No, CEO Patrick Byrne is not kidding when he says that the company is prepared for banks to shut down. It happened in 1933, and almost happened during the economic meltdown of 2008. What would you do without access to your bank accounts for a week? Today, when some people rarely even carry cash, we might be in a lot of trouble collectively as a society when it comes to paying for things like fuel and food if banking systems were down for even a week or two.
Unless you work at Overstock. The publicly-traded company has disclosed to the Securities and Exchange Commission that it has about $6 million of gold and $4.3 million worth of silver that could be divided up and used for payroll (probably small coins) and also a 30-day supply of food. It’s all stashed in an undisclosed location, and the company thinks of it as an insurance policy.
Ultimately, what it comes down to is that Overstock’s CEO doesn’t trust our current monetary system. That’s why the company is taking two tactics that seem like they wouldn’t have much in common: they both exist outside of government-administered currency and standard central banks.