No Gold, No Bullets: Now It's Personal

Source:

"It's no secret that small-denomination bullion is hard to come by and gun sales are way up. . ."

Evidence that Americans are seriously spooked is starting to pile up. In the past few months:
  • While researching a magazine article on offshore investing, I interviewed Erica Nolan, executive director of the Sovereign Society. She noted that her client base is changing: "Historically, offshore solutions have been reserved for very high-net worth individuals. . .Most recently we've been seeing a big demand from Americans saying 'I just want to put $100,000 or $500,000 offshore. I'm reporting it; it has nothing to do with taxes.' It's just asset safety at this point."

  • My father-in-law decided he wanted some gold, so I called a local coin store and asked Kevin, the shop's owner, to find us some Krugerrands. He predicted a few weeks for delivery, which seemed reasonable given the chatter about tight supplies, so I placed an order and wrote a big check. That was three months ago, and the coins still aren't in.

  • A friend, business owner and semi-professional poker player just back from a Seattle gambling trip. Instead of talking poker, we toured his stash of freeze-dried food and his growing arsenal that includes a Dirty Harry-style 44 magnum pistol and a cool black pump-action shotgun. This guy is well-educated, well-traveled, and well-off, and he's preparing to blow away looters from his bedroom window.

  • My 11-year-old son Alex and I stopped by a local gun store. We had some general questions for the shop owner about gun safety classes and the best "starter" rifle. He said our selection was limited: It seems that there's a run on ammo. Later, I Googled "bullet shortage" and that market looks just like those for gold and silver coins, with demand swamping supply, long waiting lists, and panicky hoarding.
It's no secret that small-denomination bullion is hard to come by and gun sales are way up, but finding out firsthand that this stuff is unavailable brings home the reality that the social mood is growing darker. On the surface everything looks normal. . .But the market is quietly reallocating resources as individuals insure against a systemic breakdown. Hope those Krugerrands come soon.

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