Porter continues his discussion from last week on the risks facing Bitcoin and the entire crypto market. How far behind the curve are investors, businesses, and governments? How many people will be hurt when Bitcoin finally comes back down to earth? Porter tells you why he thinks Bitcoin mania can go on for much longer than you ever think possible, and how an eventual crypto-crash could have a profound impact on our economy and society over time.
Buck tells listeners about the most disturbing incident of police brutality he has ever seen – recalling the case of Daniel Shaver’s killing at the hands of a Mesa, AZ police officer in January 2016. Buck’s recent article in The Hill on the terrible outcome of the officer’s trial has caught fire on social media with over 40,000 shares.
Porter and Buck welcome Doug Casey of Casey Research for an in-depth discussion about big speculations, why he’s led a nomadic lifestyle living in dozens of countries, and the creative process behind writing the High Ground novel series. Doug explains why people are pretty much the same all over the world and that you owe it to yourself to not be a “potted plant” all your life. Learn all about Casey Research and the new trend Doug has personally committed over $2million to by visiting www.bigspeculation.com.
Doug recalls the moment that convinced him why people would accept Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. He tells Porter that he sees a bubble in every market sector with one exception. Listen as Doug reveals an ignored part of the markets where you can still find bargains if you look hard enough.
Founder of Casey Research
Announcer:Broadcasting from Baltimore, Maryland, and New York City, you're listening to the Stansberry Investor Hour.
Tune in each Thursday on iTunes for the latest episode of the Stansberry Investor Hour. Sign up for the free show archive at InvestorHour.com. Here are the hosts of your show, Buck Sexton and Porter Stansberry.
Buck Sexton: Hey, everybody. Welcome to this week's edition of the Stansberry Investor Hour. I'm nationally syndicated radio host Buck Sexton. And with me, as always, our fearless leader, Porter Stansberry. Joining us all the way all the way from Buenos Aires, Argentina, is none other than legendary speculator, New York Times bestselling author, and friend of Stansberry Research, Doug Casey. You might know Doug from his massively popular Casey Report investment advisory or as the international man who's been globetrotting for decades in search of new investment ideas and adventure. Doug's here today to tell us about what he's up to with his new Casey commodities research service, where he sees the big risks and opportunities in markets around the world right now, and what action to take before the "Melt Up" in the current bull market takes a turn.
You can read all about Doug's latest work and get information on a new trend that he's calling his biggest speculation in history by going to www.BigSpeculation.com. Doug has personally committed over $2 million to this idea, and you can learn all about it right now just by going to BigSpeculation.com.
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All right. Let's get started. So, Porter, what's going on with you?
Porter Stansberry: Hey, role reversal here. Why don't we start the show off with what's on your mind?
Buck Sexton: Well, thank you, Master P. Appreciate it. This week I'm really pushing this story because I think there's such an overreach and there's such an exhaustion with hearing about all the Russia collusion stuff, which in my world is just dominant. I mean, there are people that have staked their whole media careers on proving that the president was like getting coded messages from the Kremlin. It's never gonna happen. They're completely off the rails. But anyway, a really important story that I wrote about in The Hill, and it got a lot of traction. And I think it's because it includes the most disturbing law enforcement use of force in any video that I have seen in recent years.
Let me just tell folks what happened. This was back in early 2016. There was a call in Mesa, Arizona, and law enforcement showed up. The call was that somebody had been pointing a rifle outside a window. So law enforcement shows up to a La Quinta Inn, a hotel. Two police officers come across – first they called up to the room where they thought that the rifle had been pointed. Now, keep in mind, Arizona's an open carry state. Plenty of ways that one can legally have a gun in Arizona. There were no shots fired. There was no threats made. It was just: somebody saw somebody with a gun; police came to investigate.
Well, police came in like they were doing a SWAT takedown of an active shooter situation. You had two officers – one was a sergeant named Langley and the other was a police officer, Brailsford. Porter, I have the video and it's up on TheHill.com. The name of the piece is "If Police Can Execute an Innocent Man on Video, None of Us Are Safe." You watch this entire police interaction. And before we get into this, I have law enforcement – and I mean like beat cops – in my family. I worked for the NYPD. I tend to be very favorable towards this.
Porter, if you watch this video, it will haunt you. One officer's body camera's on. And a man and a woman come out of the hotel room and the officers immediately start screaming at them and saying things to them like, "If you make a mistake, you're going to get shot. Pull yourself up to a kneeling position but keep your legs crossed. If you make another mistake there's a very severe possibility that both of you are gonna get shot. Shut up. I'm not here to be diplomatic with you. You do that again and we're shooting you. If you move, we're gonna consider that a threat." That's just some of what they said. They are giving contradictory commands.
Neither person in this case has posed any kind of threat whatsoever. They've had a couple of drinks. And they're lying flat down. They were trying to comply. And they're being told things, Porter, like, "Go from a face-down position to a kneeling position but keep your legs crossed but keep your hands up but don't move." There are contradictory commands by the officer, Sergeant Langley. And then they say, "Crawl towards me." You have to watch the video. You have to hear how this all – and you see it all. I mean, there's no, "Oh, they missed some of the video." And they tell the woman – she crawls – she's crying hysterically.
Then the guy, Daniel Shaver, he's crying hysterically. He's a father. He's got two kids. He's saying, "Please don't shoot me. Please don't shoot me. I'll do anything you want." And he's trying to comply. But they're just: "You better do this or else we're gonna shoot you." We talk about the state as force. It's a horrifying scene of that. And this guy is face-down on the ground, gets up to his knees, and they tell him to crawl toward them because they're so worried that they might have to do room-clearing. I mean, these guys act like they're a Delta team in Fallujah. It's a routine police call in a La Quinta Inn in Mesa.
And, by the way, I've seen what it's like overseas. I've seen people disarm suicide bombers with more tact, diplomacy, and respect for the rights of the individual than what happened here in this hallway in Mesa, Arizona.
And the guy's told to crawl towards him, and, Porter, he's wearing basketball shorts – this is all on video. You can see it very clearly. You hear all the audio. His basketball shorts slip down. As the guy's crawling, he just reaches behind him to try to pull up his shorts 'cause his shorts are falling down; his butt's gonna be hanging out in the air. And they waste him. Five rounds with an AR-15 right there on video.
The video just came out, and that's why I'm telling you about it this week. The trial happened. The district attorney in Mesa, Arizona, charged second-degree murder and manslaughter, and the jury came back with a not guilty verdict. And I think it's the most appalling miscarriage of justice by a jury – well, I mean, the Kate Steinle verdict was terrible too. But for police-involved violence, I haven't seen anything like this in my life. And I posted this up on The Hill. Porter, last I saw it's getting upwards of 45,000 shares, which means that hundreds of thousands of people most likely have read the piece. And it's finally getting the attention it deserves. This was a state-sanctioned murder. It was disgusting. People need to see it.
