You Can Take a Horse to Water

…but you can’t make it drink.

So it has been proven during the fifty years of my life so far.   Someone once mentioned to me that money is energy, which is a great way to look at it, since to me it’s always made sense to try and store as much of that surplus energy as possible to be utilised in the future as needed, instead of expending it on inferior experiences in the here and now.

I learnt the hard way that not everyone feels the same way.

Over the years, I didn’t just make investments for myself, but I even shared my excess energy to people I thought were important to me, but who in the long-term clearly didn’t feel the same way.  Some of that excess energy remains even to this day.  Perhaps its latency will be released on some useful and deserving project in the future.

Jim Rogers, the famous US investor, now based in Singapore, has a quote he often uses – that he only invests when he “sees the money on the table”.  in retrospect, I can’t help but feel that some years ago, someone saw the money on the table when they saw me.  Perhaps that’s a bit unkind, since I doubt they were even conscious of it, but it seems to be the way the world works.  A world of energy flowing from one entity to another, for seemingly random and unlikely reasons sometimes, but mostly going to where it’s intended to go.  Jim, for the record is an amazing investor but when you look into his past wives, his ability to identify undervalued assets with huge potential may not extend into every sphere of his life.

Knowing that the stored energy I invested was cashed in in 2018 for frivolities like foreign holidays in exotic destinations and consumer goods was a bit disappointing.  It’s a shame people didn’t have the fidelity to at least spend it on what it was originally intended for.  Perhaps the last laugh comes in knowing some of those assets have nigh-on doubled since then?   I bet the pension payment I made on their behalf back in 2016 is still sitting there gathering 0% interest.  Oh well horse, here’s the water, even if you’re not thirsty.

Do I sound down?  I’m not, I shall leave the Rolling Stones to express how I feel about it all, looking back.  For better or worse, we sometimes get what we need, not what we want.

There is an alternative end to the quote….but a pencil must be lead.

Fifty Years in the Making

It’s been over a week now since I turned fifty and a long, long while since I added anything here.  However, now feels like the time to rollover my personal private reviews into something public.

I knew 1971 was an important year and in recent years I’d begun to realise the effects it had on the unborn, the new born and the older me.  Let’s look at some at the major ones to put it into perspective of the era and the ripples that have persisted or turned into latent tsunamis as of 2021 :-

World Economic Forum – founded January, 1971

Decimalisation in the UK – February, 1971

Closure of the Gold window and introduction of the Petrodollar monetary system – August, 1971

Now it becomes clearer why I am so influenced by things that have led me to writing Gold, Silver and Freedom : The Greatest Theft Never Known.  My Mother tells me how the family would discuss at the time the collective robbery from the British people of pricing things at one pence before and after decimalisation, even though there were now only one hundred of them in a pound instead of the 240 there had been before.  I guess I absorbed some of it, along with the stresses of 1970s stagflation – officially a period when prices rise despite the economy struggling, joining the Eu in 1973 and lurching into a near-GDP par with Albania by 1978.  From my side, a young me certainly remembers how my favourite comic, Warlord, leapfrogged through 6p, 7p and 8p per issue in record time and how Tudor crisps drove effortlessly through the 7p and 8p barriers on their way to the memorable 10p high, when us kids lamented their unaffordability.

That young me also experienced Gresham’s Law for the first time, the general theory that bad money forces out good.  Learning that pre-1947 shillings, representing the new 5 pence coin, actually contained some silver, I spent the time scanning my change for any of these desirable coins, knowing their metal content exceeded the 5 pence nominal value place upon them.  Ah, had I only taken the same view with Gold Sovereigns in 1999.  No matter, the younger me was very influenced by monetary systems and history, without even necessarily realising it.

Now to the gist – something else happened that I only became only of yesterday during a music quiz with the family.  Ignoring that the brilliant Our Song was released that year, it seems Imagine, by John Lennon was too.  Those lyrics may have seemed positive, promising and downright fluffy back in 1971, but by 2021 they take on a more fearsome and negative tone.  Imagine no possessions?  Hold on a sec, I am sure I heard that somewhere else recently via the World Economic Forum as Welcome to 2030 : You will own nothing and you will be Happy.  Then, Imagine no Religion?   Fast forward to 2021 and yes, I can scarily enough, especially if someone found a way to remove the human soul and spirit.  That could never happen though, could it?

