What would you do if the bank suddenly froze your account and you couldn’t access any of your money?
Perhaps this sounds a little farfetched, but it certainly isn’t unprecedented. In fact, Chinese customers of some Spanish banks recently faced this exact scenario.
Are you prepared for a disaster?
People tend to stereotype “preppers” as tinfoil hat wearing conspiracy theorists waiting for the zombie apocalypse. Suzanne Sherman busts all the stereotypes.
With hyperinflation gripping Iran and sanctions strangling the economy, Iranians are beginning to turn to gold to make everyday transactions, most notably to pay their rent.
The Iranian rial has depreciated rapidly since the US announced its withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal and the reimposition of economic sanctions. After the US formally announced it was pulling out of the deal in May, the exchange rate peaked at around 45,000 rials to the dollar. But that official rate was only available to well-connected bankers, importers and businesses. Average Iranians were paying twice that. By July 29, money-exchangers in Tehran were charging around 100,000 rials for one dollar. Within 24 hours, it increased to 110,000 rials to the dollar.
The pawn shop is probably the last place you want to go if you find yourself strapped for cash. But an interesting article in a Filipino publication reveals a problem millennials face if they find themselves in a cash-crunch. They may have a harder time liquidating assets than their parents because they primarily spend their money on electronic gadgets and don’t tend to buy gold.
The head of one of the Philippines largest pawnshop operators told ANC’s The Boss that gold can be pawned at much higher prices than smartphones, laptops, and other electronics.
There’s nothing like buying gold and using it. It’s a great tool to use to save. Millennials today, they buy their gadgets, their Androids, their bags, but there’s still more value in buying gold jewelry than buying all those.”
An EU proposal underscores just how much control governments have over your money.
According to a document reviewed by Reuters, EU member states are considering a proposal that would allow them to temporarily stop people from withdrawing their own money from their accounts. The policy is intended to help prevent bank runs.
Instead of selling his soybeans for devalued pesos, Gustavo Tione exchanged 30 tons of soy for about 8,000 liters of diesel from the state-run oil company. This is just one example of a growing barter economy in Argentina as a 24% inflation rate rapidly erodes the value of the country’s currency.
As Bloomberg reports, the rise of barter is simple economics. Commodities hold their value better than than cash.
So, why bother with fiat currency if you don’t have to?