Porter Stansberry: Just to be clear about the facts, was the subject armed?
Buck Sexton: No. He had a pellet gun in his hotel room that he used for hunting vermin, which was his job. He was an exterminator.
Porter Stansberry: [Laughs]. But he didn't have the pellet rifle on him.
Buck Sexton: Nope. In the hotel room.
Porter Stansberry: That's just crazy. Crazy, crazy, crazy. Unfortunately, not surprising anymore.
Buck Sexton: This is what's troubling me, Porter. Because you see – people talk about tribalism a lot these days. And by the time people listen to this podcast, Roy Moore either will or will not be the senator from Alabama. I won't make any predictions or give too much analysis on that because who knows? But because of what's happened in recent years with Black Lives Matter, where they've had situations like Mike Brown, who was a thug attacking a cop and got shot – they hold him up as a martyr – people on the right, conservatives – they see what's happening on the left with police-involved violence and they say "This is unfair. Cops are being left out high and dry." But there's also now a reflexive, "Oh, if the cop feels in danger, he can just shoot."
No, that's not OK either, actually. There need to be standards on both sides. This isn't just about cops good, cops bad. Yeah, most cops: great. But sometimes they're what we call perps in uniform. And I've been having it out with a few people on the right on this one because any time a cop shoots somebody now, if the cop says he feels like he's in danger, there're a lot of people who go, "Well, the cop said he was in danger." Well, that just means the state can kill you, Porter.
Porter Stansberry: Yeah. I'm not a big fan of that. But, listen, I haven't seen the video you're talking about. I'm not passing any judgment on that situation. I'm just remarking to you, Buck, that I have lived 45 years of my life. I've had a half a dozen interactions with police officers. They've all been routine. And I've never had any trouble avoiding being shot by the police. Now, I don't want that to change. But even in Baltimore, I feel like having a healthy respect for the police just goes a very long way. Just simply doing what they ask you to do and not arguing with them.
And, again, I'm not talking at all about the video that you just described. It sounds horrific. And I don't know what to do about the violence that seems to be escalating between police and normal everyday citizens. I've seen plenty of videos like the kind you describe. The one that strikes me as the most horrific was actually an Asian-American police officer who drew his weapon and shot a black man who was sitting in his car. He'd been pulled over for having an expired license plate or something. There was no cause at all for violence in that traffic stop and a guy ended up dead. So I've seen plenty of those kinds of things, and I don't have any idea what to do about it besides, like you said, establishing some standards and punishing police officers when appropriate.
And I do love the fact that, like you say, you come from a police family. You're a friend of the police. You're a friend of law and order. You were in the CIA. You worked for the NYPD. You have family members who are beat cops. And yet you can see that cops are not always acting appropriately.
One of the things I don't like about your country is it seems like the idea that you can have an understanding of both sides of an argument has left our country. Where either you're for the cops always being right or you're a fan of drug dealers and punks. And of course neither side has a lock on virtue. So it's a terrible story.
What I'm working on, what's on my mind lately, is what happens with the bitcoin bubble? What happens with the crazy cryptocurrencies? How many people get hurt and how badly? Because we're still so much in the early days of this. Buck, if you ask a dozen people that you know, family members and friends, do they own bitcoin yet, the answer's overwhelmingly no. Very few Americans own bitcoin yet. It's been going crazy in Asia, particularly in South Korea and Japan. But if the price keeps going up, more and more of my subscribers, more and more of my friends, more and more of my family members are going to be buying into it. And I think there is a large chance – an almost certainty – that something very bad happens to those folks.
Buying an asset after it's gone up 1,500% in a year is almost always – in fact, it may always be a bad idea, at least in the short term. Even something like Amazon, which ends up doing very well over the long term – it has a 80%-plus decline between 2000 and 2002. And I'm certain that we'll see something like that happen in bitcoin. And as a financial writer and as a financial publisher, I'm consumed right now with how to coach my subscribers so that they don't make those mistakes, while at the same time helping them get involved in crypto assets as an asset class. Because that asset class is going to grow. It's going to become very important. And people need to understand it. But that's a lot different than going out and buying Amazon the first time it hits $400 a share and trying to hold on as it goes all the way back below $50. Most people don't have the wherewithal to do that.
Buck Sexton: Did you see that people are taking out mortgages now, according to CNBC, to buy bitcoin?
Porter Stansberry: Yeah.
Buck Sexton: That to me – I'm still learning this financial game – that doesn't sound like a wise move.
Porter Stansberry: I think it's very scary, actually. And what people don't understand is: even if we give everybody exactly the right coaching, these bubbles, when they burst, they have a terrifically negative impact on my business, too. Because the guy out there who's been speculating in stocks and using our research and doing fine – he's gonna take 20% or 30% or 40% of his portfolio just speculating in bitcoin, and sooner or later he's gonna get wiped out. And as a result, he's gonna stop subscribing to my newsletter too even though I never told him to go buy bitcoin. So that's troubling.
And it should be troubling – I think it's something that people should be worried about on the national level because this is going to have a profound impact on our society over time. It's gonna be competitive with our mainstream currency system, which I think is healthy. I like the competition. But it's very worrisome that a collapse in bitcoin could have a big impact on our economy, on consumer spending, on people's net worth, all that stuff.
It's a very difficult thing to coach people through because yes, bitcoin is probably going to go higher. I would be surprised if in 10 years bitcoin isn't over $100,000. And I wouldn't be surprised if it's over a million dollars in 10 years. I think it's going to go higher. But at the same time, there's a very good chance that it goes all the way to zero. There's a good chance that governments eventually retaliate, that they make trading in bitcoin illegal, or that they make dealing in bitcoin illegal, they in some way attempt to regulate it, in some way attempt to control it, and as a result, they destroy it.
Now the tech people will tell you, "Oh, they can't do that. It's untraceable." Well, look, you put somebody under oath and you ask 'em if they own any bitcoin, and if they lie to you, they go to jail. I mean, it's very difficult to truly fight city hall. If city hall decides that they don't want cryptocurrencies, there's just no way. It's dead in the water.
So I don't know what's going to happen there, and that's the biggest risk. There are lots of secondary risks. Most people are unexperienced dealing with cryptocurrencies. They don't know how to safeguard their wallet. They don't know how to handle it. It's not like buying a stock. So these are these concerns I have. We're all behind the curve in helping our subscribers get involved in these assets and do well with them. And that's really what I've been thinking about.
Buck Sexton: I'm always amazed at how few Americans understand the history of their own country when it comes to gold ownership, for example. We just assume, "Oh, gold, of course you can own gold." Nope. Not always [laughs]. Not always true.
Porter Stansberry: Yeah. I had a funny dinner a long time ago in New Orleans with Ann Coulter. You know that name, I'm supposing.
