Wednesday, March 31, 2021

He Who Has The Gold Makes the Rules

We all love to remember when we were right, and hate to remember when we were/are wrong. As a moderate depressive, I tend to remember being wrong pretty well, and being right, not as much as your average bear. (being a moose, that is understandable). 

So, I've been wrong about the coming massive financial crash since "1990" ... and have forgone a lot of market gains because of that belief. Fortunately not ALL of the gains, and my much more optimistic wife continues to beat me in the market like a rented mule. 

The linked is a pretty good summary of what I've thought would happen for a long time ... but hasn't. I hope it doesn't happen at all. I don't speak Mandarin, I have grandchildren, and while I think I'm pretty well situated for "whatever comes", evidence shows that I'm frequently wrong, although for the last year or so, my TIPs investments have been looking not as wrong as usual. 

Somebody needs to remind President Biden about the Golden Rule — the real Golden Rule: He who has the gold makes the rules, and we are clean out of ducats.

Jim Rogers, the famous investor, offered a version of that golden rule when explaining why he decamped to the Far East and has raised his daughters speaking Mandarin: “You know where the assets are, and you know where the debts are.” President Bill Clinton, enraged at the way the financial markets constrained his grandiose ambitions, observed ruefully that in his next life he wanted to be reincarnated as the bond market so that he would finally know what it’s like to have some real power. Mann Tracht, Un Gott Lacht, goes the Yiddish proverb: Man plans, and God laughs.

The Jim Rogers linked article from  2010 is worth looking at as well. This part resonated with me ...

And that’s where Rogers’s start-a-farm pitch comes in. He pitches farming the same way he pitches Asia, like it ought to be obvious to you, but, because of some intellectual defect on your part, it isn’t: “It sounds radical, but it’s based on simple facts. Food inventories are the lowest they’ve been in decades — not months, not years, decades. And there’s a shortage of farmers. Japan has vast empty fields where all the farms have died, and the kids have all gone to Tokyo and Osaka. Japanese dislike foreigners, particularly Chinese foreigners, but they’ve started importing Chinese farmers to farm the fields in Japan that don’t have anybody to farm them. The farmers are going to have a future. Smart guys on Wall Street are going to learn to drive tractors, because the guys who can drive tractors are going to be driving Lamborghinis.” Foreseeing a unified Korea, he recommends buying now, just south of the DMZ: cheap land for hardy, self-reliant homesteaders looking to make their fortunes in a new world. Sound familiar?

Sitting here in Iowa, considering buying a couple acres of land so at least hunger would not be a problem. I don't fit in a Lamborghini, but I can drive a pretty sophisticated tractor, so there is that.    

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