Archive for the ‘Interesting places’ Category

Sovereign Man Notes from the Field Date: July 20, 2011 Reporting From: Split, Croatia…..”Take Heed America” added by Admin/

In Business, Business/Political Trends Worldwide, Continental Travel, Expatriation, Government, History, Interesting places, Money and Finances, Offshore accounts, Opportunity, Personal, Sovereign Man, Taxes, Travel on July 20, 2011 at 8:06 pm

Sovereign Man Notes from the Field

Date: July 20, 2011

Reporting From: Split, Croatia

Bruce Lee, a long-time hero of mine, died 38-years ago today, and in tribute to his intellect and philosophy, I wanted to blow the dust off an old quote of his that seems quite prescient:

“Those who are unaware they are walking in darkness will never seek the light.”

Each day it becomes increasingly obvious that there are essentially two kinds of people in this world– those who are unaware that they walk in the darkness, completely oblivious to the real dangers in the world, versus those who understand reality and seek the truth. The former group comprises the vast majority of society.

This is your voting electorate and mainstream media audience, and they’ll buy every bit of propaganda that’s sent their way… whether it’s support for the war(s), ruinous economic programs, child molesting TSA policies, or just plain old fear and hate. In its latest effort to spread fear and hate, the Ministry of Love, also known as the Department of Homeland Security, has produced an Orwellian new video intended to encourage Americans to rat each other out.

If you’re not in a place to watch the video right now, I’ll summarize briefly. First of all, it’s one of the most pathetic attempts at filmmaking in the history of motion picture; the average shampoo commercial has better acting and production quality… and is much more subtle in its message.

In the world of Homeland Security, terrorists all drive unmarked full-size vans, wear hooded sweatshirts, and deposit backpacks in conspicuous public places. They might as well have had a cackling James Bond villain twirling his moustache in the corner.

At its core, the video is filled with scenes of ordinary citizens spying on each other and alerting the authorities to their compatriots’ suspicious deeds. In my favorite scene, a woman calls the police after snooping over the shoulder of a young man typing away on his smartphone. Naturally, it’s all for the common good… for everyone’s safety and security. In fact, everyone shares in this responsibility according to DHS, so we should all be on our toes to rat each other out at the first sign of suspicious activity.

Apparently this is yet another obligation that comes with citizenship. For the majority of people who watch this video, their chests will swell with pride in the knowledge that they now have a role to play in their country’s security. These are the folks walking around in the darkness, unaware. You can’t talk to them about things like personal liberty as they’ll just regurgitate the propaganda they’ve been spoon fed since birth. These are the same folks who take their shoes off at the airport and proclaim, “Whatever it takes to keep us safe,” or “I have nothing to hide!”

Truthfully, real criminals aren’t back alley types, but rather the policymakers who spread fear and paranoia in the name of justice. They cloak their crimes in good deeds while building a brainwashed class of future Thought Police. If Orwell had written a prequel to 1984, this would all be part of it. It seems the boiling frog is getting just a bit warmer..

. Until tomorrow, Simon Black Senior Editor,

SIMON FINDS NUMBERED ACCOUNTS FOR DEPOSITS AS SMALL AS $8,000 Not yet a Sovereign Man: Confidential subscriber? This edition could have been a double issue. Here’s what you’re missing in what may be the best month yet: * This country may be a small country wedged in between two European powerhouses, but it checks just about every box for Simon. Hint…it’s NOT Switzerland. From safety, lightning-fast Internet, low taxes and minimal government intervention, this country should be on the top of your list for places to visit. Simon shares where to stay and how to fly in and out. For a land-locked location, it may be one of his favorites! * Simon proves this country isn’t just a tourist spot. He’ll show you how to get residency for an relatively small investment . Find his contact to get it done quickly. He also highlights the most difficult documentation requirement and how to be sure you have it covered. * Privacy in offshore banking? YES, this stable, European country still has private, numbered accounts AND will do business with US Citizens. Simon will share the different banks and even has negotiated a discount for Sovereign Man: Confidential members. You won’t want to miss this. * Ever-opportunistic, Simon will give some easy entrepreneurship opportunities in an emerging frontier, Kosovo. These options are the equivalent of “selling shovels to gold miners”. * Mark Nestmann also returns to go further in depth for those interested in expatriation with an honest assessment of the worst-case scenario. * Tim Staermose also offers his actionable insight from his most recent China trip. You need to have an understanding of the social and financial implications of the coming bust. To learn more about SMC and get access to the archive, click here for more information.

This article appears courtesy of Notes From The
, a free newsletter dedicated to individual freedom,
internationalization, asset protection and global finance. For a
complimentary subscription, visit

Sheriff Joe Arpaio….You just gotta Love this guy…Our government members should take notice and maybe use some of his Ideas….via E-mail from a very good friend of mine. admin/capecoral

In Business/Political Trends Worldwide, currency, Government, History, Interesting places, Jobs, Political parties, Travel on July 14, 2011 at 2:24 pm




You all remember Sheriff Joe Arpaio of  Arizona,
who painted the jail cells pink and made the inmates wear pink prison garb. Well.

Oh, there’s MUCH more to know about Sheriff Joe!

