Episode-781- Fernando FerFAL Aguirre on Surviving an Economic Collapse

Surviving the Economic Collapse is a First Hand Account of a Modern Economic Collapse

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is 31 years old and lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with his wife and two children. He started writing about urban survivalism after experiencing first hand the socioeconomic collapse of his country in 2001. The everyday experience of living in Argentina after the collapse provides Fernando a wealth of experience that he shares with his readers through his blog and book.

Fernando is the author of “Surviving the Economic Collapse” which has been a Emergency and Disaster best seller since its release in 2009.  He brings a voice of realism to this topic of economic collapse.

Basically Fernando’s message is everything the TV and Hollywood have told you bears very little resemblance to reality.

Join Fernando and I today as we discuss…

  • What exactly happened in Argentina in December of 2001
  • What can Americans learn from what happened in Argentina
  • What can we do now to protect ourselves from what is coming
  • The role of precious metals in a collapse economy
  • Why cash is still king in a economic collapse
  • What effect does an economic collapse have on criminal activity
  • Why small town rural areas beat out both remote retreats and cities
  • Setting up effective home security
  • The role dogs play in home security
  • What to carry in way of guns, knives and other defensive tools
  • Learning to defend yourself in real combat scenarios
  • Why bugging out may be leaving the country at certain times

Additional Resources for Today’s Show

Remember to comment, chime in and tell us your thoughts, this podcast is one man’s opinion, not a lecture or sermon. Also please enter our listener appreciation contest and help spread the word about our show. Also remember you can call in your questions and comments to 866-65-THINK and you might hear yourself on the air.

50 Responses to Episode-781- Fernando FerFAL Aguirre on Surviving an Economic Collapse

  1. Cool! I have been waiting for this interview. Glad you got him on!

  2. Hello Jack and Fernando,

    I’ll go there. This “occupy wall street” business is WHOLLY based in a hatred of people that have more than they do. Despite this lie of “the 99%” business, they are actually targeting everyone who produces.

    Fernando said it exactly right–“the Rich” is YOU, and me and whoever has something that these people decide they have a claim on.

    Make no mistake, people with this “mindset” (as if thinking is part of it) will be used to justify ANYTHING. They WILL harm people to get what they want, plain and simple. Nothing matters to people who lack basic principles other than what they want.

    These aren’t new concepts to me, but hearing it from someone like Fernando who has experienced it brings it all home.

    GREAT show.

      • @Jack,

        I hadn’t seen that. I did a quick search on this guy. He’s sort of out there–to the extent that I’m not sure if it is a (partial) gag (like the Zombie-Apocalypse gang). Sort of a Left-Wing Alex Jones. Definitely a Conspiracy theorist.

        However, I guess this shouldn’t be surprising. Conspiracy Theorists have a lot of actual facts as part of their thoughts, and this guy actually has a lot of these facts right (in my way of thinking).

        Here’s where I think he’s fundamentally mistaken. These pawns in the OWS movement are inherently linked to “government solutions.” I don’t think they (as a group, not all individuals) are capable of understanding principles of individualism and why one should oppose Cronyism and all the rest. He seems to think that if you could just nudge these people in the right direction, some good could come of this.

        I disagree–I think that most of the people who are engaging in these “occupy” movements are unprincipled people who don’t respect individualism, private property, or any other principle beyond “Give me this.” I think the majority of them are just pawns of one side against the other, and aren’t just slightly misguided.

        I think they would be more than happy for government to exercise its power to give them things. That’s as far as this movement really goes in what it wants I think. It’s all about wanting what they haven’t earned, and justifying their unprincipled demands by saying “someone else did it first.” That’s not a solution to anything–that’s two wrongs not making a right.

        BTW, I’ll take no offense if you don’t want leave any further OWS-related responses. Bottom line–I agree with your view that these people are pawns, and it is very possible that a lot of violence may come of this.

      • Thanks for the link. An interesting re-presentation of a lot of what you’ve been saying for awhile.

    • astute observation & well said, KAM! socialism is born from envy, i think.