It’s about now that I realise the best Beatle was the incredibly underrated George Harrison.  The other two, the main ones we’re expected to remember and who are constantly rammed in our faces are the fakes, clever musicians, but whose souls may well have been bought.  Instead, I’ll go listen to this, also from 1971, the year of my birth, then another of my absolute personal favourites.  Which it actually turns out are from the very same album that is not even available any longer via the narrow CD-selling channels.

Gold, Silver and Freedom

Many years ago, I started investigating the world of finance for myself after following the official advice regularly regurgitated in mainstream media about how to save for your future. The very advice that saw many people’s savings decimated in market crashes that occurred in 2000, 2001 and 2008. My first book, How to Invest in Gold and Silver from 2006-07, was actually only intended for private consumption, but when the UK bank Northern Rock ran into difficulties in early 2008 I recognised the malaise as similar to other events in history and decided to release it publicly.

The reading and research continued. In 2019 and 2020, many signs began to appear that all is not well with the world, culminating in the Corona crisis and crash of 2020.

In August, I switched off all media influences and wrote my new 2020 book Gold, Silver and Freedom – The Greatest Theft Never Known. It brings together many of the jigsaw pieces, with some terrifying conclusions for the future we may all have to face, along with insights on possible solutions.

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War and Propaganda

2020 has become the year of the pointless platitude. From #SaveTheNHS, to such illuminating slogans as “Eat Out to Help Out”, the government has been incredibly busy. As has media, in a more subtle way, working on everyone to establish a consensus solution to Covid-19. You are doubtless fully aware of some of the slogans being used out there, while being blissfully unaware of others that are being drilled into your subconscious.

For we are at war, or hadn’t you noticed? Everything about it screams so – the curfews, the rationing and the closing of non-essential businesses. Only that, well, the enemy isn’t aliens, terrorists or massed hordes of Huns, but instead a virus. A virus so awful it requires government to introduce new laws like knocking your Corona-infested house down and being able to intern you indefinitely under the Mental Health Act with the say-so of one doctor and a compliant nurse. Nurses are usually compliant when it comes to doctors, or so I am told.

So yes, step forward the pointless platitude. In 1914 and 1940, it was ones like “Keep Mum, She’s not so dumb”, “Dig for Victory” and “Your Country needs you”. I can’t help but feel the quality has declined somewhat, that going out and eating to excess is somehow considered good for the country, or that it is somehow equivalent to growing your own vegetables or joining the Home Guard, but there you go. While at the same time I would guess the costs have risen dramatically for the teams of advertising execs hammering this stuff out in the background. Actually, worth pointing out I’ve done my bit for Queen and Country during this war. Oh Yes. I went to the pub and, instead of just having a main, somehow managed to pack in three courses and a couple of English Ales. Why not indeed, when the whole meal was 50% off? Maybe I can tell my grandchildren about it some day.

I’m so full of pride for how we’re all digging in together to fight this evil enemy that I’ve done my bit by creating a calendar to help remind us what an awful wartime situation we’re all in.

COVID-19 2021 Propaganda Calendar

That certainly is something to tell the grandkids about. Think of it as an Old Moores Almanac of Corona. The whole thing is so predictable and doubtful, that it should be mocked. Hey, it may even be right about one or two of the months. No, if I do ever get to speak to my grandchildren, I’ll be telling them I went to work as normal, conducted a personal #SayNoToWorkAtHome campaign and avoided wearing a mask wherever I could. This year is that start of something much, much bigger. The end of the theft of our money and a ramping up in the theft of our freedom. More on that in a subsequent post, but fair to say I have been quite busy last couple of months and this calendar was only part of that.

Meanwhile, as we all know;

Life won’t get back to normal until we get a vaccine

I’ve heard this one Ad Infinitum since about June / July. How did that phrase get into your head? Yep, media has definitely been busy. Reminds me of another slogan, this time from a 70’s kids TV show.

“Why don’t you go switch off your TV and do something less boring instead?”

Hmm, the BBC drilled that one into my head 40 years ago and I still remember it. These slogans are very, very effective after all.

