A sign taped to a wall in an Athens hospital appealed for civility from patients. “The doctors on duty have been unpaid since May,” it read, “Please respect their work.”
Patients and their relatives glanced up briefly and moved on, hardened to such messages of gloom. In a country where about 1,000 people lose their jobs each day, legions more are still employed but haven’t seen a paycheck in months. What used to be an anomaly has become commonplace, and those who have jobs that pay on time consider themselves the exception to the rule.
To the casual observer, all might appear well in Athens. Traffic still hums by, restaurants and bars are open, people sip iced coffees at sunny sidewalk cafes. But scratch the surface and you find a society in free-fall, ripped apart by the most vicious financial crisis the country has seen in half a century.
This is what a slow motion financial meltdown looks like. When America’s comes, it will only differ in that there will be cash and people will get paid. They will be paid in increasingly worthless dollars.
So what do you do? I suspect it makes sense to buy durable goods you know you are going to need now. Interest rates are low and inflation has still not really hit. My guess, is that putting off major purchases is not in your interest. Especially if these are tools you need for your trade or to survive.