On this week's Stansberry Investor Hour, Dan and Corey are joined by an anonymous guest referred to as "Doomberg." He's the head writer of financial newsletter Doomberg and is devoted to remaining anonymous. Doomberg – founded in 2021 by a team of financial consultants, researchers, and former industry executives – aims to highlight the fundamental aspects that are often overlooked in economic and policy decisions.
Dan and Corey kick off the podcast by discussing the likelihood that the Federal Reserve will keep raising interest rates. Despite a surprisingly healthy-looking gross domestic product, inflation is still above the Fed's 2% target, and gasoline prices are now at an eight-month high. Dan remarks...
The more inflation persists... the more likely they are to continue hiking.
Dan also wonders whether the economy will stay healthy and the stock market will remain in mega-bubble territory considering that the current fed-funds rate will probably be kept in place until at least 2024... "This is the most hawkish it has looked," he comments. However, Corey mentions that at the Fed's recent meeting, where it hiked rates by 25 basis points, Chairman Jerome Powell let some "subliminal thoughts" on inflation slip. These thoughts provide a hint to what the Fed may be planning from here.
Next, Doomberg joins the conversation to discuss why he and the rest of his team have decided to remain anonymous... plus how anonymous brands "let the research and editing speak for itself." After that, he shares his thoughts on Ontario's energy-strategy document and how the province is far ahead of the U.S. in its energy journey...
Ontario is a decade ahead of the U.S... Why do we need to waste a trillion [dollars] before we get to what everybody knows is the right answer? And yet, unfortunately, it looks like we will.
Doomberg then discusses his take on climate change. He mentions that he's bullish on the human spirit and the ingenuity required to fight climate change. That said, he believes it's unfair to minimize the impact that modern human development has had on the environment. The state of industrial pollution, for example – especially in China – is a real-world scandal.
We impact the climate. Pollution is a scandal. The effects of climate change over the long term are far more likely to be economically reacted to as opposed to prevented.
When addressing the issue of Western corporations dealing with Chinese producers, Doomberg points out the hypocrisy in overlooking environmental regulations. He notes that these practices have contributed to China's dominance in certain industries, which furthers global climate concerns.
Finally, Doomberg concludes with the prospect of a gold-backed currency and nuclear power. He and Dan discuss the ongoing anti-nuclear propaganda and the need to reevaluate the public perception of nuclear energy as a viable and safe solution to climate change. Doomberg emphasizes the significance of a well-informed and balanced approach to navigating the climate-change conversation...
The greatest thing that people who are worried about carbon emissions and climate change could do to affect that is to unwind the negative propaganda that suffocates the civilian nuclear-power industry.
Doomberg - founded in 2021 by a team of financial consultants, researchers, and former industry executives - aims to highlight the fundamental aspects that are often overlooked in economic and policy decisions.
Dan Ferris: Hello and welcome to the Stansberry Investor Hour. I'm Dan Ferris. I'm the editor of Extreme Value and The Ferris Report, both published by Stansberry Research.
Corey McLaughlin: And I'm Corey McLaughlin, editor of the Stansberry Digest. Today, Dan interviews the online financial personality known as Doomberg.
Dan Ferris: And today Corey and I will talk about GDP, inflation, gasoline prices – you get the picture, right?
Corey McLaughlin: And remember, if you want to ask us a question or tell us what's on your mind, e-mail us at [email protected].
Dan Ferris: That and more right now on the Stansberry Investor Hour.
I think some people are wondering about what picture do I get, Dan? What do GDP, gasoline prices, inflation, what's the picture?
Corey McLaughlin: A rosy picture?
Dan Ferris: Well, could be. Could be. I mean, just sort of round – big ideas, 30,000 feet, gas prices at an eight-month high, gasoline prices eight-month high right after a 3% CPI print, and a surprisingly healthy looking GDP print. So it's looking like something here maybe. Maybe are we resurging inflation or are we just a lot healthier? Is the economy just growing and it's healthy?
Corey McLaughlin: It's a little bit of both. It's a mixed picture. Although, if you watch stocks, you'd say it's a great picture, the way the stock market's been behaving recently, but economy, the GDP number, like you said, came in 2.4%. That's annualized growth for the second quarter. Within that, you had consumer spending was still up 1.6%, but that was way down from the first quarter, 4.2%. And then you had business investment was really way up, almost near 8% in the second quarter, and it was under 1% in the first quarter.
And all that business investment, a lot of that – there's a lot of government spending involved in that, too, with the EV-battery initiatives and the computer-chip manufacturing. So it reminds you the government can do a lot here to boost GDP if it wants. But it shows that the consumer side of things hasn't cratered yet. It's slowing, the consumer-spending part, compared to earlier in the year and last year for sure, but still hasn't gotten to the point where it's affecting everybody significantly yet.
And I think part of that is because the job market's still – I mean, unemployment is still really low, and so people haven't lost on balance their jobs, and so the spending keeps going. And that inevitably can lead to maybe the higher inflation given the rising gas prices you just mentioned. So there's a lot going on there. Mixed picture, though, I would say.
Dan Ferris: Yeah, mixed picture. That's – we should just fall back on that one every week, man. I like the sound of that. But it's interesting. Of course, I have to mention while we're talking about the mixed picture, I have to mention the FedWatch Tool. The current fed-fund rate has the greatest probability now out until May '24. This thing has just been telling – it's been saying, "Oh, we got this wrong, let's readjust, we got this wrong, let's readjust constantly." This is the most talkish it's looked because they're saying, OK, well rates higher for longer finally, you know. So the range is 5.25% to 5.5 %out to May '24. I'm like, OK, well maybe these are smart people and they're eventually going to figure it out. Meanwhile, we're seeing – I'm seeing stories that kind of just toss off this notion, well, we've seen the last rate hike. The market thinks we've seen the last rate hike.
Corey McLaughlin: Heard that one before.
