Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Jim Rickards: A Dystopian View of the Year 2024

Jim Rickards has written an article titled "In the Year 2024". Jim introduces the article by calling it a "fictional dysptopia in the spirit of Brave New World or 1984". I suspect some readers will react quite strongly to this article since it describes a somewhat bleak future where government has trampled on individual freedom. 

However, readers should keep in mind that Mr. Rickards states this article is not a forecast or prediction of the future. Rather, it is more an attempt to alert people to the trends that are taking hold in society and challenge us to think about how we can avoid a future like this as I read the article. 

Below are some quotes. Readers should read the entire article for full context. Then a few comments.

"As I awoke this morning, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2024, from restless dreams, I found the insect-sized sensor implanted in my arm was already awake. We call it a “bug.” U.S. citizens have been required to have them since 2022 to access government health care."

"Images of world leaders were on the screen. They were issuing proclamations about the fine health of their economies and the advent of world peace. Citizens, they explained, needed to work in accordance with the New World Order Growth Plan to maximize wealth for all. I knew this was propaganda, but I couldn’t ignore it."

"Today, trust in markets is completely gone. All investors want is their money back. Authorities started printing money after the Panic of 2008, but that solution stopped working by 2018. Probably because so much had been printed in 2017 under QE7. When the panic hit, money was viewed as worthless. So markets were simply closed."

"Between 2018–20, the Group of 20 major powers, the G-20, abolished all currencies except for the dollar, the euro and the ruasia."

"There is also new world money called special drawing rights, or SDRs for short. They’re used only for settlements between countries, however. Everyday citizens use the dollar, euro or ruasia for daily transactions. The SDR is also used to set energy prices and as a benchmark for the value of the three local currencies. The World Central Bank, formerly the IMF, administers the SDR system under the direction of the G-20. As a result of the fixed exchange rates, there’s no currency trading."

"All of the gold in the world was confiscated in 2020 and placed in a nuclear bomb-proof vault dug into the Swiss Alps."

"The purpose of the Swiss vault was not to have gold backing for currencies, but rather to remove gold from the financial system entirely so it could never be used as money again. Thus, gold trading ceased because its production, use and possession were banned."

"Some lucky ones had purchased gold in 2014 and sold it when it reached $40,000 per ounce in 2019By then, inflation was out of control and the power elites knew that all confidence in paper currencies had been lost."

"The only way to preserve wealth through the Panic of 2018 was to have gold, land and fine art. But investors not only needed to have the foresight to buy it… they also had to be nimble enough to sell the gold before the confiscation in 2020, and then buy more land and art and hang onto it. For that reason, many lost everything."
"Land and personal property were not confiscated, because much of it was needed for living arrangements and agriculture."
"Stock and bond trading were halted when the markets closed. During the panic selling after the crash of 2018, stocks were wiped out. Too, the value of all bonds were wiped out in the hyperinflation of 2019."
"Wiped-out savers broke out in money riots soon after but were quickly suppressed by militarized police who used drones, night vision technology, body armor and electronic surveillance."
"To facilitate the gradual freezing of markets, confiscation of wealth and creation of Social Units, world governments coordinated the elimination of cash in 2016. The “cashless society” was sold to citizens as a convenience. No more dirty, grubby coins and bills to carry around!"
"Instead, you could pay with smart cards and mobile phones and could transfer funds online."
"By last year, 2023, free markets, private property and entrepreneurship were things of the past. All that remains of wealth is land, fine art and some (illegal) gold. The only other valuable assets are individual talents, provided you can deploy them outside the system of state-approved jobs."
My added comments:

The first thing to say is that I don't think that Jim Rickards is trying to say ALL the things in this article will happen by 2024. I think he is just challenging readers to think about the future and realize that current trends are leading towards an end to the monetary system we have known. Also, that major change is likely coming. It just so happens that is the theme of this blog so, naturally we find this article of interest.
While the article talks about an end to free markets and a global centralized power structure, that certainly does not have to be how things change. None of us can know the future with certainty and I feel like Jim Rickards would agree with that. But I think he does want people to understand that in history governments have tended to react to crisis by using power to maintain order. Hopefully that kind of world will be avoided, but more centralized power cannot be ruled out as a response if there is another huge global financial crisis.
However, what I would like to focus on in this article are the parts I underlined  in bold above. In the world of 2024, Jim describes a global central bank (he says the former IMF) as using the SDR currency for transactions between countries. He notes that everday citizens are still using the three system approved currencies (the dollar, the Euro, and an Asian currency he calls the RuAsia). Later he says citizens can make payments with smart cards and mobile phones and make fund transfers online. 
This interests me because I have covered on this very blog the GSD currency being developed by Klickex. We have noted here that the GSD technology could someday potentially become a currency that could allow the "inside the system SDR" to link to an "outside the system" currency for use by everyday citizens. Klickex has already developed the technology that allows for real time foreign currency transactions in the South Pacific. They have stated that the purpose of the GSD is to stabilize foreign currency transactions to reduce or eliminate risk in those transactions. They have stated they are working with the global banking system on this.

Currently, Klickex technology makes it possible to transfer funds online in real time across national boundaries using only a mobile phone (and do foreign currency exchange in real time as well). So that  part of Jim's 2024 world is already here in the South Pacific with plans to grow globally. We should make it clear that Klickex in no way envisions its technology to be used as a control mechanism like Jim Rickards talks about in his fictional article. But what he talks about in regards to money transfer technology already exists today. This part of his article caught our attention since we have covered it here extensively.
Lastly, note that Jim describes a future world where gold has been confiscated. This is a topic of much debate these days. Again, none of us know what will really happen in the future. I did think it would be interesting to ask Jim if he had any thoughts about how silver would be viewed in his fictional 2024 world so I asked him about that by email.
Readers may find it interesting that Jim replied and said that this article was not really a forecast (more of a thought piece) and he had not really given silver much consideraton. But he added that because silver is more plentiful than gold and has many industrial uses, he did not think any future governments would be interested in trying to confiscate silver. Many readers will find that comment interesting.
While I don't take this Jim Rickards article for more than it was intended (just an article to challenge people to think), I do think it should cause people to do what we propose here. Stay informed, take the idea of potential monetary system change seriously, watch for signs of change, and make some reasonable preparations for potential change. The more people that do that, the better off we will all be in 2024.

Added Update: Jim Rickards notes on his twitter page this article that says Denmark is already ending its own printing of new currency (they will farm it out) because of the expanding use of  credit cards and smart phones. Also Klickex advised us today that its technology proceeds on steady path forward.

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