my computer I have a database file that contains almost 50,000 email files. I
probably refer back to and search this file more than I even realize. It's
one of those things that you don't quite realize the value of it until you
suddenly face the loss of it (perhaps like Satoshi Nakamoto and all his
Very recently my computer crashed from what appeared to be a
really nasty virus that apparently wiped out my hard drive. Thankfully I was
able to recover everything, even my Treasure Chest email file. And full, 100%
credit for the recovery goes to one of my greatest supporters, Warren, who
told me exactly what to buy, what to do with it, and even paid for it! Thank
Here is Warren's current project, SLV
Database, which Bron mentioned the other day in PMs
and the LME Warehouse Scam:
"Which is why I am very interested in this ETF bar
list project and am doing what I can to help, as this I believe holds the
potential to reveal just how big that dark pool of stock really is."
Check out Warren's project, and if you see him, thank him for saving FOFOA's
Anyway, I thought I would celebrate my full Treasure recovery by sharing with
you all a few nuggets from The Chest. The following are just a few recent
highlights from my email file:
I am fortunate to have found your blog in more ways than one would believe.
I have been reading your posts with much interest ever since. You write very
This sounds is a little crazy cause I feel like I
hit a Vegas jackpot or something.
I came across bitcoin awhile ago and was intrigued
so I ran the generating program for a while but I cannot remember why I had
stopped it. Although it really doesn't matter with all the what if's. Anyway,
reading your latest post sparked my memory in that I had looked at it. I am
amazed at how it's evolved with even a trading market. I reinstalled the
program to have a look at it again and to my
surprise I had 50 bitcoin credits! I only remember just running it for a
couple days so a quick calculation showed USD value of a little over $800
worth of bitcoins (as of last Saturday). I sent the credits right away to
market (mt.gox I think) and surprisingly they sold quick. The funds from the
trade went again right away to Dwolla.com which handles exchanges for cash
through a bank transfers. So far so good but I will know in a couple of days of the successful transfer.
I think I will be trading those bitcoin generated USD's for a nice 1/2 oz
Canadian Maple or Australian gold coin.
Thank you for posting about bitcoin. I probably would've never had a second
thought about it otherwise.
A few questions – maybe you have already answered these. I need to go
back and reread all your posts again.
Regarding the stability of the dollar: What is the significance of the Saudi
currency being pegged to the dollar? What is the significance of the Yuan
being pegged to a currency basket heavily weighted in favor of the dollar? As
long as these heavyweights not only accept dollars, but go so far as to bind
their own currencies to the dollar, it seems like the petrodollar system may
be able to limp along for a long long time. I would expect a de-linking to be
a sign of an imminent collapse, but it is diffiult to imagine a collapse as
long as the links remain. Other lesser but notable pegs include Hong Kong,
UAE and Venezuela.
Hello R, I
don’t know how much you know about the different types of currency
management, but this is a good paper. It is a debate in 2001 between Robert
Mundell (“father of the euro”) and Milton Friedman. http://www.irpp.org/po/archive/may01/friedman.pdf
Pegging is arguably a better choice than a
“dirty float” in which you surreptitiously intervene. Pegging is
one step down from a hard fixed exchange rate like
California shares with Texas, or Greece with Germany. And sharing a fixed
currency is really no different than sharing any fixed scientific metric,
like a meter or a gram. California can still have to
pay a higher interest rate than Texas as Greece pays more than Germany (from
private debt markets). The fixed currency is not the problem any more than
the shared weight of a gram should be a problem. So
a pegged currency would be analogous to the meter being pegged to 3.28 feet.
Two countries use different standards, but they peg their conversion rate.
The problem is with the perpetual US trade deficit. In order to stay pegged
to the dollar, there are only two things these countries can do. And most
economists are only aware of one of them. The way everyone thinks it is done
is by recycling those dollars into US assets, primarily Treasuries. The
Chinese (or Saudi) exporter receives dollars and
exchanges them for local currency at the bank. That bank then sells them to
the central bank for freshly printed currency, and the CB then buys US assets
with the dollars.
And since the US is not in the business of selling off the farm, we sell
government debt paper. This has the effect of funding the US government
through the trade deficit and exporting the currency inflation to those
trading partners that must print their own currency to stay pegged. If they
were to buy US-made products with those dollars rather than Treasury paper,
then there would be no trade deficit. But then the American economy would
have less goods, more cash (inflation) and the government would have to find
another stream of funding.
But there is another thing they can do (and are starting to do) with those
dollars we are sending them for their goods. They can buy gold on the open
market. It really doesn’t matter if the exporter that receives the
dollars buys the gold himself, even inside the country, or if the CB buys it
from London. If it is purchased in country by citizens, that will raise the
internal price of gold and create an arbitrage opportunity that will cause
gold to flow into the country until the price differential (inside and out)
So this is a way to use your excess dollars on the world market, rather than
inside the US, which also helps keep your currency pegged without running
into a foreign exchange crisis. I have my own theory that the actual physical
flow of gold into China corresponds to money that Ben Bernanke must now print
that was previously being funded by the PBOC. This takes a long chain of
thoughts to get there which I’m not going to write here, but I think
you can get the concept intuitively.
Buy gold (instead of Treasuries) with your excess dollars received from
selling to products or oil to the US. As long as you buy on the open market
(as opposed to dark pools as the Saudis used to do or from mines inside your
own country) this drives up the price of gold and causes a physical inflow
into your country. You no longer have to print equal amounts of your own
currency so you have stopped your internal monetary inflation and, instead,
channeled it into the price of gold (inflation only against gold, not
life’s necessities). The Fed, in turn, is forced into “QE”
which is essentially printing those dollars you would have given to Treasury
since Congress can’t cut the budget. Also, those dollars you used to
buy gold in London or Zurich will eventually find their way back into the US
through private channels and add inflation on top of the printing the Fed is
So now, you’ve sent all that monetary inflation back into the US, and
still kept your currency pegged. And if you follow this train of thought far
enough, I think you’ll find that it leads to stresses that will
ultimately break both the US dollar and the paper gold market without ever
The physical gold must continue flowing into the physical boundaries of trade
surplus zones while the price of gold rises. Weight-based flow and price
level offset each other somewhat. But ultimately this will break the paper
gold market because we’re talking about physical flows from the debtor
zones into the saver zones. And now the US finds itself between a rock and a hard place. The hard place being that dollar interest
rates in the US must skyrocket which would destroy the dollar banking system,
Wall Street, the US government welfare state and the US economy, or else the
Fed must print to oblivion to keep rates down and suffer the ravages of
hyperinflation. That’s the rock, because it will win out over the hard
place seven days a week.
