Maurice Jackson: Today we will cover equity markets in a clever, simple way to hedge your portfolio. Joining us for conversation is Chris Marcus, of Arcadia Economics.
Who is Arcadia Economics, and what is your underlying thesis?
Chris Marcus: Arcadia Economics is what I started after leaving Wall Street back in 2012 where I was sitting on the New York Stock Exchange when everything was imploding in 2008 and 2009. Eventually I started reading Austrian economics, realizing that things actually work quite a bit differently than we were told. I really left to share what I saw, which on one hand, I think is incredible, because if you're giving the real version of how interest rates affect the markets and all these things are interconnected, it sometimes may be of a longer perspective. But it reminds me of Grays Sports Almanac in "Back to the Future," where if you can understand that if the banks do this with the money supply, then you can get what's going to happen.
Obviously, a lot of tricky things are going on now with so much manipulation in the market, but that's what I write about on Arcadia Economics and for Miles Franklin, with my main thesis being that I think we're very close to seeing the historic stock bond and real estate bubbles that have been inflated with the historic past decade of Fed monetary policy. It sure seems like we're coming close to the end of those, which fortunately, I don't think has to be this scary apocalyptic Armageddon that it's often phrased. Instead, if you do understand what's happening, you can put things in place and be prepared for that. And certainly, we can talk more about that today.
Maurice Jackson: I certainly appreciate that there's a certain amount of responsibility that we have in the media to make sure that we don't use scare tactics. We're not financial advisors or financial planners, but we're here to do our very best to make people aware of situations that are occurring that may not be in the mainstream media, and how they can protect themselves in a wise and prudent way. We brought you on the show today to discuss some developments that you see occurring in the equity markets that have your attention at the moment. But before you begin, is your narrative important for only U.S. investors?
Chris Marcus: No, I think it's relevant for people across the globe to the degree that whatever country you're in, if you want to trade in U.S. markets, I think that's something that's great about the world today. That we have the internet and we have all these different financial products so that people can go out and express what they're seeing and what they want to trade. So, to the degree that people in foreign nations want to trade the U.S., that's relevant. Yet, of course, to the degree that the dollar is the world's reserve currency. All of these banks are interconnected.
We saw last week with Italian bonds going bad, then we're realizing a lot of the European banks are on the bonds and Deutsche Bank's getting downgraded. So, it's not just the U.S. alone. In fact, it's fascinating thinking about how of all these different pieces are interconnected. I know there's this tendency to call the U.S. the prettiest pig on the block. And people are saying, "Well, you can't take money out of the U.S. because all the other sovereigns are in worse shape." Which it's actually interesting to think about. Because if you add in the unfunded liabilities, the debt to GDP here are dwarfs what the Argentina has, who's currently undergoing their own currency crisis right now.
It's fascinating. There's so much bias and momentum that we've all been programmed with. The dollar being the reserve currency, yet we passed $20 trillion in debt. The projections now just talk about $30 trillion as if that's already decided; there's no plan for cuts. I believe there was a Wall Street Journal alert today saying that Social Security finally dipped into a deficit, add in that we have a missing $21 trillion from the government with a money supply that's supposed to be around $4 trillion. So, if someone wants to make the argument that Europe collapses first, or Japan runs into trouble first or even China, where as much as it is producing goods, which is certainly a good thing, and it is lending a lot of money to the U.S.
I hear there is still a lot of extra credit going around China as well. My guess is that perhaps in the next coming years, we'll see all of these paper systems facing pressure, which is why I talk and write so much about gold and silver in the cryptocurrency market. And at least some of the places people can go, they want something that can't be printed based on whichever politician is put in there.
Maurice Jackson: Which is saying a lot, because you're coming from Wall Street. For you to have a strong, profound appreciation for precious metals, that is not common. But the reason I asked the question, is this centric to only U.S. investors, it sounds to me, and you correct me if I'm wrong here, that is there a potential for a contagion. And if there is a potential for a contagion in Europe, then capital flight, and the capital flight seems to be everyone wants to come to the U.S., and that's why I asked that question here.
