The One-Hour Meltdown

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:

  1. 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.”
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

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  1. Agree up to point 3. Ordinary commerce, in prepared locales, will continue unaffected through the use of copper and silver pieces valued at pre-20th century ratios.

    Copper is practically under-foot in landfills, basements and attics. Abundant work for the destitute will be its accumulation and conversion at neighborhood ‘exchanges’ for minted pieces. Merchants in turn will then negotiate the copper (currently 130:1 copper-silver Troy-weight) for silver to trade for re-supply from wholesalers.

    The entire global fiasco is directly and solely attributable to unlimited ‘imaginary money’ foisted on the world’s Peoples by their governments and banks, so the obvious solution hinges on its complete abandonment.

    1. But this, initially, is barter. Eventually communities will develop their own “money,” whatever that might be. Gold and silver will have value regardless of whether it emerges as money or not. It would be the ultimate test of Austrian economics, i.e., that money in a free society evolves and is not mandated.

  2. Everyone has forgotten all the food the goverment is hoarding right now – I would think while there is bound to be looting and chaos – there will be efforts to employ some sort of disaster plan. Also what about individual community efforts- this whole thing is about ‘how’ we react. You have a choice to be a ‘chicken little’ or a true Leader- I’m not saying everything will be fine, not at all. Every reaction is either one out of ‘Fear’ or Love.
    Fear is a good alarm system – Love involves Trust. Trust in self, others, and the process.

  3. I agree that it would take longer than one hour and I personally think it’d take longer than one day for everyone to fully realize what is going on. Most of the sheeples will go home, thinking that they’re getting an entitled day off of work.

    I say stay home, protect your belongings and family until you are absolutely forced to leave.

  4. In the very big cities, you will see all out warfare between the sheep. The military will cordon off the big cities and watch the shoot out as 100′s of thousands kill each other over the remaining food in the stores. High level government officials, bankers, elected officials will be hunted down and killed when everything is settled down. Many will stay in deep underground military bases for the rest of their lives or be sent to islands out of the country just to keep alive. Many armed citizens like myself have long lists of these traitors along with pictures and will spend the rest of our lives hunting them down torturing them as long as possible before the sheep come to catch me and if no time just kill them.

    1. wouldn’t it make more sense to stay at home guarding your preps?? These criminals who caused this will eventually get their just deserves, as the starving masses go after them. You can stay at home, being well prepared and fed, and guard what you have gathered, all because you were smart enough to think ahead. I’m just saying……

  5. Actually, retail will stay open. You’ll still be able to pay with cash or even barter, as long as you are dealing with the actual business owner. Business always finds a way to get done, in spite of all the rules and regulations imposed by banks and governments.

    It won’t take one hour for this to occur, it’ll take about a day before many of these things happen. Having lived through the Rodney King riots, these things take about a day to gather momentum. It has to reach the tipping point when the cops leave their job to go home and protect their own families. That happens when the cop’s wife calls in a panic the next day and he heads home.

    However, you can count on the grocery stories being cleaned out the next morning and yes, the electronic banking will grind to a halt, too. You should always keep your gas tank at least 1/2 full, not a drop less.

    1. I think your assesment is more real. It would seem that it might take 24 hours or so for sheeple to truly realize how screwed they really are. I know many people who don’t carry more than a couple bucks in their pockets at any time. For these sheeple, panic will set in pretty quick as they realize the atm’s don’t work anymore, and the bank is closed till further notice—everywhere…

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