Dan Ferris: Yeah, complacence is what – in markets, I think, is the trend in markets. Equity valuations at – by CAPE ratio were in mega-bubble territory still, 30 times earnings, 30 times S&P cyclically adjusted, inflation adjusted earnings, and even like price to sales above 2 in the S&P is really historically expensive. And like Monday, if you want anecdotal, Monday, on a nonevent... AMC Theaters, that stock was up like 70% premarket and then it finished the day up 32% on nothing. And meanwhile, that same day, the CEO comes out and says like four or five times in a letter to shareholders we must raise equity, we could go bankrupt, we must raise equity, bankruptcy, bankruptcy, bankruptcy. Said it three times.
Corey McLaughlin: They're not out of business yet? Geez.
Dan Ferris: Yeah, no, they're not. And you know, the meme stalker saved them again.
Corey McLaughlin: Yeah, I've been saying lately it seems like the "animal spirits" are out a little bit in terms of this recent run. I wrote about this week a cardboard-box company – the Packaging Corporation of America – which basically makes boxes for thousands of large and small companies in the U.S. Their shares went up 10% on their earnings in one day just from beatings earnings per share. The revenue is still down from a year ago, but they beat earnings per share because of cost cutting. And their shares went up 10%. You had the Dow up, up until recently, 13 days in a row is the Dow Jones Industrial Average, so it's – there's a lot. People are getting certainly giddy, I think, at the prospect of inflation still coming down. But it could surprise again, in the central bank speak, to the upside, and then we're in a higher for longer and longer environment.
I will say also this past week we had another Fed meeting, and Jerome Powell let another one of his subliminal thoughts slip when he said that he didn't think inflation was going back down to 2% until 2025. If people aren't listening to these things that you let slip every once in a while like they should... because every once in a while, you get some insight into what they're actually thinking.
And yeah, but he did say we would cut rates before inflation gets to 2% also, implying that they would expect something bad to be happening once inflation gets down to that level. So it's – I don't know, you can kind of see what's coming here, I think. Inflation will either stay a bit higher for longer or it will kind of come down to a point where the Fed wants to or has the need to stimulate the economy again, which will reinflate things, and here we are. It's like on and on it goes. It's not –
Dan Ferris: Exactly. And to the point, really to the point, what I hear in there, I agree with this thinking. The more inflation persists, the more we get these core CPI or core PCE is the one the Fed likes, the more it stays up in this sort of 4.5% to 5% ballpark, the more they're – more likely they are to continue hiking. The more hawkish – you know, that's what keeps them hawkish. So it becomes – it's sort of "low prices is the cure for low prices or kind of a scenario." The more it stays this way, the worse it'll eventually be because they'll have to – they'll get more aggressive and they'll say, OK, well we've got to really beat this thing down. And the more it sort of steels their resolve, the less core inflation seems affected by anything that's happened so far, the more their resolve is bolstered. So yeah, I agree with you there. It's an odd time. And one of the worst aspects of all this is we're sitting here talking about it over and over again. We're not supposed to – the Fed is supposed to be like this little utility on the side of the economy. It's not supposed to be like this.
Corey McLaughlin: They're the umpires, right? They should be seen and not heard or not seen or not heard or whatever you want to say it. Yeah, you're right. Yeah, we are talking about it again. I think the key moving ahead is like I don't think the inflation issue will be completely gone until the jobs market weakens significantly because that's kind of the key to this whole thing.
Dan Ferris: We know that's one of their big data points.
Corey McLaughlin: So until that happens and the consumer spending gets to a point where businesses can't turn profits anymore from any more cost cutting, I think we're in the status quo. That may be good for the markets in the short term. But eventually you'll get to a point where it won't, and then we're thinking probably at that point, way down the road, where's inflation at that point. Are we in this kind of inflation era again? Once they cut rates, I can imagine people will be like oh my gosh, we can't be cutting rates when inflation's at 3% or whatever. But that's way down the road.
Dan Ferris: Right. Way down the road being, what, two years? Who knows? But maybe, yeah. All right, we've gone down our macro rathole once again. Maybe I'll talk a little bit about the conference that I spoke at earlier this week. It was great, actually. I was there Monday and Tuesday and most of Wednesday and left Wednesday afternoon. I missed Robert Friedland, the billionaire mining entrepreneur who's the head of Ivanhoe Mines that's working their huge copper deposit. He says it's going to be the second-largest mining complex in the world in Democratic Republic of Congo. Didn't get to see him talk. I love him. He's a fantastic speaker, but there were others like, of course.
Grant Williams gives phenomenal presentations. We have to get him back on the show real soon. I saw James Rickards speak. He talks like a Washington insider. He's an interesting guy. And I don't always agree with everything everybody says, but they're interesting speakers. And of course, it was the Rule Investment conference. It's the Rick Rule conference, or the Rule Symposium, I think he called it. So you know, there's like 20 or 30 of these little mining companies that are the best of the best that he vets, and I know some of those people. Rudy Fromm was there from Seabridge. We know him real well. And others.
It's funny, once I wrote about Altius Minerals back in 2009 for the first time, I wrote about it, it was a small-cap stock, readers loved the story, and the price popped up. Everywhere I went, people said, "There's that guy that made Altius go up." So I don't know, maybe they still remember or something. Then I wrote about Sprott in 2018 and had a similar effect there. But you know, people come up to me and, "Dan Ferris, hi, I'm from XYZ Mining."
So that was fun talking to all those people, but it was fun talking onstage. It was fun. I talked about my – we have this thing in Extreme Value, one of the newsletters I write, called the Commodity Supercycles portfolio. It's for Extreme Value premier readers. We used to call them "lifetime," but we're not allowed to do that anymore, so we call them premier because you sign up and you get the letter indefinitely, let's say, not for a lifetime, indefinitely. So we have this thing, and there's a copper stock in there, and I just talked about copper and recommended another copper mining stock in The Ferris Report, which came out a couple days ago.
