In China, eight is the lucky number. The Mandarin symbol for eight is a pictogram representing a side of meat being sliced in two, in infinite progression. This forms the symbolism of multiplication and increase, in the same mythological way that the biblical story of Noah represents multiplication and increase, two by two by two, giving us this same powerful, capitalistic, and mystical number of eight.
For where chapters one to seven of Jim Rogers’s new book, Street Smarts, are a wonderful how-to-get-rich and rags-to-riches story of his life so far – including a description of his wedding in Henley-on-Thames, a town where I also got married – he really pulls out the economic meat cleaver in Chapter Eight. He begins to lay it, at first, into Alan Greenspan, and then rolls up his sleeves before setting to work with Ben Bernanke, Timothy Geithner, and Uncle Tom Cobley and all, with a fiendish delight which had your author calling for more Pinot Noir to appreciate the greater subtleties of the author’s carefully-crafted words.
Chapter Eight is thus a joyous chapter to read as this maestro of real-world global investment lifts the withered fools-gold slab of Keynesianism and exposes the insectoid Krugmanite creatures below to a well-deserved blow-torch of common sense, slaking them in a coruscating fire of simple concise words, well chosen, and written in the flowing liquid style of a master wordsmith craftsman.
For Jim Rogers is far more than than meets the eye on financial news interviews. Wherever he’s been, in whichever geological strata of life he has found himself, he has risen inexorably, like a molten volcanic stream of gold, improbably filled with diamonds, to the very surface of that strata. And that includes the rare earth mineral layer of superlative writers and teachers.
Fortunately, even by the close of his pivotal Chapter Eight, Rogers is far from finished. For the wonderful and refreshing pummeling continues apace in Chapter Nine, which ends with the Frank Borman quote, “Capitalism without bankruptcy is like Christianity without hell,” a hearty tagline I’m sure the illustrious Joseph Schumpeter would have appreciated.
And so the unwinding story of Jim Rogers and the entertaining dance of his thoughts continues onward towards distant future prospects, until the unwanted end of the book in which I was left pleading with the author for more. Alas, for the world’s hard-core band of dedicated Misesians, the horse-frightening words of ’Rothbard’ and ’Mises’ fail to show up in any part of the book. However, you can still feel their willing paired ghosts standing in the shadows throughout the entire manuscript, urging Rogers forwards in his clinical evisceration of America’s supine political class, which has sleepwalked Paine’s and Jefferson’s America into the socialised, regimented, and bureaucratised United States of George Walker Bush and Barack Hussein Obama.
One especially feels this Misesian support with Rothbard’s bow-tied ghost, willing on the bow-tied Rogers to land yet another skewering blow into the heart of the Washingtonian beast, which is strong-arming the United States into the same destructive chasm as the draconian Athenian empire, whose hated and once-almighty Delian league was eventually wiped from the ancient classical map by the lowly and simplistic Sparta (metaphorically, read China).
Bring the troops home, let bankrupt companies fail, shrink the state, bring back liberty. These are the heartfelt messages of Rogers. Truth, wealth, and freedom thus abound in the pages of this wonderful book.
And these are messages Austrians everywhere can believe in and subscribe to, as we march on the eternal road towards knowledge, harmony, and peace.
And if you’d like some excellent investment tips too, then this really is the book for you.
Episode 93: GoldMoney’s Andy Duncan talks to Professor Mark Thornton, Senior Fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, about a recent Mises Daily article he wrote entitled, ‘Where Is the Inflation?‘, which explains how monetary inflation is seeping into the US economy.
They also discuss the Federal Reserve’s policy of recapitalising and protecting America’s “Mega Banks”, and what this policy means for the future gold price. In the second half of the interview, they discuss the Irish economist Richard Cantillon. Cantillon was heavily involved in the Mississippi bubble in pre-revolutionary France, and his book – first written in 1730 – was the first truly modern treatise on economics. Professor Thornton edited a recent translation of this book: An Essay on Economic Theory.