Maricopa County was spending approx. $18 million dollars a year on
stray animals, like cats and dogs. Sheriff Joe offered to take the department over, and the County Supervisors said okay.

The animal shelters are now all staffed and operated by prisoners. They feed and care for the strays. Every animal in his care is taken out and walked twice daily. He now has prisoners who are experts in animal nutrition and behavior. They give great classes for anyone who’d like to adopt an animal. He has literally taken stray dogs off the street, given them to the care of prisoners, and had them place in dog shows.

The best part? His budget for the entire department is now under $3 million. Teresa and I adopted a Weimaraner from a  Maricopa   County shelter two years ago. He was neutered, and current on all shots, in great health, and even had a microchip inserted the day we got him. Cost us $78.

The prisoners get the benefit of about $0.28 an hour for working, but most would work for free, just to be out of their cells for the day. Most of his budget is for utilities, building maintenance, etc. He pays the prisoners out of the fees collected for adopted animals..

I have long wondered when the rest of the country would take a look at the way he runs the jail system, and copy some of his ideas. He has a huge farm, donated to the county years ago, where
inmates can work, and they grow most of their own fresh vegetables and food, doing all the work and harvesting by hand.

He has a pretty good sized hog farm, which provides meat, and
fertilizer. It fertilizes the Christmas tree nursery, where prisoners work, and you can buy a living Christmas tree for $6 – $8 for the
Holidays, and plant it later… We have six trees in our yard from the Prison.

Yup, he was reelected last year with 83% of the vote.
Now he’s in trouble with the ACLU again. He painted
all his buses and vehicles with a mural, that has a special hotline phone number painted on it, where you can call and report suspected illegal aliens. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement wasn’t doing enough in his eyes, so he had 40 deputies trained specifically for enforcing immigration laws, started up his hotline, and bought 4 new buses just for hauling folks back to the border.

He’s kind of a ‘Git-R Dun’ kind of Sheriff.TO THOSE OF YOU NOT FAMILIAR WITH JOE ARPAIO

Sheriff Joe Arpaio (In Arizona ) who created the ‘ Tent City Jail’:
He has jail meals down to 40 cents a serving and charges the inmates for them.
He stopped smoking and porno magazines in the jails..
Took away their weights Cut off all but ‘G’ movies.
He started chain gangs so the inmates could do free work on county and city projects.

Then He Started Chain Gangs For Women So He Wouldn’t Get Sued For Discrimination.

He took away cable TV Until he found out there was A Federal Court Order that Required Cable TV For Jails So He Hooked Up The Cable TV Again Only Let In The Disney Channel And The Weather Channel.

When asked why the weather channel He Replied, So They Will Know How hot It’s gonna Be while they are working on my chain gangs.

He cut off coffee since it has zero nutritional value.
When the inmates complained, he told them, ‘This Isn’t The
Ritz/Carlton……If you don’t like it, don’t come back.’
More On The Arizona Sheriff:

With Temperatures Being Even Hotter Than Usual In Phoenix (116
Degrees Just Set A New Record), the Associated Press Reports:
About 2,000 Inmates Living In A Barbed-Wire-Surrounded Tent Encampment At The Maricopa County Jail Have Been Given Permission To Strip Down To Their Government-Issued
Pink Boxer Shorts.

On Wednesday, hundreds of men wearing boxers were either curled up on their bunk beds or chatted in the tents, which reached 138 Degrees Inside, The Week Before.

Many Were Also Swathed In Wet, Pink Towels As Sweat Collected On Their Chests And Dripped Down To Their PINK SOCKS.
‘It Feels Like We Are In A Furnace,’ Said James Zanzot, An Inmate
Who Has Lived In The TENTS for 1 year. ‘It’s Inhumane.’

Joe Arpaio, the tough-guy sheriff who created the tent city and long ago started making his prisoners wear pink, and eat bologna sandwiches, is not one bit sympathetic. He said Wednesday that he told all of the inmates: ‘It’s 120 Degrees In Iraq, And Our Soldiers Are Living In Tents Too, And They Have To Wear Full Battle Gear,
But They Didn’t Commit Any Crimes, So Shut Your Mouths!’

Way To Go, Sheriff!

Maybe if all prisons were like this one there would be a lot
less crime and/or repeat offenders. Criminals should be punished for their crimes – not live in luxury until it’s time for their parole, only to
go out and commit another crime so they can get back in to live on taxpayers money and enjoy things taxpayers can’t afford to have for

If you agree, pass this on. If not, just delete it..



Sovereign Man Notes from the Field Date: July 6, 2011 Reporting From: Wuhan, China

In Business, Business/Political Trends Worldwide, Constitution of The United States, Continental Travel, Government, History, Interesting places, Offshore accounts, Opportunity, Political, Taxes, Travel on July 6, 2011 at 3:45 pm

Sovereign Man

Notes from the Field

Date: July 6, 2011
Reporting From: Wuhan, China
[Editor’s note: This missive was sent in from our partner Tim Staermose in China]Maybe the Chinese politburo has been watching too much deep cable, and, inspired by Kevin Costner’sField of Dreams movie, decided to churn out a bunch of empty cities. As it turns out, though, if you build it, they won’t come… and if you’ll forgive the movie analogies, these empty developments acrossChina are turning into fields of nightmares.I’ve been quite bearish on China lately. There are so many reports about how the Chinese economy is going to lift the world out of recession, and insatiable Chinese demand for commodities will deliver permanent good times in resource-rich countries like Australia.