Buck Sexton: Oh, Ann's awesome. Yeah. We should get her on the podcast, by the way. Side note.
Porter Stansberry: I bet she won't come on [laughs].
Buck Sexton: Uh-oh. [Speaking with accent] Porter, did you Portersplain?
Porter Stansberry: I'm afraid I did. We had a dinner one night with me and Doug Casey, who's gonna be on the podcast here in just a minute, in New Orleans. Look, I just had one dinner with Ann Coulter. If you're a big Ann Coulter fan, I'm sure I don't know everything there is to know about Ann Coulter. But I was just shocked in general by how little she knew about pretty much anything relating to history or finance. And Doug and I are sitting there talking about big trends and about how most people don't know anything about American political history. And were expecting Ann would sort of be a participant in this conversation and get on board with what we were saying.
She was traveling with this enormous minder. I don't know who he is or what role he plays for her, but he was close to 300 pounds and he was – I don't know if he was Orthodox Jewish, but he was wearing a yarmulke in public, so he was following some kind of stricter-than-average, I would say, Jewish tradition. So she was sitting with him. And every time we would ask her something or she would want to interject in the conversation, she would lean over and ask him something, and then he would lean over and whisper in her ear. It was as though he was parroting her or something. I mean, it was a very very awkward and odd dinner conversation. I've never had anything else like it before or since.
And when we were talking about why politicians can't be trusted and how eventually both right and left simply do what's expedient for the government itself, the institutions, not the people, she objected and she said that government – it's not bad; it's just being mismanaged. It's just being run by the wrong people. "If we had my people in government, then government would be great for America." And we were laughing about that.
And the gold issue came up and gold confiscation came up. And Ann said – and I'm not clear about all of the conversation we had at dinner. I think it was in 2005, so it was some time ago. But I'm very clear about this. She said, "The American government has never confiscated private property before. They've never taken anyone's gold." And the big minder next to her was –
Buck Sexton: Come on.
Porter Stansberry: Yeah. The big minder next to her was frantically pawing at her [laughs] and whispered in her ear. And then she came back with some explanation that that was different because the people received compensation for it, so it wasn't confiscation; it was just at transaction. Of course what she either didn't know or didn't want to understand was that, yeah, they paid $20 an ounce for the gold, and the gold on the free market was probably worth three times that much. So it was just funny to me that she really didn't appear to understand that much about a lot of these big topics. And I don't know if that's just because she didn't know or because – I don't know. It was just very odd.
And also I've never gone to dinner before with someone who had to ask someone else what she should say.
Buck Sexton: I can't imagine what that situation was. I've worked with Ann, seen Ann, talked to Ann. There's never been a big minder guy who was there. So I don't know what that was. I do know that she's had some personal security issues that she's had to deal with, very serious ones over the years, because of the stuff she writes.
Porter Stansberry: Yeah. And he was not the bodyguard type. Trust me. He was intellectual in demeanor and nature. And I don't know. Maybe she felt like she needed a bodyguard with her, and maybe that's what he was. I really don't know. It was a very odd evening. That's all I can tell you. It wasn't at all what I expected. I expected that we would have a great time together. I mean, Ann Coulter, Doug Casey, me: shoulda been fun. But it was odd. It was really odd.
She is an unrepentant statist, but she is more of the conservative statist. She wants more military, a more aggressive American foreign policy. She thinks that government power is good. And from where I sit, Buck – and I know you and I don't see eye to eye on this at all, but from where I sit, government power is dangerous because –
Buck Sexton: Are you kidding me? I'm a refugee from the government. I tell people all the time: I'm like, "You don't want these clowns in charge of anything" [laughs].
Porter Stansberry: The thing is that government power ends up always eventually being misused. Even if the power was granted and originated out of really good, pro-society intent, it ends up being used for whatever who's in power today can use it for. And you've seen – the whole evolution of government: they never let a crisis go to waste. They always increase their power.
The latest example of this was the dummy wacko governor of California saying that the wildfires there are just proof of global warming. It's just such nonsense. It's just so insane that the American people elect these bozos and put up with them reaching into their pockets every day.
Buck Sexton: I mean, you saw the so-called "experts," Porter, that went on TV after we just had a few of these devastating hurricanes that hit, Harvey and others, and you'd have people who are supposedly scientists even in some cases who are like, "See, this global warming." And then they can have somebody else – me, anybody who just has access to Google – who will say, "But we haven't had a major hurricane make landfall in, whatever, 10 or 15 years. So what does that tell us? And they just go, "Does not compute. Does not compute." I mean, they just don't know what to say.
Porter Stansberry: I didn't know that Arianna Huffington was also a computer voice [laughs]. She's everywhere.
Buck Sexton: [Speaking with accent] Porter, be nice. Have you been stretching? Porter's wearing a tracksuit. I hope he's been taking care of himself.
Porter Stansberry: [Laughs].
Buck Sexton: No cheeseburgers. Only tofu, Porter.
One day the stories about her reign at the Huffington Post are really gonna come out. I can't confirm or deny, but I have some sources about what it was really like. And wow. It's amazing how some people create reputations for themselves as competent executives when they really would not be competent running a lemonade stand.
Porter Stansberry: I see that. My biggest pet peeve are the people who sell businesses and end up becoming billionaires, but the people that they sell to end up with nothing. So Mark Cuban sells Broadcast.com to Yahoo. Yahoo has to write off the entire investment, and Cuban's thought of as a business genius. No, what he really was, essentially – I mean, this is a stretch. I don't mean this literally. He's a con man. He's a guy who was really good at selling a worthless property. That's not something to be celebrated.
But you can't of course convince the public of any of this. They just believe whatever's on TV, and what's on TV is that Arianna Huffington is a wonderful, noble person who's a lion of – ironically, a lion of the left. When of course, as you well know, she came to prominence as a radical conservative pundit and speaker and writer who was very much in favor of, among other things, the Vietnam War [laughs]. And my favorite part of her background is: she married a man after he told her that he was homosexual [laughs]. I know that love is blind, but I didn't think that love was asexual. There's just things I don't understand [laughing].
Strangely, I think 10 years later she was surprised when he left her and her three kids and married a man. But I guess he gave her fair warning. It was full disclosure. What can you do?
Anyways, I know we got a lot to get to. But one of the things that drives this podcast is the observations that we get to make of the world around us. And I don't mind at all – I do not object to mass stupidity. Because as P.T. Barnum taught us well, you will never go broke underestimating the stupidity of the American people or – was it you'll never go broke overestimating the stupidity of the American people? Something like that. And what was the other thing? There's always another fool out there or something like that. That part of the absurdity of life I'm grateful for. It's what makes commerce possible.
