Live Blog: New Orleans Investment Conference

Adam Taggart
By Adam Taggart on Thu, Oct 26, 2017 - 3:46pm

While Chris and I are waiting to present later tonight at the New Orleans Investment Conference, I'm sharing my notes from listening to the other speakers assembled here.

I'll update this periodically as I can as the presentations continue over the next few days:

Russell Grey

  • land is the 'original resource' (won't be replaced by technology)
  • land use driven by
    • agriculture
    • commodities
    • energy
    • housing
    • heathcare
    • industry
    • recreation
    • takeaway: all kinds of ways to generate a return with land...
  • housing/land speculation dangerous now given the money printing and debt bubbles
  • own things that are "real" and "essential" (energy, water, shelter, etc)
  • look for assets that generate returns (if it doesn't, it's not really an asset)
    • dividends on equity
    • interest on debt
    • rents on property
  • find an advantage
    • public markets are so efficient this is hard to do
    • in private deals, you're allowed to exploit insider info (unlike public markets)
  • RE helps hedge against both inflation and deflation
  • invest with long-term sustainable mega-trends (e.g., aging population), not hot trends
  • key to profit = exploit inefficiencies

Robert Helms

  • doesn't see RE as an asset class -- it's not discretionary, you HAVE play in the market in some way (home, office, etc)
  • "Live where you want to live, but invest where the numbers make sense"
  • 2 primary ways to invest in RE
    • buy a structure and hold it over time to collect rents (individual ownership)
    • participate in a private placement/syndication (group ownership)
  • Affordable residential
    • Single family homes -- look for sustainable income over time, in this market there are market inefficiencies you can find (buy a good deal)
    • Apartments (multi-family)
    • Millennials -- more likely to rent than own
  • Mobile Home Parks
    • growing demand for affordable housing
    • individual tenant owns the home, but leases the land it's on (makes them much more reliable renters)
    • good way to "land bank" (i.e., buy/own land but get rents from it, then sell at later date to a developer once surrounding area has gentrified)
  • Residential assisted living 
    • priority rents from affluent & insurance
    • growing demographic ("silver tsunami")
    • augments long term care insurance
    • high rent from "A" property
  • Farmland
    • tangible asset with yield
    • take an essential need and generate income from it (everyone needs to eat)
    • crops are a global commodity (can be sold anywhere)
    • renewable resource
    • relentless value growth
  • Resort Properity
    • rents from affluent
    • global appeal
    • deductible travel
    • personal enjoyment
    • partner with professionals
  • Off-shore Properity
    • wealth protection
    • privacy
    • off-shore income
    • portfolio diversification
    • "Plan B" international option
  • Keys to success in RE investing
    • knowlege
    • network
    • team

Robert Meier

  • Conference host on his departure -- he's been covering macro trends since 1976. Has never seen economy/markets and political environment as we have today ("collection of hot messes"). We will be tested greatly. A quickening convergence of instabilities.

Rick Rule

  • has witnessed 4 full market cycles in his career
  • been a hard bear market for commodities. As a result, folks are likely too pessimistic about the prospects of the next bull market. That creates opportunity (prices unfairly depressed)
  • too many people hold onto bad investments because they don't want to admit the poor performance -- can be very detrimental
  • general rule of thumb -- devote an hour per month to each investment you own. Don't own so many you can devote the time to each
  • if you merged every junior mining company into one, it would lose $2bil in a good year, $5bil in a bad one. But the masks the fact that the few good ones in this space do phenomenally well. So you need to do your homework. It really, really matters how you orgainize your senior and junior portfolios
  • In the early stages of a resources/PM bull market (which is where RR thinks we are), you can get great returns from owning the obviously best companies -- because they are so cheap. You don't need to speculate, you can go with quality. Put a substantial % of your allocation in these. Franco-Nevada, Wheaton Precious Metals, etc. Sell your losers from the past few years and roll it into the quality players.
  • The miner market is increasingly distorted by the ETF GDXJ. So much money is in them that, instead of being driven by the market, they now drive the market. Take advantage of this. Companies that are in the ETF, especially if they've been upweighted as the ETF rebalances, have a lower cost of capital. So own these guys as they are likely to be more attractive acquisition candidates by the majors.
  • We are in the 3rd inning of a 9-inning game in PM mining shares. 2015 was the bottom. 2016 saw a 100% return in the sector. 2017 is a 'cooling off' year. RR thinks better times are ahead but that greed has not entered the pricing yet, so now is a very attractive time to buy in. Given our early timing in this bull market, you will have lots of time to buy and add to your portfolio before prices rise "too high"
  • RR sees fundamentals usually take 3-4 years to play out. Those with a 3-month focus are going to be disappointed. These markets are very volatile and emotionally-driven. Pick a fundamental thesis you think is 'inevitable' then hang on to see it out -- don't let your emotions get whipsawed by all the volatility and sell prematurely.
  • RR sees a return to a true discovery/exploration market. We haven't had a big one since the early 1990s. The sector has underinvested in exploration for the past 20 years. A boom is coming -- because the current pipeline is so lean. The odds of a massive, violent, fortune-making up-pricing of the junior sector are better than they've been in decades. Of course, to benefit from this, you have to be positioned in advance.
  • Parting thoughts
    • get ready to have fun. You've been through 5 years of pain, get ready for 4 years of gain
    • get ready for bull market in exploration/discovery

