Coffee heat rising

Time to Batten Down the Hatches?

Cassandra before the burning city of Troy. Evelyn de Morgan, 1898

It may be time to batten down the financial hatches…even if you’re not a paranoid crazy like this blogger. Congress has appointed a special prosecutor to look into the question of Trump’s suspected collusion with Russia in subvening the US election process — if indeed any such collusion occurred. And the guy is not our honored leader’s friend: he’s a former FBI director.

Nothing good is going to come of this, no matter which side of the bob-wire fence you happen to be on. To say financial markets are unstable is to put it mildly: the Dow is in a tailspin and the dollar is dropping. Meanwhile, household debts hit a record high this quarter.

If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to review your investments and move to the most conservative position possible. If it’s not too late, shift some assets toward cash. Avoid buying large-ticket items, such as real estate, that may be overvalued at this time. If the markets sink further as this turmoil continues — as they most certainly could — this is not the time to make any major purchases or to be unduly exposed in the market.

Prioritize pay-down of debt. The less debt you have at this time, the better. Pay for day-to-day purchases in cash, and do not borrow for high-cost items unless absolutely necessary. If you can’t afford to pay for it in cash, don’t buy it.

And…you remember what I told you about stocking in propane, water, and nonperishable foods? Do it.

Obscured in the current flap over Trump is the speculation — discovery? — that the recent global ransomware hack came out of North Korea. If that is true, in normal times it would be regarded as an act of war. More to the point, if it proves to be true, it shows that we are in the crosshairs of an unfriendly power led by a demented dictator who is certifiably insane and who has stated his hostility to the US. A better designed, more targeted attack could — and one day probably will — take down the entire financial and power infrastructure.

This will cause more chaos than any of us can even begin to imagine. And what better time to launch such an attack than in the middle of our present self-inflicted chaos?

Be prepared: not just financially but in terms of daily living:

Have food and water stocked in.
Keep your car filled with gas.
If you have a long commute, plan an alternate route to get home if traffic lights and other infrastructure are down.
Keep battery-run devices fully charged.
Back up computer data to media that can be disconnected from your network — now, not later.
Have some cash on hand (if there’s no power or no computer connections, your credit & debit cards won’t work).
Stock in barterable goods, such as cigarettes, alcohol, weed, and the like.
Stock in prescription drugs, any OTC drugs you use regularly, and first-aid supplies.
If you’re a Second Amendment type, stock in ammunition, if you have not already done so.

Sure. I may be crazy. But that’s what they said about Cassandra


1 thought on “Time to Batten Down the Hatches?”

  1. Hmmm….Couple of things….I for one think it IS time for a “Special Prosecutor” to find out once and for all if there was collusion. And to find out who knew what when….and let the cards fall as they may. If Trump or anyone in his campaign did something wrong…they need to be held accountable. But if no evidence is found … we need to move on and put an end to this distraction. IMHO…Mr. Trump has to learn that no one is above the law….this was a hard lesson that Mr. Nixon learned.
    As for the market, one had to expect a correction…It just can’t keep going up every day. This not the time to panic BUT rather a time to think clearly about what has value and what does not. As for the household debt, one could make the case that this shows an abundance of consumer confidence. What concerns me in the report is the number of folks buying autos with credit scores below 620. Rest assured these folks got “hammered” with a healthy interest rate on their loans….

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