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Thursday, August 24, 2023



The Brics will expand, admitting 6 new members: Saudi Arabia: the world's 2nd largest oil producer, The United Arab Emirates, the world's 7th largest oil producer, Iran, the world's 8th largest oil producer, Ethiopia: a treasure trove of gold, platinum, copper and natural gas, and Argentina, another treasure trove of natural resources and Egypt: politically a dominant player in the Middle East.

US economists are falling all over themselves trying to downplay the significance of this move.  These are not huge countries by GDP.  There still is no common currency.  True and True.

But the days when oil is settled in dollars are over.  That is a huge deal.  In fact that was the stabilizing basis at Bretton Woods for making the dollar the world's reserve currency.  Since then a huge eurodollar debt market has evolved and that is not going away.  But the need for the world's largest economies to buy our debt as a repository for dollars needed in the oil - and commodity trades is over.

So who will buy our massive debt?  The United States Federal Reserve Bank.  That's who.

That makes us Japan.

Not today.  Not tomorrow.  But very soon.

And just as significantly, this move make China a formidable global power as they now have outsized control over the global energy supply.  Because not only do they have an influence over the oil markets, but they also control the rare earth markets that are necessary for the chips used in electric energy.

So get ready - over time - for expensive energy in a world that is already moving towards out of control inflation.

Got Gold?

Tuesday, August 22, 2023



I sell gold medals, so take this with a grain of salt, since I'm talking my own book here.

But compared to almost any other Hard Asset, in my view, Historical Gold Medals are by far the best investment.

1) They're gold.  So they're chemically inert.  They don't tarnish, tear, corode, fade. The condition you receive them in, is the condition they will remain in unless you degrade them yourself.

2) They're gold.  So they're beautiful.  Humans have prized gold for it's amazing eye appeal since the dawn of human history.  

3) They're gold.  So they're portable.  You don't need a fortress to guard them or truck to transport them of a museum size spcace to display them.

4) They're gold so they will hold their value throughout the ages and appreciate over time against all paper currencies.  

5) They're of Historical Interest, and even, in some cases, importance.  They were almost always issued to celebrate some Historical occasion of Importance, or interest and issued to Historical Figures of Great Accomplishment.  Often Kings, Queens, Generals, Emperors, and Artist and Inventors of great talent.  In many cases they were once owned and prized by these most notable humans.

6) They're most often wornderful works of art, as the important humans who commissioned them tended to hire the great artsists of the era to engrave them.

7) They're extremely rare.  A rare coins might be issued in the thousands or tens of thousands.  A rare medal may be issued in the hundreds.  In many cases a rare medal might be unique in gold.  Or issued in gold to a small handful of the era's most important figures.  

And yet, because fo few are even aware of their existence, they're suprisingly affordable compared to many other hard assets - especially coins.  (But the number is rapidly growing.)

8) They are extemely undervalued, because it takes effort to research their historical and cultural importance, to loacate them, and to assess their value because they're so rare they seldom sell at auction.  Most coin types can be easily researched and valued.  But a rare gold medal can take hours or research to identify how many exist, who has owned them and what they ought to bring at fair value.

In the same way, memorabilia connected to figures with whom everyone of a certain era is familiar are easy to acquire and value.  But a sneaker that was once worn by Kobe Bryant may be of tremendous value now, or a Dress worn in a film by Julia Roberts, or a guitar played by Johnny Cash.  But in a hundred years will anyone value these things?  Who knows.  

Yet a gold medal awarded to Admiral Nelson may mean little to most people today, but in a hundred years it will still have tremendous historical - and monetary value, to the history buffs: military, economic and political .enthusiasts and scholars of tomorrow.  And there are more of them than you might think,

The same goes for modern art.  You might pay a million dollars for a Banksy drawing of a cute smiling monkey today and sell it for two million tomorrow.  But in a hundred years will anyone pay a dime for it?  Who knows.  

But that Gold Medal celebrating a major victory by Napoleon Bonaparte, engraved by one of History's great artists: Bertrand Andrieu,  will certainly have more value in a hundred years than it has today.

8) Another wonderful thing about gold medals is that they have been around for ever, so you can collect in any period of interest.  It is doubtful most most peope could afford a Gold Medallion of Constantine for a few million dollars.  But there are gold medals in every era, and many are supprisingly affordable.  Some of great artistic merit and hsitorical import sell for little more than melt.

So research an era, or a King or an Emperor or a Pope  or an Artist or a Scientist, a battle, a war,  or even an olympic athlete and chances are there are Gold Medals associated with them that you can track down with a little determination and application.  It will be worth you while.

Thursday, August 10, 2023



The Dollar is currently at a high after the Fed has raised rates from zero to 5.5 percent in record time (about a year).

In spite of this lightening round of tightening that has yet to work its way into the real economy, Gold has dropped only about 6 percent on the COMEX - which is an exchange domininated by FED surrogates like JP Morgan and Citibank.  