Peter Schiff

  • Student debt, corporate debt and auto debt are at record highs. Mortgage debt is not only because home ownership has dropped (which is not a good sign). And of course, rents are at record highs.
  • Household balance sheets are bad and worsening.
  • As interest rates go up, that's going to crush everyone. And rates *will* go up, as deficits are huge and increasing.
  • And of course, this will pressure the biggest debtor, the US government.
  • PS sees tax cuts as simply "down payments on future tax hikes". Why? Because tax shortfall will be met with deficit spending, which will put upward pressure on interest rates. And the cheapest way to deal with those higher interest payments will be by raising taxes vs issuing more debt.
  • Yuuge difference between candidate Trump and President Trump. His positions are 180-degrees apart from his campaign statements. Pretty much everything he criticized about the economy and the DC swamp is now "Great!".
  • The US situation is very different that from Reagan's era, whom Trump is trying to emulate. Back then, the debt was tiny relatively, and the US was a creditor nation. Very far from that case today.
  • PS thinks Trump will be much more like Carter than Reagan. Cater was an outisder as the voters swung away from the party of NIxon. Carter served during a down economy that was the result of the Kennedy/Johnson "guns & butter" spending era (which ultimately caused Nixon to go off the gold standard). Carter couldn't deliver any real change in his first 4 years, so the country swung hard to the right and Reagan was elected.
  • The problems created by the Greenspan/Bernanke/Yellen Fed are coming home to roost in force now. Trump is going to be overwhelmed by them. The bursting of this worldwide "everything bubble" is going to take everything down with it. Regardless of whatever he attempts to do, he's going to be the fall guy for this.
  • If the voters swing away from Trump, they'll likely elect a socialist like Sanders (or even more extreme). In PS' opinion, that will make a horrible mess even worse. 

CEO of Wellgreen Platinum

  • this is one of the companies that has paid to talk here, so take her optimism with a grain of salt
  • the company is a Canadian miner of platinum and nickel
  • she states that the electric battery boom (electric cars, etc) is driving huge demand for nickel and copper -- particularly nickel. She quoted Elon Musk as saying that Tesla's batteries should not be called lithium-ion based but nickel-graphite based instead. (I found the quote).
  • She says she's so bullish on the company's prospects that she bought 1 million shares upon taking the CEO role, and then recently purchased another 800,000 shares on the open market a few weeks ago.

Mining Panel

  • Members:
    • Rick Rule: moderator
    • Brent Cook
    • Nick Hodge
    • Brien Lundin
    • Gwen Preston
  • How will 2018 be for the mining shares?
    • GP: soft for rest of year, 2018 will be 'quite good'. Doesn't see Fed tightening as much as it's threatening
    • BL: agrees with Gwen. Thinks gold will weaken into Fed's Dec meeting. Predicts 2018 will be good for PM. Sees economy weakening. 
    • NH: depends on the metal. Lithium and cobalt should go higher from battery demand. Not sure what will happen with PMs. Likes the rising demand for the base metals. 2017 tax-loss selling may result in early 2108 buying of miner shares.
    • BC: 2018 will be strong. Will see more money going into the juniors from the majors. More acquisitions coming.
  • What sector(s) will lead in 2018?

