Latest Articles

Uncle Sam admits monitoring you for these 377 words:

Uncle Sam
May 31, 2012
New York City

One of breakout standup routines from the late, great George Carlin was his 1972 monologue "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television." In the presence of polite company, I shall not repeat them... but rest assured, the routine is still hilarious to this day.

I wish I could say the same about the Department of Homeland Security... I wish I could say this is all a big joke... that the[...] Click here to continue reading

Nazis making a significant resurgence, but not in Germany.

Greece’s economic downturn has caused a rise in protectionist sentiment and a Greek neo-Nazi party. The group recently marched through Greece’s capital, while chanting anti-foreigner rhetoric. It’s ironic that they would hold their xenophobic protest in Athens, one of the most multicultural cities of the ancient world. Despite what they believe, foreigners didn’t put Greece in the economic debacle that it’s in. Throughout history though, nations have voted dictators into power when times are hopeless[...] Click here to continue reading

How to avoid embarrassment when doing business in China

Chinese business
Cultural barriers have constantly been a challenge for conducting international business but it’s always been most apparent when West meets East. Social protocol can be so different that miscommunication can often lead to unintended offenses. Here’s an anecdote from Forbes that illustrates how business is done in China along what you can do to prevent social gaffes:

“The scene: In the Shanghai office of a U.S. multinational corporation, Head of Sales, expat Ian Foster[...] Click here to continue reading

Dynastic wealth merges as Rockefeller and Rothschild families unite. Let the conspiracies begin…

Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild on French Riviera
The world has a long history of family dynasties that maintained power across generations of ancestors. Names like Habsburg, Bourbon and Romanov inspire visions of royalty and legacy. One of the best modern comparisons would be the Rockefeller and Rothschild families who are now attempting to combine their assets and become an uber-dynasty. The New York Times reports:

“Two of the world’s best-known banking families are combining forces after RIT Capital Partners, the investment[...] Click here to continue reading

Obama declares, “Nobody wants a handout” while proposing more handouts

Barack Obama
In a recent speech to employees of green energy companies, Obama proclaimed “Nobody wants to get something for nothing.” I thought this was very interesting because we currently live in a period where most people want “something for nothing”. Between bankers, car manufacturers, homeowners and students, everyone is looking for some form of handout to compensate for their own bad decisions. According to CNS News:

“Obama was visiting TPI Composites, a company that manufactures[...] Click here to continue reading

Taxpayers want to revoke scholarships from wealthy student athletes

student athlete
Even though the whole “Occupy Wall Street” and 99% rhetoric has died down, there is still much unease between income brackets in America. Recently, taxpayers have been demanding that P. Diddy’s son forgo the football scholarship he earned completely on merit. It’s unfortunate that the U.S. ideal that merit wins out is becoming completely distorted. According to Business Insider:

“Less than a year after P. Diddy's son, Justin Combs, accepted a $54,000 scholarship to[...] Click here to continue reading

China reports 8.1% growth but still wants another stimulus plan

Hong Kong
China has been making a steady economic resurgence since the recession in 2008, but not since then has there been this level of concern over fiscal growth. Chinese officials in Beijing are now contemplating whether they’re in need of another stimulus to spur the economy. This of course would only lead to a temporary boost in spending but would further swell inflation. CNN reports:

“With dark clouds gathering over the Chinese economy, the government[...] Click here to continue reading

Beijing tourists: No visa? No problem.

When traveling, you always have to be conscious about different countries rules regarding tourism and visa requirements. China has generally made it difficult for foreigners to obtain visas however there is now a possibility that visitors of Beijing will be allowed to stay for three days visa free. This would be a huge breakthrough in the Chinese tourism industry. According to China Daily:

“Beijing is considering allowing foreign tourists a 72-hour window to explore[...] Click here to continue reading

CNBC gets it wrong… again.

May 30, 2012
New York City

After a ridiculous 6-hour delay that bordered on the surreal, I finally arrived to New York's Laguardia Airport last night at nearly midnight. Miraculously, my checked bag arrived quickly... and without the usual trappings of physical abuse from airport ground crews.

