Jeff Clark | May 23, 2023
The debt ceiling gets a lot of attention right now—but either outcome is bullish for gold. While unthinkable, if the U.S. government defaults it would be a blow to the US economy and dollar. Raising the debt ceiling would lead be more borrowing but not addressing the underlying causes could lead to a crisis—higher inflation and higher interest rates for starters.
Jeff Thomas | May 17, 2023
International Man: During the Covid-19 hysteria and global shutdown, the drawbacks of living in a big city became more apparent. Sure, cities can offer more career opportunities. Still, they are also more expensive, dirtier, have higher levels of crime, crowded, have fragile supply lines, and infrastructure that can get easily overwhelmed. How do you view the value proposition of living in a big city today, given what is transpiring? Jeff Thomas: Well, in my college years, I found cities to be very attractive. Lots of social opportunities, lots of shops, a greater variety of goods, etc. But, during that time, I was very fortunate to have experienced two city crises from which I learned valuable lessons.
Jeff Thomas | Apr 26, 2023
In 1929, Ford sold 1,507,132 cars. Chevrolet sold 1,328,605. Then came the stock market crash. Sales dropped dramatically each year until 1932, when sales bottomed at 210,824 for Ford and 313,404 for Chevrolet. But, during that time, a small new market came on stream for the two foremost budget brands—the rich. Although literally millions of people were hit very hard by the crash, those who had invested wisely retained their wealth. Those who steered clear of the stock market bubble and/or invested in assets that would survive the crash, such as precious metals, were able to continue to live well. However, they did find that when they drove down the street in their luxury cars, they stood out and became the objects of anger and scorn.
Jeff Clark | Apr 19, 2023
The shocking closure of two US banks, the Fed slowing interest rate hikes, and a weakening US dollar all roiled markets and led to a spike in gold demand. Our ITV quarterly report summarizes how gold and silver and other major asset classes performed in the first quarter of an already volatile year. We then outline the major catalysts to watch as the rest of the year unfolds.
Jeff Thomas | Apr 12, 2023
Years ago, Doug Casey stated that, “When empires die, they do so with surprising speed.” At the time, that comment raised eyebrows, yet he was quite correct in his observation. Ernest Hemingway made a similar comment when a character in his novel The Sun Also Rises was asked how he went bankrupt. The answer was, “Gradually, then suddenly.” Again, this sounds cryptic, yet it’s accurate. Any empire, at its peak, is all-powerful, but the fragility of an empire that’s in decline is hard to grasp, as the visuals tend not to reveal what’s soon to come.
Jeff Thomas | Mar 29, 2023
There’s a change taking place in supermarkets – one that’s going largely unnoticed, in spite of the fact that it’s becoming a new norm. Packaging for products, particularly foodstuffs, is getting downsized. Folger’s coffee, Chobani Yoghurt, Fritos, etc. – all are being offered in smaller packages than before. The resizing is not dramatic; in fact it’s so small – sometimes less than 10% - that it’s hard to imagine why they’re bothering to do it.
Jeff Thomas | Mar 15, 2023
Well, of course you can. What an absurd question. Most of us in the Western world have never in our lifetimes had a problem getting enough to eat or, for that matter, paying for it. Words like “famine” do exist on the periphery of our vocabularies, but they apply only to news reports on Somalia or Ethiopia, not us. But the First World is in for a change and both the availability, and the cost of food will be changing with it. A question as absurd as the one above may within a year become a reality for many people. In a previous article in International Man, we dealt with the likelihood of food shortages in North America and Europe and how that situation was likely to manifest itself. These are likely to occur as a by-product of existing unmanageable industry debt, plus hyperinflation. To make matters worse, the First World will soon face other factors that may diminish availability and increase the cost of food generally, both at the same time.
Jeff Thomas | Mar 9, 2023
In 1776, Thomas Jefferson was asked to create a draft for a founding document for what was to become the United States. In his second paragraph, he said. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” So firm was the vision of America’s founding fathers that this statement represented their collective belief, that the twenty-eight signatories accepted it without any change in wording. Could the same be said today? Do Americans possess a collective belief today? Do Americans perceive the word “rights” collectively? How about “liberty?” Would a random sampling of Americans generate the same definition of such words? Or, considering that most Americans who are unable to answer such simple questions as, “What state is New Your City in,” how many Americans would respond to a request to define these words with no more than a blank stare? But why should this be?
Jeff Thomas | Feb 28, 2023
The baby-boomer generation were perhaps the most privileged generation that the US has ever spawned. Their fathers returned from World War II, eager to get married, buy a house and start a family. The economy was booming, as, during the early years of the war, the US wisely stayed out, but provided tanks, helmets and even toothbrushes to those who were directly involved in the fray. What’s more, they didn’t accept pound notes or francs; they accepted only gold. So, at the end of the war, when the manufacturing cities of Europe had been destroyed by bombs, the male populations decimated and the governments broke, the US was on a roll. They had most of the world’s gold and had first-rate manufacturing facilities that only had to switch from making jeeps and rifles to making cars and televisions. That wave of wealth allowed the young married couples to spoil their children with whatever they wanted.
Jeff Thomas | Feb 24, 2023
In 2014, the US funded a coup d’état in Ukraine, ejecting the democratically-elected president and installing an American puppet. The new regime then set about attacking the republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, which were predominantly Russian. Russia did not intervene, even though the US was messing in Russia’s “back yard.” It did, however, draw some “red lines,” warning Kiev that if they tried to take Crimea, join NATO, or become a nuclear state, Russia would invade. In February 2022, Ukrainian puppet President Zelensky announced at the Munich Security Conference that Ukraine would go nuclear. That was the trigger that caused Russia to invade Ukraine, days later. The US declared outrage and sought to involve NATO in retaliation. The American media was filled with angry reports of the “unprovoked invasion,” stating that Russia’s goal was to seize all of Europe. Since that time, the US media have maintained a constant barrage of propaganda regarding the war. The theme is always the same: The Russians are a murderous army, killing civilians, bombing hospitals and schools. But they are also incompetent, poorly led, their troops riddled with deserters, losing battle after battle, and experiencing far more casualties than Ukraine. And yet, even though the Russians are claimed every day on the news to be losing badly, somehow, they have continued to advance. Kiev has been continually desperate for more from NATO in order to survive, and the US and other countries never seem to be offering enough materiel, advisors and funding for Ukraine to win.