Beirut seems to be a coursed city under permanent civil war, now also troubled by tragic blasts, like the one on August 4th that caused over 200 deaths and about $15 billion in property damage. Official explanation for it is a fire in ammonium nitrate storage that didn’t have proper safety measures. This material is as a strong of an explosive as TNT and from the same family of chemicals.
It was stored there for the last six years, and during that time customs official sent multiple letters to judges requesting the resolution of the issue.
The chemicals were confiscated from a Moldovan-flagged cargo ship that set sail from Batumi, Georgia to Beira Mozambique. Back in November 2013 the ship made port in Beirut, officially due to technical problems, but it seams that the owner didn’t have the funds to pay tolls for the Suez Canal. To get the money, he had taken additional cargo of heavy machinery, which was stack on the top of the cargo space causing the doors to buckle, and an inspection of the port state control deemed in not seaworthy, it was not allowed to leave and this is how the ammonium nitrate ended up in the warehouse on the shore. The ship sank in the harbour in February 2018 by the way.
In a press conference after the explosion president Trump said that according to his Generals, it was a bomb and so it was an attack. The media didn’t pick up on this statement, but the interesting thing is what he didn’t say, because he couldn’t.
A stash of explosive chemicals sitting in the middle of a war-thorn city where tensions run high will give someone ideas sooner or later. In the aftermath of the event the whole Lebanese government resigned.
Beirut is a happening place these days and for all the wrong reasons.
On September 10 the port was ablaze again with black smoke rising into the sky causing panic and people leaving the city for safety. Official explanation was a fire in the oil and rubber warehouse.
Truth is – the city is on fire.
And I get the feeling that there is something deeper going on there and I’m uneasy with it, but I know full well that we will never find out.
Media provides mostly bullet news and the message is kept simple, which is easier to coordinate. What’s more important – local media outlets can’t afford to keep reporters all over the world, they need to buy the news from one of the big guys, like Reuters or Bloomberg, so it’s really a narrow feed.
And there are other ways to coordinate the message and I can give you a real life example from a chief editor of a newspaper in Poland. Back in the day the Batory Foundation, paid for by one of Soros’s funds, was publishing the annual donation amounts to specific media outlets. So, it was no surprise when you open a newspaper what’re going to read - they were then singing from the same key (Batory stopped publishing the info since). I suppose it’s no different in other countries.
I also got an early glimpse into how newspapers work long time ago – so this young journalist discovers some irregularities in the local supermarket operation (that’s in the US), writes an article about and gives it to the editor.
He takes it, goes to see the owner and comes back with a fat advertising contract. Nothing gets published.
Apparently everybody cares about the integrity of the media and the journalists.
My experience is - when everybody says that they care about something that means nobody really cares.
Wild times at the Junior High
What I learned back then, at school, was that the formation of a character is in a large part knowing who you should care about and who you should not. Bad as it sounds at the first take, it is true. Also knowing whom you should listen to and whom you should not.
If you’re willing to learn, you will listen to people who have something original to say. They’re not exactly easy to find, but you might get lucky.
I have a rule here – pay attention to the ones who can express themselves and convey a message in a minimum number of words. These are the best brains.
I was lucky enough to have teachers like that, back in the day in the high school, far away from here behind the Iron Curtain.
These days in the West the confusion continues. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) in the US admits that more people are dying from suicides and overdose than from Covid.
In Europe, the German health minister Jens Spahn has come out and publicly admitted that the lockdowns of the economy were a mistake.
That, I think, is an understatement of the year.
Just wait for the avalanche of lawsuits from businesses that folded for no reason whatsoever, except for the government incompetency of handling the situation.
Listen – the politicians know full well that there is no pandemic. They push the topic because their economies are collapsing and they’re preparing to try to cleverly default on national debts.
Another distraction, the BLM (black lifes matter) movement has a strong presence in the media. The black community is the most heavily armed (estimated at 10M people with guns in the US) with the highest criminal record by far. Are we missing something here? White lifes don’t matter?
All lifes matter equally to me.
In life, every good initiative starts as a good cause, attracts attention, then becomes a business and eventually degenerates into a racket. BLM is no exception. I think we’re entering the racket stage here.
And spare me Gates and his buddy Anthony Fauci saying that we may have to wear masks and keep distance from each other for years to come.
Okay guys, you will make your money when the second wave hits, the panic will go insane and you will have the vaccine at the high of the hype and price it accordingly.
Make your money, hope it’ll feel good.
