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Questions: Wall Street protests, Polish citizenship, the dollar’s rise

October 7, 2011
Hong Kong

Before getting in to this week’s questions, I want to comment about the Wall Street protests in New York.

There’s no question that people are sick and tired of the status quo all over the world. Their apathy has turned to anger, and their anger is turning into action. The ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement is a major sign of this… as are the demonstrations across Europe, the Arab Spring revolutions, etc.

(Hell, there are even some angry people in Hong Kong… though they go about their protests a little bit differently…)

The Wall Street protests could very well be the spark that leads the United States into a real revolution. But just remember what I wrote about ‘revolution‘ a few weeks ago when I was in Egypt:

“From a celestial perspective, however, ‘revolution’ denotes one complete orbit of a planetary body around its center, as in the earth’s revolution around the sun. In other words, after a revolution, you end up right back where you started.”

Are hundreds of millions of Americans, plus billions of other people around the world, willing to accept that government is the problem, not the solution? That the entire foundation of the monetary system they’ve come to accept is a complete fraud? That the entitlement programs they depend on are insolvent?

If not, then they’re just going to vote in another set of idiots who bring them right back where they started… more debts, more regulation, more confiscation, more asset seizures, more forced redistribution, more inflation of the currency, more bailouts, more deficits, etc.

This is always the major risk in ‘revolution’; you hope to replace evil with good. It doesn’t always happen that way. The French got Robespierre’s reign of terror in the 1790s, the Chinese got Mao in 1949, and the Egyptians traded Mubarak for a military dictatorship this year. What will happen in Spain? Greece? The US?

Now… if you’re the type of person to let others dictate your fate, then I encourage you to sit around, wait it out, see what happens, and hope for the best.

If you’re the type of person to take matters into your own hands, then every single one of these protests, police brutality videos, and government responses should serve as a constant reminder to become more self-reliant. Being dependent on the system is no longer an option for thinking, freedom-loving people.

With that, let’s move on to this week’s questions:

First, Dean asks, “Simon- you wrote the other day about a gold storage company in Hong Kong [www.thestorage.com.hk] and said that the boxes are about $80 annually. I looked at the website, it says they’re $600 annually. Am I missing something?”

Yes. The website quotes the price in Hong Kong dollars. $600 Hong Kong dollars is about $77 US dollars.

Next, Steve asks, “Simon, I live in Canada and my grandparents were of Polish decent. Can you recommended a lawyer I can contact who can help arrange a Polish passport for me?”

Sure. You can contact CK Law Office in Warsaw, www.CKlawoffice.eu. A number of Sovereign Man subscribers have used their services to obtain Polish citizenship. It’s not guaranteed, but they’ll look at your situation, do the necessary background research, and push all the documentation through if you qualify.

The thing about citizenship through Polish ancestry is that there aren’t clear-cut rules; Poland has been invaded and conquered so many times, people with relatives as far away as Kazakhstan technically qualify for Polish citizenship… so it’s definitely worth a shot. CK charges around 1,000 euros last I checked.

Next, Julian asks, “Simon, I’m confused about exchange rates.  I’ve noticed that the euro has lost against the US dollar but gained against the franc.  It doesn’t make sense to me at all. Is there a reasonable explanation on this?”

In times heightened risk, money managers sell riskier assets and park their funds in ‘safe’ assets. This is why emerging stocks and currencies tend to fall when the markets are stressed.

Traditionally, the Swiss franc has been regarded as a safe haven currency… but after the Swiss National Bank put a ceiling on the franc’s rise against the euro this past summer, this notion of safety was completely abandoned.

Now the franc and euro tend to rise and fall together, and on some days the euro may even move up against the franc a bit.

The biggest issue is the dollar. The financial system still considers the dollar to be ‘safe’ because it’s backed by the full faith and credit of the US government. People believe that if the government can’t pay, they’ll just print more money and go deeper into debt. Sounds pretty safe, right?

For now, though, there is no alternative. When investors panic and hundreds of billions of dollars get sucked out of world markets world looking for a safe haven, there are few places other than US Treasuries capable of absorbing that volume of funds.

Think about it– with roughly $14 trillion of debt outstanding, the US Treasury market can easily absorb $100 billion. In other words, the US dollar is ‘safe’ partly because the government is in so much debt. It’s truly mind boggling.

Gold is another story… and we’ll cover that another time.

Last, Richard asks, “Simon, can you give us some insight on what you pack when you travel?”

Most people can’t believe it when I tell them I don’t have a home, but it’s true. I bring everything with me as I travel from place to place, and it all fits into a carry-on. I have everything I require– a suit, nice shirts, ties, slacks, workout gear, etc.

You’d be surprised at how little you need… and frankly, most of my stuff could catch on fire and I wouldn’t care. I’m not attached to things, and everything is replaceable. The real essentials are my computer (Macbook Air), my passports, and my wallet.

Our goal is simple: To help you achieve personal liberty and financial prosperity no matter what happens.

