The End Game Ep. 8 – Dr. Marc Faber

The End Game Ep. 8 – Dr. Marc Faber

October 8, 2020

Bill and Grant welcome the one and only Dr. Marc Faber, author and publisher of the Gloom Boom and Doom Report to The End Game to seek his perspective on what comes next. Lessons the world can learn from the Japanese experience, the Asian reality versus the perspective offered by Western media outlets and the difference between China Bears and China Bashers are all discussed as is the ultimate fate of the US dollar – something Dr. Faber labels a ‘time bomb’.So sit back, relax and join us for an hour of vintage Faber

The Grant Williams Podcast
The End Game Ep. 8 - Dr. Marc Faber
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Bill and Grant welcome the one and only Dr. Marc Faber, author and publisher of the Gloom Boom and Doom Report to The End Game to seek his perspective on what comes next.

Lessons the world can learn from the Japanese experience, the Asian reality versus the perspective offered by Western media outlets and the difference between China Bears and China Bashers are all discussed as is the ultimate fate of the US dollar – something Dr. Faber labels a ‘time bomb’.

So sit back, relax and join us for an hour of vintage Faber…

 

Grant Williams:

Before we get going, here’s the bit where I remind you that nothing we discuss during The End Game should be considered as investment advice. This conversation is for informational and, hopefully, entertainment purposes only. So, while we hope you find it both informative and entertaining, please do your own research or speak to a financial advisor before putting a dime of your money into these crazy markets. And now, on with the show.

Grant Williams:

Welcome, everybody, to another edition of The End Game. Joining me, hopefully as always, because without him it really wouldn’t be much good, is my friend and partner in crime here, Mr. Bill Fleckenstein. Bill, come in.

Bill Fleckenstein:

I’m here, and I can’t wait to get rolling and talk to an old-time friend of both of ours and, hopefully, people will really enjoy his historical perspectives.

Grant Williams:

Yes, joining us for this episode is the great Marc Faber, the Editor and Publisher of The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report. Bill and I have both known Marc for a number of years and are both avid readers of his work. I don’t know about you, Bill, but over the years, I mean, I’ve found so much fantastic information inside and kind of thought-provoking material in Marc’s writing. It’s been extraordinary.

Bill Fleckenstein:

I couldn’t agree more. I’ve been reading his writings for, I think, close to… Jeez, could it be that long?

Grant Williams:

Don’t say it out loud because-

Bill Fleckenstein:

Okay, I won’t. Okay.

Grant Williams:

… It’s going to make me feel terribly old.

Bill Fleckenstein:

Okay, okay. I won’t. Okay.

Grant Williams:

I went through this exercise earlier on.

Bill Fleckenstein:

I’ll stop right there.

Grant Williams:

Yeah, but you know, Marc, famously or infamously, fell foul of the political correctness police a few years ago, which was a great shame, knowing as I do, none of the things that he was painted as at that time were accurate, only it was an extraordinary hit job. Sadly, it’s led to Marc being much less visible in the financial media in recent years, which is a great shame, Bill.

Bill Fleckenstein:

Well, we’re going to make him a little more visible right now.

Grant Williams:

Yes, we are. So, please welcome to The End Game, Dr. Marc Faber.

Dr. Marc Faber:

Well, it’s a pleasure, and especially it’s a great honor to be on a program with my dear friend, Bill Fleckenstein, because he’s also distinguished as someone who is no longer welcome by the international media. So-

Bill Fleckenstein:

Yes.

Dr. Marc Faber:

… You have here two people who share some benefits of no longer being in the international media.

Grant Williams:

Well, listen. Frankly, I’d rather-

Bill Fleckenstein:

Political incorrectness has its price, right?

Grant Williams:

Yeah, exactly. I’d rather be associated with you two than the international media, so hopefully I’ll be guilty by association by the end of it.

Dr. Marc Faber:

Okay.

Grant Williams:

So, Marc, Bill and I have been on this kind of quest to figure out… We called it The End Game for want of a catchy title but really, it’s the transition from the monetary policy and the situation around us to whatever comes next. I think a big part of that, that we haven’t had a chance to talk to anyone about yet, is Asia.

Grant Williams:

And so, what we’d love to do is kind of get a snapshot from you of how it feels in Asia, whether you can feel anything different, whether the Hong Kong-China tensions are more serious than we’re perhaps seeing them portrayed here in the Western media. How does it feel on the ground in Asia at the moment?

Dr. Marc Faber:

Well, obviously, like elsewhere in the world, we’re all in a recession. There’s no question about this. And I think that ordinary people suffer, actually, quite badly and especially in countries like the Asian countries where we don’t have governments that hand out as much money as in Western Europe and in the US. So, I think that business is bad, and in countries such as Hong Kong, and also Thailand and Singapore, that rely heavily on tourism and on conventions… This is a big business in Asia, the convention business… Business is especially hard hit because tourism is down over 80%, so you can imagine what the impact is through the multiplier effect on hotels, on restaurants, on bars, and on the retail shops that some luxury brands, they have essentially 50% of the sales in Hong Kong.

Dr. Marc Faber:

So, this has had a huge impact economically but you have to see Asia is still a young society, and is not yet as spoiled as young people in the Western world. They don’t feel victimized for everything that happens in the world.

Dr. Marc Faber:

Another thing that their victims, they just think that the reactions of governments to the crisis, the COVID-19 crisis, was exaggerated and made things worse than had governments done nothing at all. The COVID would have spread maybe more but things for young people, the mortality rate is next to zero, it wouldn’t have had such a huge impact.

Dr. Marc Faber:

So I think that, yes, the economies are bad but in the case of China, with actually less stimulus than in the US, the economy is doing okay. I wouldn’t call it doing fantastically well because one of the problems of China is that they also have a very large debt level. But we also have to analyze what debts were used for. Yes, some debts were used for speculation but the high leverage in China is similar to the high leverage Japan had in the ‘60s and Korea in the ‘70s. It’s been used for infrastructure.

Dr. Marc Faber:

I mean, all the critics of China… And I distinguish between critics and China bashers. The China bashers, and you know some of them, they are mostly ignorant. They have no clue of what is happening in China. They have no clue what the Communist Party looks like, how actually the leadership in the party they voted for.

Dr. Marc Faber:

But anyway, the critics, they rightly say that a lot of debts have accumulated over the last 20 years but they acknowledge that the infrastructure built out in China is the most impressive in the shortest period of time that has ever happened in the history of mankind. And this is not all stolen technology. Some of it is stolen but every society, every civilization, that came up inherited some of the knowledge of a previous civilization. This is a normal transition. But I acknowledge that they have also stolen the way that the Americans stole all the technology from Britain in the 19th century.