And so that – you know, I had copper on the brain, and that's what I talked about. I mentioned the hypercycle idea, which is basically we've just seen – we're still living through the biggest top of the biggest financial-asset mega bubble. So, financial assets aren't attractive anymore. Too much capital went into them. It's coming out. Too little capital went into things like copper mining, and that's where it'll come out of the financial assets, go into the hard assets, just generally over the next decade or so.
So the commodity I had on my mind was copper because I've written a ton about it in the last week or so, and there's a lot of interesting stats that I found. I mentioned Robert Friedland. So we've been using copper for 10,000 years in good quantities like longer than any other metal that humans have used. And in that time, we've mined 700 million tons of it, and like 95% of that since 1900, but overall 700 million tons. Friedland says in the next two decades, we're going to need another 700 million tons. All the copper ever mined, we're going to need that much in the next 20 years. So whoa. He said 22 years a year ago, so whatever you want to make out of that.
I was like, wow, where are we going to get that from because it kind of doesn't exist. Those mines don't exist. This one guy said we're going to need eight new Escondida mines every year for the next eight years we're going to need a new one. That's the biggest copper mine in the world, the biggest mine of any kind in the world. We're going to need all this copper, but exploration has gone to nothing. It's been dramatically reduced over the past few years.
Corey McLaughlin: How long does it take to start a mine from scratch until it's operational? I imagine it takes some time, right?
Dan Ferris: If you're just talking about – it takes, from the beginning of the exploration process to the end of building a mine, S&P Global says it averages 23 years, and building the mine is like three years. It's just like permitting the mine is like seven to nine years, and building it is like three. So this isn't like the guy who started eBay. I think he wrote the code over a weekend. Zuckerberg wrote Facebook in two weeks. This isn't like that. This is different.
Corey McLaughlin: Yeah, wow. So if you're talking 20 years of – you need a lifetime of demand in 20 years and it takes 20 years to get new mines operational, yeah, that's – there you go.
Dan Ferris: We're a generation away from what we need. It's just like – so the price has to go way north of here, and I'm saying copper needs to be $10 a pound for reasons that I explain in The Ferris Report this month to get – to really start to attract enough capital to do that. And it's what? Less than $4, so something's going to have to give in the next few years. I think it's going to be – just call it three to five years or something. And if there's an intervening recession along the way, that'll add a year or so, but whatever. You can't predict recessions. So if you can't buy copper now, maybe you can't ever buy it.
Corey McLaughlin: Sounds good to me. Yeah, makes – I can see why copper's been on your brain for the last two weeks at least.
Dan Ferris: Yeah. I mean, yeah, for longer than that, but like last two weeks my conviction has shot through the roof as I dove into the research.
Corey McLaughlin: Cool. Sounds like you had a good time.
Dan Ferris: All right, well let's do something we've never done before in the history of the podcast and speak with an anonymous guest. First ever on the Stansberry Investor Hour, so let's talk with Doomberg. Let's do it right now.
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It's time for our interview, and today's guest is a first for the Stansberry Investor Hour, an anonymous guest. His name is Doomberg, and Doom, welcome to the show.
Doomberg: Yeah, great. Nice to be here, and probably the first chicken to be a guest on this prestigious podcast as well, I'm guessing.
Dan Ferris: That's right. Two firsts.
Doomberg: We're trailblazers. What can I tell you?
Dan Ferris: So I just want to make sure, are you devoted to remaining anonymous? I mean, you are –
Doomberg: Yeah, so I'm the head writer of Doomberg. Doomberg is a team, so one of the reasons why we decide to identify as a green chicken is to depersonify the group effort that we've done in creating this business and this brand. A second reason is it's a little bit harder to cancel a set of ideas than it is to cancel a person. And unfortunately, in today's culture, when somebody doesn't like what you're saying, it's oftentimes an easier target to discredit the person for some unrelated reason, not that we have some weird skeletons in our closet that we're trying to hide. And then third, it's mostly for brand. In fact, when we started Doomberg two years ago and change, we had no social media footprint whatsoever, and if it were to be one of us as the face of Doomberg, then we would just be another middle-aged person on Twitter, whereas creating the green chicken, it really stands out when you're scrolling through Twitter, and we grew an audience on Twitter by contributing to that platform original content and then earning people's follows and then carting some of them over to Substack where we write six to eight articles a month and built that pretty impressive e-mail list and went paid a year and a bit ago, and we blew up far beyond what we could have ever imagined when we started it.
And we have studied when anonymous brands de-anonymize, and oftentimes concurrent with such a "revelation" there's a collapse in the brand mystique. And so the green chicken has just become part of who we are. There's scores of people on Wall Street – hundreds of people on Wall Street who know who we are. Stripe knows who we are. Substack knows who we are. We've met them all in person. We flew up to their headquarters given the success we've had on the platform. We're not ashamed of who we are... we just decided to maintain the green chicken as the forward-facing element of our brand and then let our research, writing, and editing speak for itself.
Dan Ferris: I see. I see. It makes a lot of sense, so please don't ever abandon the green chicken. We don't want the brand to go away.
Doomberg: Yeah, we love it too much. In all transparency, it's been an unbelievable blast, a complete unexpected, life-changing, enormous success that secures the financial future of many across our families, and we are very blessed to have found the thing that we were meant to be doing in life, and if anybody listening is so fortunate, we would say that when you find what it is you were meant to do, just keep doing it. It's not that complicated. And so that's what we intend to do is keep doing what we love, write these pieces, research these pieces, appear as guests on podcasts, help other content creators surf the sea of abundance one might say, and count our blessings that we have discovered what it is we were meant to do.
Dan Ferris: Excellent. I'm going to ask you a question at the end of the show. Won't tell you what it is. It's the same for every guest, and you've covered a couple of things that could function as answers. But let's talk about what you do because I'm a subscriber of yours on Substack and I enjoy what you do. You seem mostly devoted – in the beginning, I just thought of you guys as energy analysts. That was the primary thing, but you're not afraid of other topics, are you?