      • @eternal_newb,

        It if funny to hear people railing about “Greed” coming from people who are motivated entirely by envy.
        It is my opinion, that we’ve coddled this sort of stupidity for far too long in our society, and this needs to be called what it is.

        We’ve sowed a culture that rejects the CONCEPT of personal responsibility. That being a victim is some sort of righteous position, instead of a horrible calamity. If you can portray yourself as a victim (spitting on REAL victims), then you can justify demanding things from others that you’ve not earned.

        I hear a lot of talk about what other people have. Guess what–that’s not your business. Worry about what you have or don’t, and get to work EARNING what you want.

        It’s pathetic that these simple concepts are not understood.

        I’ll take this opportunity to state how disgusted I am at the “pay my tuition” portion of this crowd? What? You spoiled brats who spend other people’s money to go to college are crying that you have to pay it back? What the hell makes people think that someone else should pay for your stupid choices in life, that have saddled you with loans. That these supposedly “educated” people are out there whining like this tells us something about the level of knowledge these people are gaining. Actually, they aren’t–apparently, they’ve spend Tens of thousands of dollars to have their heads filled with a bunch of Marxist tripe.

        Isn’t it also strange how they never look at the people actually charging them the money–the University professors and administrators? This gang of leeches has been so successful at destroying the thinking ability of their students that they can’t even identify the actual problem.

        Of course, that’s what Marxism is all about–blaming someone else for your lack of success.

  3. One of the most useful interviews you’ve ever done. I’ve been reading FerFAL since the early 2000’s when he was posting in the AR15 and other forums. (And I love the FN FAL just as much as he does.) He knows what he’s talking about. And if FerFAL is bugging out of Argentina, you KNOW things are bad there.

  4. Awesome show! I would like to hear more about women’s self-defense and FerFAL’s recommendations for finding training. As a former Aikido instructor, my husband has helped me with some self-defense training, but I think asking him to bloody my nose might lead to bad marital relations …. Look forward to more shows with FerFAL! Just subscribed to his newsletter and will be buying the book.

    • Among some other things, I couldn’t agree more that women need to spar full force with a well built man if they want to even have a clue what being assaulted means. Your right that it might not be best for it to be a spouse. I’d also take what he said a step further. Men need to spare full force with a well built man just the same. The whole gender split and weight categories make for great sports matches, but they make for terrible expectations of self defense capacity.

    • In my humble opinion the best self defense for a woman is the same self defense a man should practice.
      They should be trained in the manly art of using a pistol. It tends to equalize the size difference. My girls are trained that if it ever becomes necessary to shoot, they should continue to pull the trigger till the pistol quits going bang.

      • Modern Survival

        @LoneStarlarry, I agree to a point, the reality is there are many situations where a gun with out basic self defense training is completely useless. We have proven it over and over. We take women, give them an airsoft gun, say, shoot one of these guys as soon as he becomes a threat, she ends up with the gun in the guys hands, helpless. This is EVEN with some basic training on using a gun, drawing it etc and the attacker IS NOT a martial arts bad ass, etc. Close quarters isn’t what most people think it is in their heads.

  5. Jack and Fernando, Thanks for a terrific podcast. I have two follow up questions:
    1. What are the 5 best things to stockpile ahead of time not including cash or precious metals?
    2. What products or services are in demand right now in Argentina?

    Please come back and do another show!

  6. Jack – what an AWESOME interview today! THANK YOU for interviewing FerFAL!

  7. Wow! Probably the best interview ever. Here are a few questions that I still have…
    There was some discussion about bartering and PMs, can we get some examples of what kind of bartering actually took place both short term and long?
    How did food play a role in the immediate aftermath?
    Debt was discussed, but how did it play a role with currency collapse i.e. were mortgages immediately foreclosed or did the banks do as they seem to be doing here and working with lenders hoping for a long term regain? (I know many banks have screwed people but many others haven’t)
    What were the short term effects on health and sanitation?
    And finally, was there a big “preparedness” movement or following in Argentina before this happened and if so how did those who were “prepared” fair and how were they looked upon by the rest of the population. We (this community) often discusses, or sometimes debate, being in a position to help others, did this happen and did it or could it have lessened the blow?