    • BC: Discovery will be in high demand next year. Zinc -- a real shortage of zinc deposits out there. Copper is same.
    • NH: the under-recognized junior producers
    • BL: Watch optionality (companies with resources that can be re-valued upwards). Exploration is getting more exciting.
    • GP: Exploration is getting crazy. Clearly there's appetite for discovery and expects that to continue. Bull market is young, so expect Development companies to start flourishing. Until the generalist investors return, the producers won't skyrocket -- but they're poised to once that money enters
  • Pick 2 commodities: 1 for next year, 1 for 2020
    • GP
      • 2018: zinc
      • 2020: uranium
    • BL

      • 2018: gold, silver and zinc

      • 202: uranium

    • NH

      • 2018: copper -- has broken out and will be driven by electic infrastructure demand

      • 202: uranium -- going to boom huge once the ramp happens (RR agrees with this)

    • BC

      • 2018: zinc

        202: gold (thinks uranium will take a lot longer to boom)

  • What big risks are we overlooking?
    • BC: Retail investors focus on the drill results. They need to look at bigger picture (i.e., total cost burden on company)
    • NH: people don't look at share structure enough -- i.e., how diluted is/will be the company?
    • BL: need to dedicate a few $grand per year to subscribe to newsletters to know what the experts know (especially the mining sector). Thinks there's a real potential for an economic slowdown in the US next year.
    • GP: don't just buy the story. Need to know the specifics, fundamentally, for why you're buying a miner.

 

36 Comments

CleanEnergyFan's picture
CleanEnergyFan
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Great Cliff Notes of the Conference

Thanks for being such a great notetaker Adam.  While I am at the same conference (as you know) I didnt get to hear some of the speakers you did so this really helps to distill down what the other speakers have been saying.  Its great to also not have to take any notes knowing that you have already done so (and done a much better job than I would have anyway).  Looking forward to your and Chris' talk tonight and again tomorrow.  Its interesting that here again (as with Freedom Fest previously) there are no other speakers really talking about the 3E message so your talk should be quite differentiated from all the other speakers here.  Most are focused mostly on the Economy and a few have talked about Energy (without really linking those 2) and nobody has yet mentioned the Environment that I have heard.

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AKGrannyWGrit
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Thanks Adam

Great job on providing detailed notes!

 

agitating prop's picture
agitating prop
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Mobile home parks

Thanks for the notes Adam,

Always like hearing what Schiff has to say and the metals and most of the real estate notes are of value.  

I do have a problem with some of Robert Helm's real estate advice. He suggests buying land for mobile home parks and squeezing every last dime out of residents living in what amounts to stranded assets parked on someone else's land. "Makes them much more reliable renters," is code for.  "You have them where you want them."  This is incredibly mealy mouthed.  

He advises that the land owner has the option of flipping the mobile home park to developers when the area starts to gentrify?  How many tenants might that render broke and homeless? 

 

 

cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
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Danielle DiMartino Booth

Here's what I picked up from DiMartino this morning:

DiMartino Booth

Fed is not some evil cabal, but a disappointingly normal group of mild academics…and therein lies the problem.

We’ve been trading ‘in the dark’ since 1987.  Greenspan broke the markets by inviting the Big Boyz to front run the Fed.  20th Oct 1987 was the actual date.  The 'put' was born and price discovery has been destroyed ever since, and only gotten worse.

Household wealth stands at a record 7x income, where the long run average is 5x.  This is astounding.

Commercial RE has never been more expensive.  Global credit markets at $226 T dwarfs that of the equity markets.

DB looked back to 1800 and has no example where the bond market is this over-valued.  Ever.

It’s time for central bankers to take a hard look in the mirror.  …and what they’ve done to retirees…$10M in savings to generate enough income to stay above the poverty line.

The citizens of the US will ultimately pay the price for the Fed’s mistakes. (Politicians love the Fed due to enabling deficit spending, of course.)

Price discovery has been destroyed by the Fed.

DiMartino is offering some tweaks to the Fed system, including re-drawing the Fed districts to deconcentrate the power, and change the governance structure to give voting power to regions appropriately, undo the dual mandate so that the Fed is charged only with safeguarding the purchasing power of the dollar, and leave employment to the private sector.  Hire the best regulators ever, and don’t allow the Wall Street sharks to run the system ever again.

The day the Fed crossed the line.  Dec 2008, who spoke up for the cautious investor, the pension funds?  One man only, Richard Fisher.  But the battle was lost to the PhD eggheads.  And here we are.

lambertad's picture
lambertad
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RE investing books

Chris or anyone esle, do you guys/gals have any recommended books on RE investing - single/multi-family homes? 

TIA 

dcm's picture
dcm
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evil cabbage

"Fed Is Not Some Evil cabal"

.... just look at Goldman Sachs

"a disappointingly normal group of mild academics"

.....whose ivory tower is more rhino hairy than mere library 

"but the battle was lost to Phd eggheads"

....who could be harmless if they didn't work for criminals.

thc0655's picture
thc0655
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Solution to the Fed

DiMartino is offering some tweaks to the Fed system, including re-drawing the Fed districts to deconcentrate the power, and change the governance structure to give voting power to regions appropriately, undo the dual mandate so that the Fed is charged only with safeguarding the purchasing power of the dollar, and leave employment to the private sector.  Hire the best regulators ever, and don’t allow the Wall Street sharks to run the system ever again.

