"Make tons of money. Buy an isolated farm in the mountains. Protect family against the barbarians: Your safe haven must be self-sufficient and capable of growing some kind of food ... It should be well-stocked with seed, fertilizer, canned food, wine, medicine, clothes, etc. Think Swiss Family Robinson." -- Paul Farrell, quoting Barton Biggs
I want to examine this quote from 2010 in light of recent events. I believe doing so will give a clear picture of how the world's ultra-wealthy are preparing for an economic and political collapse that they see as inevitable.
This isn't advice from some survivalist guru. Instead, this is advice from a successful and respected hedge fund manager to his ultra-wealthy clients. Barton Biggs (now deceased), was the manager of the multi-billion dollar hedge fund, Traxis Partners. In 2008, he wrote Wealth, War, and Wisdom, which draws on the lessons of past markets during turbulent times to help survive the current turbulent times. Biggs, who correctly predicted the dot.com bubble, had a gloomy outlook on the economic future and was warning his clients, members of the 1%, of the "possibility of a breakdown of the civilized infrastructure."
Notice that first part of the above quote - make tons of money. The wealthy elites are doing just that. Realizing that an economic collapse is inevitable, they are making as much money as they can right now using short term tactics and reinvesting that money into hard assets such as land, gold, silver, agriculture and other commodities as a protection against future collapse. In my opinion, this explains, at least in part, why Wall Street has done so well since the "Great Recession" of 2008, while Main Street has done so poorly.
The second bit of advice is "Buy an isolated farm in the mountains." Sounds a lot like a survival retreat, doesn't it? The rich fat-cats in the 1% will never leave the glamor and luxury of the Big Cities for a rural farm., right? Well, it turns out the 1% are abandoning the cities for survival retreats. There have been several recent news articles like these:
- Panicked Elite Buying Bomb-Proof Luxury Survival Bunkers to Escape Civil Unrest, Disasters
- France: Exodus of 10,000 millionaires amid rising Muslim tensions
- Millionaires Fleeing Chicago Over Fear of Civil Unrest
"Protect family against the barbarians" is the third bit of advice. This is the home security, guns & ammo portion of his advice. Be prepared to defend yourself and your families. For now, the 1% can hire people with guns to protect them. The rest of us have to do it ourselves with our own guns.
"Your safe haven must be self-sufficient and capable of growing some kind of food." Self-sufficiency for your retreat, homestead, farm, or whatever you want to call it, is next on Bigg's list. The ability to provide your own food and water is key. There are lots of others aspects to self-sufficiency. The point is depend on the current doomed system as little as possible.
"It should be well-stocked with seed, fertilizer, canned food, wine, medicine, clothes, etc." The supply lines of our just-in-time inventory and distribution systems will be disrupted. Stock up on what you will need now, while you still can.
"Think Swiss Family Robinson." It is a family effort. You need people - family, friends, allies. Think a survival community or mutial aid group (MAGs).
Summary Survival Plan of the Ultra-Rich
- Make as much money as possible, while it is still possible. Use that money to do the remaining steps.
- Abandon the big cities and heavily populated areas, in favor of estates with land in rural areas capable of producing food. Build self-sufficiency.
- Invest in other "hard assets" in addition to land - gold, silver, and other tangible items.
- Take security very seriously. Don't depend on "civilized society" or even the police to keep you safe.
- Become as self-sufficient as possible.
- Stock up on food and other supplies in anticipation of a very long-term disruption in the current supply-chain.
- Develop a small network for survival - your family & some close friends. Lone wolves don't survive well over the long-term.