You frequently refer to financial wealth “going to zero” –
but this seems to be an exaggeration. Many financial assets may go to zero,
but other forms of intangible property (such as shares in a company with
capital assets and no debt) should have some value when all the dust settles,
think it is mainly debt-based assets that will go to zero because their
numeraire will be hyperinflated. Even if interest rates were to skyrocket
they’d go to pretty near zero. Equity assets will suffer the ravages of
economic hardship brought on by the dollar’s collapse, but you’re
right, they won’t lose all value. In Argentina, the stock market lagged
the currency devaluation. The stock market only doubled in nominal price
while the currency it was denominated in devalued 3:1. So if you had 3 pesos
in stocks before the devaluation, you now had 6 pesos after the devaluation
but they were only worth 2 of the old peso value. So you lost about 33% being
in equities during the currency crisis. I imagine it could be much worse than
this in US equities during a US dollar devaluation.
You refer to freegold as the natural consequences of the end of fractional
reserve bullion banking. I can see how a worldwide run could crash the
system, but in the aftermath what would prevent an eventual return to
fractional reserve bullion banking? Giants may someday once again have some
risk appetite to lend out their bullion holdings, no?
Against what collateral? Gold is (will be) the ultimate collateral. To
protect gold’s status as such, and its invaluable contribution to a
stable monetary system, courts will not enforce the forfeiture of any lesser
collateral in the failure of a loan of the ultimate collateral. This will be
enough to prevent the lending of gold, which will be frowned upon by the
The only reason to borrow the ultimate collateral is to short it. Can you see
why a newly stabilized system would frown on this and therefore not support
it if and when it goes bad? If you want to put your gold to work you just
sell it and then put those dollars or euros to work. You don’t lend it
out because you might not get it back.
Regarding the onset of hyperinflation: Do you expect that the initial loss of
confidence will come from a foreign government? Or from the private sector?
think it will come from a panic in the private sector, because even though
foreign governments have already lost confidence, they will never take overt
action to destroy the system. That’s the kind of thing that starts
I can imagine you must have a ton of emails so thank you for finding time to
reply. At your leisure, is there anything besides storage in my home or
backyard (in other words paid storage) that you would recommend?
I think a good rule of thumb is that each person should take responsibility
for his own wealth. This is kind of what Freegold or a meritocracy is about,
personal responsibility. As I have written in the past, if you have too much
wealth that you cannot take personal responsibility for it, then this crisis
will solve your problem for you one way or another.
I know one guy who has around 2,000 ounces of physical. I don't know where it
is, but he has led me to believe it is under his direct control and
possession. He sent me a snapshot from his computer holding a single, monster
320 ounce coin. So he has at least that much under his immediate physical control.
I'm sure there are many safe storage options in your town. I've heard of
"private" vaults, like a bank safety deposit box, but not at a
bank. Or perhaps it is best to diversify. Some here, some there. If
diversified, I'd be fine with some in a bank deposit box. I don't know. Seems
like a very personal decision to me. I suppose if you had ten million in gold
it would be a good idea to keep some in a paid vault in Switzerland. You'd
probably have a paid-off house there too, and a gassed-up car in the garage
of your Swiss chalet. But even a million in gold
today fits in a very small box (or safe). That's the beauty of gold!
hope you are doing well. I just got home from a rafting trip through the
Grand Canyon and brought your (at the time) most recent essay. Thank you for
yet another thoughtful piece, it provided me some enjoyable reading in a very
beautiful setting. It even spurred on a great conversation with my friend
when he asked me what I was reading. I thought you would enjoy this pic of
the view I enjoyed while reading your essay. Thanks again for consistently
out this picture one of my readers sent me!
And the untold story is that when they unexpectedly ran short of toilet paper
mid- journey, they began conscripting their supplies of bread for that duty
in a valiant sacrifice to preserve those precious pages, thus sparing the
keen insights of FOFOA from an inglorious end.
I just wanted to extend my respect to you and do my part in supporting your
efforts. I hope my small donation will help:) Your writings, as well as those
of Another and FOA, have really opened my eyes in the last few weeks. I don't
post in the comments section of your blog, or many other blogs for that
matter, but I read and learn as much as I can from you. You're a fantastic
writer and you have a brilliant mind. I'm happy you are sharing your mind
with us and stimulating intelligent thought and conversation. Our world can
always use more of that! haha.
I live in southern BC, Canada. Just turned 33 and I'm on my new path as a
prospector/ Placer gold miner after giving up my profession and cashing out
on a few investments in a HOT real estate market a few years back. All is
well and I enjoy my new lifestyle immensely:) Spring is approaching once
again and we'll be back out on my claims collecting gold very soon. I'm also
in the process of selling my small orchard property and stepping down to a
smaller acreage so I can invest half of my savings into gold bullion. I'm
even selling my beloved hotrod!! 1934 ford Tudor Sedan:) It's kinda hard to
part with it but I feel it in my soul that gold will prove to be a much
better investment in the future.
I know how you feel about gold mining when Freegold naturally takes effect,
but I feel that Placer mining will be a bit of a
hidden bonus to those "in the know". There are just way too many
creeks and vast open spaces up here to properly police. I have a feeling that
there will at least be a grace period where they won't be able to keep track
of exactly what people are doing and where. I have friends that pull at least
50 ounces a year and not a single person ever sees
them or knows exactly where they get their gold. That is including the
government mining inspectors and Department of Fisheries.
To further expand on this; the gov doesn't even have a clue that some of the
claims are as rich as they are. For example, I have a claim that's located on
a creek that has "official" reports of only 50 ounces in its whole
history. The old timers never reported the exact amount of gold they were
pullin' out in almost all of the gold bearing areas in this province from the
beginning of the first gold rush in the mid 1800's. My claim with the 50
ounces reported is much, much richer than that:) I've located documents and
personal journal entries from the last living family member that mined the
claim back in the 40's. They pulled just under 3000 ounces from one section
of my claim and estimated their reserves at another 3000 ounces from a
section that they never touched due to old age/retirement. They kept secrecy
at all costs, a family secret that has remained
hidden until only a few months ago. Anyway, just a little something extra to
I could see the gov implementing some sort of laws regarding placer gold
though, and regulations to try to prevent the sale of it into the (official)market at untaxed levels. However, it is not too
difficult to smelt placer gold into bricks:) though they wouldn't be
officially minted bars.