The taxi line was long... but I eventually settled myself into the adorning vinyl seats of a New York yellow cab and directed the driver to my location near Central Park[...] Click here to continue reading

UK nanny state gets milked for all it’s worth

UK nanny state
The UK nanny state is becoming even more apparent as loopholes are allowing citizens to get paid for doing almost nothing. The problem with social welfare is that inevitably people will exploit the system and leach money from the rest of the productive society. Here’s an eye-opening example of a UK women named Stephanie Fennessy-Sharp who is currently taking full advantage of her government’s handouts. According to Business Insider:

“Sharp, 29, lives in Kent,[...] Click here to continue reading

Obama plans to bomb his way to a second term

Predator Drone
It seems most Americans get a warm sense of security every time they hear that another high-ranking al-Qaeda member has been killed. This is exactly why President Obama has been flaunting his “successful” assassinations as badges of honor. The current administration clearly believes that the more terrorists they kill, the better chance they have at winning a second term in November’s election, despite what the international blowback might be. The New York Times reports on[...] Click here to continue reading

Chinese government now being transparent in how they censor bloggers

china censorship
China has never been know for their freedom of speech, but even as the country becomes westernized, they have continued to muzzle any type of dissenting speech against the government. In addition to the recent containment of civil rights activist Chen Guangcheng, the Chinese government is now employing a points system to determine when a blogger has been too rebellious and deserves to have their account shutdown. CNN explains:

“Users of Sina Weibo, China's[...] Click here to continue reading

Face prints and iris scans on the rise in the US

Personal privacy is always a top concern at Sovereign Man, however in a high-tech world, biometrics are becoming an increasingly popular way to track people. Fingerprints have been used as identifiers for a long time but now DNA and iris scans are becoming common, primarily for criminals or immigrants. According to a recent whitepaper from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF):

“There is a growing push to link biometric collection with immigration enforcement. The U.S.[...] Click here to continue reading

Greece thinks they’re the “Most Hardworking” European country. Everyone else disagrees.

A recent study from the Pew Research Center has shed light on Europeans’ perspective of the ECB, EU and stereotypes associated with other Euro countries. One of the most interesting trends in the study is that Greece considers themselves the hardest working nation, while all other countries thought it was Germany. In addition, most countries believe Greece is in fact the least hardworking country. Greece’s balance sheet supports the latter. According to the study:

[...] Click here to continue reading

It’s not like I can talk to my neighbor about this stuff…

Ik hunter
May 29, 2012
Denver, Colorado, USA

There's a rather peculiar tribe of people in northern Uganda known as the Ik that has completely mystified anthropologists for decades. You see, the Ik are unlike just about any other people on the planet in that they shun cooperation, community, and even family.

Due to the constant disruption of national boundaries in Africa coupled with terminal drought and famine conditions, the Ik have a very limited means of survival. As such,[...] Click here to continue reading

Equity track records: Public Obama worse than Private Romney

Barack Obama
If someone tells you that they are a graduate of Harvard and Yale, you would assume that they have at least a reasonable understanding of investing and economics, especially if that Harvard and Yale grad was running the United States of America. Unfortunately this is not the case. Since Barak Obama has been in office he has lost billions of dollars of taxpayer money in order to line the pockets of his cronies. He then[...] Click here to continue reading

Iceland embraces the Dollar, but it’s not the USD

Iceland Krona
The Icelandic króna has been in use since 1874 however many Icelanders and now crying for a historical change in currency. As a result of the capital controls place on the króna, the country is examining the possibility of adopting the Canadian Dollar.  Here’s an interview between Business Insider’s Adam Taylor and Icelandic economist Heidar Gudjonsson on why embracing the Canadian Dollar could mean good things for Iceland:

“AT: How seriously is this proposal[...] Click here to continue reading

No more playing Hide and Seek in Texas district schools

texas school tracking
In an attempt to increase revenues by better ensuring attendance, one Texas school district is integrating trackable RFID chips into their students’ IDs. District spokesmen claim that this push is to increase student safety however there are major financial incentives as well. How long will it take before teachers are being tracked and what will stop administrators or the government from abusing this new power? Francisco Vara-Orta reports:

“Northside Independent School District plans to[...] Click here to continue reading

UK begins enforcing anti-cookie legislation

Digital privacy is something that is highly valued in the Sovereign Man community and now the UK is taking further action to protect the unsuspecting public from intrusive websites. UK citizens will have a choice on whether or not they want websites to know their past browsing activity. Yahoo UK reports:

“A new law comes into force this weekend requiring all websites to ask permission from users before using 'cookies' - data files that[...] Click here to continue reading

The up and coming place for IT start-ups and it’s not China or India

Hanoi Vietnam Cityscape
As more companies are outsourcing jobs around the world, entrepreneurs are constantly looking for the next budding region with skilled inexpensive labor. Vietnam is becoming one of those countries. This has been a result of their large and educated population prime to be used in the IT industry. BBC explains:

“Vietnam has moved a long way from being a technology backwater to become one of the fastest growing IT markets.

Thinh Nguyen, a[...] Click here to continue reading

Where are European fund managers investing? Not in Europe…

European Bank
How much faith must you have in your country if you start liquidating all of you investments in that country? This reason is exactly why Europeans should be concerned as European fund managers are cashing out most of their European assets. This has been as a result of managers fearing Greece’s exit of the Eurozone and the Euros quick depreciation. Financial Times reports:

“The euro’s sudden fall this month caught many investors by surprise. Europe’s single[...] Click here to continue reading

The new phenomena of “money-worshipping” communists

Despite China’s long history of Communism, even leftists political leaders are beginning to embrace market reform and the amenities that it brings. Starbucks and Walmart locations are emerging all around the Beijing and Hong Kong areas. In spite of some nationalist resistance, even communists are warming up to the western market mentality and departing from Mao’s collectivist roots. Reason reports:

“As leader of the communist revolution of 1949, Mao was dedicated to class struggle[...] Click here to continue reading

Mongolia: Mountains of resources but no way to move them

Mongolia Mining
Mongolia currently is working to pass legislation to loosen China’s grip on their natural resources. However critics are debating whether this geo-political decision will have a negative economic impact since China’s proximity and financial resources makes them an obvious purchaser of their commodities. Mongolia is exploring options to cultivate the resources themselves or be forced to cut deals with Russia, Japan, South Korea or inevitably China. The Asia Times reports:

“Despite democracy, despite free[...] Click here to continue reading

Why would you hit your head on the ceiling intentionally?

Debt ceiling
If someone told you that they would intentionally smack their head on the ceiling, you would probably think they needed professional help. But that’s exactly what the U.S. government does when they voraciously spend until they reach their mildly imposed debt ceiling. Last year when the debt ceiling was raised, S&P lowered the U.S.'s credit rating and now Tom Coburn and CBS News believes the same thing could happen again soon:

“Coburn, a member[...] Click here to continue reading

Love or hate? What to expect as a foreigner in China

Hong Kong China
As a result of China’s strides to become the next global superpower, an influx of foreigners are traveling there to seek employment and new opportunities. China has a deep history of isolationism as well as hostilities to foreigners (i.e., Boxer Rebellion.) Now foreigners in China are very polarizing figures were some are met with discontent while others are welcomed with open arms. According to BBC:

“The hostility has been fed by a whole series[...] Click here to continue reading

You’re getting spied on at your local bar and you don’t even know it

In today’s digital age, threats to our personal privacy are more apparent than ever and barrage us on all fronts. The dismantling of Americans’ right to privacy continued with Obama’s renewal of the Patriot Act and now even Facebook and Google are selling customers’ personal information to third-party sources including the U.S. government. The newest threat to our privacy however comes in the semblance of social media and aims to video tape and record your[...] Click here to continue reading

Boots on the ground in Burma

Burma ceiling
May 25, 2012
Yangon, Burma

If you're sick and tired of all the doom and gloom that pervades the US and Europe, and should your personal circumstances allow, I unreservedly recommend that you hop on a plane and go and check out Burma.