Doomberg: No, we're not. I'd say just as background, one of the things that makes Doomberg unique is the fact that we all come from industry. We have several decades of relevant direct commodity and energy experience on our team, and very few people from industry ever get in the public conversation, blogs, Substack's podcast because they are shielded from such conversations via their public affairs teams and/or they're worried about losing their options and RSUs. We suffer from no such constraints, and so we bring this combination of finance, science, and relevant industrial experience to topical issues of the day. I would say 70% of what we write about are energy and related commodities. We do some meme stocks or other trending topics of the day, a bit of crypto. We started out a little more crypto before the energy crisis unfolded in 2021, which of course we covered quite extensively.
But if something interesting happens, obviously we're big believers in freedom of speech and the whole debanking movement for political purposes and so on, and so if something catches our eye and we think our readers would be interested in our take on it, we're not afraid to write about it, but mostly energy because that's our domain expertise. We try really hard to limit what we comment on to things that we feel like we can add a unique angle to, which normally is derived from some basis of expertise, and so we try really hard, on the flip side, to not speak about that which we don't know very much about, which I think helps build credibility with our audience that if we're willing to publish on something, it means we've done the work and we believe what we're writing.
Dan Ferris: Yeah, that selectivity, boy, really comes through in every piece you put out. The new one, cheat codes about Ontario, is a perfect example. I haven't seen this anywhere else, and you know, I read the little lead-in sentence here. It says, "Ontario is a decade ahead of the U.S. in its energy journey," and I immediately thought, well that must be a terrible thing, but no, it's not, is it. I'm surprised that – it appears that the government of Ontario has learned something. Like when does that ever happen?
Doomberg: Well, actually, great question. It happens after the voters revolt. And so let's tell a bit of the story. In 2009, the ruling liberal party of Ontario passed what was then known as the Green Energy Act, and even though at that time Ontario already got a vast majority of its electricity from nuclear and renewable hydropower, precious little of it was from hydrocarbons to begin with, the government decided for the children, of course, that they would rush headlong into solar, wind, and biomass and various other green technologies of the day. And you can imagine how well that went. In fact, the entire affair is a very suitable preview for what we will undoubtedly see as a consequence of the firehose of cash flowing out of Washington, D.C., in support of the so-called Inflation Reduction Act.
But as you can imagine, this evolved into a scandal, one of the great political scandals in Canadian history, and as we said in the piece, it turns out that this act was nothing more than an expensive cocktail of grift and mismanagement. In fact, things got so bad that they moved billions of dollars of annual expenses from ratepayers' monthly bills onto the general ledger, and all told, these ironclad feed and tariff agreements that they signed, which of course enriched all manner of insider cronies and so on, will cost Ontario roughly $60 billion Canadian, and as we said in the piece, on a per-capita basis, this is the equivalent of the U.S. wasting about $1 trillion, which is what we suspect will be the total damage of the Inflation Reduction Act by the time we're done.
And then in 2018, the voters had enough and they voted the liberal party almost out of existence. It was their worst showing in their 161-year history, and they didn't even achieve official party status, and Doug Ford was swept in as the premier of Ontario, and in the intervening years, he has embarked on a remarkable reconciliation with physics. And they have decided correctly that the future of Ontario will be powered by nuclear. And in the span of just the last few weeks, they put out an impressive 86-page energy strategy document. They announced a new large reactor bill plan at the Bruce nuclear power station, which is already the largest operating nuclear power plant in the world. That capacity looks set to double. They quadrupled the number of small modular reactors that are set to be built at the Darlington new nuclear site, and the push to save the existing Pickering nuclear power plant, which was led in no small part by our good friend, Dr. Chris Keefer at Canadians for Nuclear Energy. At least the advocacy for that decision was led by him and his team. That has made significant progress as well.
And so when you put it all together, Ontario is a decade ahead of the U.S., and the second part of that social preview that you had read the first part of is let's just go ahead and skip the in-between. What are we doing? Why do we need to waste $1 trillion before we get to what everybody knows is the right answer? And yet, unfortunately, it looks like we will.
Dan Ferris: Yeah, we will because, in my opinion, isn't it – it's like there's an unstoppable political momentum about these things that you rightly point out flies in the face of physics itself, and having a government face up to the realities of the physical world, it actually gives me quite a bit of hope.
Doomberg: Yeah, say what you will about the Ford brothers. Doug's late brother was quite the, let's say, high-profile mayor of the City of Toronto and had his fair share of rather odd run-ins with the media, but Doug Ford is, by all measures, a prudent, responsible politician who is pondering the long-term energy security of his province, and they are funding projects today that will secure carbon-free, reliable baseload grid power for decades to come, and hopefully history is as kind to him as we were in that piece.
Dan Ferris: Doom, is all this climate stuff real?
Doomberg: You know –
Dan Ferris: I purposely made an open-ended, just vague question.
Doomberg: Let me give you our view. We would fade climate alarmism. We are far more bullish the human spirit and its potential for ingenuity to react to changing climate, either driven by natural forces or by our own impact on the environment. I don't think that it is – it is unfair to minimize the impact that modern human development has had on the environment. We are acutely aware of our responsibility to leave to our children and their children a clean planet that allows as many humans and other species to thrive as possible, and I would partition between industrial pollution and climate change, and I think a state of industrial pollution, especially in the Asia, China, developing world, is a real scandal that needs to be addressed.
Having personally competed against the Chinese in the commodity sector, I can tell you that many of the big-name B-to-C, big brand customers of the West are absolute and total hypocrites when it comes to demanding that Western producers meet unfair request for proposals that Chinese producers put in front of them. And when we point out that the savings that they are delivering to these brands are derived from theft of intellectual property and utter destruction of their local environment in ways that we would never do or even dream of doing in the West, they look at you with a cold stare and say that's for the courts to decide. This is our price. If you can't meet it, you'll lose the business. Which is how China has come to dominate solar and various other supply chains and have us over the barrel on such technologies.