But the sad part that I can't figure out is: what is it about society where so many people are willing to say, "That is wrong for them but it's okay for me"? It's not just hypocrisy, 'cause I'm not just talking about personal behavior. I'm talking about the use of power, authority, and force. Hillary Clinton: "I don't want you to have any kind of guns, but my bodyguards obviously need them." That kind of double-think, that kind of hypocrisy is one of the things that really drives me to wanna be in the media business to point a bright light on those things, whether it's police officers killing defenseless people at the La Quinta Inn, or whether it's the fact that the government is demanding the right to unlimited taxation to stop global warming [laughs], which no one can prove, measure, or understand.
So I hope that you'll join us in this hopeless tilting at windmills as we shine a light and point the finger at these ideas and these crazy folks. And why don't we bring in Doug Casey, who's spent a career profiting on the nonsense around him in the financial markets, and has done a great job writing about them as well?
Buck Sexton: Today we are happy to have a very special guest and friend of Stansberry Research on the show. Legendary speculator and bestselling author Doug Casey has been searching the globe for investment opportunities for decades. He's visited over 175 nations, established residency in nearly a dozen different countries, and has been a major investor in businesses around the world. Doug has participated in televised debates with presidential candidates and served as an economic advisor to the leaders of six countries. When people wanna know what's going on in the global financial markets, they call Doug Casey.
Doug's latest boots-on-the-ground research ideas can be found by going to www.BigSpeculation.com or by visiting the Casey Research website. Please welcome to the show, all the way from Buenos Aires, the international man, Doug Casey.
Porter Stansberry: Hey, Doug. Welcome to the podcast. For everyone who might be new, Doug Casey is one of my oldest friends and has been an incredible mentor to me. Actually was the first person who explained Objectivist philosophy to me, a story maybe we'll get to. Doug, can you tell us where you are and what's new in your life?
Doug Casey: Well, I'm in Buenos Aires at the moment. I spend probably eight months of the year in South America. Mostly in Argentina and Uruguay. You've got to be somewhere, Porter, and this is a nice place to be.
Porter Stansberry: Yeah. You know, Doug, I get a lot of feedback about that. You're a famous libertarian author and philosopher. You're a very famous speculator. You've made a tremendous amount of money in the markets, especially in real estate over the years. One of my favorite quotes, Buck, is – Sean Goldsmith asked Doug one day – we were hanging out: "Hey, Doug, how much property do you have in Aspen?" And Doug says, "Oh, I don't know. About 300 acres. That's a lot for Aspen" [laughs]. Doug, do you still have that Aspen ranch, by the way?
Doug Casey: I do. But I tried to hit the bid on that property in 2007. And we at that time – my wife thought we could get $30 million for it. Not unreasonable, but very aggressive. I figured the real estate bubble was about to break. And since then, ranch land is a drug throughout the West. Prices are falling. People wanna live in the city. So while the prices of houses in Aspen itself have gone up 50% or 100%, the price of ranch land has fallen. People wanna be around other people. They don't wanna be out in the country for some reason. It's cyclical. It was just the opposite before the crash in 2007.
Porter Stansberry: Well, what I was gonna say, Doug, is: I get a lot of people who – I don't know whether they don't understand your peripatetic lifestyle or whether they really are just jealous of it so they're criticizing, but they always ask, "Why does a guy like Doug Casey live in a place like Buenos Aires that has such a dysfunctional government?" And I know there's a little bit more to it. I know there's big advantages about sort of being a guest everywhere you go. Could you just talk for a minute about why you are perpetually in motion, why you have this peripatetic life? What drives you from place to place? And why have you lived – and you have to tell me the exact number, but dozens and dozens of countries in your lifetime? What's behind all the travel?
Doug Casey: Well, I've been to about 155 countries, most of them numerous times. And I've lived – defining "lived" as stayed in that place long enough that I've had to lease a place or buy a place to live – why do I do this? Well, look, first of all, the U.S. is a very easy place to live, but the U.S. has been going downhill for many years. And the direction that the U.S. is moving, from the point of view of personal freedom, is very very negative. So, yes, the government here in Argentina is dysfunctional. But that's a good thing. It means that they leave you alone. They really do. They're not an element in my life. When I go to the airport I don't have to deal with these horrible people at TSA. Yes, you've got to go through a machine and all that, but it's not nearly as invasive and nasty as it often is in the U.S.
Look, it's a big world and you owe it to yourself to not act like a potted plant and stay in one place just 'cause you happen to have been born there. So that's the philosophical underpinnings of why I've moved around a lot. Also you meet many more people. I mean, I can go to any African country, for instance, and within two weeks I can be sitting down with the president of the country. Can't do that in a place like the U.S. It opens up a lot of opportunities. I don't like to be on a level playing field. I like to be on an unlevel playing field where things are sloped in my direction. So this is an advantage of being a rich foreigner in a relatively backward country. Among other things.
Porter Stansberry: I'm not sure even if I was given a first-class ticket and an invitation to a nice dinner if would wanna go to Africa and meet with the president of one of those little tiny countries. What do you get outta doing that?
Doug Casey: Well, it's a hobby of mine, for one thing. For instance, in February, I'm going to the Solomon Islands. Now, you may not like Africa, and it's a weird and backward place – although I will point out, Porter, that by the end of this century, roughly 45% of all the people on the planet are going to be Africans. So you wanna get ahead of the curve from that point of view. But the Solomons is like a standard deviation below anything in Africa. And I'll be there talking to the new prime minister about my hobby, which is pitching them on an idea that could turn their backward, nothing, nowhere little country into a new Singapore in a generation. So this amuses me. I've never met with success, but I've done that in 10 different countries. Always great for cocktail parties, I can tell you that – the stories I can tell.
Porter Stansberry: Pretend that you have a normal view on life [laughs] and give us the world's worst airport, the world's worst roads, the world's worst public safety –
Buck Sexton: Yes.
Porter Stansberry: – the world's worst corruption, the world's worst climate, the world's worst pollution. Where is that place?
Doug Casey: Well, you know, these things always change. Because –
Porter Stansberry: Okay. But when was the worst place at the worst time that you personally experienced?
Doug Casey: I almost always have a good time –
Porter Stansberry: [Laughs]. Doug is the most optimistic permabear ever.
Doug Casey: Come on.
Porter Stansberry: He can't say anything negative about anything.
Doug Casey: I'm serious about that.
Buck Sexton: I'm picturing Doug drinking tea with warlords in Somalia like "No problem."
Porter Stansberry: Yeah. He loves it there. And, by the way, warlords get a bad rap. He's about to tell us why.
Doug Casey: Well, look. When I fly various places, I always fly business class with lay-down seats and this type of thing. But if I was going to take an enjoyable trip, would I rather fly business class or hop a freight train? I'd just rather hop a freight train. I'll see something new and different and interesting and weird. And dangers are overrated in these places. I mean, it's a medieval concept that beyond that next hill there may be dragons, so we'd better stay here in our primitive little village where we think it's safe. No, people are pretty much the same all over the world. And you're really – yes, sure, you go to the ghetto in Detroit, yeah, you're putting yourself in a danger zone.