    I almost feel stupid for asking because I could probably research a lot of this myself, but Fernando seemed so intelligent and articulate that to hear it from him would be much more powerful than reading it. I may still look it up anyways and I am ordering the book as soon as I’m done here.

    Thanks again for the great work from both of you!

  8. Thank you for this great interview. I have to echo the comments above. This has got to be one of the best interviews.

    Could we get some discussion about transportation? What type of vehicles he recommends, what type of modifications if any, and the accessibility of fuel.

    Also, could there be discussion about home energy needs?

  9. LOVED this interview. You guys obviously agree on most everything that was talked about today. I could *hear* you smiling as you spoke, Jack!

  10. I will listen to this podcast on the way home from work or in the morning on the way to work.

    All I can say is that FerFal’s book is probably the best book on post economic-collapse that I’ve read, because he actually lived it. I cannot speak for FerFal, but the top recommendations I took from his book is:
    1) Stockpile cash. Don’t count on being able to get your money out of the bank when the time comes, so have some in a safe. Oh, and have two safes in your house just so if you are taken hostage, you can give up one of them.
    2) Stockpile defensive, hand-to-hand skills. This doesn’t mean exclude a gun, but in addition to handgun skills.
    3) Bartering will not happen post crash. See point 1.
    4) Water and ways to purify water.
    5) Alternate energy sources.
    6) Make a lot of friends to get you out of trouble. Lawyers, judges, bankers, money changers, doctors, etc.

    Invaluable book!

  11. Great interview Jack and Fernando, One of my favorites by far. So much knowledge and experience packed into a compelling hour. Well Done.

  12. Great interview!

  13. Awesome interview, Jack! Ferfal doesn’t have nearly enough published interviews online. (I discovered him just before I found your podcast, and it’s great to hear two no-bullshit points of view on how to sensibly face the coming storms.) I’d read he’s not been too successful at attempting to emigrate here to the US. I hope that changes soon, as he’s exactly the kind of voice we need in our country today, spreading the same message of self-reliance and personal responsibility that you do.

    • Modern Survival

      @Kit apparently if you don’t need a job and can support yourself as an entrepreneur the US doesn’t want you, so no that problem hasn’t been rectified. Fernando is currently planning to go elsewhere but I won’t say where I will leave that to him, it just isn’t the US and I agree it is our loss.

  14. Great to hear from FerFAL, talk about going directly to the source. I can’t wait to hear the book.

    1) I would like to know what the official firearm laws/regulations were in Argentina at the time of the crash and the have they improved or degraded since then. Additionally, what percentage of people ignored the firearm law(s)/regulations and procured, carried or otherwise used firearms in defiance of the law(s) and what were the consequences.

    2) Survivalists are always talking about focusing on growing there own food after a major crash for food security and the economic impact it can have aon a personal budget. Did people in Argentina really turn in mass to growing there own food or did the majority of people expect and demand entitlements for food, shelter, etc. as they likely would in the United States.

    3) What top 5 countries does FerFAL see as a good candidate for an international bug out. I think this would be a great show topic: How to bug out internationally. I’m sure he’s had to navigate tremendous bureaucracy throughout his search of a country to expatriate to and it would be good to hear about his efforts in a chronological format.

  15. Was looking around for some more background on the collapse in Argentina and came upon this video series on youtube. Not sure how much bias is infused into it but the quality of the videos are excellent and the story is weaved together quite well. Would love to hear FerFAL’s opinion on the accuracy of the depiction in this video.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rH6_i8zuffs&feature=related

  16. I love this interview and will not only pass it on to others, but also listen to it again.

    I went on a mission trip to Argentina in January of 2001 and fell in love with the country. I saw the economic situation then and followed it as declined. It’s funny to hear Fernando compare our situation now to what it was for Argentina back in 2001 as i have made that same comparison many times.

    Please heed Fernando’s warnings, especially about interpersonal violence that occurs during economic collapses. I have kept in touch with the missionary and his family ever since I went on that trip and in the almost 11 years since i was there violence has visited them and their family many times.

