A Special Note From JWR to SurvivalBlog Readers: The Credit Suisse collapse has many analysts predicting a general credit market collapse in Europe. The sticking point, at least at the outset of this mess, will be Credit Default Swaps (CDSes.) Those are derivative contracts. The counterparty risk for banks, trading partners, and customers engaged with Credit Suisse is now off the charts. But that may be the case with the majority of European banks, within a few days. (BNP-Parabas, HSBC, Barclays, Société Générale SA, Banco Santander, Deutsche Bank, Lloyds Banking Group PLC, ING Bank, Standard Chartered, UBS, Rabobank, Commerzbank, Svenska Handelsbanken, Bayerische Landesbank, et cetera.)
I don’t want to sound panicky, but as my old friend Bob Griswold is fond of saying: “Panic early, and beat the rush.” So… If there are any clear signs in the next few days that the European credit market contagion is spreading to the United States, then you should assume that U.S. banks will be put on an enforced “holiday” — and close their doors, disable online banking, and shut down ATMs. Therefore, you should phone in a “personal day off” (or two) and do the following, ASAP:
1.) Pray hard, and pray often.
2.) Withdraw some cash from your bank. You’ll need enough greenback cash to pay for two or three months of your regular bills — gas, groceries, utilities, and rent/mortgage. (Even if those bills are presently paid via automatic transfers from your checking account.) If your bank refuses to give you more than a small amount of cash, then ask for a cashier’s check payable to the name of your local precious metals dealer. You can work out the details of how you’ll spend that after you leave the bank.
3.) Buy some more precious metals, preferably “small silver”. (Pre-1965 circulates U.S. “junk” silver and 1/2-ounce and 1-ounce silver coin — either generic silver rounds or U.S. Mint American Eagles.)
4.) Top off your fuel storage cans/tanks and top off your vehicle fuel tanks.
5.) Top off your pantry.
6.) Buy a six-month supply of any medications that you need for chronic health conditions — even if you have to pay cash to do so. (Most insurance prescription drug plans have 30-, 60-, or 90-day supply limits, to qualify for reimbursement.)
7.) Bring home all of the contents of your bank safe deposit box. (There will be no access to those boxes, if there is a bank holiday.)
8.) Contact your local power, phone, cellular phone, Internet, water, and gas/propane utilities, and ask if you can pre-pay the equivalent of the next three months of your expected bills, and have them hold that as a credit on your account. If they are agreeable, then do so!
9.) Make contingency plans to activate your rural retreat, if you have one. Hints: U-Haul and Ryder rental trucks and trailers will get snapped up, quickly. And if you were “planning to”, but have been holding off on buying a cargo trailer or utility trailer, then go ahead and buy it, today.
10.) If you’ve loaned any of your tools or camping gear to friends or neighbors, then make retrieving them a priority.
11.) Identify precious metals dealers and pawn shops in your region that accept payment via credit card.
12.) Start networking with relatives, neighbors, and trusted friends, and work through some “what if” scenarios. I’ve been warning you for many years: “Stock up, team up, and train up.”
13.) Sell any individual stocks or mutual funds that are not recession-proof.
14.) If you depend on an outside supply of coal, home heating oil, or firewood to heat your home or retreat then buy it early, for next winter. Read: tomorrow.
15.) Pray some more. Fervently. Pray for God’s guidance, providence, protection, and a place of hiding.
Again, the aforementioned suggested action items are applicable only if there are clear signs in the next few days that the European credit market contagion is spreading to the United States.
Update, Thursday AM: Was a contagious credit crisis averted? Headline: Credit Suisse shares are booming after Swiss central bank backs it with $54 billion loan. (Note that this video segment was posted at 2:30 AM. Looks like “Crisis Mode”, to me.)
SurvivalBlog Writing Contest
Today we present another entry for Round 105 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The prizes for this round include:
- The photovoltaic power specialists at Quantum Harvest LLC are providing a store-wide 10% off coupon. Depending on the model chosen, this could be worth more than $2000.
- A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any of their one, two, or three-day course (a $1,095 value),
- Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
- A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
- American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.
- Two sets of The Civil Defense Manual, (in two volumes) — a $193 value — kindly donated by the author, Jack Lawson.
- A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three-day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
- A SIRT STIC AR-15/M4 Laser Training Package, courtesy of Next Level Training, that has a combined retail value of $679
- Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).
- Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
- A transferable $150 FRN purchase credit from Elk Creek Company, toward the purchase of any pre-1899 antique gun. There is no paperwork required for delivery of pre-1899 guns into most states, making them the last bastion of firearms purchasing privacy!
- Three sets each of made-in-USA regular and wide-mouth reusable canning lids. (This is a total of 300 lids and 600 gaskets.) This prize is courtesy of Harvest Guard (a $270 value)
- A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
- A transferable $150 FRN purchase credit from Elk Creek Company, toward the purchase of any pre-1899 antique gun.
More than $800,000 worth of prizes have been awarded since we started running this contest. We recently polled blog readers, asking for suggested article topics. Refer to that poll if you haven’t yet chosen an article topic. Round 105 ends on March 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how-to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.