The March of Technology

I was reminded today of a speech I had listened to last year.  At the time it seemed very strange, but now it means even more.  Boris Johnson at the UN in September 2019 :-

Of course these things aren’t normally of much interest, but often it’s where the agenda is presented. Just as the agricultural era was usurped by the industrial era, so we are witnessing the death of the industrial era and the start of the information era.  I suppose, given my career choices, I should be pleased there is a demand for my skills.  Interestingly, when I researched my own family tree I found one of my own family branches were victims of the agricultural to industrial switch.  It seems they were sheep farmers out on the Yorkshire moors and lived in a decent manor house (1851 census).  From there, it was possible to track the decline of the family through ever decreasing properties in each census until my great-grandmother emerged in lodgings with her sister in 1901 in Consett.  It’s actually where she met my great-grandfather.  Their original manor house property is still there and is rumoured to have once been lost in a bet.  I can only wonder at the desperation there must have been behind that story (if true).  In what can be seen now as a major switch in policy to get the UK even more focused on manufacturing instead of agriculture, the corn laws were repealed in 1830 or so.  This meant cheaper and cheaper agricultural imports undermined local farmers, while at the exact same time, the opening up of empire brought ever more wool imported from Australia.  A UK farmer would have seen demand for their product fall precipitously and at the same time seen their traditional workforce head off to new industrial jobs in local cities like Leeds.  A lethal combination.  As may well be proven by the absence of the male head of the household in the 1861 census compared to 1851.

Especially of interest is the reference to Prometheus, the creator of mankind itself.  So pleased was he with his creation, that he gifted it fire, so it could develop civilisation.  This was the mention that first made me listen to it back in 2019, when it was first put out there.  To me, legends may be legends but somewhere within are grains of truth.  Mankind has been given a new fire, the technology to change it’s life, but will the fire be good or bad?

Technology is marching onwards and Data is the New oil. It seems to me that the march wasn’t fast enough and something was needed to push it forward faster.  Much like the industrial era being held back by potential new workers/slaves still working on jobs considered to be part of previous era, who then need to be “freed up”, along with their resources.  Of course, there’ll always be a need for manufactured goods, just as there is a still a need for food (although with this one, just look at the agenda to demonise meat and get everyone eating plants, frankenfoods grown in a lab and potentially insects), but these industries only employ a fraction of the numbers they traditionally needed before.

You don’t need to be particularly insightful to see who some of the real winners of this Corona crisis are.  While traditional shops, pubs and restaurants are bad, apparently shopping online, especially at Amazon is fine.  While everyone switches to digital means of communication and work, you can only imagine how much data places like Google have been able to gather lately.  It’s a goldmine.  Meanwhile, Microsoft continues to push for mandatory vaccinations and it’s vile ID 2020 proposal.  Get your Certificate of Vaccine ID (COVID) here.  Implanted inside your body somehow, preferably.  Yes, silicon valley is doing very nicely, thank you.  To see what’s planned next, check out this vile patent for cryptocurrency attached to humanity itself.  There will be no respite or hiding place if that becomes reality.

I’ll stick by what I said before, we are on the verge – well, it’s already started – of a huge struggle between ethics and technology.  Unfortunately, having seen the response of many to the recent loss of freedom, I don’t expect much ethics from anyone.  Individuals do surprise occasionally though.  I sold something on fb marketplace (data mined, no doubt) and the person who bought it was so pleased with his purchase that he insisted on shaking my hand.  To me, that was good mix of ethics (free trade), humanity (shaking hands) and technology (fb facilitating the transaction).  I believe though, that the first two are under threat big time.  Time will prove me right or wrong.

Signs of Inflation

Since the plandemic came along, I’ve being making regular stop-offs at a variety of supermarkets to ensure my fridge is stocked up.  While Denmark seems to wander around in a state of blissful unawareness, there have been many first-hand reports from personal UK sources as to supermarket fights and empty shelves of certain items.  Be prepared.  Not anything ridiculous, but food prices are unlikely to fall and conversely, quite likely to rise, or suffer supply disruptions.  May as well keep stocks high, eh?  There’s also enough history that inflation and shortages are a very realistic concept that can affect supposed first world countries as much as somewhere like Zimbabwe.  Look at this classic picture from 1923 Germany, when the real value of banknotes was as firewood.

