Maurice Jackson: Joining us for conversation is Jayant Bhandari, the founder of Capitalism and Morality and highly sought-out advisor to institutional investors. Mr. Bhandari, welcome to the show, sir. Always a pleasure to speak with you. For the reader of today's discussion members, we will be addressing global unrest, arbitrage opportunities for your natural resource portfolio, and the value proposition of precious metals.
Jayant, when we last spoke, we were addressing global civil unrest and the vices of education, prosperity, and democracy. I want to begin our conversation with the latter. Jayant, most people view education and prosperity and democracy as a virtue. Why do you believe this is a sophism?
Jayant Bhandari: Maurice, education, prosperity and democracy, put together, has been a complete disaster for the Third World, and we continue to think that the more we educate, the more prosperous these Third World countries become, the better it will be for the world. We continue to believe that the more democracy spreads, the more stable the world will become. The reality is actually completely contrary to the conventional wisdom.
Let's look at prosperity. What happens when a lottery winner gets his money in the U.S.? He gets his millions of dollars, he leaves his job, he marries a stripper, he takes on drugs, and in a few years' time he will have lost everything that he made from the lottery, and he would be much worse off than where he started before he won his lottery. Exactly the same thing is happening in the Third World. People in the Third World have become rich before becoming enlightened, before becoming rational, before becoming open-minded. They have become pompous and noisy. They have polluted the planet. And the end result is that they have become extremely materialistic.
Now, Maurice, I'm not a religious person, but we all should have a higher calling in life. We should aim for bigger things in life. Pleasure-centric life does not satisfy us. But people who haven't become enlightened, people who don't have families, and these days more and more people don't have families. People just are pleasure-centric, and they are decadent in a lot of these Third World countries. And prosperity is working against them.
Maurice Jackson: How is democracy impacting the situation?
Jayant Bhandari: Now democracy is creating a very similar problem as well. The key thing is that education should have made people enlightened and rational. What education is doing is that it is telling us to become entitled. We go for all these liberal arts studies, gender studies, and we gain a sense of entitlements in the universities. We learn bad habits. We learn bad characteristics into our personality in these universities. Democracy means that everyone has a vote. Whether you understand public policy, whether you have a character or not, you still have a vote.
Masses don't have a character. Masses are interested in materialism. And as time has gone by, character of the masses has come to be reflected in our politics in the Third World countries. Third World countries were much better off as dictators. In fact, democracy in any country, even in an enlightened country, will result in degradation of the institutions, because the level of democracy, the character of the masses, will reflect in the institutions. And institutions will fall to the level of the masses. And that's why democracy is degrading the society as well.
Maurice Jackson: Yeah, I often run into or had discussions with people where they say everyone's entitled to their opinion and I agree with them. They are entitled to their opinions, but everyone's opinion doesn't count. And I was given the example of if you needed a surgery and five people had an opinion on your surgery, four of them are doctors and one's a janitor. Does everyone's opinion count? And then it makes sense to them.
Jayant Bhandari: Absolutely. And that is why if you don't understand public policy, you should not have the vote. You have no business participating in the political system if you don't understand what is happening. And this is a big problem even in a relatively enlightened country like the U.S. or in Scandinavia. Even in such countries, more than 50% people want free stuff from the government and they can't really understand that free stuff is not free stuff because you have to take it away from the wallets of someone else.
And these people, because of the fact that they vote, they have created institutions that are welfare-state institutions. They give free money to you and take away money from people who generate wealth. And because these people don't generate, [and] they don't understand public policy, they should not have had a vote. But because they have a vote, they have corrupted the institutions in the Western countries. And the corruption of institutions in the Third World countries have been absolutely horrendous.
Maurice Jackson: How does education, prosperity and democracy fit into the narrative of the former, as we're witnessing an unprecedented number of protests currently throughout the world?
Jayant Bhandari: It boils down to one simple thing. Our institutions around the world in the First World countries and in the Third World countries have degraded with time. Democracy has destroyed our institutions. Our institutions have become less and less rational with time, because they're not for governance. And to maintain the rule of law, they are there as nanny states today.
So our institutions have become worse, and at the same time our people, our society, has become infantilized around the world. Because of democracy, people have this sense of entitlements, and have become increasingly naive particularly in urban centers—and, of course, in the Third World countries, because they have got this sense of entitlement and they vote for free stuff.