Meanwhile the central banks of the world have been loading up on gold at a record pace.

Now the ability of the Fed to keep raising rates is near zero.

Because the effect of this tightening is about to be felt  in an economy where hundreds of billions of dollars financed by commercial real estate, residential real esate,  hundreds of zombie companies (13 percent of all listed firms and countless smaller businesses), and hundreds of businesses that have been loaded up with debt by Private Equity and sold to dupes at a Pension Fund near you (Like Texas and Florida whose pension systems are controlled by political appointees with no financial background) must now REFINANCE this massive debt load at rates closer to 9 and 10 percent than 1 or 2 percent where they first leveraged up.

This is a bug in search of a windsheild.  

WHen the bug smashes - the Fed will have to lower rates and extend another round of massive bailouts = and then the Dollar is cooked.


Fitch has dropped the dollar's AA A credit rating - largely because of an idiot anti-democratic political class intent on destroying faith in the Justice System that protects the reserve status of the dollar.  Fitch cited Jan 6 and the constant wrangling over the debt ceiling as evidence.

So the Dollar that made up 73 percent of global reserves in 2001 now makes up 58 percent of global reserves.  That's still a hell of a lot.  

But on top of the debt problems and the political problems we have weaponized the dollar through sanctions against Russia.

Which means that all those treasuries they bought that help us finance our debt - we default on.  We just seize them and don't pay!

And howsoever they may deserve it, that is something you  just can not do if you expect other countries to keep the dollar as their reserve currency - and keep buying your treasuries.  In an era when your debt is expolding and you need to sell those treasuries. 

Now many countries don't want them because they're afraid if they piss us off we will sanction them too. 

 Especially powerful countries like CHINA.

The BRICS meeting at the end of August has 20 new countries making official application for membership including Saudi Arabia.

Many BRICS countries are already settling commodity purchases in local currencies.  And cutting out the dollar.

The BRICS along with the CHINA led BELT ROAD INITIATIVE nd the Shanghai Cooperation Organization are seeking to build a coalition that circumvents the use of the dollar as a settlement - or reserve currency. And this group represents 85 percent of the worlds population.

Now Saudi will be joining the BRICS - and the BRICS new development Bank.  They will be accepting other currencies for oil.

CHina has brokered a peace between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Sauid, Iran UAE Bahrain Pakistan and INdia are building the BRICS NAVAL ALLIANCE.

And eventually it is certain this BRICS group will announce a competing reserve currency for cross border accounts settelement.

And it will likely be backed  by gold/.

BIS has reclassified gold as a TIER 1 asset - many feel in preparation for this new currency.

Central Banks have bought more gold over the last 18 months than any time in history.

Don't look at the day to day Comex price of gold.  Look at what's happening in the world.


Sunday, August 6, 2023



Okay, you're probably not new to this, but what are the basic arguments for Hard Assets as the core of the your portfolio rather than a small hedge?

1) Hard Assets have no counterparty risk.

2) Every other investment has counterparty risk.

3) Hard Assets will never have counterparty risl.

4) Every other investment will always have counterparty risk

Think about that in an era when cash itself will inevitably go digital so every investment (including and especially crypto) can and will be tracked, taxed, hacked, confistcated, and subject to complete and utter collapse.  One bad trade.  One poorly managed bank,  One dishonest exchange,  One terrorist attack, One surprising declaration of war, One Virus,  One bad election result, Can all cause a ripple through the financial world  that destroys  the value of collateralized assets.

Except Hard Assets.  Because they are not collateralized.

The next major reason to own Hard Assets:

1A) Expertise.  You can and should own hard assets in an area where you have developed expertise.  Then you rely on your own expertise.  Are you an athlete?  Buy Athletic Memorabilia.  Are you a dancer?  Buy Dance Memorabilia.  A History Buff?  Buy coins or medals or rare books.  An Artist or Art Historian: Buy Art.  A Musician?  Buy instruments of musical memorabilia.  Buy what you know.

No matter how much you know about stocks and bonds, unless you are a full time trader for Goldman Sachs, somebody knows much more than you do.  (yeah, that means you - all you clever day traders with fool proof technical systems)   Not so with your particular area of expertise.  Most everyone has one.  For God's sake if all you do is smoke pot, collect celebrity roach clips.  They'll be worth somehting to somebody.  Your better of than getting ripped off investing in stuff you really don't understand at all.

The next major reason to own Hard Assets

1C) In an era of a MEGA DEBT BUBBLE; the only way for governments to survive is to inflate away the debt.  That means debauch the currency.  That means every Hard Asset will rise in proportion to the debauching of the currency.

This is incontroveritble, ineluctable math.



Almost all invresting at some point is driven by Fear of Missing Out.  This has not even remotely begun in the hard asset universe.  Right now we are in the stage when Hard Asset Investing is bgeinning to reach a broader consciousness.  You see it on TV  You see it a the auction houses.  You see it with financialized funds organized to buy wine or art or coins.

