Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Learning from Cyprus (and many other) Bank Depositors

There are many who wish they had removed their savings from the banking system.  Are you going to learn from their mistake?  Over the last several years, these groups regret that they had their wealth saved as cash in the bank instead of as precious metals or other assets outside the banking system:

  • Depositors in Cyprus banks who had all uninsured deposits over 100,000 Euro confiscated to help bailout the county.
  • Depositor in Iceland whose currency was devalued (by about 35%) to bailout the country.
  • Depositors in Japanese Yen accounts who have had the purchasing power of their Yen devalued by over 20% due to recent, dramatic easy money policy at the Bank of Japan.
  • Depositors in Argentina Peso accounts
  • Depositors in Venezuela Bolivar accounts
These depositors lost purchasing power of their savings due to sudden actions by their governments.  They wish that they had protected their savings.  Who is next?  Slovakia?  Greece?  Spain?  Portugal?  Italy?  Ireland? 

This could never happen in the United State of America!  But, it has.  In the 1930's President Roosevelt devalued the dollar, suspended the gold standard and made gold ownership illegal.  And, in 1971 direct convertibility of the US dollar to gold was cancelled.  It seems that the US Federal Reserve is on a path of inflation which slowly and steadily reduced purchasing power of the dollar which will avoid any sudden, drastic measures.  But a good crisis could disrupt those plans and make US dollar savers wish they had been  more proactive.

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