Now, [with] this combination degradation of the institutions and infantilization of the society, you have protests and extremely unstable societies around the world. The good place in my view, is East Asia—China, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan—where the sense of entitlement does not exist. Democracy has not set its roots very deep in those countries, and as a result East Asia in my view is the only stable and improving part of the world.
Maurice Jackson: Speaking of Hong Kong, you recently wrote a musing regarding the situation there. For someone not familiar with the situation and the potential contagion that may occur, can you provide us with an update?
Jayant Bhandari: I have been to Hong Kong twice in the last six months, and I absolutely love Hong Kong. It is my favorite country. I have spent most of my time interacting with the protesters. I know where protests are going to happen next so I go to the protests. I watch the police and protestors fighting it out. It is an extremely difficult situation. I don't even know which side I should take. I like that China is not interfering in Hong Kong, despite the fact that the media is sort of claiming that China is influencing events in Hong Kong. My guess is they are not. Police [are] shown to be very brutal on the television and I have seen police and protestors fighting it out, but when police [are] shown to be brutal, the media does not show the context of that brutality. In my view, police [have] been extremely calm and sober in Hong Kong, and they have a very limited police force in Hong Kong.
At the same time, I'm also on the side of protesters. Protesters have been extremely, extremely good. They have been very sober. They have not created a chaos in the city. Of course, they are trying to protest so they create chaos enough to trouble the police and the government, but they are not destroying the cities, they're not breaking the shops. They are not stealing anything from the shops.
Despite that I favor all the three sides, I don't know which side to take. My problem is that I don't see a solution to this problem because all the three sides will continue to fight with each other and there is no solution to the Hong Kong problem. I feel sad about it, but at the same time, I walk around in Hong Kong, I feel completely safe. There [are] no police policing the city anymore because the police [are] all focused on protesters. And that makes me feel very good being with people who are so civilized.
Maurice Jackson: And let's expand on that for a moment. You noted in your last musing, entitled Hong Kong Inexpensive Luxury. . .that Hong Kong is starting to exemplify what a non-status society can look like. Can you expand on that for us?
Jayant Bhandari: Hong Kong did not have much police to start with because Hong Kong has an extremely low crime rate. When you go to these protests, you realize something very interesting, something that never happens anywhere else in the world. Protesters and police fight it out, but as spectator you can just watch things and no one bothers you. In fact, protesters would come to me and tell me to go back a bit if they think that the police would be firing tear gas or police would be attacking the protesters. So protestors try to protect you if you're a tourist. Women and old people and tourists and normal people just walk around their business unaffected by the protests.
Now, because the police is all focused on dealing with protesters, the city pretty much has no police in my view—the rest of the city—and there's no crime in the city. There's no theft going on. Girls walk around without any problem. So that shows you that a relatively enlightened society does not need the government. You don't need the policing system because people police themselves. And I'm reasonably sure if a crime has started to happen people in Hong Kong would just stand up against it. So you don't really need the police in a society like Hong Kong.
Maurice Jackson: You travel frequently between China and Hong Kong. What is the general sentiment like in China regarding the situation in Hong Kong?
Jayant Bhandari: Well, firstly, I don't really necessarily interact with people in China when I'm traveling in China, in terms of interacting with the local people. The thing is that the news of Hong Kong in China is relatively censored, so you don't really get much news on it. I don’t think people really have much political views in China anyway. So even if they had much news on Hong Kong, the Chinese don't necessarily discuss much in politics.
Now I am on two sides on this issue. I think political activists expecting people to have an opinion on politics is too romanticized in the Western society. We think in the West that discussion on politics is about political freedom. But as I said earlier, most people haven't a clue what is happening and the discussion that they get into in terms of politics is all about how I can get more free stuff. The Chinese are less politically minded, which is a great thing because it keeps the society stable. It keeps people away from things that they don't really have influence on. So as such, Chinese are not so involved in what is happening in Hong Kong.
Maurice Jackson: Let's move east and discuss the current situation in India. What is occurring there that has your attention?
