Yesterday there were some bits of news that were positive. There were some indications that more money was being passed around in the financial sector, and the Dow was only down 189 points, a relatively good day. Six central banks around the world had made a coordinated interest rate cute of 0.5%. Translation: they all pitched in and took emergency measures to make it cheaper for banks to borrow money from one another. For about three seconds it looked like it might be helpful in getting money moving again.
Eh, well. That all came to nothing. Today was positively hideous, with GM stock closing at $4.76 and Ford headed for penny-stock status if this continues much longer. The Dow was down 679 points to 8,579. (One year ago today, the Dow hit its all-time high of 14,165.) Credit markets were frozen again, with the LIBOR rising. The LIBOR interest rate is what determines the new interest rate for many American adjustable rate mortgages, so this has a direct effect on US families.
Tomorrow, hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of bets taken out on Lehman Brothers will undergo "price discovery." The people holding these legalized gambling contracts might get 12 cents on the dollar, or 50 cents, or who knows. And we don't know how many of these bets are in existence. And we don't know who the bookies are-- as in, just who is it that has to cough up the dough? It's a big unknown. Depending on how the Lehman thing works out, markets could rally, or the Dow could drop a thousand points. Some folks on the blogs have already dubbed it "Black Friday," but if the news were good, we could see some stabilization in stock prices.
Things are not improving in Iceland. The IMF says it's going to "help" them. This is like Dracula saying he's going to cure you of a disease by draining half your blood. It's true that Iceland allowed its banks to grow to 11 times the size of their entire GDP, but their entire GDP is piddling. Google is bigger than Iceland. Hell, if the amount of money the Fed gives to banks on an average day could just be funneled to Iceland instead, the country's problems would largely be solved! But no. Iceland is to be thrown to the wolves. This is how the West treats the least among us: we cut them off, and worse, sic the IMF on their asses. Meanwhile, the head of the European Central Bank says the banks can have as much money as they want. No-- seriously!! Unlimited cash. Unlimited cash for banks, and Iceland can go starve.
On to the title of this post: 10 Reasons to Buy and Store Food.
- It's only going to get more expensive, so buy it now and eat it later.
- Banks could be closed for days by government order; stores would close.
- A diesel shortage could disrupt food distribution; stores would run out of food.
- Extra food provides a cushion when you have an unexpected expense.
- #4 goes double when the banks begin canceling all our credit cards.
- Buying in bulk and at bulk discount stores is cheaper anyway.
- The government says you should have 2 weeks worth of food.
- They're serious about #7. They're hopelessly incompetent during disasters.
- You'll learn about shelf life, food preservation, and nutrition.
- You will feel less scared and more empowered during this economic unraveling.
At least get a sack of rice, a big box of spaghetti, and a giant #10 can of marinara. How hard is that?