I suppose that if you’re sitting on a few trillion dollars in reserves and decide to dump a lot of it into your domestic economy, it’s good for growth… at least for a while. But China is doing the 21st century equivalent of digging ditches during the day and filling them up at night.

We’ve all seen the videos of Chinese ghost cities and bridges to nowhere, but I wanted to put some boots on the ground and check it out for myself.

I started my trip In Guangzhou, and it didn’t take me long to find the first example of what I call China’s “build it and they will come” philosophy of economic growth.

Guangzhou has this new district of glitzy office towers and apartment buildings in the Tian He district called “Pearl River New City.”

It is SEVENTY percent vacant!  Prices are DOUBLE what they are in the older section of town which most people prefer living in, because there’s actually nice established neighborhoods with stores, businesses, restaurants and so on which remain affordable to average people.

They’re still building stuff in this “New City.”  Here’s a sign that showed half a dozen of the buildings with their respective heights proudly displayed.  The whole thing only sprang up in the past few years ahead of the 2010 Asian Games which were held here in Guangzhou.  In fact, they built a brand new stadium just for the opening ceremony!

Among all the impressive new skyscrapers in the Pearl River New City, I saw at least two 5-star international hotel brands– Hyatt and Westin.  I think you’ll find that if you call them and pose as a conference organizer, they have PLENTY of rooms available.

Beneath the surface (literally) this whole new district may not be so impressive.  During heavy rains, the area floods.  Apparently the developers were not as careful about what they built underground, and the drainage and sewerage systems leave something to be desired.

Traffic was light while I drove around the area with prominent local friend; he pointed out that IF the buildings were all occupied, the sheer number of people who’d be coming and going would probably cause a traffic snarl of epic proportions.

So who’s buying all of these units? Developers keep building because people keep buying, right?  They’re all mostly investment properties. Chinese real estate “investors” don’t actually care about rental yield at all.  Indeed, most of them deliberately let their properties sit vacant.

They buy apartments as an inflation hedge and are prepared to hold them as long as it takes to sell at a profit. As the theory goes, there’s always a greater fool out there willing to make an even dumber financial mistake.

I get the feeling some of the recent buyers in Guangzhou may be waiting a very long time.
The supply of rental property in Guangzhou is so vast that rental prices are roughly half as much as it would cost you to service a mortgage on the same property.

These observations– rental yields that don’t come close to covering the mortgage, empty buildings, bold advertisements heralding the grandeur of these projects, rising construction costs, cutting corners on infrastructure, etc. are all classic bubble indicators.

And as I’m going to explain in the coming days with even more boots on the ground reports, this is a bubble that’s bound to pop soon. Stay tuned.

Until tomorrow,
Simon Black
Senior Editor, 
This article appears courtesy of <a href=""> Notes From The
Field</a>, a free newsletter dedicated to individual freedom,
internationalization, asset protection and global finance. For a
complimentary subscription, visit <a href=""></a>

Sovereign Man Notes from the Field Date: June 30, 2011 Reporting From: Andorra la Vella, Andorra

In Continental Travel, Food and Staples, Government, History, Interesting places, Opportunity, Personal, Political, Political parties, Taxes, Travel on June 30, 2011 at 6:34 pm

Sovereign Man

Notes from the Field

Date: June 30, 2011
Reporting From: Andorra la Vella, Andorra

In addition to being one of the most picturesque places on the planet, Andorra is a textbook example of what happens to an economy when a limited government sets up a liberal tax regime.

Like conjuring money out of thin air, taxation is just another form of inflation that either directly or indirectly sticks the end-user consumer with a higher price.

Think about it– when businesses get taxed on their payrolls and profits, it’s consumers who end up paying for it at the cash register. When governments decide to pass sales taxes or increase VAT rates, it’s consumers who end up paying more.

This is theft, plain and simple… a robbery from everyday, hardworking people perpetrated by unproductive bureaucrats. Governments around the world collect trillions of dollars each year by sticking consumers with higher prices, only to go waste it all trying to centrally plan their economies.

In his recent book Daemon, author Daniel Suarez summed this up when he wrote, “Anyone who has ever tried to share pizza with roommates knows that [central planning] cannot ever work. If Lenin and Marx had just shared an apartment, perhaps a hundred million lives might have been spared…”

The major fallacy in politicians’ logic is that if governments can collect enough tax revenue, they will be able to dump it all back into the economy, creating jobs and stimulating growth.

It sounds great in theory, but in practice, government spending is prone to massive misallocations and value distortions… let alone corruption and bribery. This is how we end up with bridges to nowhere, empty cities, expensive wars, and millions of dollars of stimulus money spent on giant signs bragging about how much stimulus money has been spent.

