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: 2156

Latest Articles

The Bolsheviks even want to tax your toaster oven…

In a concept paper called “Treat Wealth Like Wages”, the ranking member of the US Senate Finance Committee laid out a plan late last week to radically overhaul the tax code in a way never before seen.

Just as you’d expect from the title, his central idea is to tax wealth; if you own just about anything, this Senator wants you to start paying an annual tithe to the federal government.

It’s sort[...] Click here to continue reading

The most profitable business in the world

More than 5,000 years ago on a hilltop located in modern-day Georgia (the country, not the state), a group of people from the prehistoric Kura-Araxes civilization gathered their primitive tools and began to dig.

It took years. But they eventually burrowed 20 meters deep into the earth and constructed a network of elaborate tunnels.

Thousands of years later, archaeologists and geologists figured out why: the Kura-Araxes were digging for gold.

And that[...] Click here to continue reading

Eating human flesh is the latest idea to stop climate change

Get ready for your Friday absurdity! Here are this week’s stories:

Professor advocates for cannibalism to fight climate change


If you’re concerned about the human impact on Earth’s climate, you could plant a tree, install solar panels, ride a bike, or eat your dead relatives.

Don’t let that sack of meat decompose. Put it to good use, save a cow, and sequester that carbon into your own body.

At a summit in Sweden[...] Click here to continue reading

The price of gold just hit a record high

A few hours ago, the European Central Bank announced a bonanza stimulus package: interest rate cuts, money printing, quantitative easing, the whole nine yards.

Europe’s economic growth has ground to a halt. The German economy actually shrank last quarter, according to official statistics.

So the European Central Bank is throwing everything including the kitchen sink at this problem. Their stimulus package is like a monetary defibrillator trying to shock Europe’s economies back to[...] Click here to continue reading

The Bolsheviks hate Opportunity Zones. But they’re working.

Lately I’ve been looking at a number of office buildings in San Juan-- I own two businesses that are based here in Puerto Rico, and it’s about time the team moved to a larger space.

I was really impressed with what I saw-- there are a number of compelling new commercial real estate projects in Puerto Rico right now… and almost all of them are due to the Opportunity Zone legislation.

We’ve talked[...] Click here to continue reading

Here’s every reason to avoid buying a gold ETF

Buckle up, this one’s going to be entertaining… because I should have called this note “Why you should always read the fine print.”

This morning I read through the prospectus and annual reports of the most popular Gold ETFs in the world.

First, some background:

ETF stands for ‘exchange-traded fund’. It’s sort of like a mutual fund that’s listed on the stock exchange, meaning investors can buy/sell shares of an ETF just[...] Click here to continue reading

It’s now “incendiary” to say there are two genders

Happy Friday everyone. Let’s bring on the weekly absurdity!

School cop handcuffs and screams at autistic 8-year-old


An eight year old autistic boy in Southlake, Texas became agitated in his guidance counselor’s office.

At one point the child became fidgety and took out a jump rope (that had been provided to him by the school). Amazingly enough, the counselor felt threatened by this and asked the school cop to come into the office.

[...] Click here to continue reading

Here’s a really unique way to own gold

Last week we dove into a series about different ways to own gold. And I explained in that first article why it’s a great idea to own physical bullion-- gold you can hold in your hand.

With physical gold, there’s no middleman standing between you and your wealth. And when properly stored, it’s very difficult for some frivolous creditor or out-of-control government agency to steal it.

When it comes to physical gold, I[...] Click here to continue reading

Think about this if you own Hong Kong dollars

On January 20, 1841, after delivering a series of military defeats to Imperial China in the First Opium War, British forces landed in Hong Kong and took control of the island.

Hong Kong was hugely important for the British economy because it ensured access to the Chinese market. And they went to war multiple times to keep control of the island.

In 1898 the two empires signed a lasting peace treaty whereby Britain[...] Click here to continue reading

Feminist thought leader claims milking cows is the same as rape

Welcome to our Friday roll up, where we highlight the most interesting, absurd, and concerning stories we are following this week.

Local tax collector ruins children’s entrepreneurship event


Every summer, a Utah non-profit agency called the Libertas Institute holds an entrepreneurship event for children.

It’s a wonderful idea-- children as young as 5 gather together in a marketplace to buy and sell products and services that they’ve created to one another.

And parents[...] Click here to continue reading

Here’s how you can invest like Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson

In 1978, a scruffy-looking Frenchman named Patrick Hernandez signed his first-ever recording contract.

He had spent the better part of the previous decade touring ballrooms in France, backing b-class singers without any real success to show for himself.

But in late 1978, he released his very first single, “Born to Be Alive.”

The song was an instant hit. It hit the number 1 spot in France, and within a few months, sold[...] Click here to continue reading

How to become a billionaire in five easy steps

Every morning here in Puerto Rico, I wake up around 6am as the sun rises over the ocean in front of my house. And I pretty much head straight to the gym.

Once there, one of my favorite medieval torture devices is a fairly new exercise bike called a Peloton.