Grant Williams:

Yes.

Dr. Marc Faber:

We have to see this very clearly. The natives in America had no technology whatsoever. They didn’t even know the wheel. And the European stock came over. They brought some technology. But later, during the period of the industrialization which caught on first in Britain between around 1750 and 1840, during that period of time, Americans were way behind, so they had spies that got British to come to America to transfer the technology, and some actually went to Britain to spy on the British factory system.

Bill Fleckenstein:

Yes. You, in the last issue of Gloom, Boom & Doom Report, you had a lot of ink you used on describing how all that process took place. So, I think a lot of people probably aren’t really familiar with the fact that all through business development throughout history, everyone’s always trying to steal the other guy’s secrets.

Dr. Marc Faber:

Yeah, sure. We, in Switzerland, we were an agrarian society, and the machinery that eventually came from Britain to Switzerland in the textile industry and in the power industry and so forth. So we had an Englishman, Brown, he came, he founded Brown, Boveris, now essentially ABB. And Sulzer, the same, and so forth. So, I’m not picking on America in this respect. I’m just saying this is a normal process in the development of mankind.

Dr. Marc Faber:

Now, the question that we have today is obviously this money printing, where will it lead to, and what is the eventual outcome? My view is that money printing, the way it’s being done now, is very negative for economic growth in the long run. In the short run, you send a cheque of $1,000 to each person in the US. Then they can maintain consumption but it doesn’t lead, necessarily, to capital investments because the consumption is in the US. And what Trump was fighting about, namely the trade deficit, is actually going up. This is a most unusual case in the American economy. In previous recessions, the trade deficit always went down. In this recession, it went up. So it shows how essentially futile the policies are.

Dr. Marc Faber:

The end game, whatever the outcome is, the right wing or left wing government, in my view, will be lower standards of living for everybody. That, I think, is the most likely outcome.

Grant Williams:

Well, let me just go back to something you mentioned a couple of minutes ago, and that is this idea, and the kind of impression that we in the West have of China which, to your point, is perhaps a little bit further from reality than that you see on the ground there.

Grant Williams:

Can you help people understand perhaps a different and more accurate way to think of it because we are pretty much swamped by one narrative over on this side of the world? How should people be thinking about China? And what are the main differences between the media narrative here in the West and the reality over there in Asia?

Dr. Marc Faber:

Well, first of all, I mean, both India and China, and to some extent, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan, are huge countries. They are huge markets in terms of number of people.

Dr. Marc Faber:

Number two, Westerners, until recently, they thought we have the brands and the stupid Asians, they’re in factories putting together the brands, and they will not develop their own brands. Now, among the five largest beer brands in the world, among the ten largest, you have five Chinese, number one. And number two, largest beer brands in the world are Chinese.

Dr. Marc Faber:

The largest liquor is also [inaudible 00:12:28]. It’s a horrible drink. I recommend it to you if you really want to die. It’s a suicide medicine. It’s the biggest brand of… I mean, of brands in the world, of hard drinks. And so, they have developed their own brand. So, in Thailand, we have local brands that are very big. We have local entertainment in the streets that are bigger than foreign stars when they come to Asia. This is a totally different world.

Dr. Marc Faber:

And what… Well, some Westerners have noticed it because it’s difficult not to notice how much spending power Asians have when they go shopping in New York or London or Zurich. And in what kind of hotels they stay in, and so forth. So, with all of these advantages and all the things that Asia has done wrong, and all the human rights abuses, the one thing I can say, whereas when I grew up in the ‘50s and ‘60s and today in Europe, I don’t think that the majority of people is any better off than we were when we grew up. Probably, they’re worse off because it’s more difficult to get a job.

Grant Williams:

Exactly.

Dr. Marc Faber:

But I can say, with all and without any bias, that, in Asia, the majority of people is much better off than they were 30, 40 years ago. There’s no comparison. When Xiaoping came to power, or even in Russia, when Putin came to power, and in Eastern Europe, people were dirt poor without any freedom of movement, without any freedom to develop initiatives, and so forth. And as they endorsed the market economy and the capitalistic system with all its disadvantages, the majority has become much more affluent. It’s unfortunate but this is one of the most of good times of the capitalistic system but it creates inequalities because it favors the capable one. And so, the capable people run away faster than the uncapable people.

Dr. Marc Faber:

But everybody in Asia… Look, Until ‘85, the Chinese couldn’t travel outside the county, and gradually it was opened up but with restrictions. Now, there are 140 million Chinese that travel outside China every year. This is a sign of an improved standard of living. And in China you have lots of people, not everybody, but lots of people, they form some kind of a middle class.

Dr. Marc Faber:

I see them, they come to Shanghai. It’s a favorite destination because Shanghai was in a movie in China that became the best-selling or best-watched movie. So, they come here and I see they… You don’t get the impression that they actually have a lot of debt, is how the people that walk around. They pay for cash. They live modestly. They don’t spend much on hotels. They go shopping. And, compared to Westerners, they don’t get drunk all the time and don’t start brawls in restaurants and bars. So, there is actually less fighting.

Grant Williams:

So, Marc, just drilling down a bit, a bit more specific, I want to just talk about Hong Kong, which is obviously somewhere you know very well. There seems to be an end game of sorts playing out in Hong Kong, not just with the protests and the anger at the legislature but also, in terms of the reaction by the US and the kind of withdrawal of the special arrangement they have with Hong Kong.

Grant Williams:

As you look at that, what do you think is happening in Hong Kong? Is it going to become very much a Chinese city where the end of one party, two systems, what’s actually playing out there right now?

Dr. Marc Faber:

I’ll answer the question in a minute, but I’d just like to bring up first that whatever the US can do to embarrass China, they will do. And obviously, they interfered in the demonstration riots in Hong Kong on the side of demonstrators last year, very clearly. We have proof of it. It’s not something that is a conspiracy theory. It’s documented black on white.

Dr. Marc Faber:

Number two, Hong Kong was nothing before the demise of the nationalist government in China in 1949. It then became an important city as a transit point between China and the rest of the world. And now that China opens up, and Hong Kong, by law, it was transferred, the sovereignty from Britain to China, by law, is now part of China. And the way other cities in the past that became part of an empire, like Venice became part of Italy, and Tangier became part of Algeria, and so forth. Sorry, of Tunis. Once this… And go apart of India, once these cities became part of an empire, they lose their sovereignty and some things turn down and other opportunities open up. That we have to see very clearly.