They wrap up the interview by discussing the Professor’s latest works on the economics of prohibition.
This podcast was recorded on 23 January and previously published at GoldMoney.com.
Episode 91: GoldMoney’s Andy Duncan speaks to Mike “Mish” Shedlock about the entire global financial situation, but particularly focusing upon the debate between those who believe in deflation of the money and credit supply versus those who believe in inflation. As a believer in the former scenario, Mish argues that many Austrian economists have ignored the role of credit in economies, and that “hyperinflationists” are too US-centric in their analysis. He argues that in the short-term, he sees 2008-style “credit events” as more likely to occur in Japan, China, and Europe. Shedlock also mentions the deflationary impact we can expect from the increasing use of robots in manufacturing, and how the currency wars are affecting the inflation/deflation dynamic.
They discuss the Federal Reserve’s potential treatment of excess reserves, the use of helicopters by Ben Bernanke to stem deflation via bundles of money produced via the Fed’s printing press, and the similarities of the situation between America’s current position and that of Japan 20 years ago. Mish outlines what he would do if he was put in charge at the Fed.
Following on from this, they talk about the recent agreement of the Bank of Japan to follow prime minister Shinzo Abe’s instructions to follow a 2% price inflation target, as well as discussing the financial situation in the eurozone and the UK.
This podcast was recorded on 22 January 2013 and previously published at GoldMoney.com.
Episode 92: GoldMoney’s Andy Duncan talks to Gordon Kerr of Cobden Partners, a financial engineer and specialist in debt capital markets. They talk about Mr Kerr’s pivotal role in the leveraging of British and European banks prior to the crash of 2008, before moving on to discuss the Basel initiatives, designed by various global regulators to try to prevent systemic failures in the financial system. They discuss why these measures are ineffective. Gordon Kerr describes his view of the current financial situation, particularly of British and European banks, and how he sees banking and accounting regulations developing over the next few years.
The article which describes how Mr Kerr and his team leveraged the British and then European banking systems is at this link.
This podcast was recorded on 21 January 2013 and previously published at GoldMoney.com.
Episode 88: GoldMoney’s Andy Duncan talks to Doug Casey, the founder and chairman of Casey Research and the author of a new book called Totally Incorrect. They discuss the current state of global finance and the chances of an upcoming paper money collapse.
Casey points out that the recovery after the 2008 financial crisis is just an illusion created by central bank money printing which will ultimately lead to very high inflation once bank lending starts to pick up again. Both men discuss what will happen when all the US dollars currently held overseas are repatriated as foreigners lose confidence in the greenback. They also speculate about what Keynesians might be thinking at the moment, and analyse how non-western central banks are beginning to behave with regards to gold.
They evaluate the likelihood of western economic collapse in 2013, what this would imply for the global monetary standing of gold, and how GoldMoney subscribers can best protect themselves and their assets. On this note they also talk about how a future world monetary situation might look like once we are through the Keynesian collapse. Casey also speculates about how the theories of Professor Hans Hermann-Hoppe might have applicability to the shape of the world order post-crash, and what readers can look forward to if they purchase a copy of Totally Incorrect.
Finally, they discuss what type of “black swans” we can expect to land in the coming months.
This podcast was recorded on 15 January 2013 and previously published at GoldMoney.com.
Episode 87: GoldMoney’s Andy Duncan talks to Nigel Farage MEP, leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party, and co-chair of the Europe of Freedom and Democracy Group within the European Parliament.
They talk about the ongoing euro currency situation and the recent speeches from Mr Barroso, the President of the European Commission. They also discuss the recent news of the German Bundesbank’s decision to repatriate some of its physical gold reserves from the USA and France, and what the chances are of the UK leaving the EU – “Brexit” – in the next few years, and the likely fate of the euro and the EU itself.
This podcast was recorded on 15 January 2013 and previously published at GoldMoney.com.
Episode 86: Professor Patrick Barron is an Austrian School economist who teaches courses in banking and economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Iowa. He also writes regular pieces for Mises.org.