Porter Stansberry: All right, Doug. Let's move on. You're not gonna give us what we're looking for in our travelogue. So let's talk about books for a second. And, by the way, I want everyone to know: we're gonna get to crypto and we're gonna get to investing. But I think the most remarkable thing that Doug has done in his career is not the speculation and it's not the travel. It's not even the newsletter empire he built, which I was always very envious of and now I get to be a partner with him in. I think the most incredible thing Doug has done is write novels, which is exceptionally difficult to do well. Everyone can write a bad novel.
But Doug has written two great novels. And it's not just me that says this. I've introduced his books to probably thousands of people. I've gotten nothing but positive feedback. The reviews on Amazon are almost all five stars. And it's not just a great story, although it is a fantastic story. It's really a whole life-long lesson and philosophy. And these are lessons that Doug has been teaching me in person for more than 20 years.
So, Doug, here's what I wanna know. Can you tell us about how you got to the point where you were ready to write those novels and what that process is like for you?
Doug Casey: First of all, there are advantages to writing novels as opposed to nonfiction. The big one I would say is that there are many things that you can say in the form of fiction that you'd best not say or even dare not say in the form of nonfiction. So it's an excellent platform, number one. Number two, if you're trying to put across a view of reality, you have a much bigger potential audience when you're telling a story in a novel than you do when you're being didactic and writing nonfiction. Ayn Rand certainly found that to be the case. Her nonfiction is fantastic. It's better than her fiction. But her fiction sells much more than her nonfiction. So those were two reasons.
Porter Stansberry: By the way, just for the record, I find Ayn Rand's fiction to be almost unreadable. The only thing I could get through was Atlas Shrugged and I could only read it once. I couldn't get through any other books.
Doug, your fiction is spectacular. How did you take yourself from being a nonfiction writer to being a fiction writer? And I'm asking as a writer myself – how did you make that mental shift?
Doug Casey: Well, I wanted to do this for years. And, you know, Porter, they say that everybody's first novel is autobiographical, at least to some degree. So when I wrote Speculator – incidentally, what I'm doing in this series of seven novels is I'm attempting to reform the unjustly besmirched reputations of six highly politically incorrect occupations. So, on your advice actually – the first one I was going to write was gonna be Terrorist, and then make a prequel and sequel after Terrorist, which is in the middle. But you said, "No, start at the beginning." And you were right.
So I started with Speculator, where we take our 23-year-old hero, normal, middle-class boy, and he gets lucky on a gold mining stock, decides to go to Africa to investigate it, see what the mine actually looks like. Uncovers a gigantic mining fraud, gets involved in a bush war with child soldiers, and makes a couple million dollars, has it stolen from him. So it's a hell of a good tale with mercenaries and all this type of thing.
And I am a fan of Africa, as I said, for the reasons that I said. It's kinda like the last frontier on earth. South America, where I've been absolutely everywhere many times, and where I'm speaking to you right now – South America is very mellow compared to Africa. If I was 30 today I would get on a plane to someplace in Africa. And if you have listeners – which you probably do – that are about that age, I'd advise them to do that as opposed to – so, whatever. That's Speculator. And it talks about economics and buying and selling stocks and all that.
And this next book, Drug Lord, Charles comes back – our hero, Charles, comes back after seven years traveling around the world and decides to become a drug lord – both the legal drugs that are regulated by the FDA and the illegal drugs, regulated by the DEA. So we explore the drug business of all types: how you make them, how you sell them, everything. And he makes another couple hundred million dollars and they steal that from him too. So now he's a little bit pissed off, having lost two fortunes at the hand of the government. And this is leading us to our third novel, which we're writing now. I have a co-author, John Hunt, who's a medical doctor. He doesn't wanna be a doctor anymore, like a lot of doctors. It's impossible to be a doctor today.
But anyway, our next book – which we're writing now – is Assassin, which is going to explore the techniques and the history, revisionist history, if you would, and the morality – very important – of political assassinations. There are some people that just need killing, incidentally. I'm of that opinion. Now you see why I can't say these things in nonfiction.
Porter Stansberry: [Laughs]. Yes, I do. So a couple quick questions about the books. Brief answers, if it's possible, 'cause I wanna get onto some other topics. But I am really fascinated with these books. Can you tell us how many copies you have sold so far in the series?
Doug Casey: Well, we generally sell about 30 a day on Amazon, and people come to our website if they want a hardback book. It's interesting when it comes to publishing books. You are, Porter, one of the most successful people in history in publishing, certainly in newsletters. But the thing is that when I wrote my first book, The International Man, back in 1978, there were only about 50,000 books published a year. A lot. I thought it was a huge number. But today I understand there're about 1.5 million new books published every year. And they're all saying, "Me, me, me, me." Especially with fiction, 'cause there's so many people that're writing and publishing novels, it's very hard to hit bestseller status, which I did several times on the New York Times list with my nonfiction books.
Porter Stansberry: Okay. And will the Scandinavian princess ever make a return appearance in this series? 'Cause she was one of my favorite characters.
Doug Casey: Yeah. Charles is not promiscuous – our hero. But he does have a way with women. I can't tell you at the moment because our hero is going to have many other adventures as he gets older and progresses into more and more radical occupations. He's gonna meet more and more radical and outrageous women.
Porter Stansberry: All right. I don't wanna ruin the story. I'm a big fan of the Scandinavian princess. And one last thing before we move on: Doug, I just wanna tell you again how much I admire the fact that you've written really good books, even if they weren't about important topics. You've written really great, fun-to-read books. And I encourage everybody to read one, especially over the Christmas holidays. It'll be a great break from your family [laughs]. And much more fun.
But you've done something really remarkable in addition to writing a great book, which is you've taken an impossible idea, which is to turn speculators, drug lords, and now assassins into sympathetic characters that the audience roots for. It's really amazing. And I really congratulate you. And I gotta tell you, folks, I read a lot of books. I read at least one or two books a week, and I have for my whole life. And these are the most fun and interesting novels I've ever read. So if you don't pick up a copy, you're really missing out. It's a heartfelt endorsement, and they're great books.
Doug, anything else you need to say about the series before we move on?
Doug Casey: No. Just that Drug Lord is a gateway drug to Assassin. We're gonna get much more wild and woolly in Assassin. We're pretty wild and woolly in Drug Lord. And in Speculator too.
Porter Stansberry: You've already gotten pretty wild and woolly [laughs]. I can't imagine how you're gonna turn a terrorist into a sympathetic character, but I'm looking forward to it.
Let's get to the current rage. A very simple question: do you think there's any connection between the enormous growth and global outstanding debt, particularly in the major Western economies, and the soaring price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies?