Well, I don't want to take up too much of your valuable time so I'll end
here:) I hope I've given you a little something extra to think about
regarding gold mining of a different sort.
Thanks so much and keep up the great work:)
I have just sent a donation of $100.00.
Like so many others, I find your blog a gripping
read, and I take its advice to heart (by buying bullion), though I have yet
to post any comment there.
I am particularly intrigued by a statement you made in your post Freegold
"It seems—and correct me if I'm wrong here—that physical
gold (along with a few other discreet collectible items like real estate,
fine art, antique furniture, ancient artifacts, fine gemstones, fine jewelry
and rare classic cars) may be the only true wealth holdings in which you are
not a jerk. What do you think?"
I have a personal and financial, as well as an intrinsic intellectual stake,
in the following questions (which I believe you will find to be of intrinsic
interest) regarding these sorts of "discreet collectible items":
Do you expect them to appreciate at near the rate that gold will appreciate
when we get Freegold? Or did you mean only that they would hold value while
At first glance, the latter seems likely to me, since, as I understand your
argument, the Freegold spike will happen primarily because there are many
more (paper) claims on physical gold than there are bars and coins to satisfy
those claims; whereas these "discreet collectible items" will not
enjoy any such spike, as there is no excess of paper claims upon them.
However, other considerations may pertain. As you presumably know,
Goldsubject(HERE) popularizes Freegold to mean that, because "there
simply aren’t enough physical goods in the world to satisfy the demands
of all the money and other paper wealth that exists", you could get
Freegold (even if paper claims on physical gold could all be met by matching
bars and ounces for satisfaction of those claims).
While Goldsubject claims that (his understanding of) Freegold means that all
of the money fleeing paper wealth will flow to physical gold, that result
seems unlikely to me, particularly since so many "investors" are
taught to diversify. Given your confidence in "discreet collectible
items", why would you not expect investors to diversify into such items
as they flee paper wealth? But, would they do so at anywhere near the pace of
their flight into bullion?
Moreover, would not much depend upon the quality/rarity of the "discreet
collectible items"? Wouldn't, say, rare classic cars do much better in
this environment than, non-distinctive real estate; but again, would this gap
increase at anywhere near the pace of that of gold in Freegold?
These issues are of particular importance to me, as I own numerous extremely
(in one case, supremely) important historical objects, which I presume to be
worthy of inclusion in your list of "discreet collectible items".
Insofar as that such items have little chance of keeping pace with gold
bullion when Freegold emerges, I ought to dump these objects ASAP for lower
prices than I judge them to deserve, and pour the proceeds into bullion.
Insofar as that such items have a substantial chance to keep pace with gold
bullion when Freegold emerges, I ought to keep these objects as
diversification, until I obtain for them sums in keeping with what prices I
judge them to deserve.
So I anticipate with great interest any thoughts you have about the issues
If you choose to reply to my queries, I will be of a mind to pursue with you
other related issues of intrinsic interest, e.g. that the Exeter pyramid puts
such "discreet collectible items" as real estate and fine jewelry
(this surely having no counter-party risk) quite far above the "power
money", and above even the paper assets from which he expected capital
to flee when all paper assets became distrusted for their counter-party risk.
I would appreciate any response that you could send. A separate blog post on
these issues would also be of interest; feel free to quote me as you wish.
Thank you very much for your support and also for your query.
When I mentioned those items in the Foundations post it was only in the
context of being a true physical wealth holding. Not in the context of a
transitional revaluation. You’ll notice that these items tend to be the
kinds of things that the super-rich have in abundance. The super-rich spend
lots of money but lose little value, because they buy fine (and rare/scarce)
things. This is the way wealth can and should be enjoyed.
As to these kinds of things revaluing upwards with gold, I don’t really
see that happening. Collectibles already conform to the “rules”
that gold will conform to under Freegold. Collectibles have unambiguous
owners. When they are sold, there is an unambiguous seller
and an unambiguous buyer. There are no pool accounts of collectibles with
unallocated account holders. There are no circulating (trading)
“paper-collectibles.” There are not more “claims” on
collectibles than there are physical collectibles. Etc.
This may apply to your question. Someone asked me last week:
"You’ve said hyperinflation and freegold are separate events. I
can only imagine them all rolled up in one messy ball. Would love to know how
you see the separate events relate to each other as they unfold separately,
if you haven’t already covered it."
"They will most likely be rolled up in one messy ball. But thinking
about it in that way makes people miss that they are distinct, discrete
events that will be happening at the same time. For example, if
hyperinflation takes the price of everything up 1,000,000%,
gold will go up 40,000,000%. But only gold. Everything else, silver, cans of
peas, etc... goes up 1,000,000%. So gold's FREEGOLD
rise (that extra 40x rise) is in REAL TERMS because it is relative to
everything else REAL. While everything else only rises in NOMINAL terms. Can
you see the difference?"
So the question comes down to how specific collectibles (since they are not
fungible wealth like gold) will perform. I don’t think there is an
answer for collectibles in general. I think some will perform WORSE than
silver and cans of peas. I think some will perform much better! And I have a
hard time imagining any that will perform as well as gold or better, but
perhaps a few will.
Some of the most-rare pieces are already being revalued upwards now. Freegold
will not necessarily deliver a dramatic revaluation, but the years prior to
it may. Others will be overvalued in the run-up and therefore may perform
worse than inflation. Real Estate may be one of these since it is generally
priced with leverage. However the best of the best pieces of real estate,
those that trade with no leverage today, will likely do as well as inflation.
And then the next question is would it be worth trading an extremely rare
item for an abundant one like gold for a profit from the transition? I cannot
answer that question for you. “It depends!” On many things. I
think it would have to be analyzed on a case by case basis for each and every
item. And then think about the liquidity of those items. Will the people that
would buy them today be in gold through the transition so that they would
still be able to buy them tomorrow? Lots of things to think about. Read my
old post Mona Lisa or Ben Franklin. But try to imagine it
as “Mona Lisa or gold?”
Of course these are only my guesses based on intuition. I hope they help!
Thank you so very much for your extensive and thoughtful reply; of course
intuition has to play a large role in any such analysis.
