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: 2094

Latest Articles

Congressman wants to ban Bitcoin because it threatens the Federal Reserve

Happy Friday everyone. Here’s our weekly roll-up of some of the most bizarre (and often disturbing) stories from around the world that we’re following:


Apparently it’s a crime to sit down in public


A dangerous criminal in the United Kingdom has been sentenced to 20 weeks in prison after an egregious crime spree.


This psychopath admitted to the heinous crime of SITTING in public THREE TIMES, without a valid excuse.


The homeless man had already[...]

Click here to continue reading

Crypto prices are surging… is it time to buy again?

Last week the price of Bitcoin was double what it was on April 1 of this year.


Then it crashed by almost 20% in matter of days. Then it surged again. And at the time of this writing, the price of bitcoin is just shy of $8,000.


That's a pretty volatile ride.


Naturally the “experts” are back to predicting Bitcoin will hit anything up to $10,000 this month, and $100,000 this year.


Obviously no one[...]

Click here to continue reading

Better results start with an independent, global view

Last week when Uber finally went public, the stock set a record for the largest first-day dollar loss in IPO history: over $6 billion vanished from the company’s valuation in a matter of minutes.

But that shouldn’t be surprising since Uber doesn’t actually make a profit.

And the company acknowledged in its IPO filing that it may, in fact, NEVER turn a profit, given that it expects operating costs to “increase significantly in[...] Click here to continue reading

After so many years, this place is still amazing

Like many of our readers, I’ll never forget the Great Crash and the Global Financial Crisis from more than a decade ago.


Some of you may be too young to remember. But it was pretty gruesome.


One of the largest investment banks in the world collapsed in September 2008, nearly dragging down the world economy with it.


Practically overnight it became apparent that the global financial system was a house of cards. Some of the[...]

Click here to continue reading

Five years in prison for offending someone online…

Let the weekly absurdity begin!


New SAT scoring will combat Asian privilege


The infamous SAT has been used since 1926 as a sort of university entrance exam to objectively test high school students’ scholastic aptitude. Until now.


Test administrators announced plans this week to include an ‘adversity score’ for every student taking the SAT.


This score will excuse poor test results if the student lives in a high crime neighborhood, went to a poor high[...]

Click here to continue reading

This is a much better alternative to keeping your money in a bank

The banking scandals are all starting to blur together.


When I heard that five big banks were fined by regulators today, I had to think…


Was that the scandal over employees creating fake accounts? No. Was it the scandal over recommending investments “highly likely to lose value”? No, not that one either.


Today’s fine didn’t stem from when banks scammed customers into buying auto insurance they didn’t need, illegally repossessed vehicles, accidentally foreclosed on homes,[...]

Click here to continue reading

Central banks are buying gold at the fastest pace in six years

Earlier this month the World Gold Council published its quarterly report-- and it shows that central banks and foreign governments from around the world are buying up gold at their fastest pace in six years.

This is pretty big news, and it says a LOT about the future of the dollar.

Remember, central banks and foreign governments hold literally TRILLIONS of dollars of reserves... and traditionally they do this by buying US government[...] Click here to continue reading

AOC and Bernie Sanders hate this tax incentive

At the Sun Valley investment conference in mid-1999, Warren Buffett made a rare prediction about the stock market.


1999 was THE top of the dot-com craze.


And Buffett saw countless companies going public, attracting billions of dollars of investor capital, despite being UNPROFITABLE and having NO business plan to EVER make money, ever.


This made absolutely no sense to him, and Buffett warned that the technology bubble was about to pop.


In normal times, every[...]

Click here to continue reading

More ridiculous Civil Asset Forfeiture shenanigans

Each Friday we highlight a number of important, and often bizarre stories from around the world that my team and I are closely following:

Chicago police run a vehicle impound racket


Imagine dropping your car off at the local mechanic because you need to get your engine tuned up.

A few days later you come back to pick up your car, only to find out that it has been impounded by the police.

[...] Click here to continue reading

Here’s a lesson from the 108,000 millionaires who left their home countries last year

According to a recent report from Bloomberg, more than 108,000 millionaires left their home countries last year in search of greener pastures.


Most emigrated from countries like China and Russia… no surprise there.


India also saw a large outflow of millionaires as tax authorities tightened their grip. And Turkey continues to see an exodus, in the wake of strong-man President Erdogan.


But Western countries like France and England also lost boat loads (or planes full)[...]

Click here to continue reading

The surprising reason you might qualify for citizenship in these five countries

In the year 1492, at a port city about 50 miles south of where Columbus was preparing to set sail for the New World, Spanish Jews were desperately scrambling to flee Spain.


King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella gave all Jewish Spaniards just four months notice to leave the country, convert to Christianity, or die.


They were called Sephardic Jews (Sephardic is Hebrew for Spanish), and they were forced to sell their properties and businesses. With[...]

Click here to continue reading

Yet another reason to slash your taxes to zero

I’ve long been vocal about my belief that if you have a problem with your government, you should vote.