Doug Casey: Yeah. I do. All of these central banks – not just the Federal Reserve in the U.S., but all these central banks all around the world – the Chinese, the Europeans, the Japanese – they're creating currency units by the scores of trillions, and they're backed into a corner. They actually have no alternative to doing that. So all this new paper money – or digital money, if you would – that's being created now, on a weekly basis almost, has got to go someplace. And that explains the bubbly stock market. It explains the hyper-bubble in the bond market, 'cause governments are the biggest borrowers. And it's flowed into these cryptocurrencies as well.
So I always look at the bright side of things. It's going to destroy the entire world monetary system, what's going on. But I always look at the bright side, and the good news is it's creating bubbles everywhere. And right now the bubble is in cryptocurrencies and bitcoin. So I'm all for it.
Porter Stansberry: And how do you reconcile your own appreciation for the technology and the software and the elegance of bitcoin as an enterprise computing revolution, a network effect revolution, a revolution in cryptography and networking and communication, and your admiration for that with the fact that the price has now, in your opinion, become a bubble. Are there any cryptocurrencies that you would buy? Would you be an investor in an ICO at the right price? Or is the whole space in your mind now unsafe for investing?
Doug Casey: You know, Porter, I was given my first bitcoin in Cafayate, Argentina in 2013. I bought a very smart Belgian guy lunch, and he said, "Here, I wanna give you this." And he gave me a physical bitcoin. They exist, incidentally. I still have it. It was worth about $13 at the time. And over the lunch he explained to me why he was big in bitcoin. He's gotta be worth a hundred million or more at this point. I have no idea how many of these things he bought. But it didn't click in my mind why it was gonna get big. It's a transfer mechanism.
Now, I am not a computer jock. I have an iPhone 7 but it's not even charged. I don't even use the damn thing. I don't like it. I'm a technophile, but I don't like to clutter my mind up with these things. I consider the cryptocurrencies at this point – they're wayto expensive to play with. I mean, it's not like they're $10 or even $100 or even $1,000 anymore for bitcoin. So I don't wanna play that came. I like to bottom-fish. Yeah, the trend is your friend. And I bought a bunch of cryptos early last summer, and I've about quadrupled my money.
Actually it was our mutual friend Teeka Tiwari that actually said something that made this all twig in my mind, and made me understand, "Oh, damn" – in the past I said, "Yeah, cryptocurrencies can be a money, but where's the value, the use value of the things?" I didn't really – yes, they have tremendous use value as a transfer device where you don't have to use the banking system. And the fact that three quarters of the people on the planet don't have bank accounts and have to deal in worthless currencies – well, not totally worthless – like kwachas and pulas and dirhams, that're of little value within their countries and of zero value outside. And that's why these people all over the world are going to bitcoin.
But I don't wanna – so, yeah, it can go higher. The trend is your friend. But I'm very leery at this point.
Porter Stansberry: Well, Doug, that then brings the question: if you're leery about bitcoin and you think the stock market's a bubble and the bond market's a hyper-bubble, where do you put assets for safety first and for – is there any possibility of getting a decent return?
Doug Casey: Well, we're living in a financial twilight zone as far as I'm concerned, where something that I thought was metaphysically impossible: everything is overpriced in the world. Which should be impossible. How can everything be overpriced? Well, not quite everything is overpriced. And there's one area that is cheap today, and that's commodities. And I say that a little bit – look, the longest bear market in human history is the commodities market. They've been going down for about the last 10,000 years in price relative to the world at large or human labor. And they'll continue going down in price. That's the long-term trend. But right now as we speak, commodities are down generally, about 50%, some are down more, from their last peak, which was roughly 2010, 2011.
And with the governments printing up all this money, there's gonna be a bubble, I think, in commodities. We're talking grains, metals, cattle, things of that nature. And I think there's gonna be – I hope there's gonna be a hyper-bubble in mining stocks. Why? Because it's always been one of my specialties: mining exploration stocks, which is a ridiculous area to be in. It's a 19th century choo-choo train business that I have to explain how I ever got involved in it to real financial people. But I think that's gonna happen, Porter.
Porter Stansberry: All right, Doug. I've got one last parting shot for you. I know you've got better things to do in Buenos Aires than talk on the phone. The thing that occurs to me about giant inflations is they're not just financial events. They're also social events. And during great inflations – and this is, I would argue, the greatest inflation that Western civilization has ever seen, even greater than the inflation engineered by John Law and the South Sea Bubble, even greater than the inflation that surrounded the Civil War or the First World War or the Second World War. I mean, this is a truly massive, massive inflation where the scale of the underlying banking reserves has been increased by – I hazard a guess – 500%, 600%, in a period of 10 years. A massive inflation.
And we've seen some of the other phenomena that accompany big inflations. We've seen a decline in social morality. Look at the enormous expansion of government lotteries, of legalized gambling, of legalized vice – marijuana most particularly – and the changing norms and the behavior. Look at the ongoing crisis that we're having in – I don't know how to explain it other than to say social sexual assaults. People who've come to believe that they can treat women in ways that are truly abhorrent without violating any social norm, people who thought that was acceptable. Look at the terrific rise in violence in America's inner cities. I mean, just incredible: the crime and the violence you see in places like Baltimore and New Orleans and Houston and things like that.
And these are also global phenomena. You can look around the world and find the same sorts of things going on in the Middle East and Russia and Eastern Europe and Western Europe. And then of course there's the big one that inflations usually cause, which is the global nation-scale violence.
And the question I have for you is: do you agree with the political theory that inflations cause change in public morality as well as debasing the financial organization of society? And, secondly, if that's true, do you think it's more likely than not that we will have a large nation-scale conflict erupt before the end of this inflationary cycle?
Doug Casey: That is an excellent question. And I would love to talk with you about this for several hours, which it merits. "Yes" is the answer to the question. And let me put a bunch of exclamation points in back of that "Yes." Look, Western civilization itself has peaked and has been heading downhill since the start of the First World War. And the U.S. has been going downhill. And the problem, from an economic point of view, is that a decent human being tries to produce more than he consumes. And, like a squirrel, we're genetically programmed to understand: you've got to save the difference for the future, when you are no longer able to produce. But what do people save when they produce more than they consume? They save dollars or they save pounds or euros or yuan.
And if those currency units are destroyed, it destroys the capital that people have saved. And especially now, where the world is very urban, it becomes a time bomb. If people lose what they have and if systems break down because you can no longer trade and produce 'cause the money's no good, I mean, this could be massive chaos. And I often make the joke that, "Hey, what do I care? I'm going to be watching all of this on my widescreen from the middle of a thousand-acre estancia in South America. What do I care what happens to all these stupid people? I'll be watching it on my widescreen instead of out my front window like most people will."
But it is gonna be very unpleasant and very inconvenient. And it could start happening tomorrow morning. So hold onto your hat – this is gonna be one for the record books.