The sort of items I am talking about can see seen at http://www[redacted] .
Once I've really been able to mull over your thoughts, I may get back to you
on them, if that's OK.
Well that looks like quite a collection! What a nice and rare [redacted]!
A couple thoughts come to mind initially. The first is wondering if you are a
dealer first and foremost and a collector second. Or
are you a collector first and dealer second? This goes to the enjoyment
factor of owning such precious artifacts. And also, probably, the discount at
which you obtained the items since dealers are more particular about their
Also, I would have to look at collectables like this in a
similar way to numismatic coins, which I personally stay away from. The
reasoning is that I view numismatic prices as having two distinct value
components: the melt value of the metal, and the premium on the art, history,
age and scarcity of the piece. Freegold is a revaluation of the melt value
component only. And in the case of many numismatics, I expect the premium
component to actually shrink in real terms. This can already be seen
happening in some cases as the price of the metal rises transferring pressure
to the premium component. But only in more common numismatics. Not in the
Another lesser consideration is that ANOTHER was writing more for people
holding their wealth in paper, not in real things. For these people gold
bullion is a much more urgent consideration than for someone like you.
Consider the scenario of the dollar’s purchasing power falling 90%
while gold revalues 40x upwards. For the average saver in an average pension
fund or 401K, that is a differential of 400x. Whereas your items may only
face a differential of between 7x (for gold-based
items) and 40x for other metals. (That's the difference between keeping what
you have now versus trading it for gold bullion before the punctuation. Just
a very rough guess of course, but in any case much less of a factor for you
than for the paper bugs.)
The point being, if people like you were all ANOTHER was going to reach, he
probably wouldn’t have bothered to come forward. Of course that is no
reason for someone like you not to optimize. But because you are already in a much much better position than 99% of the rest of the
people, careful consideration should be given to your decisions.
If it were me, I would probably aim to start reducing inventory in favor of
bullion. But I probably wouldn’t sell the stuff at fire sale prices. I
would simply make it a “policy decision” of sorts to reduce
inventory, and for new items I would want to start acting more as a broker
rather than growing my inventory. In fact, I might even expand my business
into the “rare bullion” sector. You can often find rare and
“antique” gold bars at no premium to the melt value, that could
then be presented to the same clients that like your other artifacts! And
that’s the kind of inventory you wouldn’t mind sitting on through
a Freegold transition!
Anyway, just a few “off the cuff” Thoughts.
Thank you so very much for another outstanding reply. Some comments:
1) Whatever I was before, I am now a dealer first
and foremost and a collector second, in light of the gravity of the economic
situation. As middle class life melts away, (with the attendant risk to
social/political stability) there is no such thing as having too much gold;
thus, conversion of more illiquid assets into more gold is my top priority;
at issue is the timing, etc. of Freegold.
2) Regarding your last few paragraphs about my situation:
I am indeed already in a much better position than 99% of the rest of the
people. But much hinges on the magnitude and speed of the social/political
upheaval which will result from the collapse of paper assets, with its likely
attendant explosion in the violent–crime rate. Will it be necessary to
have enough gold to afford a fortress, or at least
some bodyguards? (Presumably the Giants have such defenses all lined-up!) Or
at least enough gold to be able to purchase safe havens in other countries,
assuming that any will be any safer than the US?
Given society’s current prospects, everyone ought to be thinking about
how they stack-up regarding the following sorts of considerations:
I am in my late 50s, hence I’m long past the peak of my ability to
“mix it up” with gangsters. At first glance, I might present
something of an imposing figure (being 6’2”, now 220 lbs., with a booming voice) but, at some point I will
start to look old, I cannot be everywhere all the time with all of my loved
ones, and these loved ones clearly do not present imposing figures.
I have already (since '07) started working quite hard to reduce my
collectibles inventory in favor of bullion, obtaining very much indeed above
fire sale prices. But I still have many fewer “dollar worth” of
gold than of the collectibles (particularly if these are measured by what I
view as their potential worth, rather than by my cost). And, considering
these items' illiquidity (particularly at the higher prices), getting such
prices tends to require patience, luck, or a fair amount of (preparation)
time and work (which I generally quite enjoy doing).
[In recent months, I have been concentrating on improving the chances of a
major haul from [redacted]; but this figures to be a relatively long-term
project. Thereby I have neglected other possible pursuits, e.g. rushing to
get auctioned items of vastly lesser magnitude and value; this because I feel
that I am (regarding financial potential) “top-heavy” into the
[redacted]. Were it to sell, I would be then diversified in various genres of
historical objects/groups. Were I to expect Freegold within months rather
than years, I might reverse course and prioritize auctioning of whichever
lesser items I could. Seek Home Run later or bunt singles
3) Regarding your comments about coins (insofar as they are analogous to the
items I hold) , esp. your view that "the price
of the metal rises transferring pressure to the premium component. But only
in more common numismatics. Not in the most rare".
Do you mean only that this is happening now, or do you expect the rare ones'
premiums to continue to evade the pressure which is affecting the more common
ones? (For esoteric reasons, I doubt that this premium- stability will
continue to hold for most rare coins, depending on the definition of
“rarity”; more on this later, if you’re interested.) This
matters insofar as my key items are all, by significant measures, quite rare
indeed, although of course far less liquid than are many rare coins (which
have a large established market-infrastructure).
Enough for now. I eagerly await your thoughts.
1. Regarding the timing of Freegold – The way I approach it is that it
is already overdue by ten years at least. So I think of it kind of like
“the big one” (earthquake analogy) that could come at any time.
How you prepare for an overdue earthquake is how you prepare for Freegold. That
said, once a certain amount of sufficient preps are done, the rest can be
executed a little slower so as to aim for optimization. If Freegold happens
before you are done, you will still be fine. If it takes a little longer, you will have optimized your excess.
2. Regarding security – The best security is secrecy, bar none. Beyond
that, I have bought a number of firearms, I have a CCW (concealed carry
permit) and I bought a concealable bullet-proof vest which I have never worn.
Cheap insurance for $250.
If I was in the $10m net worth range or above I might look to a second home
outside of the country, probably Canada, Switzerland or New Zealand. Below
$10m, I wouldn’t worry about it. I’m staying put. Did you see the
Richard Maybury piece I posted in the comments about “leaving the
country”? If not, you can read it here.