Spain is a great example of how this doesn’t work. For years, the government has been collecting painfully high taxes on earnings, savings, consumption, and death, then plowing this stolen booty back into the economy, effectively becoming the country’s dominant economic force.

Years of misallocations have created dismal economic conditions, as well as a horrible debt crisis.

At this point, the government has nearly run out of cash, the official unemployment rate is north of 20%, and retail prices on the street are rising by the month. So how has the government dealt with such overwhelming economic adversity? By raising taxes, of course… calling the exact same play, even though it never works.

After raising the VAT last year to 18%, personal income rates have been raised to nearly 50% on Spain’s top earners. Even middle-income earners are being taxed now at 37% to 43%. Capital gains rates have also been hiked. Guess what’s going to happen to prices?

You’d think that Spanish politicians would look at their track record and realize that government spending does not buy a one-way ticket on the economic gravy train… especially when low-tax Andorra is just up the road.

Andorra has no direct taxation on individual income, no tax on business profits, no tax on gifts, no tax on inheritances, and limited taxation on consumption (like sales tax or VAT). The net result looks a lot like Switzerland– a bright, clean, beautiful, prosperous country that consistently has some of the world’s lowest unemployment.

It’s not like Andorra is sitting on a huge oil reserve. This place is high up in the Pyrenees Mountains. There’s barely any place to grow a turnip around here, let alone drill for oil. No, Andorra has prospered because the country has set the right conditions that attract productive people and their capital, similar to what Hong Kong has done.

Prices here are reasonable. In fact, it’s much cheaper than Spain with quality as nice as Switzerland. Crime in Andorra is… well… it isn’t, basically. Standard of living is among the best in the world, and Andorrans even have the fourth highest life expectancy in the world at 82.43 years (compared to 81, 80, and 78 in Canada, UK, and United States).

With such a fantastic model right on its borders, its absolutely mind boggling that politicians in Spain, and the rest of Europe for that matter, refuse to take a page from Andorra’s playbook and set conditions for success.

For SMC subscribers, I’ll be telling you in the upcoming July edition how you can set up residency here, as well as establish a bank account. Also, don’t forget about our monthly subscriber teleconference this afternoon at 4pm eastern.

Until tomorrow,

Simon Black
Senior Editor,

This article appears courtesy of Notes From The
, a free newsletter dedicated to individual freedom,
internationalization, asset protection and global finance. For a
complimentary subscription, visit

Sovereign Man Notes from the Field Date: June 28, 2011 Reporting From: Hong Kong

In Business, Business/Political Trends Worldwide, Continental Travel, currency, Government, Interesting places, Political, Travel on June 29, 2011 at 10:11 am

Sovereign Man

Notes from the Field

Date: June 28, 2011
Reporting From: Hong Kong

[Editor’s note: Tim Staermose, Sovereign Man’s Chief Investment Strategist, is filling in for Simon today who is en route to Andorra.]

For at least a decade now, the world has marveled at China’s amazing economic transformation.

Hundreds of millions of people have been lifted out of medieval peasantry and brought into the modern world. Living standards have improved dramatically. China has become the manufacturing hub of the world.

And, today, China boasts world-class infrastructure on a truly impressive scale. Beijing, Shenzhen, and especially Shanghai, have all become modern metropolises with facilities on par with any in the world.

Every taxi driver from Melbourne to Manitoba, and every money manager from London to L.A., recite the same mantra: insatiable demand from China (and India) will guarantee decades of prosperity for countries such as Australia and Canada which are blessed with the raw materials that billions of Chinese and Indian consumers require to emulate western lifestyles.

So the story goes…

Thing is, once anything has become mainstream knowledge in financial markets, it’s usually a sign we’re nearing the END of the boom. Or, at the very least, that all the positive news is already baked in the price. That’s where we are today with China.

The Australian press is constantly running economic puff pieces, declaring endless rosy times for the country due to its commodity exports to China. This sort of thing borders on propaganda.

They claim that “this time it’s different,” suggesting that the resource boom in Australia which got underway in the 1990s is not going to bust this time around (as has happened so often in the past).

It’s been said that, “this time it’s different” are the four most expensive words in the English language. They have an uncanny knack of showing up at the top of EVERY boom, just before the bubble bursts.

I’ve been around in the financial markets long enough, and lived through enough spectacular booms and busts, to know the telltale signs of a bursting bubble when I see them.

China today fits the bill… and that’s most likely going to be very bad news for industrial commodity prices and the economies of the countries that supply them. China accounts for less than 10% of global economic activity. Yet, the country is consuming nearly half of all the steel, cement, and copper used in the world.

You’ve seen the videos — vast, empty ghost cities in China with thick forests of empty apartment towers, 8-lane highways with no cars on them, and brand new government buildings and public infrastructure all sitting idle.

I’ve read estimates from well-respected, independent (i.e. not invested in seeing a continuance of the Chinese gravy train) analysts who suggest that there are up to 64 million empty apartment buildings in China. This is a misallocation of capital on an unimaginable scale.

To be sure, any time you have a government-directed boom that lasts for 3-decades and is fueled by cheap credit, you are going to get massive economic distortions. Construction and fixed capital formation in China has accounted for more than 60% of GDP for more than 10 years in a row now. This is simply not sustainable.