Porter Stansberry: Doug, in terms of your expectation of a boom in commodities and the way that the inflation could end up in those things, I think it's very interesting to note that that bull market is well underway and has always been completely ignored. If you look at the major commodity-trading companies and the largest commodity producers – I'm talking about stocks like Glencore and Freeport-McMoRan – you see enormous moves. In fact, over the last two years, those stocks have all outperformed all of the "FANG" stocks. So, for example, Freeport-McMoRan has gone from about $4 in the beginning of 2016 all the way to $17 today. You've seen similar moves in Glencore and the other big commodity producers.
I think people have completely discounted the likelihood that the bubble won't just be in bitcoin, but will probably sooner or later end up in real hard commodities like gold, silver, copper, things like that. So if you're behind on the bitcoin bubble, maybe the next bubble is gold, and maybe that's the real final bubble.
And, as you know, Doug, those things can go really bananas when they go. So maybe there's still plenty of opportunity for speculators.
Doug Casey: Oh, I think there is. Because you're right that a lot of these major commodity producers such as you named have moved. But I'm in the hyper-speculative area of the market, these junior companies. And they really haven't moved. And when they do move, they don't just double or triple. The whole market moves up 10 for 1, and individual issues will move up 100 for 1. And some of these oddball issues will move up 1,000 to 1. Yes, 1,000 to 1. 'Cause that's happened to me a couple times. And not over the course of a lifetime; over the course of a cycle: two or three or four years. So, yeah, I think it's from some points of view the riskiest place to be, 'cause these are crazy little companies, but actually it's the lowest-risk place to be, I think, and the highest potential. So that's what I'm betting on right now.
It's not gonna cause any of the cosmic problems of life: making a bunch of money. But like Mae West said – you know what she said about this, don't you, Porter?
Porter Stansberry: I don't. I'm not familiar with the Mae West quote.
Doug Casey: She said, "I've been rich and I've been poor. Rich is better."
Porter Stansberry: Yeah. I have heard that [laughs].
Doug Casey: Yeah. Especially when you've got billions of unhappy people running around like angry chimpanzees, which is likely to happen in the years to come, it's better to have more money than less. Although I've gotta say, at the same time, the tenor of the times is that it's also time to eat the rich. Well, like I said, we're not gonna solve any of these cosmic problems right now.
Porter Stansberry: Folks, if you wanna learn more about Doug Casey's speculations and perhaps making a 1,000% gain or more, he has a promo page up. It's www.BigSpeculation.com. And perhaps you too can be suddenly burdened by large amounts of wealth.
Doug, I'll tell you: I think Mae West is wrong. I have been very poor, and lately I've been very rich. And I had way more fun when I was poor. If I could trade in every ducat I've got to go back to being 22 years old and living at Lake Wauburg, which is the University of Florida's outdoor rec facility, and teaching water skiing and sailing and making no money – actually living in a trailer with a waterbed and a fresh water fish tank, which is pretty much the definition of poor redneck – I would do it in a heartbeat. That was a way better life than I've ever had, even after all of the work and all of the risk and all of the savings and speculation and trials and tribulations.
But, you know what, the thing is everyone ages. So I guess money is the next best thing to youth.
Doug Casey: You're right about that, Porter. And like I said, I'm not gonna do it anymore because a man's gotta know his limitations, but like I said, I like to hop a freight train more than get on a first-class airplane. But, no, you're quite correct. It's a question of the stage of life that you're at, among other things.
Porter Stansberry: Well, listen, folks, again, if you want some help piling up your burdens, go to BigSpeculation.com and you can learn more about Doug's newest speculations. Doug, thanks for joining us on the call today. We had a great time talking. And I don't know when I'll be down in Buenos Aires again. I've got a 10-year-old and a six-year-old that take up a lot of my time lately. But I know we'll see each other soon, and I look forward to it.
Doug Casey: Well, if nothing else, join me in the Solomon Islands. You'll have a few crazy tales to tell the boys.
Porter Stansberry: I can assure you that that's not going to happen either [laughing]. There's very few places I can think of that I'd rather not go.
Doug Casey: [Laughs]. And I'll tell you all about it when I get back anyway.
Porter Stansberry: Very good, Doug. Thanks for being on the call.
Doug Casey: Thanks, Porter.
Buck Sexton: Thanks, Doug.
That guy's a really interesting dude. Can I go visit my Uncle Doug in – can I stay in the chalet guest house in Buenos Aires sometime?
Porter Stansberry: He would love to have you, Buck. He's genuinely a sweetheart of a human being. And I'm sure you'll get to meet him at our spring editors' conference. And he will genuinely invite you and will love it if you show up.
Buck Sexton: Oh, great. Yeah. He kinda reminds me of a cross between a character from an Ayn Rand novel and J. Peterman from Seinfeld. Do you know J. Peterman?
Porter Stansberry: Of course. He's the real deal. You know, I don't know if he's worth a billion dollars or not, but he's made a tremendous amount of money. I know for a fact that he invested in Bre-X, which was the biggest mining scandal of all time, and a stock that went up 1,000%. He invested enormous amounts in Bre-X at fundings at like 10 cents and 25 cents and 30 cents. Made an absolute fortune. And I know he got out. He sold and famously wrote a whole issue of his newsletter about why he was selling. And of course he was attacked at the time.
Buck Sexton: Is that like the movie Gold, by the way? You know that movie that just came out recently. Is that the same story?
Porter Stansberry: It's not the same story. The Bre-X – it was an enormous mining fraud. We don't need to get into the details. It was the mid-'90s and he made an absolute fortune on it. And there's been similar things. He made a lot of money in the big uranium bubble in the mid-2000s. And he doesn't talk about it because there's very important legal restrictions about not doing so. But I also know he is a major investor in one of the most spectacularly successful cryptocurrency businesses in the world right now. He's made an absolute fortune on crypto and he's not allowed to talk about it. Especially not to potential retail investors. So he's done very well, and he's been a very good friend to me. He's very kind and generous and a very wise person.
And I really wish we could do a whole podcast and just talk about the philosophical side of his novels and his speculations. He has some profoundly deep insights into the way that human beings actually interact together and function and the way society – sort of the underlying dynamics that drive society and drive history, if you will, forward, that allows him to anticipate and foresee events that other people can't.
Buck Sexton: Yeah. He's a fascinating dude. That was really interesting.
Porter Stansberry: All right. Well, Doug, again, thanks for coming. And let's move on with the mailbag.
Buck Sexton: All right. First up this week in the mailbag we have: "Dear Porter and Buck," – this one coming from Keith L. "Thanks again for the excellent work you do. I appreciate your honest attempts to convey to us learners the financial and political insight you bring each week. Porter, as a dog owner, I sympathize with you and your family on your loss. I also appreciate you sharing this family moment with us. It emphasizes why I've always been a fan, and why even when I don't agree with your take, it is always done in honesty. And we need more of that today. I do have a question concerning insurance companies and the jubilee. I can't remember if you have addressed the impact the jubilee would have on insurance companies and would like to know your thoughts. Thanks again. Keep bringing the truth – Keith L."