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About the author: Simon Black is an international investor, entrepreneur, permanent traveler, free man, and founder of Sovereign Man. His free daily e-letter and crash course is about using the experiences from his life and travels to help you achieve more freedom.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • disqus_TLcMqwnySr

    Absolutely hilarious – I had just commented a few days ago to a female friend that the only things I need to walk across the US are my phone, wallet and the clothes on my back. She was incredulous and jealous at the same time.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KK67EGO63WSCUYRVZ2ESBALGCM Tim

    From what I gather the Wall Street protestors really want more government and more control of the investor class. If they have their way they will strangle capitalism with taxes and regulation.
    What kind of revolution is that?… a communist revolution.

    • Gil

       A simple snowballing effect into a Soviet-style Dictatorship?

  • http://twitter.com/LaForestWine SoCalR

    I’d appreciate a break down on “eastern block” (

    “EB” w/respect) priorities for potential citizenship.
    Assuming preexisting dual US/EU status, what tradeoffs would citizenship in Ukraine (as previously mentioned in connection with reality buys) v., e.g., Poland, in the EB present? 

    Thx.  Fascinating, timely and relevant blog!  Cheers.

  • satzclock

    The “Occupy” movement has come to Salt Lake and has a considerable effect. The local politician Orrin Hatch was moved to anger by them and commented on television the Cain line that they should get a job. I have had discussions with many of them and it is a very out of sync group in that philosophically they are all over the place. A Libertarian from Ogden is helping them however and even though they warn him not to spread his political views it is impossible in a discussion of issues and life for this not to happen. There is a great deal of illogical thinking, and I have had many a discussion with people proposing Communism and all manner of other whacky dis-proven ideas. The point is that if people will engage with these groups and clarify how the structures they are fighting work, this common rage could be directed in a very positive way. A crystal clear platform of a small number of goals would help solidify the focus and create something that while daunting, might be achievable. Here is a possible platform:
    1. Create sound money
    2. Limit all taxes to a 10% flat tax (or less or 0) no exceptions, no exemptions. 
    The first 2 would make government live within its means and limit their aggression and trouble making.
    3. Strictly follow the bill of rights even though the supreme court is not enforcing it.
    4. Make a rule sun-setting all laws after 30 years on the books. If the law is so critical it can be passed again 1 year prior to its scheduled to disappear.
    5. Make it illegal to legislate or enforce any victimless crimes statutes.

    These simple goals would be extremely profound, their effects would be revolutionary, actually helping all classes except the parasite class. These should be ideals that the Occupy group as well as the tea party should be happy supporting. 


  • theYiffer

    The trouble with the “Occupy” movement is that they’re anything but a spontaneous reaction to government and corporate corruption. They are a very left-wing bunch organized and funded by the Tides Foundation (a George Soroes group) and the unions. (They have a damn newspaper in NYC now.) Based on many of the interviews if heard on the radio and seen on TV, they’re over-glorified lemmings. They don’t have a clear idea of what they want, but they know what they hate, and that’s anything capitalist. (The icky banks and Wall-Street traders for example) Ironically, a lot of these brats carry on them many on the fruits of capitalism such as ipods, the clothes they wear, and the pizza they eat.

    If these brain-washed sheep do spark a revolution, we’re more likely to receive a Mao, Hitler, or Stalin who will institute an even more onerous government than the one we have. (Much like the “Arab Spring” left Egyptians with a military government and a Muslim  Brotherhood on the verge of taking complete power.) If the U.S. does fall, for whatever reason, the “free-world” will collaspe along with it. And the time of the sovereign man will come to an abrupt end.

  • http://twitter.com/azizonomics John Aziz

    Hi Simon,

    I’ve been following you for a while, mainly via Zero Hedge. I remember you being quite explicit about Chile being a very laissez-faire and liberal society…

    How do you react to this?


    The girl is a crazy Marxist, and the police are totally uncompromising. I won’t be moving, or moving my business to Chile.

    • Mike

      I would like to see Simon talk more about this. Once again, I am disappointed with the amount of real info he has shared on Chile addressing what is actually going on in the country. Not very convincing when mum is the word instead of “explicar.”

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KK67EGO63WSCUYRVZ2ESBALGCM Tim

    Read Animal Farm by Aldous Huxley that will tell you exactly what is going on in the Occupy movement. Many well meaning and angry dupes lead by a cadre of dedicated communists. It is what they do, it is their method. It won’t work here, but it will be educational to watch anyway.

    • Jozosz

      Communists are past creatures and milioners present. Everything must be under the control like an aggresive dog. I think 99% are slaves of the millionares and that must be changed.

  • lcpossum

    Tim, you’re confusing two different guys. Aldous Huxley wrote Brave New World and George Orwell wrote 1984 and Animal Farm

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KK67EGO63WSCUYRVZ2ESBALGCM Tim

    oops, you are so right icpossum

  • Achanz

    The Wall Street scenario looks like a synthetic occupation to me with synthetic terrorism to follow and a full scale synthetic revolution.  Then Phoenix666 shall rise out of the ashes and smoke to truly occupy……

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