These empty cities, bridges to nowhere, airports with only three or four flights per week, brand new bullet trains with hardly any passengers (because they can’t afford the fares), and millions of empty apartments are NOT indicators of a healthy economy at all.

True, China’s economy is quite a bit of cloak and dagger… they don’t let you see what’s going on behind the curtain. But there is enough objective and empirical at hand to suggest major problems in the country, and we should take measures to protect ourselves from the consequences.

I’m in Hong Kong right now and will be heading over to the mainland in a few days to put some boots on the ground myself (concurrent to Simon’s PIIGS tour in Europe). Naturally, you’ll be the first to hear about our findings, right here, in Notes from the Field. Stay tuned.

Until next time,

Tim Staermose
Chief Investment Strategist, Sovereign Man

Not yet a Sovereign Man: Confidential subscriber? Here’s what you’re missing in the current edition:

* Boots on the ground in Panama: If you’ve ever considered Panama as a place to retire, gain residency or park your money, read this piece. Simon has spent years in Panama. Here are his highly informed, educated opinons on each category.

* Simon leverages personal contacts in Australia to present you with a top-tier bank that will let our subscribers open an account…without having to go to Australia! You simply won’t find this anywhere else . Especially good for Americans, who are finding it harder and harder to open accounts abroad.

* Simon grills the world’s foremost renunciation expert on the how-tos of giving up US citizenship. If you’ve ever wondered whether renunciation is right for you, this interview should go a long way towards settling the question.

* Simon includes a detailed account of what kind of medical insurance is best to obtain abroad…in a South American country known for its excellent health care system. The best part? You can use that insurance even when you’re not in that country!

* Simon answers your premium questions with details he can’t include in his free daily letter or on his public site.

To learn more about SMC and maximizing your sovereign opportunities, click here for more information .

This article appears courtesy of Notes From The
, a free newsletter dedicated to individual freedom,
internationalization, asset protection and global finance. For a
complimentary subscription, visit

Sovereign Man Notes from the Field Date: June 24, 2011 Reporting From: London, England

In Business, Business/Political Trends Worldwide, Expatriation, Government, History, Interesting places, Money and Finances, Offshore accounts, Personal, Political, Political parties, Taxes, Travel on June 27, 2011 at 12:18 pm

Sovereign Man

Notes from the Field

Date: June 24, 2011
Reporting From: London, England

A few days ago, I met with a brilliant young geneticist who has been able to devise a unique, cost efficient way to test for the presence of particular genes.

He wants to offer a service to test for CCR5-delta 32, a particular mutation of a gene found in Northern Europeans (and those of Northern European descent) that has shown resistance to Smallpox, HIV, and West Nile virus.

Among people in high risk groups for such infections, demand for getting test is strong, and his method has been able to reduce the cost of testing by up to 90% with no increase in error rate.

Rather let the idea fester in academia for the next several years, he’s decided to go into business… and I’m considering making an investment in the venture.

Another entrepreneur I met with has a website that sells electronic cigarettes in the UK. If you haven’t heard of this, it’s a device that looks, feels, and tastes like a cigarette, but produces water vapor instead of smoke.

It also gives the user complete control over the amount of nicotine s/he wants to ingest, making it a great tool for people who want to gradually wean themselves off the chemical.

This particular entrepreneur noted that a large number of Brits who currently smoke are trying to quit. The British economy is weak, and faced with declining income, Brits are cutting spending wherever they can, especially expensive habits like smoking.

Even in this weak economy, he is doing brisk business and sales are growing.

I’m telling you these short stories because I want to address an important point: even in dismal economic conditions, opportunities abound as long as you can still find a way to create value. These are just two examples.

On to this week’s questions. First, KC asks, “Simon, at a recent conference I asked a famous expat personality about buying and storing gold in the southern cone of South America (Chile, Argentina, or Uruguay). He and his associates could not provide specifics and suggested that I ask you. Any thoughts?”

Of the countries you mention, Chile is the best option for buying gold. In downtown Santiago, some of the money exchange houses (casas de cambio) display placards with “moneda de oro” (gold coins). Because they sell informally, they are not required to collect any VAT, and premiums can be as little as 1% over spot price.

There is no set figure, so it’s best to shop around from place to place and negotiate your own deal.

Private storage options in Chile are limited, though, and it’s difficult to open a safety deposit box at a bank without residency.

Of the other countries, Fort Box in Punta del Este, Uruguay is a good storage option but if you travel to Uruguay you have to declare any gold that you bring in. As for buying in Uruguay, I saw several Indumex locations that had inventory to sell when I was in the country recently, though prices are much higher than Chile.

I wouldn’t trust Argentina for either buying or storing; the government is just too crazy, and asset seizure is a distinct possibility there.

Next, Rob asks, “As far as Chile and all the positives you have brought to light, how would you address the recent volcanic eruption?”

I’ve addressed natural disasters in Chile a few times, and it’s not something that I want to be cavalier about… but the truth is that the safest place to be when a Chilean volcano erupts is in Chile. Argentina is screwed, but Chile moves along without a wince.