    Once the missionary’s wife was shot during a robbery while they were waiting at a trafiic light and this was after they complied and gave the criminals her purse. They have also been the victims of a home invasion in which they were both tied up and pistol whipped several times.

    One their son’s married an Argentinian woman and her brother was nearly beaten to death during a robbery in which he complied with his attackers.

    They have also been the victims of multiple burglaries and thefts.

    I personally plan to learn all I can from Fernando so I can better prepare my family for the hard times ahead.

  17. As always TSP spurs me to challenge my brain cells, esp. regarding the Dogo Argentino (Argentinian Mastiff) in this episode. I consider myself a “dog person” but had never heard of this one until today. I’m intrigued by FerFal’s description of it’s behavior, ie: lying in wait for the intruder. I wonder how our dysfunctional courts would view this; maybe as a booby trap?!? Props to Jack & FerFal for another great podcast!!

  18. I’m only halfway through this episode, but thanks for giving me another great blog to follow, and another useful book to read!

  19. After listening to the podcast today it’s easy to get the sense that you wouldn’t want to go to Argentina for getting mugged or robbed in the street. I’ve been to Buenos Aires twice, once in 2005 and 2007. We rented an apartment in Palermo in 2007 for two weeks. I can say without hesitation that I’ve walked around that city at all hours of the day and night and never felt unsafe. I would also like to add that I live in Atlanta and there are parts of it where I would not go, day or night. I can report that people do not live behind bars and they are not hunkered down after dark scared to go out. It is a very lively city full of people of all ages who love to go out and enjoy themselves. They do tend to live in high rises that usually has a security guard working during the night. Of course I did not travel into the outlying barrios and there are slums in the outlying areas. You can very well see how the currency collapse has effected the middle class, that’s one of the reasons I wanted to go there, just to see how people cope. It’s easy to tell that perhaps a doctor is driving your cab.

    At night the “carteneros” will come into the city and rummage through the garbage. They are the very poor that come into the city center from the slums with carts and rifle through the garbage and cart it off on these makeshift carts. Anything metal or glass. Like many large cities BsAs collects trash at night so the bags are out on the street at night. The next day garbage is all over the streets, they can’t keep it clean and they sort of tolerate the carteneros.
    I had seriously considered buying some property there especially after reading Bill Bonner and Doug Casey’s thoughts on the place. Both own property there now up in the north. Bill Bonner writes The Daily Reckoning which Jack has mentioned on the show before. I also once got a chance to talk to Jim Rogers about it right after he wrote Adventure Capitalism. He advised me it was a great place but that their politicians were worse than ours. I’ve since come to the conclusion that Uruguay is a better place to live and invest but not because of crime, Argentina is just a political basket case. It’s not nearly the buy it used to be anymore, they’ve had a huge real estate boom with tons of expats buying up properties since the devaluation.
    They were having a tremendous resurgence in tourism, and Kirshner slapped a $130 per head fee for anyone coming in from USA, and you have to pay it at the airport, you can’t pay it ahead of time. As far as I can tell Kirshner is very unpopular now. Her husband was the president before her and when his term expired they elected her. They’ve succeeded in nationalizing retirement accounts as Fernando stated and some people think that’s ok. You can begin to see how the “dirty war” took place.
    That’s how it goes down there, they are very emotional about politics and futbol (soccer). It’s sort of like a rundown version of Paris, I love it!

  20. This is the interview that I’ve been wanting to hear all year! Some questions:

    1. How exactly is Peronismo defined in the mind of the average person in Argentina? Is it at all related to Kirchnerism and the current problems? My knowledge of Argentine politics comes mostly from the musical “Evita”, so I’m a little out of date.

    2. Tim Ferriss went to Buenos Aires repeatedly during the past decade and absolutely loved it. I’m sure both of you are telling the truth as you each perceive it, but the stories are almost polar opposites. Could the difference be a matter of local resident versus foreign visitor?

    3. Do the bad guys notice little details like how nice is the fabric in your clothes? I’ve been changing my everyday wardrobe to better quality clothes that dry faster, but I wouldn’t want that to turn me into a target.

    4. What parts of Argentina would be safe for tourists without paying a fortune?

    5. Any plans for a Kindle edition of your book?

    Thanks for doing the interview!

