If I remember correctly, the first time I was introduced to Stefan Molyneux was on an appearance on Max Keiser’s Keiser Report sometime in 2010 or 2011 and I liked his analogy of how countries of the world were like farms, the governments/ruling class were like farmers, and the people were like livestock. This concept can be seen in the following 13-minute video clip entitled ‘The Story of Your Enslavement’.
This concept has been well received as the video clip has over 1.2 million views (as of this writing) and is the most viewed video clip on Stefan Molyneux’s ‘Freedom Radio’ youtube channel. The clip goes into explaining that the ultimate resource that can generate the most value is the controlling of humans and that throughout history we have had four models of the human farming systems, that last of which has been the democratic model (aka the mafia model).
Another excellent video in Stefan’s channel is the 5-minute ‘The Money That Is Sold Abroad Is You!’ with over 600 thousand views, wherein Stefan explains how the debts of a nation are saddled on the livestock of that farm.
Along my journey to improve my economic education, I have mainly been listening to American individuals like Peter Schiff and Max Keiser, but I have also stumbled onto individuals in europe who also saw and warned of the upcoming collapse, like Irish economist David McWilliams [youtube], British Conservative Party MP Daniel Hannan [youtube], and British UK Independence Party (UKIP) MP Nigel Farage [youtube]. My favourite European economist is Niall Ferguson, who is a Scottish professor that has taught in the University of Oxford, Harvard University and London School of Economics. He studied international, imperial, and economic history and did his PhD thesis on the hyperinflation of Germany in the 1920s. For more of his biography, please visit Wikipedia, Channel 4 or PBS.
The first videos I saw of him included the discussion of his books ‘Empire’ and ‘The Pity of War’, but the one that hooked me to him was the video below in which he discussed the recent financial meltdown.
I soon discovered that he turned his 2007 book ‘The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World’ into a six-part TV series airing on Channel 4 in the UK and PBS in the US [youtube, torrent]. I found the series quite enlightening as episode 1 goes through monetary history, episode 2 discusses the bond market, episode 3 goes into stock market booms and busts, episode 4 goes discusses the insurance industry, episode 5 goes through the mortgage market and the recent bundling of them for worldwide sale, and episode 6 discusses the economic marriage of China and America since the 1990s, which Niall refers to as ‘Chimerica’. PBS has the series as a four-part series, as well as having an hour live Q&A webinar with Niall in November 2009 [download]. For those who may not have the time for the over 4-hour series, PBS has created a 2-hour edition, The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts (RSA) has an 19-minute presentation as well as a 26-minute Q&A session (both seen below), and Niall does summarize the 6 topics of the series in an 8-minute summary during the webinar [13:29-21:33].
Qatar During my visit to Qatar in late September and early October I decided to revisit the Qatar Gold Souq area to see how the gold market was going and found out that Al Fardan Exchange had a notice that they weren’t selling gold for a week and Gulf Exchange said they were out of stock. When I inquired in the market about what was going on, one shop keeper stated that the exchanges weren’t going to sell any gold until the gold price went back up. This was a real shocker to me as they are the only places to get the investment grade bars (TT [116.6g] or higher), while the 100g bars and smaller could still be purchased from the various jewellery shops, but with higher premiums. I could understand them upping the premiums because the gold price is down, but stopping selling it completely is ridiculous, as individuals who may want to buy gold now that the price is down are completely cut out.
During the visit I also got notice that Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund (Qatar Holdings) plan to invest $10 billion through buying stakes in gold producers, including investing about $1bn in London-listed miner European Goldfields. This reminded me of Peter Schiff’s visit to Saudi Arabia in 2009 for the Global Competitiveness Forum, when he was recommending to Saudi investors to purchase gold miner, so they have access to the gold that was being mined, rather than going into the market and using that same money just to purchase gold.