This is because the prevailing Pacific winds generally blow from west to east, towards Argentina. In fact, most of the post-eruption ashfall photos that were circulated in the press a few weeks ago were actually from Argentina.

There are a handful of tiny villages in Chile that are settled at the foot of some volcanoes, and a few of these were evacuated in case of lava flow.

Last, L.T. writes “I am a subscriber to Tim Staermose’s 4th Pillar service. My US-based broker will not allow me to buy one of his recent recommendations because it’s an online gaming company. Do you have any suggestions?”

Yes. Take your money and your business elsewhere. What an absolute farce.

Will your broker let you buy Philip Morris? A weapons manufacturer? Casino stock? Booze purveyor? Things must be loopier than I thought in the financial system if brokers have to approve your orders.

If I were in your shoes, I’d look offshore to a broker that works for YOU, not the other way around.

I’ve made a number of recommendations in Sovereign Man: Confidential, and Tim has done the same in his 4th Pillar service… which, if I may brag, delivered yet another winner to its subscribers this morning, closing out a low-risk, 13.6% gain in just 30-days with the successful takeover of Territory Resources (ASX:TTY).

Until tomorrow,

Simon Black
Senior Editor,
This article appears courtesy of Notes From The
, a free newsletter dedicated to individual freedom,
internationalization, asset protection and global finance. For a
complimentary subscription, visit

Sovereign Man Notes from the Field Date: June 21, 2011 Reporting From: Oxford, England

In Business, Continental Travel, Government, History, Interesting places, Jobs, Money and Finances, Political, Political parties, Travel on June 21, 2011 at 1:23 pm

Sovereign Man

Notes from the Field

Date: June 21, 2011
Reporting From: Oxford, England

One of the reasons I love southern England in the summer time is because the days are so long. At 5:16pm British time (12:16pm Eastern) today, the earth will reach its maximal inclination toward the sun, marking the day of the year with the longest period of daylight in the northern hemisphere.

(conversely, this is the day of the year with the least amount of daylight in the southern hemisphere…)

All over the world, and especially in Europe, today is celebrated with holidays, parades, and festivals to commemorate the earth’s renewal to a season that brings warmth, light, and growth.

It is no small irony that the ill fated Greek government is facing a vote of [no] confidence today, potentially representing a renewal itself. The vote is essentially a referendum on Prime Minister George Panandreou’s plans to implement severe austerity measures in a country that is literally running out of cash.

Greece’s cash position can now be measured in weeks. If the vote fails and the government is ousted, it is highly unlikely that the rest of Europe, the ECB, and the IMF will maintain their financial support, and a Greek default would be imminent.

If the vote succeeds and the government stays, it is still highly unlikely that they would be able to see through all the necessary austerity measures to trim the budget.

Here’s the underlying problem– the Greek government is so heavily involved in the economy that direct public spending accounts for nearly half of Greek GDP. Deep cuts are going to shake the foundation of Greece’s economy, including its generous entitlement benefits.

If recent history is any guide, it’s pretty safe to presume that most Greeks simply won’t allow that to happen. They’ll protest, they’ll riot, and they’ll cry out, “why should we pay for the political mistakes of the past?”

As such, even if the current government passes this no confidence vote, Greece will only be kicking its problems down the road. The deep austerity measures that are truly needed to reduce its debt are simply unrealistic in a society that has become accustomed to such generous public spending.

Quite literally, the financial system as we know it may hinge on how Greek voters turn out in the polls today. If they vote against the current government (and effectively against austerity), a Greek default will set off a financial chain reaction.

Greek banks would become insolvent. Many other banks with significant Greek exposure across Europe, especially in Germany and France, would suffer catastrophic losses. Even the European Central Bank, which has over 50 billion euros of exposure to Greek debt (and rising) would suffer terrible losses.

Other weak nations in the eurozone would likely follow the Greek example and default, not only causing another wave of losses to be realized, but also putting pressure on the fate of the euro itself.

Needless to say, political leaders in Europe will stop at nothing to ensure this doesn’t happen. So far they’ve managed to rob taxpayers, inflate the currency, and outright lie to the public. They all understand the consequences of default, and no one wants to be the guy in charge when the music stops.

They’d rather keep robbing taxpayers and throwing good money after bad to keep the party going. The wealthier nations in Europe, however, are getting sick and tired of supporting the debtors (not to mention US taxpayers are still the largest contributors to the IMF).

As their support fades, the long-term prospects of Greece emerging from this crisis without defaulting go to zero.

For the sake of Greece, Europe, and the rest of the world, we should all hope for failure in today’s vote. The sooner this system collapses, the sooner it can reset itself and be renewed.

Otherwise, this ridiculous soap opera could drag on for another 2-years, resulting in billions upon billions being flushed down the toilet of a foregone conclusion.

Precious metals, particularly when short against the euro, remain an excellent speculation… until, that is, it becomes illegal again. More on that later.

