Maurice: Today we will find out if we are at risk of losing our liberty to the coronavirus, along with buying opportunities for your investment portfolio. Joining us for a conversation is Mickey Fulp, the world-renowned Mercenary Geologist.
Absolute delight to speak with you sir. Mickey, you are the Mercenary Geologist, but you're equally regarded highly for your views on philosophy and politics, and every time we speak my neurons expand. You and I have shared concerns regarding the erosion of liberty as the federal government and municipalities have been perniciously increasing their influence over the years, and in particular in the response to the coronavirus. Sir, what concerns should we have regarding our liberties that many people are not considering due to the government's response to the coronavirus?
Mickey: Well, I think it really comes from state and local governments now, and rightly so. The state and local governments are responsible ultimately, not the federal government, for instituting policies regarding what I prefer to call the Wuhan flu, but they are increasingly infringing on our basic freedoms as expounded in the Bill of Rights to assemble peacefully, to move about freely, the separation of church and state. You have governments outlawing people's right to congregate and practice their religion, confiscate property without due process.
California now has emergency regulations that allow them to commandeer private property to set up emergency hospitals, and now there are number of euphemisms such as, social distancing, self-isolation, shelter in place. I thought that's what your snowflake generation did when they went to their parents' basement as a safe space. Quarantines, curfews, checkpoints, lockdowns, containment zones. . .what I fear is this will progress to some euphemism for martial law.
Maurice: Truly, truly concerning. Let's discuss the economic policy response. Are you as surprised on how much emphasis the Fed and Congress has placed on the economy rather than on providing supplies toward the hospitals and the true heroes, who are the healthcare workers making so many selfless sacrifices?
Mickey: I think this is a media- [and] government-created economic recession in response to a medical event. There's a saying—never let a good crisis go to waste—and the media and the government have instilled first fear, then panic, then irrationality, now approaching hysteria. That's not to belittle the impact of the Wuhan flu, but let's just step back and put this in perspective. So far, I think as of Friday afternoon, March 27, there are approximately 95,000 confirmed cases in the U.S. and around 1,300 deaths, so do the math.
That's about 1.4%, but that's from the number of people that tested positive. That does not imply the number of people that have had the virus with no symptoms or mild symptoms; these are the people that are extremely ill to begin with. Here's some perspective, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of March 21, for the 2019–2020 flu season so far, 39 million cases, 400,000 hospitalizations and 24,000 deaths.
I'm a bit of a numbers wonk, and let's just do a little thought experiment. We have 95,000 cases, but those are people that are ill enough to get tested. Let's just suppose that those 95,000 cases are even upward of 10x that, with people walking around not even know they have it. They've got a cold, because it is a virus very similar to the common cold. If we assume that 10 times that number actually have been exposed and have antibodies to the virus, then that's 950,000 cases right there.
Then let's go back and do the math on that. That gives us a mortality rate of about 0.1%, which is just about the average of the common flu season that kills on average 36,000 Americans every year.
Maurice: Now, that's truly unfortunate for the victims and the families. But, as you stated, if cooler heads prevail and you put it into perspective—because the opposite response from all the mainstream media is hysteria—I believe we should be proactive in trying to prevent the spread of the disease. But you stated it correctly: "Never let a good crisis go to waste."
Mickey: I'm going to say something fairly radical in today's environment. When it's all said and done, I think that this is going to be a serious illness, a serious flu. I think we will develop a vaccine for it quicker than usual. In retrospect, we will look back at this and say, well, was it as bad as the swine flu in 2009–2010? Was it as bad as 86,000 people, if memory serves, killed during that flu season? What's the ultimate outcome? That remains to be seen, but that's my position right now, and I'm sticking to it.
Maurice: Let's focus back on the economic response here. Our currency is being inflated at an unprecedented rate in the past couple of weeks. What are your thoughts on the economic policy response and the potential ramifications?
Mickey: Simply put, I think if the government—and I include the Federal Reserve as the fourth branch of the United States of America's government—creates $6 trillion on a keyboard to fend off economic recession/depression, which is defined as deflation, then an inflating U.S. dollar must be the result.
Maurice: What ramifications do you foresee on globally on supply and demand of goods and services?
Mickey: We have severe demand destruction. Look at the oil business right now. We have an oil price somewhere between $20 and $25 [per barrel]. It's about $22 as we speak, and that's because of demand destruction. We're producing, on average, 20 million barrels of oil worldwide more than demand, and are simply awash in oil. Carry that on out, and we will be, until supply goes away because of low prices. This demand destruction is going to lead to oversupply and falling prices.
Maurice: That will lead to some buying opportunities, potentially, that we'll get to later on in this conversation. Let me ask you this, is government rewarding bad behavior and if so, how?
Mickey: Well, you can argue that. Let's look at this $2 trillion stimulus package, which includes $75 million for the National Endowment for the Arts; $75 million for the Corporation for Progressive Broadcasting—what I like to refer to it as; $25 million for the Kennedy Center after it was remodeled a couple of years ago at a price of $250 million, so lots of waste there.
Going on with that thought, that bill is rewarding bad behavior because it's giving $1,200 to every American that earns less than a $100,000 a year. Just going to write them a check or probably deposit in your bank account—I don't think they write checks anymore for those sorts of things. This has severely affected a portion of people in this country because they've never saved.
In addition to a usual state where you're able to collect unemployment for a period of six months, some portion of that, they've extended unemployment benefits at 100% for another four months. In New Mexico—and I'm not sure if other states or not—you don't even have to look for a job during that period of time. The idea that people who do not accumulate nest-eggs, who are deeply in debt, who live hand-to-mouth, from paycheck to paycheck, they're certainly going to be adversely affected.