Half measures, at best.  Money is still created the same way. A private banking cabal is still in control of our money and therefore us, our country and our economy.

Abolish the Fed!  Or, let it compete for us and our money with any other form of money we want to use to pay all our debts public and private.  If having a private central bank is such a good idea for US (as opposed to THEM), then they should be able to induce me to use their FRN's for some or all of my savings and transactions.  I've never seen such a proposal and I'm sure the reason is that the benefits for the owners of the Fed and the Banks in this system is so lopsided in THEIR favor, that once there was some choice most people most of the time would choose to save and transact in something other than FRN's.  

richcabot's picture
richcabot
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Overvalued

Real Estate seems grossly overvalued now.  It's hard to imagine how it's going to maintain current prices when a major recession hits.  Invest with caution.

CleanEnergyFan's picture
CleanEnergyFan
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Very Nice Job on the Future of Money Panel

n

Enjoyed this panel discussion alot.  Took awhile to post due to the small size limitations for photos makes uploading hard to do without access to computer and Paint program.  Glad Danielie DiMartina Booth gave you the softball opportunity to bring Energy (and Primary Wealth) into the money discussion.  Hope you are able to make more conferences like this...it was obvious to me the audience really enjoyed the new angles that you presented at both of your speaking slots.

Electricsockets's picture
Electricsockets
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Realvision - A world on the brink esp 2 `

Just an FYI - I gave you two gent's a recent shout out in the Realvision TV comment section for Dee Smith's controversial 'A world on the brink' second episode in his RV produced series. Most RV subscribers who commented on this seem solely interested in ROI rather then a sustainable sound planet - here's the comment:

Dee Smith really needs to get Chris Martenson & Adam Taggart of PeakProsperity & their primary message into this series......their focus on post-peak resource management in a finite resource based world is really missing from this thought piece, but also from global economics in general. 

Globalization has fuelled psychopathic corporations' hunger for greater returns - and investors in these firms are equally responsible. It's now the financialization of everything - putting nature's balance into greater harm, all for FIAT confetti profits that economic history tells us will soon be worth nothing...



Limitless Globalization only truly works in a world with infinite resources.



Capitalism with infinite FIAT money & infinite credit creation has failed us & all sentient life on this planet with no voice to confront our recklessness. 



Want some examples?: 

-MonsantoPapers/glyphosate revelations,

- industrialized farming practices in general both cash crop & our evil animal husbandry practices,

-CRISPR cas9 & the future patenting of all genetics, 

-pharmaceutical industries carte blanche addiction agenda, 

-the Rusty-back bumblebee (N.A. important pollinator) is on the endangered species list, 

-a 27-year German study just released found the amount of insects flying in the air has declined 75% -those of us with at least 20 plus years of rural windshield cleaning driving experience know this to be true, 

-countless animal species facing critical extinction, 

-plastic and other toxic pollutants dumped in the environment & food chain

-Global Liberalism having the egoic tenacity of taking on unique societies innate tribalism 



There are too many examples to list - but when profits are truly at risk we can trust our governments will whip up war & conflict as the neocon solution, which only exacerbates everything listed above. The true measure of wealth is a measure of the sustainability of our natural environment -period. 



We are nature - and we are at war with ourselves and our true identity. William Butler Yeats is turning in his grave. (The Second Coming) 

Let me know when they book you guys ! 

PS - if anyone here is a RV subscriber comment on that site to remind Raul & Grant to get Chris and Adam on next time. But also check out Chris's original interview posted April 20 2017 - which is FANTASTIC! 

Cheers & thanks for the conference notes. 

cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
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Thanks tom!
CleanEnergyFan wrote:

n

Enjoyed this panel discussion alot.  Took awhile to post due to the small size limitations for photos makes uploading hard to do without access to computer and Paint program.  Glad Danielie DiMartina Booth gave you the softball opportunity to bring Energy (and Primary Wealth) into the money discussion.  Hope you are able to make more conferences like this...it was obvious to me the audience really enjoyed the new angles that you presented at both of your speaking slots.

I also want to say that the private break out we held with the intimate gathering of like-minded PP souls while at the investment conference was my personal highlight.

There were 13 of us and we had an open-form discussion about anything and everything that occurred to us.  I liked the format a lot as we went as deep as the questions wanted to go, and covered a lot of ground.