United Arab Emirates Well on my return from Qatar, I got stopped after I collected my luggage, when it went through the scanner. I had a 50 ounce (1.5 kilo) bar and a 10 ounce bar of silver with me and they wanted to know what it was. So after I told them it was silver, they asked me what it was for and I told them it was my personal property and I wasnt bringing it as a dealer/trader. They then asked if I had a bill for it, which I said no I didnt as I had purchased it years ago and the two individuals went back and forth about it in Arabic. In the end they let is slide, but one of them stated just as i was leaving that it is best for my own safety that I keep the bill. This blew my mind as it implied that its not safe for me to carry around precious metals without a bill and there isnt a time when i can ever through away the bill. What I was holding was worth around 5 thousand dirhams according to the silver price that day, but if I had the same amount in paper money, they wouldn’t blink an eye as it would easily fit in my wallet and of course it wouldnt have shown up in the scanner either. This is the double standard with real money and paper money. When you go to trade your paper money for real money, they dont ask you where you got that paper money from, but when you want to trade your real money for paper money, they want a copy of your ID. Same scenario when you’re travelling, as if you had travelled with over $ 10k to the US or Canada in paper money, they want you to declare it, but if they had found an equal amount of gold with me, they would demand that you show them a bill and may confiscate it without a bill.
Yesterday I went down to the Gold & Diamond Park on Sheikh Zayed Road and visited the shops I recommended in the UAE guide and was happy to see that two of the shops now had 1 kilogram of silver bars as well as gold TT bars. I had a similar experience when I had recently visited the Ajman Gold Souq, as more and more jewellery shops began stocking gold bullion bars and coins. This clearly shows how the market is going and how the demand for precious metal bullion is shifting their businesses. At the Gold & Diamond Park, I spoke with the staff of one of the shops and was informed that due to the high premiums in PAMP, gold bars from germany’s second largest bank (Commerzbank) have began circulating in the market.
James G Rickards is the senior managing director of merchant bank Tangent Capital and a regular guest on Bloomberg and CNBC. I first got to know Jim Rickards through his regular interviews with Eric King on King World News and extremely enjoy his analysis and knowledge. He has recently been talking about currency wars and most people can easily see the huge swings in the value of currencies against each other since the collapse of 2008. I had been paying attention to the exchange rate between the US and Canadian dollars since they went 1 to 1 for the first time in 2007, but I never thought to delve into finding out what decides the value of a currency. In a currency war, various currencies like the US dollar, are devaluing themselves by money printing and having low interest rates, which exports inflation to other pegged-currencies like the Chinese yuan, as well as causing hot money (money that flows regularly between financial markets as investors attempt to ensure they get the highest short-term interest rates possible) to travel into currencies that choose not to devalue. But these currencies that don’t devalue begin to have a huge flow of capital into them, which ultimately they cant control, resulting in the devaluing of the currency. So the result of the war is that currencies are fighting to devalue themselves until they reach their true worthless value of zero. The most recent victim has been the Swiss Franc, as the Swiss National Bank (SNB) decided to peg itself to the Euro, which resulted in a devaluation of the Franc by around 10% and it loosing its safe heaven status. The Swiss Franc was the last currency to depeg itself from gold since 1971 and only did so in 2006 in order to join the IMF. Well Jim has been working on a book entitled ‘Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis’ that will focus on what he believes will be the upcoming crisis, including its origins and how its happened.
Was introduced to Mike Maloney by way of Robert Kiyosaki, as Mike Maloney published the best selling book on precious metals investing, ‘Rich Dad’s Advisors: Guide to Investing In Gold and Silver’ in 2008. I have listen to its audio book and I would recommend people to read or listen to it, as it covers monetary history, how the global economy works, possible monetary outcomes in the future, and how to protect oneself (buying precious metals). The book has also been translated into spanish, chinese, portuguese, italian, russian, czech and swedish, but unfortunately for my Arab friends, not into arabic.
Mike has setup two companies since he began investing in precious metals in 2003, one for the sale of precious metals (GoldSilver.com) and the other for the education of people about wealth cycles (WealthCycles.com). He’s not a precious metals bug, but instead is a cycles bug, as he believes that wealth can be continuously created in cycles and that the current wealth cycle is in precious metals. GoldSilver.com is one the largest online retailers of gold and silver in the United States and they have global delivery to 40+ countries by UPS or FedEx.
Mike Maloney produced an hour and a half long DVD entitled ‘Why Gold and Silver? An Afternoon with Mike Maloney’ in 2009, which is available in hard copy as well as on youtube, which is a great introduction to precious metals for those who may not be interested in reading his book. He recently added to youtube, a presentation he did in 2010 entitled ‘Debt Collapse – The Case for $20,000 oz Gold’, which is as good as the DVD and that is shown below.