Editor’s Note: With violent protests erupting recently in cities like Charlottesville and Berkeley, civil strife in America is at a fever pitch. Today, Editor at Large Chris Lowe sits down with colleague Nick Giambruno to discuss what’s causing all this violence, and what you can do to protect your family and your finances.
America is headed for a new kind of civil war…
And when it erupts, you and your family are going to need some “freedom insurance” – the ability to get out fast and set up in a more stable country.
That’s the stark warning from today’s expert, Casey Research’s globetrotting analyst Nick Giambruno.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that America is in turmoil.
That was on full display in Charlottesville, Virginia, last month. But it’s not just Charlottesville. There have also been deadly clashes in Ferguson, Charleston, Dallas, St. Paul, Baltimore, Baton Rouge, and Alexandria.
But you don’t just have to sit around and wait for more widespread violence to erupt in America before taking action to protect yourself, your family, and your assets. As Nick explains below, by taking out “freedom insurance” now… you’ll be prepared for whatever is coming down the pike.
Chris Lowe: You’ve been urging folks to diversify internationally. Why is that message so important now?
Nick Giambruno: The U.S. is becoming more and more fragmented, as I’m sure our readers have noticed. I’ve never seen it more polarized.
In fact, I’ve only seen this degree of polarization in countries that have gone through civil wars. It all feels eerily familiar.
I was born in the U.S. and grew up there. But I used to live in Lebanon, which went through a nasty 15-year civil war. More than 120,000 died. Thousands more lost their homes.
And I currently live in Colombia part of the year. The country has a 50-year history of civil conflict.
Chris Lowe: What’s to blame for this situation?
Nick Giambruno: Identity politics are a big factor.
That’s when your religion, race, ethnic background, and so forth are the most important thing in politics. You’re no longer an individual American. You’re part of some group, undoubtedly being victimized by another group.
This naturally leads to collectivism, tensions… and eventually violence between the groups.
Identity politics were a big factor in Lebanon’s civil war. And they’re a big factor in the U.S. right now. This poisonous trend is growing, and it’s probably unstoppable.
The media is another big factor. Most Americans live in a partisan information bubble with these 24-hour news networks and partisan websites. That accelerates the divide.
I lived in Beirut, Lebanon’s capital city, for about three years. It reminds me of the media there. About 6 million people live in Lebanon, but it has about a dozen 24-hour news channels. Each one caters to a different political/sectarian/ethnic group. This allows each group to live in its own media bubble.
Lebanon’s bloody civil war happened in the 1970s and 1980s. But it’s still an extremely divided country. It wouldn’t take much for its civil war to start up again.
The media in Lebanon helps incubate tensions there. Today, the same thing is happening in the U.S.
I don’t mean to sound dramatic, but Americans hate each other right now. And it’s getting worse. We’re just a market crash… a recession… or some other extreme event away from more widespread violence. A new form of civil war is even possible.
Chris Lowe: We’re not talking a return to 1861 – to pitched battles between armies and hundreds of thousands dead. But if you define “civil war” as a situation where you have widespread violence, a rejection of political authority, and the National Guard on the street, it’s easy to see how America gets there.
Nick Giambruno: I agree. I can’t say exactly what it is. But something does seem to be brewing. And it’s not good. That’s why Doug Casey and I urge our readers to internationalize their lifestyles.
Call it what you want, but American society is cracking. Like you say, it’s not necessarily just the political system, but society itself. And that’s probably more worrisome.
Doug and I have talked about this a lot lately. Doug is older than I am. He’s in his 70s. And he says he hasn’t seen anything like this in his lifetime.
This is why I urge readers to diversify outside of the U.S. The fracturing of society will create a lot of political risk. And that’s on top of the risks from money printing, higher taxes, and increasing regulations.
Chris Lowe: What do you say to folks who see the idea of an America at war with itself as farfetched?
Nick Giambruno: We’ve seen this movie before. As Doug has been warning his readers for years, it happened in Bosnia in the 1990s. It happened in Afghanistan in the 1980s. It happened in Rhodesia – now Zimbabwe – in the 1970s. It happened in the Belgian Congo in the 1960s… in Cuba in the 1950s… in China in the 1940s… in Germany in the 1930s… and in Russia in the 1920s.
It also happened recently in Ukraine, where Doug and I visited last year. There, it started with the downfall of a Russian-backed thug who was replaced by a U.S.-backed thug. The country lost itself in identity politics – people who identified with Russia versus those who didn’t.
From there, it descended into armed conflict. So far, more than 10,000 are dead and many thousands more are wounded.
As Doug puts it, if you stay put in one place… and you don’t have options when one of these extreme events happens… you’re going to wind up a victim.
No matter where you live, international diversification can greatly reduce the threat your home government poses to your personal and financial well-being.
Chris Lowe: How does it work?
Nick Giambruno: You know the benefits of diversifying your investment portfolio. If you put all of your asset “eggs” in one basket, you could lose your entire portfolio if that basket breaks.
The same idea applies to political risk. If your home country fractures – and suffers the kind of civil unrest and violence we’ve been talking about – you could lose everything.
Most people have medical, life, fire, and car insurance policies. You hope you never have to use these policies. But you have them anyway. They give you peace of mind and protection if the worst comes to pass.
International diversification is the ultimate insurance policy. Think of it as “freedom insurance.” It frees you from dependence on any one country. Achieve that freedom, and it becomes extremely difficult for any one group of bureaucrats to control you. The results can be life changing.
There are two ways you can diversify your savings – foreign real estate and foreign bank accounts.
Foreign real estate is especially helpful. I call it a diversification “grand slam” because it accomplishes a number of key goals at once. Ideally, it’s located somewhere you would enjoy living.
Owning real estate in a foreign country moves a good chunk of your savings into a hard asset that’s outside of your home government’s immediate reach. It’s basically impossible for your home government to confiscate your foreign real estate.
In addition, many countries offer permanent residency and a path to naturalization to foreigners who make qualifying real estate investments. In Europe, for example, this includes Portugal, Ireland, Cyprus, Latvia, Malta, and Spain.
I own real estate in Colombia and Argentina. Doug Casey and Bill Bonner own foreign real estate as well.
Another way to get some international diversification is to open a bank account with a foreign bank outside the control of the U.S. This may seem difficult, but I recently wrote about how Americans can do this by applying for a Chinese UnionPay credit card.
Everyone in the world should aim for political diversification. But it’s especially critical for those who live under a government that’s sinking hopelessly deeper into financial trouble. That means most Western governments… and the U.S. in particular, given what’s going on right now.
Editor’s Note: America has seen crisis before. But according to Bill, this time is different. Bill’s team recently released a memo that reveals the underlying source of all this political polarization and social unrest in America… and a troubling truth about America that no one else will tell you. Click here to read it now.