Posted November 17, 2023
By Sean Ring
Biden Bucks and Solar Power(less)
I’ve neglected the mailbag for too long, and it’s overflowing. Today, I’ve not answered anything related to Israel-Hamas to keep our blood pressure readings low heading into the weekend.
Snake Oil Salesmen
Hunh?? You spent an entire column recounting Cameron's failures and weaknesses, then ended by saying, "If it weren't for his track record, you'd like the guy. He's smart, married to a beautiful, successful woman, and has great kids." Admiration for charming, good-looking rogues and snake-oil salesmen is what's gotten us into trouble so many times before. Thank God we only elect sober, thoughtful, infallible statesmen here in the US and always give them our full support. Damon C.
Damon, I sympathize. Liking a person and thinking they’re competent are two different things. And admiration - again, not the same as liking - doesn’t get us into trouble; stupid voting does. I’d feel much better if he was a fishmonger or a carnival barker. The world would be much safer that way.
Biden Bucks and Black Markets
Hi, Sean. I wanted to weigh in on your essay, musing, "Will they let you buy marijuana?" Really? Does anyone believe that The Powers That Be would allow us to donate to a, well, disfavored political candidate or cause? Or buy gasoline? Or guns? Mike F.
Hi Mike. The answer is “No.” That’s why they’re so dangerous. I wrote this dystopian piece on CBDCs last year. Enjoy!
Sean, Great article on digital currencies, but I have a question. You, Rickards, and many others recommend that we diversify into gold and other real assets, but if/when such currencies and controls are in place, who could we sell our gold to, assuming we need the money/value to pay for current needs? I would assume in such a case that only people or entities approved by the government would be authorized to purchase gold, for example, and then only at a price approved by the government. And once we have sold it, we would not be authorized to buy any more. The same would likely be true for Bitcoin or any of the other "stores of value" that we would own with the hope that they would protect us from said controls. I can imagine that there might be a few people who would sell property directly for gold coins, but even registering the sale would expose both buyer and seller to regulatory inquisitors. Thus, every transaction would require moving into or out of the digital currency, and thus be exposed to scrutiny. Do you really think that holding gold, silver, or other such assets would provide any real protection? It would almost require a black market of sorts or at least a gray one, and since every transaction will be recorded and saved forever, even suspicions raised years or decades later could be examined in detail. Throw AI search capabilities into the mix, and the result will be truly dystopian. I hope I am missing something, and the situation is not so dire. If you see any hope, please consider it as fodder for a future Rude. Thank you! Gordon F.
Gordon, you’re right about black markets. That’s precisely what would develop - and probably will - after this government’s asinine policies bear fruit. In my considerable experience (working for a Swiss bank), there’s always a way around the government-imposed problem. For crypto, you’d have to look at something like Monero, which is far more secretive than Bitcoin.
Sean, honest question. Isn’t offshore banking just as worrisome as banking in the United States? Sometimes change occurs rapidly and being nimble becomes a pipe dream. Seems there may be other alternatives? Thanks for your continued insights, Neil C.
Hi Neil. I don’t think offshore banking is worrisome. Remember, HSBC in London or Hong Kong is “offshore” relative to the US. So, you don’t need to deal with shady small banks in unregulated jurisdictions to secure an offshore bank account. And practically all banks have apps, making it easy to make instantaneous transfers. I have bank accounts worldwide; they’re good places to keep cash. And with a service like Wise, you can transfer your cash into different currencies and other bank accounts for a fraction of the usual cost.
AI Won’t Kill You, I Promise…
Sean, Love your Rudes. You asked both ChatGPT and giant-brained James Altucher whether AI could turn lethal against its creators. While I’m looking forward to hear what Altucher has to say, the more I read ChatGPT’s answer the more I (brain-lite) disagree with Altucher (giant brain). God have mercy on me, Sean, but I spent the last 30 years of my work-life reading government-speak. While Oatmeal-for-brains in the Oval Office can sling BS with the best of them, AI just buried you in an avalanche of premium BS. Remember HAL, the 1968 movie 2001: A Space Odyssey? HAL (the 3 letters preceding I.B.M.) was the embodiment of AI, which sought to kill the only human on the spacecraft because the human, like Old Oatmeal-for-Brains, represented a net negative proposition, thus qualified for elimination. Sounds sorta like the ongoing Democrook presidential primary, doesn’t it? So, if AI’s got your back, you’d damn well better be watching your 6. Faithful reader. Bill W.
Thank you for the kind words, Bill. If you haven’t watched my interview with James yet, please do. He’s excellent and gives complete answers. Also, I wrote about HAL for the Morning Reckoning in March. Enjoy!
One of the best articles I have read on Solar. The amount of TIME the sun actually is seen and felt is THE most important factor in solar power and charging. Thank you. Myron H.
Sean, You neglected to mention that in London, on the first day of winter, when there are barely 8 hours of daylight, the sun, at noon, is barely 15 degrees above the horizon, assuming the sky is clear so you can see it. And since most of England lies to the north of London, the situation in the rest of the country is worse. Gordon F. Cuenca, Ecuador (where we are almost 3 degrees south of the equator, but likewise have a lot of cloudy days)
Thank you both! And Gordon, thanks for doing that math. I knew the sun never rose too high in the winter. I didn’t realize just how low it was.
Have a wonderful weekend!