Monday, November 21, 2011

Why I've been holding cash, for years - UPDATED - AGAIN... AND AGAIN!

“You can’t trust anybody and the entire system is collapsing. What’s the takeaway from this? It’s to make sure you have every penny in your pocket.”

Gerald Celente, Trends Research Institute founder, following the disappearance of his six-figure holdings at MF Global shortly before he was due to take delivery of physical gold. More here.

Update: and the chorus swells...

"It is up to you to decide how much you're willing to risk losing to a crook. If the answer is "none" or you cannot reduce the at-risk portion of your assets to what you're willing to lose to fraud then you can no longer participate in the market at all, in any form, nor even do business with a bank." - Karl Denninger.

"Now may be the time to exit all arrangements not specifically guaranteed directly by the government, and bring your money home. And better yet if no guarantees are required, and no parties standing between you and your wealth." - Jesse.

... and swells...

"Ultimately, I will not be at all surprised to see Europe’s banking system shut for days while the losses and payments issues are worked out. People forget that the term “bank holiday” was invented in the 1930’s when the banks were shut for exactly the same reason." - Dr Pippa Malmgren

"The whole system is going down. Pull your money out your Fidelity account, your Schwab account, and your ETFs." - Gerald Celente (again)

- both quoted here.

"Odds of a big market breakdown are both high and rising." - Mish.

... and balloons...

"The bottom line is that apparently some warehouses and bullion dealers are not a safe place to store your gold and silver, even if you hold a specific warehouse receipt." - Jesse (17 Dec 2011)

This gels with a recent post by David Malone, where he discusses a little-known rider to the (US) Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005. The amendment concerned overrides bankruptcy protection protocols that are designed to treat creditors equally, such that if Bank A has "repo" or derivatives contract business with Bank B, and Bank B fails (or is forced into failure...), Bank A can grab the collateral straight away, not waiting for the trustee to sort out who gets what.

And if some of that collateral is money or other valuables you (an innocent third party) deposited with Bank B, hard luck, it seems.

Ostensibly, this legislation was to prevent systemic collapse as Bank B's failure could make Bank A insolvent, then subsequently Banks C and D etc. But, as Malone points out, it's also potentially an invitation to stronger (or at least, public-money-supported) banks to tip weaker ones into insolvency and grab assets, leaving other creditors to sue for their return (if they can afford to do so). Possession is nine points of the law, as the adage goes. Apparently, this deadly revision is written into banking legislation beyond America's shores.

In turn, that reminds me of something Malone wrote back in October, reporting what a top Irish banker said to him, off the record:

"According to this very senior banker it was now known that the plan was all but agreed to re-capitalize all the banks but to the very minimum degree. France and Germany were agreed on this. As I wrote before I left, there has been a bidding war looking for the lowest amount.

"The horse trading and arguing is of a quite different nature.What is being thrashed out is a list, for use after this across the board, minimum bail out, of which banks will be saved and which will be left to die when they next have a problem. The horse trading is over who will be saved and who damned.

"In other words the decision has been reached that this is the last pan-Europe, all bank bail out attempt. After this it is recognized that Europe and the IMF cannot save all the banks. And so only the most systemically vital are going to be saved and the rest will be allowed to save themselves if they can or die if they cannot."

It's possible that a vicious internecine cannibalism is about to commence in the international banking industry, and plenty of innocent bystanders could suddenly find they're hurt.

Little wonder, then that even bankers have started to hoard food.


Nick Drew said...

yes but where is a person to hold cash ??

aside from NS&I ? which, it might be noted, will be the very easiest thing of all for HMG to lay hands on ...

Sackerson said...

I share your worries, but as governments always need to borrow money I think even HMG dares not welch on your NS&I certificates.

I know of a financial journalist who is starting to hoard cash, i.e. notes out of the bank.

Other than that, how about buying more stuff of the type you already do, and storing it? Bogrolls, batteries, baked beans, rice, dried pasta etc. Medicines, bottled water.

Beyond that, it may be a question of buying to reduce loss rather than make gains; gold could be in this category, but it's far from the only physical thing to exchange the "used bus tickets" for.

There are also some cash ISAs that do RPI linking, if you can lock up the cash for 5 or 6 years.

It's still the big question of (a) deflation vs (b) inflation. I think we'll have a followed by b, simply because the pain of a will be too great.