Jayant Bhandari: This country saddens me to no end. This country has destroyed its institutions over the last 70 years, since the end of the British rule on this country. The institutions are just continuing to crumble and fall apart. You and I have discussed this issue several times in the past. India is imploding. . .the economy is stagnant. I understand that the international media continues to portray India as the next China. India will never, ever, be the next China. China is five times richer than India is already, and Indian economy is stagnant, whereas the Chinese economy's growing at a nice pace.
So I am extremely sad about this country. My guess is that India will not exist as a country within the next few decades. There is no social cohesion. They are focused on all emotional reasons, things that come from envy and hatred, and a spirit to fight and demean other people. And I'm talking about all sides—Hindu, Muslims, Buddhists, different linguistic elements. They all hate each other for no good reason and they're not focused on what can bring the society together and what can develop this country economically. And that's not happening.
Maurice Jackson: Sometimes we receive some comments regarding your views on India versus China, and I simply have to share with those that comment and disagree with you: When you look at what is being manufactured—when you look at your household goods—most of them, at least in the United States [are] made in China. I can't really think of anything that's manufactured in India. So that kind of squashes that disagreement, if you have it with Mr. Bhandari.
Jayant Bhandari: The funny thing is that when you go to shops in India, most of the things you see in the shops are made in China as well, which is such a sorry thing for India. India should be manufacturing those things within its own borders because the labor cost is so cheap in this country. The problem is people have no skills in this country, and that is the fundamental problem of this country. People cannot be trained. And you can't even get a simple plumbing job done in this country properly. That is really the cornerstone problem of India. This problem is not going to go away even in several generations. And that is a disastrous situation for 1.4 billion people. A lot of them still go hungry and a lot of increasing number of these peoples don't have jobs.
Maurice Jackson: Has the situation in Kashmir diffused since we last spoke in November?
Jayant Bhandari: The situation in Kashmir has certainly improved, from what I have seen. There is a lockdown in Kashmir, and the Indian military has a massive presence in Kashmir. Kashmir has been fully incorporated into the country. It used to be a self-governing jurisdiction within the country; now it is not anymore. I have to be supportive of Narendra Modi, and I don't like Narendra Modi. He is a Hindu fanatic. He's taking the country in a wrong direction, but I think he's doing the right thing in Kashmir, because the problem in Kashmir is that Pakistan has been supplying money and support to terrorism in Kashmir, and this had to stop. And Modi is doing a few very good things to stop that problem. That said, the problem with India is much bigger than just the problem of Kashmir. That is why, despite these few good steps that Modi has taken, . . .the direction of India is backward. It is regressing to its medieval past, not moving forward.
Maurice Jackson: Speaking of Prime Minister Modi, did he not recently pass a referendum in regarding citizenship, and it's caused a lot of turmoil there?
Jayant Bhandari: Yeah. That should not have really caused a turmoil. He passed that legislation because he wanted to cater—pander—to the Hindu fanatic element, but most people should have just ignored it. That legislation only helps about 25,000 people; 25,000 people in the scheme of India is nothing. It's not even a drop in the ocean. Indian population increases by much more than 25,000 people per day.
Now there is also a legitimate problem to do with Christians, Hindus and Sikhs in Bangladesh and Pakistan. These people—the girls are kidnapped, they are raped, they are forcibly converted into Islam, and then married off to Muslim men. So there's a legitimate problem with Christians, Sikhs and Hindus.
I can fully understand why India might want to give a preferential refugee status for these minorities and from Bangladesh and Pakistan, because Pakistan is a Islamic country. Within their constitution, minorities have a second-class status. And in fact, Maurice, all you have to do is to look at the visa application for Pakistan. They ask you strange questions on Islam. If you're a Muslim, you have to sign a document, which basically says something about Islam. . .there's only one God, and something to do with Koran. . .that's how fanatic that country has become.
Maurice Jackson: Interesting. Moving from geopolitics, let's discuss junior money companies. Which companies have your attention at the moment and why?
Jayant Bhandari: Maurice, a very good thing is that over the last six weeks, junior mining industry share prices have done very well. They have gone up by about 15%, which means that I have been able to sell a lot of garbage I had accumulated. A lot of good companies have gone up as well. We were talking about Irving Resources Inc. (IRV:CSE; IRVRF:OTCBB), which has done extremely well. It's a company I'm very well invested in. What gets my attention is always a company, however, which the market is not paying attention to. I can talk about three companies, Maurice, that continue to be the ones that I want to buy at this point of time.
