Latest Articles

About those high gasoline prices…look again

February 29, 2012
Santiago, Chile

In Warren Buffett's latest round of gold-bashing last weekend, he described all the gold in the world as a useless cube that would fit snugly within a baseball infield.If you owned such a cube, you would only be able to 'fondle' it... but generate no investment return.  The same 'value', meanwhile, would allow the owner to purchase all the productive farmland in the United States plus 16 Exxon[...] Click here to continue reading

Guest post: The existential financial problem of our time

February 28, 2012
London, England

[Editor's note: Tim Price, a frequent Sovereign Man contributor and Director of Investment at PFP Wealth Management in London, is filling in for Simon today.]

In December last year, the poet Alice Oswald withdrew from the TS Eliot poetry prize on the grounds that the prize was being sponsored by an investment company (Aurum, a fund of hedge funds manager).

How you feel about this principled stance[...] Click here to continue reading

Guess who folded now?

February 27, 2012
Talca, Chile

Banking privacy is dead. Completely, totally dead. Murdered, really. The US government is the assailant, and FATCA is the murder weapon.

We've talked about this a few times before-- FATCA is the heinously insidiously piece of legislation that the Honorable Barrack Hussein Obama passed into law in 2010 as part of the "Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act".

There were no hiring incentives, and there was no[...] Click here to continue reading

Does renoucing US citizenship get me out of my tax obligations?

February 24, 2012
Santiago, Chile

I want to start off today's letter by thanking the 120+ folks who've made the journey down to Chile over the past two weekends to break bread on the farm. Last weekend's event was a real delight, and I'm looking forward to tonight's festivities with the new group.

It's a pleasure to spend time around people with a similar world view, and it was amazing to see dozens[...] Click here to continue reading

Four Valuable Passports that Anyone Can Obtain


The idea of international diversification is a simple one-- if you live, work, hold investments, own property, structure your business, store gold, etc. in the same country as your citizenship, then you truly have all of your eggs in one very fragile basket.

If just one little thing goes wrong, whether it's a court case, divorce settlement, political instability, government agency 'administrative error', or some noxious bureaucrat who's out to get you, all of those[...] Click here to continue reading


February 22, 2012
Santiago, Chile

"[T]he more complicated the forms assumed by civilization, the more restricted the freedom of the individual must become."

Benito Mussolini
Grand Fascist Council Report, 1929

When I was a kid, the morning announcements at my taxpayer-funded public school dragged on for a good 15 or 20 minutes. They announced the birthdays. They told us what was for lunch. For some reason they even told us the weather,[...] Click here to continue reading

Guest Post: The Great Repression

February 21, 2012
London, England

[Editor's note: Professional money manager Tim Price is filling in for Simon today from London. His thoughts below on gold, bonds, and the false pretext of investing in equities is delightfully insightful.]

"No government has ever commanded the resources at the disposal of our ungodly Leviathan, which consumes about 25% of the product of the world's richest country. It is driven by a voracious alliance of government's[...] Click here to continue reading

Introducing the next best place in the world to store gold

It's official. Starting October 1, 2012, Singapore will be the best place in the world to store gold.

As a major international financial center, Singapore is rapidly becoming THE place to invest and do business in Asia. Why? Because it's just so easy. Regulation is minimal, corruption is among the lowest in the world, and the tax structure is very friendly to businesses and investors. With one exception.

Traditionally, physical gold and[...] Click here to continue reading

The long arm of Uncle Sam got longer

This one's hot off the presses. Just yesterday, our friends at the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued a press release on its latest ruling related to foreign 'money service businesses (MSBs).'

An MSB is a private company that provides certain financial services like check cashing, money orders, title pawn, payday loans, travelers' checks, prepaid stored value cards, tax refund payments, etc.

Frequently, traditional MSB clients tended to be individuals without bank accounts[...] Click here to continue reading

The despicable truth emerges about FATCA

February 15, 2012
Santiago, Chile

The Foreign Account Tax Compliance act, or FATCA, is one of the most arrogant pieces of legislation ever conceived. President Obama signed the Act into law in 2010, and there are a some key provisions that are important to understand.

Reporting Requirements of US Tax Serfs holding Foreign Financial Assets

According to the IRS, "FATCA requires certain U.S. taxpayers holding foreign financial assets with an aggregate value[...] Click here to continue reading

In case you’re wondering why I spend so much time down here…

February 14, 2012
Talca, Chile

One of the local papers here in Chile ran an interesting story a few days ago about the number of young Spanish immigrants coming to Chile in search of work.