And so we impact the climate. Pollution is a scandal. The effects of climate change over the long term are far more likely to be economically reacted to as opposed to prevented, and so we wrote a piece about the end of the drought in the California and out west and the Colorado River situation, and we quoted how 13% of the downstream demand was negotiated away by the Biden administration in exchange for $1.2 billion in federal funds. And boy, for you and me, $1.2 billion would be a lot, but a federal allocator in D.C. might not bend over to pick up such a paltry sum if it were lying on the sidewalk. It's amazing how much $1.2 billion of abatement investment could do while we're spending hundreds of billions of dollars in some fruitless endeavor to prevent climate change, or whatever that even means. And so it's – I think it's incorrect to flippantly dismiss environmental concerns as a fraud or a hoax. I just think our limited funds will be far better invested in reacting to real consequences as they arise as opposed to trying to proactively control what is ultimately the nonlinear chaotic system such as the weather.
Dan Ferris: Right. Right. Exactly that. Exactly the problem of viewing or purporting some ability of human beings to put their hands on a thermostat dial and hit these global average temperature targets which seem absolutely fraudulent and absurd to me.
Doomberg: And very difficult to measure.
Dan Ferris: That's right. Never mind the data sets and the age and the quality of some of them, age being very young, and the quality. It's just – it's too absurd to me. All that's too absurd, but we can't ignore the giant islands of garbage floating in the ocean, etc., etc., the way China scorches the landscape in their own country, and so forth.
Doomberg: And then the similar practices being deployed across Africa today as they execute the Belt and Road Initiative, and again, having competed against them, you cannot compete on price when your competitor's water treatment facility is a pipe to the river. And that's just real. I have competed against such enterprises. Sure they've gotten better over time, but we're sort of big to small. And the other thing is the propaganda on this is so thick, and anytime you have hundreds of billions of dollars on the line, the deluge of propaganda makes people like us want to just turn our brains off and ignore it all, which I think is actually what they were trying to do and we shouldn't allow them to, which is one of the reasons why we write the things we do and try to use the logic and the storytelling and the statistics, and everything we write, of course, is sourced, and we include the links both to expose other people's work to our audience and also to show the audience the basis of the conclusions we draw as we link these topics together.
But as we said in the piece titled "Wet Blanket" talking about the deluge of water that California now finds itself in. For years, all we heard was drought was stone cold truth of climate change. And in the piece, we quote an NBC News article titled "Climate in Crisis: Lake Reforms Causing Flooding," and they ironically claim that this is just another example of now what's called "weather whiplash" due to the influence of climate change, which can make extreme and more intense events more frequent. And we say in the piece, if everything is climate change, then nothing is climate change. I mean, let's get real.
Dan Ferris: Yeah, I mean, I'm glad you mentioned propaganda. Of course, anybody who knows good old Joe Goebbels knows that you pick your lie and you stick to it, which that's maybe part of the reason why what happened in Ontario surprised me so much because pick your lie and stick to it is practically how governments are run in large, developed countries nowadays. They never admit to wrongdoing, even when faced with smoking guns and smoking laptops and things.
Doomberg: I think there is – we should say that political change is possible, and as we have said on many occasions, if we keep starving ourselves of energy, which of course is just life, people will revolt. In this case, the message couldn't have been more clear. The party ran on repealing the act. It was one of the first things they did. And perhaps the most surprising part is they've continued to govern in the exact precise way they promised to when they ran for election. And I would say – one of the things we had written in the piece but our editor took it out because it was sort of perhaps too self-congratulatory, but this comprehensive 86-page document we can assure you that our readers will find it nowhere except on Doomberg. It won't be reported in the New York Times. It won't be reported in the Washington Post. Even the so-called conservative media won't report on it unless one of them happened to have read it in Doomberg.
On the flip side, we shall say that this inefficiency in the way in which the media does its job and the fact that it is essentially just propaganda for the progressive liberal elite establishment of the U.S. coasts is that this is a huge market inefficiency that we have been able to carve out a very nice business in. And so for that, at least we're grateful to the media for dropping the ball on doing their job. So in a local way, this is good for us, but of course, at the societal level it was a complete threat to freedom and to democracy itself because once a state media apparatus can be overtaken by permanent bureaucracies in Washington, D.C., then the rest of us are going to be in a world of hurt.
Dan Ferris: Doom, I need to switch topics on you a little bit just so I remember to ask you about something. I have a personal curiosity about – since I have you here – about Doomberg Pro. If I upgrade, what do I get?
Doomberg: So Doomberg Pro is a higher-price tier of our offering. So our monthly and annual subscribers get our full articles. So we publish five to eight articles a month. Our target is 84 a year, which averages seven. Some months have 28 days and others have 31, you know how it goes. We don't publish to a deadline, so we only publish a piece when it's ready. Our Pro tier is for our most loyal fans, and in exchange for a higher premium, they get a Pro-tier e-mail where we are routinely answering our Pro tier members' questions with sort of our own in-depth research, off-the-record comments when they reach out to us and they want to shoot something by us, we're more than happy to help. But also the main product is a monthly webinar which we title "The Doom Zoom," where most of the time it's a fixed presentation created by the Doomberg team, and oftentimes we bring in high-profile outside guests, and the key element of those Doom Zooms is our subscribers get to participate in an open Q&A either directly with the Doomberg team or with the guests that we've had.
So we've had such luminaries as Jim Grant, Grant Williams, Mike Green, Steph Pomboy, and they prepare a presentation for our Pro members, and then we have 25 to 30 minutes of questions where our readers, investors, money managers, or whatever their roles are in life get the chance to ask these experts or ourselves penetrating questions and hear them directly. And Pro subscribers get the recordings to all of the previous ones when they sign up. And so it's a way for – to give more to our most loyal fans and for our most loyal fans to express their economic support to the Doomberg team. A small portion of our subscribers choose to upgrade to Pro, which is about what we expected when we modeled the product.
Dan Ferris: So as – it's a more – sounds like more practical for a really serious investor.