Dr. Marc Faber:

Now, the people who are reactionary, they don’t want to adapt to the changes. The people that understand that nothing stays the same and that change is a constant in economic life and in history, they adapt. In the case of Hong Kong, there is a group of people, the young ones, they misread the situation to start with. They thought, “Well, the dumb Chinese are uneducated. They need us, the most brilliant people in the whole world, we Hong Kong Chinese.” That was kind of the feeling. “And China needs us, is dependent on us, because we have a deep-sea port and China doesn’t and we will have the only one along the whole Chinese coast.” They were naïve. They just believed that the eminent position that China had for a while between 1949 and 1997 would continue forever.

Dr. Marc Faber:

But as China opened up, they have now more flights into Shanghai direct than into Hong Kong. And Hong Kong was kind of sidelined. The trade roads changed. More and more trade occurred between China and the Western world, and more and more business occur no longer going through Hong Kong. And, in China, if you want to do well, you need to speak Mandarin. Mandarin is the language of China. The Hong Kong Chinese had a vote on that. The teachers didn’t want to teach students Mandarin. They chose, a few years ago, to teach them Cantonese. And the young people, they also wanted to be taught in Cantonese, not Mandarin.

Dr. Marc Faber:

So all of these things worked actually against the young Hong Kong Chinese. This is also the case in the Western world. Everybody wants to be famous and nobody wants to wear overalls and actually do work. Yet this is the reality. So, the young Hong Kong Chinese, they have difficulties in finding jobs that are paying well. In the meantime, and that I have to say, the damage central banks have caused to the world is huge in the sense that this asset inflation we have for real estate, for stocks, for bonds, and so forth, makes life for young people to accumulate wealth very difficult because they buy assets which they can’t afford. They have to borrow a lot of money. If they have some savings, they don’t get any interest on their savings. And, because stocks are high, the returns going forward on stocks will not be that great. And if they buy bonds, they can buy a 10 years of Swiss Franc Bonds, they will pay 110 to receive, in 10 years, 100. So they lose 10%. Great!

Dr. Marc Faber:

That is the problem. But this is manmade by central banks. And everybody applauds the central banks because, of course, the fund managers, they want central banks to print money because their fees go up. They don’t want an honest central bank, they want the dishonest central bank. The same they want dishonest politicians because everybody’s dishonest so they can also stay dishonest as fund managers.

Dr. Marc Faber:

This is the reality!

Bill Fleckenstein:

You really hit my hot button when you talked about how the central banks screwed the world because of their policies. A lot of people can’t really see that and trace the thread back.

Bill Fleckenstein:

One of the things that I try to think about, just as a mental exercise, is how does the money printing end? What causes its end? Because we know it will end. And so, sometimes, I like to think about will the bond market stop the central banks. And then I think about what’s going on in Japan, where the BOJ owns 45% or so of the JGBs, and JGBs don’t even trade now.

Bill Fleckenstein:

Have you thought about what if the BOJ goes to the MOF and says, “We’re just going to swap all the tenures we own, all the bonds we own, and we’ll swap it for a hundred-year piece of paper that pays one basis point.” Basically, they’re tearing up the debt but they’re pretending they have an asset. If they did that, what would be the outcome in the financial markets? Would they yawn? Would rates rise? Would they go down? I mean, then all of a sudden, in effect, Japan would have cut its debt in half, the government debt in half. And I figure they’re so much farther along in this experiment, perhaps that’s the place to look for the lab rat to see what happens next.

Bill Fleckenstein:

How would you see that playing out, if that were to occur?

Dr. Marc Faber:

Yes. This is a possibility, and maybe the markets will yawn, because the markets have thought about this before. But the one thing I want to say about Japan, when you talk to me about Japan, if I look at Japan, 1989, that was the peak of the stock market at close to 39,000 on the NIKKEI. And today, by ‘89, Japan, in terms of wealth and standard of living, was way ahead of anything else in Asia, okay?

Bill Fleckenstein:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Marc Faber:

Now, we’re 30 years later, Japan has largely stagnated. There’s no growth in Japan. And I just read an article about how many people in Japan can’t afford to have a house. They live with their parents, and so forth. That is elsewhere in the world, the same. But compared to the economic growth we have in Taiwan, South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, everywhere, Japan has fallen back, relatively speaking. You understand, it’s not a disaster because they started out from a high level. But if… And we have to define here what is our objective? Do we want progress or stagnation? Do we want equality like the socialists promised? There was never any equality under the socialists, but there was equality in miseries. That, I can say.

Grant Williams:

Yes, that’s right.

Dr. Marc Faber:

That’s why I said from the start, I can’t see how the outcome will be very favorable if you print money. When it will happen will depend on a number of factors. In the case of Japan, because they have a relatively low consumption, they don’t have a huge trade deficit. So, the currency still has been relatively firm, surprisingly. But I suppose that, in the case of the US, if the debt level keeps on going up… And don’t forget, the Japanese bonds are largely owned by Japanese institutions and individuals. In the case of the US, you may have the figure but I think about close to 50% of the government’s debt is owned by foreigners.

Dr. Marc Faber:

And the Japanese yen is not the world currency. It is an important currency but it’s not the foreign exchange currency of the world. The US is the global currency, the reserve currency. If foreigners lose trust in the US dollar and in the ability of the Treasury or the willingness to pay… The willingness is what counts… Then, I suppose that the dollar will become extremely vulnerable. This is my base scenario, that the problems will occur when the dollar tumbles. And this tumble may occur first very slowly. You know, that the dollar just trapes a little bit because the other currencies are not much better. So, if you look at this year, the euro is up 4% against the US dollar but the Russian ruble is down 20%, the Turkish lira, I think, 23%, the Brazilian real down 28%, and so forth.

Dr. Marc Faber:

So, the dollar, relative to other currencies, has still done well. But it hasn’t done well against gold and silver. Gold is up, I don’t know as of today, 25% and silver about 32%. It fluctuates every day. But I think this will be reflected at some point in assets such as precious metals and real estate. Remarkably, in this recession, real estate is actually going up. Not in the city centers but if you live on the outskirt, let’s say, where you live, where the rich people live, real estate is going up, so…

Dr. Marc Faber:

But this is a very distorted economy. You have technology going up, you have Zoom up almost 10 times this year, and the typical stock is down. So, money printing distorts everything. Like when I grew up in my parents’ home, in my grandparents’ home, people said, “You have to save money, and every month you put some in the bank in savings accounts.” That was considered safe. Nowadays, cash is not safe because it loses its purchasing power, and massively so. The CPI is doctored. All the economic statistics in the US are doctored. That, the Chinese stole from the Americans, how to doctor economic statistics. That, we can agree.

