With RG’s permission to reproduce…
This is a post that many readers will probably find unvarnished, if not crude or repugnant. In the newsletter world we are supposed to be varnished, appealing to as many people as possible. Almost like politicians. We are supposed to make an art of neutrality and lack of controversy. We are supposed to sell you newsletters and to do that we are supposed to not upset you by assailing orthodoxy such as that firmly promoted by politics, religion or most ardently, gold bugs.
As Robert (RG) notes below, I’d have a lot more NFTRH subscriptions if I were that way (not that I am complaining about the level of business I do have; I certainly am not).
Robert is an email friend who has reliably contacted me when I have written about he who shall no longer be mentioned on this site, among other things. Usually RG writes to critique my views but also to give me a pat on the back once in a while. But it is interactions like these that are a bonus to what I consider to be a pretty good gig.
This morning he contacted me thusly, in response to some of my tweets this week and in particular this one:
I bought a gold stock today! Actually, I added to a core position I am trying to build in $WDOFF / $WDO.TO. But it's something at least. Unfortunately, this one is not getting torpedoed like a lot of others.
— Gary Tanashian (@NFTRHgt) June 17, 2021
Then in his oh so Robert way, he goes on to other things. I would like to think he has me nailed, but in reality he over-states.
First: A long time ago, over a decade ago, I sat down with the two guys behind Wesdome for a small breakfast in Clayton, MO. It was just me, and the two of them. They were quietly confident, competent, and not interesting in selling too hard. They were not grizzled mining types. They were young, smart guys. Canadian of course. I used to have a lot of those breakfasts (which I think are mostly a waste of time). These guys stood out. It’s like they knew, and they were happy to share, but they weren’t going to be obnoxious about it.
I bought a decent number of shares which I’ve held ever since, and now it’s one of my two biggest positions in a precious metals stock. The other one is Fortuna (FSM).
Second: You write like a rock critic, but when it comes to analysis you are the most sober guy out there. I got some satisfying laughs out of your tweets yesterday on Lawrence Lepard. Exactly! Exactly! And mostly, I agree with Lepard. I am very much long the precious metals, as he is. And I agree with most of what he says about the Fed and about fiat currencies. But obviously, you don’t want to follow this guy. He is incapable of seeing the other side. Yes, pom pom mode. Hamburger Hill. That is such good writing. (It’s hilarious too. Almost nothing on Twitter makes me laugh but I laughed at that.)
Look, some people are critical thinkers. But most people latch on to a narrative, and they BELIEVE. That includes most very smart people. Critical thinkers are rare, everywhere.
Robert’s email is as usual clear and free of emotion. My response, on the other hand, is crude but honest.
Hey, who are you on Twitter??
Robert, I have always been kind of weird. I feel like people don’t really get me in real life. Simply because I am not subscribing to those conventions that others take for granted. I question every fucking thing. It amazes me how even or especially the ‘smartest’ people tend to herd. I think it is because they get caught up in their own intellect. Well, I know I am a dumb ass. That is the core of my being. I know that I don’t know shit.
Larry is a fucking tool. I sat with him and you should have seen the look on his face. Crestfallen that his Utopian gold bug doctrine had not carried the day. Poor sad, nice, well mannered Larry turned hell fire and brimstone spewing Larry as an online influencer.
I came from that gold bug camp. Learned from the old crusty bugs of yore. Fell under the spell and then un-learned most of it. I know what gold is (an anchor to monetary value) but I also know what the Matrix (if you will) is and have a rough idea of how it operates.
Bottom line though is that I hate fucking heroes, leaders and influencers. I hate people who are in love with their own myths. Especially those set up to hurt naive people, which is most ‘retail’ people in the financial realm.
You are a breath of fresh air. While probably more accomplished than I am you have a grounded way that I appreciate. If you are ever in Boston, we need to get a bourbon (or whatever).
I’m not on Twitter. I do read a lot of twitter streams–which I find incredibly useful. But I would never be on Twitter (or on Facebook, or Instagram, or any social media) because I’m like you! I hate the big fat establishment, and those are all censored sites run by authoritarians. They’re also in the data collection business. I try to stay under the radar. I do my searches with DuckDuckGo, not just because it doesn’t track me, but because increasingly I can’t find what I want with Google. It’s massively manipulated, and not just with politics. The other day I was looking for a copy of a film–a comedy from 1951–and I couldn’t find it with Google. All they showed were YouTube links. Well, that makes sense because Google owns YouTube. So I went to DuckDuckGo and found what I was looking for immediately.
I laughed again at your further comments about Lepard. Oh, so true! And true of almost all of the other gold bugs as well. At least Bob Hoye (who is as conservative as they come) doesn’t treat gold like a religious artifact. He’s not pushing it now, though he thinks it will do better than most other things over the next few years.
People need to believe. They need gurus. They want to get in line behind the other dunces.
I know that I’m a dumb ass too, and I know that I’m usually going to be wrong about everything where the markets are involved. I know that, but I also know this: Most other people are also dumb asses, but unlike me they don’t know it! That gives me an advantage.
You think critically, like a good lawyer, considering all sides of an issue, and constantly questioning the tropes of the day. That’s rare among financial types. That’s not where the money is. I’m sure you know that your subscriber list would be bigger if you started screaming that the world was ending and that you had the one answer that you would provide–but only to subscribers.
I’m very pleased to know you a little bit because I do feel that we’re kindred spirits. We both feel that everyone else is full of shit. And at the same time, we are fully aware of our own massive limitations.
Yes, bourbon. We can talk about rock and roll. I’ve got to warn you, I have more catholic tastes than you do. I like lots of pop stuff that you probably hate. I know popular music pretty well, starting with the beginning of recording (around World War I). I’m also a big movie guy. (A few of my reviews are online. In about a week, I’ll be live online talking about “Anatomy of a Murder” for a local university.)
If it’s accessible, send me a link!