QUESTION: Dear Martin and co-workers,
Firstly, I want to express my appreciation for the writings at the blog (it opened my eyes! and I am very much awake now) and I read a daily. I am a stay-at-home-mother, artist, and I had never before gained knowledge about economics , it’s corruptive nature, and leading role in society. However Just a few months ago I saw the movie The forecaster. Martin you are truly an amazing guy!!! and I wish you the best!
My question:Do you have an advice or suggestion for people like myself. No traders, (middle income) families, living in Europe or the US, kids who would like to study. How can we accomplish that with just a little savings in order to the potential fall of the euro and collapse of the system?
P.S. I clearly understand that you don’t want to be a so called guru.
ANSWER: It is very difficult to see forward in such a manner. Tangible assets will make the transition to the next world of finance. There will be a new base of currency and it will most likely be electronic. The reason for this is political. The USA peaked as did Britain. The financial power will move to Asia, and Europe along with the USA will crash and burn because they are caught in this fictional world created by Marx. Russia and China collapsed under Marxism. It is just our time.
I would support some practical basket of currencies since Russia and China dislike having the dollar as the reserve currency. Likewise, with the dollar being the only practical currency standing, the USA is realizing that it may lose control of its domestic economy because of international considerations. Clearly, there have already been discussions of removing the reserve status of the dollar, but this cannot be accomplished unilaterally. Under no circumstance would I support placing the IMF in charge of this instrument. That organization is way too corrupt and my advice to China and Russia (where we also have this blog in their respective languages) is to reject any such attempt to hand this power to the IMF. We need a clean house to start such a project and the IMF has way too much baggage.
Formal education is the way we perpetuate our mistakes forward. When I hire, I do not look at fake degrees. I look at the person and their thinking process. Samuel Butler (1835–1902) the iconoclastic Victorian-era English author, defined genius as “a supreme capacity for getting its possessors into trouble of all kinds.” If your child does not do well in school because they are bored rather than incapable of understanding such subjects, then they may be what people call a genius. Geniuses are often misunderstood in classrooms and are typically poor students whom teachers dislike because they are non-conformists. Studies at the University of Chicago and the University of Minnesota have found that teachers smile at children with high IQs and frown upon those with creative minds. When we had young people coming into the company who had to take their Series 7 exam, they would ask me questions. I quickly responded, “Do not ask me anything for if you do as I say you will flunk. Just memorize the answers, put them down, and then forget them and we will begin your REAL education in markets.”
The intelligent yet uncreative students accept conformity, never rebel, and complete their assignments quickly and perfectly. The creative child questions everything and accepts nothing. They are much more manipulative, imaginative, and intuitive growing up. They will often play one parent against another. In school, teachers dislike them because they will harass the teacher with questions that expose the illogical dogma they teach.
These genius children are often viewed as wild, naughty, silly, undependable, and lacking in seriousness or even promise. They even said that of Albert Einstein. Their behavior is typically distracting and they will often appear lazy, bored, and lacking any effort to try to advance, but in truth, they are absorbing everything around them. Such children will also give unique answers to banal questions because they are connecting the dots around them. Other children who are linear thinkers will typically reject these children which can cause them to be loners.
Ellis Paul Torrance (1915-2003) was an American psychologist who studied this subject and found that 70% of pupils rated high in creativity were actually rejected by teachers when picking a special class for the intellectually gifted. In a Stanford study, M.G. Goertzel, V. Goertzel, and T.G. Goertzel concluded that teachers would have excluded virtually everyone we consider to be a genius from Einstein and Edison to Picasso and Mark Twain. There is even a book on this called “The Price of Greatness: Resolving the Creativity and Madness Controversy” by Arnold M. Ludwig (1995) which explores the lives and achievements of over 1,000 extraordinary men and women. This book sought to answer the age-old questions about the relationship between mental illness and greatness. It also goes into factors that predict creative achievement in people. You will find a long list of very colorful stories about some of the most eminent artists, scientists, social activists, politicians, soldiers, and business people of our time.
Formal education is terrible. More than 60% of graduates cannot find employment in their field of study. Degrees are only useful to get jobs in brain-dead institutions that lack creativity themselves. Encourage your children to see the world dynamically and look for the connection between the dots. In ancient times, the key education was apprenticeship where you learned the field from the people actually doing the work rather than by those who lack experience. As they say, there are those who do and those who teach. I have been asked to teach at three of the leading universities. The problem is that I have no time. Those of us who really do things would find it boring and unfulfilling to simply stand up and teach a small class of kids. I might as well be a rock star singing the same song for 40 years (which is why rock stars need drugs to constantly do the same thing until they die).
If you understand what is coming, common sense will lead you to the answer. You are better off with tangible assets for the transition when it comes. From a European perspective, you are better off in dollars for now. The euro only gets interesting above 116. So you always have to define where you are right and wrong. Some people are keeping money in PayPal where they are not charged negative interest rates to simply have money there and they do not have bad loans on their books.