Bill Fleckenstein:

So, we exported financial chicanery to them.

Dr. Marc Faber:

Yes, absolutely.

Grant Williams:

So, Marc, talking about the dollar there, obviously there’s nowhere in the world, really, that feels any kind of period of strength in the dollar more acutely than Asia. And we are, once again, it seems, for the last few weeks particularly, back in a period where people want to own the dollar again.

Grant Williams:

How is that translating in the real world over in Asia? We look at all these charts and it’s just lines in a chart, but does it make a difference to the conversation in Asia with the dollar strength?

Dr. Marc Faber:

Well, traditionally, dollar strength is a symptom of liquidity tightening. And dollar strength, in my view, would not be very positive for asset markets, including US dollars. But it would be, obviously, negative for companies and countries that borrowed heavily in US dollars that gets killed if the dollar is really strengthening substantially.

Dr. Marc Faber:

But I have to say, I mean, the Asian currencies, with a few exceptions, have done reasonably well. They are not down significantly. Stocks have done worse but, surprisingly, Chinese stocks are up, by and large. And actually, the Chinese currency and the Hong Kong dollar, which have been the principal targets of the bashers, they are also up slightly against the US dollar. The bashers should have concentrated on Turkey, Russia, and Brazil but not on China.

Grant Williams:

But how is… As we record this, we’re just going into Golden Week over in Asia which, obviously, historically has been a huge period of travel and a huge period of consumer spending. How has it looked this year with the virus? Because the initial reports I’ve seen suggest everybody’s still traveling and it’s crazy trying to go anywhere. Is that the case? Has the virus kind of crimped people’s desire to get out and about, or not?

Dr. Marc Faber:

There is some domestic traveling but much less international because if you have to… Say, if you want to come to Thailand, you’re welcome but first you have to stay for 14 days in quarantine, which is like a prison. You can’t even get a drink unless you have a friend who smuggles it in, or unless someone connects the water tap to a beer barrel. It’s a possibility. But, I mean, you understand, the quarantine rules are so harsh that nobody wants to undergo them, and so they will not have tourism coming back for some time.

Dr. Marc Faber:

Now, other countries are better but I think in Hong Kong they still have quarantine as well. And maybe you can go to Singapore but if I go to Singapore, then I can’t come back to Thailand unless I go for 14 days into quarantine. And, for me, 14 days without alcohol is quite difficult.

Bill Fleckenstein:

Marc, a friend of-

Dr. Marc Faber:

Actually, to be honest, even a day.

Bill Fleckenstein:

Yeah, right. A dinner without wine.

Dr. Marc Faber:

Yes.

Bill Fleckenstein:

A friend of mine who lives in Japan has been there for quite a while suggested to me recently… He thought that the deflation mentality that’s held sway so long in Japan was beginning to change. And he has his reasons for that, and talked about Buffett buying these trading companies.

Bill Fleckenstein:

Have you seen anything that suggests to you that might actually be the case? Because if that was, it might be a rather important data point.

Dr. Marc Faber:

Yes. But I think we have to define very carefully what is inflation. I think what people call inflation, they mean that the price of bread goes up and so forth, this is a symptom of inflation. And in the last 20, 30 years, we have asset inflation. But in Japan, we have asset deflation. So when he talks about inflation, he may be referring that, in Japan, the stock market has bottomed out and actually, by some measures, the stock market is at a new high if you take out the financials

Dr. Marc Faber:

And so, yes, there may be some improvement. And I think this relates to the question you had about the bond market and about the currency. My sense is that if I look at resources outside the precious metals, a complex which is essentially all silver, platinum, but outside, and I look at some recent moves in soya beans, wheat, and until recently, we had a huge move in lumber. We were up almost four times within like three or four months. Now, we come back.

Dr. Marc Faber:

But these are kind of sparks that indicate to me that when the resource inflation will come, it will also happen in food, and then it will be felt more widely. And that this may then kill the bond market. I mean, bond deals as they are, they are at the lowest level in the history of mankind, if you look at an index of various government bonds. And they are artificially low because of central bank buying. And we can assume that this will not last forever. It may last for some time like in the ‘30s interest rates were very low. And, as you know, in the ‘40s, they opened up and started to go up. But very gently in the ‘50s, and then they accelerated on the upside in the late ‘60s and ‘70s. But initially, they went up very little. But we have to understand that, with the debt level we have today, even as life increasing rates in Japan would essentially be very problematic because it will eat up all the tax revenues.

Dr. Marc Faber:

So, if your friend is right, maybe Japan will face some problems in the bond market. The central bank will have to accelerate the buying of bonds, and maybe that will lead to some weakness in the yen at some point. Who knows? Exactly how it will end, nobody knows for sure. It is also a political issue. You look at democrats and the republicans in the US. Basically, there’s no difference in how much they spend, in quotes.

Dr. Marc Faber:

Trump is not a republican per se.

Bill Fleckenstein:

No.

Dr. Marc Faber:

He’s basically a big talker, and he will do anything that suits his near-term agenda. But to be fiscally frugal is not one of his objectives. Nor is it to essentially have a central bank that is honest. He’s a money printer although he came in criticizing the feds. Now, with all he’s done, he’s essentially encouraged the fed to lower interest rate and to print money.

Dr. Marc Faber:

So, I feel that out of this non-government or the Washington establishment or the political parties or the bureaucracy, you will have eventually a move, a revolutionary move to the left or to the right. We don’t know yet for sure because it could be a minority that is very powerful and fanatics that take over the government, even if it’s for a short period of time.

Dr. Marc Faber:

In the Spanish Civil War, first the communists essentially took over the government but then the right-wing, Franco, the republicans, won. So, we don’t know for sure where we’re headed to. Or in Russia, the Bolshevik Revolution, it was first communists but afterwards, Stalin, he was like Trump. He didn’t care about anything. It was all about his power. It wasn’t about any ideology at all.

Dr. Marc Faber:

So, we don’t know. And, in that environment, the best we can actually do is accepting the fact that we don’t know where we’re heading. But we can assume safely it’s not going to be good, so that means, let’s say a conclusion. We have to prepare for difficult times post-economically and in asset markets that may become very volatile. In other words, you don’t want to be caught heavily on margin on February 23, 2000, and then the market drops more than 30% within a month and you’re heavily on margin and you call, and then you have to sell holdings at an inopportune time. In other words, it was a huge loss.

Dr. Marc Faber:

So, I think some prudence is required, and I would suggest some diversification. And I would also suggest that the US dollar status as a reserve currency is now on very limited time. I think it will disappear, the reserve currency state, and the US will not have the money to play the policeman and the politically correct teacher of the world any more. It’s far too expensive.

