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After my appearances with Glenn Beck, I often receive hundreds of emails asking a variety of financial questions (and I try my best to get at least some of them answered)!
The top question I have been receiving recently underscores a huge fear: the safety and preservation of your hard-earned dollars.
More than any question, what people are asking of late is, “Should I pull my money from the bank?”
The impetus is twofold: 1) concerns over the banking system and 2) concerns about central bank digital currencies, which both Glenn and I have researched extensively and about which we share critical information with you in our upcoming books, "Dark Future" and "You Will Own Nothing."
Keep reading for the most important thing you can do to manage the risks you are concerned about.
Concerns about the banking system
People are asking if they should pull their money from the banks today because they are worried about a banking system collapse, on the back of an ongoing bank crisis and seeing three of the four largest bank closures in U.S. history in just the past three months.
I understand the fear and the skepticism and want to offer a few thoughts.
First, it is always prudent to have some cash or cash equivalents on hand in case of an emergency.
Second, while many concerns about the banking system are valid, right now if your accounts are insured and covered within FDIC limits (or NCUA if you use a credit union), the full loss of your funds should be covered. It is imperative that you speak to your financial institutions to find out if you have any deposits that are not covered by this financial insurance. If so, you should immediately work to move any money that isn’t covered into another account or institution so that you can be covered.
The biggest issue today related to the strength of the banking system is tied to the unsustainable fiscal trajectory we are on and what that means in terms of devaluing your purchasing power over time. Pulling your dollars and sticking them under your mattress won’t help with that (and will just exacerbate a panic). However, diversifying what you do with your dollars and putting them to work in different stores of value may make sense to address that concern.
Concerns about CBDCs
One of the biggest future concerns for your freedom, agency, and prosperity is a central bank digital currency or “digital dollar,” as it is often called.
CBDCs further consolidate control over your money in the hands of the Fed and the government. It makes your spending fully transparent to and controllable by those entities. It is a legitimate concern, one that is being evaluated in real time.
So, I keep getting asked if people should pull their dollars from the bank now in preparation for when the banking system (or whatever is left of it after the Great Consolidation in banks happening right now) and the Fed to try to convert your dollars into digital dollars or make your U.S. dollars unable to be used.
This is nuanced, so pay close attention.
First, you will have time and a warning before a CBDC fully comes into play. There are several things that need to happen, which, given the scope of the financial system, could take some time. While we can see the plans and the trajectory, we do not know the timing, but we do know there are hurdles that need to be cleared.
First, Congress needs to approve it. Then, the Fed needs to get people to use it (which includes getting people to open digital wallets and the entire economy to accept it). It is likely that they will try to do this voluntarily at first before they mandate it (using “incentives” that I discuss below). As I researched and discuss in "You Will Own Nothing," this is what the Chinese have done — they have tried to incentivize voluntary use first.
The Chinese digital currency is referred to by a few names, including e-CNY. While the CCP touted in October 2021 that 261 million digital wallets had been opened to support the e-CNY, upon scrutiny of the data, researchers found that the average balance held in these wallets was less than the equivalent of U.S. 50 cents, and the average balance in corporate wallets was about U.S. $4.90. So China will likely have to force use of its digital currency, and the U.S. will likely do the same.
But the U.S. will be clever about it. Here are some language cues and “incentives” that we must be wary of as CBDC signposts.
Inflation:Officials may prey on the average Americans’ concerns over inflation, saying that a digital currency will give them the tool to stop it (of course, not saying that the tool will be fully controlling your ability to spend and/or implementing price controls via their currency control).
Banking risk: Officials may leverage concerns about the stability of the banking system by saying that going to a digital currency removes that risk.
UBI: Officials may use universal basic income as an incentive to get people to switch to digital dollars.
Other incentives: Officials may trick people who don’t understand what a dollar stands for and the debasement that happens when more dollars are added to the system by the Fed without corresponding productivity increases. They will say that they will give you some multiplier of digital dollars for every dollar you exchange — imagine something like four to one. You will be four times richer on the headline, but the purchasing power of each unit will be destroyed in kind. Just as we saw people clamoring for stimulus payments not understanding the inflation it would bring, the same will likely happen with a digital currency incentive.
And, of course, if those fail, they mandate the use of digital dollars down the road.
With that backdrop, going back to the issue of whether you should pull your dollars today, you need to think of how that might help this scenario. First, you are going to have timing cues, so while you must think about your plan, you will get signposts along the way, which could take any amount of time to come to fruition.
Also, if the plan is to destroy “physical” or traditional dollars, how would having access to them today help you? If the government doesn’t want that to be the medium of exchange, let alone a store of value, you will have to come up with a plan to find other things you can use, outside the CBDC, that will be appropriate mediums of exchange and stores of value (this may or may not include gold, silver, and other bartering supplies, among other assets).
In terms of risk management, pulling your dollars today doesn’t seem to address the risk and concern as much as figuring out your plan for conversion.
The most important things you can do right now
The most important things you can do today as you approach risk management for your wealth are continuing to empower yourself with knowledge, staying on top of updates, and having a plan for if and when it comes to fruition, including creating some diversification in your stores of value (and mediums of exchange, as well).
Stay tuned to Glenn Beck, me, and others who will keep you posted on when these issues start to accelerate. Listen for the language cues and signposts, like the ones talked about above, and really think about what that means for your money as a medium of exchange and a store of value.
Pay attention as well to what the elite and well-connected are doing, not what they are saying. They are going to make sure they come out on top, so it makes sense to keep tabs on how they are diversifying their assets (even if it is on a different scale).
And, obviously, do everything you can to oppose the kinds of initiatives that are being put in place to threaten your stores.
As I often say, don’t panic, but do prepare. The elite are doing what they can to consolidate wealth and power for themselves and leave nothing for you. But the battle isn’t over — do your part to fight back.Carol Roth's new book, “You Will Own Nothing,” is available for pre-order now, along with Glenn Beck’s new book, “Dark Future.”
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Carol Roth is a recovering investment banker, the New York Times best-selling author of “You Will Own Nothing,” and a business adviser.