This is a rare good news story, and it may very well be one of the most exciting economies in the world.

Shut off from economic sanctions since the early 1990s, Burma[...] Click here to continue reading

Why we’re nowhere near the mania phase in precious metals

May 24, 2012
Lake Tahoe, USA

Yesterday was my lucky day.

While hiking in the middle of nowhere around Lake Tahoe, I literally stumbled onto a 1-ounce US silver eagle coin, 1996 issue. It was just lying there on the ground without a soul in sight.

The coin was pretty muddy, but I managed to clean it off later with an old toothbrush and some elbow grease... at which point I decided to take my good[...] Click here to continue reading

How to avoid a Soviet-style grocery store

May 23, 2012
Lake Tahoe, USA

Let's face it-- our modern consumer society makes things easy... we don't have to think about, or even know how to 'do' ANYTHING, from lawn care to vehicle maintenance to carpentry.

While it may be convenient, this level of specialization does breed a certain amount of dependency... and nowhere is this more obvious than in the 'Big Ag' food system.

Most people are completely dependent on a small handful of[...] Click here to continue reading

US citizens now one step closer to becoming permanent tax slaves

May 22, 2012
Los Angeles, USA

This week, the universally stupid brainchild of US Senators Chuck Schumer and Bob Casey known as the Ex-PATRIOT Act inched a bit closer towards becoming law.

'Ex-PATRIOT' is an absurd acronym that stands for "Expatriation Prevention by Abolishing Tax-Related Incentives for Offshore Tenancy". I call it the Tax Slave Act... and it proposes three key provisions:

1) Individuals who are deemed, in the sole discretion of[...] Click here to continue reading

How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat?

May 21, 2012
Los Angeles, USA

I had the privilege of seeing Roger Waters perform 'The Wall' to a live crowd of over 40,000 fans at the LA Coliseum on Saturday night-- the second time I've seen the show on this tour.

It was an amazing production-- I wholeheartedly recommend the experience as it's something that no DVD or album recording could possibly reproduce.

At one point, Waters paused his set and[...] Click here to continue reading

Five reasons to think twice before buying Facebook stock


May 18, 2012
Undisclosed location, USA

When you think about it, it's easy to understand why financial markets and media have been so fixated on the Facebook IPO.

The creation of so many billionaires and millionaires overnight is certainly cause for good cheer, and given the debacle in Europe coupled with America's looming 'fiscal cliff', Facebook may be the ONLY bit of good news in the entire financial system.

But a $100 billion[...] Click here to continue reading

Regardless of what the propaganda says, this is not how a free society treats people

May 17, 2012
Undisclosed Location, United States

I've been in the US for a little more than 24-hours. And having flipped through the TV channels trying to figure out what useless drivel big media is passing off as 'news', I realized that I'm going to vomit if I hear the word "fair" one more time.

This concept of 'fair' seems to be dominating discussion of the US government's dismal fiscal condition. The talking[...] Click here to continue reading

The deadline is today

May 15, 2012
Santiago, Chile

Over the weekend, I had the privilege of breaking bread with our workers at the farm in celebration of the phenomenal harvest season we've had.

And a celebration it was-- everything from the blueberry harvest in December all the way up to the wine grape harvest that just ended, this season shattered previous production records.

Moreover, in keeping pace with (and even surpassing) the rate of inflation, the prices[...] Click here to continue reading

A great example of the coming financial repression

May 14, 2012
London, England

Imagine you are one of two people playing Monopoly. While you follow the rules religiously, the other player, who also happens to be the banker, does not.

He routinely appropriates properties. If he doesn't like the score on the dice, he simply changes them. He continually takes as much money from the bank as he likes. Whenever the rules don't suit he arbitrarily alters them in his favour.

Oh, and he hates[...] Click here to continue reading