Lessons LearnedNot even a week after the S&P downgrade of American government debt, and the financial market reaction to it, and a very clear set of lessons for preppers is emerging clearly. As the scenario unfolds more analysis can be applied and more conclusions drawn. But right now there are a few lessons that are glaring and need to be discussed.

Timing

Notice the timing of this event. That is, it is not by accident or coincidence that S&P made its announcement on Friday evening long after the markets closed for the week and most Americans have started their summer weekend get-aways.

By the time the announcement was made there was little chance for people to go to their bank and make big cash withdrawals (though I’m sure many ATM’s were emptied over the weekend). Or call their mutual fund or stock broker and cry “Sell! SELL! SELL!

By the time Monday morning rolled around and the banks and markets opened, the bankers and brokers and market movers and shakers and government policy wonks had a whole weekend to think this through and come up with their own strategies and responses. They already decided what trades to make, what controls or policy changes to implement, what their contingency plans were if this or that happened next, etc.

For them it was a smart move. Decisions made in haste are rarely good ones. Trying to manage a situation to keep it from becoming too much a public panic. Not an unreasonable goal.

But the lesson here is the timing.

The next time there is a major economic events (and there will be another major event – That I will bet the farm on!) if the powers that be have any control over it, the event will happen over a weekend. You won’t be able to go to the bank or your broker or mutual fund for a withdrawal (or at least be very limited).  This also includes vault services. If banks are closed (a declared emergency “bank holiday”) access to your documents in the bank vault won’t be available.

 

Speed

Take notice of the rate of change that events unfolded from the start of the S&P announcement. The fact as mentioned above that it happened on a Friday night helped slow the rate. But once the world came back to work on Monday events took of at overdrive speed off the starting line.

If this event happened mid-week or even just mid-day the rate of escalation could have been at warp speed. That means you ability to respond, even if you are totally planned and ready at a moment’s notice, is cut that much shorter. Moreover, you (and probably the majority of the unprepared public) will be in “shock & aw” over the rate of event change.

This means that when the next economic event comes you will not see it coming and will literally hit you from out of the blue. And you have to quickly overcome the shock of the event, even to take advantage of their shock paralysis to purchase extra supplies, go to the bank and other institutions you need to collect, even evacuate if you feel necessary.

 

Wake Up Call

The events of the past week are likely not the pivotal moment of collapse. (Then again, what do I know?!)  If this is all that happens the nation will survive. Black&blue but it will survive and cleaning up the mess for a generation to come at least. But will go on.

But if this is the pivotal moment, the singular event that people will look back on and say was the starting moment of the economic collapse, then time is ticketing down fast.

If you believe as I do then take this week’s events as motivation to renew your efforts for prepping.

If you believe but haven’t started prepping then take this as your kick-in-the-ass to get up and get started.

I think the alarm clock has been heard by more people than you think. I hope so.

 

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