  21. Awesome interview! I don’t think you could spend too much time interviewing Ferfal. I would even love to see a listener question session with him.

  22. It would be great to hear from others who went through that. Great interview, audio was good as well.

  23. Very awesome and useful interview. His website is great and I will be picking up his book, because I think his knowledge will be a guide for us in the next several years.

  24. Great interview! I’d like to know more about the power situation. In his book, he recommends getting a generator. I have the opportunity to buy some solar panels; however, I’m afraid that I would stick out in the neighborhood and become a target due to something like that. Do you think it’s worth it?

    Also, was the power and water always reliable before the crash, and unreliable afterwards?

    And it seems like internet is working fine for you. What about other utilities? And why can’t you use the internet to buy dollars and gold and get around the restrictions?

  25. Interesting show.

    Security for a camp or BOL seems somewhat fairly problematic if you are not there all the time ..

    An older woman from Argentina lives in my condo complex and I once told her I had heard that the economy in Argentina had totally collapsed, but she seemed to act like nothing of the sort ever happened and I was mistaken for mentioning it. I didn’t understand if maybe she didn’t want to admit it or talk about it or what ..

    I have heard people say that Latin America does not have the tradition of freedom that people in the USA have with the puritans coming here for religious freedoms. This is something I don’t fully understand. I also am not sure how it was that if that is true, then how is it that Argentina became a wealthy country that was desirable to live in contrary to most of the rest of Latin America and how or why that changed ?

    I don’t understand the mentality that people would thank the government for taking away their retirements as was mentioned.

    It’s not totally true that you need to spar to be able to defend yourself. I studied kung fu and tai chi for a few years and was able to defend myself when attacked. The academy I attended had sparing classes, but I never went to any of those. Some aspects of self defense/combat are psychological. I recall when I got into a fight in the second grade, I was very relaxed and effortlessly defended myself to a very great degree. It was almost like I was just watching it happen and there was no real effort made. Not all conflicts have been like that one. Boxing matches and wrestling matches are mock combat when there is no real issue to be fighting over except to win points, prestige or build up your ego. When someone attacks you for real, the psychological impetus to defend yourself is there that is not the same as in mock combat. Other examples of adrenaline or similar psychic forces can come into play in emergency type situations, we hear of women picking up a car to save a child etc, though those examples seems more extreme and perhaps hard to believe to some extent.

  26. Loved this episode. So glad you guys finally had a chat.
    Would be happy if you had another episode with Fernando.
    Thanks Fernando for coming on the show.

  27. Great show Jack… I very much enjoyed Fernando’s real world view on things that are all too often just theorized by others. I’d say a follow up interview with him would be very popular. Much like you’ve done for the Steven Harris shows.

  28. Question for Fernamdo if you have him back:
    I’d really like to hear any comments he has on healthcare through financial collapse. Perhaps some background on what Argentina had before, and then what happened during and after… What people had and have access to and how they got that access, as well as what impact can be seen or appreciated society wide.
    Thanks!

  29. Jack,

    Great podcast with Fernando.
    It reminds me of some friends of ours that left Venezuela shortly after Hugo Chavez was elected and he froze their money. Lucky enough they have rebuilt what they once had in another country. Scary stuff.

    RM

  30. I just re-listened to this ‘cast again yesterday, and have only one small complaint. I know it’s not Jack’s policy to argue with his guests, but when Fernando said that 2nd Amendment “grants” us the right to keep & bear arms and the government “gives” you the right to carry a gun, I wish Jack would have corrected those terms. Our Constitution does not grant or confer our rights upon us, it guarantees them. An important difference that even well informed foreigners overlook or don’t understand, but one that can not be forgotten..

  31. SurvivalAlliance

    Jack this is truly your best interview! Because it’s REAL!

  32. Nothing new to say–another name on the list of people who loved this one!

  33. As a new listener that interview and the reality of it was absolutley mindblowinging crushing. I have to go listen to that dealing with anxiety podcast.

  34. just read the 1st half of Fernando’s book. I’ll probably give it 5 stars on amazon. worth the price of admission.