The Reluctant Banker and Tom Joad

Written by Brian Hicks
Posted June 28, 2022

Shelter line stretchin' round the corner,
Welcome to the new world order,
Families sleepin' in their cars in the Southwest,
No home no job no peace no rest.

The highway is alive tonight,
But nobody's kiddin' nobody about where it goes,
I'm sittin' down here in the campfire light,
Searchin' for the ghost of Tom Joad.

"The Ghost of Tom Joad" — Bruce Springsteen


Dear Friend,

Let’s take a walk down memory lane.

Here’s a slice of a Reuters article titled “Tent City in Suburbs Is Cost of Home Crisis”:

Between railroad tracks and beneath the roar of departing planes sits "tent city," a terminus for homeless people. It is not, as might be expected, in a blighted city center, but in the once-booming suburbia of Southern California. 

The noisy, dusty camp sprang up in July with 20 residents and now numbers 200 people, including several children, growing as this region east of Los Angeles has been hit by the U.S. housing crisis.

The unraveling of the region known as the Inland Empire reads like a 21st century version of The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck's novel about families driven from their lands by the Great Depression.

As more families throw in the towel and head to foreclosure here and across the nation, the social costs of collapse are adding up in the form of higher rates of homelessness, crime and even disease.

"They don't hit the streets immediately," said activist Jane Mercer. Most families can find transitional housing in a motel or with friends before turning to charity or the streets. "They only hit tent city when they really bottom out."

But it is not just homeowners who are hit by the foreclosure wave. People who rent now find themselves in a tighter, more expensive market as demand rises from families who lost homes, said Jean Beil, senior vice president for programs and services at Catholic Charities USA.

Reads like it was published yesterday, right?

Well, it was published on December 21, 2007, at the height of the housing and financial crisis.

Three months earlier, financial giant Bear Stearns failed.

It was a prelude to the financial meltdown that was to come in 2008–2009.

For the record, the stock market lost roughly 60% of its value between August 2007 and March 2009.

Our firm was warning you that we were headed for a historic crash for at least two years prior.

And we gave you specific recommendations on how to prepare.

In fact, between 2006 and 2008, I was loading up on gold, silver, guns, and cash.

Why cash?

Because there was a real threat that banks of all sizes were going to go under. And if there was a run on the banks, I didn’t want to be late to the party.

You see, when you desperately need something right away (like weapons or cash), it’s usually too late for you.

So for months in 2006 and 2007, I had my wife make routine trips to our bank to withdraw money so I could store it in my safe.

Now this is a true story...

When my wife went to make the very first withdrawal, she asked for $5,000. The bank teller told her she couldn’t take out that much money because, quite frankly, our local bank didn’t carry that much cash.

I think my wife walked out with about $2,000 that day.

Three weeks later, my wife went back to withdraw more money.

The bank tellers tried to talk my wife out of taking money out of our accounts. They told her that the bank was FDIC-insured, the money was safe in the bank, and that my wife was being unreasonable.

But that didn’t stop us.

I saw real danger on the horizon, and I wanted to be prepared.

By the time we were done making withdrawals, I had $100,000 in cash sitting in my safe surrounded by two Remington 870 home defense shotguns, two AR-15s, and two Sig handguns, one for my wife and one for me.

At least once a month, I would stop by my local gun store or sporting goods store to buy ammo.

So when there was an ammo shortage, it didn’t impact me at all. I was already stocked up with everything I needed in case the sh*t hit the fan.

Again, this was in 2006–2008.

I still have it all.

And I’m glad I do.

In the past two years, we have seen riots in almost every major city in the United States. Large blocks of Minneapolis, Minnesota, have been torched to ashes. Crime is out of control. Democrats have called to defund the police. Homelessness — now referred to by liberals as “people without housing” — is rampant from coast to coast. Drug overdose deaths are at record levels.

The crypto market crashed. Inflation is skyrocketing. Gasoline prices are through the roof. There are shortages of baby formula, tampons, and chili peppers.

The U.S. murder rate rose 30% between 2019 and 2020 — the largest single-year increase in more than a century.

After the recent Supreme Court decision regarding Roe v. Wade, activist groups have called for more violence and even the assassination of Supreme Court justices.

And many prominent thinkers are talking about a new civil war in America.

Could it happen? Of course.

More Americans are seeking a second passport and international real estate.

Many Americans are looking to escape.

It’s not a bad idea.

And in the coming weeks, I’ll have specific, actionable advice for you to prepare for turmoil and chaos...

Everything from investments to health to self-protection.

Think of it as an insurance policy. You never want to use it, but it’s there if you need it.

To your wealth,

Brian Hicks Signature

Brian Hicks

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Brian is a founding member and President of Angel Publishing. He writes about general investment strategies for Wealth Daily and Energy & Capital. For more on Brian, take a look at his editor's page.

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