Posts by Simon Black

Simon Black is an international investor, entrepreneur, and founder of Sovereign Man. His free daily e-letter Notes from the Field is about using the experiences from his life and travels to help you achieve more freedom, make more money, keep more of it, and protect it all from bankrupt governments.

  • First post: 16/06/2009
  • Posts written: 1583

Latest Articles

17,359 Americans have renounced their citizenship under Barack Obama

record-renunciation-passport
Another 508 people renounced their US citizenship last quarter according to documents published this morning by the Internal Revenue Service.

This brings the total number of US ‘renunciants’ under the Obama administration to 17,359.

It’s a pretty sad state of affairs when a government’s tax policy is so[...] Click here to continue reading

Get ready for America’s new $29 trillion debt

sinking-dollar
According to Jacques Necker, everything was just fine.

The year was 1781, and Necker, France’s finance minister, had just published a report called Compte Rendu au Roi, an accounting of French public finances.

Necker’s report showed that, despite extraordinary public services and military spending, France had a net[...] Click here to continue reading

US government pays $475,000 for illegally searching woman’s vagina

us-border-patrol
Have you lost that loving feeling? If so, the United States federal government might just be able to help.

Before you swipe right on Tinder or update that eHarmony account, consider instead taking a quick trip out of the country.

Because on your way back home into the[...] Click here to continue reading

New legislation proposes to “bail in” Social Security

retirement-bail-in
It was only a few weeks ago that I told you about the government’s annual report on Social Security.

It was a veritable death sentence for the program.

The Board of Trustees for Social Security (which includes the US Treasury Secretary) wrote that major parts of the program[...] Click here to continue reading

How we’re investing to disrupt the system

disrupt-the-system
I’ll be brutally honest-- I’m so tired right now I can barely write this email.

For the past five days I’ve been going on almost no sleep.

I’ve been on my feet almost all day, every day, with an absolutely sadistic schedule trying to cram a year’s worth[...] Click here to continue reading

“These are the danger signals and they are flashing now.”

danger-ahead
I’m excited.

Tomorrow starts our summer Liberty & Entrepreneurship camp, an annual event that our foundation sponsors in which some of my most accomplished friends and I mentor young students from all over the world.

This year we have students from dozens of countries, places like Indonesia, Ecuador,[...] Click here to continue reading

The financial system is breaking down at an unimaginable pace–

Dollar-Decline
Now it’s $13 trillion.

That’s the total amount of government bonds in the world that have negative yields, according to calculations published last week by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Given that there were almost zero negative-yielding bonds just two years ago, the rise to $13 trillion is[...] Click here to continue reading

How to legally steal $35,000 from Vladimir Putin

ruble-putin
Jim Rogers told me to come here.

We were having dinner a few weeks ago in Singapore, and Jim had just returned that morning from Russia full of optimism for the improving economy.

I had been meaning to come back here anyhow to scout out private equity deals.
[...] Click here to continue reading

We’re witnessing a complete breakdown in western values

RS4525_600x313_RS4526_Protest_crowd
Two months ago I was with the former President of Colombia, Alvaro Uribe, at his home outside of Medellin.

He was telling me some hilarious stories about his interactions in the early 2000s with Hugo Chavez, who had recently seized power in Venezuela.

Chavez was a fanatic socialist.[...] Click here to continue reading

Some disturbing figures about the upcoming banking crisis

Some disturbing figures about the upcoming banking crisis
In early 1870, the Kingdom of Prussia and French Empire were about to go to war.

It was one of countless conflicts between the dozens of European kingdoms and empires throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, and this one was over before it even started.

Prussia’s military might[...] Click here to continue reading

Obtaining a foreign residency is a no-brainer, especially if you have a family

Venezuela-waiting-line
By 2014, inflation was at 50% in Venezuela.

Just paying the bill at a restaurant now required a thick stack of cash.

When that happened, some people simply tightened their belts and stopped going out to eat. Others saw this as a warning sign to look for another,[...] Click here to continue reading

19-year old paralyzed cancer patient brutalized by TSA

hannah-cohen
19-year old Hannah Cohen should have been partying.

