Preparing to shoot a few segments of Big Jon in 5 for BEER2WHISKEY in our upstairs studio at Barley's Taproom in downtown Greenville. That's owner Josh Beebe preparing for his closeup.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

If There Is a Lesson in Cyprus, I Don't Need to Learn It

I am pretty far removed from this whole Cyprus mess. I know it's going to eventually affect every corner of the globe, but I have trouble getting all worked up over banking issues when I don't have any real money in a bank -- or anywhere else for that matter.

I have some money the same way total idiots have some sense, but I don't have enough money to make a difference or to fret about. In fact, it would cost this government more to extract my puny savings than it would wind up with. That doesn't mean it wouldn't go ahead and make the snatch anyway because that's what governments do, but it wouldn't really be worth its while.

Many of the pundits I've listened to on the Cyprus savings accounts burglary seem to think anyone with more than $100,000 in a bank here, there or anywhere else should spread it among more than one or two banks. I'm a step ahead of them on this issue. Despite having nothing remotely close to the magic $100,000, my money is spread among a credit union and two banks. At least I think it's two banks; have Wells Fargo and Chase merged while I wasn't paying attention? No? Okay, then it's a credit union and two banks. It's hard to keep up.

My money is spread around as much out of laziness as anything else. I just don't feel like running around and closing accounts. Actually I keep my credit union accounts because if I ever need to borrow money again, it's much easier for those of us with few-to-no assets to borrow from a credit union than a bank.

Although I've sweated my way through the past nine years, there are some advantages to not having any savings. At the top of the list: I don't give a rat's ass what the stock market does. Rise or fall, I am unaffected directly. I remember when it took a dump a few years ago several of my friends were sitting around a table drinking and wringing their hands as thousands -- and in a few cases -- tens of thousands of dollars evaporated from their portfolios. Portfolio? What the hell is that? I opened another bottle of wine and watched a little TV. What, me worry?

I actually have friends who point to the recent stock market gains as evidence that happy days are here again. Dream on. As the Fed continues printing billions of free dollars, all that money must go somewhere. Right now that "somewhere" happens to be the stock market. Eventually the Fed will turn off the spigot and the wall(s) will come tumbling down. When it does, I'll open a bottle of wine and watch a little TV.

Ultimately, I hope to be dead before we really hit the skids akin to Greece and Cyprus. I hope we've got a few relatively sane years left in us. But when you are existing on the slippery edge as we are, it only requires a slight nudge to send you over. Like the grasshopper in the grasshopper and the ants fable, I'm hoping for a best-case scenario.

My track record in best-case-scenario predictions isn't the best, however. I just needed print media to hang in there for another decade or so, and we know how that worked out. So, I don't have a great deal of optimism our wobbly economy will sustain itself for the next 10 years or so I need it to.

The good news: I decided a long time ago that I want to exit this mortal coil, leaving behind a bank balance of exactly $1. So far, I'm right on target.

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