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Why Gold Would Be Useless
in an Economic Apocalypse

Atlantic, by Jordan Weissman

Original Article

Posted By:Pluperfect, 12/27/2013 10:24:53 AM

Since November, financial advisor David Marotta has been publishing a series of blog posts on how to manage your money in the event of a financial apocalypse—as in a world of hyperinflation, governmental collapse, and anarachic mobs. You know, the standard stuff of a doomsday prepper´s fever dreams. While Marotta admits he has some fears about the direction of the country (the man´s not an Obamacare fan, to say the least) most of it seems to be fairly tongue-in-cheek material aimed at talking potential clients down from investing in some of the crazy, survivalist scams advertised on conservative talk radio.


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Reply 1 - Posted by: stablemoney, 12/27/2013 10:30:15 AM     (No. 9669482)

Economics from an idiot.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: Bison65, 12/27/2013 10:41:37 AM     (No. 9669506)

We have friends who escaped from Vietnam in the mid 1970´s. Except for some of the older members the whole family and friends risked a journey on a rickety boat. Before they escaped, the elderly mother gave her daughter some gold she had hidden from the communists. The family said the gold was important to their survival as they were held in Hong Kong. You don´t need much gold, but that and a few thousand rounds of ammunition will come in very handy.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: WAN2, 12/27/2013 10:44:40 AM     (No. 9669515)

1) Lead might be better than gold. 2) If all goes to hell and a neighbor lady is baking bread, will she rather sell it to the bloke who has some U. S. silver coins--or paper money?

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Reply 4 - Posted by: Bubbasuncle, 12/27/2013 10:45:56 AM     (No. 9669518)

FTA:"the survivors are going to be more interested in useful goods than in a soft metal useful mostly for ornamental purposes."

I´ll bet my gold chain, Miraculous Medal, and ring would by me more bread than a Treasury Bond.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: uno_thatguy, 12/27/2013 10:51:27 AM     (No. 9669534)

Ammo and weapons especially pistols have for more than a century been one of the best investments. But, gold or silver have always been a close second. Then comes those hunnnnerd dollar bills --- way down the list. Get out a couple for a gallon of gas, and three or four for a spoonful of hamburger and a thimble of milk.

Give me gold, silver and ammo any day!

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Reply 6 - Posted by: bkt23, 12/27/2013 11:04:55 AM     (No. 9669561)

Precious metals and land are not investments. They are stores of wealth. So unless Jordan thinks the last 5000 years of recorded human history is suddenly going to change, I recommend keeping precious metals on hand in your possession.

Firearms and ammo, food, water and water purification, meds, and consumables are also worth keeping on hand. But the most important thing you can have is knowledge.

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Reply 7 - Posted by: bearcat, 12/27/2013 11:08:55 AM     (No. 9669571)

I highly recommend Jerry Pournelle´s Lucifer´s Hammer for a look at post apocalyptic life. While everyone was gathering valuables one man buried some books. On appliance repair, construction, gardening -- simple stuff. After the comet, they were invaluable.

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Reply 8 - Posted by: mean Gene, 12/27/2013 11:25:21 AM     (No. 9669595)

I used to have three or four months worth of foods and plenty of ammo for my two guns in So Cal.
But here´s the problem.
You only last until you have to reload.
Then ´´they´´ come and kill you and take your stuff.
Utah, OTOH, is filled with a near-majority of people who have 6 months of food.
1 in 5 here have a concealed carry permit, more than that own guns, too.
It is a far safer place to live should the situation go that far bad.
Long-term (25 year safe)foods are common on supermarket shelves in Utah!
Being able to produce something of value is more important than gold.
I quilt, sew, crochet, cook and bake.
I´m worth keeping around.

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Reply 9 - Posted by: offrope, 12/27/2013 11:30:19 AM     (No. 9669601)

In the event of an economic collapse, silver and gold will still have some value, because people will still value it. But guns and ammo will have more value, especially things like 12 gauge 00 buckshot and 9mm hollow points. Special skills like plumbing and carpentry will have value, and women will still have the same "bargaining chip" they´ve always had, which they can sell repeatedly while retaining possession of. Food and water obviously will always have value, as will medicine and gasoline. While silver and gold may be worth less than they are now, I think they will have more value than, say, paper money.