Chris Marcus: We saw that a couple of weeks ago when Italy had a problem with the banks. Just after the U.S. yield, it spiked above 3%, shot up to I think the top was 3.11. Yes, these are all going to be interconnected, especially the rising interest rates in the U.S. have put a lot of pressure on the equity markets. And you see some of the other foreign central banks raising rates as well. I think that's one of the tricky things where people are often wondering which one is going to go first. Is it going to be Europe that's going first and then sparks the U.S., or will it be a U.S. problem that sparks elsewhere?
I sure wish I knew the answer to that one, yet you see how interconnected these are. So, if just like in 2008 when interest rates went up, started popping the bubbles, you had trouble in the U.S. stock market and the U.S. mortgage and housing markets, which was a problem in the U.S., yet quickly spread across the globe. And there's some degree to which there's the future and we're humans, so we don't know exactly how it all unfolds. But certainly, the conditions are in place there exactly as you said, for that contagion to spread. So, while it may start in one versus the other, it's set up to affect all in a very powerful way that I think people should be aware of.
Maurice Jackson: You add contagion, capital flight, the debt, then you have unfunded liabilities. And now we add one more thing here. Does Arcadia Economics believe that we're in a trade war? And if the answer is yes, is this the beginning and what is the ultimate result?
Chris Marcus: It's interesting because there's what is reported and then what might actually be happening. So, on the surface, at least to the degree that we see Trump in China slapping tariffs back and forth, yes, that's begun and is happening. I find it odd, foreign policy, especially with China being the largest creditor of U.S. financing, and it's almost baffling, where you see China basically giving every indication possible, or they keep poking. But this time we're fighting back, which started with the Petro-Yuan. Last week there was news of a possible yuan-denominated precious metals contract, which is for people who are not big fans of the Comex and the short paper that's going on there.Certainly, if it follows similar adoption, Maurice, have you caught that apparently the people are using the Petro-Yuan contract, the market share is actually been growing quite a bit?
Maurice Jackson: No, I'm not aware of it. But it really is interesting that that is actually a new development, because that's really what's kept the U.S. currency afloat (Petro Dollar).
Chris Marcus: Certainly, if you had a similar pattern like that with a precious metals contract, and then add to that what I caught yesterday, apparently 14 African nations are holding a meeting to discuss using the yuan as their reserve currency. Which, you get small stories along the way, although that one that we're now having open meetings that the yuan as a reserve currency. It seems to me as if China's saying, "All right, you can start a trade war if you want, but you're not going to bully us around anymore."
What's interesting is the degree to which is there a battle inside Washington, with sides being taken against the Deep State and really can you separate what we call government into a whole variety of different factions, certainly gets into a bit more of the speculative zone. Although I've seen enough to feel that I don't think that what we see through all these things is actually what's really happening. I need to hear there's a school of thought that perhaps Trump is actually working in concert with Russia and China to bring down the Deep State and the banks, which is fascinating to think about. I can't sit here and say whether I know that to be true. But to the degree that it seems bizarre the way things are lining up that you would keep antagonizing your largest creditor, it's certainly a fascinating possibility that I've heard some intelligent people basically voice in a manner of speaking.
On the surface of it, yes, there's a trade war, which from an Austrian economic standpoint, to me is not the way I would do it. Although I do wonder more and more as you see these things develop if things are a bit different underneath the surface than we've been told. Again, we can only hope you find out more about that in time. But certainly, it's fascinating hearing some of the opinions out there, and watching to see how it unfolds.
Maurice Jackson: As a speculator, these are truly exciting times for us all. For a listener, they're saying to themselves, "Okay, that's the macro perspective. But from a micro perspective, what can I as an individual investor do to benefit and or protect myself?"
Chris Marcus: Fortunately, the good news is that there are options for those who have been following gold and silver, especially if you bought in 2011 anywhere near the highs that hasn't gone so well. Similarly, I know you cover a lot of the miners, and it's been a tough seven years in particular for the miners as well.
The good news, and before we started you and I talked a little about the difference between insurance and speculation and what is savings, what is money. I think what's nice with gold and silver is that, to me, when you look at the amount of money that's been printed, especially since the last collapse, and you see the way all the other, the stock market, the real estate market, they're all hitting new all-time highs. I got an alert that the NASDAQ, I think yesterday, hit a new all-time high. I looked, it's basically gone up a multiple of 5 since March 2009. So again, just looking at the amount of money that the Fed says it printed, if any, of course we haven't got an answer on how much money is out there with that $21 trillion missing, because so far, the government's only response to my knowledge as voiced by Dr. Mark Skidmore has been to take down the documents from its website.