But it is in its infancy.  When FOMO takes over, look out.

Friday, August 4, 2023

Hard Assets: What rhymes with the 1930's?


Everyone knows history doesn't repeat, it rhymes.

Unfortunately we are now rhyming with the late 1920's and early 1930'S.

Same massive debt hangover.  Same mass disillusionment with Demcocracy.  Same anger, frustration feelings of betrayal and victimhood.

Back in the 1930's the debt hangover and resulting anger was due to a World War, mass destruction, reparations.  Now the debt hangover is due to mass financialization and the betrayal of a financial class that instead of efficiently directing capital to where it would do the most good, has figured out how to efficiently suck capital out of the system into the pockets of the very very few.

The causes are different, but the situation rhymes.

The same mass anger, frustration, and casting about for scapegoats: foreigners, immigtrants, jews, muslims, dark skinneds, asians.  Crisis at the border.  Crisis in the cities.  The situation on the ground no different than it has been for decades, or centuries, but the imagined Crisis in the Minds of the Betrayed the same as in the 1930's.

The same disillusion with Democracy. After all it has only brought about and alarming debasement of the currency,  income inequality, and an alarming toleration of weakness - or Wokeness.  So the complaint goes.

We need a Strong Man to make it Right.

Make Germany Great Again.  Make Europe Great Again. Make America Great Again.

And the other thing sure to rhyme is the coveting of Gold and Hard Assets.

The first thing Hitler did when arriving in a newly conquered country was go straight to the Central Bank and steal all the gold.  Then go straight to the National Museums and steal the art.  Lebensraum was the pretext.  Gold was the objective.

And not just Hitler.  Everyone knew that to survive the era that led inexorably towards another World War was the amassing of Hard Assets.  That was the only way to get through.

It is happening already.  China and Russia and India are hoarding Gold.  There is a global race to corner the markets on scarce resources: Gold, copper, rare earths, oil, grain.

And the wealthy all over the world are converting their paper assets into Hard Assets.

Here in the center of financialization the realization that Hard Assets will be the economic saviour of the next decade has been a bit slower to sink in  It is just in its infancy.

But it is beginning to creep into the general consciousness.  Hard Asset TV shows are on at all hours on serveral channels all day long.  Storage Wars.  Pawn Stars.  Antiques Road Show,  Flea Market Flip, Money for Nothing, House Hunters, The Coin Vault, The Jewerlry Arcade, Auction Kings, American Pickers, Found Objects, Counting Cars, Rust Valley Restorers, on and on and on.

Go to the Sotheby's website.  It's not just old master paintings.  It's Grateful Dead T shirts, and Concert Posters, it's Celebrity Memorabilia, and Hand Bags, and Hip Hop clothing, basketball sneakers and anything and everything Hard and Real.

Money is beginning to flow there.  


Because we are in the early early stages of what rhymes with the 1930's.

What comes next is when you'll really need Hard Assets for your financial salvation.

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Fitch downgrades US debt on debt ceiling drama and Jan. 6 insurrection


Fitch Ratings downgraded its US debt rating on Tuesday from the highest AAA rating to AA+, citing “a steady deterioration in standards of governance.”

The downgrade comes after lawmakers negotiated up until the last minute on a debt ceiling deal earlier this year, risking the nation’s first default. But the January 6 insurrection was also a major contributing factor.

In a meeting with Biden administration officials, representatives from Fitch Ratings repeatedly highlighted the January 6th insurrection as a significant concern as it relates to US governance.

A fitch downgrade?  Big deal!  Right?

Yeah, in the next five minutes nothing will change.  But over time it is indeed a very big deal when you have two thirds of the world's population represented by the BRICS actively de-dollarizing and 40 to 50 other countries seeking to join the BRICS economic block.  THis is just more amunition for them to site as to why the dollar is not the bastion of stability it once was.


That is the dollar's main strength.

Now that the previous president has been indicted for his connection to events that have serverely impacted the dollar's stability his allies are attacking the stability of the judicial system.  This translates directly to more dollar  instability.

To be sure there are no stable economies in the world right now.  So the dollar is still the most stable currency - outside of Gold.

But each blow to dollar stability is one more bastion of support for Gold as the anti-dollar.

And all those governments seeking to de-dollarize are making gold an increasing part of their reserves.

The process is slow.  You can't see it happening except in the slow, steady increase over time in the price of gold.

But things in the economic world happen (As Hemmingway famously observed) Gradually and then Suddenly.

Suddenly the gold price witll be $2500.  Then $3000.  

And then will you buy or figure you've missed the move and will wait for it to come back to you?

Then it will be $3500.  Then the fear of missing out crowd will wake up....

Get ahead of the trend and be patient.  Gradually always becomes suddenly in the financial world.  It's just now possible to predict when.