China is trying to centrally plan its way out of a black hole

July 15, 2015
Kunming, Yunnan province, China

It’s here in southwestern China’s postcard-perfect Yunnan province that the mighty Mekong River rises.

From its source in a nearby mountain range, the river proceeds south, cutting its way across Southeast Asia’s fertile lands through Burma, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia.

The Mekong is hugely important; its waters irrigate million of acres of land and provide untold quantities of fish, both of which support tens[...] Click here to continue reading

Chinese reduce their holdings of US Treasury bonds for the fourth consecutive month

February 25, 2015

In December, Sovereign Man's Chief Investment Strategist advised our Sovereign Man Confidential members on a position to take on the RMB. This week we found that this trade is already up by as much as 300%.

Now looking at the latest news from China we see that our advice still stands, and even stronger than before.

Chinese treasuries were reduced by over $30 billion over the course of 2014, and that[...] Click here to continue reading

You have two options. One can bring you a world of opportunity.

November 18, 2014
Santiago, Chile

Walking across a bridge with ornate classical Roman sculptures trimmed in gold,
I turned down a little Italian street to meet up with a friend for lunch.

As the aroma of pizza wafted around me, I couldn’t help but feel that something was out of place.

It wasn’t the food. It wasn’t me. In fact, it was the street itself.

Because despite all the evidence around[...] Click here to continue reading

This is huge: Chinese renminbi becomes directly tradable with the euro

October 1, 2014
Santiago, Chile

The Chinese central bank, People's Bank of China, issued a press release announcing the authorization of direct trading between the renminbi and the euro on the inter-bank foreign exchange market.

This is huge. The euro is the second most traded currency in the world, after the US dollar. The European Union is already China's biggest trading partner and this is a major step in further increasing trade and[...] Click here to continue reading

Crushing the McFlation protests in China

December 8, 2010
Wellington, New Zealand

The price of a Big Mac is going up in China by 7%. In fact, Chinese state media outlets are reporting that prices for all items at McDonalds fast food restaurants across China are going up by 1/2 to 1 renminbi (RMB), roughly 7.5 to 15 US cents.

It doesn't sound like much, but it's a sign of the times; the epic battle between countries which export[...] Click here to continue reading

Your questions: anarchy, healthcare, mortgages, China

February 5, 2010
Mexico City, Mexico

Greetings once again from Mexico; I'm sure many who listen to the mainstream press would be amazed to find that I have spent 48 hours on the ground here with nary a swine flu infection nor simple mugging to report.

I did, however, miss my flight to Canada.

What can I say... Mexico City traffic has got to be the most dangerous thing in this country.[...] Click here to continue reading

My top picks for Asia and Latin America


I'm sitting in a comfortable, overstuffed leather chair this morning typing away at this letter while a team of local women give me a traditional Thai foot massage.  30 minutes in the chair will set me back about $4, and I can't think of a better way to part with my money.

It is with great hesitation that I'm even sitting in this chair-- not because I don't like massage, but because[...] Click here to continue reading

Five reasons you should consider China as a place to live and do business

I spend a great deal of my time on the road, traveling around the world in search of opportunity. I put boots on the ground while I'm on the hunt and end up screening a tremendous amount of both business and investment ideas.

Some of these ideas make the cut, and we take the concept further. Others don't.

Regardless, the time that I spend on the ground getting to know the cityscape and[...] Click here to continue reading

What China’s wealthy want…


I spent the better part of my day today at a small conference attended by many of Shanghai's wealthy, plus their lawyers and accountants.  Considering the subject material is highly frowned upon by the government, I was surprised that so many were in attendance.

So what was the topic of discussion at today's event? Second citizenship.  Specifically, the St. Kitts second citizenship program.

Throughout the afternoon, local Chinese listened intently as[...] Click here to continue reading

How a Chinese stock and property bubble will affect gold prices

I have the temporary misfortune today of feeling a bit under the weather. I've always wondered how such an expression came to pass, but if it is meant to be any sort of metaphor, my 'weather' is something like a category five hurricane.

As a consequence, I was unable to attend this week's Asia gold conference which took place in Hong Kong; fortunately, though, my friend and colleague Christine Verone was in attendance, and[...] Click here to continue reading

A day at the knock-off market

Thanks to an unexpected computer crash, I've spent the majority of my day trolling around one of Shanghai's infamous technology marketplaces, where just about everything you see is a knock-off.From my condo in Shanghai's Pudong district, it's about a 15 minute metro ride to "Pacific Digital Plaza," which ironically is just a stone's throw from Best Buy.  The building is five floors of wall-to-wall electronics-- if it has an on/off switch, you can buy it[...] Click here to continue reading

Guns and Fortune Cookies

The sight of nuclear missiles being paraded down the street in a perfectly crisp formation is simultaneously revolting and awe-inspiring.  Yet the Chinese government knew exactly what it was doing when it orchestrated its most prominent display of military hardware in the middle kingdom's history.

This week is China's biggest holiday week of the year, celebrating 'National-day,' when Mao's communist revolutionaries took control of the country.  The government  kicked off festivities earlier this week[...] Click here to continue reading

Gold, China, and the dollar

While I was en route to China, somewhere over the Sea of Japan, gold hit a record high on 'concerns' about the long-term value of the dollar.

