Posts in Simon Black
Four Lessons From The Biggest Riots In Decades

.Four Lessons From The Biggest Riots In Decades

Notes From The Field By Simon Black

October 22, 2019  San Juan, Puerto Rico

If you’re been following the news, you might have seen reports about civil unrest in Chile-- the worst in decades.

I lived in Chile for more than seven years before moving to Puerto Rico; I still have business interests there, along with hundreds of employees (both foreign and local), many of whom I’ve been speaking to over the last few days.

First things first, Chile is ordinarily a quiet, stable, peaceful country.

The last time Chile went to war was 140 years ago back in 1879. They even skipped both world wars.

And while there are occasional protests, Chile is quite tame by Latin American standards.

It’s also the most modern and advanced nation in the region-- this is not a destitute, impoverished country.

Chile has thriving industries and a large middle class that’s in better shape than just about anywhere else in the region.

But just like every other country in the world, there are countless imperfections.

Inflation has eaten away at the purchasing power of workers’ incomes, and a lot of people are struggling to make ends meet.

The proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back was a 3% increase in metro fares.

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Simon BlackDINARRECAPS8

Gold Price Could Really Soar Over the Next Two Years

.Notes From The Field By Simon Black

October 14, 2019   San Juan, Puerto Rico

Gold Price Could Really Soar Over the Next Two Years

Here’s why

At some point between the years 1483 and 1485, a Genoese businessman named Cristoffa Corombo had the opportunity to pitch his idea to King John II of Portugal.

This period was the dawn of what historians call the ‘Age of Discovery,’ a time when European explorers sailed all over the world opening new trade routes.

They were the tech entrepreneurs of their day, famous for their bold, absurdly expensive, and extremely high-risk ideas that often ended in catastrophic failure (or the mental/physical enslavement of countless people).

Due to the risky nature of these expeditions, the medieval ‘venture capitalists’ who backed them were typically royal governments.

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Why You Shouldn’t Be Able To Drive To Your Bank

.Notes From The Field By Simon Black

October 10, 2019  San Juan, Puerto Rico

Why You Shouldn’t Be Able To Drive To Your Bank

What is your favorite coffee shop or restaurant? Which doctor’s office and dentist do you prefer to go to?

I bet these are all within, say, 15 minutes away of your home. That makes sense--who wants to drive three hours to get coffee, or take a plane to their dentist?

But what about your bank?

If you live in the USA or Europe, chances are, the banks in your neighborhood probably aren’t that great.

Europe in particular has a lot of problems; according to the European Banking Authority (one of the EU’s biggest financial regulators), the largest banks in Europe collectively lack more than 100 billion euros to meet minimum capital requirements.

And in some countries (like Italy) the banking system is already teetering on the edge of insolvency.

Banks in the US have their own challenges-- like constantly abusing their customers’ trust.

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The Next Big Investment Trend

.Notes From The Field By Simon Black

October 9, 2019  San Juan, Puerto Rico

The Next Big Investment Trend Is On Sale Right Now

In July 1994, an ex-hedge fund VP left his cushy Wall Street job and started a new company called Cadabra, Inc.

He wanted to capitalize on an emerging trend that was called the “Information Superhighway” back then, what we now know today as the Internet.

Cadabra was an early ‘dot-com’ company. But as more and more people started accessing the Internet in the mid-1990s, the number of dot-com companies exploded.

Before long, there were countless entrepreneurs raising billions of dollars and taking their dot-com companies public.

Most of these companies were losing tons of money and had no hope of ever turning a profit.

But investors didn’t care. The Internet was the next big thing, and the stock prices of even the stupidest dot-com companies were soaring to record highs.

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Gold’s Long-Term Gains Outperformed Warren Buffett

Notes From The Field By Simon Black

October 7, 2019  Santiago, Chile

Gold’s Long-Term Gains Have Even Outperformed Warren Buffett...

Warren Buffett, despite his extraordinary investment success, has a rather famous and long-standing love/hate relationship with precious metals.

Maybe it started with his dad-- Congressman Howard Buffett of Nebraska-- who, as a staunch advocate for the gold standard, argued to his colleagues on Capitol Hill that “paper money systems have always wound up with collapse and economic chaos.”

Warren himself acquired a record-setting 128 million ounces of silver back in the late 1990s… which he later sold at a profit in the early 2000s.

But to listen to him talk about precious metals these days, he’s always negative.

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1,015,736,491,184 Reasons To Have A Plan B

Notes From The Field By Simon Black

October 1, 2019  En Route to Chile

1,015,736,491,184 Reasons To Have A Plan B

Precisely one year ago today, the US federal government opened Fiscal Year 2019 with a total debt level of $21.6 trillion:

Specifically, the US federal debt on October 1st last year was $21,606,948,183,180.23

Today is the start of the government’s 2020 Fiscal Year. And the total debt is now $22,622,684,674,364.43

That means they accumulated more than $1 TRILLION in new debt over the course of the 2019 Fiscal Year.

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The Only Fix Is Taking Matters Into Your Own Hands

.Notes From The Field By Simon Black

September 30, 2019   Bahia Beach, Puerto Rico

The Only Fix Is Taking Matters Into Your Own Hands

On Friday evening, the government here in Puerto Rico made an announcement to local retirees that many of them would have their pensions cut.

Poof. Just like that.

The pension cut is part of a debt restructuring plan to help Puerto Rico emerge from bankruptcy, which they declared in May 2017.

Bankruptcy is complicated, so I’ll explain a bit here.

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“We” Not So Crazy after all…

Notes From The Field By Simon Black

September 26, 2019  Bahia Beach, Puerto Rico

“We” Not So Crazy after all…

I’ve never really been prone to schadenfreude-- feeling satisfaction from someone else’s misfortune.

But I am a big believer in the Karmic justice. If you’re a dirty scumbag who constantly lies, cheats, and steals, sooner or later the universe is going to catch up with you. And I love seeing justice served.

That’s why I couldn’t help but feel delighted when I saw that Adam Neumann, founder of the so-called ‘We Company’, stepped down as CEO two days ago.

Neumann’s company operates the WeWork office business. I’ve dumped on this plenty of times-- it’s been the latest flavor of the month among all the other heavily loss-making ‘tech’ startups like Snap, Uber, Lyft, etc.

These companies lose billions of dollars per year and no one cares. The more they lose, the more valuable they become.

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Simon BlackDINARRECAPS8