Living with multiple disabilities like paralysis, partial deafness, and blindness in one eye, Hannah also suffers from a brain tumor.

And five days ago, she and her mother were traveling home via Memphis International Airport to celebrate the end of[...] Click here to continue reading

The subprime bubble grew by $1.4 trillion in just one month [video]

Dollar sign cracked floor dollar crisis financial crisis concept.
[Editor’s note: Check out Simon's video podcast of today’s Notes.]

In the late 12th century while the rest of Europe was choking on feudalism, Venice was rapidly becoming the most advanced power on the continent.

At that point Venice had already created a free society where anyone, regardless of[...] Click here to continue reading

Scathing new report shows just how bankrupt Social Security really is

insolvent-social-security
Last week, a group of analysts published an astonishing report about the future of Social Security in the United States, and their remarks were nothing short of damning.

According to their calculations, for example, these analysts claim that Social Security is already running a huge deficit to the tune[...] Click here to continue reading

This new breed of celebrities makes China’s rise even more obvious

china-social-media
In the year 605 AD, Emperor Yang of the Sui dynasty in China formally established what became known as the ‘imperial examination.’

This was a standardized test that public officials were required to take, covering everything from arithmetic to writing to military science.

The idea was to ensure[...] Click here to continue reading

Tim Price on the Brexit investment opportunities

brexit-investment
I’ve never been so happy to be so wrong.

Britain’s referendum on whether or not to stay part of the European Union was marred by some of the most blatant propaganda we’ve seen in the West in a very, very long time.

But… at the end of the[...] Click here to continue reading

Brexit: I’ve seen more subtle propaganda coming out of North Korea

brexit-2
On November 11, 1947, Winston Churchill, then ex-Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, rose to speak at a debate in the House of Commons:
“Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or[...] Click here to continue reading

Looking for a second home? Put this country on your radar

kuala-lumpur-malaysia
Nothing quite shocks the senses like the colors, smells, spices, and prices of Asian street food.

Some of the tastiest (and most bizarre) things I’ve ever had in my life were consumed on the streets of Asia, for a cost of almost nothing.

From China to India, Myanmar[...] Click here to continue reading

Reflecting on the past seven years of Sovereign Man

sovereign-man-7-year
I’ve always been pretty bad with birthday and anniversaries. Even my own.

So I didn’t even realize until this morning that Sovereign Man actually turned seven years old over the weekend.

Seven years. I can hardly believe it. But it seems even more incredulous to think about how[...] Click here to continue reading

Now is the time to be looking at the world’s ‘forgotten’ precious metal

silver-forgotten-metal
In our daily conversations, we regularly discuss how important it is to own real assets-- especially precious metals.

There’s so much risk in the financial system right now. Just consider your own bank account, for example.

If you’re in the West, more than likely your bank is -extremely-[...] Click here to continue reading

The Federal Reserve has brought back “taxation without representation”

george-washington-taxation
In February 1768, a revolutionary article entitled “No taxation without representation” was published London Magazine.

The article was a re-print of an impassioned speech made by Lord Camden arguing in parliament against Britain’s oppressive tax policies in the American colonies.

Britain had been milking the colonists like medieval[...] Click here to continue reading

The subprime mortgage is back: it’s 2008 all over again

subprime-housing-crisis
Apparently the biggest banks in the US didn’t learn their lesson the first time around…

Because a few days ago, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and many of the usual suspects made a stunning announcement that they would start making crappy subprime loans once again!

I’m sure you[...] Click here to continue reading

Capitalism always wins

vietnam
As you can imagine, here in Vietnam they call it the “American War”. Or sometimes the “Resistance War Against America.”

Most of us call it the Vietnam War. It left millions dead, and millions more wounded over a nearly two decades long conflict.

It caused catastrophic medical and[...] Click here to continue reading

Four alternatives to holding your savings in a bank

cash-piles
“Global yields lowest in 500 years of recorded history. $10 trillion of neg. rate bonds. This is a supernova that will explode one day.”
Those were the words of famed bond fund manager Bill Gross.