Frankly, 1974 was probably the time to be 'concerned' about the long-term value of the dollar.  The remaining institutional investors who are only now finding reasons to be concerned about the dollar are probably the same ones that thought Ford and Fannie Mae were bargains last year.
[...] Click here to continue reading

Confused about China?

"Dear Simon- Jeff Clark from Growth Stock Wire recently wrote that 'China is a fraud' and that 'If Americans aren’t buying big-screen TVs or $100 sneakers, Chinese stocks are ultimately headed for trouble.'  I would like your opinion on his view."
Great question. I like Jeff Clark and generally agree with his analysis... but like I said in Monday's essay, I am puzzled that a few notable figures in the financial community are bearish on[...] Click here to continue reading

Asia has decoupled

I'm flipping through channels at 1am here in Seoul, and do you know what I see? Math problems-- nutty professors, Korean-style, working out complex partial differential equations and geometric progressions with the intensity and flair of a concert pianist.

In fact, it's not just one channel... it's five, roughly 20% of the entire late night channel line-up.

When you think about it, this makes perfect sense. South Korea, once dismissed as an Asian[...] Click here to continue reading

Gold mania in China

Gold is quickly reaching the mania phase in China, and there are clear signs of it on the ground.

About a month ago, we reported that for the first time ever, the Chinese government is promoting gold and silver as investments.  And by "promoting," we meant cramming it down people's throats.

We knew this was ground-breaking news at the time-- a clear indication of long-term demand growth, as well as a sign that[...] Click here to continue reading

Where to make a fortune in China

If you're an entrepreneur and want to make an absolute fortune, you need to head to Asia.

The last several weeks on the ground here have only reinforced my long-held premise that Asia's economies represent vast, wide open potential.  These economies are growing, and shall continue to grow thanks to solid macroeconomic fundamentals like a large pool of savings, lack of reliance on credit, and dual trade/budget surpluses.

Nowhere is this more clear[...] Click here to continue reading

China’s growth is real

There are a lot of people in the financial community, including a few notable figures, that are highly bearish if not outright suspect of China's growth.

I'm always puzzled by this opinion. I've been to the country several times before and keep regular tabs with influential players and insiders, and my own assessment has always been quite positive on the country.

This trip, though, was specifically designed to check my premise and make[...] Click here to continue reading

Asia’s best kept secret

Today I found out first hand how much Chinese are looking to avoid taxes.

I attended a conference today sponsored by the government of Labuan, Malaysia at the Grand Hyatt here in Shanghai.  Labuan is Asia's newest financial center, and the government there is heavily courting wealthy Chinese investors and businesses to migrate their capital.
There are a lot of rich Chinese businessmen who are looking for a way to reduce their tax burden,[...] Click here to continue reading

Hong Kong Gold

In full disclosure, I am heavily biased.  Hong Kong is one of my favorite cities in the world.

Remember those '7 expat categories?' well, I am definitely a mix of several... maybe all. But Hong Kong ticks all the boxes for me, and always has-- I've been coming here for years and love it more every time.

To give you an example, I like having access to modern conveniences and the availability of[...] Click here to continue reading

A Chinese Mega-trend

It normally takes me less than five minutes to pack, even for a three week trip.  In this case, though, I'm having a tough time-- too many climate zones in Asia, too many events. I need to cram SCUBA gear, beach clothes, professional attire, and formal wear all into one little suitcase...

... plus leave plenty of room for all the custom suits I'm going to have tailored.

I haven't been watching the[...] Click here to continue reading

This country can make you rich

I'll admit, even I was surprised.

When I think about Asia growth and investment opportunities, places like Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and even the Philippines come to mind.  But lately, in my regular discussions with key Asia contacts-- brokers, sovereign wealth fund analysts, etc., one place keeps coming up again and again.


Mongolia is one of the largest, most resource rich countries in the world with a population smaller than Panama-- that's[...] Click here to continue reading

Weekly updates

Greetings! I'm going to dive right into the questions from this week:


I appreciate all the comments and anecdotes in response to Tuesday's letter about my run-in with TSA. . Based on the questions I received, there are a couple of things that should be clarified:

1) In most cases (see below), you don't have to tell the US government that you're leaving the[...] Click here to continue reading

The Chinese Gold Market

I've been spending a lot of time this week talking to my sources in China, one of whom is inside one of the country's sovereign wealth funds (SWF).

He could not discuss the details of the Rio Tinto bribery scandal, but indicated that it was far more about saving face and establishing position than anything else.

He also indicated that the SWF analysts were working around the clock trying to put deals together...[...] Click here to continue reading

Weekly update

I'm taking a quick break in Miami to see friends and family before heading down south again to dive head first into a large, complicated, and very exciting business dealing... so next week I will be writing to you from Panama once again.

While I am in Panama I plan on putting the finishing touches on the Black Paper that I have mentioned before-- this will be a "who's who" list of banks, brokers,[...] Click here to continue reading

My China insider

It's no secret that China is already starting to dominate the world economy.

Understanding the country, its culture, and its economic infrastructure, however, is a daunting task, particularly for outsiders.  Official reports and media accounts are hardly worth basing an investment opinion on-- it's critical to have boots on the ground.

I have spent a fair amount of time in the country and built up a list of valuable contacts who live and[...] Click here to continue reading