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Global Skywatch

Greece on the slippery slope

rich_get_richer_seesaw19oct2010Cyprus, Venezuela, Ukraine, Yemen, Greece …

If you aren’t paying attention, serious changes are going to surprise and shock you.

Last Friday, Prime Minister Tsipras assured the Greek people that the banks were solid. Monday their money was not so much theirs any more.

…As the clock ran out on a Greece deal, Greeks were handed a daily 60 euros ($67) cash withdrawal limit, sending crowds of elderly depositors who do not have ATM cards rushing to closed bank branches.

“I came here at 4 a.m. because I have to get my pension,” said 74-year-old Anastasios Gevelidis, one of about 100 retirees waiting outside the main branch of the National Bank of Greece in the country’s second-largest city of Thessaloniki.

“I don’t have a card. I don’t know what’s going on. We don’t even have enough money to buy bread,” he said.

The sight of an economy on the precipice hit global markets hard Monday, driving stocks down in the United States and across Europe.

U.S. stocks had their worst day of the year, with the Dow Jones industrial average dropping 350 points to 17,596, while The Standard & Poor’s 500 index sank 43 points to 2,057. The losses wiped out all the gains for the Dow and S&P 500 indexes this year.

In Europe, the Stoxx 50 index of leading shares ended 2.5 percent lower, while Germany’s DAX slid 3.6 percent. There were also some early warning signs that Greece’s problems may prove contagious — the borrowing rates of other highly indebted eurozone countries such as Italy and Portugal inched up slightly.

Investors are worried that should Greece leave the euro and say it can’t pay its debts, which stand at more than 300 billion euros, it will be forced into a chaotic return to the drachma — developments that could derail a fragile global economic recovery, as well as raise questions over the long-term viability of the euro currency itself…

You might remember how Cyprus played out last year. One silly old lady took her money out of the bank every Friday and put it back in every Monday. “My son works in Russia, a high-level finance minister. He told me bank closures always happen over a weekend. Mom, never leave your money in a bank over the weekend.” That fateful Cypriot Monday, she was one of the few people able to buy anything… for the next month.

You can bet on the banks. You can bet on the fiat dollar. You can bet on stocks or stocks cleverly disguised as “mutual funds”. But understand THAT is one bet. That assumes the central bankers love you and will care for you.
silver dollars
Based on no evidence whatsoever.

I really think you ought to hedge that bet.

Food. Supplies. Tools. Silver. Gold. Cash.

Those things won’t make you rich, but they will prevent you from being poor, or destitute.