One Thing, I Guess, is Certain

Featured Image Credit: “Court of Exchequer, Westminster Hall” in the Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

Death and taxes have held court since what seems like forever, maybe because people just come to accept as guaranteed whatever’s managed to sit long enough upon the throne.

You wonder, though… nothing lasts forever, so they say.

Wow, so they would doubt the guarantee of death? I guess I’m saying not everyone agrees that death is final, and where this is predominantly a question of spirituality, faith has long managed to dwell in willing hearts and minds, come what may – that includes scorn, imprisonment, and execution. “Better heat now than later,” might be faith’s reply, and where there’s smoke, I guess there’s fire.

As for taxes guaranteed, well… until recently, these were easier to defend if only because the governments that collect them need their own currency to cancel their debts. In fact, the very creation of authorized currency, more and more year after year, is a self-sustaining need to collect taxes in perpetuity. I guess you could say money really does make the world go round.

Still, though… that authority to create currency, like when it’s superdesperately necessary, that could be extrapolated to conclude that taxes are unnecessary: why tax when currency could simply be authorized year after year to pay what’s needed? I guess the key word in this question is “enough,” which I guess I left out of this question, so I’m gonna need you to go ahead and draw your own conclusions about decision and consequence. As for me, I’m drawn back to the earlier phrase about which one’s the better heat.

If there’s a common theme underway in this brief meditation, I guess some might call it vision, others might call it ambition, and still others might call it imprudence. I will call it hubris and, in the same desultory breath, try to lift your spirits by drawing attention to Russell Napier’s latest exhibit in the Library of Mistakes, a place where the shelves groan with volumes of dalliance – that much, at least, is certain.

Time Well Spent

… by studying why we’ve been wrong, we can be more right.

Russell Napier

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

I’ve been called a cynic, which I’ve long held rather as healthy scepticism. And I’ve railed over uncertainty now and then, mostly in academics although, in fairness, never absolutely. But, all irony aside, I now defer with appreciative respect to Russell Napier, whose typically gripping understatement offers a typically brilliant case not simply for uncertainty but for its necessity.

In this video interview with the Parish Church of St. Cuthbert, Edinburgh City Centre, Napier paints a humble image of The Library of Mistakes, a repository of “the recorded uncertainty of how things work in the real world” (to quote his Keeper’s Blog on the Library website).

Napier initially co-founded the Library to register mistakes from business and finance although he mentions that the Library’s embrace has since widened to reflect more equitable representation… true enough: if there was ever a sector of sustainable growth…

On the other hand, if the Library may ever truly succeed, you expect it will need to put itself out of business – gladly, I suppose. But, as I say, all irony aside.

He devotes a good portion of his commentary here to sound money, fraudulent banking, and the consequences of ruinous ill discipline. He’s droll, simple, clear, and engrossing.

It’s not all negative, either: whether or not the flipside to every mistake is great success or mere intention – either way, hey… there’s a flipside.

And that, I suppose, is the take-away just now, for me anyway… with modest whimsy, Napier and the Library sound a call of respect for uncertainty and the untidiness that efficiency and statistics and computation are not only unwilling to consider but unable to predict or control. If the reason to embrace uncertainty is because outcomes can’t be guaranteed, what is that if not attributable to people… to our deficiency, our equivocation, our inexactitude? In a culture where metrics are religion and science invincible, truth is what can be measured, and qualitative uncertainty has been a nobly humoured side of fries.

Napier speaks here for about half an hour, ahead of a short and equally informative Q&A, and caps his remarks with a reminder that any opinion one has will utterly depend on the perspective one takes in order to have it.

As ever with Russell Napier, at least for me, the time spent feels most definitely worthwhile and insufficiently brief.

Seriously, watch this interview.

From Palisades Gold Radio – Silver Analyst Ted Butler: “Crushing the Silver Short Positions”

As a follow-up to the previous post… to help anybody who may be wondering what on earth it means to “short” a stock.

I opened that post saying that you must have heard about the Gamestop market event, during which r/wallstreetbets, a Reddit subgroup, marshalled millions of its members into buying Gamestop shares as a way to attack big Wall Street hedge funds that were shorting the stock.

Of course, you may have heard but not had a clue or a care as to what “shorting a stock” even means.

Listen here to an interview by Palisades Gold Radio with Ted Butler, a highly experienced and long-time market analyst, who offers a cogent, concise explanation not only about “shorting” but about impressing upon listeners the significance of shorting to a bigger picture as well as why the way shorting takes place these days is concerning.

Also read here and here two other brief, informative articles by Butler for more of his straightforward insight about silver shorting. [Edited February 13, 2021: also be careful to avoid confusing “silver shorting” with “silver shortage.”]

If you think finance, and the economy, and the stock market are a world away from your day-to-day, that is entirely understandable, yet may I humbly suggest that you most of all may appreciate what Ted Butler has to offer.

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