Regarding the [redacted] versus “bunts”, I understand your
juggling act. Unfortunately I think only you can properly weigh all the pros
and cons. I doubt you could ever give me enough information to be helpful in
3. Yes, I mean that is happening now. I do not expect any premiums to expand
like the bullion itself in its new monetary function. There is no reason why
they should! It is gold bullion that is changing in both form (physical only)
and function (global monetary store of value). I can’t think of a
reason why such a unique change would bestow its increase on anything else.
Thanks much FOFOA, I just donated $200 via PayPal and I added a comment to
the blog thread. As much as you detest having to write the latest, some of us
do need reminders, and I do appreciate the note that you are not amassing
physical - just protecting it. I think as time goes on here (near the end),
you will have more and more opportunities to connect the freegold foundations
with current events (similar to what you did recently with GLD). I'm looking
forward to it!
I was wondering if you might do some paid consulting for us by giving us your
opinion and Thoughts regarding some IRA and regular investments in CEF, GTU,
etc. My concern lies in the future tradability of these as we move closer to
reset. These are by no means the only PM investments we have but they are
Let me know what you think.
I’m not sure what you had in mind, but I’m happy to answer
questions by email for free. I’m not in any way a financial advisor,
just a logical thinker. But if I can help, I am happy to. Then if you feel
that I gave you something you would have paid for, you can always donate more
at the end. ;)
To be honest, I don’t know that much about CEF and GTU. Are they
exchange traded like GLD? Are they closed end funds? Etc. Also, I have
another supporter who just switched to a
self-directed IRA (SDI). In it he can buy physical and store it at Brinks.
His question was whether it would be better to take the hit to close out the
IRA now and buy physical discreetly, or to get twice as much physical through
his SDI with big, taxable paper trail.
Let me give you some more background so you know better the situation. My
brother, Mother, and myself have self-directed IRAs. A portion of my IRA was
in Gold AE’s stored in a vault (Delaware). I took the “hit”
and had this delivered to me last year because I simply do not trust this
method of storage through reset due to the vast corruption “out there”.
For the remaining amount, I searched for other G/S vehicles that might be
considered next best to the physical. I first heard of CEF from a Rickards
interview. Rickards and others consider CEF, GTU, and Sprott’s funds as
very good (when compared to GLD/SLV, etc). CEF (Central Fund of Canada) has
been around since the ‘60s and they are also managing GTU (gold-only,
CEF is 50/50 G/S), and the bullion is independently audited each year,
self-allocated, and acts as a store of value to stockholders that cannot be
called for delivery. No lending, leasing, trading or funny business –
just stored metal.
So, I helped get them into these funds and all are happy with the
performance, but my concern is what is likely to happen to these as we
progress through reset. So far, I trust these funds far more than an IRA
custodial vault, however I have doubts about how a
brokerage account will fare through reset. One option is to have the stock
certs (available from CEF only) sent directly to us, ride out reset, and see
what happens. The more painful option is to liquidate now and buy physical
(with all the attendant storage issues and tax hits). I think you have a far better idea than I what the process of reset might
look like. So that is the core of my question – and I might even not
know enough to put the concerns in the right place.
The CEF website is: http://www.centralfund.com/
GTU is: http://www.gold-trust.com/
If you feel the need to do a bit more research on these funds, I’ll
make the donation commensurate.
BTW, attached is a ppt of pics I put together of the family farm operation we
are getting going here in [redacted]. We are doing organic/biodynamic and
promoting a diverse environment in which the animals can express themselves
naturally and contribute to the diversity. We fear that there will be great
need soon for truly nutritious food for folks. And we intend to be able to
provide it. Hope you enjoy the pics.
Thanks for the pdf. Great pictures! Where did you move from?
I’ll give your question some thought and take a look at the CEF/GTU
websites. I don’t like to tell anybody what to do with their money.
Instead, I like to enable people to decide for themselves. It is only when
you take your own financial advice that you can truly have peace of mind.
What it comes down to for me is liquidity during and after the Freegold
transition. I believe that physical gold will be the most liquid form of
gold, and your most liquid market will be the millions of people physically
within your reach. As paper gold fails, I can imagine people panicking out of
even full-reserve funds because they don’t know the difference. You may
know, but not everyone does. So I can imagine that even the best funds might
track the paper gold price down, and then be taken advantage of by a few big players that have the ability to redeem those
for physical at a discount. So I will have to look at the redeemability of
those funds. And even if they are redeemable for the individual investor,
they are still up in Canada. So that would be a factor to consider as well.
After Freegold, why would someone pay the same amount of money for an
irredeemable Canadian share as they could pay for a little wafer bar of
physical at the bank? That’s another thought. So even at full reserve,
I can imagine funds trading at a discount to
physical. Furthermore, we don’t know what the public markets in which
these funds trade will look like after a big shock and exodus of investors.
Anyway, those are just a few of my initial thoughts.
We came together from [big cities, leaving our careers] across the nation
– [redacted]. Back in ’09 we all decided to come together to do
the farm thing recognizing the need for nutritious food and the need for a
choice relative to big Ag. We also recognized what is coming and that this
(the farm) is probably the best way to help in the long run. If we are going
to jumpstart productivity, it better start on the local small farm.
I’m not asking you what to do – just thoughts about the
considerations involved in the coming reset. I know that the bottom-line
ultimate answer is physical in possession (buried or whatever). And if that
is the route we take, then it must be soon. But it’s a matter of making
an informed decision with as much realistic likelihood of what to expect down
the road. In other words, it would be nice to shine the flashlight down the
road as far as possible before heading out. And to some extent this does
require an examination of CEF/GTU in the context of reset. There will always
be unknowns, but before all is done, I’m expecting the absolute worst
from the current “system” (forced annuitization of all IRAs, for
example). If there ever was a concentration of psychopathic anti socials it
would be in today’s corporate/government/financial structures. This I
have researched over many years.
I understand the redemption prob associated with the Sprott funds and I may
be incorrect in assuming that the same could not happen with CEF/GTU. And
even if they survive, they would certainly trade at a discount. And there are
potential political probs since the gold is in Canada. And there could be
such decimation to the trading structure/system (as you say) that nothing
really trades like today. These are all the things I need to weigh while the
fiat can still be converted to physical.
