Depression 2.0: Creative Strategies for Tough Economic Times (Process Self-reliance Series)
ISBN: 9781934170069

Published in 2009 (midst of the Global Financial Crisis).

The book aims to offer “practical and common sense strategies for surviving on less in an age of diminishing expectations” (p4.)

Focused on the U.S. And written for the North American reader.

Advocates being aware of what’s happening (rather than placing blind faith in govt etc.)

Contains interviews of authors/ people on money, the economy, experiences of living in the country Vs city.

Some might find that they are already praticising the tips in the book, on saving money and keeping household expenses low, keeping oneself healthy, cultivating a positive outlook in life.

I see this book as mental preparation, with practical general tips. One can only be prepared for the future if one plans one’s reactions based on different scenarios.

P19. Primary symptoms of Depression 2.0: mismanaged currency, govt overspending, speculative excess in real estate and financial markets, a “slow motion energy crisis”.

Initial chapter sets the context by giving background of the financial crisis (collapse of banks/ home loan market in U.S. Due to unregulated loans), unfettered govt spending and strain on Social Security and Medicare (outflows more than inflows), reliance on oil.

Chapter 2 on “contemplating unemployment”. Tips on practicing frugality and living within means (by way of simple math of income Vs expenses; not incurring debt; using the public library), investing in health and mind. Even reviewing one’s food storage and cache.
P36. Recession-proof jobs: Protection services, Caring for the sick, Network & Comms Analyst, Military, Govt.
P38. Advises that Web 2.0. can be used for furthering one’s job search.

Chapter 3, on saving money by cutting down household expenses like energy, fuel, tips on saving gas for car.

Chapter 4, on thinking about bankruptcy. Info, procedure, implications (applies to U.S. law)

Chapter 5, on how one can make our home more “resilient”, e.g. water storage (doesn’t 100% really apply to urbanised Singapore), purification, sanitation, dealing with blackouts, home security, street strategies (p90. Tips on street safety, dealing with robberies).

Chapter 6, on “Retreat Options”; leaving the city, pros and cons of country life,

Chapter 7, Home energy Solutions. Assessing home energy needs (consumerreports.org), energy sources like home generators, battery power, solar, off-grid cooking.

Chapter 8, “When you have no shelter”. Homelessness must-haves (starts with finding a way to store one’s valuables and other possessions), finding shelter, what to pack (for sleeping, hygiene, food, safety, general supplies P148), tips on surviving on the streets (suggests avoiding congregating with other homeless, stereotypes by others, safety considerations, the need to maintain hygiene, public facilities, places of shelter, living in a car, squatting*)
* freegan.info, squattercity.blogspot.com, squat.net

Chapter 9, surviving a currency crisis. Talks about going back to barter trade, digital marketplace (craigslist.com, swaptree.com, webswap.com, swapthing.com).

Chapter 10, “investments for an uncertain future”. On deflation, inflation, stagflation. Explores options for investing in cash (talks about available U.S.-based schemes to protect capital value). On gold (how to buy, store, options for ownership), silver, bonds (risks in inflationary and deflationary cases), real estate (talks about pros and cons), stocks (“desperation breed desperate acts”; advises against entrusting money to brokers without doing research*).

In general:
Keep cash in times of deflation; gold/ silver in inflationary pressures,

* 321gold.com
aspo-usa.com
dailyreckoning.com
Europac.net (“dr. Doom” Peter Schiff)
globalguerillas.typepad.com

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