Fed up with the ridiculously high unemployment rate in Spain, and tired of being shut out of every single opportunity imaginable, a handful of intrepid young souls is starting to look for greener pastures abroad. And increasingly, that[...] Click here to continue reading

WTF, Warren Buffett?

February 13, 2012
London, England

[Editor's note: Professional money manager Tim Price is filling in for Simon today from London. His thoughts below on gold, bonds, and the false pretext of investing in equities is delightfully insightful.]

For value investors of a certain age (e.g. mine), discovering that Warren Buffett could be wrong is like suddenly not believing in Father Christmas. This twinkly-eyed, raspy-voiced, avuncular old gentleman almost embodies Clint Eastwood crossed[...] Click here to continue reading

Friedrich Hayek on our “Dictatorship of the Proletariat”

February 10th, 2012
Santiago, Chile

One of the greatest thinkers of all time was Austrian economic Friedrich Hayek, and his work The Road to Serfdom is an absolute must-read.

Hayek's writings are incredibly powerful in these times. In light of the countless recent examples of governments changing the rules whenever/wherever it suits them (from the Troika nonsense in Europe to the Fraudclosure settlement in the US), I'd like to share a few key[...] Click here to continue reading

Is gold a bubble?

February 9th, 2012
Santiago, Chile

After more than a decade of year-over-year appreciation, many people are wondering if gold is just another bubble waiting to burst. No commodity or asset class in our historical record has ever shown such long-term growth, and consequently the "B-word" is being tossed around regularly in financial media.

But is that all a bubble is-- simply meteoric growth, seemingly with no end in sight? If so,[...] Click here to continue reading

Introducing the government’s newest unpaid spy: YOU

February 8, 2012
Santiago, Chile

One of the most terrifying aspects of George Orwell's seminal work 1984 was his description of how society had turned into one giant police agency. People were encouraged to rat each other out, groomed since childhood to be unpaid government spies:

"[Children] adored the Party and everything connected with it... All their ferocity was turned outwards, against the enemies of the State, against foreigners, traitors, saboteurs, thought-criminals.[...]

Click here to continue reading

You didn’t get any of the benefits. Why get stuck paying the bill?

[Editor's Note: Sovereign Man Chief Investment Strategist Tim Staermose is filling in for Simon today.]

Hong Kong's total population is around 7 million. The workforce is 3.75 million.  So generous are the tax breaks and allowances, only about 1.5 million people pay any tax at all.

A single person can earn HK$108,000 a year (about US$14,000) before owing any tax.  And a married person with a dependent spouse can earn HK$216,000 (US$28,000) tax-free.
[...] Click here to continue reading

US Department of Labor now reduced to Soviet Propaganda Ministry

February 6th, 2012
Santiago, Chile

In one of the most shamefully disingenuous reports we've seen in years, the US Labor Department released the latest employment figures on Friday showing that the headline US unemployment rate had fallen to 8.3%.

Champagne and sound bites were pre-positioned in Washington as the self-congratulatory praise flowed like the bubbly. President Obama, beaming like he'd just caught the winning touchdown pass, told the American people on Sunday that[...] Click here to continue reading

Is the Iraqi dinar for real? Find out for yourself…

February 3rd, 2012
Talca, Chile

After a week away, I'm really happy to be back down on the farm in Chile. This is one of the most peaceful places I've ever been on the planet... and each day, it's becoming more and more a place where all of the fiat bubble kleptocratic nonsense doesn't matter in the least.

Central bankers can print all they want, politicians can bicker and spend all[...] Click here to continue reading

Google changes its privacy policy: Another reminder to use offshore email

February 2, 2012
Undisclosed location

If you're like almost every single Internet user on the planet, you probably use Google for something. Maybe Gmail, maybe Google search, maybe Google Docs, maybe Google Voice... or maybe all of the above.

Google recently began circulating a new privacy policy that will take place effective March 1, 2012.  With so many services ranging from a new social network to an online office platform, Google has consolidated[...] Click here to continue reading

US housing still weak. In other news, the sky is blue

February 1st, 2012
Location Undisclosed

The latest Case-Shiller numbers released yesterday showed that the US residential housing market is still very weak. After three straight months of declines, home prices are now at 2003 levels. Duh.

To some, it was a shocking revelation. The pundits I saw discussing it yesterday practically had a seizure they were in such disbelief. CNBC even ran an article on their website in response, extolling the strong fundamentals[...] Click here to continue reading