“Panic Buying of Food in New Jersey?”
“Supermarkets in northeastern New Jersey are literally swamped with customers tonight, so much so that in some locations like Hoboken, lines are literally around the store to get it! It is a rather unusual situation since there are no closures or shortages of any kind, so SuperStation95 sent one of our intrepid editors, Chris Rivera, to ask what- if anything- is going on? He reports below:
“ShopRite in Hoboken, NJ is one of the largest supermarkets in Hudson County, and certainly the largest in this upscale, preppie, city of one square mile. Situated on the western side of the mighty Hudson River, one can see the entire New York City Skyline from just about everywhere in Hoboken. It’s a beautiful city.
So what is it that is causing lines out the door and wrapping around supermarkets in town? Despite the huge parking lot, I had to find street parking to head over to the ShopRite. I found a space about a block away. As I approached, I could see lots of typical Hoboken folks, chatting with each other as they patiently wait to get inside. I asked a few, why the big lines?
“Banks in Italy are collapsing” said Margarie Sytola. ”People can’t get money to buy food, the ATM’s are all out of cash.” I asked her why a banking issue in Italy would send her to the supermarket in Hoboken, NJ and she snapped back “The world is connected. What happens in Europe eventually happens here. I’m not going to be one of the people caught with nothing if the banks close.”
Jeff Charles, a nearby shopper who overheard our conversation, chimed-in. ”The banks never stopped gambling with our money after they were bailed out in 2008″ he said. ”The oldest bank in Italy, been in business since the year 1472, is going under. If a bank that old is going under, the rest don’t stand a chance” he said.
George Kiaffas, from Athens Greece was also waiting in line. He had experienced the bank “holidays’ in Athens last year before he got out and moved with his family in the US. ”The bankers are all in it together, around the whole world” he said. ”They rape the public and when they lose all our money gambling, they get the politicians to bail them out- but the politicians are broke now, so there won’t be anybody to bail anybody out” he continued. ”I took what little money I have out of the bank and I keep it in a safe place now; they won’t cause me to go hungry ever again” he added.
I thought it strange that these people all had similar concerns: the banks going under. So I walked around the corner of the store, smoked a cigarette, and took-up conversations with people who were so far away, they couldn’t possibly have heard anything the other folks told me. I told a nearby woman who I was, and that I was doing a story on why there seems to be a big rush to buy food. Her name is Irena Miskova from Russia and her answer: “The banks are collapsing again and there’s no money for the government to bail them out!”
I was stunned. At that moment, it was instantly clear to me that this is panic buying of food for fear of a bank collapse! Here. In America. Hoboken, NJ. Amazing!
I told Irena that here in the US, we have the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) which insures all our accounts for up to $250,000. She replied “Yes, but if you read the fine print, they can take up a YEAR to start paying your back, and up to five years to finish the pay back. How will I live over those years?” Whoa. This woman read the fine print. Nobody EVER reads the fine print! Hell, even _I_ didn’t read the fine print!
Max Baker, in line ahead of Irena, chimed in: “The FDIC doesn’t have nearly enough money to pay everyone if a bank like Citibank or JP Morgan goes under. And with Obama playing nasty with China over those islands in the South China Sea, we could see a naval battle with them in the very close future. If that happens, China won’t finance our debt anymore and Congress will have to print the money. That triggers inflation and we’ll all be wiped out.”
I was starting to feel very uncomfortable at this point. How is it that all these average, typical, everyday people were so informed about world events? How is it that they keep abreast of this stuff? I’m in the news business and I didn’t have a clue as to these concerns. Yet here were literally hundreds of typical, everyday, average people in Hoboken, New Jersey, who are so tuned-in to what’s going on around the world, that they’re stocking-up on food because Banks in Italy are failing.
Jermaine Flemming had other concerns. He talked about the recent violence against police in Dallas and other cities around the country, and worries that these protests are getting out of hand. ”They keep attacking the cops and sooner or later states are gonna call out the national guard; then none of us will be able to go out to the store to get anything” he said. He said it’s better to have extra food for his family for a couple weeks, and not need it, than to need it and not have it.
As I was talking to these folks, several large tractor-trailers were pulling-into the loading docks at the back of the store. So I walked over to see what I could find out from those guys. To a man, they all said they were not authorized to speak on behalf of the company, but they told me some basic info. Each supermarket has computers which track inventory. When the computers see that items are running low or sold out, they automatically place an order with their supplier, Wakerfern Corporation, and replacement inventory is on a truck the very next day. Wakefern, they say, has gigantic warehouses and there are no shortages of any food items at all.
I left the store in a sort of stunned silence. I felt so out-of-the-loop. So unprepared. So many people talking about banks in Italy, and even worried about the effect of the violent “Black Lives Matter” protests. These folks are all thinking ahead. I felt like I was so pre-occupied with the here-and-now, I wasn’t paying attention to what was clearly on the horizon. How is it that they could see it so clearly while I didn’t have a clue? Then I realized, all these people were older than me. I’m in my early 30′s. Most of them were in their 50′s or 60′s. They’ve lived longer. They know more. That’s how life works.
I called my wife from my cellular phone and told her what was happening. She was taken aback, and immediately told me she was heading out to the store to stock-up on long-term food. Big bags of rice, bags of beans, boxes of pasta, jars of sauce, canned meats, veggies, fruits, stuff that will last a good long time. I agreed it was the right thing for us to do. Like Jermaine Flemming said, it’s better to have it, and not need it, than to need it, and not have it. So much for the space in the basement I was going to use as my “man cave.” Oh well, and so it goes.”
