By Randy Hilarski
This morning the National Bank of Panama announced that it was suspending all services until Tuesday the 1st of October. The National Bank of Panama says that the reason is to upgrade systems. The Banking Holiday in Panama was announced this am.
This system wide shutdown has country wide implications. The National Bank of Panama did not warn the people before making the announcement and shutting down the banks. The people do not have access to ATM’s either. We received word of this from family members first. This weekend is payday for people across Panama.
I am active among the Gold and Silver investing community. We have been discussing at great length about the possibility of bank holidays in countries on the Dollar standard. Could Panama just be the first domino to fall in the banking system? Could this be more than just a system upgrade? Why not tell the people ahead of time to prepare for the closure of the banking system?
What are some reasons for a bank holiday? The National Bank of Panama says it is a system upgrade, I don’t believe it is that simple. Maybe a Dollar revaluation could be coming soon. Maybe it is something more serious like a banking crisis like we had in Indonesia back in 1997 or more recently in Cyprus. I am hoping for the best and preparing for the worst.
What are some things you can do to protect yourself if Panama is just the first signal of a pending banking crisis? First and foremost make sure to have some cash. Second buy the essentials for your family. Be frugal until the storm passes. I know this sounds simplistic, but those who are prepared will be fine.
I feel for the Panama families who live paycheck to paycheck. They were expecting to be paid tomorrow. This is the time that they go grocery shopping, put gas in their cars and pay the bills. This delay will have wide ranging affects on the people of Panama.
Do not be unprepared, you have it within your power to be ready for such a situation!
Latest update. 6pm CST
The Clave (Debit Card) system has been taken offline. No wire transfers between banks and internationally until the 1st of October. Panamanians will be required to go to their local bank branch to take out cash.