I actually vaguely remember 1970s inflation in the UK.  As an adult, the stats tell me inflation rose 30% in 1978 alone.  I have memories of going to the supermarket around then and finding things like Tudor crisps had gone from 5p to 6p a packet, then a few weeks later, 7p.  Warlord, the fantastic World War 2 comic of my childhood, saw similar rises until, shock horror, it entered double figures and hit 10p around 1980.  Many seem to have suffered collective memory loss as to how bad the 1970s really were – while too young to remember the 90% FTSE fall of 1974, I most certainly remember only being able to have warm food at certain times of the day – households were allocated only a few hours of electricity time to cook meals, and I definitely remember one time all garages were closed, no petrol to be found anywhere.  Is it too much of a stretch to link at least some of this economic hardship with EU membership starting in 1973?  Project fear was not a new 2016 referendum concept, the excellent Peter Shore identified the same phenomenon back in 1975.

The clues are there already, if you look.  Gold ,the historically-proven protection against any economic crisis continues to rise.  Other weird things happened, like the price of oil turned negative for the first time ever in history, as demand collapsed and producers are forced to pay to have their product taken away, with storage running out.  That the Rockefellers and the Saudis put in place their plans to exit the oil market in recent years can be no coincidence.  Many people probably hold shares in their offloaded duffers in their pension portfolios without even realising how much they lost on this.  One other major thing occurred that didn’t even get much coverage – the US dropped the fractional reserve lending requirement to ZERO.  Never seen before, but now if the bank grants you a loan, they can just press a button and create it out of thin air, with no requirement on them to actually have any money in their account to back it up, not even 1% of the loan amount.  The banks are going to do well out of this crisis.  It’s a 2009-style bailout, played in a different way.  So subtle no-one has even noticed, but they are lending out created money to businesses at good rates, knowing the government has underwritten most, if not all, of the risk.  To hammer this home the obnoxious Ed Milliband is shouting for the government, ie taxpayers, to take on 100% of the risk.  You couldn’t make it up, talk about socialising the losses!  This free money to lend is then secured against real assets, some of which the banks know they will help themselves to when businesses and individuals fail.  I said in a prior post, a bank might fail – and it might, but the key banking players will do well out of all this.

Then finally, I went to Netto on Monday lunchtime.  Just a regular walking trip, but it was immediately striking how prices had gone up.  Bananas – were 2kr, now 2.5kr, Milk – was 8,95, now 9,45, Cucumbers – was 6kr, now 7kr.  I sense they were busy at the weekend upping the price tags.  It may sound minor but that equates to up to a 25% inflationary increase in a single weekend.  Hmm, thought I, must check Fakta back home later.  It was identical – Milk – was 8,95, now 9,45, Cucumbers – was 6kr, now 7kr, except Fakta also had a sign up saying something like “Due to to supply issues from Spain, certain fruit and vegetable stocks may run out”.  The cracks are starting to appear.  I looked around the store, everyone else seemed to be carrying on as normal.  Then took another bag of new potatoes – was 10kr, now 12kr, then strolled up to the frozen section and took several bags of frozen veg to fill up the freezer.  Can’t be too careful!

As a footnote to those supermarket trips, I visited Fakta again the following day.  There were massive gaps in the bread section, no chicken at all and hardly any milk – a shocking thing for Denmark where people live on the stuff.  I may even visit tonight – after all one of my favourite ales is on offer for 6kr a can and if it comes to it, good beer has plenty of vitamin content to keep you going for a while.

Despite all this though, I still wonder if massive deflation comes first, as people stop spending and are forced to sell assets like excess cars and houses to stay afloat and repay debt.  It may seem good to be on 75% pay for 0% work, but such a situation can’t last forever and one day, when the music stops, people may find their old job doesn’t exist any more.  Food prices may rise, but possible deflation in other commodities, such as houses, cars and computers would offset the official figures, at least for a while.  Deflation would be a great thing if it was allowed to happen – cheaper prices are the best thing for most common people.  The inflation part comes later, just like it did in Germany 1921-23.  The same thing happened in 1929-32, massive deflation until they decreed a new USD/Gold ratio after forcibly confiscating as much as possible of it from the public, so history again tells us how things might go.  Nowadays we are even further removed from those two periods of history – gold and silver don’t even figure in peoples heads as money any more and in this digital currency world we now live in, what are we going to do when we can’t even use it as an emergency firewood backup?

The Future of Money? Part 1

I recently wrote something at BitCard.co.uk, describing what I see as one potential future of money and how we all conduct trade using the internet.  It’s pretty clear that long term national currencies have had their day, or at least that they will have to learn to compete with other mediums of exchange.

So have a read of Bitcard and feel free to leave comments on what you think.

Some day, I’ll try and write a potentially not-so-nice alternative future, based on corporate-issued currencies.