The point being, I think there's a ton of money out there I don't think anybody even really knows. And yet gold and silver are up a little bit since their 2008 lows, but seems far behind to me. And you also have the advantage that they're basically trading at what it costs to get them out of the ground. So, you can sell as much paper as you want if you drive silver down to 10 bucks. There's not going to be many people's spending 15 to get a $10 ounce of silver. Again, you know the mechanics of the miners better than I do. But from listening to folks like you and Rick Rule and others that really dig into the balance sheet, I've always felt like the mining stocks that actually know that they have gold and silver seem incredibly cheap to me.
Now because I'm a former options trader, I've had good days and bad days trading options on these, which I don't recommend to most people. Although to the degree that, and this would certainly be by all means speculative again, I wouldn't recommend to most people. But when you think about to the degree if you do capture that timing, especially on the miners if you dabbled in options, again, that's getting away from if you have physical gold and silver, which can represent to me a form of savings. I remember when I was five or six years old, sometimes I would get a savings bond as a birthday present. You were getting something that you could leave there, you didn't have to touch it, and you knew that it would appreciate over time. Certainly, gold and silver are trying to trade short term. I say as someone who was trading short-term equity options for a career, I don't bother trying to do that because it's tricky when the markets are this manipulated.
But as I write about all the time for Miles Franklin and Arcadia, to me, the fact that you have this floor in the form of the cost of production and saying that it's kind of hard for it to go much lower, and you have all this printed paper out there. We're not talking about conspiracy theory, Deutsche Bank got caught, they paid a fine. I'm sure you've seen some of these traders' transcripts were there giggling, not just one bank, but you hear Deutsche Bank trader A telling UBS trader B, "We're gonna smash it, hahaha." Stuff that is kind of surprising to me, because from being on a trading floor, I remember our compliance guy would often say, "Two out of every three things you type are going to be read by somebody. So, be careful about what you type." This is public record. We have another court case ongoing now where more of these transcripts have been released, which I'm trying to get access to.
I know the mainstream likes to ignore the topic of gold and silver in general. But people sitting out there saying, "What can I do if I see something coming and I want to have my money safe?" I think gold and silver in particular fit that bill. Again, if you get more to the speculative side with the miners, because you can have a company that silver could go up a lot. But if they just have a bag of dirt, it's not going to do much good. But I think there's a place for balance in both of those. Again, by all means, I'm a trader, not a financial licensed analyst. Although my general rule of thumb is that if it's affecting your emotions throughout the day, or you're worried about how you're going to pay for food or your rent, that's probably a sign that maybe the position size is too big. Again, factor that in. If you have a great professional you work with, explain that.
I think there's certainly a great reason for it to be part of your portfolio. But just remember you want to balance that all together. If your goal is really just to protect what you have, that you're doing that versus if you want to speculate, you have the right to do that too, just to the goal of matching what you believe, what you're aiming for, so that your money's actually doing that for you.
Maurice Jackson: I'm actually quite surprised that the equity markets with the way that Bitcoin has been doing lately, that precious metals actually have sustained their price. So, that's actually interesting to see, because I would have thought that there would have been a flight from the metals to Bitcoin, because a lot of us are speculators in the metals as well. Based on today's discussion, give us your thoughts on gold, silver, platinum, palladium and rhodium.
Chris Marcus: I'm a bullion silver bug over here. I remember when I started seeing the problems with the dollar focused. Own an ounce of platinum and maybe an ounce of palladium. And from what I've heard, again, I'm far from an expert on those two, but I've heard Rick Rule talk about both of them. I would get the feeling that certainly if somebody had a good investment case for palladium or platinum, and wanted to say, which would you rather hold, these or the dollar? That's an easy call. I get the feeling those will do quite well.
