Friday, August 27, 2010

Hyperinflation?

I've been concerned for the past 3 years about the possibility of hyperinflation in the U.S., a la that of the early 1970s, but hadn't really thought through what an even worse case scenario would look like. Typler Durden, on the other hand, lived through hyperinflation in Chile during that period, and describes the dangers and the opportunities in Zero Hedge.
"Once basic necessities are unmet, and remain unmet for a sustained period of time, any asset will be willingly and instantly sacrificed, in order to meet that basic need.
To put it in simple terms: If you were dying of thirst in the middle of the desert, would you give up your family heirloom diamonds, in exchange for a gallon of water? The answer is obvious—yes. You would sacrifice anything and everyting—instantly—in order to meet your basic needs, or those of your family."
So clearly Mormons are on to something here with the idea of storing a year's supply of food.

Even then, Durden suggests, there is opportunity (see the article for two great examples):
"Buy when there’s blood on the streets.
That’s Baron de Rothschild’s famous line—but it hides a key insight, one which should be highlighted perhaps even more forcefully than the line itself:
Even in the midst of Apocalypse, things will get better."

On the other hand, Durden adds, things might then get worse in a different way:
"...just about every period of hyperinflation has been stabilized by some subsequent form of autocratic or totalitarian government."

Read the whole thing here.

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