Gold Will Be Worthless When The Zombie Apocalypse Comes

This weekend I came across an interview with ($OSTK – no positions) CEO Patrick Byrne.   The quote that caught my eye was (emphasis mine):

Fortune: Do you own any bitcoins?

Patrick Byrne: No. I own gold.

Really, how much gold?

Patrick Byrne: A lot. Let’s just say enough that if zombies walked the Earth I will have enough gold that me and mine are taken care of.”

Now, ignore the fact that Patrick Byrne is, to put it mildly, “out there.”   Ignore the fact that he may not have actually been hypothesizing about the utility/value of gold during an actual zombie apocalypse.   Byrne mentioned zombies walking the Earth, so it got me thinking:  I mean, it’s obvious that when the Zombie Apocalypse comes, gold will be worthless/useless, right?  I thought this was something that even goldbugs would agree with.

So here’s your thought experiment:  In a true “TSHTF*” scenario – a true apocalypse:  will gold “take care of you”?  I’m not talking about an “economic collapse” – I don’t want to debate the value of gold during an economic collapse**.  I am talking about an Apocalypse.  Think about the stereotypical “humanity is threatened” scenario of zombies roaming the streets.   I don’t care if you don’t believe in zombies: imagine.   Think about Terminator.  Or about that Will Smith movie – oh yeah : I Am Legend.  Or about Waterworld.  Or The Road.

I posed the question on Twitter and was shocked that it seemed that some people appeared as if  they would actually argue this point with me, so I decided to make it into a blog post.   I do not think that gold will be “marketable,”  that gold will be “good for barter” or that “in a matter of weeks the free markets would choose precious metals as money as it has done for the last 5000 years.”

Unless gold has some zombie-killing property that I don’t know about, my assertion is that you won’t need any gold to insure that, in the words of Patrick Byrne; “you and yours are taking care of” in a true apocalypse scenario.  You need food.  Water. Guns. Ammo. Oil. Fuel. Wood. Transportation.  Bricks.  Steel. Tools.  The list goes on.

Again: try to put on your thinking hat for this post and imagine an apocalypse – not a US dollar default – not a failure of the banking system.  It’s a *hypothetical* – an apocalypse.

Just to burn down some straw men before they are built: yes:  US Dollars will also be useless during a zombie apocalypse.  $TSLA stock will also be useless during a zombie apocalypse (although Tesla cars will not be – as long as electricity is available).  Same goes for $TWTR stock (worthless) and Twitter the communication tool (valuable as long as it works)…

And no – the “Apocalypse” doesn’t just last for a few days, weeks, or months.  It’s a new paradigm – again, think of the “world” projected in the movies I mentioned above – those various apocalypse scenarios.


* the shit hits the fan

** I don’t really want to debate the value of gold in ANY scenario except for my *hypothetical* apocalypse.  That makes it easy:  boundary philosophical/hypotheticals that I think we might agree on.

disclosure: no positions in $TWTR or $TSLA

disclosure 2:  I am not a Zombie expert.  I don’t even watch The Walking Dead.  If gold has some zombie-killing property that I’m not aware of, then I understand the value of gold during the Zombie Apocalypse

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