Everything from the mechanisms of interest rate hiking cycles by the Fed to offshore wealth protection trusts to which types of chickens people had.  

I'd like to do more of these because, truth be told, Adam and I have so much content to share, and a single pass is never sufficient in the first place, that it would take many such sessions to impart even half of it.

Only for those who really want to go deep into the material, that is.  I am imagining forming small groups that would then be their own mini-tribes meeting regularly over the course of a year in a really nice place of course,  where we can help advance each other's understanding of the world and encourage and track each other's progress and actions.  These would be our PP inner circles....like Rowe but more continuous instead of a single event.

If you have interest in this just indicate that here, or email Adam or myself.

ckessel's picture
ckessel
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PP Inner Circles

Chris,

I think this is a very good idea. It would help expand the local communities and strengthen the actions of the PP concept as a whole.

Coop

Cornelius999's picture
Cornelius999
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Posts: 379
Nice to see balance of

Nice to see balance of opinion at present is not for " rolling " the fed heads.

Of course, when this thing eventually blows, as many innocents as guilty are going to get it in the neck no matter what.

Disconcertingly, I hear myself saying to a friend yesterday, that our latest crop of bankers need to be hanged in public in Dublin's central park!  They've been caught screwing criminal sums out of totally unliable mortage holders having previously been bailed out by the state.  I see now why capital punishment's return is inevitable.

sand_puppy's picture
sand_puppy
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Posts: 1885
Regional PP community get togethers

This sounds like an awesome idea.  Local/Regional seminars could let us get to know our neighbors here on PP.  

Cooperation and collaboration between members living near each other would become easier.

David Huang's picture
David Huang
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Posts: 75
regional gatherings

I certainly like the idea of regional gatherings of the PP community.

Geedard's picture
Geedard
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Posts: 79
Interested - yep, I'm in
cmartenson wrote:

If you have interest in this just indicate that here, or email Adam or myself.

Great idea. Like. 

Getting practical - I live in Switzerland, maybe I'm the only PP member in the country! :-D  Is it possible to run some high level diagnostics around physical location, available only on private request to, say, Adam, yourself or a designated moderator? Such as:

1) how many members / how many active members in a small country or regional location (lfor medium & arge countries)

2) Profile of login behaviour (volume & frequency of activity, viewing activity or time spent online inside PP.com, time spent viewing posts or general posting activity).

this could help a willing "start-up ambassador" to guage the potential effort required to overcome "passive members and usual inertia"...and therefore the likely interest level. I'm willing to put the effort in to test the idea here locally...

Geedard's picture
Geedard
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PS...
Geedard wrote:
cmartenson wrote:

If you have interest in this just indicate that here, or email Adam or myself.

Great idea. Like. 

Getting practical - I live in Switzerland, maybe I'm the only PP member in the country! :-D  Is it possible to run some high level diagnostics around physical location, available only on private request to, say, Adam, yourself or a designated moderator? Such as:

1) how many members / how many active members in a small country or regional location (lfor medium & arge countries)

2) Profile of login behaviour (volume & frequency of activity, viewing activity or time spent online inside PP.com, time spent viewing posts or general posting activity).

this could help a willing "start-up ambassador" to guage the potential effort required to overcome "passive members and usual inertia"...and therefore the likely interest level. I'm willing to put the effort in to test the idea here locally...

PS...no names, identities or contact details requested, only high level diagnostics to guage potential take-up likelihood. Eyes wide open in advance...not in hindsight...

CleanEnergyFan's picture
CleanEnergyFan
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Posts: 105
Count me in on the Regional Gathering

I totally agree...the breakout session was the highlight of the New Orleans Investment Conference for me as well....thanks for putting that on.  I am counting on Sebastopol to be the next regional meeting but if there happens to be another that gets planned let me know.  Someday maybe we can have one of those down here in Texas someday...I would be very happy to host such an event.  

Littleskipper's picture
Littleskipper
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Real Estate values

Finished reading Harry Dent's book Sale of Lifetime, he claims to get an accurate value of your property look at the value in 2000.  I also don't see how it makes sense to buy anything right now.

SingleSpeak's picture
SingleSpeak
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I'd definitely be in on that

It sounds like a good alternative to trekking to the East Coast, although that was fun, it's just not convenient.