It will be like the old Dire Straits song – Money For Nothing.
Billionaire high school dropouts are suddenly experts on viruses, CO2 emission, population growth (decline in fact, if you dive into specifics) and Marxist Equality, excluding them of course. Bill Gates is an example, and he recently got $79M from Canadian prime mister Justin Trudeau without a real explanation for what.
Hell, I stopped watching the news, there's nothing they can tell me I don't already know. All I check is the weather before I leave on my motorcycle on a Saturday morning and I drive hard, you better believe it.
A guy at the gas station asked me what’s the fastest I went.
“I don’t know, the dial was showing 190 last I looked down and I was still accelerating. Thing is – at that speed you stop watching the dial because the scenery is moving so fast around you.”
“Wow,” he said.
I just ride, hope better times will come. Gonna stop when the last drop of gas turns to vapor.
Or, possibly I'm on the edge of an endless fall, sure enough she's come to call.
Got to go now, get on that bike.
Me and the wanderlust.
When things get out of control
This week marked an anniversary of a significant event, widely understood as the beginning of the World War II.
On September 1st 1939 German troops invaded Poland from the West and just two weeks later the Russian army invaded my country from the East.
The Americans call it the double whammy.
This was a complex event that requires some effort to unpack in order to understand.
This is my take on it:
Adolf Hitler didn’t want a war with Poland – there was no gain in it for Germany any way you could imagine. His concern was Russia and the spread of communist ideology in Western Europe, but even that wasn’t the main driver. He needed to secure the supply of natural resources for the German economy, meaning – control the countries who had them.
That was the only way to sell the war concept to the German industrial complex, which really runs the country, and he got the okay to do it.
This is why the war happened.
Hitler wanted Poland to align with him against Stalin, which would be the right thing to do for both countries.
Poland refused, and there are records surfacing that the critical levels of Polish government were infiltrated by the Russians who drove the decision.
You need to understand the complexity of the situation – the eastern border of Poland moved with some (war) frequency. The loyalty of people there was not obvious, in the sense – which is actually my country? The language was floating between Polish and Russian, and the speaking always reflects the thinking and so the feeling of belonging.
Poland would be better off aligning with the Germans, avoiding almost total destruction of the country, genocide and then the following 45 years of Russian occupation, which ruined the economy and cost the lives of many people.
One thing about war is that it causes hatred and the conditions deteriorate quickly. There is no control of what happens anymore.
For me this is the definition of war for any leader – you lose control.
In 1941 the Germans were so close to Moscow, that they could see the Kremlin towers. If they didn’t lose some strength fighting Poland, but would have Polish divisions supporting them instead, Stalin would be out of the picture there and then.
And if you ask me how far out, I say all the way out.
What saves Russia every time is the endless space that makes logistics a nightmare, and also the weather. Brutal winters, wet springs and falls and short summers.
Plus you can’t conquer a country from the air; you need to put boots on the ground and this is when the real life starts, in the mud, mountains and snow.
The Russians are also an emotional nation, they can really get together in the time of need. When the German troops were storming St. Petersburg, in a long and nasty battle, the Russian tanks, the T-34, were leaving the assembly line firing hard just out of the factory gate. At the end they made it all the way to Berlin.
It’s a loaded week in historical sense and what happened then shaped the fate of Eastern and Central Europe for decades. We’re not over it yet, not even close.
Now, I am sitting here by my pool under a big red umbrella on a beautiful summer evening sipping the Montalcino wine and typing.
Music is playing in the rhythm of a slow cooking minestrone soup, so you can tell I live in an Italian neighborhood.
As it got darker, I can hear coyotes, haven’t seen wolfs yet, but they’re quiet hunters. A coyote is like a dog on steroids.
I like the nature around me, wouldn’t like to be chased in panic through the bushes by a wolf, don’t have the speed anymore, but the rest is fine.
The topic of women’s right to vote bothers me, and not for the reason you’d think. Switzerland had a referendum on the subject in 1971 and since then women could vote in some parts of it. About the last country in Europe to go through with this, but it differs as the cantons have quite a bit of independence. Canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden (AI) was directed to allow women to vote by the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland in 1991.
The concept seems right looking from the distance, but it’s not so obvious when you think about it.
Women are sharp as hell, and I have one at home who gives me the run of my life, but the original idea was to have one political vote per family - not to stop women from having their voices heard.
The husband and the wife would sit down and figure out what they want in an election.