(Gross was actually the first portfolio manager inducted into the Fixed Income Analyst Society’s[...] Click here to continue reading

6 rules I follow when making any investment

wealth-gold-invest
This morning as I glanced at the headlines, I had to sit back and wonder-- when did the world get so crazy?

Interest rates across the West are at zero or negative.

Bankrupt governments are selling 100-year bonds with tiny interest rates, while others have convinced investors to[...] Click here to continue reading

Freedom and financial independence start with just one thing

freedom-and-prosperity
The year was 1999. I was 20 years old. And like most 20 year olds, I knew EVERYTHING.

Or at least I thought I did.

I was a young West Point cadet at the time, and I’d just received a bank loan of more than $22,000.

This[...] Click here to continue reading

Introducing Europe’s Frightening New Tax Directive

EU-tax-directive
In a bizarre story disclosed over the weekend, we learned that Belgium’s Princess Astrid was robbed by two assailants on a motorbike.

The thieves apparently approached her while she was sitting in traffic, smashed in her window, snatched the Royal Handbag, and sped off with over 2,000 euros in[...] Click here to continue reading

This financial bubble is 8 times bigger than the 2008 subprime crisis

financial-crisis
On July 1, 2005, the Chairman of then President George W. Bush’s Council of Economic Advisors told a reporter from CNBC that,

"We’ve never had a decline in house prices on a nationwide basis. So, what I think is more likely is that house prices will slow, maybe stabilize,[...] Click here to continue reading

Why an offshore bank may be safer

RS4532_600x313_RS4531_bank_vault_door
“Offshore”. It’s practically a dirty word now. The O-word.

The mere concept of “offshore” is automatically associated with criminal activity, tax evasion, and terror financing.

Consider the notion of offshore banking.

The immediate image that comes to mind is some moustache-twirling billionaire tax cheat hiding his ill-gotten[...] Click here to continue reading

If you believe this, I have a bridge to sell you

north-korea-soldier
All governments make absurd claims. But North Korea definitely wins the award for the most comical.

Kim Jong-Il, North Korea’s “Dear Leader” from 1997 through 2011, had some priceless gems, including:

He never once in his life needed to urinate or defecate
He wrote over 1,500 books for[...] Click here to continue reading

Here’s proof that the US dollar is insanely overvalued

currencies-dollar-rand
Shocking. Astonishing. Jaw dropping.

There’s just no other way to describe how cheap South Africa is right now.

Between the worldwide decline in commodities prices, and a major crisis of confidence in the national government here, the local currency (South African rand) remains at the lowest level it’s[...] Click here to continue reading

Advice for young people: Make it count.

graduation
Very few people know this about me.

But, despite me being 37 years old, I actually have a little sister who recently turned 18 and just graduated from high school.

Technically she’s my half-sister-- after my parents got divorced, my father remarried and had another child when I[...] Click here to continue reading

You don’t expect a disaster like this until it happens.

prepare-for-disaster
No one likes to pay for insurance.

If you don’t smoke, if you go to the gym regularly, and if you generally eat well, it just might not seem worth it.

Especially when the average cost of insuring against just catastrophic health incidents can take up about 4%[...] Click here to continue reading

Wow. Congress wants to prohibit the Fed from bailing out bankrupt states.

congress-flag
Just days ago, in the midst of the Puerto Rico debt morass, 24 members of Congress introduced the “No Bailouts for State, Territory, and Local Governments Act.”

The title pretty much sums it up.

Congress knows there’s a massive wave of defaults looming at the city and state[...] Click here to continue reading

This surprise asset outperformed stocks and bonds for 27 years

timber
Out here in Eastern Washington’s Yakima Valley are beautiful, seemingly endless fields of abundance and wealth.

But not ‘wealth’ in the conventional sense. I’m not talking about paper money that’s conjured out of thin air by central bankers.

I’m talking about real wealth. Real assets.

Growing up[...] Click here to continue reading