Category: Z Legacy: Finance

SEARCH

It’s becoming harder to buy and sell gold in Hong Kong

[Editor’s note: Tim Staermose, Sovereign Man’s Chief Investment Strategist, is filling in for Simon today from Hong Kong.] It took me two attempts. But, today I opened an account at the Bank of China. The reason? They’ll no longer buy gold bullion from you unless you bank with them. I wasn’t selling personally.

Read More

Why this place is becoming the new Switzerland

Reporting from Sydney, Australia Switzerland is the place that has traditionally stood above all the rest in its reputation for financial stability. Why? Because the currency was well-managed, the banking system was sound, and the country had a long tradition of treating capital well. Over the last few years, however, these advantages have

Read More

The one reason why gold’s sell-off doesn’t matter…

April 15, 2013 Sydney, Australia Somewhere, Paul Krugman is smiling. The Nobel Prize winning economist, whose brilliant ideas include: spending your way out of recession borrowing your way out of debt conjuring unprecedented amounts of currency out of thin air without consequence staging a false flag alien invasion of planet Earth is perhaps

Read More

The next domino: Australia doubles tax on retirement savings

Though Australia’s national balance sheet is comparatively quite strong, the government has been running at a net deficit for years… and they’re under intense pressure to balance the budget. The good news is that Australia now has a goodly number of investor-friendly immigration programs designed to bring productive foreigners into the country, similar

Read More

The knockout blow people won’t see coming

Have you ever done something really stupid, just because you were in love? Something you look back on and cringe, thinking “why on earth did I do that?” Of course. Who hasn’t? Fear. Love. Panic. Exuberance. Jealousy. Desire. These emotions have tremendous influence over human behavior. And when they kick in, they skew

Read More

Leaked offshore data shows who the real criminals are

Secret. Dirty. Sham. Shadowy. Illicit. Fake. Covert. Questionable. These are typically the words used to describe the world of offshore asset protection in mainstream media. The classic presumption is that if you go offshore– foreign bank account, overseas safety deposit box, foreign trust, foreign corporation, etc.– then you MUST be doing something wrong.

Read More

A sane person ought to consider these important lessons

Reporting from Santiago, Chile One would think that certain truths are obvious by now. It should be obvious, for example, that there are consequences to living beyond your means. It should be obvious that there are consequences to a long history of spending unsustainably and accumulating mountains of debt. And it should be

Read More
Banks are not vaults

A deposit in a bank is not a riskless form of saving

[Editor’s note: Tim Price, frequent Sovereign Man contributor and Director of Investment at PFP Wealth Management in the UK, is filling in for Simon today from London, England.] Like Lehman Brothers before it, Cyprus may well come to be seen not so much as the cause of further crisis but as yet another

Read More

The wrong question to ask about offshore banking

Reporting from Santiago, Chile Sometimes I wake up and I’m just astounded at how quickly things are unraveling. Just look at a few big picture points: The Russians are now wagging their fingers at Europe, comparing the EU to the Soviet Union for trying to plunder Cypriot bank accounts. This on the heels

Read More

A central banker’s checklist for prosperity

[Editor’s note: Tim Price, Director of Investment at PFP Wealth Management and frequent Sovereign Man contributor is filling in from London, England while Simon is touring agricultural property today.] If there was ever a policy manual on how to deal with recession, the Fed and ECB’s copies have fallen out of the ugly

Read More
Cyprus Banks

This could NEVER happen where you live… right?

Reporting from Sovereign Valley Farm, Chile As you no doubt have heard by now, the government of Cyprus announced Saturday morning (when the banks were closed) that they would impose a ‘levy’ on bank deposits. Originally they announced levies of 9.9% for accounts above 100,000 euros, and 6.7% for accounts below 100,000 euros.

Read More

“What in the world is a Bitcoin?”

March 15, 2013 Santiago, Chile Earlier in the week, I wrote to you about an Argentine car rental agency that had started accepting Bitcoins as a means to bypass local capital controls. We received a lot of questions about the article, the most common of which was “What in the world is a

Read More
Unidad de Fomento

Here’s a healthy currency most people have never even heard of

Reporting from Santiago, Chile There is no such thing as a ‘good’ fiat currency. Any model in which a tiny banking elite wields dictatorial control over a nation’s unbacked paper money supply is deeply flawed. The concept itself is dangerous, and comparing fiat currencies is like debating which is the ‘least harmful’ poison.

Read More
Bananas

Reality Check: The Dow Jones Industrial Average vs. Bananas

Reporting from Santiago, Chile The Dow Jones Industrial Average, one of the key benchmarks of the US stock market, has soundly surpassed its all-time high. And most of the investing world is toasting their collective success and celebrating the recovery. It’s a funny thing, really. Most investors only think in terms of ‘nominal’

Read More

What’s happening with gold & silver?

March 1, 2013 Sovereign Valley Farm, Chile For the last few weeks, I’ve had a steady stream of visitors make the trek down to Chile to escape the Northern Hemisphere winter and get a little taste of freedom. Chile is a place that will soon be the easiest place in the world to

Read More
Ben Bernanke

Lost in translation: Ben Bernanke-speak

Reporting from Santiago, Chile I really hate to beat a dead horse, but I wouldn’t be doing my job for you if I didn’t point out some of the most intellectually dishonest, self-aggrandizing Bernanke-speak to come out of the Fed Chairman’s testimony yesterday: “[The Federal Reserve has] 25 years of success in keeping

Read More

Trust me, this time is different…

Reporting from Santiago, Chile By 1789, a lot of French people were starving. Their economy had long since deteriorated into a weak, pitiful shell. Decades of unsustainable spending had left the French treasury depleted. The currency was being rapidly debased. Food was scarce, and expensive. Perhaps most famously, though, the French monarchy was