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Reply 10 - Posted by: Persecutor2, 12/27/2013 11:51:13 AM     (No. 9669633)

I am actually working in the precious metals biz now, in a small way--I operate a store that buys and sells gold silver and sometimes platinum. One thing that surprised me was the number of people who invest in pre-1965 US dimes, quarters, and half-dollars; they are 90% silver (after 1964, these coins were--and are--made of copper-nickel alloy, with no silver, except some Kennedy halves and Ike dollars that contain 40% silver). I´m told that many of those people want the coins as something to barter with once the economy fails to the extent that paper money is useless. I don´t mind the business, but my personal take is that once things get that bad what people are going to want to barter are things that they can eat or that protect them--from the weather/elements, or from other people. I don´t understand why the baker in #3´s example would prefer silver coins over printed paper for her bread--I would be wanting fuel or ammo or meat to go with my own bread.

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Reply 11 - Posted by: secondtimelucky, 12/27/2013 11:52:53 AM     (No. 9669636)

silver might get you more in a local barter situation than would gold. 9mm hollow points are a great idea, and a stock of inexpensive booze in 750 bottles are another good barter item. Portable water purification products are lifesaving (the system under your sink won´t work if there´s no power) and finally - books books books. Stan and Holly Deyo have published some amazing books - everyone should own Dare to Prepare. This book alone (well, along with firearms and ammo) will save your family...

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Reply 12 - Posted by: OdinsAcolyte, 12/27/2013 12:14:55 PM     (No. 9669693)

What a fool. Gold is the only thing that works well in such times. Has the man studied NO history?

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Reply 13 - Posted by: Hazymac, 12/27/2013 12:30:07 PM     (No. 9669713)

Gold is and will continue to be a repository of value, and it´s wise to have some secreted away. However, in the not inconceivable event of a currency collapse after a century plus of governmental foozling around, paying for food might be easier for those who also have junk silver, especially pre-1965 90% silver dimes, quarters, and halves, the kind that ring nicely when you drop them on a tile floor. And yes, survival in apocalyptic times might depend on having sufficient ammo, as well. As Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter wrote in "New Speedway Boogie":

Now I don´t know but I been told
it´s hard to run with the weight of gold
Other hand I heard it said
it´s just as hard with the weight of lead

Uh huh.

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Reply 14 - Posted by: franq, 12/27/2013 12:46:12 PM     (No. 9669736)

Life was filled with guns and war
And everyone got trampled on the floor
I wish we´d all been ready
Children died, the day grew cold
A piece of bread could buy a bag of gold
I wish we´d all been ready

L. Norman

PS: still can´t figure it out.

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Reply 15 - Posted by: bigfatslob, 12/27/2013 12:46:47 PM     (No. 9669737)

View the movie Book of Eli with Denzel Washington. That will show you what´s important besides just staying alive.
Zippo lighters anyone?

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Reply 16 - Posted by: dman, 12/27/2013 12:50:29 PM     (No. 9669741)

#10 and others make the case well: tender - legal or otherwise, gold, silver, lead, paper, useful skills, collectables, or what have you - is only worth what someone else is willing to exchange for it at the time when you want or need what that other person has to exchange.

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Reply 17 - Posted by: Nevadadad46, 12/27/2013 2:55:20 PM     (No. 9669906)

Gold will just be a useless thing. Here is what to invest in:
1. Clean water system (available at survival web sites)
2. Ammo- lots of it- any popular caliber will do, especially 12 gauge shotgun ammo.
3. Flour, cornmeal, Oatmeal, farina, Rice and beans- buy these items by the 100 or 50 lbs sack and divide it up into smaller containers, about 5 lbs parcels.
4. OTC meds- Tylenol, Aspirin, Sudafed. Any antic diarrhea meds (intestinal aliments are deadly and plentiful in a disaster situation).
5. Portable shelters- even small camping tents. You can trade these for almost anything. 6. Fuel! Butane, gasoline, and particularly diesel. Diesel does not age. You can keep it forever.
7. Fire making supplies- Bic Lighters are excellent- buy a hundred of them on Ebay. They will be worth more than gold.
8. Cooking oil. In almost every example of human disaster, one of the most sought after commodities is cooking oil- buy the ones least likely to oxidize, olive oil and canola.
9. Cutting edges, knives, axes, saws, machetes. These are highly sought after by moderns who have not used them before and don’t have them in a post-disaster, no electricity situation.
And 10. Advanced medical kits, that include basic surgery items like sutures and scalpels. These are hard to get even in non-disaster times. If you have these, you could trade them for much more than any gold.

The trouble with having these items when no one else has them; desperate people will need them so badly they will kill to get them. Be armed- be in a devoted, well trained group- family if possible. No one alone will survive the thing.

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Reply 18 - Posted by: Sunhan65, 12/27/2013 10:59:14 PM     (No. 9670346)

I have lots of Snickers bars.

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Reply 19 - Posted by: franq, 12/28/2013 7:46:52 AM     (No. 9670573)

Good list, #17.

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