There is one aspect related to that last point. It doesn’t change
Freegold – just our collective expectations. If we are headed for a
period of worldwide chaos, anarchy, and destruction (a la the psychopaths),
then the world asset side of the equation may be far less than that currently
represented by debt fiat. In other words the starting point for Freegold may
be an environment of much destroyed wealth. Any corporation/system can handle
a minority of psychopaths if these individuals are recognized for what they
are and prevented from rising to top level positions of
“leadership”. We as humans, have collectively failed at this task
of reality discernment in our governments/corporations/systems/etc and are
likely to pay a very stiff price. If there are any benevolent giants out
there, now would be the time to step forward.
I’m a little buried in email right now, so just kinda stopping by to
say Hi! Thanks for the updated pdf.
As far as gold having a lower value because of destruction of wealth, that is
not the case. First of all, the fiat “matrix” disappears and
leaves the underlying real world intact, just like the real matrix in the
movie being turned off. Yes, there can be a depression and whatnot, but gold
has this strange ability to stretch its value out into the time dimension
rather than just a snapshot of our 3D world. This is a result of the giants
having an intergenerational proclivity for the stuff. Has nothing to do with
us shrimps, except to the extent that we get to go along for the ride. This
post talks about that time dimension. It’s how gold can have a higher
gross value than all paper wealth in existence today. And how gold can keep
its value even in times of recession: http://fofoa.blogspot.com/2010/06/how-can-we-possibly-calculate-future.html
Just read your Victor post. The “Cleaner” pic matches so well
after reading Victor’s response, LOL … Paper gold must have
reached a kind of status of currency (fiat) by now. A currency that varies in
value with respect to other currencies via the paper spot price of gold. So
there must be some higher level trading strategy between Forex, paper gold,
and oil, (and maybe other commodities) that I don’t understand and that
is not shrimp-friendly.
Anyway on the question of CEF/GTU, it might be better to ask the question in
the form of which bullion institutions are likely to survive reset intact
assuming that reset does not entirely decimate the current financial trunks
and major branches of the system. From what I can tell, CEF/GTU are
well-managed, the people are good, and the audits are good. The prospectii
are geared to the current system but other than that, and the uncertainty of
what the post-reset system will look like, they look OK wrt commitment to the
shareholders. I realize that much bizarre can happen in many arenas and there
is no crystal ball. I am a bit reluctant to take on more physical but on the
other hand, none of us like the idea of our IRAs turning to vapor. I’m
not asking you to analyze CEF/GTU beyond your own curiosity, but to look at
it as to how such an institution might fair through reset. Your idea of how
that might proceed is far and away better than mine – so any Thoughts
are much appreciated by all here.
I took a quick look at the websites for CEF and GTU. I couldn’t find
anywhere that it said shares could be redeemed for bullion at any level.
Assuming this is the case, the best hope I would have for the success of such
a Trust is that its model catches on in Freegold and more of this type of
Trust emerge. But for many reasons I doubt that will be the case.
I cannot point to a specific reason why either of these Funds shouldn’t
trade at close to their NAV, other than that the holder of a share will not
have the same freedoms as the holder of a gram of physical. On the other
hand, I can think of a whole host of scenarios in which the shareholders end
up getting screwed relative to the outcome for physical gold holders. And if
you bear these in mind, you might see how they could become self-fulfilling
in the end as more and more people become able to think things through in
1. Freegold represents gold undergoing a change in both form and function.
Form: Physical only, no paper gold. Function: Main international monetary and
financial system’s primary reserve asset and international settlement
medium. The divergence of the value of gold away from other things like
silver and oil will be a snap! or a gap on the charts as this change takes
place hidden from the markets. It will not be a matter of the trading markets
shifting to value gold vastly more than other things. It will be a simple
monetary reset. And with this may come any number of strange occurrences.
The thing to keep in mind, no matter what happens, is to ride it out!
Don’t act rashly. Just relax and let your gold
lie very still.
For example, some politicians may attempt a
confiscation of some sort. I’m not focusing on the USA because this
could happen anywhere. But it will be very short-lived because it will cause
massive capital outflow and will net very little for the offending government.
Wherever it occurs it will have devastating short-term effects and be quickly
repealed. That’s what I foresee. And that’s why it is important
to understand in advance, so you can just sit back and watch the show.
However, the victims of such a move will likely be those whose gold is stored
by a third party. These will be the easiest targets
for stupid politicians. Even the most honest and upright fund manager will
quickly hand over your gold rather than face any kind of legal or criminal
threat. When I say offending governments will net very little, that very
little will come from places like GLD and CEF. And it won’t be returned
once the law is repealed because you will have already been compensated in
cash at the paper price of gold while the physical price was in hiding.
2. As I have written about it is likely that the new IMFS will not allow the
lending of gold in any way, shape or form. This is not a requirement of
Freegold, but it is the logical conclusion we can expect from rational
lawmakers. This would likely invalidate such funds as CEF or GLD since the
shares can be lent and sold short. This will be seen as deleterious to the
newborn monetary system.
So the question then becomes how to dispose of unsecured creditors like the
shareholders. If you are really lucky they’ll melt down all those 400
oz. bars into little bits that can be divvied up in share-sized baskets. But
I wouldn’t count on that outcome.
3. Depending on how long the “gold in hiding” period lasts (which
I have guessed could be between a week and 6 months), there may be a
concerted effort to cash out all fund shareholders during this time. There
will be a significant incentive to do this! Any fund manager that can either
close down the fund or force a buy-back of the
shares will see a huge windfall on the gold.
This may seem like something only a dirty rotten scoundrel would do. But I
can imagine that things play out in a way that even
the best of them end up doing this.
4. On the other hand, you may be sitting on essentially worthless shares for
up to 6 months, hoping everything turns out in your favor once the BIS
Freegold market opens for business. Imagine, if you will, the paper price of
gold crashing to $200/ounce for 6 months. No physical is trading anywhere
because no one knows the price. The dollar is undergoing hyperinflation.
On paper, your entire IRA is wiped out. The Canadian government offers a
premium payment to shareholders of 100%. The offer is $400/oz. for your gold
shares while the paper price is sitting at $200/ounce month after month. Do
you take the offer? What if it doesn’t work out in the end? What if you
don’t get the Freegold price for your paper shares? Then you would have
been a huge fool not to take the Canadian offer. So
what do you do? What decision will you make at that moment in time, not
knowing how the future will play out?
5. I could go on, but I don’t think I need to.
Larry, you have gone to great lengths to move your life [except for your
savings] off the grid and onto a place where you are in control. I tip my hat
to you, sir!