The Economy: “Bank Runs Have Begun in Italy, ATMs Being Emptied”
“We have numerous reports of BANK RUNS taking place right now throughout Italy. Reports of lines of people at ATM’s are draining the automatic tellers of all cash. This comes after weeks of speculation about the health of several Italian banks, including the oldest Bank Monte dei Paschi, which has been in business since the year 1472 – twenty years before Columbus discovered America!
Snce March of this year, SuperStation95 has been reporting the Italian banking system is a “leaning tower” heading toward collapse at literally any moment. And as Italy’s banks begin to go down like dominoes, it is going to set off financial panic all over Europe unlike anything we have ever seen before. We even wrote about the troubles in Italy back in January, but since that time the crisis has escalated. At this point, Italian banking stocks have declined a whopping 68 percent since the beginning of 2016, and when you look at some of the biggest Italian banks the numbers become even more frightening.
Shares of Monte dei Paschi were down 4.7 percent, and they have now plummeted 86 percent since the start of the year. Shares of Carige were down 38 percent, and they have now plunged a total of 88 percent since the start of the year. This is what a financial crisis looks like, and just like we are seeing in South America, the problems in Italy appear to be significantly accelerating.
So what makes Italy so important? Well, we all saw how difficult it was for the rest of Europe to come up with a plan to rescue Greece. But Greece is relatively small– they only have the 44th largest economy in the world. The Italian economy is far larger. Italy has the 8th largest economy in the world, and their government debt to GDP ratio is currently sitting at about 132 percent. There is no way that Europe has the resources or the ability to handle a full meltdown of the Italian financial system. Unfortunately, that is precisely what is happening. Italian banks are absolutely drowning in non-performing loans, and represents “the greatest threat to the world’s already burdened financial system.”
As this “run” continues, Italian banks will fail and be closed. Once they are closed, it will begin to take out big banks elsewhere in Europe, from whom the Italian Banks have borrowed. That will spark bank runs in Europe, and some very (VERY) large banks in Europe will fail. Once that happens, it will hit Banks in the USA… game over.
We encourage readers in the rest of the world to have CASH MONEY in their possession at home, in case banks are closed for a “bank holiday” which could last for WEEKS. If the banks are closed, CREDIT and DEBIT CARDS WILL NOT WORK. You have to have enough cash to survive, enough to buy FOOD and perhaps FUEL. Never mind paying bills; this could end-up being “survival.” Folks without cash will starve.
Earlier today in Rome: Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem earlier today said he was not “particularly” worried about Italian banks. More interesting was his insistence that “there have always been and will always be bankers that say ’we need more public money to recapitalize our banks…. and I will resist that very strongly because it is, again and again, hitting on the taxpayer.” He then added that “the problems with the banks need to be sorted out in the banks and by banks.” He sided further with Germany’s Angel Merkel camp when he said that he finds the ease in which bankers ask for public funds to sort out problems is “very problematic.”
Dijsselbloem added that “there has to come an end to” bankers asking politicians to solve their problems. His statement comes just a day after David Folkerts-Landau, the chief economist of Deutsche Bank,called for a €150 billion bailout for European banks, confirming that it is no longer just an “Italian” issue. Dijsselbloem’s further comments showed that he won’t be easily swayed absent a market-wide panic and/or a steep slump in the economy. “I think they’re talking constructively to try and find solutions within the European frameworks,” says Dijsselbloem before a meeting in Brussels Monday cited by Bloomberg. “Yes, there are issues of non-performing loans in the Italian banks, but that’s not a new issue. It needs to be dealt with. It will have to be dealt with gradually. There will be no big solutions. It’s not an acute crisis. That also gives us some time to sort these things out. So as long as the authorities in Italy and the banking authorities are constructively talking, I think we should allow them the time to do that.
BRRD rules are clear. They are, of course, also strict in the sense that they make very clear when there needs to be a bail-in and who needs to be bailed-in in what order. And within that framework a solution still can be found. I mean, you still have to deal with banks sometimes. And it’s still possible. But it has to be done within those rules.”
Customers wait for access to ATM’s
He wasn’t the only one. Also today Austrian Finance Minister Hans Joerg Schelling says he has “no” sympathy for bending bank bail-in rules. ”Europe has few rules, but these rules must be adhered to. And we can’t discuss the rules every two years. If we give ourselves rules, we must apply them.”
His punchline was one we first noted two weeks ago, when Renzi tried to scapegoat the Italian push for a bailout on Brexit: “What’s happening in Italy has nothing to do with Brexit. The non-performing loans under discussion for offloading into a bad bank have been around for many years and have nothing to do with Brexit. One shouldn’t use Brexit as an excuse for one’s own failures. I expect there to be a tough position” toward Italy.
Needless to say this was the worst possible news for an Italian banking sector which many view as the next contagion hotspot, and which as the chart below shows continue to trade at crisis level.”
“Charting The Epic Collapse Deutsche Bank, The World’s Most Systemically Dangerous Bank”
“Another 2008 Similarity Is Afoot”
(Oh no, this is magnitudes bigger and worse… – CP)
“What Economic Recovery? 62% of Americans Don’t Even Have $1000 in Savings”
(Sound familiar, Good Citizen? – CP)
Soon, to a neighborhood near you! And then – what?