Bill Fleckenstein:

Well, let me just interrupt for one sec. I certainly understand your train of thought there. But if, for the US to lose the reserve currency status, something would have to take its place or a couple of somethings. What would that be? It’s hard for me to see some other currency. I mean, as you pointed out earlier, they’re all bad. It’s a question of which one’s worse, right? And which one’s owned by more foreigners. So, what could take its place?

Dr. Marc Faber:

Well, I think a gold-backed currency could do the trick but the gold would have to be revalued to $100,000 or so. This is not a prediction of mine.

Dr. Marc Faber:

But I think that, if I look at currencies, we had essentially paper and coin currencies for thousands of years. Maybe there will be a new currency like bitcoins. You understand?

Bill Fleckenstein:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Marc Faber:

I think that is the likely. Like, you have a credit card. Well, a credit card is not a currency as a store of value.

Bill Fleckenstein:

No.

Dr. Marc Faber:

But it has the function of money in the sense that you can go into any shop and pay your bill with the credit card as long… And I will stress this… As long as the internet functions. The internet goes out at the hotel counter or in a shop, and you come with your credit card, you can say, “Look, I’m an honest guy.” They will not believe you. They will not believe us, to be fair.

Dr. Marc Faber:

So that, I think, is a very important factor. In the ownership of something like gold. You see, if I go with gold somewhere, and I enjoy watching old Western movies. When they go to the bar, the barman never trusts the customers that they will pay. They ask them to pay ahead of time. And some have like a gold piece, and they bite the gold, check whether it’s real. And I think that there will be a function for gold and silver in a new kind of arrangement because I think the mess will be so pronounced that nobody will trust anything any more.

Bill Fleckenstein:

Ah, I hadn’t quite thought of it that way before.

Dr. Marc Faber:

I mean, I believe that the present system, and I’m not saying republican or democrats, but I think we have a capitalistic system, a market economy, that started out with the best intentions and achieved huge economic gains for the whole world. The poverty level today is the lowest it’s ever been. There are fewer people starving than there have ever been before. And so we are an economy of plenty.

Dr. Marc Faber:

But we have also been badly corrupted, and some people obviously don’t like it, for which I have some understanding. I’m less in favor of the radical solutions they propose but I can understand that somebody would say, “Look, something is wrong. If such and such gets subsidies and takes out huge bonuses on the taxpayers’ expense and so forth.” And everybody knows how much corruption there is in Washington. It’s not republican or democrats. Both are equally corrupt.

Dr. Marc Faber:

And so, the voices of opposition to this kind of system, not only the US and Europe, they do the same, and so forth. Eventually, the system will be reset. It’s not going to be pleasant. You, I don’t know how old you are. I don’t have to worry so much of that. I worry more about the quarantine for 14 days without any alcohol. The reason, it’s not going to be pleasant, for sure not.

Bill Fleckenstein:

No.

Dr. Marc Faber:

But people have to accept many societies went down for a while before the world was growing again. I suppose if you’re a Native American, after the arrival of the white man and especially after the 19th century, where you were sent to a reserve, your standard of living went down a little bit. I suppose. I’m not sure. Maybe not. I wasn’t there. But I suppose that many societies, they have declining standards of living.

Grant Williams:

Well, you mentioned bitcoin there. And I’m always interested in people’s view on bitcoin, particularly people of our generation tend, in general, to poo-poo it unless they understand the value of some kind of sound money. And it sounded like you were lumping bitcoin in with a kind of potentially sound money brackets. What are your thoughts on bitcoin?

Dr. Marc Faber:

Well, I mean, it is sound in the sense that the amount of outstanding bitcoins is limited. But unsound in the sense that it can be split. You can split it forever. So this is… I believe… But I’m a different generation than some of your listeners. I believe a sound currency is physical gold and silver. Physical! Now the question is, of course, where do you store it because you can’t trust. If people… If governments… You know, the bureaucrats. I call them the bureaucrats. These really vicious people, they have no interest in protecting your rights and your prosperity, and anything that concerns you. Their only ambition is to protect their jobs and their own salaries and their power. They are power hungry. They are just horrible sociopaths.

Dr. Marc Faber:

Anyway, if these people who tell you and me and everybody, “You’re no longer allowed to go out. You’re locked in. You have to close your hairdresser shop. You have to close your coffee shop. You have to close your whatever shop or business.” If these people can do that, they can do anything. They can take everything away from you. It’s happened before in history, many times. It’s not the first time. And I think that the bureaucrats, before the whole system collapses, they will go and say, “Oh, people who own gold are the evil people.” Because I see it already with central banks. They now start to blame other people for their shortcomings. And the banks, with central bankers, about three months ago, one or two of the central bankers said, “Well, the central banks have now to start to take care of inequality.” It’s a joke!

Grant Williams:

Yeah, especially in climate change, yeah.

Dr. Marc Faber:

Shortly thereafter, the stocks of the people that are the wealthiest people in the world from Jeff Bezos to Microsoft Bill Gates, and so forth. They all went up but the ordinary people don’t own any shares.

Dr. Marc Faber:

So, the whole system is essentially rigged, and we have also more and more reports of rigged operation in banks, and brokerage firms, and so forth. It’s manipulated everywhere that central banks are the chief manipulators of the system. But if you say that on CNBC, you’re likely to be killed on the way out.

Bill Fleckenstein:

On this confiscation idea, I have a slightly different viewpoint. See what you think.

Bill Fleckenstein:

Having been bullish on gold and silver for some time, I’m always asked the question, “Well, why won’t they confiscate it like they did in the ‘30s?” And my response has always been, “Look, in the ‘30s, the universal view was that gold was money. I mean, that was money. And the currencies that were strong and trusted were convertible, more or less. And today, I don’t know the government, at least in the Western world, the governments don’t have that same view of gold. What they treasure, basically, are their central banks who are money printers.” So, while I can conceive of a wealth tax to just, “We’re just going to take your money,” or your so-called net worth, I can’t see them really singling out gold because none of these governments believe in it in the first place. So, why would they take away something they don’t believe in? So, I’ve never really gotten behind that idea. How does that sound to you?

Dr. Marc Faber:

Yes. I think it sounds very reasonable to me that the academically uneducated people who populate central banks, that they wouldn’t regard gold as a currency. That, I agree with you. But they may in future. That’s why I’m basically saying, for us people that hold gold and who are positive about gold and silver, not unrealistic, positively for us the best is that gold and silver move up but not too much. The danger zone will be gold goes to, say 50, 100,000, a million dollars an ounce, something like this. Then, we are reaching the danger zone. But whether the gold rises here at 1900, 1700, or 2,500, that will not-

Grant Williams:

It doesn’t matter, yeah.