More specifically, in terms of gold and silver. One of the things that I always liked about silver that drew me more heavily there is that you do have the industrial use as well. So, whereas most of the gold that we've mined is still out there, most of the silver is gone. Now, I think it's interesting. I know there's a lot of skepticism about the public gold and silver numbers, and rightly so. Because we're also analyzing another market here where there's a lot of variance on how much gold and silver is actually out there, where it is. I believe there's a consensus that at this point there is more aboveground gold than silver at this point. Does that match?
Maurice Jackson: Depending on who you speak with and different sources. But yes, I think that'd be a fair assessment.
Chris Marcus: And you have them trading gold at an 80:1 ratio. There's about a 15:1 of silver to gold in the earth's crust. Again, we're almost guessing at what's fair market when there's so much distortion and such an inexact science of how much is out there. Yet to me, silver always felt like it was depressed even towards gold, plus the fact that so much of it's being consumed. Again, I like to be careful about assuming I know what the future supply of silver is, or that anyone knows exactly how much is going to be used. Yet, to the degree you look at the technological world we're in, there's certainly a lot of reason to believe that the demand for silver is not going anywhere.
On a percentage basis, I think that when we do have a break point with the paper selling in the markets, I would expect silver to go up significantly more on a percentage basis than gold. I have a couple of gold coins. But primarily, the metal I have and I anticipate continuing that most of it being in silver going forward.
Maurice Jackson: I think we're in agreement here with the ratio right now, 80:1. There are anomalies and distortions within the market. We are very bullish on silver and platinum, and we were earlier just say close to a year now on rhodium. By the way, what are your thoughts on rhodium?
Chris Marcus: I never really looked into rhodium too much, to be honest.
Maurice Jackson: Rhodium, we were very bullish on that a year ago. If you look back historically, within the last 10–15 years, rhodium was $10,000, and it's now at $2,200. We were at the Sprott Natural Resource Symposium last July and we indicated we were very bullish on rhodium then, and the price was in the $900s. We feel the same way about platinum and silver. Those ratios are going to change. And again, this is maybe answering more than what you're asking, but we fervently believe in trading and using those ratios in your favor. So, when the gold-silver ratio does change, we exchange those silver coins for gold coins. And the same with platinum to gold. We just like those value propositions that they present.
Chris Marcus: That raises an interesting point. Because one of the things I remember thinking about when I first got into gold and silver was that, it would have been about 10 years working on Wall Street, and I realized I couldn't think of a single person I knew who traded gold or silver or did anything with it. Certainly, if you think about rhodium, even a smaller market than that, and to the degree that anytime there's a very tiny market, especially that people don't think about or understand, you can go in and actually can understand it really well. That often does provide a good trading opportunity. Certainly, that's interesting to hear you found that.
I would imagine, especially with the expansion of the money supply, there's probably a good case to be made for looking in there.
Maurice Jackson: Let me ask you this: you used the word manipulation. We hear that a lot in our industry. But do you believe that manipulation is only precious metal centric, or are all markets in your opinion manipulated?
Chris Marcus: Where to begin on that one? We have the Federal Reserve openly manipulating the bond market, but they've just gotten everybody to think that's the way it works by calling it policy. A whole host of the banks have been fined for manipulating the real estate and mortgage markets. I think it's been a couple years since they got fined for manipulating the currency markets. It's actually almost harder to find a market that they have not manipulated.
By all means, no, it's not contained just to gold and silver. I think it's extreme in gold and particularly silver. Yet, a quick Google search will find not my opinion, but court fines and admissions by the banks of manipulation of just about anything they can find, which I think on one hand is incredibly unfortunate. Because the system that people were sold was: work hard, go out, invest your money wisely. I was stunned while I was on Wall Street with what I saw, and I'm even more stunned as I continue to find out more and go deeper down the rabbit hole on what actually goes on and what I found since then. Yet, that's why, I like to phrase it carefully because I know that when some of these things happen, it is going to affect a lot of people. I feel blessed and fortunate that for whatever reason, I've been seeing this for a couple years and able to prepare certain things.
By all means, I don't want to give the impression that I'm rooting for things that are going to affect people negatively. Imagine if we got a monetary system that even had 1/10 of honesty, and everybody woke up this morning and found out you're making 50,000 you're making whatever amount it is, just multiply it by 10. That's why I think money has been kept such a secret topic, and we've just been trained to slobber at a dollar bill like it's the holy grail. Because everybody always wonders, sees the banker mansions and yachts, this is where it's coming from. This is where all these tanks are coming from.
