by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).
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(Blog No. 3xx).
#inflation, #zero interest,
Citizens of Western countries are used to real money like gold, silver or stable fiat moneys. They became so much confused when their fiat moneys became no more stable while their inflation evolved into hyperinflation. They were further fooled by their entrusted leaders that their fiat moneys would some day regain their stability.
Citizens from developing countries have been more familiar with high inflation from their former homelands and are thus more adaptable in facing again with such type of situations. Their experience should be quite appropriate to the current situation.
This blog shows how to live with high inflation as well as zero-interest rate based on the experience of people who had lived under communist regimes.
1. Do NOT mistake fiat money for real money.
This is the most important rule in living with high or hyper inflation.
1a. Fiat money should be thought of as EXPIRABLE certificates to receive goods and services at government depots or stores.
1b. The holders of fiat moneys should arrange with their workmates to send one representative to the stores with a combined shopping lists to buy goods for the whole group right after receiving their salaries. Late buyers may lose his chance of buying goods for the period and may need to buy on the black market at much higher price.
1c. Fuels should be stocked up for use until next pay period.
1d. There will be black markets. Do not complain on their high prices. Black market operators also have their living expenses and have to pay for their operations. Black markets are not inherently criminal, they are only the mechanism to deal with scarcity arising in main markets. Black markets complement main markets to supply scarce goods.
2. Be prepared for scarcity of goods and
their higher prices.
2a. Since the universal medium for exchange such as gold coins no longer exist, double coincidence exchanged are required (A happens to need to change some food into a hammer, B happens need to change a hammer into food, A meets B). The exchange of goods is thus slower and is less often. Wholesaling is almost disbanded and each person is his own buyer and retailer.
2b. Goods are so scarce that there would be no opportunity for mass production and transaction. Therefore costs per item have to increase.
3. Be ready to participate in black markets. Engage in bartering.
As black markets complement the now infrequent, sporadic main markets, citizens should not have any conscientious objections to black markets.
People who are fortunate to have goods in high demand should try their best to exchange them for the most amount of goods for regular consumption or for some high value productive goods.
Bartering is a good way to swap goods without using the annoying depreciating fiat money.
4. Have a clear distinction between productive, consumption and luxury goods.
In hard time, it is essential to distinguish between many types of goods. The main types are:
4a. Long Lasting Productive goods, such as home repair tools, wood working tools, a fishing net, a cooking device, which bring in good stream of incomes when you lend or hire them out. Income can be either in goods or in depreciating fiat money.
4b. Productive goods or stocks which require regular material and labour input and maintenance like hen cages, egg laying hens, milk cows, electric generators, trucks,…
4b. Expense saving goods such as a cooking tool, a sewing kit or a sewing machine which reduce your living expenses (by providing low cost meals, by supplying, mending your clothes).
4c. Long lasting consumption goods such as rice grains, sugar, salt, alcohol, vinegar, firewood, charcoal, fuel, dress fabrics. They can be stored for few years, swapped for other goods, until finally consumed.
4d. Highly exchangeable goods such as eggs, fruits, seeds, dried foods, preserved foods, medication (both pharmaceutical and traditional), which can be used as a form of real money and can be quickly changed into fiat money when it is time to pay taxes or passport fees, emigration fees, bribes (This is the concept of liquidity.).
4e. Very high value, compact goods such as gold that can be secretly kept but can also be quickly turned into any other types of goods in an emergency (This is the concept of reserved liquidity).
4f. Highly productive but immobile goods such as houses, shops which bring in high incomes but cannot be readily moved.
4g. Luxury goods such as perfume, designer clothing which are good at impressing acquaintance but rarely can be swapped back to other goods at reasonable rate. Luxury goods are really only for the very top people in such a situation.
As all main and black markets are at slow pace, it is really costly to reverse any unsuitable acquisition. People have to be very careful in their acquisition of goods. The slowness of trade feeds on itself.
5. Be wise in acquiring, owning goods.
People should acquire only productive goods and avoid luxury goods.
Eastern Europeans and people living in Europe during the depression of 1938 do have valuable experience to pass on. We need to learn more from them.
Only the most productive goods should be kept, non-productive goods should be swapped/sold for more productive goods or for fiat money to pay taxes and charges.
Immobile goods such as houses, shops should be swapped for other types of goods if there is a risk of wars or forced migration.
6. Give no loan, demand immediate payment after any work.
Any of your borrowers may go bankrupt any time. You should not take the risk of leaving your earnings with them.
Any big work must be finely divided into many small contracts to be finalized upon seperate completion. In this way, any loss will be smaller than the income of one day.
7. Living with zero interest rate.
Zero interest is the message from the government that savings will not give owners any benefit when kept in banks, public companies. The message also imply that everyone should try his best to obtain low interest loans from government whenever they are available.
Savings left in banks are paid an interest rate linked to the official zero interest rate.
Their real earning is equal to
“Nominal interest rate” Minus “Tax on interest earning” Minus “Actual inflation rate”.
So the real earning is usually a negative number meaning the savings are quickly losing their values.
Public companies are for the welfare of their management class rather than the benefit of shareholders. Returns from owning shares in public companies will only be slightly better than returns from bank savings.
Superannuation and pension funds have their incomes derived mostly from bank interests and dividends from shares in exchange traded public companies. They will earn little or even have loss.
The implication is: Do NOT leave your money in banks. Do NOT leave your money/entitlement in superannuation or pension funds.
The government may to try to save its reputation by injecting printed money (under fancy names such Quantitative Easing) into over-reaching banks, Stock Markets to keep superannuation/pension funds temporarily solvent but such a situation is unsustainable and the economy may collapse suddenly bringing with it over-reaching banks, companies and their investing superannuation funds.
Try your best to obtain any available government loans, grants to buy productive goods to set up your life. The repayments will vanish very quickly due to the combined effect of zero interest rate and high inflation.
8. Do not fall for any pyramid scheme.
During hard times, pyramid (Ponzi) schemes often pop up (https://survivaltricks.wordpress.com/2021/07/30/as-incomes-fall-russians-are-once-again-falling-for-pyramid-schemes-ukraine-today-org/).
Do not trust promoters, set up your own small, controllable family business/enterprise instead.
. Why does the Federal Reserve aim for 2 percent inflation over time?, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System,https://www.federalreserve.gov/faqs/economy_14400.htm, updated January 26, 2015, accessed 03 Mar 2017.
. Neha Sharma and Shalu Yadav, The Indian village that has returned to bartering, BBC News Services,http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-38180075, 5 December 2016.
. Patrick Bodenham, Will Spain’s coal belt survive through online barter?, BBC News Services,http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-38731808, 2 February 2017.
. James Melik, Haggling and bartering gain appeal, BBC News Services,http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7883050.stm, 12 February 2009.
. Mark Lowen, Greece bartering system popular in Volos, BBC News Services,http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-17680904, 12 April 2012.
. Dallas police fire pension board ends run, bank stops 154m withdrawals. http://www.dallasnews.com/news/dallas-city-hall/2016/12/08/dallas-police-fire-pension-board-ends-run-bank-stops-154m-withdrawals
. Joseph Goebbels quotes, azquotes.com, http://www.azquotes.com/author/5626-Joseph_Goebbels.
. https://www.moneymetals.com/news/2017/05/04/higher-inflation-consumer-prices-001061, (added on 10 May 2017).