One company is O3 Mining Inc. (OIII:TSX.V). I have talked with you about this company previously. This company is now trading at $2.80/share. It has gone up quite a bit, but remember they did IPO financing at $3.88/share. By any kind of valuation, I get about 50% to 100% upside in owning this company.
Another company that I like is Maritime Resources Corp. (MAE:TSX.V), and it's trading at ~$0.07. This company has been forgotten by the market. This company hasn't really moved up over the last six weeks. That is something that makes me interested in this company, because it should have moved up and it hasn't.
The last company I want to mention, which I want to buy more of, is a company called Core Gold Inc. (CGLD:TSX.V; CGLDF:OTCQX). This is an arbitrage opportunity. Core Gold has a hostile takeover offer, which pretty much gives you a premium of 100% over the current share price of $0.22. Now, this is a very complicated, hostile takeover situation. Core Gold has not accepted the hostile takeover offer. They have offers from some other companies, but all the offers are between $0.33 to $0.50 cents per share of Core Gold, and Core Gold is trading at $0..22. So I don't really care what ends up happening so much. My view is that my downside risk is limited, and my upside can be as much as 50% to 100% in owning Core Gold.
Maurice Jackson: Moving onto precious metals, Mr. Bhandari, we're entering a new decade. Where do you foresee precious metal prices in the next five to 10 years and why?
Jayant Bhandari: I see a very unstable future of the Third World countries. I think once Trump is gone, the United States will become extremely unstable. United States will go extremely leftward once Trump has gone. Without the United States, the world will become an extremely unstable place.
So you have a couple of things here. You have a social degradation happening in the world anyway. Institutions around the world will become unstable. Economies will become very unstable because taxes and regulations are going up everywhere. Governments, because of democracy and because of the sense of entitlement of the masses, are stealing more and more of the cash of the wealth-generating population of the world, which means that the economies will not do very well and you will have very limited ways to protect your capital.
There are two things that I can think of 10 years from now that I would want to be invested in. One is I want to be invested in East Asia because those are the stable societies. But apart from that, what should I do with my money? And that is gold and silver, because they are something I can control with my own hands. I can keep them in my own possession and that will happen increasingly as time goes by, which in my view means that not only buying of these precious metals will improve, their pricing should improve going forward, and that's what you have exactly seen over the last one year or so.
Maurice Jackson: Jayant, many precious metal investors are not aware of the watershed moment that occurred last year with the Bank of International Settlements, which is the central bank of central banks. Basel III was a referendum passed that upgraded gold from a tier three asset to a tier one asset. How much of an impact do you believe that Basel III will have on the price of gold?
Jayant Bhandari: I don't necessarily think that just because banks and financial institutions can buy more gold and provide lower risk factor on ownership of gold means much for the future of gold. What affects the gold price is the interest of the normal retail investor in gold because he wants to preserve his wealth. He has extremely limited options in terms of where he can keep his money. He cannot buy stocks in Hong Kong necessarily, he does not understand those companies. His option is to just buy physical gold and silver. That is what really improves and supports the volume and that's what improves the price as well. His psychology is what will dominate the future of gold and silver.
Maurice Jackson: What precious metals are you buying right now and why?
Jayant Bhandari: Both silver and gold are very interesting to me. Gold is something that carries a lot of value in a very limited volume. That is what a lot of people, particularly with wealth, will be interested in. They keep a lot of their gold in their personal possessions, but they also keep it with companies who can hold gold for them.
Silver is also very interesting to me because a lot of silver actually gets used up for industrial purposes and new technology, which means that the silver price is always going to be supported by industrial demand. So in a way I can be more interested in silver. My problem is that for personal purposes, I don't like to own silver because the volume of silver tends to be higher.
But then, I also, as I said earlier, the other option for people is to keep their money in East Asia. And I understand the stock market in East Asia. I invest my money in East Asia.
Maurice Jackson: For the person at home right now that does not own physical precious metals, what words of wisdom would you like to share with them?