Until tomorrow,

Simon Black
Senior Editor,

This article appears courtesy of Notes From The
, a free newsletter dedicated to individual freedom,
internationalization, asset protection and global finance. For a
complimentary subscription, visit

Sovereign Man Notes from the Field Date: May 16, 2011 Reporting From: Santiago, Chile

In Banking, Business, Business/Political Trends Worldwide, Interesting places, Jobs in Cape Coral, Marine Info., Medical treatment, Offshore accounts, Political, Taxes on May 16, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Sovereign Man

Notes from the Field

Date: May 16, 2011
Reporting From: Santiago, Chile

On June 10, 1215 AD, after prolonged rebellion and frustrating negotiation, a group of England’s most influential barons entered London to force the disastrous King John Softsword into accepting a revolutionary charter of individual freedoms.

Five days later in the Runnymede meadow of Surrey County, John affixed his royal seal onto what became known as the Magna Carta. It still exists on the books today in England and Wales.

This document was one of the more important antecedents to the US Constitution; its proclamations ended the absolutism of England’s monarchy and spelled out very clear rights and freedoms, including, among others, the right of a man to enjoy his private property without trespass from government officials.

Over 550 years later, the framers of the Constitution codified this right in the 4th Amendment to be secure in one’s private property. Last week, the Indiana Supreme Court effectively rejected both documents in two separate cases.

In the first case of Lacey v. State of Indiana, the Court ruled that police officers serving a warrant on a private home may simply walk right in without knocking.

The second case of Barnes v. State of Indiana is far more startling. The case deals with one Richard Barnes, a regular Joe citizen of Indiana, who was in the midst of marital problems with his wife one evening in 2007. The couple was arguing when police arrived to the scene and attempted to enter the home.

Barnes made it very clear to the officers that they were not to enter his home. The officers did not have a warrant, and they did not have probably cause to believe that anything illegal was happening. But they entered regardless.

Barnes tried to block the door, and as the police officers muscled their way past him, he shoved one of them against the wall in defense of his property. Barnes was choked and tasered in his own home, subsequently hospitalized, then charged with misdemeanor battery on a police officer.

The case went to court, and the Barnes defense team cited a private citizen’s right to resist unlawful entry into one’s home. They lost. The case was appealed, all the way up to the Indiana Supreme Court. Here’s where it gets interesting.

The Court agreed that the police officers entered the Barnes home illegally. The Court further agreed that one’s right to resist illegal entry has existed since the Magna Carta. The Court further agreed that the US Supreme Court has reaffirmed this right to resist unlawful entry in numerous court cases.

Seems pretty cut and dry, no?

Yet, in summarizing the court’s opinion, Justice Steven David writes, “We hold that there is -no right- to reasonably resist unlawful entry by police officers.”

Wait. Full stop. A citizen has no right to resist unlawful entry by police officers on his private property? Apparently we’re all supposed to lay down like two-toed tree sloths while these jackbooted monkeys turn private property into yet another ‘rights free’ zone.

Americans already have to put up with dispensation of the Constitution at airports, border checkpoints, political events, many train station, and soon to be bus terminals and shopping malls. We’d better add ‘private residence’ to that list as well.

The right to protect oneself and one’s property against unlawful entry is the hallmark of any free civilization. Conversely, it is the hallmark of a totalitarian police state when government goons have the authority to go stomping around on private property without oversight of a judicious, impartial court.

There is no middle ground here… and a government that is on the way to denying this right is not far down the road from denying other basic, seemingly no-brainer rights– like assembly, criticizing the government, and possession of firearms.

One of the reasons I travel so much is so I don’t have to deal with this kind of nonsense. I enjoy spending time in countries where I have no fear of some government agent forcing his way into my home.

There are a number of such places in the world– Chile is definitely one of them.

Until tomorrow,

Simon Black
Senior Editor,

This article appears courtesy of Notes From The
, a free newsletter dedicated to individual freedom,
internationalization, asset protection and global finance. For a
complimentary subscription, visit

PS for SMC Members: Your monthly premium edition will be sent out momentarily. I’m particularly excited about this edition because we have managed to negotiate a way for you to establish a bank account in Singapore at one of its strongest banks without having to visit the country! Stay tuned for details.

This article appears courtesy of Notes From The
, a free newsletter dedicated to individual freedom,
internationalization, asset protection and global finance. For a
complimentary subscription, visit

A fine tour of WINK TV Studios at 10:30 AM this morning………comments by a lucky Admin..

In Constitution of The United States, History, Interesting places, Local news and Opinion on April 19, 2011 at 9:03 pm

Tour of the WINK TV and Radio Studios in Ft. Myers, Fla today at 10:30 am.
A tour offered by WINKTV and FMARC, our local Ham Club.