Having them vote separately just divides the family, it’s nonsense and it makes our societies weaker, also allows voting by the gut feel, not by the merit, as there is no meaningful analysis what’s best for the family.
It’s not a great idea, but it looks good on paper.
Fast forward to the real time, the summertime, I was riding through the forests the other day thinking about a quote from Charles Bukowski, a German-American writer.
He said “find what you love and let it kill you”, and I think this is about the best life advice I heard. And I found what I love – you are reading it now, maybe you read my book too.
And I always preferred artists over scientists.
The difference is that a scientist says a simple thing in a hard way, and an artist says a hard thing in a simple way.
So, on a beautiful weekend I rode between the lakes, seven hours on the Yamaha and I was exhausted. At some point the bike was flashing low gas light for a long while and I was sweating bullets going through the wilderness.
Finally I found a gas station in a small town, got a drink and nice sandwich there to recover.
“Everything all right?” Said the lady.
“No, but thanks for asking.”
“How far are you from home?”
“About two tanks of gas.”
She must have seen something in my face and said: “you know, if you’re losing your soul and you know it, then you still have a soul left to lose.”
“I am with you.”
“I was going really fast because my bike was running out of gas.”
“That’s not how it works,” she laughed.
“I am a risk taker.”
“We’re here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us. “ She said giving me the credit card back.
Back home my wife said that I am mad going that fast and far and for too long and she may be right, but I won’t change, too late for that.
Every time her arguments corner me and I don’t have a good answer, I think, “you're better off alone, you're better off than me, but every time I'm gone I'm everything you need.”
Must be living right or something.
*Credits to Dorothy Parker and Charles B. for some of the words above.
Geography is the bedrock of human society but it doesn’t get much attention when we think about the world.
At some point the Harvard University even dropped the geography department altogether. And these are the same guys who recently lost a cool billion from their pension fund, because their investment strategy was kind of, you know, off.
There is more to geography than meets the eye and it is crucial to the fate of nations. For instance, countries in tempered climate do better than the ones in the tropics.
Just look at Africa, where the top layer and the bottom layer of the continent are richer than the middle. Economically it is shaped like a McDonald sandwich.
South America works the same way. In terms of GDP per capita it is led by Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, all tempered weather places.
In tropics, the agriculture is less efficient; some say you get half the output for your efforts. There is no winter insect kill, diseases are easier to catch witch shortens the lifespan, so if you’re a trained engineer or a doctor there, you will not contribute to society as long as, say, in Europe.
To be fair, some tropical countries played it right – just look at Thailand or Singapore. They developed their strengths in tech and finance.
Singapore is going to benefit big time from Hong-Kong’s fall, which will be messy and long, and the capital is leaving already from there – if you’re a financial institution and have a trillion dollars to park, would Hong-Kong be your choice anymore?
In Europe the diversity always helped with progress, and the continent is really a peninsula with smaller peninsulas separated by everything geographical you can think of.
All the main rivers start from the Alps and spread like a car wheel design. Moving goods on water is about one-tenth of the cost of moving them on a highway. For an economy to be competitive this is a do-or-die factor. Problem is their rivers don’t interconnect.
Still, the diversity is Europe’s strength as people learn from each other, good and bad.
The concept of the EU, while looking great on paper, gets in the way of that, which is why I’m not a fan.
To be clear – EU is in the process of disintegrating and I see the covid scare as a desperate attempt to regain control. Switching people’s attention from politics to health.
The geography of Europe is in a stark contrast to China, where the main two rivers are parallel, the coast is round and there is a chain of islands out the coast that can be easily blocked for trade and military traffic by a powerful enemy.
I can name two easily– US and Japan. They both beat China in naval power big time.
This is the reason, not even looking at economical factors (and there are many going against them), why China will never become a global power, as it never did in history.
By now they have peaked in everything except for military build-up, but the thing about the army is not the hardware – it’s the experience of the people who run it, and that takes decades to earn, like a couple of World Wars.
Meaning – winning them.
So, no – China will not do anything of importance anytime soon.
They do silly things - their response to viruses being transmitted from animals is nothing short of criminal: wouldn’t you close all those live animals markets to prevent the next wave?
Let’s keep it light at the end, as I always do.
Lightness keeps me in shape – it’s that and the V-max when I’m moving high speed down the highway (the number of it is 404, the fastest one).
Now, imagine a good guitar, harmonica and low voice playing this:
“My baby did a low down dirty thing,
My baby, she turned my mind to mush.
