very much 'inside the box' thinkers. They go to school, they have to memorize things for the test that they have to pass to be certified in their profession. The profession itself is very conservative. No doubt this man believes US T bonds are a risk free investment.
However, it is curious that he himself has made preparations.
The way I would approach it is ask him out for dinner or a drink. Get him out of his office. Loosen him up with some alcohol. Then ask him what kind of preparations he's made and see what kind of a thinker he is. Maybe he's a Ron Paul guy too!
But remember, whatever he says is just a point for reference. No one knows the future. This is something that you really have to hunker down and meditate on for your own particular circumstances.
As for gold-vs-silver. Gold is around $1300 / oz now, and silver is around 22. That means you need close to 60 oz of silver to preserve the same amount of wealth as gold.
What if you have to run? Gold is much easier to carry.
On the other hand, you'll want some junk silver for day-to-day transactions, should the entire system break down for a while.
I have no doubt that day is coming. One day the government will really shut down and won't open back up.
When it is coming is anyone's guess, however. Then again, it may never come.
Who is Cornmeal Smithy?
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