SS

Belmontl's picture
Belmontl
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Atlanta PP Hub meeting

Excellent idea

I own Irish pubs in metro Atlanta and in Opelika auburn Alabama with Private rooms (& a round of Guinness) to host

cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
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Excellent!
Belmontl wrote:

Excellent idea

I own Irish pubs in metro Atlanta and in Opelika auburn Alabama with Private rooms (& a round of Guinness) to host

Well, that's certainly convenient and a fantastic offer.  Please provide Adam with any details and we'll see what can be put together...

Thank you.  :)

cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
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I'm at the Munich PM show

I've been invited to speak, for the first time, at the Munich precious metals show.  I haven't spoken yet, I go on at 4...

But I'm running into a lot of people who know of Peak Prosperity and have been recognized a few times so far...once this morning while at breakfast by a gentleman who knew my voice...he stopped looked over and said "You're the guy on Featured Voices!"

He didn't know my name...I love it.  :)

At any rate, there's lots of bling on display here...display cases crammed with gold and silver with people buying.  I'm watching lots of transactions happening.

Also, there's a book seller here, and even if you don't happen to read German, I am sure you can divine that these are kindred souls to our cause and our message.

 

This is my first time in Germany and the difference between here and Argentina is astonishing.  Here everything is tidy and organized.  The ride out from the airport on the train goes through small farms the entire way.  

Everybody speaks English, and they all wait for the cross walk lights even if there are no cars on the road.

In other words, entirely different from Argentina.  :)

Culture matters.  If you want prosperity and abundance you have to plan for it and work for it being careful not to accidentally let it be destroyed by corrupt political and economic institutions.

To this end, what Mario Draghi is busy doing to Europe is the opposite of building prosperity, he is sowing the seeds of a profoundly (and profoundly unfair) economic destruction.  

More to come...

thc0655's picture
thc0655
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And Draghi is working hand in hand with Frau Merkel

Culture matters.  If you want prosperity and abundance you have to plan for it and work for it being careful not to accidentally let it be destroyed by corrupt political and economic institutions.

To this end, what Mario Draghi is busy doing to Europe is the opposite of building prosperity, he is sowing the seeds of a profoundly (and profoundly unfair) economic destruction. 

Doesn't sound like you've had the tour of the local Muslim-immigrant-majority areas Frau Merkel is quickly building up. The Germans seem to be passing the tipping point at which importing low IQ, low skill, welfare-dependent, no-German-culture people passes from being enrichment into being cultural and economic destruction.  I wish them luck in their cultural experiment, but I'm glad I'm way over here.

cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
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More photos

I just had an interesting lunch with Ronald Stoferle who runs a few funds based on Austrian views and is a co-author of the book Austrian School for Investors.  A super nice guy, and of like mind when it comes ot the general direction of the world and the probable bad ending that the thin-air crowd has given to us all.

He is also the co-author of the yearly "In Gold We Trust" which runs a full 160+ pages.

I have not yet talked, will give an update when I have, but it should be a full audience today.  This place is hopping but, according to Ronald, a pale shadow of where it was a few years back due to waning interest in PM's and other various headwinds.

Here's a few more photos for you.  One a gratuitous bling shot, the other showing that the most crowded buying booth is selling silver.  It was two deep and the cash was flying back and silver forth.

 

cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
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I am in the high rent district...
thc0655 wrote:

Doesn't sound like you've had the tour of the local Muslim-immigrant-majority areas Frau Merkel is quickly building up. The Germans seem to be passing the tipping point at which importing low IQ, low skill, welfare-dependent, no-German-culture people passes from being enrichment into being cultural and economic destruction.  I wish them luck in their cultural experiment, but I'm glad I'm way over here.

 

No, I am in the high rent district I guess.  But everybody I am talking to about the refugee situation expresses concern.  

As always, it's not just the direction of change, but the pace of change.  When it comes to culture, nothing can happen quickly without resistance and difficulty.  

But on Europe, they are undergoing a massive and rapid shift.  By design it seems.  Somebody thinks this is a good idea, but I suspect it's really more a case of the Overton Window meets The Protected Classes than some insidious plot.

Either way, not a good situation though.  

Here's a link to a non-paywall version of Peggy Noonan's Protected Class OpEd for those who haven't already read it in the WSJ.  

http://arizonafreedomalliance.ning.com/group/editorial-opinion/forum/top...

 

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Great Peggy Noonan article

Great Peggy Noonan article Chris. She makes it all so commonsensical.

Draghi is obviously chipping away relentlessly at the foundations of real culture in Europe. Goering was famously driven to say that whenever he heard the word "culture", he reached for his revolver!

I do believe to build an enduring culture, politicians need to take on their own tribe at some point. I wish Merkel well.  Whether she has overreached herself remains to be seen.