Read More

How the End of Empire comes, not with a bang, but with a whimper

[Editor’s note: Tim Price, Director of Investment at PFP Wealth Management and frequent Sovereign Man contributor is filling in from London, England while Simon is touring agricultural property today.] When Moody’s downgraded the UK’s sovereign credit rating last week it was something of an anti-climax. The ratings agencies long ago lost what little

Read More

Why a banking insider says “it’s time to be very worried”

Reporting from Santiago, Chile Apparently the Latino version of Jusin Beiber is in town. I have no idea who this kid is, but as I was walking into the W Hotel last night for a meeting, there were hundreds and hundreds of adoring prepubescent girls lining the metal cordon that had been set

Read More
Warren Buffet's Mistake

What Warren Buffet doesn’t understand about investing

“Price is what you pay; value is what you get.”– Warren Buffett Warren Buffett’s aphorism has been rightly celebrated. But to be a true value investor, it helps to have values. Courtesy of near-zero interest rates and global competitive currency debauchery, it is increasingly difficult to assess the value of anything, as denominated

Read More

This is what textbook capital controls look like

Reporting from Buenos Aires, Argentina Selling snake oil and issuing unbacked paper currency are not so different. They’re both wildly successful ploys for the guys pulling the strings. And they’re both complete scams that depend solely on the confidence of a willing, ignorant public. But once the confidence begins to erode, the fraud

Read More

Four reasons why gold stocks are so hated

Five full years on from the financial crisis, stock markets have regained lost ground and are within striking distance of new record highs. Yet, it’s only NOW, after all the gains from the bottom have been made, that the investing crowd is starting to put money back into stocks. Curious. When stocks were

Read More

Do I have to report my offshore gold…?

January 23, 2013 Sovereign Valley Farm, Chile Let’s do a little math problem today. As you probably know, in 2010 the US government passed one of the most arrogant, destructive, poorly conceived pieces of legislation in history, now known as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). FATCA heaps all sorts of reporting

Read More
Recovery?

Does this look like a picture of recovery?

Location: Santiago, Chile A few years ago back when I used to watch an occasional bit of television, I would always have an internal debate with myself: which was more funny– Comedy Central, or CNBC? It was always a toss-up. One channel has talking puppets. The other has Steven Colbert. Both are satires

Read More

How to save 8.25% in 90 seconds flat…

January 10, 2013 Santiago, Chile Lately I’ve had a ton of friends and family writing me about visiting Chile. “We’re fed up with this place,” is how the emails usually start. People are hitting their breaking points and starting to consider their options abroad. There are a lot of fantastic places to be.

Read More

Arbitrage lessons from the most expensive city on Earth

January 9, 2013 Sydney, Australia   [Editor’s note: Sovereign Man Chief Investment Strategist Tim Staermose is filling in for Simon today.] No matter where you live in the Western world right now, the sands of your local economic landscape are likely shifting. To gain your footing, it’s essential to learn classic arbitrage techniques.

Read More

Out of the frying pan, into the frying pan

January 7, 2013 Talca, Chile There are few original thinkers in professional finance. It’s much easier for an individual to step back and say, “Holy Meltdown, Batman, this system is deeply, woefully, fundamentally flawed…” I can see it, you can see it. But somehow, as soon as they put someone in charge of

Read More

Inflation vs. Deflation: Cui Bono?

In the days of ancient Rome when the republic was still a republic, Lucius Cassius, one of the city’s most venerated consuls, famously coined the phrase cui bono. It means As a benefit to whom?, and Lucius Cassius, inquisitive and analytical by nature, was always asking the question… whether he was investigating a

Read More

Goons versus Gold

Credit expansion, wrote the great Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises, is not a nostrum to make people happy. “The boom it engenders must inevitably lead to a debacle and unhappiness.” That seems a pretty accurate summary of the current situation for the western economies: a debacle, and unhappiness. Von Mises also wrote that

Read More

About as scientific (and effective) as bloodletting…

December 14, 2012 Santiago, Chile Many years ago, back when I was a fresh second lieutenant straight out of the academy, my battalion executive officer summoned me to his office one day saying that he had a ‘mission’ for me. I hurried over, wondering what this special mission might be. Several members of

Read More

“If that makes us cockroaches, we can certainly live with the label.”

December 10, 2012 London, England [Editor’s Note: Tim Price, Director of Investment at PFP Wealth Management and frequent Sovereign Man contributor, is filling in for Simon today.] Clearly, investing is a probabilistic endeavour. There are no certainties to speak of. We can only operate on the basis of rational analysis and prudent, considered

Read More

The luckiest people on the planet

December 10, 2012 São Paulo, Brazil Brazilians are the luckiest people on the planet. Aside from being blessed with great weather, gorgeous beaches, and beautiful people, their country is one of the few that can exist in a state of complete independence from the rest of the world. They have their own energy

Read More

It’s as easy as buying an ice cream cone…

December 5, 2012 Hong Kong [Editor’s Note: Sovereign Man Chief Investment Strategist Tim Staermose is filling in for Simon today.] Since 2009, the benchmark Shanghai Stock Exchange index has been in a deep funk.  Last week, in fact, the index hit 4-year lows and dipped below the psychological 2,000 level. Further, a recent

Read More

Sobering Stuff

If you want to send a roomful of 100 wealth managers into an icy chill, have Russell Napier address them. This is exactly what happened at Citywire’s Smart Beta retreat at the Four Seasons Hotel in Hampshire recently. Napier’s presentation, “Deflation in an Age of Fiat Currency,” is thought-provoking, and the precise polar

Read More