Doomberg: Yeah, or somebody who wants to learn or an academic or pick your favorite. When an e-mail from a Doomberg Pro subscriber comes in, we are very quick to answer it as thoroughly as we can. We have a dedicated e-mail address just for that cohort. Of course, but any subscriber writes us an e-mail, they will get an answer. We can't promise that with people who don't pay to subscribe send us an e-mail to complain about something, they're unlikely to get a response. One of our rules is that we're more than happy to be trolled, but you should at least pay us for the privilege. But by and large, Pro is for the sort of price-agnostic, knowledge hungry, sophisticated reader/investor, as you characterize.
Dan Ferris: Right. Also I have selfish reasons where it looks like we may be competing with you to some smaller degree, so I want to know what's in there.
Doomberg: I follow – obviously, we've studied all content creators in the finance space. One thing that we – one of our core philosophies is we help other content creators to the maximum extent possible, and we try to build as much goodwill. And so I would not characterize us as competitors. I would characterize us as contemporaries. Everybody has their own unique product, and we give away all manner of free advice and absorb the tips and tricks of the trade that other successful people are willing to share with us with no expectation about reciprocating or anything like that, but just because it's a better way to live, and we have more than enough.
Doomberg has succeeded so wildly beyond our craziest dreams that while we have a conscious effort to never succumb to the disease of more. When you have way more than enough, what does the increment of more do for you? Nothing as it turns out. I have a limited number of days left on this planet. I hope it's a very big number. My intent is to live absolutely every single one of those days to the maximum extent possible. I have found what I was meant to be doing in life, and I intend to savor each day, to attack each day with – to quote Jim Harbaugh – an enthusiasm unknown to mankind. And any day that I don't do that is a wasted one, and having been blessed with this privilege, I don't intend to squander it.
Dan Ferris: All right, maybe I'll pick another topic from your Substack because I want readers to get to know you as well as – or listeners. I always call them readers because they've been reading me longer than they've been listening. I want listeners to get to know you as well as possible. You wrote a piece recently that asked "Is a gold-backed bricks currency on the horizon?" and if so, what might it mean? I personally have kind of dismissed this, and I haven't thought that it was that important. What's your take on it?
Doomberg: In that piece, which was a bit of a different one, following on the previous answer, we actually reached out to five other high-profile content creators, and they all agreed to go on record with us and give us their thoughts on it, so after introducing the background and the concept once we went behind the paywall, we had again, Mike Green, Luke Roman, Brett Johnson, Grant Williams, and the anonymous author at [inaudible] Research, which is a really great Substack that we wanted to highlight. And our conclusion was that it doesn't matter to us because we don't own gold for speculative purposes. We own gold as one of the ways in which we save excess earnings.
And as we said in the piece, our personal financial strategies have three pillars. We earn money in fiat. We save by buying real assets such as gold and collectibles, and then we invest privately where we can personally impact the outcome. And so within that context, gold plays an important role, but whether or not the bricks currency arises to compete with the U.S. dollar, well, we live and operate and earn and pay taxes and follow the laws of the U.S.-dollar fiat system, and that's unlikely to change. And whether it causes the price of gold to go up or down is not really relevant to us. It's not why we own gold. It's not our vehicle for speculation. And the prospect of a competitor to the U.S. dollar is not going to compel us to change our current allocation in any way.
If you pushed me, I would say the prospects of them executing this are highly unlikely, but in our view, the actions that the U.S. has taken with regard to the Russian reserves, for example, certainly motivates other countries to try. The U.S.-dollar system benefits a small number of countries at the expense of a huge swath of the global population, and so it's unsurprising to us that they would seek alternatives. But the U.S. is not going to just sit around and let this happen. Ask Saddam Hussein and Muammar Khaddafi how that worked out when they tried to create credible challenges to the U.S. dollar hegemony. And so lots of countries would like to do so. The motivation to try is there. We think it's going to be harder and longer than perhaps the Fintwit community might think and believe if you spend too much time on Twitter. And the value of the U.S. dollar in the unlikely event that such an effort succeeds is incredibly challenging to model, and so it's kind of Pascal's wager, I guess, and we just sort of watch it and then react accordingly, but in the end, we close the piece by saying that a bedrock philosophy of prudence is when in doubt do nothing. So other than keeping an intellectually curious eye on these events and perhaps writing about it on our Substack, that's what we certainly intend to do.
Dan Ferris: I think what you're referring to on Fintwit, maybe the constant de-dollarization narrative. And I'm actually shocked at some of the folks who take it seriously.
Doomberg: So it's an interesting thing. We talked earlier about what we read about. We joke on the team that if all we ever wrote about was gold, we'd be three times as big because anytime we write about gold, we get a deluge of new subscribers and lots of likes and shares.
Dan Ferris: You understand the business well.
Doomberg: Yes. And so for example, the little inside baseball, but the most successful piece we've ever written from a revenue perspective was a piece called "Golden Handcuffs" where we came to the defense of the crypto world even though we're highly skeptical of that industry as a whole. The tactics that were being used to roll out the crypto world should give everybody pause, and in the piece we described how those exact same tactics could be used once again to outlaw the private ownership of gold. And literally just because we wrote about gold, we had – the piece generated countless eyeballs, went viral, tons and tons of new subscribers, and we're very thrilled to have them all, but one couldn't be forgiven for succumbing to the seductive power of the feedback loop of writing about gold and growing your business. That is not the blog we wish to write. We write about gold when we have something important to say about it in our view, and we will continue to write about the things that we're passionate about.
But it would be very, very easy to set up a gold newsletter given what we know about social media and how to build an audience and have more, back to the disease of more since we don't need it. We would rather have the fun and the thrill of only writing about things that we care about. Our goal is every piece we publish feels like the best one we've ever done, otherwise we just simply don't publish it. And so I can't read our early pieces. I can't read our pieces from a year ago because we have this mindset of continuous improvement. Why did this piece land? Where was the cut to paid? What was the opening story? What was the thumbnail? How did it end? Did we bring people to water and let them drink or did we try to force the glass of water down their mouths? Our editing is great. Anytime we have a typo, it drives us nuts. We are maniacal about product quality, and so we would rather just focus on that. And our audience, I think, appreciates that and knows that about us and respects us, which is why we have such good renewal rates and have grown the business that we have.
