A collapse is coming. When it occurs, it will be sudden and instantaneous, much like a light switch being flipped. Most people writing about the effects of an economic and financial collapse focus on the big picture, describing the devastation that will be incurred at a macro level to the economy. Sovereign debt, private debt, financial systems, law and order etc. dominate such discussions.
Many have difficulty translating such a top-down approach to their own individual circumstances. The macro events are in a sense abstractions to which they do not relate. Ultimately they know a dismal big picture will mean dismal personal circumstances but do not comprehend exactly what that may mean.
Robert Wayne Atkins approaches the event in a unique fashion. Instead of focusing on the macro events, he views what is about to occur from the individual’s perspective. He does so by explaining what things will “feel” like in the first hour. Here is an excerpt from his long and recommended article as to how individuals will know the feces has hit the fan:
The One-Hour Meltdown
However, my personal opinion is that once the meltdown begins then in less than one-hour it will quickly escalate far beyond anyone’s ability to control or manage it on a worldwide basis. The five basic assumptions that cause me to believe in my “one-hour meltdown theory” are as follows:
- Banks: The financial institutions around the world cannot withstand a full-scale worldwide bank run. Therefore, they have already made plans to immediately shut down the instant they are told to do so. Within minutes, all across the globe, all the ATM machines will be offline, all credit card and debit card verification transactions will be halted, and all banks will have their vaults locked and their doors locked and their building emptied of all personnel, except perhaps for some special security guards. All high-level bank executives will immediately disappear to a wide variety of remote safe unknown locations. All telephone call inquiries to any of the financial institutions will be automatically answered by a computer with a pre-recorded message similar to the following: “Our system is currently experiencing an extremely high call volume and therefore we are unable to answer your call at this time. Please try again later when our call volume returns to normal.”
- Governments: The vast majority of our government leaders all over the world are relatively intelligent individuals. They completely understand the ramifications of a “bank holiday” in our computer controlled financial economy. Therefore, all government offices will also be immediately shut down, and they will empty their buildings and lock their doors. Any transaction in progress, including any trials in progress, will be immediately halted and postponed until some future date. All high-level government officials, including all judges and tax officials, will immediately disappear to a wide variety of remote safe unknown locations.
- Retail Businesses: Since they will be unable to process even simple transactions, all retail establishments, both large and small, will immediately lock their doors to prevent anyone else from entering. If possible, they will complete any transactions for customers already inside their building if those customers have enough cash to pay for their purchases. Any customers wishing to pay by check or credit card or debit card will be told that the verification system is down and their transaction can’t be completed. All customers will then be immediately escorted to the doors and the doors will be briefly opened and then immediately locked after they exit. In addition, in a manner similar to what happened during the World Trade Center meltdown, each store’s management may demand that their employees remain at their stations until further notice or they will lose their jobs for leaving without management’s permission. But most of the more intelligent employees will leave at the same time as the store’s last few remaining customers. The store’s special security guards may or may not remain behind in order to protect the store with their lives. Since most of these special security guards are not paid exceptionally well, a large number of them may decide that they should return home and protect their own families instead.
- Criminals: Anyone and everyone who has any criminal tendencies and who has been patiently waiting for this to happen will immediately see it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to improve their financial situation. More than likely the vast majority of these criminals have already made very detailed plans that includes exactly which businesses they are going to rob first, second, third, and so on. Any business with a reasonable level of cash-on-hand will be very high on every criminal’s list. Every jewelry store and pawn shop that has any type of silver or gold jewelry, or precious stones (diamonds, rubies, emeralds, etc.), will be very high on everyone’s list. The warfare that breaks out at these establishments between competing criminals will not be pleasant.
- Normal People: Normal average people will begin looting. Grocery stores will be broken into and they will be completely emptied from wall-to-wall, including the rear storage area, in less than one-hour. Stores that have firearms, ammunition, appliances, clothing, shoes, or anything else needed by the average citizen will be emptied in less than one-hour. In skirmishes over the few remaining resources, normal average people will begin killing one another inside the stores, and in the parking lots outside the stores, and on the streets as these fully loaded vehicles try to escape with their loot.
The above events will all happen simultaneously during the first one-hour of the meltdown. After that first hour has passed, things will really begin to get nasty. Everyone will quickly realize there are not are not enough law enforcement personnel to protect everyone and everything. Although the military will probably be ordered to protect specific high priority establishments and resources, there will simply not be enough military personnel to protect individual civilians or businesses.
You may read his entire article here.