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July 9, 2023 | Few Big Winners in the Hard Times Ahead

Rick Ackerman

Rick Ackerman is the editor of Rick’s Picks, an online service geared to traders of stocks, options, index futures and commodities. His detailed trading strategies have appeared since the early 1990s in Black Box Forecasts, a newsletter he founded that originally was geared to professional option traders. Barron’s once labeled him an “intrepid trader” in a headline that alluded to his key role in solving a notorious pill-tampering case. He received a $200,000 reward when a conviction resulted, and the story was retold on TV’s FBI: The Untold Story. His professional background includes 12 years as a market maker in the pits of the Pacific Coast Exchange, three as an investigator with renowned San Francisco private eye Hal Lipset, seven as a reporter and newspaper editor, three as a columnist for the Sunday San Francisco Examiner, and two decades as a contributor to publications ranging from Barron’s to The Antiquarian Bookman to Fleet Street Letter and Utne Reader.

Will the rich and powerful own everything when the global financial system collapses from too much debt? Supposedly, “they” have been plotting and preparing for this all along — even getting a new money system ready to make the takeover complete. But this theory makes no more sense than the one that puts the same evil geniuses in charge of the world’s wealth after a ‘vaccine’ time-bomb kills off billions of gene-pool riffraff, including you, me and most of our neighbors. Will “they” really want to live in a world emptied of humanity by death and disease — a world where yacht skippers, sommeliers, Ferrari mechanics, truffle-hunters, couturiers, gourmet chefs, interior designers and even bootblacks have perished? They might as well be feudal lords living in the 1300s, walled off from the devastation and misery of bubonic plague. Even Bill Gates, who reportedly owns a quarter-million acres of farmland, might have trouble feeding himself and his fellow eugenicists if there are no workers to seed and harvest the land. And how will Klaus Schwab, Imperial Wizard of the One-Worlders, celebrate victory with friends in Davos if there is no one to fly them there, or to provision a banquet hall with ample quantities of Beluga, foie gras and smoked trout croquettes?

Those who believe that an all-knowing, all-powerful “they” have been plotting a global shakedown to steal the world’s wealth and resources might well ask, What assets will remain for them to command? It is a massive deleveraging event that is coming, and it will turn all kinds of financialized exotica, including reverse floaters, offshore drilling leases and securitized debt, into rubbish. Meanwhile, returns tied to the production and distribution of critical resources such as water end energy will become too tightly regulated during the Second Great Depression to spawn a cadre of utility-bond billionaires. Even owners of rental properties will need to pray that their tenants don’t lose their jobs to robots.

Duesenberg Sightings

Of course, even in the hardest of times, some will flourish.  There were Duesenbergs, Cords and Lincolns on the road in the 1930s, but not many. The debt deflation that is coming will be no one’s great opportunity — with the possible exception of Gates if he can figure out how to keep his tractors running.  But for most everyone else, including billionaires whose ethereal assets, bitcoin holdings and private-equity deals will turn to vapor, any chance of recouping even a small fraction of their current net worth will depend on where they’ve squirreled it away and how much of it was unleveraged. They will also have to resist the temptation to buy distressed assets on the way down, before a bottom is reached. And they will need to navigate the shoals of an extremely tricky political/geopolitical environment made dangerously unstable by a middle class whose chief concern will no longer be ROI, but physical survival.

And if you’ve been hoarding bullion ingots against the unthinkable, better think again, since they have been confiscated before. Gold and silver U.S. coins supposedly will be untouchable by the Feds, but don’t expect The Guvmint to allow even “junk” silver to circulate freely in a barter economy. If you have ingots, be sure you have enough of them stored in Switzerland that the burghers won’t give you the bum’s rush and expel you to Italy or France, where communists will rule the streets. If you can grow breadfruit in your back yard, start now.

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July 9th, 2023

Posted In: Rick's Picks

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