In case you haven’t used one before, a Peloton is like any other stationary exercise bike. You pedal a lot, and it sucks.
[...] Click here to continue reading

I can’t wait until these people are in charge of healthcare…

Last week at a Bernie Sanders campaign stop, someone ask him a question that began with, "Yesterday, oligarch David Koch passed away..."

The Bolshevik crowd interrupted immediately with ebullient cheers, joyfully celebrating the death of a man they had never met and knew nothing about.

If you hadn’t heard, multi-billionaire David Koch died last week at the age of 79 after a prolonged battle with cancer.

Along with his brother Charles, David[...] Click here to continue reading

Here’s a dirty secret few people know about gold

In 1962 in a picturesque setting in Santa Barbara, California, two local entrepreneurs opened a low-cost, roadside inn where the nightly room rate was just $6.

They called it Motel 6.

And today the chain has grown to over 1,400 locations.

If you want the most straightforward explanation for why you should own gold, consider your local Motel 6.

It’s noteworthy that, today, the very same Santa Barbara location now rents[...] Click here to continue reading

The government gave her son a sex change without parental consent

Welcome to our Friday roll up, where we highlight the most interesting, absurd, and concerning stories we are following this week.

Can’t sue cop for breaking domestic violence victim’s bones


It all started when a boyfriend playfully tried to push his girlfriend into the pool.

Most people would see that as harmless horsing around. But one lady saw domestic violence. So she called the police.

Police came and arrested the boyfriend. His girlfriend,[...] Click here to continue reading

There are some enormous benefits in setting up a Solo 401(k)

Earlier this year the US government reported that Social Security’s long-term, unfunded liability now exceeds $50 TRILLION.

Moreover, they forecast that the Social Security and Medicare trust funds will run out of money in 2034.

This is the government’s own calculation.

(And the government’s math is based on rosy assumptions that there will be no more wars, recessions, financial crises, major disasters, etc. which could make the problem even worse.)

Bottom[...] Click here to continue reading

4 compelling reasons to be thinking about gold

From time to time it’s important to take a giant step back and take a fresh look at everything that’s going on with a big picture perspective.

The last few weeks has been nothing short of incredible… so many important things happening that have never happened before ever. Let’s take a step back together:

1) $50 billion to “elevate your consciousness”

As we discussed on Monday, WeWork filed its formal IPO paperwork[...] Click here to continue reading

Just when you think you own your own private property…

The year was 1967. Ronald Reagan had just become governor of California. Aretha Franklin was belting out R-E-S-P-E-C-T on the radio. Marxist revolutionary leader Che Guevara was captured and executed in Bolivia.

And a restaurant chain called The White Spot opened its newest location in Denver, Colorado.

It was a popular diner; the White Spot served pancakes and milkshakes to customers for decades, and ownership of the Denver location eventually changed hands when[...] Click here to continue reading

The latest sign that absolutely nothing makes sense

In the latest sign that absolutely nothing makes sense anymore, WeWork filed formal regulatory paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week, officially notifying the world that it will soon be going public.

If you haven’t heard of WeWork (or it’s parent-- ‘The We Company’), it’s a real estate company that owns practically zero real estate.

Instead, they lease vast amounts of office space in commercial buildings on long-term contracts, and then[...] Click here to continue reading

Medical patient falls off the examination table, sues his physician. . .

Welcome to our Friday roll up, where we highlight the most interesting, absurd, and concerning stories we are following this week.

New Zealand officially legalizes paying employees with crypto-currency 


New Zealand issued a tax bulletin this month officially recognizing that it is legal for employers to pay employees with crypto-currencies like Bitcoin.

The crypto-currencies just have to be able to be converted into fiat currency… which is typically the case with every major crypto.
[...] Click here to continue reading

Italy was the world’s superpower TWICE. They screwed it up both times

In 750 BC, according to ancient legend, the twin brothers Romulus and Remus founded a tiny hilltop settlement in central Italy.

Romulus slew his brother for violating a magical superstition, and then named their new city after himself: Rome.

And for the first several centuries of its existence, Rome was nothing special. It was one of many minor kingdoms on a peninsula controlled by the Etruscan civilization… and existed at a time when[...] Click here to continue reading

The Federal Reserve might as well use carrier pigeons

In the early 1760s, Mayer Rothschild began building a banking dynasty that would last for centuries.

The elder Rothschild sent his five sons across Europe to establish banks in cities like Paris and London.

One son, Nathan Rothschild, took the lead and expanded the family’s banking dynasty.

With siblings in different countries, the family now had a trusted network of lenders with whom they could finance large government projects like infrastructure and[...] Click here to continue reading

106: Central banks should consider giving people money

I thought in this age of insanity that we are living in, nothing would surprise me anymore. But sure enough, there was a headline in the Financial Times the other day, “Central banks should consider giving people money.”

It seems almost impossible that someone could believe in something so ridiculous. And yet this is the world we are living in. The path to prosperity is now based on unelected central bankers conjuring millions of[...] Click here to continue reading

Dad sued for slander because he criticized the education system

Welcome to our Friday roll up, where we highlight the most absurd and concerning stories we are following this week.