She had the gangster lean lookin' a little flushed
She took my liquor and left me the can to crush”.
And that’s Billy Gibbons, thank you for these lines man.
Bitch took my liquor and left me the can to crush.
The business of messing up
If you’re the government you divide the people any way you can, typically using religion or race, but whatever the ploy (the current one is health) they invoke a human response where people fear the other group. So you divide and conquer – the best way to manage any nation, as it has been done throughout the centuries. Note that you can't fool the markets - they're starting to perform in anticipation of a major financial crisis.
I admit that my view of governments is a little sinister, likely because of me growing up in a communist country, but hey, surprise me to the upside.
My teachers in the high school put this way of critical thinking into my head, and these were the best days of learning about life. Most fun, for sure.
Then the University didn’t even come close in the level of intellectual development so I had to do it on my own, reading like mad, but ever since I graduated, I am not a big believer in formal education.
I guess I'm in the age where I am trying to find my place - I ride wild motorcycles, do other bold things, but I can’t work the computer too good so I don’t bother people on social media, but you know I can read you the moment we meet.
I can’t create a power point presentation with all the graphics and photos, I guess that puts limits to my engineering carrier, but I can write an essay every week that is read around the world. And I wrote one book that is explosive.
I am also a good engineer, you better believe it.
Engineering used to be about hardware, but now it is about power point and colors. Here is my take on it – most companies around don’t understand what engineering does and what it can add to the business. A big miss, but this will get back to normal eventually.
Not my definition of progress, but here it is - start asking the right questions, then we’re going to learn a lot from each other.
I saw the news today and what a mistake that was.
Before Great Britain leaves the EU by the end of the year (and stops paying a fortune into it) there is a massive flow of illegal emigrants on boats, and the outrageous thing is that the French navy is acting as an escort (just Google this nonsense).
Chances of the scores of young men coming from the Middle East and integrating into British society are slim to none. Most have no skills to offer, otherwise they would get their stuff in order at home and stay there. Pretty obvious.
There may be some oppressed pregnant women escaping the Middle East, but likely less than one per boat, I would think.
They’re calling for a nice summer day tomorrow, so guess what – I am going to bolt out on my big bike first thing in the morning. Hasta la vista.
The flâneur in me
Flâneur is my profession, it is an ancient term meaning not being guided by constrains. Every now and then I pay dearly for it, but hell – I’m still around.
I had some free time recently, so I was sitting and thinking, because you know – if I don’t have the time I am just sitting.
According to a leading expert, and that would be me, Canada is the nicest place on Earth. We’re good looking, I know that, we’re super diverse, the people here have positive energy and are doing cool things. Get this – the cold winter doesn’t bother me, this is how good this country is. The summers are hot and steamy and most people in Europe are surprised when I say how we cool our houses and use our swimming pools well into the fall.
We respect people who take risks and this is a big one for me, because this is the difference between a society that is alive and one that is not so much. If you go to a major airport in the US there is a lane “Military personnel first”, as they respect people who risk their life.
Try to find that at the Frankfurt airport.
We humans are lousy at detecting deception, and since the life kicks me from continent to continent with some frequency, I developed some skills in reading people.
First thing I look at is the hair; does it look healthy and well groomed?
It’s not that it needs to be, but you start getting the feeling about a person.
Then the lips, and we don’t really know how our lips look like. We tend to compress them if something bothers us, or open slightly if we’re interested to hear more or we’re upset, and these are emotions, meaning that there is a character behind them.
I used to believe that the eyes are windows to the soul but I don’t anymore. Eyes can reveal lack of sleep, sickness, or indifference.
And the way you look at others can be managed.
Body language reveals more.
Something else I learned moving around - we’re about to undergo a demographic shift, life expectancy is expanding and birth rates are contracting dramatically, so we’re moving into the period when there will be more older people than younger people. And so the political structure will not be driven by those who are driving creativity, but those who are interested in preserving the status quo.
Add to this the covid damage done to society with restrictions for no reason really.
The government pays hospitals if you die with the corona virus for those who lack insurance. Therefore, if you are shot or born 15 weeks premature, or are in an automobile accident or drink yourself to death or have a stroke or heart attack or suicide you have just died of the corona virus.
The other part is the damage to the economy.
A Delta Airline executive said recently that they make money if the plane is full, and they make profit on the last four passengers. On my flight across the Atlantic there was 49 passengers, and the plane capacity was 300. How do you think this will end?
Sadly, there is no leadership anymore to guide the course, the authorities didn’t come through in the moment of challenge.
So I have my own rule that keeps me in shape – don’t ask “when” or “what” or “who”.
Why was Beirut attacked the other day? Abu Dhabi the day after.
We will never get the answers, but I will still push the envelope – there is a reason I bought a 200hp bike and not a relaxed Harley-Davidson.
The wild Yamaha better fits my nature.
My old boss once told me - take all the risks you want, but make sure you’re in tomorrow.
Don’t crash the ambulance
The most important role of a leader is to give his people confidence.
Not the management of the country - there is an army of bureaucrats who do just that and are happy to stretch it until retirement. And there is nothing wrong with it.
The leader needs to say what will stir people’s souls.
We may have lost a bit in that area – Reagan was a leader, FDR was one too (“the only thing to fear is fear itself), as is president Trump and I am surprised how this man still stays alive - his security unit should get a Nobel prize for efficiency.
John F. Kennedy tried to introduce similar reforms in his time and got quickly blown to that great struggle in the sky, the surprise of his life, I’m sure.
Strong leaders always polarize societies, but they bring balance to the technocrats, the experts, who attempt to rule the world since pretty much the end of World War II.
One thing that expertise does, is the suspension of common sense. There is nobody to say: “guys, you can’t have anything that complicated”.
US healthcare plan is 15,000 pages and I guarantee no one read the whole thing, but boy, the people who wrote the specific chapters, they really knew their stuff.
But the citizens have no idea what’s in there and that’s a direct threat to democracy.
And don’t let me start with EU, where they pump out new legislation at a frantic speed.
There are ways to stop this madness and here is my favorite one – any new legislation comes into effect 10 years after it is voted on and passed.
This would simply increase the quality of law.
In truth, 10 years is nothing in business and social life, the planning and execution span in both is longer than that, so why rush it? I don’t question the good intentions to improve the world, but at that speed the legislators do more harm than good.
“Don’t crash the ambulance”, as Mark Knopfler would say, “whatever you do”.
The covid crisis is a failure of technocracy to do what they’re supposed to do – be competent. It’s a failure that will be in history books for ages.
Also - this is the first event in history when both, the social cycle and the institutional cycle bottom out at the same time. I see this as a tremendous opportunity for the societies to reset. The normal business cycle has been traditionally altered by central banks with interest rate manipulation and open purchases in the bond and stock markets (it used to be that the word “fraud” would describe it, but now I have to use the whole sentence to explain what I mean).
As I said before, when words lose their meaning, people lose their freedoms.
But it seems that the nature is taking care of that, or is it the wisdom of crowds, which is the same thing in my mind, accelerating the great reset.
During the Second World War the world stock indexes bottomed out in the darkest moment, when Hitler was at the peak of his military power. Looking back at the graphs, the markets had it down precisely to a day. Then the tide turned and the stocks started rising as Hitler was losing ground. The mystery of his rise and fall was never properly explained in history books, my opinion. The emotions were too strong to focus on the human factor, plus it’s always the winners who write history.
As an end note: a nonsense from recent days – Christine Lagarde, the president of European Central Bank announced that the bank will get involved in climate change activities (selling “green bonds”).
Mrs. Lagarde can never stop being the entertainment factor.
Can they service my swimming pool too?
Summer in the city
Hot evenings on the deck, with a cold beer in hand, make my mind flow freely.
As the old song goes – you fog your mind, you free your soul.
So here it is for tonight:
Europeans conquered the world and created humanity, connected the peoples.
The Chinese or the Aztecs didn’t do it, no other culture did either for that matter, and you may ask yourself why. The answer will show you how different we are.
European people were not afraid of risking their future exploring the world, we eventually came and conquered North America. I consider myself one of them; I came to Toronto a long time ago in the middle of a cold winter, with two suitcases not speaking English. Four years later I was able to buy my first house.
These days we are in process of eradicating what made us, Europeans, so successful.
There is no need to create laws that specifically guarantee any right to any specific group. The core of a successful civilization is that all groups are treated equally. Ethnicity, creed, race, religion or gender share common rights of equality. They do not share God-given talents, but the right to pursue whatever talent they possess.
We started having doubts about it, and this is making us week.
There is a reason for it - in the last century Europe and the European culture destroyed itself - between 1914 and 1945, 100 million people died in wars on a continent of less than 500M inhabitants.
What emerged after 1945 was a Europe without the sovereignty, being divided between countries under US and Russian control.
This arrangement is now in the process of change, as the Americans don’t care anymore and the Russians just want to be left alone. The question is what’s next?
We must remember that the most vulnerable country in Europe is Germany, with their GDP being dependent on foreign customers. This simple fact drives German foreign politic to no end, not easy to manage, but they took some heavy-handed steps not exactly good for the peoples of Europe.
The way the European Union was created was to limit entrepreneurship – the level of taxation and regulation there is extremely high, the workers councils are powerful to the point you don’t really hire a worker, you adopt him. And you couldn’t shake lose from a mere bankruptcy. Europe is still with 1950’s style corporations and they’re paying the price for it.
There is a reason that no Apple, Google or Cisco emerged from there. Interestingly, Switzerland (not a part of the EU) is more open and flexible to what business needs, even though the richest family here are the guys who run IKEA.
Things happen without apparent consequences, which bother me, and I understand that to be human is to be dogged by your own thoughts.
By now I am totally confused with the Covid-19 story. We had a saying back in the day in Eastern Europe – “if I didn’t know its stupidity, I would think it’s a conspiracy,” but the sad part is the damage to the economy and peoples lives.
Like Hemingway’s old quip about a man going broke slowly and then all-at-once.
Get this: none of these things now wobbling and staggering in society will be resurrected, so maybe there is something perversely good coming out of this so called “pandemic”.
Back to real life.
Wherever I go on my new black bike, people stop and ask what is it. “Limited production” I say, “heavy and fast.”
“And the insurance?”
“Okay for me, young lady, but I am old, like George Clooney.”
“You look like him a bit”, she said before driving off.
There you go – me and the slick George, but he drives a scooter around the lake Como and I am good for 200 horsepower.
Disappearances can be deceiving
When it comes to the covid-19 problem, the media in the western world all tweet with the same key, which usually means they’re paid from the same pocket.
Not that there is anything wrong with it, it’s just how the power works.
This is the first deadly virus in human history you need be tested for to find out if you have it.
Some aspects of it are amusing - if you start coughing hard in a line up you will clear the store in seconds.
But what’s most important is invisible to the eye, and this is a quote from the “Little Prince”, a book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. I remember reading it with a flashlight under the blanket after my mother sent me to bed, way back in Eastern Europe.
What has disappeared? For starters face expressions under the masks, we are no longer interacting as humans, which is what has created our culture.
I had no idea that this will bother me so much, but it does.
With the remote working regime I could be in Switzerland, or on the Amalfi coast on my motorcycle, I could be in the beautiful city of Warsaw, or up North in Ontario with my computer and headsets for calls and I will do my job.
I may have done most of it.
A few hints about transatlantic travel - they encourage you to buy food and drinks in the terminal and bring in onboard as the service during the flight is limited. What they don’t say is that for the night flight there is just water, no glass of wine before sleeping and you can’t bring you own. No pillows or blankets either.
The flight attendants are fully gowned up and look like doctors. I felt like I’m about to get a colonoscopy (recent memory) so I was sitting straight the whole night.
When words lose their meaning, people lose their freedoms, you know. The media and the governments are doing a terrible job handling this crisis, and the worst part is how this will destroy confidence of the people.
Negative interest rates demonstrate just how bad the confidence level of investors is, meaning they prefer to pile money into governments debt, facing certain loss, then in the real economy.
It also means that too much money was created, way above the needs of the economies to function. The argument always is – how do you know how much money in the system is enough? Well, there is actually a good answer to it – the retirement funds need about 8% annual return to meet their obligations. By law, they have limitations not to play with risky assets, so they are primarily invested in government paper.
So, here it is: a 30 year bond should yield about 8% per annum to make us safe in our golden years.
It yields minus 0.317% in Switzerland as of today, this is how far away we are from normal. This is a big deal, don’t take it lightly.
In the past, when people felt that the tax oppression and income inequality was to high, it would result in a rebellion on some scale, revolution even, and the French are always first to do it.
So, people would go after the real estate, land and gold of the rich, but the point is - it doesn’t make sense anymore.
Bill Gates’ house is not even in the first 50 most expensive properties, gold is a shallow, tiny market and the assets of this world are represented by entries in computers, be it stocks or bonds. What will happen if you go after it if you’re a rebel? Distribute the digital assets among the people, so they’ll try to sell it causing prices to collapse? And who will buy?
To end with an AC/DC moment, I got it all from a sweet woman and she was telling me no lies.
Tom Kubiak is the author of The Traveler