Dan Ferris: Yeah, the – I'll talk a tiny bit of inside baseball. The traditional – what you may call the traditional newsletter, financial newsletter business was pretty much born at kitchen tables as it exists today. It was born at kitchen tables by people writing about gold in the '70s. And our business has its roots firmly there, writing about gold and actually travel of all things.
Doomberg: I guess people want to hold their gold overseas and so they combine their vacations with scouting missions for various custodians.
Dan Ferris: Yeah. So it was – looking back, they seem like 90% wingnuts, and the fact that we've sort of gotten more serious about research, in-depth real research I think is a great development. And I think Doomberg is actually an outcropping of that. What's happened with the level of quality has gone way up. It used to be people like – people buying gold stocks frontrunning their readers kind of a thing. They're promoting and selling to their readers and stuff, and that was almost what the whole game was. But now it's virtually none of that. I won't say none, but very little, and it's serious research all over the place, some of it for free here and there. It's amazing.
Doomberg: Yeah, we were free for the better part of a year. And look, we don't own things that we write about, and if we have any tangential ownership, we disclose it. Like for example, we talked about how we all fizz, you know, the Sprott Physical Gold Trust and that trades on the stock market. Now, we're not going to affect that price, and to some readers that's unfortunate because it means we don't have "skin in the game." So there's a slice of the newsletter consumer sector that likes to know that they're alongside their authors, win, lose or draw, as my old friend might joke. We're with you win or tie. They're happy to celebrate your wins, but once you lose once, all those fond memories go away. But to others, I think it does give us the credibility and the freedom really, the editorial freedom to say what we truly believe about these products. And we don't – it's just not what we do. There's plenty of investing newsletters out there that do great research. There's trading newsletters. There's all manner of Discord chatrooms and Slack rooms and so on, and those are fine, and to the extent they follow the applicable securities laws, I hope they all succeed. It's just not the product we do. And as you say, quality is really – the barrier to entry in this business has never been lower, and the barrier to success has never been higher. It's a really fascinating time to be in it.
Dan Ferris: It is. It's not what it used to be even 10 years ago for us. So let's just pick one more topic before we head to the final question that I ask every guest. Maybe I should let you pick it, actually. I'm just looking down your list of posts on Substack, but I should ask you – I want to know is there something right now, right this minute that's kind of burning your brain up that you're looking into, maybe you haven't written about it yet? What's on your mind?
Doomberg: So the thing I'm always maniacally focused on is the next piece, and we published cheat codes yesterday, which means I'm now on the clock to produce another piece. I do the researching, writing, and social media, and I have a great editor in chief, and we're a very small team and operations and so on. And so my focus right now is this enormous anti-nuclear propaganda. It's a follow-on piece to cheat codes and how could it be that you've never heard of this renaissance in Ontario. And why it is that we have been conditioned to be so afraid of civilian nuclear energy technology. And the piece is tentatively titled "Frame of Reference." We'll see if that title can't be improved between now and publication day, but the core of it is we tell an opening story of a hydroelectric dam collapse in China where the numbers are a bit sketchy because it happened in the '70s, but upwards of 250,000 people died as a result of this series of calamities. Died. We talk about a train derailment in Quebec where 47 people passed away in a hellish inferno when a train derailed carrying Bakken crude through this small town of 6,000 people. Or how two workers in – on top of a wind turbine that caught fire. Firefighters couldn't get them down, and this tragic photo which, out of respect to the families, we won't reproduce in our piece, of the two of them hugging atop this wind turbine moments before one leapt to his death and the other succumbed to the smoke and ultimately the flames.
We tell these stories because these are tragedies that are borne from the hard, dirty work of producing energy. And you can find no comparable stories in the nuclear industry whatsoever. Yes, Fukushima happened. How many people died as a result of that? None, actually. Three Mile Island, none. Chernobyl, far less than what the media would have you believe. And we have this irrational fear of radiation, and people have been conditioned to convolute thermonuclear war with gigawatt-sized civilian nuclear reactor that has 50 nines worth of redundancies in it that if humans disappeared tomorrow would automatically shut down and everything would be fine. And one side of this equation, you can scour the earth and find precisely zero people who have ever been injured by nuclear waste. Not one. But when 250,000 people died because a hydroelectric dam collapse in China, did Norway set about the task of deconstructing its entire hydroelectric infrastructure? Did the province of Quebec do the same? Of course not. We understand that maybe that dam was not built to the same standards that we had built them in the West and that there's millions and tens of millions of people in the United States who live within the floodplains of potential dam collapses. They happen. These are tradeoffs. We understand that sometimes in life there's tragedies. We manage them, we try to avoid them, we take care of the victims and their families, either through corporate fines and penalties or government assistance.
This is the human endeavor. We are constant and unrelentingly in a battle against entropy, and we have to harness the forces of nature in order to create – eke out a standard of living on this planet, and yet, of all of the technologies, the most reliable, the highest energy density, the cheapest, the most durable is the one that has the least amount of tolerance and the most amount of fear wrapped into it, and why that it is one of the great mysteries of our time, one of the great tragedies of our time, and while the piece isn't written yet, I'm kind of writing it on air with you now. I suspect we'll close it by saying the greatest thing that people who are worried about carbon emissions and climate change could do to affect that is to unwind the negative propaganda that suffocates the nuclear – the civilian nuclear power industry, as our friend Josh Wolf would say, "If fission were invented today, we would call it elemental power and it would be hailed as a civilization-saving technology that we should implement post haste." And yet, stories like cheat codes come as a shock to people like you who are about as well read on these topics as anybody, and if it's a shock to you, what does it say for the lay person who is just tangentially familiar with any of this stuff? In their eyes, nuclear equals bomb, nuclear equals radiation, and mushroom cloud. It's such nonsense. And yet it has crippled the industry. So that's the next piece.