Dr. Marc Faber:

… bother the central banks. What may bother the central banks somewhat is if food prices go up a lot. And I think, okay, for an individual who doesn’t have a lot of money, it’s a bit difficult to buy farms and so forth. But I recently looked at a table that showed the largest landowners in the world. So, as number one, you have the Catholic Church. That can be expected that they inherited a little bit here and there. No pressure applied.

Dr. Marc Faber:

Anyway… And then, you have a lot of wealthy people like Ted Turner. They’ve turned a lot of their assets into land, and he’s not just one [crosstalk 00:53:30].

Bill Fleckenstein:

Yeah, John Malone did the same thing too.

Dr. Marc Faber:

Yes, a lot of people in America, in Canada, especially in Australia where, essentially, a lot of wealth is in large farms. Their farms that have been in families for 3, 400 years, and so forth. So, I think that the ownership of land is okay but if you own too much land, the socialists will come one day, the way if you own a house that is very big in the Hamptons, the socialists will come one day and say, “Look, Mr. Fleckenstein, it’s unfair you live in such a big house alone with your wife or with your girlfriend or servant. To make things fair, you have to take in three or four families. And we also advise you, in order to avoid any social problems in future, that you respect some racial diversity.” So, they will assign you from each continent some people. And you will then spend the time keeping the peace among all these people. You should have a house but not too ostentatious. You should have a property in the countryside but not live a life that is totally different from the villagers, not to kind of raise kind of animosity.

Dr. Marc Faber:

I think, in future, if I look at various revolutions that have occurred, they always went with the pitchfork against the rich.

Grant Williams:

Yeah. Yeah, I think that’s clear. And I think when you run out of the ability to just create quote unquote “money out of thin air,” then the only way after that is to go and take real assets from people that have them. And that’s the only way this thing, ultimately, you can kind of fill the gaps.

Dr. Marc Faber:

Yes. But, in the meantime, we have to be happy that we were born in a generation that had incredible freedom. We had the absence… You know, when I think of your grandfathers and great-grandfathers, some went through the American Civil War. It was horrible. Some went through Word War I. Horrible. Some went through the Depression. Horrible. Some went through World War II. Horrible. Some were sent to Vietnam. Horrible. So, overall, we had a good… Essentially, we were a lucky generation. And I think the young, they could have a lucky generation but the problem is they study the wrong things, and-

Grant Williams:

Let me ask you… Going back to something you touched about a little earlier, which was this shift from deflation to inflation. How should people be thinking, from a portfolio standpoint, about that? Because, right now, nobody has a portfolio that is constructed with inflation as the main threat in places. And so, readjusting a portfolio from 40 years of deflation to potential inflation is a very difficult to… How do you think about-

Dr. Marc Faber:

Yes, but you’re talking about inflation in consumer prices, which we have this inflation, I agree. But we have inflation in asset grants.

Grant Williams:

Well, yeah. [crosstalk 00:57:14].

Dr. Marc Faber:

I mean, whatever you hold 30 years ago is higher today than it was at the time, whether it’s a house or a Picasso painting or a baseball card, and so forth. Everything is higher. And I think when inflation comes, I think the one thing that will be bad is actually financial assets. Bonds will be hurt and I think there will be a limit to how far central banks can buy the bonds.

Dr. Marc Faber:

Now, I concede the deflation in financial assets could occur through the currency market. In Germany, in the hyper inflation, stocks went up in local currency. But the currency collapsed. So, I repeat, in my view, the time bomb for the US is the US dollar. This is a time bomb. And people say, “Well, it’s been holding up so far.” Yes! The Titanic was also floating until it sunk. You understand? It’s just that because something hasn’t gone down, it may happen later. And when it happens, usually this currency moves up and very violent. Like in the ‘70s, the US dollar really collapsed against European currencies.

Dr. Marc Faber:

I remember when I grew up, 1 US dollar bought 4.20 Swiss francs. At one state, even 5 Swiss francs. After the ‘70s, it was close to 1 to 1. So, the currency has lost a lot of money. I mean, I told Drexel Burnham At that time, I was working for Drexel Burnham and they always told me how great their performance was. So, I told them, “Look, my grandmother has a better performance than you. She put all her money in Swiss franc deposits, and it’s up against the US dollar from 4 to 1.”

Bill Fleckenstein:

The Swiss franc would probably be higher even still, were it not for the fact that they were trying to lash it to the euro and taken the money that they print buying US stocks, right? It’s crazy.

Dr. Marc Faber:

Yes. But that is the issue. Everything is manipulated very badly, and the system is completely corrupt because everybody has done something wrong. So, whether it’s a republican or a democrat or, in other countries, everybody knows something about somebody else, so and the public is never informed. And the worse part is that people that actually tried to bring the truth to the open, like Assange or Snowden, they are demonized. They are being put in court as criminals when they are the ones that try to tell the truths.

Bill Fleckenstein:

One thought I had… Shifting gears a bit back to CPI inflation, not asset inflation because you’ve touched on that point, which has long been a hobby-horse of mine is that central banks create asset inflation. They think that’s fine, and they used to think CPI inflation was bad. But now, I guess, we want some, as long as it’s 2%, the magic 2% number they made up.

Bill Fleckenstein:

But if it is the case that inflation starts to pick up and psychology starts to change, the first thing a fed will do is to rationalize it and just say, “Gee, finally, we’re getting the inflation that we need, and we can make up for past periods of being too low.” I’m not going to comment on what a dumb idea that is. That’s what they think.

Bill Fleckenstein:

But then, inflation will probably, once it gets going, will continue to pick up because the psychology will change as well. It occurs to me that their first move would be to try to implement yield curve control. So, if we could get to a period where there’s some combination of the fed trying to stop inflation from going up… Sorry, trying to contain the manifestation of the change in inflation psychology by printing even more money, thereby making it worse. And perhaps that would tie into a scenario in which the dollar really had trouble.

Bill Fleckenstein:

So, it seems to me that maybe the linchpin in a lot of these precarious financial arrangements is really if inflation starts to change, the financial worlds as we’ve known it for the last 30 years is going to be dramatically different. Does that make sense?

Dr. Marc Faber:

Yes. I mean, look. Last summer, end of August 2019, as you know, the fed started to expand again its balance sheet because there were some tensions in the ripple market. This is the problem of money printing, and I said this already in 2008 when they embarked on QE1. I said, “This is not QE1. This is QE-Infinity.” Because once you embark on money printing, the next level will be that you will have to print more and more and more. And now, we are at the stage when the fed will buy 120 billion dollars of assets every month. You understand? That is much higher than QE1.