Jayant Bhandari: Well, what options do most people have? They can buy properties. Properties are extremely expensive. They don't necessarily understand the stock market, totally don't understand what's happening outside their own jurisdiction. So what options does a normal common guy have? And his option is to buy something that he can keep in his own pocket and away from the eyes of the government and away from the eyes of thieves basically, and that ends up being mostly gold and silver. And I'm sure there are other things, but gold and silver is something very important. People should pay attention to it.
Maurice Jackson: For [readers], we're proud to share that we're licensed to buy and sell precious metals through Miles Franklin Precious Metals Investments. To have a conversation with me is simple. Call (855) 505-1900, or you may e-mail [email protected].
I believe that having an allocation in precious metals is paramount for one's portfolio, as it has been time-tested to serve as a medium of exchange, is a prudent savings account, and precious metals are the ultimate insurance to government currency debasement.
Moving on to philosophy. Mr. Bhandari, you're the founder of a philosophical forum focused on reason, argumentation and liberty. Sir, please introduce us to Capitalism and Morality.
Jayant Bhandari: I have been running this philosophy seminar in Vancouver, Canada, for the last 11 years, Maurice. The next one will be held on the third of August this year. It will be held very likely at the Fairmont Hotel in downtown. People like Doug Casey, Rick Rule, Adrian Day speak at this seminar. It has grown [into] something that I'm very proud of. It's a seminar in which I want to convey to people how important Western civilization is, how important the concept of reason is, how important rational institutions are for the future of humanity.
Maurice Jackson: For someone [who] hasn't attended, Capitalism and Morality is remarkable. It's intellectually enlightening. I love attending it, and it coincides with a symposium you and I both like, which is the Sprott Natural Resource Symposium. You're in Vancouver. The weather is amazing. Very culinary little place to be if you've never been to Vancouver.
Mr. Bhandari, last question—and that is what did I forget to ask?
Jayant Bhandari: There's something that I forgot to respond to and that is to do with how education is corrupting the people around the world. What is happening, is that most important thing for any society is to make its people rational. People have to learn to think objectively and rationally. What is happening in the Third World, and what is happening also in the First World, is that if people are educated without becoming rational, it burdens their mind, because the so-called education sits in their minds unassimilated with the general understanding of the world. It actually burdens their mind, makes them actually more superstitious and more ritualistic.
And as a result, it is among the so-called educated people that ritualistic religion is becoming a big problem in the Third World countries. Nationalism and religion are increasing in the Middle East and Africa, in South Asia. And that will not be a pleasant thing to face in the future.
Maurice Jackson: Jayant, there's one more thing I noted there that you said, which was there's a difference between Third World and emerging economies. Make that distinction for us please.
Jayant Bhandari: Well, the reality is that there's only one emerging market, and that is China. Everything else is a Third World country and those Third World countries will implode and fall apart eventually. Those Third World countries are incapable of running themselves without Western support, without Western technology and without Western money. China is the only emerging market and it will continue to be an emerging market. China dominates the world's growth. Without China world's growth would fall drastically. That is truly the big difference for me between an emerging market, which is China, and the rest of the Third World.
Latin American countries, Africa, the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent: These countries will basically implode. My guess is—and this is very sad thing to say—but Malthus was completely right. [It’s been] delayed because of technology and industrial revolution, but Malthusian equilibrium will kick in at some point of time. Hundreds of millions of people will perish in the Third World countries because these people have grown in numbers without actually growing in the capacity to generate wealth.
Maurice Jackson: Truly unfortunate and disturbing. Jayant, for someone listening that wants to get more information about your work and Capitalism and Morality, please share the website address.
Jayant Bhandari: Everything I do goes on my website. It's www.jayantbhandari.com and there's a tab on my front page called Capitalism and Morality, which gives videos of all the past seminars and also gives you information about the next seminar.
Maurice Jackson: Before you make your next bullion purchase make sure you call me. I'm a licensed representative for Miles Franklin Precious Metals Investments, where we provide a number of options to expand your precious metals portfolio, from physical delivery, offshore depositories, precious metal IRAs, and private blockchain distributed ledger technology. Call me directly at (855) 505-1900, or you may e-mail [email protected].
Last but not least, please subscribe to www.provenandprobable.com for mining insights and bullion sales. Jayant Bhandari, the founder of Capitalism and Morality, 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.[NLINSERT]
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