What would happen in the event of a financial Ice Age? I don’t mean with this a literal Ice Age. No worries, it will come finally, as it has been happening the last thousands of years. I don’t mean anything else than a massive event where our bank accounts are frozen in a worldwide extension.
Just imagine a scenario where your ability to make (and receive!) payments is suddenly halted. Not because there is no power. Not because a nuke exploded. Not because of an EMP attack. Not even a deadly virus spreading (again).
Your cards become little plastic thingies in your wallet overnight, and our money, even when it is in the account and visible, we can’t use it. It has become a frozen asset inside an unbreakable glass exhibitor. And I include myself because I own a bank account up there, albeit being a non-resident.
The modern Ice Age
A global-scale bank account freezing is a hypothetical scenario that would have significant consequences for all of us. Individuals, big and small businesses, autonomous workers, farmers, NGOs, and all sorts of institutions and governments all around the world. While such an event is unlikely, it is paramount to understand the potential implications of such an occurrence. Because the odds of such terrible events are there.
In recent years no one could believe that an emergency state would be declared because of the migrants getting into the US through the southern border. Look what has been happening in the recent months. So, I would say, as a foreigner, as a bystander, as a simple outsider and external observer…yes, it can happen. Without any previous warning.
What can cause this?
The freezing of bank accounts can occur for several reasons other than a global conflict. This includes legal or regulatory action, fraud investigations, or security breaches. In a global-scale instance, there could be plenty of factors leading to such an event, including a major cyber-attack on a large banking system. Which, if you ask me, is the most likely identifiable threat. And yes, I’m sure it has happened before, but it was covered up to avoid panic. Because if panic levels climb up beyond a threshold, the catastrophic events following could be much worse than the consequences of the banking system going to a halt.
The bank run, or the funds freezing could be the result as well of a coordinated effort by governments to combat money laundering or terrorism financing, or a financial crisis that necessitates extreme measures to stabilize the global economy.
Logically, the first and immediate impact of a global-scale bank account freezing would be a disruption to daily life for individuals
and businesses that rely on their bank accounts for transactions and financial management. Many people use their bank accounts to pay bills, receive salaries and make purchases, and a sudden freeze could leave them unable to access their funds or conduct necessary transactions. The consequences of impeding access to these activities for just two weeks or one month would be unthinkable in most of the cities of the developed world.
Who would be impacted by this?
Businesses, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, would be particularly vulnerable to the effects of a bank account freeze. They may not have the financial resources to weather a prolonged disruption to their cash flow and could be forced to close or lay off employees. Large corporations could be severely impacted, as they may have significant amounts of cash reserves tied up in bank accounts that would be inaccessible during a freeze. Frankly, it should be here where we should evaluate how vulnerable we are to a situation like this.
The freezing of bank accounts could also have a significant impact on the global financial system. Banks rely on the trust of their
customers to function, and a widespread loss of faith in the safety and security of bank accounts could lead to a run on banks and a
broader financial crisis. This could be particularly damaging in countries with weak or unstable financial systems, where a loss of
confidence in the banking system could have dire consequences for the entire economy.
Governments would also be affected by a global-scale bank account freeze. They rely on tax revenues and other forms of income to fund public services and infrastructure projects, and a freeze on bank accounts could significantly disrupt their ability to collect revenue. This could lead to austerity measures, reduced public services, and potentially unparalleled social unrest.
Everyone downstream would be affected. Something similar happened here, as our main income (oil industry) is destroyed, and whatever little money gets into the country is immediately deviated to foreign accounts of the mobsters, in Spain, Andorra, and other countries sponsoring the looting. As a result, nobody wants to make business with the government, not even local authorities.
What are the odds of it really happening?
It is important to note that a global-scale bank account freezing would be an extreme and unlikely scenario. However, a global pandemic was an “unlikely scenario” for most people back in, say, 2005, right? The world banking system would never intentionally take action to generate such a situation. However, some hypothetical scenarios could lead to a global-scale bank account freeze.
One potential scenario is a major cyberattack on the banking system. As more financial transactions move online, the risk of cyberattacks on banks and financial institutions has increased. Compromising the security of customer accounts would be a motif to the widespread freezing of bank accounts to prevent further damage. To prevent such a scenario, banks and financial institutions need to invest in robust cybersecurity measures to protect against cyberattacks and strengthen their risk management protocols.
Here’s what the government might do.
Another scenario that could lead to a global-scale bank account freeze is a coordinated effort by governments to combat money laundering or terrorism financing. As odd as this could sound.
Governments around the world have become increasingly concerned about the use of the global financial system for illicit activities, and there have been efforts to tighten the regulatory framework for banks and financial institutions. In extreme cases, governments could take coordinated action to freeze bank accounts suspected of being used for money laundering or terrorism financing. However, such actions would need to be carefully targeted and balanced against the need to maintain the integrity of the financial system and protect the rights of innocent customers.
A financial crisis could also lead to a global-scale bank account freeze. In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, many governments took extreme measures to stabilize the financial system, including freezing bank accounts and imposing capital controls to prevent a run on banks. While such measures were necessary to prevent a collapse of the financial system, they also had significant economic and social costs. To prevent a future financial crisis, governments and financial regulators need to strengthen their risk management not only at the financial level but in the cybersecurity area, oversight banks and financial institutions, and take steps to ensure that the financial system is more resilient to systemic shocks.
There are several policies that governments and financial institutions can implement to mitigate the risks of a banking system collapse. Some examples are:
- Adequate capitalization requirements: Governments can require banks to maintain adequate levels of capital to absorb losses and maintain their solvency. This can help ensure that banks have sufficient resources to weather economic shocks and unexpected losses.
- Strong regulatory oversight: Governments can establish and enforce strong regulatory standards for banks and other financial institutions. This can include requirements for risk management, internal controls, and transparency. Regulatory oversight can help identify and mitigate potential risks to the banking system before they become systemic.
- Deposit insurance: Governments can establish deposit insurance programs to protect depositors in the event of a bank failure. Deposit insurance can help prevent bank runs and maintain public confidence in the banking system.
- Liquidity support: Central banks can provide liquidity support to banks during periods of financial stress. This can help ensure that banks have access to the funding they need to meet their obligations and maintain their solvency. If this liquidity is enough for customers to keep up with their duties, so much better.
- Crisis management and resolution frameworks: Governments and financial institutions can establish crisis management and resolution frameworks to manage bank failures and other financial crises. This can include plans for the orderly resolution of failed banks, mechanisms for coordinating with other regulators and stakeholders, and provisions for recapitalizing or restructuring troubled banks.
- Stress testing: Governments and financial institutions can conduct stress tests to assess the resilience of the banking system to various economic and financial shocks. Stress testing can help identify potential vulnerabilities and inform policy responses to mitigate risks.
These are just a few examples of policies that can be implemented to mitigate the risks of a banking system collapse. In practice, a comprehensive approach to risk management may involve a combination of these and other measures, tailored to the specific circumstances of each country and banking system.
What can we do?
In summary, while a global-scale bank account freezing is an extreme and unlikely scenario, there are potential scenarios that could lead to such an event. To prevent such a scenario, banks and financial institutions need to invest in robust cybersecurity measures, governments need to balance the need to combat illicit activities with the need to maintain the integrity of the financial system, and financial regulators need to strengthen their oversight of the financial system to prevent future crises.
Cash is king, then? It seems it is. Especially after all the push for digital currency. If this initiative proliferates, just by ticking a box in a database, ANYONE could be blocked from “The System”. It can be done right now, but in a world without cash, anyone subject to this treatment would be left stranded on site. The concrete bases for a totalitarian world regime are slowly being poured as we are here sitting down…
Can you see this happening? Is all of your money in the bank? What do you think we can do to prepare for this? My course of action will be to make an extra effort to improve my place, pray to the Lord, and keep my chickens dry!
Stay safe, and keep tuned!
Jose is an upper middle class professional. He is a former worker of the oil state company with a Bachelor’s degree from one of the best national Universities. He has an old but in good shape SUV, a good 150 square meters house in a nice neighborhood, in a small but (formerly) prosperous city with two middle size malls. Jose is a prepper and shares his eyewitness accounts and survival stories from the collapse of his beloved Venezuela. Jose and his younger kid are currently back in Venezuela, after the intention of setting up a new life in another country didn’t go well. The SARSCOV2 re-shaped the labor market and South American economy so he decided to give it a try to homestead in the mountains, and make a living as best as possible. But this time in his own land, and surrounded by family, friends and acquaintances, with all the gear and equipment collected, as the initial plan was.
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Well worth thinking about historical examples of banking services not being available like the Irish banking strike in 1970. If the old folks are to be believed, the people who struggled most were bankers’ families who’d looked down on their village families. Most people and the actual economy managed fine with hand written cheques, almost no fraud occurred, and local publicans became defacto credit controllers — they are in a position to know exactly who can and can’t pay.
I’ve never heard of the Irish banking strike of 1970. I looked this up and came across and very informative article:
A quote from the article: You might say that a radically decentralized, p2p financial system spontaneously arose. Instead of letting the bankers’ strike collapse their prosperity, people decided, simply, that they could get on with the day-to-day stuff of banking themselves.
With that in mind, I’ll keep my money limited to 1 month’s bills in the bank, build 5 months of cash, and then build the remainder with gold and silver. Maybe I’m informed and/or misdirected, but I’m still leery of bitcoin and what part it plays in the current global landscape…
That is a fantastic thing to know. There are many financial events in history we could learn about to be prepared just in case something heads our way.
I actually think something akin to this is probably going to happen, due to bidens handlers making him sign that eo about digital currency back in March of 2020. I’ve been reading that it’s going into affect sometime in July of this year.
The US dollar is fiat currency and losing its status on the world platform (several examples are Russia backing the ruble with actual physical gold. China coming up as major financial player in world currency and Saudi arabia) just to name 3 things that have not so quietly been taking place.
Most people in USA are consumers and are more worried about pronouns and catering to the alphabet people and being good Lil sheep. They wouldn’t know how to spell tomato, let alone know how to grow them.
My thinking, financially speaking, is to get tangible assets for barter (ammo, tobacco, gold/silver, seeds), keep very little money in credit union accounts ( I have not used an actual bank account with the MS banks in over 20 years, and refuse to do business with them) , and yes, put actual cash stash up hid in cache.
FYI: Do NOT bury money in your yard in a suitcase. It will disintegrate. Lol prepping tip from my grandfather from about 45 years ago. Long story but apparently my grandfather did this and us kids were digging in the yard and found about $5k that was disinterested and useless. My grandma cried like a baby when we showed her. 😂 yall have a great day
You´re right about Russia and China. Too bad much of that gold they´re backing their currency is stolen by the gangsters in Venezuela.
Exactly Jose. you bring up a sad point. I feel for Venezuelans. I am so glad you got your family out but I know that has to be very sad for you, to have to leave your own country.
Wonder how well mason jars placed into multiple zip loc bags would fare?
My husband once worked with a reformed drug dealer. He said that before he was incarcerated, he buried money in mason jars in his mom’s backyard. He wasn’t in for more than a few years but the money was fine when he got out. So I would think the added layer of freezer strength zip top bag would help.
So which is it?? Cash, digital, gold, silver?? Hence the reason I’ll stay with cash. I find the flip flop so dang confusing I get paralyzed. 😉
That´s called “Paralysis by Analysis”. Don´t give it too much thought. Just have to see what works for you and what don´t.
Back in 2018-2019 people bartered, using the USD only as a reference:
A dozen eggs, 1.5$. 10 dozen would buy a pair of trousers.
6 quarts of 15W-40 engine oil, say like 40$. People usually traded gasoline for this oil, which was heavily rationed and you could get it only by days in a row in front of the gas station.
And many other similar examples.
But using always the USD and international prices as a reference. Those willing to charge excessive pricing would soon find nobody would buy their stuff, or even trade with them because of cheating.
Yes thank you. I wasn’t yelling at you. 😉
There’s so much emphasis on the dollar not being worth what it used to be. Well, no, of course not. What is. But I can’t stop the inflation. We’ve tossed about paying off our house with a minimal balance but keep being told we’ll pay taxes on the income of that withdrawal from the 401k. But I just don’t trust that our credit union who holds our mortgage will not come take it. We can wait another 2.5 years until we’re 59 1/2 & we’ll do it. Not sure this all will last that long! Color me paranoid.
“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”
1. Food and other essential supplies.
2. Bank/credit union account sufficient for monthly transactions
3. Silver and gold
You don’t have to pick the perfect ratios. There’s no such thing.
“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”
You want to see the guns come out? Freeze everyone’s bank accounts and watch.
The key will be whether obligations such as mortgages and taxes are suspended, as well. Preventing one from accessing a bank account to pay these obligations speaks to motivation. Can’t happen? They just did something similar during the covid lockdown: landlords could evict non-payers, effectively blocking their income; mortgages and taxes still were due. That was a test, as was all of the lockdown, if one was paying attention. Can’t pay? We (banks, local governments) take. All been done before.
Think about it.
That is what my husband and I have talked about when discussing financial crisis. Are they going to “pause” your payment or just default you and take your stuff? They can’t make any money on properties that they cannot sell and holding onto them costs money, not makes them money. So who knows. If greed and profit are still king then they will pause payments. If political shenanigans are king then nothing will stop them.
Gold. Silver. Buried cash. Nothing will matter. Remember, Selco traded silver for a can of soup. Food….water….garden….friends. Tangibles, useful materials will be all that matters. Semper Fi. M