Porter Stansberry: Thanks very much, Keith. For those of you who don't know, we had a bit of a tragedy on my farm last week. My 10-year-old son's dog – it's a two-year-old black lab named Ringo – was hit by a car just outside our gate and died. And it happened right as I was taking my kids to school. So they saw what happened. And it was traumatic and a tough day for our family. And as anyone knows who's had good dogs, they're hard to get over. This is a black lab that would follow my son around constantly, would never let him out of his sight, and was just a wonderful animal. And somehow – I don't know how dogs know this, but somehow he focused on my wife and my son, and he kinda – we have other dogs, and he kinda knew that his job was to take care of my wife and my 10-year-old. It was really sweet. And we're sorry he's gone.
To answer the question about insurance, in good conscience, I don't wanna pretend to have more knowledge or foresight than I have. I don't think it's possible to know how the insurance industry or any financial sector is gonna handle a political environment driven by the concept of jubilee. Because we don't know how debts will be written off. We don't know how debts will be forgiven. We just can't know.
What I can tell you is that the big advantage that insurance companies have over other forms of financial companies is that insurance companies have permanent advanced capital. So when you buy you property and casualty insurance, you pay up front. They hold that capital and then they are subject to claims. And so in that way, they have a negative cost of capital. Meaning instead of having to pay for capital, they get paid to hold capital.
And that puts them in a completely different situation than say a Citigroup or a Bank of America. Those are financial firms that have to pay for capital. And they pay for capital in lots of different ways. For example, they have to maintain their branch networks. They have to pay interest on deposits and certificates of deposit. And so those banking institutions have a much tougher business than a good, well-run insurance company. So that's why we favor property and casualty insurance companies, and that's why we particularly favor high-quality underwriters. Because those people can actually have a substantially negative cost of capital. So they might make 5%, 8%, 12% a year just on their underwriting. And they get all their capital for free. That's a very tough business to beat.
So I think that it's impossible to say what's going to happen. And that on the other side of the insurance companies' balance sheets, they hold a lot of debt. That's what they do. They invest in asset-backed securities. They invest in fixed income. They mostly hold forms of debt. And as those things default or as the fear of default grows in those assets, those balance sheet and assets will decline. It will become difficult for insurance companies to meet their obligations as a result. You could see a run on insurance companies where people are trying to cash in their life insurance, for example. All those things are possible. And I'm certainly not suggesting that you wanna go invest in insurance companies because you believe a jubilee is coming [laughs]. The opposite. You wouldn't wanna own financial companies of any type in the event of a systematic collapse of our financial system because of a crisis and a jubilee.
But I will tell you that I am currently very comfortable to hold the property and casualty insurance companies that we do in our model portfolios. Because I believe that the risk of a jubilee is still long-dated, meaning I don't think we're likely to see it during this presidential administration. And, furthermore, I feel like insurance companies are safer than other forms of financial businesses. So I just wouldn't worry about it yet – is my long-winded, hopefully thorough reply.
Buck Sexton: All right. Joe V. is up next. "Dear Porter and Buck, I'm an Alliance member and love your podcast. It's an educational and entertaining experience. I think you could make more of an impact by having opposing viewpoints on hot-button topics like tax reform. I realize that practical considerations may preclude having multiple guests on the podcast. But the Norquist interview was very one-sided. All issues are more complex than they appear on the surface, and I know this one is not an exception. It would be nice to hear someone tell us why the bill may add to the deficit, like other trickle-down policies have in the past. Merry Christmas to you both – Joe V."
So, Porter, this was the Grover interview which I did because we had a scheduling conflict. And, look, Grover couldn't be more of a fan of anything that is tax cuts. But I would say that he just dismissed the notion that we're gonna be adding to the deficit, 'cause there's gonna be so much growth and it will pay for itself. It sounded a little salesman-y. I'm not gonna lie.
Porter Stansberry: Hold on, Buck. You're telling me that Grover is a little one-sided when it comes to tax policy? [Laughs].
Buck Sexton: A little bit.
Porter Stansberry: Well, yeah, that's not a surprise. Yeah, I don't know. I would love to have more guests on the podcast. I actually would. I'd love to have more guests and I'd love for the guest parts to be quicker. But at the same time, the moment you have on a really good guest, then you just want it to go on forever. So it's a constant challenge.
Buck Sexton: Point-counterpoint on radio is a tough thing to pull off, and people need to understand that. And that's why on a podcast – there're really no great debate podcast shows because you have two people who like each other enough and have enough respect for each other that they will allow the other person – because crosstalk on radio is just – nobody wants to hear it 'cause no one can hear anything. So that's why – Porter, specifically here they're saying they want opposing views. And there are limitations, right? If someone comes on the podcast and they're gonna say that communism is actually a pretty good system; we should give it a try, we're not gonna have a productive discussion [laughs]. It's not gonna work.
Porter Stansberry: I'm actually not – I said we should have more guests. I'm not in favor of having a debate on a podcast. I don't really actually want a debate at all. I don't like debates. I like people who are trying to explore ideas and they're trying to find out why a system or a company or a form of entertainment is successful and works. I like exploring those things. I don't really like arguing about them. And, frankly, people who only see one side of a topic just aren't interesting to me.
Buck Sexton: Yeah. Well, in the social media sound-bite world too the problem is that everyone tries to win every argument in 30 seconds, and the reality is that anything worth arguing about generally can't be won or lost in 30 seconds, right? It's a much more complex issue than that. But anyway – I dealt with this last night, actually.
Porter Stansberry: I also abhor politics in any form. I mean, people who don't understand that government is violence and that taxes are theft – they're just not my kinda people. If you wanna pay taxes, go ahead. I don't see anybody volunteering to do it. I don't see any actual accountability in government. I don't see any fairness in any of it. It's just completely ridiculous to me, the whole concept. America – our country was founded as a rejection of state authority. And now these people wanna pretend like there's something in America that entitles them to taxes and to violence and to taking what's not theirs. They're antithetical to everything that our country was founded on, that made our country successful. And I just don't really care about hearing about any of it.
And then of course it just leads into a whole bunch of entitlement nonsense, and I get tired of hearing about how terrible I am as a successful entrepreneur. The whole thing I have no interest in.
And the guy who wrote in saying something about trickle-down – he doesn't want to hear opposing viewpoints. He wants to hear his viewpoint, and Grover didn't share it.
Buck Sexton: Well, there we have it. Look, we'll have more – and we are working on getting more guests. I mean, that's why we've been adding in some people that are a little off the usual financial track recently. And we've got more coming certainly in 2018.
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