travelers check worthwhile? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

If we're to take large sums of money out of the bank, but want to keep it safe (not all in cash) any thoughts about getting it in traveler's checks or cashier's checks?

-- steve (, March 03, 1999


Some comments in this thread from last nite. <:)=


-- Sysman (, March 03, 1999.

You will cut out the largest layer of risk if you use EE US Savings Bonds instead. Can be cashed at any bank in the country any day of the week, regardless of whether your local bank has been wiped off the face of the financial world. They earn a minimal amount of interest, which is more than can be said for a Traveler's Check. Only serious limitation is the yearly dollar amount of purchses allowed.

-- Puddintame (, March 03, 1999.

If this is anything like the programmers are expecting then all your paper will be real handy for starting fires, plugging holes in your shoes, decorations of wealth gone by, and various sorts of collectable, memory kinda things. Kinda like Confederate Money after the Civil War!

-- freeman (, March 03, 1999.

At the risk of staring a deluge of economic arguing (I think I rather see the religious arguments):

The only REAL money is something yo can eat, wear, or live in. (Or maybe protect those things with). Everything else is a convenience in the process of exchanging things aroung to get the REAL money.

I LIKE real money. When the beans are in the barn, no body can go up on the price. When the bread is in baking, I don't have to depend on someone else to get it to the store.

-- Greybear, with appologies for excessive alleterations.

- Got Money?

-- Greybear (, March 03, 1999.

Alliteration? Greybear gots grain growin gangbusters in the ground.

-- Puddintame (, March 03, 1999.

Traveller's checks -- American Express, Bank of America, or? Still dependent on them not going belly up.

Some years ago, one of the private (as contrasted with Postal) money order companies went belly up. The purchaser was S.O.L.

BTW, I no longer get traveller's checks, haven't for years. The reasons being that,
1) Some sellers have wanted ID to sell them to me, and wanted me to sign them there. (They took it upon themselves years ago to "Know your customer")
2) Despite the signature and counter signature (signature verification) spaces on the cheques, merchants now also want to see some ID. (So for your privacy, you can no longer sign them and countersign them "Elmer Fudd" or whatever.)

F* 'em.

-- a (, March 04, 1999.

I just have to answer a previous statement, "The only REAL money is something yo can eat, wear, or live in. (Or maybe protect those things with). Everything else is a convenience in the process of exchanging things aroung to get the REAL money." I'm sorry, but that is incorrect. Money is, in fact, a medium of exchange. Things you can "eat, wear, or live in" are most certainly NOT money. Money is what you use to buy or rent things you can "eat, wear, or live in," among other such economic goods.

-- Robert Sturgeon (, March 08, 1999.


I think Greybear meant that what you're calling "money" has value only because society agrees that it does. Society has always found water, food and clothing useful, as opposed to different currencies that have been used over the centuries.

-- Kevin (, March 08, 1999.

Thanks Kevin, spot on.


Remindes of a cartoon strip I saw several years ago. All the panels show the same scene, only the comment bubbles change. The scene is: In a restroom showing two stall doors with feet showing in each stall. The two people I'll call Man on Right (MR) and Man on Left (ML)

First Panel: ML, "Say, buddy yoy got any toilet paper over there?"

Second Panel: MR, "No, I'm out over here too"

Third Panel: Silence

Fourth Panel: ML, "Say, buddy, have you got two fives for a ten?"

--Greybear, Money=Value=Utility (depending on need at the time)

- Got (yes, I'm going to say it) TP

-- Greybear (, March 08, 1999.

Kevin- You may call a duck an elephant, but that doesn't make it an elephant.

I know what money is. Land is not money. Houses are not money. Food is not money. Diesel fuel is not money. Ruger Mini-14s are not money. Money is whatever circulates as the medium of exchange in a particular place and time. Right now, in the U.S., money is the U.S. Dollar. In the future, it may very well be gold and/or silver coins. I don't know. But I can assure you that money will not be Chevrolet pickup trucks.

I'm sorry if this basic truth is bothersome, and I agree with the desirability to have assets other than money in order to deal with emergencies. After all, gold coins are not particularly useful in a lifeboat. But if you find yourself in a TEOTWAWKI situation, and you want to get something you have unaccountably failed to stock up on, gold coins will be ever so much more spendable than lifeboats.

So? Why not get both? Money AND emergency supplies? And a textbook- Econ 101? You can read it by the flickering light of your oil lamp as you try to figure out why your neighbor, who already has 500 rounds of .223, won't trade you 5 gallons of his gasoline for a box of your ammo. No, he doesn't need any food. No, he doesn't need any batteries. Oddly enough, he doesn't need anything you have. What to do, what to do? Then the little light will flash- "Oh, he wants something he can trade to almost anyone else for almost anything else. He wants money." Do you have any?

-- Robert Sturgeon (, March 08, 1999.

I think that Robert summed it up nicely. And, so many times, you see people make statements like, "Well, paper money will be valueless if TSHTF" or "Noone will take it anyway except to burn to keep warm", etc.

Look, nobody knows what level of confidence people will have in paper money if TSHTF, but here are things to consider:

1) Certainly, in the early stage of when TSHTF, people will have a great deal of confidence that things will be fixed and up again soon. Noone is going to watch the lights go out and immediately conclude, "Well, there went the power grid, goodbye to the world as we knew it." (Well, I probably will, but I am the exception.) The point is that people's confidence will still be high, but the only thing readily usable for goods and services is: CASH!

2) Even under a complete TSHTF scenario where cash has become competely "worthless", it is still usable for debts and obligations! Think about it: you owe $xxx a month in mortgage on your house. Fine, you pay $xxx each month. The fact that $xxx won't buy a can of beans is immaterial, that was the amount agreed to, and "this note is legal tender for all debts, public and private".

3) Finally, since there is so little cash that actually exists (e.g., when compared to the sum total of bank deposits), and thus is itself a scarce resource, it might actually assume value comparable to that of precious metals.

Again, who knows? But these are things to think about before completely dismissing the role of cash when TSHTF.

-- Jack (, March 08, 1999.

Also see this thread from January...


-- Kevin (, March 09, 1999.

Kevin- Thank you for that link. The statement I was specifically taking exception to was from "Greybear" -

"The only REAL money is something yo can eat, wear, or live in. (Or maybe protect those things with). Everything else is a convenience in the process of exchanging things aroung to get the REAL money."

While I understand the sentiment, the statement itself is just flat-out wrong. REAL money is... money.

-- Robert Sturgeon (, March 09, 1999.

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