Jewish Preppers?

Some people finding our website may be wondering what is a Prepper and why does it have a religious affiliation? Well the short answer is...A Prepper is the modern day survivalist. It's not (necessarily) a right-wing militiaman preparing for Armageddon in the boondocks of Montana. But better represented by a normal, educated, middle class individual perhaps living in the most urban of cities, preparing themselves physically and mentally for any upcoming disaster, natural or man-made. This could include anything from earthquakes to volcanic eruptions, social unrest to an act of terrorism. Preparations include: food supply, medical supply, weapons supply etc. and the knowledge and skills to use them. Of course, a Jewish Prepper is just a designation for a small niche of the Prepper Community that is of the Jewish Faith. We are non-profit and nonpartisan. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Got Gold Redux

Awhile ago, late May, I not too subtly suggested trading in monopoly money in for gold. I am not an economist, business man, clairvoyant, lawyer etc etc. There's just history about fiat currency that you should read and the poor ending it has. Will the American dollar be the one exception? Perhaps. Perhaps not. Quantitative Easing III is being considered, but each time monetizing the debt occurs, the more likely bad things are going to happen. Being prepared means being prepared for bad things, like (fiat) currency problems. I don't know if this is the peak price for gold or if it will double. In retrospect I wish I bought a bit more last summer. If you think it's going to go up, buy some. If you think it peaked, don't. LOL, don't blame me either way. I realize that in reality, I am spending as much (fiat) dollars for gold regardless of the price. When I bought some about a year ago, about 1100 dollars was valued equal to one ounce of gold; now those same dollars are worth less and it takes about 500 more of them to buy the ounce. Gold did not become more expensive, my dollars became less valuable. Now pondering should I buy more? Or should I buy more of that other valuable metal, lead, in the form of 308 and .45 and 5.7? Both seem good investments.

(see for the cool graphs. I just wish they could show the next 30 days!!)

Let alone the next 6 months!

Not surprisingly, Ben Bernanke, the man in charge of fiat money, says money is not gold:


Ben Bernanke Says Gold is NOT Money

Mac Slavo
July 16th, 2011
Comments (4)
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Though they have been used for millenia as a means of exchange, from Sumeria where silver was used to conduct transactions over 6000 years ago to the United States of America which, up until the 1970′s, linked the value of the US dollar to an ounce of gold, some economists and leading bankers will argue that neither is a viable means of exchange in modern day economies.

Chief of those who simply dismiss the use of gold and silver as nothing but old world tradition is Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who recently made the argument under questioning by Representative Ron Paul (R-TX):

Ron Paul: Do you think gold is money?

Ben Bernanke: (…long pause…) No. It’s a precious metal.

Ron Paul: Even if it has been money for 6000 years, somebody reversed that and eliminated that economic law?

Ben Bernanke: Well, it’s an asset. Would you say Treasury bills are money? I don’t think they’re money either, but they’re a financial asset.

Ron Paul: Why do central banks hold it?

Ben Bernanke: It’s a form of reserves.

Ron Paul: Why don’t they hold diamonds?

Ben Bernanke: Well, it’s tradition. Long term tradition.

Ron Paul: Some people still think it’s money.

In What is money when the system collapses? we put forth a definition for money as provided by economic analyst Mike Shedlock:

“Like all commodities, it has an existing stock, it faces demands by people to buy and hold it. Like all commodities, its price in terms of other goods is determined by the interaction of its total supply, or stock, and the total demand by people to buy and hold it. People buy money by selling their goods and services for it, just as they sell money when they buy goods and services.”

Thus, money is essentially any unit of exchange, be it a commodity or otherwise, that people are willing to trade for the procurement of goods. While the US dollar and other paper currencies are used in modern economies as a unit of exchange, Mr. Bernanke’s view that only these ‘currencies’ are money is close-minded.

For a more open minded perspective, we draw on one of the leading alternative market thinkers of our time, Brandon Smith of Alt-Market:

As for what an Alternative Market is; it is essentially any method of trade outside the establishment-controlled economy. It could be based on the barter of goods and skills, or the proliferation of precious metals to break our dependence on the fiat dollar (or Federal Reserve Note), etc. It could be a network of people across a county or state, or, an agreement between two friends.

Source: Alternative Markets Are The Lifeboats That Will Save Us

They key point here, is that money is anything that two parties agree is money. It is and always has been a faith based system.

Whether you are using personally panned gold to buy bread, like many are doing in Zimbabwe, or collecting and exchanging barter points for services you provide or need, if you and the other party agree it’s money, it’s money.

Like any faith based system, the US dollar will be considered money only as long as the world believes in it. And the way things are going now, it won’t be long before Mr. Bernanke’s “money” is no longer worth the paper it’s printed on. We wonder what Mr. Bernanke will consider as money once this happens. Our guess is it will be just another paper currency, perhaps an Amero style reserve note, or a global unit of exchange like a SDR-bill from the International Monetary Fund.

What we can be certain of is once faith in Bernanke Bills has been lost, the population of those countries affected (and there are lots that use the dollar as a primary medium of exchange, including Zimbabwe), will determine on their own what will be used as money. Things like gold, silver, tobacco, alcohol – and depending on the severity of the currency crash – even food, clothing, and skills (medical, carpentry, security, machining, farming, etc.) will become the monetary units of exchange. [got a few thousand rounds of 308, .45 and 22LR in your basement yet?-- DL]

Of important note is also Mr. Bernanke’s reasoning for why the price of gold is rising. Notice that he did not mention rising inflation. On this point, we agree with Mr. Bernanke:

I pay attention to the price of gold. But I think it reflects a lot of things. It reflects global uncertainties. I think the reason people hold gold is as a protection against tail risk – really, really bad outcomes. And to the extent that the last few years have made people more worried about the potential for a major crisis then they have gold as a protection.

It is and has been our view for quite some time that inflation is merely a by-product of underlying problems within the system. The decade long rise in gold has resulted from exactly what Mr. Bernanke suggested – uncertainty.

The ironic thing about this is that, among other things, it is uncertainty in the very monetary unit of exchange, the US dollar, that Ben Bernanke purports is the only “real” money!

We suspect that the uncertainty in what happens next to our economy, government finances, politics and global relationships will continue, which suggests that the price of gold will continue to rise.

Money and governments are faith based systems. So long as the people continue to lose confidence in these systems, the price of tangible assets, including gold, will continue to rise.

And no matter what Mr. Bernanke thinks, if you have an ounce of silver or an ounce of gold, there will always be someone willing to trade you for it. In our book, that makes it money.

Take special note, also, about Mr. Bernanke’s tail risk comment. The price of gold has risen from around $300 in the 1990′s, to over $1500 now. This suggests that a lot of people are expecting a “really, really bad outcome.”

For those concerned that Ben Bernanke’s version of money will lose value, or collapse, bringing on some really, really bad outcomes, we suggest putting some other “traditional” monetary units in your personal reserves.

Author: Mac Slavo
Date: July 16th, 2011

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