Professor Barron has put forward the idea that the only route out of the ongoing euro crisis for Germany is an initial return to the Deutschmark, followed preferably by a subsequent move to a golden Deutschmark. He discusses this idea with GoldMoney’s Andy Duncan, along with the three major obstacles to his desired outcome, which include a lack of current party-political support in Germany for this idea, along with outside political influences over Germany’s monetary policies, and the growing uncertainty over Germany’s access to its own physical gold supply.
As well as exploring the current financial situation in Europe, Professor Barron also comments upon the recent fiscal cliff event in the United States, and mentions the recent article in The New York Times, by Paul Krugman, on the subject of a special trillion dollar platinum coin. He explains why eventually he believes the US dollar will go back to a link with gold, and why he thinks the price of gold may then reach $38,000 dollars an ounce. Professor Barron runs his own website, which GoldMoney subscribers can find at www.patrickbarron.blogspot.com/.
The book mentioned heavily in the interview, The Tragedy of the Euro, by Professor Philipp Bagus, can be downloaded for free from this link.
This podcast was recorded on 11 January 2013 and previously published at GoldMoney.com.
Episode 84: Andy Duncan talks to “Austrian” economist, Professor Thorsten Polleit, about a recent speech he gave entitled “What Do Bankers Know About Money and Banking?” Dr Polleit is Chief Economist for Degussa Goldhandel in Germany, and for 12 years until April of 2012 was the Chief German Economist for Barclays Capital. He lectures in Economics at the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, and the universities of Bayreuth and Duisburg-Essen.
Andy and Thorsten discuss the latter’s monetary theory of how fiat currency tends to result in “collective corruption” in societies, and how this then leads to hyperinflation, despite the dangers to society that hyperinflation always brings. They also debate the development of global fiat currency over the last 40 years, and how increasing levels of debt may mark its terminal decline. Governments may plan for this decline by re-introducing gold-backing to Western currencies.
Episode 78: GoldMoney’s Andy Duncan interviews James Turk, Chairman of GoldMoney and co-author of The Collapse of the Dollar, about his study of the aboveground global gold stock, gold’s role as money, and the coming fiat currency collapse. They discuss the discrepancies between official gold stock figures and the study’s carefully calculated figures, going all the way back to Roman times and using the year 1492 as a pivotal calculation point – which was when the Spanish Empire began its imports of gold deposits discovered in the Americas. In contrast to the widely referenced number of 171,000 tonnes of aboveground gold, James’s study suggests that it is actually closer to 155,000 and therefore overstated by about 10%.
James explains that gold is not an investment, but money. He talks about the difference between money and currency, and emphasises the ability of gold to preserve purchasing power over long periods of time (as opposed to fiat currency). Given the lack of discipline exhibited by central banks and politicians, James’s outlook for paper currencies is gloomy. He predicts one or more fiat currency collapses to take place sometime between 2013 and 2015.
Episode 80: Andy Duncan talks to Jeff Berwick, founder of The Dollar Vigilante, CEO of TDV Media & Services, and the host of Anarchast. They discuss the current state of global finance and the chances of an upcoming paper money collapse.
Berwick pays particular attention to the decline of the United States, and why this decline will continue in a debt-fuelled downward cycle. He sees major inflation as the only way the current financial system can continue, but that this will eventually end in hyperinflation in a few years’ time. He doesn’t think that the Basel III zero-risk rating of gold – taking effect from January 1 – will have much of an impact on the gold market.
They discuss how individuals can protect themselves over the next few years, if governments start to institute capital controls and other measures to defend the current fiat money system, and how private enterprise monies may arise on the other side of a great financial transition. Berwick further discusses how gold and silver may become the major private monies, ahead of systems such as BitCoin.
They conclude with a discussion Mr Berwick’s creation of a modern-day “Galt’s Gulch” in Chile, for liberty-minded individuals to consider moving to, and Jeff’s predictions of where the “black financial swans” circulating around the western world will first land.
This podcast was recorded on 4 December 2012 and previously published at GoldMoney.com