Dad sued for slander because he criticized the education system


Careful what you say about your kid’s public school curriculum.

The company behind a controversial common core math program in North Carolina is suing a dad for libel and slander.

The parent of a high school student has been on a “crusade,” the[...] Click here to continue reading

When in Rome, get Italian citizenship

It was probably after 2am last night when I walked up the stairs to bed after a marathon seven hour dinner.

But that’s pretty normal here. This is the eighth year in a row I have spent my summer holiday at this 400 year old villa in the Italian countryside.

I invited a number of my close friends, family, and Total Access members to relax and break bread. We always end up engaging[...] Click here to continue reading

Why this is one of my favorite cities in Europe

I feel like a complete broken man right now.

I’m exhausted. Sleep deprived. Malnourished. My muscles are sore. My back is killing me. I’m so hoarse I can barely speak.

Yet despite all that I couldn’t possibly be feeling more excited and exhilarated.

My 10th annual liberty and entrepreneurship workshop just ended yesterday here in Lithuania. And as you can tell, it’s a physically and mentally draining event.

The workshop is[...] Click here to continue reading

10 year old charged for assault… with a dodgeball

Welcome to our Friday roll up, where we highlight the most absurd and concerning stories we are following this week.

10 year old charged for assault… with a dodgeball


A ten year old boy will be brought to juvenile court on assault charges.

His heinous crime was hitting another 10 year old in the face with a dodgeball at recess.

He originally got suspended from school for one day… which seems like a[...] Click here to continue reading

The Treasury Department is in desperate need of a sucker

Ten years ago, at the peak of the global financial crisis, the Board of Trustees which oversees Social Security in the United States issued a stark warning:

They projected that Social Security’s enormous trust funds would completely run out of money in 2039.

Naturally nobody paid attention. Back in 2009 the economy in shambles, so focusing on a future economic crisis that was more than three decades away was a low priority.

[...] Click here to continue reading

Here’s how you can protect yourself from crazy lawsuits like this one…

Our annual Sovereign Academy is just around the corner.

Each year, I invite the most talented entrepreneurs I know to teach and mentor a group of 50 young people from around the world.

The camp is entirely free for students - I pay for everything myself out of pocket. It’s also one of my favorite times of the year.

One of the mentors there has been with me since the inception of[...] Click here to continue reading

The federal government sold your Social Security Number for FIVE dollars

The federal government sold your Social Security Number for FIVE dollars

Welcome to our Friday roll up, where we highlight the most absurd and concerning stories we are following this week.

Equifax fined $700 million… for 147 million person data breach


Do you remember back in 2017 when Equifax (the giant consumer credit agency) admitted that it had been breached?

Hackers broke into Equifax’s databases and stole personal and financial records of 147[...] Click here to continue reading

The easiest (and safest) return on investment you’ll ever achieve

In 1993, William Kurt Hauser, a San Francisco investment analyst, presented his results from an incredibly interesting study.

Hauser had analyzed tax revenues in the United States over time and came to the conclusion that tax revenue as a percentage of GDP had remained around a narrow band of 19% since 1946.

That was astonishing. After all, over that same period, tax rates had been all over the place.

The top marginal[...] Click here to continue reading

Here’s a phrase you’ll never hear again in the USA

“Gentlemen... the National Debt... is paid.”

That sentence has been uttered in Washington DC exactly one time ever, by a Senator announcing that the US government was officially debt free.

That was on January 8, 1835 when the debt that the United States government had accrued since its birth was finally paid off.

Never again would the United States be debt free.

It took 174 years for the debt to rack[...] Click here to continue reading

US teacher’s union prioritizes “white fragility” over children’s education

Here’s our Friday roll up of the most bizarre stories we’re following this week.

Mom can’t sue cop who accidentally shot her child


On July 10, 2014, a Sheriff's Deputy from a rural county in southern Georgia was in pursuit of a suspect when he wandered onto the property of Ms. Amy Corbitt.

Corbitt’s ten year old child was playing outside with several other children (as young as 3 years old), under the supervision[...] Click here to continue reading

Living like a Hollywood king in Bangkok, Thailand

The first time I met Steven Seagal, it was in the lobby of a posh hotel in Bangkok, Thailand.

He came downstairs sharply dressed, complete with his yellow-tinged ‘Tony Stark’ sunglasses, ready to hit the nightclubs for the evening.

My friend Adam introduced us. Steven bowed to me, and, slightly puzzled, I bowed back, unsure if we were saying hello or preparing to engage in ritualistic combat.

Fortunately it was the former,[...] Click here to continue reading

Insanity: Now even JUNK bonds have NEGATIVE yields

75 years ago this month, a group of 744 delegates from around the world gathered at the very posh Mount Washington Hotel in New Hampshire to build a brand new global financial system.

The year was 1944. World War II was still raging in Europe and the Pacific.

But with the successful invasion of Normandy well underway, the Allies knew that Hitler’s days were numbered. And they needed to start preparing for a[...] Click here to continue reading