But not vote in the traditional sense, i.e. stand in line at a polling station and be forced to choose between the lesser of two evils… or perhaps more appropriately, the evil of two lessers.


Traditional voting is a demeaning and pointless activity.


In most cases your vote doesn’t really matter; national elections are typically decided[...]

Click here to continue reading

Green Revolution: Washington State to allow composting of human beings

Each Friday we highlight a number of important, and often bizarre stories from around the world that my team and I are closely following:


1. Washington State will allow human body composting

It doesn’t get much greener than this.

Staking his presidential run on climate change, the Governor of Washington is set to sign a bill legalizing composting of deceased humans.

An especially high percentage of the deceased in Washington[...] Click here to continue reading

Social Security will cross another dangerous milestone next year

In the year 1890, according to census records, my great-great-grandfather was spending the final years of his life living with one of his children on a farm in Choctaw County, Oklahoma.


I’ve spent most of the last twenty years doing some hardcore research into my family history-- and I’ve identified records going all the way back to 1250 in England.


And one common theme that I’ve noticed: when people reached a certain age, they almost[...]

Click here to continue reading

This is one of the best countries in the world to have your child

Most of us have only very few opportunities to do something that has a true lifelong impact on someone else.

One of these opportunities is to do something for your children that will pay dividends for a lifetime in the form of freedom, choices, and safety.

And that gift is a second passport.

A passport from a foreign country gives you the right to live, work, invest, bank and thrive there. And[...] Click here to continue reading

This asset class has maintained its value for thousands of years

At the peak of its power in 1350 BC, thousands of years ago, ancient Egypt was like nothing ever seen before.


The great Kingdom was thriving under an efficient system of agricultural production and trade with foreign nations.


Egyptians had learned to adapt to the natural irrigation of the Nile river to produce surpluses of food, which supported a larger population, trade specialization and social and cultural development.


Mineral exploitation in the surrounding areas gave[...]

Click here to continue reading

How to buy a gorgeous property in Europe for 50% off

When Hugh Hefner finally sold one of the most famous homes in the world back in 2016-- the Playboy Mansion-- the market was a bit slow. And Hefner had to settle for about half of his original $200 million asking price.


But in exchange, the then-90-year-old got a sweet deal: He didn’t have to move out. The buyer would only take possession of the property once Hefner passed away.


A similar deal took place between[...]

Click here to continue reading

This is a rare win-win offer from the government that won’t last long

I’m not used to seeing the government offer taxpayers a win-win.


But a little known provision snuck into Trump’s 2017 tax reform law is possibly the best tax-advantaged investment strategy offered in decades. And it will help some of the poorest areas of the US too.


It’s the brainchild of Sean Parker, the founder of Napster and the first major investor in Facebook.


Traveling in Tanzania, he realized none of the $2 billion worth of[...]

Click here to continue reading

Here’s an easy way to tell if your bank is actually safe

March 15, 2013 was a pretty normal day in Cyprus. It was a Friday, and most people were looking forward to a relaxing weekend.


The next morning the entire nation woke up in horror. Their politicians had been up all night, negotiating with international lenders to provide an emergency loan to the country, and its banks.


It turned out that the banks in Cyprus were all insolvent; just like banks in the United States during[...]

Click here to continue reading

Just released: Social Security earned a pitiful 2.8% on your money last year

Hot off the presses: The Board of Trustees for the Social Security and Medicare programs in the United States just released their annual report a few minutes ago.


And if you want to read all of its gory detail, check it out for yourself here.


Both of these programs are massively and terminally underfunded. And not by a little bit.


The Board of Trustees itself calculates Social Security’s long-term shortfall at a mind boggling $43+[...]

Click here to continue reading

Are you descended from the Visigoths? Get ready to pay up!

Each Friday we highlight a number of important, and often bizarre stories from around the world that my team and I are closely following:


Cory Booker introduces reparations bill


Get ready for a slippery slope, because because Cory Booker just introduced a reparations bill in Congress.


The 2020 Presidential contender said, “this bill is a way of addressing head-on the persistence of racism, white supremacy, and implicit racial bias in our country... and propose solutions[...]

Click here to continue reading

Netflix’s unbelievable cash burn just got 60% worse

If you’re a big fan of shows like Narcos, Stranger Things, House of Cards, or Orange is the New Black, you might want to think about sending a fruit basket to anyone you know who is a Netflix shareholder.


Netflix reported its quarterly earnings again yesterday afternoon. And, as expected, the company is losing a metric truckload.


According to its own financial statements, Netflix burned nearly half a billion dollars in the last quarter. That’s[...]

Click here to continue reading

Astonishing opportunities in one of the oldest cities in the world

By the time Alexander the Great and his Macedonian army conquered the city of Samarkand in 329 BC, the city had already existed for centuries.


Samarkand had been a prominent, vibrant regional capital in the Persian Empire prior to the Macedonians’ arrival.


And under Alexander the city flourished even more. He declared it one of the most majestic places he had ever been, and the city served as a critical outpost for his conquests in[...]

Click here to continue reading

Even Elizabeth Warren is maximizing her tax deductions

On September 11, 1791, sixteen men disguised themselves as women and waited patiently in a forest outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for the local tax collector.


