Notes for Tuesday – February 09, 2016

February 9th is the birthday of Major George Charles Nonte Jr. (born 1926, died June 30, 1978). JWR had the privilege of attending ROTC Basic Camp at Fort Knox in the same company with his daughter, Yvette, in 1981. Some of the stories that she told about her father were amazing. He was quite a guy. Cadet Yvette Nonte went on to a career in Army Intelligence, retiring as a Colonel.

Building the Prepper Pyramid, by J.S.

Are you prepared to survive if an economic crisis arises? What about a massive devastation of any political or social event or a natural disaster? If your answer is “maybe” or you aren’t sure, think over it again. If you get to know that within the next few years, energy crisis and shortages, economic crisis, worldwide famine, and financial conditions will come over to cause dangerous disasters in the world, you probably will start thinking over it now.

Since we have relatively a safe time right now, addressing knowledge on how to prepare during these times is of a greater concern. In spite of a lot of awareness that has spread through the Internet and other sources, there is still weakness in this movement, and still some knowledge about it should be addressed. If it is not acceptable to us that we still need to learn and have a space, we are already defeated even before starting to prepare.

Unlike the usual tips provided on how to prepare for survival or how to prepare a basic kit of essentials that you can find almost anywhere on the Internet, here is a general phenomenon to explain the hierarchy about how a prepper can build his pyramid in order to understand the priority and relevancy.

Everyone in the world would have different levels and priorities on how to prepare for different situations, but generally considered here is how the hierarchy of pyramid should go:

Shelter

For some people, food and water would be the first priority, as no one can live without water for more than three days. But having no shelter at all and carrying your bug out bag along with yourself wouldn’t even be easy if you don’t have a shelter, be it a sleeping bag or a small tent. Of course, it is obvious that you do not get a permanent shelter during a situation where you can only look for your survival, but something is better than nothing. A shelter can keep you protected from rain, sun, wind, snow, and insects. Exposure to cold, for instance, for a longer period of time can increase the risk of getting sick and weakening the immune system, and at such times shelter would be the first priority for survivalists.

Food and Water

Moving up the pyramid are the items of life that you need for your survival support. Of course, at hard times like natural disasters or economic crisis where you have to run for your life or simply stay in a confined place for long, storage of food and water is necessary. If news arrives where you have to instantly prepare for emergency survival, you’ll need to run to get the food items, as there might be a shortage within the next few hours and then in the next two or three days, you never know if the wholesalers go out of stock as well. Therefore, it is recommended to store food and water according to the number of people you are with. At such times where cooking gets difficult, non-perishable eatables are the best options to keep. These include canned vegetables, fruits, milk, and other handy eatables. Clean water for drinking and sanitation is also recommended. Specifying the quantity is very easy, but make sure, think, and plan how much you can store and is easier to carry as well as fulfills the requirements.

Protection for Survival

Where it comes to survival, it does not only mean eating and drinking to stay alive. In situations where one gets caught up fighting for his survival, it also includes defense against attacks. It is recommended to be proactive rather than reactive. For that you must learn some defense techniques that can protect you so you will be able to prevent any bad situation from becoming worse.

Hygiene and Medical Care

During the times of crisis, floods, droughts, or any other disastrous situation for survival, caring for hygiene and taking proper medicines is not as easy as it is in everyday life. When planning for a survival situation now that you have researched enough and known about the importance of shelter, food, and water and survival protection, the next concern is hygiene. Everyone is aware about the fact that in a disastrous situation, medical and hygiene supplies are essential to keep in a kit. A small wound or infection if left untreated can lead to chronic infections and actually result in devastating death! The unavailability of tetanus injections and antibiotic medicines can make your life difficult, so keep the supplies as maximum as you can and learn the basics of medical practices.

Barter

After hygiene and medical care, barter is something you should think about. After progressing in the other categories, think if you have any valuables to trade. Wouldn’t it be a blessing when SHTF that you can trade something of less importance and get for yourselves what you need. Think about gold and silver, or any other metal.

When you are preparing to run for your life, keeping some precious metals you have could be of great use in the times of need. Not only that you would want to keep your precious pieces of gold, silver, or any other metals safe, but in times of need you can sell or exchange them to fulfill your basic needs.

10 things you need to know in markets today

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Good morning! Here's what you need to know in markets on Monday.

HSBC is set to keep its headquarters in the UK after ten months of deliberation. The Financial Times reports that the bank is leaning towards staying in Britain, and that CEO Stuart Gulliver has played down the case for leaving the UK in private meetings over recent weeks.

Asian shares got crushed on Tuesday. In a week with limited Asian trade thanks to the Lunar New Year, shares are sharply down. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index ended the day down more than 5%. A pair of Japan's biggest banks lost more than seven percent each and major brokerage Nomura tanked nearly 11 percent. Australian shares are also down nearly 3%.

It's a day of data in Germany. Europe's biggest economy will release trade data on everything from the country's industrial production, to its trade balance and export volumes during December from 7:00 a.m. GMT (2:00 a.m. ET) onwards.

The price of oil fell below $30 per barrel once again on Monday. After slipping in trade towards the end of Monday, West Texas Intermediate is trading below the $30 on Tuesday morning. At the time of writing, it is up by around 0.7% to $29.92, while Brent crude is marginally down to around $32.70, a 0.5% fall.

Banking and financial stocks took a pounding in US trade yesterday. The S&P 500 financial index, already the worst performing sector this year, fell 2.6% and now stands more than 20% down from its July 2015 high, confirming the sector is in the grip of a bear market. Shares in Morgan Stanley fell by 6.9%, while Goldman lost 4.6%.

Japan became the first G7 country with a 0% yield on its benchmark 10-year government bond. Japanese bonds passed the negative/positive line for the first time on Tuesday, less than two weeks after the Bank of Japan shocked markets and moved to cut base interest rates to below zero. 

The price of gold passed $1,200 per ounce on Monday evening. The markets' favourite safe haven has been surging so far in 2016, and on Monday evening passed the $1,200 mark, often seen as significant, for the first time since June 2015. It has since pared some of its gains, and on Tuesday morning is trading at around $1,190, down 0.5%.

Britain may be forced into a sudden tax hike or spending cut to help acheive a budget surplus. As Business Insider reported on Monday, a think-tank, the Institute for Fiscal Studies, has warned that in order to bring Britain out of a budget deficit, chancellor George Osborne may have to take drastic measures, including big tax increases.

Google chief executive Sundar Pichai has been given a huge stock package. Pichai, who took over as Google CEO in late last year, has been awarded $183 million in stock by the company, which will vest themselves over the course of four years, according to a regulatory filing. The award comes in the form of 273,328 Class C shares, and is believed to be the biggest ever given by Google.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un wants to build a rocket capable of hitting the USA. Bloomberg reports that Pyongyang is aiming to build an intercontinental ballistic missile that can travel farther than 3,400 miles  while carrying a warhead weighing at least one ton. 

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Letter Re: Digital Currency

Dear Readers,

This Digital Currency Nanny State issue has already affected me twice in the last several years. As a business owner in my state, I’m required to pay sales tax and quarterly business taxes via the state website. A few years ago I mistakenly clicked “savings” account instead of “checking” on their site while trying to pay the amount due. Later we received a threatening letter stating they would “seize” assets, property, or funds to get the amount they said we owed. A couple of days later the funds were seized from our account with penalty. I didn’t even get a say in the matter to explain what happened.

The next time occurred this past year. The same state claimed we did not file some paperwork correctly. Keep in mind I use a certified CPA, so I don’t have issues like this. However, for whatever reason, we continue to be the target of the state and the Fed. I just want to be clear, we have always filed and paid every requirement to the state and Federal governments. The paperwork they claimed we did not file, was actually filed. We had proof and dates. They claimed we did not “respond” in time. The interesting part of this is the fact that they were not saying we “owed” any money. It was simply that they claimed we did not file a certain form. Once again after corresponding for six months, they ruled against us. The sickening part is that they seized the $456 penalty at the very beginning of the ordeal. So the entire time we were appealing, they already had our money.

Three things I learned from these situations:

  1. We are no longer innocent until proven guilty. In both instances, the state withdrew our money, then we were expected to appeal to get it returned. (It never got returned.) We were definitely guilty until proven innocent, and our innocence was only determined by bias of the state.
  2. The other lesson I learned is to be very careful about who has access to our accounts. Unfortunately, my greatest fear is government access. No one else has ever stolen from me on that level.
  3. A cashless society is very dangerous. With the click of a mouse anyone’s account can be drained, manipulated, and tracked. The freedom to be anonymous will disappear, and our every purchase can and will be tracked. – AW From the North

News From The American Redoubt:

I just heard about a company in Hayden, Idaho that makes great concealment holsters at affordable prices: Alien Gear. Made in Idaho!

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If you want the pinnacle of long range accuracy in a bolt action rifle that weighs less that 12 pounds, then check out Montana Rifle Company’s MMR. Their small factory is located in Kalispell, Montana.

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Radio Free Redoubt’s John Jacob Schmidt Smashes Liberal Columnist Maligning American Redoubt (Scroll forward in the audio stream to the 38:10 mark.)

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Idaho: ‘Constitutional carry’ bill to be introduced

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Okanogan County Washington Landowners Upset Over Land Use Rules

Economics and Investing:

Feds unlikely to hike interest rates in the months ahead – P.S.

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Items from Mr. Econocobas:

Greek Tragedy: Pension Pandemonium Sparks Bank Crash, Stocks At 26 Year Lows – The first line sums it up. And you thought Greece was “fixed”, but now problems are manifesting themselves globally.

Greek Stock Market Falls Sharply on Banking Sector Meltdown – More evidence

Three Reasons To Be Worried About The Economy – Zero Hedge

Items from Professor Preponomics:

US News

JP Morgan Strategist: Central Banks Tried to Control the World…and Failed Miserably (Business Insider) Excerpt: “In Kelly’s ideal world, the Federal Reserve would return the funds rate to 1%, signaling a confidence in the market and a move away from the unprecedented crisis policy. But now, Kelly is concerned about the Fed eventually following in the BoJ’s footsteps and taking rates below 0%.”

The Making of the “Big Four” Banking Oligopoly in One Chart (Visual Capitalist) Excerpt: “Of particular importance to note is the frequency of consolidation during the 2008 Financial Crisis, when the Big Four were able to gobble up weaker competitors that were overexposed to subprime mortgages. Washington Mutual, Bear Stearns, Countrywide Financial, Merrill Lynch, and Wachovia were all acquired during this time under great duress.”

International News

Financial Sector Stress Delivers Fresh Jolt (Reuters) Excerpt: “You are seeing more and more people saying: is this 2008 again? Maybe not quite as severe, but do we need to be worrying about the banking sector and risk assets on a bigger level?”

Exclusive: Iran Wants Euro Payment for New and Outstanding Oil Sales (Reuters) Excerpt: “Iran wants to recover tens of billions of dollars it is owed by India and other buyers of its oil in euros and is billing new crude sales in euros, too, looking to reduce its dependence on the U.S. dollar following last month’s sanctions relief.”

China’s Forex Reserves Poised for Another Record Drop (Market Watch) Excerpt: “In a nutshell, we believe capital outflows will continue as long as markets expect the Chinese yuan to depreciate….”

Exclusive: Venezuela Central Bank in Talks with Deutsche Bank on Gold Swap (Reuters) Excerpt: “Gold swaps allow central banks to receive cash from financial institutions in exchange for lending gold during a specific period of time. They do not tend to affect gold prices because the gold is still owned by Venezuela and does not enter the market.”

Memo to EM Countries: Take Cover, IMF/Lagarde Coming to Help! (Contra Corner) Excerpt: “The IMF will be working in coming months to improve existing financing instruments, such as credit and liquidity lines, as well as new instruments to address their situations.”

Personal Economics and Household Finance

Beware of Unscrupulous Tax Preparers Who Want Obamacare Penalty in Cash (Clark Howard) Excerpt: “…the IRS reports some unsavory tax preparers are telling their clients that they owe the penalty and they have to pay it in cash or they can’t file their return to get their refund. That’s a big fat lie and those bad apples who try to pull this are pocketing the cash.”

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SurvivalBlog and its editors are not paid investment counselors or advisers. Please see our Provisos page for details.

Odds ‘n Sods:

Mandatory Mental Illness Screening and the Drive to Confiscate Firearms – D.S.

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Some good commentary over at Commander Zero’s Notes from The Bunker blog: Article – U.S. eyes ways to toughen fight against domestic extremists

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SurvivalBlog reader A.L. sent in the link to this excellent article on the Knights Code of Honor. We need more men who will hold to just such a code. Old Fashioned Knights in the Modern World

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Reader T.A. sent in this link to Just Plain Living on 10 reasons to simplify your life. If you feel yourself overwhelmed by the life you live today, this may be the article for you. Simpler does not mean easier, but it certainly is more satisfying.

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License plate readers a double-edged sword for NY village This is the kind of information that is dangerous. It makes this program sound like it is a good idea. After all, it is catching criminals and increasing the coffers of the town in legal ways. The danger is on who has access to this information and what controls are in place to keep it from being misused. – G.P.

Hugh’s Quote of the Day:

“Of liberty I would say that, in the whole plenitude of its extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will. But rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law,’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual.” – Thomas Jefferson (Letter to Isaac H. Tiffany, 1819)

The 10 most important things in the world right now

Chinese New Year

Good morning! Here's what you need to know on Tuesday.

1. European markets crashed to near one and a half year lows on Monday as banking stocks across the continent, dogged by concerns about global growth and excessive lending, dragged markets from Britain to Italy deep into the red.

2. India has blocked Free Basics, Facebook's plan to provide free internet access in the developing world. The service lets users access certain sites for free — but not the entire internet.

3. Germany and Turkey said Monday they would ask NATO to help police Turkey's shores as 24 more migrants drowned en route to Greece and tens of thousands of others remained stranded at the Turkish-Syrian border.

4. Viacom is said to be extending its deal with Snapchat which will allow it to sell advertising on the mobile app's behalf, the Wall Street Journal reported citing people familiar with the matter.

5. The benchmark 10-year Japanese government bond yield has fallen below zero for the first time ever. Last month the Bank of Japan stunned markets by adopting a negative interest rate.

6. HSBC will decide this week whether it will move its headquarters out of London, The Telegraph reports. According to the report HSBC is erring on the side of keeping its headquarters in London.

7. Rescuers deployed heavy machinery Tuesday in a renewed effort to locate more than 100 people trapped in the rubble of a Taiwan apartment complex felled by an earthquake as the 72-hour "golden window" for finding survivors passed.

8. An Irish Republican dissident group said it was behind a fatal shooting last Friday at an Irish boxing weigh-in, according to the BBC. One man was killed and two others wounded when gunmen opened fire at the event at the Regency Hotel in Dublin.

9. France's former budget minister Jerome Cahuzac, who stashed millions abroad while cracking down on tax cheats at home, went on trial on Monday for tax fraud.

10. Twitter shares hit a new all-time low on Monday, plunging below $15 for the first time ever. The stock dipped as low as $14.91 shortly after the markets opened, surpassing the previous all-time low of $16.08 on February 2.

And finally ... Here are 7 extremely wealthy people who choose to live frugally.

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