Unfortunately in the US tribes appear to be forming and are being egged on.....

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Weekly Update 4/11/2017

Hi Chris,

Just saw your weekly update from Germany - Fantastic! Looking forward to reading more about your impressions of Munich and how your talk was received.

Does the Museum have an on-line version of their 'How to manage an energy transition?'

Thanks

 

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Deutsches Museum: energie wenden

Is this the exhibition you saw?

It looks seriously cool!

http://www.deutsches-museum.de/en/exhibitions/special-exhibitions/energiewenden/

 

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It was seriously cool
Sharsta wrote:

Is this the exhibition you saw?

It looks seriously cool!

http://www.deutsches-museum.de/en/exhibitions/special-exhibitions/energiewenden/

First I was impressed that they were having it at all.  They had me at the intro (emphasis mine):

The energy turnaround is one of the most urgent issues of our time. How can the aims of ecology, profitability and social justice be reconciled? The "energie.wenden" exhibition offers background knowledge and lets visitors gain a sense of the stumbling blocks en route to a sustainable energy supply through games and activities.

The 10 exhibition areas explore such topics as solar, hydroelectric and wind energy as well as mobility and nuclear energy. There have been several big energy transitions in the course of history that introduced new energy sources such as coal and oil as well as far-reaching changes around the world.

Today most of our energy comes from fossil-based resources. Because they will run out one day, however, and the emissions they release promote climate change, people hope to do without them in the future. But how will that be possible?

The centrepiece of the exhibition is a game in which visitors are invited to step onto the "political dancefloor" and into the central exhibition space. There they encounter big screens with key figures in the energy turnaround played by actors.

Everyone is there: from the nuclear power lobbyist and the farmer to a woman involved in building hydroelectric plants and a technician who works on the electric power network. Visitors will try to sort out the slogans and arguments and decide what kind of energy turnaround they want.

Can you imagine any publicly funded entity in the US declaring that fossil fuels will "someday run out?"  Not a chance.  They'd be defunded, fired or demoted within the week.

Land of the free and all that...

Second, the exhibit noted the challenges in terms of time, scale and cost and posed to people that NIMBY just wasn't an option anymore.  I thought they did a good job of expressing the problems and predicaments in a way that could nudge public opinion towards the reality of the circumstances.

Third, in Germany people are far more connected to nature than in the US.  Obesity is very rare here, people are out jogging and walking all the time, and I could travel enormous distances via 'greenways' which were bicycle and walking paths that had generous natural buffers on either side....it really felt like I was in a healthy forest most of the way.

The main river through this part of Munich, the Isar, shocked me when I looked into it from the bridge over the main part of downtown...I could easily see the bottom.  Clear and clean.

What I take from this is that Germans are very interested in balancing all the aspects of energy production as they stated; ecology, profitability and social justice balanced.  I.e. "Environment, Economy, and Fairness."  I could get behind such an approach.

Finally, the museum was really fun for me because they had so much from the early years.  Seeing the pictures of Siemans, Joule and others in their labs, using devices that seemed wholly inadequate doing things that were so precise today we are just filling in numbers ten or more decimal places to the right. 

Really inspiring.  Humans are clever.  Let's hope we're not too-clever-by-half.

Can we be clever enough to not only extract the resources that allow us to expand but also clever enough to stop expanding when it's time. 

P.S.  It's time. 

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This was the sort of thing I spent time admiring

Here's a gigantic electric DC motor.  I don't know why such things fascinate me, but they do.  

This thing was about as tall as me, and I might point out there's not a lot of additional sophistication or efficiency contained within a Tesla motor today.

This thing consumed 88kW and was built in 1893.  Just a monster.  

There was an enormous hall filled with such devices and you could wander around and touch them.

Also fo note, I went to an electricity demonstration where two museum workers were busy sending gigantic bolts of electricity arcing through the air and touching off gigantic capacitors that simply exploded to ground.  A huge noise, very, very loud happened and they warned you to put your fingers in your ears as protection.

The place was packed and children as young as 2 were sitting on their parent's shoulders putting their own fingers in their ears.  As an American, I could not believe it.  In the USA one of two things would have been true: (1) the demonstrations would not have been held because the noise could have harmed or disturbed someone or (2) there would have been special hearing protectors provided.

In Germany?  Nein.  Just plug your ears and we're good, right?

I loved it.  I felt free again in some way...as if I/we were being trusted to not be idiots and take care of ourselves.  