When you think about how much of the crime that went on today or in the last year or 10 years? Everybody had 10 times as much money. Would you agree that there's a lot of people going around working two or three jobs, and are petrified because they're worried if they're going to be able to take care of themselves and their families, right?
Maurice Jackson: Certainly.
Chris Marcus: That's the good that I see coming on the other side of this. I do think the cryptos are going to play a role in that as well to the degree that as much as I like gold and silver, if I want to buy something online. We do live in a digital world. So, my best guess is there's going to be a combination of the two. By all means, just are there are scams within the stock market or gold or silver, there's going to be plenty of those within crypto. Again, you want to be careful about what people are selecting and what you're investing in. Yet, fortunately I do think that there's a lot of good that is coming out of these changes.
It's interesting how the labels always, oh, they're using it to fund drug running and terrorism, which do we not have enough evidence yet that that's exactly what the dollar has been used for? That's not my opinion. Oliver North stood in front of Congress when I was seven or eight years old. I remember not understanding why a Colonel was there not looking too happy. So, again, I don't people don't have to take my opinion for any of this, it's all there and paints a clear picture. Yet, from what I'm seeing, well, there's an adjustment to come. We can all start learning about that now. You've got a great site that shares a lot of great information, and I appreciate people like you have a show on, are spreading and giving people a way to find out that there are answers. I think the more people who join that movement, I do believe the positive spirit of mankind is greater than any bank or New World Order or anything else like that.
Maybe it's the hope, but I think that that part of humanity is coming out as this evolves in the financial markets. And so, will be a fascinating time yet beautiful and productive. Certainly, the more that we band together and share, and people search for the truth.
Maurice Jackson: Thank you for the compliment, sir. It's mutual respect for Acadia Economics. You said a lot there. So, I want to just interject here if I may. We're talking to the individual investor and you were talking about savings and then you mentioned the dollar. For those of us who are listening today who may not be aware, there is a definition for the dollar. The dollar is 371.25 grains of silver. It is not a Federal Reserve Note, which is 75% cotton, and 25% linen.
Now, if you understand what the definition of a dollar is, it's very important because would you exchange if you had dollar, which happens to be a Morgan and Piece dollar, which is 26.73 grams, which is 0.77344% of ounce, but that's just the nerd in me. But would you ever exchange a Morgan or Piece dollar for a Federal Reserve Note? They both say One Dollar, and right then and there, it should click that they're not synonyms. Do not be fooled by the one that says One Dollar, if you know the definitions. That definition, again, it's found in the 1792 Coinage Act, which has never been repealed. My little pet peeve always is the word money. If you ever look on a Federal Reserve Note, look on the obverse and then look on the reverse. There's two languages specifically on the $1. There's Latin and there's English. But the word money is omitted.
Call the Federal Reserve, 202.452.2955, or call the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, 202.874.2330, and ask them, "Hey, why did you guys miss that word (Money)?" Because everyone calls it that, but when you start to make the distinction, and understand the sophisms, it has a profound impact on your life. It's not that you're better, it's not necessarily conspiracy theories, it's just facts. And when you understand facts, you can change your life. You can change your vocabulary, you can change your ideology. Now, I've rambled a little bit too much. Let me ask you this last question: What did I forget to ask?
Chris Marcus: Perhaps, when is this all happening? I wish I had the answer to that one. I don't think that it's that far longer off when you look at the developments that are happening. Perhaps most importantly, I have to preface this saying even when I left Wall Street in 2012, I thought it was imminent then. Although with that said, what has always loomed and what was the actual spark in the last crisis that imploded in 2008 was the rising interest rates, which we've seen begin to happen as the Fed has been hiking incredibly slowly.
Maybe we'll get to 2% in the next decade. But still seeing interest rates rise, seeing foreign creditors walking away from the auction, seeing the steps taken by China, seeing Iran ban dollars. Seeing country stand up and say, "We've had enough." And I say this as an American who I love where I live. I love the people around me. I don't agree with the government policy or the finances and how that works. I would just point out to people that again, hey, maybe you sit there with your gold and silver for another five years. Although it certainly seems like a lot of things are in place that if it happened tomorrow, don't be surprised.