I met the attending members of the Ft. Myers Amateur Radio club at the studios on Martin Luther King Blvd at 10:30 am and were met by Bert, a member of the staff at WINK TV. A fine dissertation was presented and with that, we began our tour. For me, it had been quite sometime since I had had an occasion such as this, the last time being, visiting the studios of WNHC TV and Radio located in New Haven, Connecticut. The contrast between these stations was of course very noticeable since these are the days of Digital and HD and those earlier days were about Analog TV and no digital whatsoever. Quite a change.
We were ushered into the live studio and witnessed the 11:00 am news hour with all the explanations and question and answer sessions nicely fit into the advertisement and remote video/audio remote sections of the broadcast schedule. The transition into computer based management of programming is immediately in evidence versus the old tape and video tape sessions that I remember from the workings of WTNH.
The group was split into two groups and we separately had a chance to view the major control room, satellite control rooms for radio since there are a number of different stations operating at the same time providing music and commentary for all listening wants. Our guide certainly presented his workplace with pride and it was very enjoyable listening to him reiterate the many facets of the TV and Radio operations. The group was also lucky enough to have pictures taken with one of the personalities of the complex. The contrast between then and now will stay with me for sure. It was a very enjoyable 2-1/2 hours of my day. as I am sure it was for the others of our Amateur Radio Club, Ft. Myers Amateur Radio Club. My thanks to the club for organizing such a nice and informative affair.

God Bless America……It’s tours like this that make me realize how precious our FREE SPEECH really is……..

Sovereign Man Notes from the Field Date: April 4, 2011 Reporting From: Santiago, Chile

In Business, Expatriation, Government, History, Interesting places, Opportunity, renminbi currency, Travel on April 4, 2011 at 7:30 pm

Sovereign Man
Notes from the Field
Date: April 4, 2011
Reporting From: Santiago, Chile

I have a little secret that I’m going to let you in on, it’s one of the ways that I meet people and get networked while traveling internationally. Over time, I’ve found that, if you want to connect with influential insiders, you have to go where influential insiders are.

Country clubs are not my scene… they’re stuffy, formal, and usually take too much time to acquire a membership. Health clubs, on the other hand, are a great place to make contacts. Gyms are partly social by design, a place where people naturally gather and shoot the breeze in between sets, or before/after demonic spinning classes.

It’s also a place where you can interact with people out of their element– the big powerful CEO is just another sweaty fat guy in tight shorts, and it’s much easier to approach and strike up a conversation with him at the gym’s water cooler than trying to work your way onto his office calendar.

Exactly for this reason, I tend to seek out the most expensive gyms in town when I travel… it’s not because I have particularly fancy tastes (I don’t), but because I go where they go.

Here in Santiago, it’s a place called O2 in Las Condes. I get a twofer because it’s part of the W Hotel complex, so I end up mingling with the well-to-do foreigners who come into town.

Yesterday that happened to be members of several of the bands who appeared at this weekend’s Lollapalooza music festival– Flaming Lips, Killers, Jane’s Addiction, etc. You may recall this networking concept of ‘the open door’ from our Network Infiltration Report.**

What I’ve noticed over the last few months, though, is that there is an emerging trend of wealthy foreigners coming to Chile from Asia, specifically mainland China. The two obvious reasons they’re here are copper and lithium, of which Chile has the largest reserves in the world.

Both of these metals are critical for continued production, and companies from China are sending over their purchasing managers to lock up supply.

(I suspect that, in time, the two countries will begin settling their cross-border trade in pesos and renminbi instead of increasingly worthless dollars. In fact, QE3 may be the catalyst which ends the US dollar’s reign as the prime currency for cross-border trade settlement.)

The other reason there are so many Chinese here is that they’re looking for property, specifically farmland. Topsoil is being destroyed at an alarming rate in China, whether due to environmental and weather factors, rapid urban development, or soil depletion.

The agrarian lands in northern and western China are engulfed in a dust bowl that dwarfs the 1930s dust bowl in the United States… and compounding the problem is the country’s growing water crisis.

It’s been no secret that the Chinese have been scooping up cheap resource-rich property and assets across Africa’s corrupt nations. On a risk-adjusted basis, however, Latin America is a much better investment, and the number of boots on the ground here shows that they’re starting to realize that.

Comparatively speaking, Latin America lacks the political risk of Africa. Sure, there are a few left-leaning big mouths down here… but this is a negligible risk for people coming from Beijing. And in terms of price, Latin American property is some of the cheapest in the world.

I’ve written before about property that sells for as little as $25/acre. Certainly, the titles aren’t as crystal clear as what westerners are used to in North America and Europe where records can date back to the 1600s. But for Chinese investors who are used to dealing with gun-toting 13-year olds in Africa, such deals are a sound investment.

Best of all, many countries in Latin America like Uruguay and Argentina still transact property deals in US dollars, so Chinese investors who are sitting on a pile of hot potatoes have a willing seller who will accept their worthless paper for something of value. Bonus.

Here in Chile, I’ve seen land in the remote south of the country for $200 to $2,000 per acre, depending on the size, distance to infrastructure, and carrying capacity. It’s more expensive than in places like Ecuador or Paraguay, but the rule of law is stronger in Chile, and I suspect that the Chinese are willing to pay a bit more for extra protection.

As I am looking for property myself down here, I expect to find out more about what they’re buying, and where… and I’ll report back what I learn.

** Speaking of ‘open doors’ don’t forget about our Atlas 400 information teleconference, tomorrow, Tuesday April 5th at 3:00pm Eastern Time. You can sign up to receive the call-in instructions here.

Until tomorrow,

Simon Black
Senior Editor,

This article appears courtesy of Notes From The
, a free newsletter dedicated to individual freedom,
internationalization, asset protection and global finance. For a
complimentary subscription, visit

%d bloggers like this: