SHTF situation, and you want to prepared for the real deal, then understand that this isn't black or white.You wake up one day and listen on the radio that the economy collapsed and that the stock market closed indefinitely.
CRIME AND INSECURITY
Even though crime has always been an issue in South America, my country was quite the exception. It was dangerous, yes but nothing like after the 2001 economical crisis. One used to be able to let kids play on the sidewalk, or walk back home from a party, a few blocks, and be somewhat safe. This all changed now. There are no kids playing on the sidewalks anymore. I should emphasize this a little more. There are absolutely NO kids playing on the sidewalks at all, at any time of the day. Maybe a kid rides his bike a few meters on the sidewalk, but always under the supervision of an adult. A kid riding a bike on his own will get that bike stolen in no time, probably get hurt in the process, therefore no responsible parent leaves a kid alone on the street. Teenagers present a greater problem.
You can't keep a 15 or 16 year old inside a house all day long, and even though they are big enough to go out on their own, when the sun goes down things get much worse.This is when parents organize themselves; either taking them to someone's house or to a club and picking them up at a certain time. Taxis and remises are used sometimes , but there have been lots of cases of girls getting raped, so no parent worth a buck leaves his son or daughter in hands of a stranger. After years of living like this, almost everyone learned to be careful; sometimes they had to learn the hard way. Practically no one leaves a door or window opened or unlocked. Nor do they hang out in front of the house talking to friends. A bad guy might just see you there, like a sitting duck, pull a gun on you and take you inside your house.There are no "bandit's law" anymore. One used to hear people talk about "You shouldn't resist a robbery, give them what they want and they'll go away". That holds true no more. These guys are under the influence of drugs, epoxy glue, or just hate your guts so much, because you have a better life than they ever dreamed of, because they were abused since the day they were born, that they will hurt and humiliate you as much as they can. Letting a criminal inside you house almost guaranties you that he will rape/beat/ torture and abuse whoever they find inside.
I personally drew a line a few years ago and decided, after one long, serious conversation with my wife; that no one would be allowed inside the house, no matter what. We figured that there are worse things than death. Having decided that, I make sure I always have a weapon on me. They'll have to pay dearly for my life, plus interests.By far, the most dangerous moment of the day, is when I (or my wife) leave/enter my house. A solid, secure house cannot be broken in easily, so criminals wait until you are standing on front of the door with the keys on your hand to jump on you. This is why we are extra alert when approaching our house, look all around us and if we see anything strange, keep walking around the block or keep on driving. No door is ever opened when there is a strange person around.
Whenever someone knocks on our door (and we don't know him/her), they are answered from a second story window. Criminals sometimes disguise as electric company guys or something like that, saying that they have to fix something. NO! If there is something to be fixed they can fix it on the sidewalk. Anything inside your house is your responsibility and the company is not going to fix it for you. Either way, it's always better to play it safe, Better to be rude than dead.On the car/driving issue, that calls for an entire post dedicated to SHTF driving. For now I'll just say that windows and doors have to be closed at all times, a weapon must be within arms reach, and that stop signs and traffic lights have a hole new meaning once TSHTF.
If your country ever falls as mine did, you'll remember me whenever you see a traffic light. You never stop at a red lights or stop sign unless there is traffic, especially at night.At first, police would write you a ticket for not stopping at a red light if they saw you (another way of saying that they will ask for a bribe if they see you pass a red light), but after a few months they realized that nothing could be done, people would rather risk a ticket than risking their lives, so they decided to turn traffic lights to permanent yellow at night, after 8 or 9 PM. This is, of course, very dangerous. Night car accidents are both frequent and brutal since sometimes both cars hit each other at full speed.
MissinLink asked some good questions that might interest others as well, and since we are on the security issue, here they are:"Do the invaders of homes in the country just drive up in cars or trucks? Do they hide and sneak up? How do these home invaders attack a home in the country? A similar question could be asked for homes in the city."
Sometimes they just drive up to where you are working, if you are far away from the home, but most of the time they sneak up on you. Criminals are not stupid, and they will spend days checking the place and specially YOUR ROUTINE. For example, if they see that you lock the gate at night, as most do, they will wait for you behind a tree until you are close. This is done a lot. Dogs are the best alarm you can find, and criminals know that. They will poison them with pills when you go to sleep and attack the place in the middle of the night. I know of many that had their dogs killed. If they think that security is tight, they will just hide near the main gate, and wait for you to leave or return. When you stop at the gate and must get out of the truck to open/close the main gate, they attack. I'd say that the most frequent kind of attack is attacking by surprise when you enter/leave your home.
"Most common times of attack? Day night evening morning? I understand occur when coming or going from ones home, etc." 7 am, 9 am, 1pm 7pm, all are common times for attacks. There is no "safe" hour of the day. Night is particularly dangerous. Maybe attacks during the day are faster, they want to get some money or jewelry and leave fast, while at night they might stay inside more time, maybe till the next day. But there are no fixed patterns. If I could give one advice concerning SHTF security, it would be: Eyes and ears wide open when you enter/leave your home. If possible, keep a gun on your hand when doing either one. If something looks, even "feels strange, then go around the block and check again, carefully. If you see them still there, either call the police (if still available) or get help. If you approach the house with a large number of people they will leave. One time, I saw a couple of strange looking guys at my door. I went round the block and saw them still there. I started flashing the car lights and the horn and they left. I had a gun with me, though, so be careful when trying this. Also, remember that a car is one heavy, powerful piece of machinery. I know a guy that had one of those big chrome-tube bumpers installed on his truck, especially for hitting those that were stupid enough to try and make him stop by standing in front of the car. If I had a truck, I would do so myself. Though I would keep my mouth shut about it, as always. Just say that you think it looks cool or something. Every now and then someone tries to force me to stop my car by standing in front of it (I suppose there are still fools out there that get robbed this way), in the middle of the street. I just aim at them and accelerate at full speed. They always jump out of the way before I hit them. By the way, at first, doing this made me feel nervous, but can you believe that now it's just common driving, as normal as changing gears? I guess it's a little sad.
Lessons from Argentina's economic collapse Esteban MoralesPart ThreeStudying the SHTF at the University: Dark omens:
I forgot it! Darn, same as the gold stuff but worse, much worse. I've never been good at remembering some things, like numbers and names of people I meet, I forget those (instantly), they just flee my mind, uneventfully, but I do remember some other things that don't seem to be as important. I do remember living in USA as a kid. I remember my school, Pierce School, Don't remember exactly were it was, because we lived some in Boston, Massachusetts and some in New Hampshire. I remember my best friend, Freddy, and a girl (why is there always a girl? ) Samantha, Sam. She was red haired and tall, I had a picture of her playing together but I lost it. Some time between the age of 3 and 26 I lost that picture that was so dear to me. I remember the smell of an orange shaped "scratch and smell" sticker my kindergarten teacher stuck in a small book we made once. But I almost forgot this forever.
This, this was important, a moment where the life we once knew stopped existing, and a group of students, in a class room that looked like and abandoned building, realized it, all 60 of us at the same time.It's 1:06 AM over here. I just finished showering and my wife and son are asleep. I was putting shampoo on my hair, thinking about what I wrote today on this post, and remembered the exact moment when I realized along with several other people, not only that TSHTF (that we all knew) but that the world we once new no longer existed, and that this was not a hurricane, this was an ice age period, it wouldn't just go away.We understood it the same way a kid understands photosynthesis: Because a teacher coldly explained it to us, even used graphics. Back to your question: You guys have most stuff covered, but there's some stuff I'd like to share:
1) Don't invest all your money in your country. Don't put all your eggs in the same basket, just in case economy goes to hell. Invest in a country in Europe, in Australia, whatever, I don't know, but not in the same place. I did this, but most people didn't and got screwed.
2) Keep cash. Both dollars and Euros. I know some of you just don't like the European money, but it's the only way you have to cover most bases. Here the national paper money was worth 1/3 from one day to another.
3) If you have land, have some animals. Even a few chickens and rabbits can make a huge difference and will complement your staple food.
4) Buy guns and ammo. Not 20, but a couple of fighting guns, 1 or 2 Mausers and 2 or 3 handguns. You know the kind. Get lots of 22 ammo.
5) Try to get 2 or 3 similar guns, like 2 or 3 AR, Fals, or SKS. This way you can use the same ammo and if 2 guns brake you may be able to fix 1. For example, If I were you, Id buy 3 or 4 SKS and 3000 rounds of ammo. If your SKS brakes, you have a spare gun that you already know how it works and are used to.
6) Spare parts are ok, but make sure you know how to replace them, a gunsmith may not be available. If not, get a similar gun as back up.
7) Don't trust the media. If you watch the news here, reporters say everything is ok, everything is fine. But then you talk to your neighbor and it turns out Mr. X got shot yesterday, the nice girl on the next block got kidnapped and raped, and today the boy next door was also kidnapped. This is the kind of conversations I have in my neighborhood, I'm not kidding.
8) Keep 6 months- a year worth of food stored if you can and have a well or at least a good supply of bottled water stored as well a 2 water purifier and a good supply of filters for them. The water network works but it's not safe. Some time ago an entire town got sick because of the contaminated tap water and lots of people died.
9) B-proof vest. I'd sell my left testicle for one these days. I never believed I would ever need one and now here I am. Get one of those that can go under the regular clothes.
10) Keep your passport and cash ready. If you can afford it, the best thing to do in such a country is getting the hell out of it! Maybe you have family somewhere else, keep in touch just in case. I did with my family in Spain and I going there as soon as I can."What about essential services like power and water?" Power get cut several times but not for long , a couple of flash lights and your ok.
Water is still workiThere is a part Three and Four here: