The following is analysis by a legit. investment firm (Stansberry and Assoc.) who predicted the collaspe of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and GM. Now; before MonarchSmile pops up from lurking around here and starts yelling at me for being all doom and gloom-sky is falling, I can't/won't tell you that what is outlined will absolutely/positively happen according to this script. I will say, if not already obvious, that this nightmare is unquestionably, imo, well within the realm of possibility; especially as things stand in the world today. Take it or leave it; choice is yours.http://www.stansberryresearch.com/pro/1 ... PSILC41/PR
WARNING: What you are about to see is controversial, and may be offensive to some audiences. Viewer discretion is advised.
Hello. My name is Porter Stansberry.
A little over ten years ago I founded Stansberry & Associates Investment Research. It has become one of the largest and most recognized investment research companies in the world, serving hundreds of thousands of subscribers in more than 120 countries.
You may know of our firm because of the work we did over the last several years – helping investors avoid the big disasters associated with Wall Street's collapse.
We warned investors to avoid Fannie and Freddie, Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers and General Motors and dozens of other companies that have since collapsed. We even helped our subscribers find opportunities to profit from these moves by shorting stocks and buying put options. To my knowledge, no other research firm in the world can match our record of correctly predicting the catastrophe that occurred in 2008.
But that's not why I created this letter.
I reference our success and experience with Wall Street's latest crisis because we believe there is an even bigger crisis lurking – something that will shake the very foundation of America.
And that is why I've spent a significant amount of time and money in the past few months preparing this letter.
In short, I want to talk about a specific event that will take place in America's very near future... which could actually bring our country and our way of life to a grinding halt.
This looming crisis is related to the financial crisis of 2008... but it is infinitely more dangerous, as I'll explain in this letter.
As this problem comes to a head, I expect there to be riots in the streets... arrests on an unprecedented scale... and martial law, enforced by the U.S. military.
Believe me, I don't make this prediction lightly and I have no interest in trying to scare you.
I'm simply following my research to its logical conclusion.
I did the same when I tracked Fannie and Freddie's accounting. The same with General Motors. And Bear Stearns and the rest. And when I began giving this warning in 2006 no one took me very seriously... not at first. Back then, most mainstream commentators just ignored me.
And when I presented my case and exposed the facts at economic conferences, they got angry. They couldn't refute my research... but they weren't ready to accept the enormity of its conclusions either.
That's why, before I go any further, I have to warn you...
What I am going to say is controversial. It will offend many people... Democrats, Republicans, and Tea Partiers, alike. In fact, I've already received dozens of pieces of hate mail.
And... the ideas and solutions I'm going to present might seem somewhat radical to you at first... perhaps even "un-American."
My guess is that, as you read this letter... you'll say: "There's no way this could really happen... not here."
But just remember:
No one believed me three years ago when I said the world's largest mortgage bankers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would soon go bankrupt.
And no one believed me when I said GM would soon be bankrupt as well... or that the same would happen to General Growth Properties (the biggest owner of mall property in America).
But again, that's exactly what happened.
And that brings us to today...
The same financial problems I've been tracking from bank to bank, from company to company for the last five years have now found their way into the U.S. Treasury. I'll explain how this came to be. What it means is critically important to you and every American...
The next phase in this crisis will threaten our very way of life.
The savings of millions will be wiped out. This disaster will change your business and your work. It will dramatically affect your savings accounts, investments, and retirement.
It will change everything about your normal way of life: where you vacation... where you send you kids or grandkids to school... how and where you shop... the way you protect your family and home.
I'll explain how I know these events are about to happen. You can decide for yourself if I'm full of hot air. As for me, I'm more certain about this looming crisis than I've been about anything else in my life.
I know that debts don't just disappear. I know that bailouts have big consequences. And, unlike most of the pundits on TV, I know a lot about finance and accounting.
Of course, the most important part of this situation is not what is happening... but rather what you can do about it.
In other words: Will you be prepared when the proverbial $@*% hits the fan?
Don't worry, I'm not organizing a rally or demonstration. And I've turned down every request to run for political office.
Instead, I want to show you exactly what I'm doing personally, to protect and even grow my own money, and how you can prepare as well.
You see, I can tell you with near 100% certainty that most Americans will not know what to do when commodity prices – things like milk, bread and gasoline – soar. They won't know what to do when banks close... and their credit cards stop working. Or when they're not allowed to buy gold or foreign currencies. Or when food stamps fail...
In short, our way of life in America is about to change – I promise you. In this letter I'll show you exactly what is happening.
You can challenge every single one of my facts and you'll find that I'm right about each allegation I make.
And then you can decide for yourself.
Will you act now to protect yourself and your family from the catastrophe that's brewing right now in Washington?
I hope so. And that's why I wrote this letter.
I'm going to walk you through exactly what I am doing personally, and what you can do as well. I can't promise you'll emerge from this crisis completely unharmed – but I can just about guarantee you'll be a lot better off than people who don't follow these simple steps.
But I'm getting ahead of myself just a bit.
Let me back up and show you in the simplest terms possible what is going on, why I am so concerned, and what I believe will happen in the next 12 months...
The Greatest Danger
America Has Ever Faced?
In short, I believe that we as Americans are about to see a major, major collapse in our national monetary system, and our normal way of life.
Basically, for many years now, our government has been borrowing so much money (very often using short-term loans), that very soon, we will no longer be able to afford even the interest on these loans.
Again... I say these things as an expert in accounting and financial research.
You may not think things are THAT BAD in the U.S. economy, but consider this simple fact from the National Inflation Association:
Even if all U.S. citizens were taxed 100% of their income... it would still not be enough to balance the Federal budget! We'd still have to borrow money, just to maintain the status quo.
That's absolutely incredible, isn't it?
Yet I've never seen this fact reported anywhere else.
Normally I study these kinds of numbers when I'm looking at a business to invest in or to recommend to my readers. But lately I've spent most of my time looking into our national balance sheet, because as the banking system collapsed in 2008, all of the bad debts were absorbed by the world's governments.
For example, when Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac collapsed in the summer of 2008, the U.S. government responded by simply guaranteeing all of their outstanding debt.
Since then these companies have recorded hundreds of billions of losses – all of which were passed along to the government. Yes, you can still get mortgages today. And yes, Freddie and Fannie are still in business. But costs associated with these programs are piling up at the U.S. Treasury – and they are enormously expensive.
These losses and trillions in other private obligations are now the responsibility of the U.S. government.
The problem is, even before this crisis, our government was deeply in debt. With each additional commitment we sink further and further into debt... closing in upon the moment that we can simply no longer afford even the interest payments on our obligations.
According to even my most conservative calculations (using numbers provided by the Congressional Budget Office) a debt default by the U.S. government would be inevitable – were it not for one simple anomaly... the one thing that has saved the United States so far.
I'm talking about our country's unique ability to simply print more money.
You see, the U.S. government has one very important weapon to use in this crisis: It is the only debtor in the world who can legally print U.S. dollars. And the U.S. dollar is what's known as "the world's reserve currency."
The dollar forms the basis of the world's financial system. It is what banks around the world hold in reserve against their loans.
That's a secret that most politicians don't understand:
As things stand now, the U.S. government can't go broke in any ordinary sense of the word because it can simply print dollars to pay for its bad debts. (It's been doing so since March of 2009).
That might sound pretty good at first. Since we can always just print more money, what is there to worry about...?
Well, let me show you...
You see, as things stand today, America is the only country in the world that doesn't have to pay for its imports in a foreign currency.
Let's say you're a German and you want to buy oil from Saudi Arabia. You can't just pay for your oil in German marks (or the new euro currency), because the oil is priced in dollars.
So you have to buy dollars first, then buy your oil.
And that means the value of the German currency is of great importance to the German government. To maintain the value of its currency Germans must produce at least as much as they consume from around the world, otherwise the value of its currency will begin to fall, causing prices to rise and its standard of living to decline.
But in America...?
We can consume as much as we want without worrying about acquiring the money to pay for it, because our dollars are accepted everywhere around the word. In short, for decades now, we haven't had to produce anything or export anything to get all the dollars we needed to buy all the oil (and other goods) our country required.
All we had to do was borrow the money.
And boy did we. Take a look at this chart...
Even as late as the 1970s, America was the world's largest creditor. But by the mid-1980s we'd become a debtor to the world. And since the late 1990s we've been the world's LARGEST debtor.
Today, our government owes more money to more people than anyone else in the world.
And that was before the financial crisis!
In short, with all of these bad debts piling up, we've had to begin repaying our debts by printing trillions of new dollars. The impact of this is only just now beginning to be felt.
And once our creditors figure out what's happening, they're going to be very angry.
I believe they will either completely stop accepting dollars in repayment... or greatly discount the value of these new dollars. I'm sure you think that sounds crazy, but as I'll show you, it is already happening.
And that will make our consumption-led way of life impossible to afford.
Just think about the price of oil...
Access to cheap oil has been America's #1 gift of owning the world's reserve currency.
This has made gas cheaper in the U.S. than almost anywhere else in the developed world. I know you may think gas prices have skyrocketed in recent years... but look at how much less we pay than other developed nations...
United States: $2.72 a gallon on average
Oslo, Norway: $7.41........ (172% higher)
Berlin, Germany: $6.82.... ( 151% higher)
London: $6.60................(143% higher)
Rome, Italy: $6.40............(135% higher)
Paris, France: $6.04...........(122% higher)
Tokyo, Japan: $5.40..........(98% higher)
Toronto, Canada: $3.81......(40% higher)
And here's the thing...
If oil is no longer priced in dollars, the price of oil for Americans will skyrocket immediately. It will change our lives, overnight.
Airline travel will get much more expensive. The cost to ship goods by truck to grocery stores around the country will get much more expensive. Farming itself will get a lot more costly... so will commuting to work... taking a taxi... just about everything we do will suddenly get much more expensive.
And just remember: In order for prices to start skyrocketing, all that has to happen is that other countries start preferring payments in something besides U.S. dollars.
The U.S. dollar has been the world's currency for decades now... so most Americans don't have a clue about what the repercussions are of losing this status.
You might think this could never happen... but it happens all the time when countries get too far in debt or when they consume too much or produce too little.
In fact, the same thing happened to Great Britain in the 1970s.
Most people don't know this, but British Sterling was the reserve currency for most of the world for nearly 200 years... for most of the 18th and 19th centuries.
It continued to play this role until after World War II, when America was forced to prop up Britain's economy with foreign aid – remember the famous Marshall Plan, when we gave billions to help European countries rebuild?
Unfortunately though, Britain pursued a socialist national agenda. The government took over all of the major industries. Like Barack Obama, Britain's leaders wanted to "spread the wealth around." Pretty soon the country was flat broke.
The final straw for Britain came in 1967, when things got so bad the Labour Party (the socialists) decided to "devalue" the British currency by 14%, overnight. They believed this would make it easier for people to afford their debts.
In reality, what it did was make anyone holding British sterling 14% poorer, overnight, and it made everything in Britain, much, much more expensive in the coming years.
And for the country as a whole, it ushered in one of the worst decades in modern British history.
Most Americans don't know about Britain's "Winter of Discontent" in the late 1970s, when the government put a freeze on wages. There were continuous strikes in nearly every sector... grave diggers, trash collectors... even hospital workers. Things got so bad at one point that many hospitals were reduced to accepting emergency patients only.
In 1975, inflation in Britain skyrocketed 26.9%... in a single year!
The government also imposed what was known as the "Three Day Week" in 1974. In short, businesses were limited to using electricity for only three specified consecutive days' each week and they were prohibited from working longer hours on those days. Television companies were required to cease broadcasting at 10.30pm... to save electricity.
The extreme problems in the economy led to Britain being nicknamed, "the sick man of Europe."
Just how bad were things, exactly?
Well, listen to several Brits tell of their experiences. Their stories were collected recently by the BBC television channel...
John Blackburn, from Wetherby said:
"I was a control engineer at Huddersfield Power Station at the time and part of my duty was to switch off the supply to various substations around the town, according to an official rota. On many an evening shift I would have to switch off the power to my own home before going back for a candle-lit supper!"
Richard Evans, from London, recalls:
"My mother had to cross a picket line to get into the maternity hospital (they told her she couldn't come in....). My Grandmother had to bring in food for her to eat, and clean towels and bedding."
David Stoker, Guildford, said:
"I lived in the North East near Newcastle and I vividly remember my grandmother and I walking from one shop to another in search of candles to buy. All were sold out. Innovatively, butchers placed string down cartons of drippings which we bought... These worked although the smell and risk of fire made them less practical than candles."
Imagine... Britain was a global superpower for 150 years. But when they started intentionally devaluing their currency, things went straight down hill.
Maybe you don't think something similar can happen here... but I'm telling you... it's already underway!
In fact, the exchange value of the U.S. dollar has fallen about 8% so far this year. And its rate of decline is accelerating.
What happened to the British currency is now happening to the U.S. dollar.
Not only will the price of gas, oil, and other commodities skyrocket in America, almost EVERYTHING we consume will immediately get more expensive. All the clothing, furniture, and household goods we import from China.
All the food we get from Central and South America... all the electronics, televisions, computers, and cars we get from Asia and Europe.
In fact, it's happening, right now before our eyes: The price of gold is up 85% since the financial crisis. Oil prices have doubled. Soy beans are way up. Copper prices are up more than 170% since 2009. Cotton prices are up 80%... in just the past few months, since July of this year!
As Wesley Card, the head of a clothing company that includes brands like Dockers and Anne Klein, recently said: "It's really a no-choice situation. Prices have to come up."
The chart below shows how much a few key commodities have skyrocketed in price, just since the beginning of 2009...
Of course, skyrocketing commodity prices are just the beginning.
There are other disastrous consequences to the U.S. dollar losing status as the world's currency...
For example, there would be much less demand for U.S. dollars around the globe, so interest rates will skyrocket. Instead of getting a mortgage at today's incredibly low rates of 4.5%, it might cost you 8% or even 10% or 15%.
Imagine what that would do to housing prices!
Stock prices will likely plummet by at least 40% in a matter of weeks as a result of this event in the currency markets.
It will cost every American business A LOT more money for supplies and materials. No one will be able to get a loan... and no bank will want to make loans.
In short, when the U.S. dollar loses its spot as the world's 'reserve currency,' it will cause a brutal downturn in the economy, which I expect will be about 10-times worse than the mortgage crisis of 2008.
You see, what will also happen as a result of this currency crisis, and the end of the U.S. dollar as the world's reserve currency, will be massive inflation, the likes of which we have never seen before.
When everyone is trying to get rid of their dollars, the government is printing more and more to pay debts, and no one wants to own them, the crisis will reach epic proportions.
Just look for example, at what happened to one European country that faced this type of crisis in the 1990s...
This is what happens during a major hyperinflation in the real world.
By the early 1990s, the national government of one European nation had spent nearly all its savings. So what did they do next? Simple... they began to steal the savings of private citizens by limiting people's access to their money in government-controlled banks.
And of course, to finance the daily operations of maintaining their basic infrastructure, they started printing money, big time. Even so, the country's basic infrastructure began to fall apart. There were potholes in the street, broken water pipes... elevators that never got repaired... and entire construction projects that simply shut down, before being completed.
At this point, the unemployment rate was more than 30%.
Not too bad, right?
But it got worse... much worse.
You see, once you start down the dangerous road of printing money, things can get extremely bad, very quickly.
As San Jose State University Economics Professor Dr. Thayer Watkins, an expert on countries that try to inflate their way out of big debts, wrote on this particular disaster:
"The government tried to counter the inflation by imposing price controls. But when inflation continued, the government price controls made the price producers were getting so ridiculously low that they simply stopped producing. bakers stopped making bread... slaughterhouses refused to sell meat to the stores... other stores closed down"
So what did the government do next to try to curb inflation?
Well, one bright idea they had was to force stores to fill out government documents every time they increased prices. They thought that this would slow down price increases, because the paperwork would take so much time!
But like many government plans, this one had terrible, unintended consequences.
Since stores had to dedicate an employee to do nothing but register this paperwork, and since the process took so long, stores began to raise prices on basic goods at even higher rates, so that they didn't have to come back and file more paperwork!
Incredible, isn't it?
Then, of course the government did what all governments do during periods of hyperinflation: They created a new currency... which basically removed six zeroes from the old one. So 100,000,000 old units were soon worth 100 new units. Of course, this didn't work either... it never does.
Between October of 1993 and January 1995, prices increase by, get this: 5 quadrillion percent. That's...
In other words, a loaf of bread that cost $1 in 1993, suddenly cost
Yes, that's $50 TRILLION.
I know, it's laughable... but I can guarantee that the people of this once proud European country weren't laughing one bit, especially those living on a fixed income.
Of course, at this point, the country completely fell apart. As Dr. Thayer Watkins wrote:
"The social structure began to collapse. Thieves robbed hospitals and clinics of scarce pharmaceuticals and then sold them in front of the same places they robbed. The railway workers went on strike and closed down the country's rail system."
At this point, businesses and citizens across the country basically refused to take the local currency.
Instead, everyone started dealing in German Marks. Keep in mind, the daily rate of inflation was nearly 100%.
Can you imagine the panic in a society when the price of just about everything doubles... every single day? It was absolute pandemonium, and the economy basically came to a grinding halt. It was like living in a war zone. Truckers stopped delivering goods. Stores, restaurants, and gas stations all shut down.
In fact, the only way to get gas was to buy it on the side of the road, from someone selling it out of a plastic can.
Steve Hanke, an Economics professor at Johns Hopkins, wrote that:
"People couldn't afford to buy food in the free market – they kept from starving by either waiting in long lines at state stores for irregularly supplied rations of low-quality staples, or by relying on relatives who lived in the countryside.
For long periods, all [the] gas stations were closed, with the exception of one station that catered to foreigners and embassy personnel. People also spent an inordinate amount of time at the foreign-exchange black markets, where they traded huge piles of near-worthless money for a single German mark or US dollar note."
The number of operating busses dropped by 60%... and busses were so crowded that drivers couldn't even collect fares. Government ordered blackouts left people without heat and electricity for long periods of time.
In another ridiculous government move, they actually made it illegal to NOT accept a personal check.
Imagine... you could write a check... and in the several days that it typically takes for a check to clear, inflation would wipe out almost all of the cost of covering your check.
Of course, as is typical, the government took none of the blame. As Dr. Thayer Watkins reported, the government's official position was that the hyperinflation occurred "because of the unjustly implemented sanctions against the people and state."
Again... I know what you are thinking... "just because it happened in Europe doesn't it mean it can happen here, right"?
Well guess what...
The same thing that happened in this European country – Yugoslavia – also just happened in Iceland and Greece, but on a less dramatic scale. Of course, the only reason the situations in Greece and Iceland weren't worse is because of giant foreign bailouts. Yes... that's right... more debt to solve the problem of already existing, insurmountable debts.
It's all going to come to a head soon. Much sooner than most people think.
Remember too that in roughly the past 100 years this type of debt crisis has reared its ugly head in Germany, Russia, Austria, Poland, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Poland, the Ukraine, Japan, and China.
And I believe it will soon happen right here in the United States.
Don't believe me?
Well, the truth is that it's already happening at the local and state levels. Take a look...
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a Washington, D.C.-based think-tank, at least 46 states face huge budget shortfalls for 2011, on top of the deficits they still haven't completely figured out for 2010.
The center reports that the total state budget shortfall could reach $160 billion.
And although many states got federal help over the past year, that aid is now gone.
So what are these desperate governments trying to do?
You probably won't believe their proposals...
* SELL EVERYTHING: The state of Arizona, for example, announced earlier this year that it is selling $735 million worth of government-owned buildings, but will still occupy them by paying a 20-year lease. The government is selling the legislative buildings, the House and Senate, the State Capitol Executive Tower, the state fairgrounds, even prisons.
* RELEASE PRISONERS: In California, the state has taken the radical step of opening its prison doors and releasing thousands of inmates. About 11% of the state budget ($8 billion) goes to the penal system (more than they spend on higher education).
So California is slashing the number of inmates by 6,500 next year. In other words, they are cutting loose about 4% of the prison population.
Incredibly, other states, including New York, may soon do the same thing.
* LIFE INSURANCE: In Georgia, the government is proposing taking out "dead peasant" policies on state employees. When these folks die, the money won't go to the dead person's family... but to the state coffers, to help pay for more programs, insurance, and pension liabilities!
It's simply incredible, isn't it?
State and municipal governments are so broke, and so desperate, that they are taking unprecedented steps to at least temporarily avoid bankruptcy. Nearly every state in the union is talking about legalizing some form of gambling, to boost tax revenue. California still wants to legalize marijuana, even though it was defeated in the recent election.
Of course, none of these ridiculous steps will work on the long run.
And the truly amazing thing is that the U.S. Federal government is in even worse shape than the local governments! The only reason we haven't seen the full brunt of this crisis yet on the federal level is because we've just continued to pile on more and more debt.
The states can't print money... but the Federal government can (at least for now). And for the moment, this is all that is preventing a currency collapse of unprecedented proportions.
And this is the important point: What most people don't realize is that the U.S. government can only continue printing dollars... as long as the U.S. dollar remains the world's reserve currency.
In other words, this is all going to fall apart much sooner than people think. In fact, it's already happening...
The first steps are already well underway. It is happening right now... before our very eyes.
I can't stress this enough: You need to act now in order to protect your assets, and grow your savings in the next few years. In the next few minutes, I'm going to show you exactly how I'm protecting my own money, and what I recommend doing with your own.
But first, let me show you what exactly is going on right now...
"America... must be very worried"
Like I said, most Americans don't believe the U.S. dollar could ever lose its spot as the world's reserve currency.
But I am here to tell you... this process is already well underway.
For example, although it went almost completely unreported in the U.S. press, last fall, a group of the world's most powerful countries, including China, Japan, Russia, and France, got together for a secret meeting – WITHOUT the United States being present or even knowing about the meeting.
Veteran Middle East report Robert Fisk reported on this even in the Britain's Independent newspaper:
"In the most profound financial change in recent Middle East history, Gulf Arabs are planning – along with China, Russia, Japan and France – to end dollar dealings for oil, moving instead to a basket of currencies including the Japanese Yen, Chinese yuan, the euro, gold and a new, unified currency planned for nations in the Gulf Co-operation Council, including Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Qatar."
Fisk also interviewed a Chinese banker who said:
"These plans will change the face of international financial transactions. America and Britain must be very worried. You will know how worried by the thunder of denials this news will generate."
And sure enough, after Fisk published the details of this secret meeting, U.S. officials and central bankers from around the globe denied these plans.
But as the old central banking adage goes... how do you know exactly when a currency will be devalued?
The answer: Right AFTER the head of the central bank goes on television to adamantly deny that any such transaction will occur. (And guess who just went public in recent weeks with a statement about how the U.S. will "not devalue its currency"? Yes, you guessed it... U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.)
You see, the last thing a central banker wants to do in the midst of a devaluation is to give people a warning BEFORE he can devalue. So they have to deny, deny, deny. After the announcement is made, it's too late for citizens and investors to get out.
Like I said, what's incredible is that this story of a secret meeting among most of the major powers besides the U.S. was greatly under reported in the American press.
But you know what... the way I see it, it's much more telling to look at actions rather than government press releases.
For example, here is what is happening, right now in the real world.
When you read these facts, I think you'll agree with me that the U.S. dollar's days are numbered, as far as remaining the world's reserve currency.
China is getting out
Cheng Siwei, a former vice-chairman of the Standing Committee, said that China is going to stop putting so much money into U.S. dollars, and will instead look to the Japanese Yen and the Euro.
China holds more U.S. dollars than anyone else on the planet. But China is getting out of the U.S. dollar as fast as they can without crashing their own economy.
Look at this chart...
It shows that China's holdings of U.S. dollars peaked in 2009, but China is unloading as many dollars as they can, as quickly as possible.
And this is just one sign of the end of the U.S. dollar standard.
There are many more...
The dollar is no longer good here
As I am sure you are aware, for years the U.S. dollar has been accepted almost universally around the globe.
Heck, many times when I've traveled, I never even bothered to convert to the local currency, because I knew everyone would take my dollars.
Well, that's simply not the case anymore...
HSBC, one of the largest banks in Mexico, no longer allows you to deposit U.S. dollars into their banks. They've done this on the heels of money-laundering allegations, but we suspect they also simply don't want to be stuck with tons of U.S. dollars, as the currency continues to decline.
This move would have been unfathomable 10 years ago... that a big bank in Mexico would no longer accept U.S. dollars for deposit. But today it is the harsh reality.
And Mexico is not the only place this is occurring...
Reuters reports that the same thing has happened in 2008 in one of Europe's most popular tourist spots...
Currency exchange outlets in Amsterdam have been reportedly turning away customers who want to exchange their U.S. dollars for Euros.
As one traveling American told the Reuters news agency: "Our dollar is worth maybe zero over here," said Mary Kelly, an American tourist from Indianapolis, Indiana, in front of the Anne Frank house. "It's hard to find a place to exchange. We have to go downtown, to the central station or post office."
In India, the country's tourism minister said in 2008 that U.S. dollars will no longer be accepted at the country's heritage tourist sites, like the Taj Mahal. And the U.S. dollar is no longer good anywhere in Cuba.
The New York Times reports that: "now, many shops in China no longer accept dollar-based credit cards issued by foreign banks... and foreigners cannot convert American dollars into renminbi beyond a given quota."
Iran, of course, has already moved all of its reserves out of U.S. dollars, and Kuwait de-pegged it's currency from the dollar a few years ago:
Bloomberg News recently reported that China and Russia plan to start trading in each other's currencies to diminish the dollar's role in global trade. "Given the risk to the dollar and U.S. assets from their fiscal position, they want to reduce their dependence on the dollar as an invoicing currency," said Bhanu Baweja, of UBS bank.
It's even happening here in the USA
Most Americans don't know that some states in the Mid-West are already using "alternative currencies"...
An NBC News affiliate in Michigan reports that
"new types of money are popping up across Mid-Michigan and supporters say, it's not counterfeit, but rather a competing currency. Right now, for example, you can buy a meal or visit a chiropractor without using actual U.S. legal tender."
What most Americans don't realize is that this is all totally legal.
The U.S. Treasury Dept web site says that, according to Coinage Act of 1965: "There is... no Federal statute mandating that a private business, a person or an organization must accept currency or coins as for payment for goods and/or services."
I saw one report that says there are now 150 of these alternative local U.S. currencies being accepted around the country!
USA Today reports that the largest of these local currencies is a currency called "Berkshares," which are being used in the Berkshires region of western Massachusetts.
According to the paper:
"Since its start in 2006, the system, the largest of its kind in the country, has circulated $2.3 million worth of BerkShares."
And even in places that do not yet have local currencies, store owners may now actually prefer foreign currencies rather than U.S. dollars...
In Washington, DC, just 25 miles from my office, some stores have begun accepting euros. Of course, the euro isn't much more stable than the dollar right now. But my point is that most people don't understand there is NO FEDERAL REQUIREMENT in the United States for a private store to accept dollars for non-debt transactions.
You see, no matter what the government decides, stores and businesses will accept whatever they believe is a strong currency.
As Texas Representative Ron Paul wrote recently:
"If you walk into a 7-11 to buy a soda, the clerk doesn't have to accept your dollars, he could demand euros, silver, or copper. But because legal tender laws backing the dollar have caused the dollar to drive other currencies out of circulation, [right now] it is easier for stores to accept dollars."
Well, all that is quickly changing...
Many places in Texas now accept Mexican pesos for payment. "Euros Accepted" signs are popping up in of all places: Manhattan. And not only Manhattan, but in New York's favorite summer playground... the Hamptons.
There, an art gallery assistant was quoted by The Real Deal: "I wouldn't want to discourage a sale in any way because of a currency issue."
And it's not just small stores that are accepting other methods of payment besides U.S. dollars.
The Chicago mercantile exchange the world's largest futures and commodities exchange board), now accepts gold to settle futures contracts. Until recently, the exchange typically accepted only U.S. treasuries and bonds as payment.
These guys obviously see the writing on the wall.
This would have all been completely unthinkable 10 years ago, but today it's a reality. And this trend is going to keep moving incredibly fast.
"History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling money and its issuance." - James Madison