Dan Ferris: So you mentioned that you own some of the – or did own or do own some of the Sprott Gold Trust. It sounds like you might own some of the Sprott Uranium Trust too.
Doomberg: I do not. And there's a difference between the two, and I can explain why we don't. One of them is a closed-end fund with no potential for arbitrage of deviations between the physical price of the commodity and the ETF structure itself. And Sprott physical gold trust you can redeem, people have redeemed, and so the price of that entity relative to the value of the gold it holds trades in a very tight arbitrage, and so as a way to express a bullish or bearish outlook on the price of gold, that is a very reasonable security. Unfortunately, they did not get the New York Stock Exchange listing for the Sprott Physical Uranium Trust, and because it's uranium and it's radioactive, it's not like you can show up with your shares in that trust and walk away with physical uranium. And so that closed-end fund routinely trades at a significant discount to the published price of uranium, and there's no reason why it couldn't someday trade at a huge discount to that price. And so because there is no exchangeability, the arbitrage could be very wide, and so we would probably, if we wanted to express a bullish view on the uranium sector would consider the alternative Sprott product – URNM I believe is the symbol – which is a basket of uranium producers and some of the Sprott Physical Uranium Trust embedded in there as well.
Dan Ferris: Yeah, I've written about both of those. And I've written about Sprott the company too for some years ago. I think it's a really interesting sort of royalty-like play on gold and silver and now uranium above the ground.
Doomberg: Hundred percent, yeah.
Dan Ferris: And I've known the people, Peter, and I've known Rick Rule forever, and so anyway.
Doomberg: John. John's a great guy. We had him on. We interviewed him for one of our pieces. "Sitting Down with Sprott" was the title, since I have this photographic memory of all of our titles.
Dan Ferris: All right, Doom, it is time for the final question now. It is the identical question for every guest, no matter what the topic, even if it's a nonfinancial topic. Same question for everybody, and it is very simply if you could leave our listener with a single thought today, which one would it be? What would you choose to say to them?
Doomberg: I would say that disciplined execution is still a durable moat. Whether you own a laundromat, a newsletter, carwash, car dealership, or you're an aspiring executive, you run a plumbing business, it doesn't matter. The subset of people willing to attack execution with a strategic mindset and an open mind for continuous improvement is small, and if you do as Vince Lombardi coaches people back in the day to do, find out what the price is and pay it, you can achieve just about anything in business. So durable moat. Disciplined execution is still a durable moat. We treat each piece like our business depends on it, each podcast appearance like our business depends on it because it does, and we attack it accordingly. And far too few people in our society have that mindset, but the good news is virtually anybody can do it. It is a highly learned skill.
Dan Ferris: Excellent. Well, here's some words I've never said. A green chicken is probably one of the most eloquent – definitely one of the most eloquent guests and enjoyable guests we've ever had on the show.
Doomberg: Well, I've enjoyed it as well, and I really appreciate the time. It was a fantastic discussion. Maybe I earn a second appearance someday.
Dan Ferris: Oh absolutely. You will be getting a call in the next – sometime in the next year, I don't know, maybe sooner.
Doomberg: Awesome. I really enjoyed it. It was a pleasure.
Dan Ferris: As did I, and thanks for being here.
Doomberg: You bet.
Dan Ferris: Many mainstream analysts are predicting that stocks will recover soon, but I say we'll instead witness a cash frenzy unlike we've experienced in 21 years before stocks recover, and I'm urging Americans not to buy a single stock until they see it. I predicted the Lehman Brothers crash in 2008, and I called the top of the Nasdaq in 2021, but this, this is the No. 1 most important thing to pay attention to for 2023. And I'm not talking about another market crash or politics or inflation or any of these other things. As all this unfolds, the financial consequences of what I'm talking about could last for several decades if you don't understand what's happening. There will be winners and losers, and now is the time to decide which one you'll be. This is why I strongly encourage you to read about my warning totally free today. It's all spelled out in a free report we've put together. Get the facts yourself. Go to StockDeadzone.com get your free copy of this report. You can learn how to get my four steps to prepare for what's coming. Again, that's StockDeadzone.com for a free copy of this new report.
Well, we've never done that before. We've never had a green chicken on the show. First time an anonymous guest, first time a green chicken, a two-for-one first for the Stansberry Investor Hour. And of course, Doom is very eloquent. He is extremely well-informed, and I love his comment about disciplined execution. One of the things I've taken to trying to tell my – well, one of the things I do tell myself every morning, almost as soon as I get up, I've been pretty consistent with telling myself be consistent, be consistent, be consistent. And so I attack the problems even better at the age of 61 I think than I did at 51 and 41 and 31, and I'm getting – I'm trying to become more disciplined. I think people – there's a view that as you age maybe you take it easy, and I'm trying to actually, in some ways – in some ways take it less easy, but I'm also enjoying life more, so Doom's final thought really spoke to me, and I hope it speaks to you as well.
As far as his views on things go, I mean, he's really hard to argue with because he won't talk about it unless he's very well-informed. So I told you that I was going to try to be a little more critical thinking about our guests' comments during my post-interview wrap-ups, and I've got all these really great guests, and it's really hard to disagree with some of those, especially when it's people like we've had recently. And Doom is a great example of that. He's just – he's so utterly, deeply well-informed on these things. That alone makes him worth following on Twitter and reading on Substack, even if you don't pay to read the stuff, you still – there's a free portion of it that you can read, and it's worth it. If you're an investor – especially if you're an energy investor, and to a certain extent general commodity investor, and if you're really interested in different takes that you don't see elsewhere, he's where you go – he's where I go to get them. One of the places I go. So great guest, great conversation. I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did. I just thought it was excellent, and he will definitely be getting an invite back within the next several months.
All right, well that's another interview, and that's another episode of the Stansberry Investor Hour. I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. We provide a transcript for every episode. Just go to InvestorHour.com. Click on the episode you want. Scroll all the way down, click on the word "transcript," and enjoy.
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