Thursday, February 18, 2016

Negative Interest Rates and You

Zero Hedge has laid out a lot of articles lately about how a central banks planned "final monetary solution" involves driving interest rates negative while curtailing the availability of cash. However most of their analysis and advice are geared to the macro economic level(aside for being heavy proponents of precious metals).

As a disclaimer this is just an ordinary persons speculation and you have to do your own research to decide what if anything to do with it.

So let's brainstorm a few things the average person can do to somewhat proof themselves against this. Using the examples that have occurred at Crete and Greece as well as reading the writings of prominent Keynesian academics(I hesitate to call them economists) these are a few ideas that I've had:

  1. Multiple banks, if currency controls are used like in the collapse like in Greece they are implemented limiting withdrawals from banks to so much per day. One option to deal with this might be to already have accounts with multiple banks. Then a $500 per week limit might well be changeable into a $1500 per week limit which gives you three times the ability to get out from below a "haircut". Additionally if this is anything like what happened in Crete then things are likely to hit large accounts first especially if things come from the banks being under-capitalized. So if you have an account that exceeds the FDIC limit (Why are you reading this blog, oh right the cheesecake) then you have one more reason to get all of your eggs out of the same banksket. Depending upon how currency control regulations are written it is conceivable Credit Unions might initially be left out so it might be worth keeping an account in one if it is available.
  2. If ACH transactions for bill pay and such are initially left alone it might be worth prepaying by overpaying some utilities as a method of getting out from under the negative interest rates. Since this is money that will be spent anyway a positive balance with the gas company beats -4% in your account.
  3. While many people recommend having enough cash at home for one month's bare expenses remember that physical stashes carry their own risks of fire and theft.
  4. Lastly any trade goods that you might choose to stockpile should be both fungible and LEGAL. Illegal or likely to be made illegal trade goods carry far too much additional risk so use the still for purifying water not mash.
That's all the thoughts I have for now put let me know if "financial prepping" is something that you have any interest in me putting more time into.

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