Thanks much for your response and insights, and I much agree with your points
and the picture painted. So the plan here is forming. The subject might make a good future post since I suspect there are many more in
a similar position.
I never got to any more pdf pics, but here are some of the latest ones that
we put together.
FOFOA, Here is another donation from us. Thanks for the insights. I know what
we are going to do. Take Care, L
Thank you once again for your generous support!
I’m happy that you found my email to be helpful! And once again, great
pictures. It must be fun starting a new life of farming, although I imagine
it’s also a lot of hard work!
Just out of curiosity, which of the four arguments did you find most
persuasive (in my last email)? I personally thought #4 was the most powerful.
Because it sets up a situation in which you may be faced with a tough
decision in the future in which you would have no way of knowing the final
outcome or the best choice. Avoiding those kinds of potential future
conundrums is what preparation and peace of mind is all about, wouldn’t
Yes, I think point #4 was the most powerful along with the last para of point
#1. I think this had the most impact because #4 suggests a scenario that
strikes an intuitive chord. And the easiest route is always taken by
politicians always in favor of their own skin. So, everyone resonated with
this. And yes, everyone agrees that peace of mind in that arena allows us to
concentrate on much more timely concerns as all this plays out. And
preparation it is.
On the farming, much of our motivation has stemmed from an understanding that
our food quality (both animal and plant) has been degrading for a very long
time and has become the driver in chronic disease today. All of this has much
of its source in the loss of soil fertility for producing healthy plants and
animals. Human health depends on these two, and thus, the soil. Good men have
been sounding this alarm for a long time, but Big Ag and Big Pharma have
gained dominance through politics. You will understand this deeply if you
read Albrecht’s “Soil Fertility and Animal Health” I have
attached. And this was written in 1958! (I know how you appreciate the early
warnings) What we hope to achieve is to provide at least a small pocket
– truly nutritious food in a time where it will be sorely needed
– aimed at helping those that can, in turn, help others. There are many
of like mind scattered around the country.
I’ll add you to the list for periodic pic updates so you can see how
And last, but certainly not least, here is a bonus email exchange from just
been reading through a few interesting threads on the Bitcoin forum today.
I'm starting to think this crash over the weekend may be a much bigger story
than the allinvain story that initially drew my attention. And I haven't seen
a single person raise what I think is an entirely likely scenario. There are
many theories floating around. But I think everyone there may be missing the
real story. So I'm wondering what you think of my theory. I'll repeat, I
haven't seen this, or anything even close to it, mentioned anywhere. Perhaps
it is, but I haven't seen it. It's a theory I just now came up with.
The generally accepted story is that someone hacked MtGox and took control of
500,000 bitcoins and put a sell order in for all of it at 1 cent. Everyone
accepts that it must be a hacker that did this, because who in their right
mind would do it voluntarily, with their own funds? This is where my theory
comes in. I can see EXACTLY why someone would.
The owner of MtGox claims that all 500,000 bitcoins came from a single
account that was hacked. That would have been over $8 million worth before
the crash. So some of the forumers are questioning whether MtGox is telling
the truth. Was it really just one account that was hacked? Who would keep $8
million on an exchange like that, in an account that could be hacked? Seems
pretty unlikely, and I agree.
Just before the price hit 1 cent and trading was stopped, one kid scored HALF
of those bitcoins by putting in a buy order for $.0101. He happened to have
$3,000 cash in his trading account as the crash was happening and he, being a
smart kid, bought 259684.77 bitcoins for $2,613. Here is how he describes it
on the forum:
I’m Kevin and I'm the guy who bought 259684 BTC for under $3000
yesterday. I really wanted to keep this as quiet as possible, but I don't
feel I can anymore. Here's my side of what happened.
On an exchange like MtGox, there are typically hundreds of standing "buy
orders" where people are offering to buy bitcoins at various amounts and
prices. When a large sell order comes in, an exchange will start with the
highest priced buy order, match up the buyer and seller, then move down to
the next lowest buy order. This repeats until the entire quantity of bitcoins
being sold have found buyers, or there are no more buyers at the minimum
price the seller was willing to accept.
I was watching, like many of you, a gigantic sell order burning through the
bids. Mt Gox doesn't execute trades very quickly, so we were watching this
huge order slowly eat up every buy order on the books. The price started at
around $17.50, and within minutes was below $10. At this point, I realized
this wasn't merely a large seller willing to accept some losses. This was
someone attempting to crash the market by selling a huge percentage of the
market's total bitcoins at once.
I had around $3000 USD in my Mt Gox account, from earlier sales I'd made. I
looked at the market stats, and realized that there were tons of orders to
buy BTC at $0.01 that would likely eat up any remaining bitcoins this seller
had on the order. I figured if I put a buy order in for $0.0101, my order
would execute first and I could buy a huge amount of bitcoins from this seller before it hit the bottom. The only problem was that
Mt Gox was running slower than molasses at the time, and everyone was saying
that it wasn't accepting trades. I had to try several times, but eventually I
got a buy order in, offering to buy as many bitcoins as I could for $0.0101.
The site stopped responding completely for a while, probably from so many
people hitting refresh to see what was going on. When I got back in, I saw in
06/19/11 17:51 Bought BTC 259684.77 for 0.0101
I had just purchased over 250,000 bitcoins for $2613. At the trading price
immediately before this large sell order happened, that number would have
been worth nearly $5 million. After I regained my breath, I tried to figure
out what to do. I wasn't sure what was really going on.
To make a long story short, the owner of MtGox has accused this kid of being
the hacker and reportedly reported him to the FBI. The kid says he's not the
hacker and MtGox is not telling the whole story. Like, who is the
"victim" with 500,000 bitcoins in his account? I happen to believe
Kevin, the kid.
The debate now seems to be on whether or not MtGox should reverse the trades.
It seems fairly obvious that the "victim" who lost his 500,000
would want the trades reversed. I'm not so sure.
He hasn't been identified, but we can assume MtGox knows who it is. We can
also assume this "victim" is asking MtGox to reverse the trades.
But here's the thing...
