Sovereign Valley Farm, Chile
September 17, 2015
First of all, I really want to say thanks to all of our extremely kind and thoughtful readers who emailed us to make sure that we’re all OK.
If you hadn’t heard, there was a rather substantial earthquake in Chile yesterday that made international news.
While the horses may still be a bit spooked, our team is fine, the farms are fine, and we very much appreciate the kind words and thoughts.
If this were a different country my answer could have been dramatically different.
Yesterday’s earthquake measured an 8.3 at its epicenter with a very shallow depth of just 11 kilometers.
Parenthetically, a lot of people think that the intensity of an earthquake is just its score on the Richter scale, but in fact there are many other factors involved.
Shallow earthquakes can be much more destructive even with a lower magnitude, and 11 kilometers is considered quite shallow. So this one was pretty big.
A few months ago an earthquake of lesser magnitude struck Nepal and devastated much of the country… because they weren’t prepared.
In Chile it’s different.
Earthquakes are just part of the deal when you live here. So even when powerful earthquakes strike, the impact is not ruinous.
They don’t ignore the risks.
My own house was specifically designed to withstand powerful earthquakes, and we built in strong cross-bracing and other countermeasures.
It’s no accident that it’s still standing this morning.
Coincidentally, while my house was shaking last night, hopefuls for the US presidency debated last night about how to make America great again.
They spent three hours bickering and quibbling while nary a word was spoken about the real challenges.
Right now nearly every Western government is completely bankrupt.
This is not hyperbole– these are facts ripped from the pages of their own financial reports.
Most Western central banks are borderline insolvent, again based on their own published balance sheets.
Western banking systems are dangerously illiquid, and pension systems around the world are fraudulently underfunded.
It took decades to get into this mess, and it’s a total farce to believe that the way out is to simply go down to the voting booth and cast a ballot.
It’s even more insane to think that after generations of bad decisions that a single person can restore grandeur and prosperity in a few months, or even years, especially when almost everything the government does makes things worse.
Again, the numbers paint a very clear picture here.
Since 2008, US official debt has doubled, and their own budget projections show they have no plan to pay down a penny of it. Ever.
And how can they, when the government blows through almost all of its tax revenue just on entitlement programs and interest on the debt?
They could eliminate entire departments of government and still not make a dent in the budget deficit.
As I wrote to you yesterday, the only ‘solution’ is to default– either default on the people who loaned America money, or default on their obligations to the American people.
Either way, a lot of people are getting the shaft.
Don’t allow yourself to be a victim of other people’s stupidity. Remember that rational people have a Plan B, especially in light of such obvious risks.
If all the objective data shows that your government is completely insolvent, and that your banking system is dangerously illiquid, why would you keep 100% of your money there?
Instead, it probably makes sense to consider moving at least a portion of your savings to a safe, stable banking system overseas in a country that has no debt. (Yes it exists!)
Even if you want to believe they can still fix everything, it’s hard to imagine that you’ll be worse off for taking sensible steps to prepare for reality.
Here in Chile, they don’t ignore the obvious risk of earthquakes.
In the developed West, however, people are ignoring what could turn out to be some of the biggest risks of their lives.
You can’t fix your broken government.
But with a little bit of awareness and a few sensible steps, you can ensure that no matter how strong the force, your house will always remain standing.