Bill Fleckenstein:

Yes.

Dr. Marc Faber:

And when inflation will pick up, there will be tightness in liquidity tightening. So, the fed will scratch their heads, and with their limited intellect, they will argue, “Oh, money is tightening because we didn’t print enough. We have to print more.” Exactly what you said. And, at that stage, the dollar vulnerability could become quite severe.

Dr. Marc Faber:

But I want to, once again, make one point. If I were an American, I would hold some assets outside America and I would not only listen to the China bashers but also try to understand that the Chinese economy will be the size of Europe and America combined. In many sectors, they are already the size of America and Europe combined. And whether you like the Chinese or not, and whether you’re racist or not, I think that portfolios will eventually have to hold Down some assets in China. Whether it’s real estate or stocks or bonds, in all the global embassies, China is way underweight, way underweight. So I think that… And I have many friends, they invest in China, and they find world-class companies.

Dr. Marc Faber:

I mean, nobody can deny that Netease or Alibaba or Tencent are not world-class companies. They’re also industrial companies. They’re also beverage companies, and they’re world class. So, I think that when Grant asked the question, “How do you protect yourself?” I think you need an international diversification. I think China is an option. It has some risks but the US also has some risks. Europe is committing political suicide, and relatively rapidly. It’s hard to believe but it’s the case.

Grant Williams:

Marc, let me ask you one more question. We’ve spent a fair bit of time talking about central banks, and the one central bank that it really kind of sails under the radar, even though what they’re doing is perhaps the most outrageous action of all, is the Swiss central bank. Obviously, printing the money out of thin air, and then using it to become an enormous hedge fund. I mean, US stocks.

Grant Williams:

Why is it do you think that people take so little notice of what the Swiss National Bank is doing? And how do you see that particular escapade, let’s call it-

Dr. Marc Faber:

But the thing is-

Grant Williams:

… greasing its hand?

Dr. Marc Faber:

… The Swiss franc is perceived as a strong currency. So, foreigners, they buy Swiss francs. Under normal economic conditions, the Swiss franc would appreciate, say, 30% against the US dollar, or more. Because the Swiss franc is a relatively small currency in the context of the whole world. So there’s outward pressure on Swiss francs.

Dr. Marc Faber:

What the National Bank does is the dollar comes in, they don’t exchange it into Swiss francs. That would put pressure on the Swiss franc. They go and buy Apple shares. And how this will end, when the foreigners will sell, the Swiss will give them back US dollars, which they brought in at the then exchange-prevailing rate.

Dr. Marc Faber:

I argue against this policy but this is where capitalism meets the bureaucrats, you see. Who runs Switzerland? Switzerland is run by some socialists but the business is largely run by old Swiss families, and some new groups but basically, these are very wealthy people. And these groups have interests in Switzerland, and in industries, and in the tourist industry, and so forth, and so on.

Dr. Marc Faber:

And they go to the central bank and say, “You can’t let the Swiss franc become too strong because if the Swiss franc is too strong, we lose money because we’re not competitive any more.” This is a lot of nonsense, you see, if you have a watch that is manufactured in Switzerland, either a watch like this maybe 5% is made in Switzerland. The rest it all comes from foreign countries, whether it’s Vietnam or China, and so forth.

Dr. Marc Faber:

So, the labor cost in the… Say, you buy a watch like this. Production cost of a luxury watch, even a gold Rolex is maybe $1,200. The sales price in the shop is 20,000. How much labor is in that watch? Nothing! It’s insignificant compared to the distribution cost. What goes into the shops, and to the wholesaler, and then. Irrelevant.

Dr. Marc Faber:

But the Swiss have this stick about not letting the Swiss franc getting strong. I argue yes, if the Swiss franc gets strong, then you have to take your work to tell your workforce, “We have to cut your wage to the level of Europe.” See, in Germany, wages are much lower than in Switzerland. They’re also much lower… They also have much lower social security payments to them. So, if you go into pension in Switzerland, it’s the highest, essentially, among European countries from the government. If you go to the immigration in Thailand and you show them your income from Switzerland, your pension, they immediately know, “Oh, Swiss, they have a high pension,” because the Germans and the others, they have much lower social security, like also Americans. Americans, in terms of social security, they get about half of what the Swiss get.

Bill Fleckenstein:

Wow! I didn’t know that. So, have you… There’s a phenomenon that we’ve recently come… Or, I should say, I don’t know, when Grant found out about it. There’s a phenomenon that’s been at work here in America, what the passive investment community has actually done to the price of securities. Have you seen much about this or read about this? It turns out that the market share of the passive investment world is about 45% now, plus or minus, and it seems that that has been one of the reasons why the US market trades as uniquely as it does, and QE and speculation.

Bill Fleckenstein:

Have you seen much about this? And if you have, do you have any thoughts about it?

Dr. Marc Faber:

Well, I mean, in Europe, we also have indexing and so forth. I think what has distinguished the US market from other markets, is its high technology component. And, to be fair, I listened recently to an interview with Greenblatt, and he’s one of the very successful fund managers in the US. He said, “Look, maybe Amazon is expensive, and maybe all these companies are very high, but at least they’re growing. And so, you’re buying a business that is viable, and they have a huge franchise, duplicate nowadays. And Amazon and Microsoft and Apple is not so easy.”

Dr. Marc Faber:

So, for a while, they’ll have this franchise and it’s worth a lot of money. So I can understand that people buy these tech because the rest… If you look at the German market. The German market has value stocks but it’s at the same level than it was in ‘98 because, like the Swiss market, it has a lot of financials. The financials have gone very badly. And it has industrial companies that haven’t done particularly well because some of them haven’t been run particularly well. And it doesn’t have a lot of technology companies. And the one technology company they had was a fraud.

Bill Fleckenstein:

Wirecard.

Dr. Marc Faber:

That is the best joke.

Bill Fleckenstein:

Yeah, in fact.

Dr. Marc Faber:

SEC and all these bodies that supervise the financial industry, they’re all asleep at their desks. They’re technical bureaucrats.

Bill Fleckenstein:

Yes, well the SEC, they essentially don’t even function any more, as near as I can tell.

Bill Fleckenstein:

So basically, what you’re kind of saying is that the American stock market on top of QE and the passive influence, and Robin Hood, and US speculation, perhaps US markets benefited from speculation by other people around the word because we’ve got the hot group stocks now. So, like I know, for instance, that the structured products that are sold to Asia that are packaged equities and various different things to replace fixed income, it’s quite a big number last I… What I think I understand is that it might be as much as two trillion dollars.