The tax collector’s name was Robert Johnson. And he was tasked with collecting the new Whiskey Tax that had recently been signed into law.


This was -very- early in US history; the Constitution had only been ratified two years earlier, and George Washington was barely into his first term as[...]

Click here to continue reading

Elizabeth Warren wants to end “beyond a reasonable doubt” for criminal convictions

Each Friday we highlight a number of important, and often bizarre stories from around the world that my team and I are closely following:


Elizabeth Warren wants to destroy centuries of legal standards


To take your freedom requires more evidence than to take your money. For now.


Criminal convictions depend on the accused being guilty beyond all reasonable doubt. Civil convictions depend only on a preponderance of evidence pointing to guilt.


But Senator Elizabeth Warren[...]

Click here to continue reading

How to take advantage of the best tax deal ever, before it’s too late

You’ve heard me mention Puerto Rico’s amazing tax incentives about a million times by now.

Here I am, living in a beautiful place that’s part of the United States… yet I pay ZERO US federal income tax, only a 4% corporate tax for my businesses and ZERO capital gains and dividends tax.

And this is all perfectly legal.

I’m still a US citizen, but I’m not hiding out from the IRS, nefariously[...] Click here to continue reading

104: Taking matters into your own hands

Last week in its annual report, the US government reported that Social Security’s long-term, unfunded liability now exceeds $50 TRILLION.

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

This is the government’s own calculation.

Bottom line: The younger you are, the less you should count on Social Security in your retirement plans. You must take matters into your own hands and save[...] Click here to continue reading

New York City just went from Dumb to Dumber…

A few months ago, I wrote to you about how New York City wants to tax people who own second homes there.


They call it a pied-a-terre tax, and the geniuses behind it believe that it will help plug the city’s $1 billion budget shortfall.


Bill de Blasio himself, the mayor of New York City, has voiced his enthusiasm in soaking the rich.


Hedge fund manager Ken Griffin became one of the primary victims of[...]

Click here to continue reading

Four ways that Uncle Sam will respond to its $75 trillion insolvency

Last week I told you that the US government recently reported a negative net worth of MINUS $75 TRILLION.


That’s not a type-o. According to the Treasury Department’s annual financial report for Fiscal Year 2018 (which they just published last week), the US government is hopelessly bankrupt.


Now, I’m not talking about this trying to stoke fear and panic.


Quite the opposite-- I’m hoping that this conversation results in calm optimism. But the point is[...]

Click here to continue reading

The latest Social Justice absurdity…

Each Friday we highlight a number of important, and often bizarre stories from around the world that my team and I are closely following:


What age do you identify as?


It happens way too often here at Sovereign Man… we joke around about the next outlandish demands of Social Justice Warriors. And then it happens.


This time the Journal of Medical Ethics published a paper arguing that if you don’t feel your “chronological” age, you[...]

Click here to continue reading

US government’s net worth is now NEGATIVE $75 TRILLION

Usually around the middle of February each year, the US Treasury Department releases an annual report of the federal government’s financial condition.


It’s called the Financial Report of the US Government... and it looks a lot like an annual report that you might see filed by a big company like Apple or Facebook.


Except that, unlike Apple and Facebook, the US government’s annual report is absolutely gruesome.


This year’s report is no exception, save for[...]

Click here to continue reading

25% of Millennials no longer having sex due to financial problems

My grandfather was just a toddler when soldiers came home from World War One in 1918.


They brought the deadly Spanish Flu with them, which killed well over 50 million worldwide.


As a young adult, my grandfather struggled through the Great Depression with the rest of the world.


And just as things started looking up, World War II broke out.


Lucky for me, he survived it all.


After the war, my grandfather took a job[...]

Click here to continue reading

Here’s why the Federal Reserve rejected the safest bank in America

In the spring of 1692, an energetic young Scotsman named John Campbell started a new business in central London.


Campbell was a goldsmith, and his business sold jewelry and other crafted metals like plates and silverware.


But Campbell’s new company had another business line as well: banking. And the company he started eventually became Coutts & Co., a bank that still exists today in the UK.


Since the dawn of the Bronze Age thousands of[...]

Click here to continue reading

SWAT team seizes children because their parents disagreed with a doctor

Today we’re continuing our new weekly feature, where each Friday we highlight a number of often bizarre stories from around the world that we’re closely following.

Texas tries to pass a law to legalize lemonade stands run by children


When it comes to business, this story pretty much sums up how far the Land of the Free has fallen from its free-wheeling economic golden age.

We’ve covered a number of stories over the years[...] Click here to continue reading

If Donald Trump is the King of Debt, these guys were the Kings of Inflation

Maximilian Bern had saved up 100,000 German marks for what should have been a modest, but comfortable retirement.


But in 1923, he withdrew every last cent, and spent it all on one purchase: a subway ticket.


He rode around his city one last time before returning home, and locking himself in his home, where he died.


He didn’t kill himself. He starved to death… simply because he could no longer afford food. A single egg[...]

Click here to continue reading