Want some fascinating reading? Google “Iceland financial crisis”, “Cyprus financial crisis” or “Greek financial crisis”. These are big, complicated, interesting stories where problems at major banks and government mismanagement lead to financial failure.
One common feature in each instance is that citizens and bank depositors (that would be you and me if it were in the U.S.) paid for other people’s mistakes. In particular, with the Cyprus crisis of 2013, if you had deposits of over 100,000 Euros, almost 50% above that level were confiscated from your bank account. With one privately owned bank’s failure 100% of deposits were lost. If you were a non-resident who had over 3,000,000 Euros confiscated you were compensated with the opportunity to get a Cypriot citizenship. That would certainly make everything OK! The family of one of our customers, who is Greek, lost about 200,000 euros in Cyprus. My perspective is that Cyprus set an international precedent, making it OK for governments to steal from bank accounts.
Look at what has been going on in Greece. Banks were closed, withdrawals were limited, people could not get to their own money.
Now Google “U.S. Debt Clock”. Our national debt is over $18,000,000,000,000! That is $124,000 per household. Last year, with record low interest rates, our government paid $430,000,000,000 just in interest. Our government has no plan to address this. They keep spending more. In my opinion our elected leaders in both parties are incompetent, greedy cowards who are more interested in keeping their jobs – living on your money – than in running the country responsibly. YOUR money is at risk. YOUR retirement could be in jeopardy. (The politicians will do fine because they have given themselves a better deal than you and I have.) If our financial system should collapse the whole rest of the world does not have enough money to bail us out.
Here is the point: It is worth keeping some cash, physical silver, maybe some gold at home, out of banks. Buy a safe with an appropriate security rating or a gun safe with lots of steel. It is entirely possible/probable that we are heading toward our own financial crisis. If that happens YOU will pay and YOU may not have access to your own money. Ask the folks in Greece, Cyprus, etc. My Greek customer would have been cheated out of more, except his family also keeps a good stash of silver and gold in a high security safe.
Naturally, there may be a bias here because I sell safes. But part of why I feel good about my job is the appreciation we receive from folks who were protected from fire, break-in, etc. with our safes. You can bet that if we should have a financial catastrophe in the U.S., many of Hoogerhyde’s customers will survive it better than those who put complete trust our government and banks.