Bill Fleckenstein:

So again, a lot of the world’s hot money has ended up in the States maybe because of these tech stocks and how well they’ve performed. So, we’ve got an extra dollop of hot money on top of the other things we talked about.

Dr. Marc Faber:

Well, say, if the ECB monetizes… So, what happens is they buy bonds and maybe some equities from an insurance company, a pension fund, an endowment fund. So that fund gets cashed, and they tender the securities to the ECB. So, with that cash, the insurance company, instead of buying local bonds at negative interest rates, can go and buy treasuries in the US. And, instead of buying a buyer in Germany, they can go and buy Microsoft in the US. This other petroleum manager, he has some leeway and, yes, a lot of money has flown from around the world into the US market because it always flows into the market that performs best. That was also in ‘85 to ‘89 in Japan.

Bill Fleckenstein:

Japan, yeah.

Dr. Marc Faber:

Every fund manager around the world said, “We can’t afford not to own Japanese stocks.” In the years ‘96 to 2000, people said, “We can’t afford not to own CISCO. We have to own CISCO whether we like it or not.” By the way, CISCO is down 50% from the 2000 high, even today, even after a recovery.

Dr. Marc Faber:

So, we have these distortions and money printing make… It exacerbates them. Anyway, I think I will have to leave you now soon.

Bill Fleckenstein:

Okay.

Grant Williams:

Okay, that’s absolutely fine. Look… But thank you so much for taking this time to sit and chat with us. It’s been, as we both knew it would be, a fun and hugely enlightening conversation. So, thank you.

Bill Fleckenstein:

Thanks a lot, Marc.

Dr. Marc Faber:

Nice to see you. Thank you, Grant.

Grant Williams:

Take care.

Dr. Marc Faber:

Bye-bye.

Grant Williams:

Cheers.

Dr. Marc Faber:

Okay.

Grant Williams:

Bye-bye.

Dr. Marc Faber:

Bye-bye.

Grant Williams:

Well, Bill. Fascinating. I mean, that was an air of change of pure, undistilled, Marc Faber.

Bill Fleckenstein:

Yeah. I mean, people forget. I’ve been reading the Gloom, Boom & Doom Report, I think, since the ‘80s. And what’s easy to forget is what an encyclopedic memory he has, and how much financial history and world history he knows and goes into his thought process. For anyone who’s listening that hasn’t, or doesn’t, read the Gloom, Boom & Doom Report, you’re really missing an opportunity to gather information that you’re not liable to get from anywhere else.

Bill Fleckenstein:

In the last group of years, knowing a lot about financial history in the world hasn’t paid dividends but, prospectively, at some point, you’re going to really need to know more about that, and it’s a really good way to learn more, I think.

Grant Williams:

Yeah. I couldn’t agree more with that. And it’s funny, Bill. One thing that I think has been a theme throughout all these podcasts we’ve done in The End Game series, is that historical knowledge that each of our guests has had. Whether it be Lacy, whether it be Russell, whether it be Marc today, Ed Chancellor, obviously, everybody has that-

Bill Fleckenstein:

Jim Grant.

Grant Williams:

… Of course, yeah. Jim Grant. Of course. Everybody has that knowledge of history, and it clearly colors their world view today, and it helps them understand likely outcomes. Really, that’s all we’re all trying to do here is. We don’t know what the outcome is. We’re trying to weigh out the various likely outcomes, and try to prepare accordingly, which is no easy task.

Bill Fleckenstein:

Yeah, I think, again, the equation to have solved for in the last 5, 10, 15 years, has basically been momentum. And if the central bank’s getting away with murder and potentially creating their own end game, has propelled the sort of the simplistic idea that stocks only go up. And also, perhaps, it’s created an environment that’s been uniquely able to be dominated by quants. I don’t know that to be true but I can see how there could be a corollary there.

Bill Fleckenstein:

And where there’s been no premium based on any knowledge of history and, perhaps to some degree, risk management. And I don’t mean to imply that everyone who’s a professional isn’t employing… isn’t capable of risk management, but I think there’s a huge, huge swathe that employs no risk management. I mean, you certainly can’t say this massive amount of money that’s passively indexed has any risk management scheme whatsoever.

Grant Williams:

Absolutely. You’re certainly right. In fact, the bizarre thing about it is that, in recent years, and a lot of recent years, the less risk management you’ve actually employed, the better of your returns, probably are, which is terrifying when you think about it.

Bill Fleckenstein:

Well, I mean, yes, exactly. So, and again, it’s a corollary to what the money-printing world has evolved. I mean, Marc touched on some of the societal impacts and, of course, it drives me nuts when these fed people try to come up and they want to solve the equation for diversity and global warming, and inequality, and none of them have the self-awareness to realize they are the number one reason why we have such massive wealth disparity, and all they’re doing is making it worse.

Bill Fleckenstein:

But again, there’s no self-awareness whatsoever in any central bank in the world that near… Well, in the Western world. Perhaps in Asia it may be different.

Grant Williams:

Yeah. I don’t know. I mean, you can but hope but I suspect, probably not.

Grant Williams:

Well, look. That wraps up another edition of The End Game. Thank you to everybody listening. Thanks to our guest, once again, Marc Faber, the Editor and Publisher of the Gloom, Boom & Doom Report.

Grant Williams:

And, as Bill said, if you haven’t listened to that, then you should absolutely go to gloomboomdoom.com which is just such a great website.

Grant Williams:

Gloomboomdoom.com and check out Marc’s work because it’s indispensable to many in the industry.

Grant Williams:

Please do take a moment, if you wouldn’t mind, to rate and review us on iTunes. It really does help us. And I wouldn’t want to put words in your mouth but five stars are always better than one.

Grant Williams:

Please follow me on Twitter, should you wish to do so. You’ll find me @TTMYGH.

Bill Fleckenstein:

And I’m available @FleckCap or you can go to my website, fleckensteincapital.com.

Grant Williams:

You could do both.

Grant Williams:

Bill, mate, it’s always a pleasure. We’ve got our next couple of guests lined up, both of whom are going to be a lot of fun to talk to. So, I can’t wait to reconvene.

Bill Fleckenstein:

I’m with you there, mate.

Grant Williams:

Thanks very much for listening.

Grant Williams:

Nothing we discuss during The End Game should be considered as investment advice. This conversation is for informational and, hopefully, entertainment purposes only. So, while we hope you find it both informative and entertaining, please do your own research or speak to a financial advisor before putting a dime of your money into these crazy markets.

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