After so many years of being considered and treated like an idiot, how does one not actually begin to absorb that message?    This is where cultural capital comes in.  A people born and bred and treated like idiots are going to be especially useless in a crisis as they wait for the rescue that never comes, while failing to activate their own vestigial critical thinking abilities.  Use it or lose it.  I wonder how much has been lost to such coddling?

 

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Just plug your ears ... Just put on a rain jacket.

Last Sunday from 12-4 PM, I led the 4th session of a program that helps 8-12 year old children feel more confident in the woods.  Here in Eastern New York, a significant rain event was forecasted and as usual, the weather forecasts were hyped up to make it sound quite a bit more like Noah's flood than they needed to.  The biggest problem is that the emotional hit from the overhyping prevented people from getting the key messages that there would be only light to moderate rain before 4 PM and that the temperature would be 60-65°F (15-18°C)!  A good or even not so good rain coat and your child is in business, especially on this land with about 30 covered pavilions scattered through the woods.

Even so, 5 of the 12 children did not show up.  One girl had been out running cross country practice all morning and had just had enough of being wet - I can identify with that.  The other 4 were kept home because of their parents fears including one of my most enthusiastic students.  

Needless to say, we had a great time learning how to build good fires in the rain and playing an awesome game called "Chickadee" where most of the kids roam about 10 acres trying to find hidden pieces of "food" to bring back to their nest while they are hunted by "Coopers Hawks" - the world's most effective songbird predator. I posted a bunch of pictures online to show parents how much fun we had - and yes, we got somewhat wet, but nobody got cold and nobody melted like the Wicked Witch of the West did in the Wizard of Oz.

See photos here.

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Warning: Hot Coffee Can Be Hot

It seems there are two sides of the single coin of not thinking for yourself:

1.  Assumption:  You are not able to realize that standing on the edge of a cliff puts you at risk for falling unless a sign tells you that.

2.  You are not permitted to use your own common sense.  You are expected to defer to the opinion of experts who will guide you the the "right" conclusions.  

A.  If a medication causes severe diarrhea and you continue to take it day after day with ongoing disabling diarrhea causing dehydration and electrolyte depletion until you die--it is NOT your fault.  The doctor should have warned you to stop taking the medicine if you got diarrhea.

B.  If an authority tells you that a building's collapse was due to a fire (though little fire is seen) and that it  progressively spreads from one edge to the other in a 13 second duration progressive wave of collapse (even though you can see that all 4 corners of the building fell at the same moment) you are not permitted to honor your own understanding.  You must defer to the authority (who is MUCH smarter than you).

C.  If neonic pesticides are found to be killing bees on multiple scientific studies, you should not believe that this is true until the "proper authorities" tell you that this is true.

You are not required to think.

You are not permitted to think.

Two sides of the same coin.

Enter the era of the scientist for hire.

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Refugees in Germany

Chris,

Shifting gears somewhat ... did you get a feel from the locals about how the refugee situation is playing out? Any thoughts?

Grover

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Re: Refugees in Germany
Grover wrote:

Chris,

Shifting gears somewhat ... did you get a feel from the locals about how the refugee situation is playing out? Any thoughts?

Grover

Yes, I asked this question everywhere I went.   The short version of the answers I got was that people could not decide if the authorities were really that dumb or really actually trying to destroy the country.

In Germany culture and history are very important and everywhere in sight.  Such things are not taken lightly.

Now, keep in mind I was at a gold conference where the crowd probably runs a bit more on the conservative/libertarian side of things, but I did ask a few shopkeepers one of whom gave me the exact sort of expletive and scatologically oriented tirade I was most hoping to experience. 

Same as somebody going to NYC wanting to see the Statue of Liberty.   A local experience not to be missed!  :)

One person told me under hushed breath that the #1 name of males born in France right now is Mohammed.  The common concern is that the new refugees seem not the slightest bit interested in adopting the culture of their new home.  

I know that's a generalization, just reporting what I heard.

It's a really big deal and with the first economic downturn you can bet that pot will boil all the more briskly.

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Heads - We Lose; Tails - We Lose

Thanks for the on-the-ground report, Chris. Your words confirm my suspicions. I wish we could trust the media to report accurately, but they owe their access to power by appeasing those in power. They have to spin everything accordingly. We just don't get the real story. Sadly, I no longer expect them to deliver the real story. About the only thing I trust the MSM to deliver is the weather forecast. Even then, it rarely meets their predictions.

I don't want to be anti Muslim, anti Jew, anti Christian, or anti Atheist. I just want the real story so I can make up my own mind. Even with the limited amount of slanted reporting, I simply can't see how "inviting" all these refugees is going to turn out good for Europe. It's a match made in Hell.

Grover

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