Honestly…why in the world did we pack up everything and move to a Central American country? For the longest time, we decided to keep one of our most significant reasons for moving to Costa Rica to ourselves. The predictions I had for where the U.S. was headed were just that…predictions. But with those predictions now playing out in the news (if you follow an honest news source), I feel it is now time to explain one of our more important reasons.
Of course the Land of the Free is VERY far from it. Drive with cash and the police can seize it without charges. Step outside the lines just a bit and get your kids snatched up by “Child Protective Services”, so they can place your children in foster care and collect their promised bounty from the U.S. government. Have puddles on your land after heavy rains? The EPA could easily declare your property a protected wetland, severely limiting your use or even seizing it. Feel like having a telephone conversation or exchange of texts or emails without the content being reviewed by strangers? As Edward Snowden informed us all, good luck with that! And the most recent freedom of the press rankings placed the U.S. at #45…right smack between Romania and Haiti!
I could go on and on about the many assaults on the concept of freedom…a concept that Americans still proudly boast about. And certainly those were some of the compelling reasons for our move to a much freer country (for example, Costa Rica recently ranked 21st in freedom of the press). But our decision to move goes far beyond the concept of freedom. Simply put, the U.S. could be headed for a tsunami of such epic proportions, it could make the Great Depression appear like an episode from Happy Days. What is this coming storm? The end of the U.S. dollar as we know it. Sound crazy? Permit me to briefly explain.
Since WWII, all trade between countries has been transacted in U.S. dollars through banks in New York City. This position of the dollar as the world’s currency reserve has forced all countries to hold U.S. dollars for their international transactions. Let’s say Australia wants to buy product from China. The transaction must be conducted in dollars and be routed through New York City. Sound crazy? I agree. But that may all be about to change.
Some time back, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (“BRICS”) became fed up with the current global financial system that rewarded the U.S. at every turn. Many times they asked the IMF to end their blind allegiance to the U.S. dollar, but their concerns fell on deaf ears. So in July 2014, they agreed to form their own international development bank and establish a new reserve currency or basket of currencies for trade. This will permit members of the bank to conduct transactions with each other in currencies other than U.S. dollars, something China and Russia are already doing. What will this mean to the dollar? When a group of countries near simultaneously decides to sell their U.S. dollars, it creates a potentially serious problem when they dump those dollars onto the open market. Basic law of economics…when many rush to sell the same item with few interested buyers available, the item’s value typically plunges.
But as significant as the BRICS countries are (~40% of the world’s population and growing), could their decision to drop the dollar be significant enough to inflict serious damage? Maybe, maybe not. But with plans for the new AIIB bank coming together, the BRICS recently opened the door for other countries to join as founding members with voting powers. Who signed up? A harmless handful of rag tag countries? A very partial list of the 57 members includes France, Spain, Norway, Great Britain, Italy, Sweden, Australia, Israel, and Germany. (The U.S. did not join, and the membership drive recently ended.) Just imagine if/when this group of 57 countries unloads their U.S. dollar holdings for the new currency/currencies. As prices in America explode, the scene could resemble something other than peace and brotherhood.
I could certainly hope that these scenarios don’t play out in the years (months?) ahead, but that would require a hefty suspension of reality on my part. What I have outlined are facts, not theory or conjecture, and these facts are developing faster than I ever imagined…even back when we decided to pack our bags for beautiful Costa Rica.