Better to be a Debtor than a Saver in Cyprus

I learned about the news coming out of Cyprus last evening and was in total shock.  Even if the consensus is that a significant portion of the savings in Cyprus banks belongs to money laundering Russians, the fact that a government would just confiscate wealth like that is something I never thought I would see in my lifetime.

Although I shouldn’t be surprised as it happened right here in the United States when Franklin D. Roosevelt criminalized the private ownership of gold.  I suppose 1933 isn’t too far removed from my lifetime.  Plus there have been cases and abuses with the doctrine of eminent domain.

Of course, there have been all sorts of nationalizations of assets in Third World dictatorships so I shouldn’t be too surprised.  But living in the United States has allowed me to assume that the rule of law and rights of legal ownership would trump such outlandish suggestions as to confiscate property.

Now that I have a chance to think about it, I guess the risk of ownership is that somebody with power, a gun, or both will get their hands on your stuff.  In that regard, owing rather than owning is the safer place to be.

Still Wanting to Eliminate my Debt

Still, I would rather be in a position that would allow me the opportunity for a better life somewhere than to be trapped and suffocated by debt.  Certainly, the argument for diversification of assets holds true when it comes to the risks of sudden and unexpected taxation, nationalization, or confiscation.

So I suppose that I will not be deterred in my quest to pay off my debt.  That will be the first step and once that is done, I can worry about where to put my tremendous monthly savings.  I just know Cyprus won’t be my first choice.