I think he's probably hoping that they DON'T reverse the trades, because he
just cleaned out every single US dollar cash buy order on the largest Bitcoin
exchange, all in one fell swoop. He could have NEVER cashed out 500,000 for
$8 million USDs and he knew it. And the allinvain story showed him that
Bitcoin is not long for this world. So how much $$ did he get? Well, let's
assume Kevin cleaned out the last half at $.0101 since he didn't use up his
whole $3K. Our "victim" got $2613 for that half of his chips. The
other half would look like a sloping graph from $17.50 down to .0101. That
means it is likely he got an average of $8.50 per bitcoin for the other
240,000 bitcoins, or about $2 million dollars.
Is that a "loss" of $6.5 million? Or a
GAIN of $2 million? Definitely the latter!!!
Granted, this is a bold move. Which is why he is now presumably playing the
victim, asking for a roll-back, but hoping it is not done. If it's not rolled
back, he walks away with the $2 million after cleaning out most of the USD
cash on MtGox and everyone, including the owner of MtGox, thinking he is a
So who could this be? Who has 500,000 bitcoins? Well, Satoshi Nakamoto, who
reportedly has 25% of the bitcoins, only has about three times that many. So
it's got to be a pretty short list. Either it is Nakamoto or one of two or
three others. And if it is one of the others, then it was likely his whole
wad. If it was Nakamoto, it was a $2 million payday for only 30% of his
stash. He's still well hedged to the upside if Bitcoin recovers. But at least
he got paid for all his work over the last two years, before BTC hit FOFOA's
So what do you think of my theory? Any holes in it?
PS. I should also mention that there is a real chance the trades will not be
reversed. There are good arguments for them not being reversed, not the least
of which is MtGox's own policy as well as the fundamentals behind bitcoin.
It's supposed to be irreversible. If you start reversing trades, liquidity
will dry up as people will pull their profits from the exchanges ASAP. And
this is now a debate, even though some think reversal is imminent. I'm not so
sure it is. And even if it is, Nakamoto would still be in the clear with all
his Bitcoins restored.
Just like the Giants and gold, he who panics out of the dollar first gets the
Why dump the whole wad at once, which you know will overwhelm the market?
This would be a poor way of cashing out, no? Could "he" not dump
like 20K a day (or whatever based on knowledge of the volume he could move
through the market) to max his return?
He threw away so much money if he did this intentionally, no? It seems clear
"I realized this wasn't merely a large seller willing to accept
It had to be something else:
"This was someone attempting to crash the market by selling a huge
percentage of the market's total bitcoins at once."
Exactly, it had to be a hack, no one would sell a huge percentage of their
orange tickets..ohhh wait
1) it seems mtgox volume (and bitcoin in general also in context of other
exchanges as well) is light, so maybe even 20K or whatever smaller dumps a
day become suspicious, and he can't slow dump. In
your scenario he has the cover of "OMG" it was a hack, it was not a
dump by a ponzi insider, and by dumping half or whatever at like 1 cent, the
hack ruse looks even more credible, because, from above "he threw away
so much money of course it was not intentional?" so the story is as you
say, what he "lost" not the 2 million or whatever he pockets
2) who has that many bitcoins??? - only weak hand/ponzi insiders - how could
the sell order be from multiple accounts, right?? - clearly they didn't hack
500 accounts and sell from them all in one order, right? this is one guy!
3) why they keep all that in the account there??? - the amount sounds way
outta line to keep all that on a site where it's obviously an amount quite
disproportionate to the volume trading there
4) whoever had that much coin on there had to see the *slow motion train
wreck,* he would have to be a computer guy way way way into bitcoin to have
all those bitcoins, so why is it that "Just before the price hit 1
cent and trading was stopped" - doesn't he step up earlier- he has
like all these coins and the whole community is going nuts watching this
crash - he had to have known and it appears he didn't act - why would he want
to watch it fall that far??
because you indulged me, - http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/06/after-the-crash-whats-next-for-bitcoin/240696/
"Over the last few weeks the currency's value rose 30-fold
[a ***HUGE*** reason to get out now, 30 FOLD] to more than $30 before
falling back to $10 and rising again to $20 late last week. But Bitcoin prices fell to pennies this weekend following a
security breach that allowed as much as $8.75M worth of Bitcoins (at
pre-crash prices) to be (temporarily?) stolen.[the story's an easy
mainstream media sell, as it passes the common sense sell test - no one would
dump all that money right...8.75m...but...]
This follows last week's news that 25,000 Bitcoins were illegally transferred from accounts on
currency's largest exchange "allinvain's" computer, a heist
then valued at nearly $500,000.[hmm, that wouldn't be the mysterious guy
and mysterious event of mysterious timing that *just recently* sparked the
public debate that ultimately raised the profile of and reaffirmed the whole
"we need to take a hard stand and recognize that bitcoin's decentralized
ideology means no reversals when you get robbed on an exchange", there
is no Mr nice guy fed to take your shoebox of burned money too, we have to
say tough shit. Well timed precedent to lend credence to the "real
chance the trades will not be reversed," in keeping with speculation
that "he" doens't want the sale reversed]
Following Sunday's mess, trading has been suspended and Mt.Gox is currently down as is competitor TradeHill (where prices closed at
$13). Both sites allowed users to trade Bitcoins to and from U.S. dollars and
Mt. Gox accounted for nearly 90 percent of Bitcoin's average daily trading
Yup, there it is, no other way out, he could not sell a little a day or whatever,
90% of the market at mt gox - that's the whole game there, it makes no sense
to keep that much on there given the volume, and that info crushes the common
sense reaction argument I first posted:
"Why dump the whole wad at once, which you know will overwhelm the
market? this would be a poor way of cashing out, no? could "he" not
dump like 20K a day (or whatever based on knowledge of the volume he could
move through the market) to max his return?
he threw away so much money if he did this intentionally, no? It seems clear
"I realized this wasn't merely a large seller willing to accept some
Actually, maybe it was, except to call them losses is maybe not the best way
of looking at it - they were gains above FOFOA's target price - huge gains in
fact! he got a bunch out, more than he could any other way, and he also has a
cover to hide his tracks and help to keep the ponzi going/keep the balloon
Pimps and slingers don't take bitcoins. Who would *not* want the opportunity
to indulge oneself in the finer comforts of the moment while also keeping a
few "orange tickets" in the "raffle"? After all you can
get a yacht if you have enough money.
If it was Nakamoto, it was a $2 million payday for only 30% of his stash. He's
still well hedged to the upside if Bitcoin recovers. But at least he got paid
for all his work over the last two years, before BTC hit FOFOA's target
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