With the European Central Bank finally agreeing to extend the much needed “emergency liquidity assistance” (read: cash), the banks of Greece are set to reopen on Monday. Capital controls are expected remain in place with daily limits on withdrawals set at 60 euros and pensioners and the unemployed to receive a mere 120 euros every two weeks.
Without the capital controls, there would likely be a massive bank run. On July 13, the Greek Parliament just agreed to new bailout measures proposed by the IMF– 86 billion euros over the next three years. This was despite a hugely popular vote of “No” or “OXI” on the referendum for austerity measures by the Greek people just two weeks ago. The decision to concede to the Troika’s demands immediately led to rioting in the streets of Athens. Despite the impassioned objections of the Greek people, government officials seem undeterred and committed to accepting whatever the IMF asks for in order to remain a part of the eurozone.
With the rioting going largely unnoticed by government officials, it is a logical conclusion to think that the Greek people would begin protesting with their money instead. Extending the capital controls will help calm the panic, but it is not clear if it will have a lasting effect or just slow the bleeding and prolong the pain.
Meanwhile, closer to home, Puerto Rico is facing default problems of its own. The country missed a critical transfer of funds to a trustee that was intended to be used to cover a debt payment due August 1st because the legislature did not set aside the funds. The country currently holds more than 72 billion dollars in debt obligations and without a restructuring, will completely run out of cash by the end of September.
Currently the dollar is very strong against the yen, euro, and gold. When the dollar is strong against gold it is a great time to buy because you can get even more gold for your dollar.
Though it has not received much media coverage outside of Texas due to a media “blackout”, the U.S. military began to conduct joint operations in several states today as part of its Jade Helm exercise to improve domestic urban population control tactics. It has many in Texas as well as other states worried that the purpose of the exercise is to test its ability to institute martial law in the event of an uprising or mass revolt.
If something were to happen to spark massive rioting and the need for martial law here in the U.S., one problem many people will face is not having access to their money. In the event of such a crisis, it is a very real possibility that we will see capital controls similar to what we are seeing in Greece right now. Without money, you won’t be able to buy food, water, or other critical supplies to survive. Even worse, if the event that sets off the rioting is economic and destroys the dollar, it won’t matter if you are able to withdraw your money from the bank because your money might be worthless.