Again, I'm not going to sit here and tell you it's happening next Tuesday. Because as much as I wish I knew that, I don't. Yet, I think it makes a lot of sense to be preparing now and not waiting any longer. Because certainly, all the conditions that would seemingly indicate that a move is coming whenever that does occur, to me it seems very clear it's a matter of when rather than if now. So, it is a good time to be taking action and listening to shows like this. Again, I thank you for sharing the information, giving people a place to go. People always wonder, what can I actually do? But whether it's you're talking to a friend or you're hosting a show, on some level, I think that the more truth is spread, the more power we reclaim.
Maurice Jackson: I'd like to close on a note here as well. I'm very fortunate, and I'm not saying this in a bragging way. But I interview the most respected names in the natural resource space, and in the financial sector online and speak with them offline. The common theme that they all have, and many of these are what we would consider some of the 1%, the common theme that they all have is they own money. Money meaning gold and silver. Whereas the 99% cannot make that distinction between gold and silver, money and currency. And so, they're naked on money, and they don't have to do necessarily in quantity because you can't compete with them at that level. But you can do it in quality by making small little moves.
I do sell precious metals through Miles Franklin Precious Metals Investments for full disclosure, am I biased. You purchasing precious metals? Absolutely. But even before then, I was an advocate. I'd like to just share something simple that anyone listening can do. I've been doing this for years. You can go to a bank and ask the tellers if they have any Kennedy 50 cent pieces. If the answer is yes, simply ask for any of those in the 1960s. The bank teller does not know the difference between currency and money. So, they will be willing to exchange with you copper nickel coins that you currently have in your possession, for silver coins. I do it all the time. I'll go to a bank and hand them $3.50 cents. And I'm using the word dollar in a generic term, knowing that it's not right real definition of a dollar. But I'll give them $3.50. And in return, they'll get me $70.00 worth of silver.
Now, that's a non-recorded transaction, and I didn't get taxed on it. I do it all the time and I have no competition. So, these are simple things that you can do, but you need to listen to shows such as this and then become proactive. It's one thing to listen to it, but then you have to be proactive and then do the education and stick with the education. Most of your competition based on today's date were consumed with game three of the NBA Finals. That's your competition. They're after the game. They're consumed with what is one announcer or a commentator on a sports show yelling about. I won't say his name, you know him talking to for those into sports. It goes on for hours. If you just realize that if you're the only one showing up for the race, the probability, as Rick Rule always says, of you winning is greatly enhanced if you're the only one that's going to show up for the race.
We hope that narratives such as this really open up your eyes. We hope that it can be life changing for you. So, again, thank you for coming on the show. But Mr. Marcus, before you leave, if someone listening today wants to get more information on Arcadia Economics, please share the contact details.
Chris Marcus: You can find me at www.arcadiaeconomics.com. You're also welcome to email me at [email protected] I really felt there was, for whatever reason, I saw these things that I did when I was working in Wall Street, and walked out because I did feel there was an obligation to stand up and speak up about the things I was seeing. That was how I was raised. That was always when I was doing the Pledge of Allegiance throughout public education indoctrination. But that was always the way that I was raised and believed what we were supposed to do. I do enjoy helping people understand what's going on. So, feel free to contact me. If there's anything I can do to help, again, I appreciate you having me on the show. It's great to finally meet you and I appreciate what you're doing. It's exciting to see things actually happening. I think there's good times ahead.
Maurice Jackson: And last but not least, please visit our website www.provenandprobable.com through Miles Franklin Precious Metals Investments. We offer gold, silver, platinum, palladium, rhodium, offshore storage accounts, precious metal IRAs and safe deposit boxes, which are fully insured by Brinks of Canada. The website again is www.provenandprobable.com/. You may reach us at [email protected]
Chris Marcus of Arcadia Economics, thank you for joining us today on Proven and Probable.
Maurice Jackson is the founder of Proven and Probable, a site that aims to enrich its subscribers through education in precious metals and junior mining companies that will enrich the world.
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