But here comes Uncle Sam, with all these reasons not to work. So someone gets unemployment for six months and they've got another four months of unemployment. If they're minimum wage, what incentive do they have to go back to work?
Maurice: Which leads to my next question, once citizens receive their first stimulus payments for not working, what are the chances of more checks and increased amounts on the horizon by the government?
Mickey: Well, I think everybody has already said in government that this is a start—this $2 trillion plus the $4 trillion the Feds created on a keyboard. There'll be another bailout package, or there'll be another stimulus package, or whatever euphemism they choose to call it. It's not good. The ultimate result of this is we'll default on our debt once again; we've done that twice since 1930.
Maurice: Somewhat counterproductive. You correct me if I'm wrong: If you inflate your currency, the result is higher prices. Well, why are so many people, especially those that advocate for a minimum wage increase, stating that the cost of living is so high, right? There's your culprit. It's the Federal Reserve. It's expansion of our currency.
Maurice: They look at the short term as, I want this paycheck. And now multitrillion-dollar question: Who is going to pay for this; when and how?
Mickey: We ultimately do, as citizens of the United States of America. And I've already said this: It's going to result in a default on the debt, and demise of not only the US dollar—the world’s reserve currency, as this is happening all over the world—ultimately, it will result in a demise of all the world's fiat currencies, and that's the natural order of things. Every fiat currency since the Roman Empire, and perhaps longer than that, has inflated itself and resulted in default. I just can't tell you when that's going to happen.
Maurice: If you, Mickey Fulp, were a member of Congress, what would you recommend as an appropriate economic response?
Mickey: Well, I'm going to call that an inappropriate question because I consider myself an honest and forthright man.
Maurice: I think we can read between the lines on what the response would be, and I would echo that I second that emotion, sir.
Mickey: I think there are a couple of honest politicians: Dr. Ron Paul, when he served in the U.S. Congress and his son, Dr. Rand Paul. Those are honest, forthright men that I admire.
Maurice: Mickey, who is ultimately responsible for the decline and degradation of the United States?
Mickey: It's the politicians that we, the people, voted in. But most importantly, I think it's the Deep State bureaucrats who actually run the government. They are entrenched in jobs for their entire careers, and they answer to no one except the ephemeral bosses that are appointed by one set of politicians or the other that we have elected.
Maurice: Switching gears, do you have any buying opportunities at the moment that you would like to share with us?
Mickey: I think it's not too late to buy gold. That's assuming you can find someone who is selling gold and delivering it promptly, and that's a problem right now.
Maurice: Besides gold, are there any other precious metals that would peak your interest at this time or just gold?
Mickey: Just gold for me.
Maurice: Mickey, how does owning physical precious metals fit into today's discussion?
Mickey: Maurice, I think it's the key ingredient in any recipe to ensure financial security for you and yours.
Maurice: May I ask what are you buying and why?
Mickey: I'm not buying anything this week because gold is up $140 bucks, and it's even more than that, with really huge premiums coming in at this point because of its physical scarcity.
Maurice: Just to caveat to what you're sharing, I had a discussion with Bob Moriarty of 321gold recently. I think he stated: "Anyone who does not own gold is financially ignorant."
Mickey: I would agree with that take, and specifically gold, because gold is the only real money.
Maurice: In closing, sir, what keeps you up at night that we don't know about?
Mickey: Right now, I would say it's the next good novel I'm reading about yet another dystopian society.
Maurice: All right, Mr. Fulp, last question: What did I forget to ask?
Mickey: My website and my Twitter feed: www.mercenarygeologist.com; and my Twitter feed is @mercenarygeo.
Maurice: Before you make your next bullion purchase, be sure you call me. I mean 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.
Mickey Fulp, the Mercenary Geologist, 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]
1) Statements and opinions expressed are the opinions of Maurice Jackson and not of Streetwise Reports or its officers. Maurice Jackson is wholly responsible for the validity of the statements. Streetwise Reports was not involved in any aspect of the article preparation. Maurice Jackson was not paid by Streetwise Reports LLC for this article. Streetwise Reports was not paid by the author to publish or syndicate this article.
3) From time to time, Streetwise Reports LLC and its directors, officers, employees or members of their families, as well as persons interviewed for articles and interviews on the site, may have a long or short position in securities mentioned. Directors, officers, employees or members of their immediate families are prohibited from making purchases and/or sales of those securities in the open market or otherwise from the time of the interview or the decision to write an article until three business days after the publication of the interview or article. The foregoing prohibition does not apply to articles that in substance only restate previously published company releases.
Proven and Probable LLC receives financial compensation from its sponsors. The compensation is used is to fund both sponsor-specific activities and general report activities, website, and general and administrative costs. Sponsor-specific activities may include aggregating content and publishing that content on the Proven and Probable website, creating and maintaining company landing pages, interviewing key management, posting a banner/billboard, and/or issuing press releases. The fees also cover the costs for Proven and Probable to publish sector-specific information on our site, and also to create content by interviewing experts in the sector. Monthly sponsorship fees range from $1,000 to $4,000 per month. Proven and Probable LLC does accept stock for payment of sponsorship fees. Sponsor pages may be considered advertising for the purposes of 18 U.S.C. 1734.
The Information presented in Proven and Probable is provided for educational and informational purposes only, without any express or implied warranty of any kind, including warranties of accuracy, completeness, or fitness for any particular purpose. The Information contained in or provided from or through this forum is not intended to be and does not constitute financial advice, investment advice, trading advice or any other advice. The Information on this forum and provided from or through this forum is general in nature and is not specific to you the User or anyone else. You should not make any decision, financial, investments, trading or otherwise, based on any of the information presented on this forum without undertaking independent due diligence and consultation with a professional broker or competent financial advisor. You understand that you are using any and all Information available on or through this forum at your own risk.