December 3, 2017
December 3, 2017


I’m in Bangkok. As a friend remarked, “Despite red shirts, yellow shirts, floods, SARS, military coups and whatnot, this economy continues to grow at a mid single digit pace.” Clearly this is an economy that I need to know a whole lot more about.

I see the value in the portable drilling rigs in that they don’t have to build roads to get to the drilling site. But how do you get the equipment to process the ore to the site?

By the time a company decides to actually build a mine, millions have been spent on exploration and millions more have been spent on engineering reports. By that point, a road is one of many expenses needed to build the mine. The key is to not spend millions on useless roads to drill exploration holes. That’s how Energold saves miners so much money.

When I was in Cambodia, I was informed by my guide that Viet Nam still controls the country. I was informed that they have a silent puppet government. How would this affect your business interests there?

I have heard similar things, but when I asked people they seemed to think that the Chinese now have equal sway in the country. Thailand now has some input as well. Finally, quite a few people were of the opinion that Russian and Korean busienss interests were also quite powerful. I guess that if you have multiple nations exerting control, that’s better than just one nation. I honestly am not sure what I would think of Vietnam’s influence vs another country. They all want to make money in the end. That should be good for Cambodia.

I’m looking for a pure play method of shorting the Australian housing market. As you may know, prices are up a few hundred percent in the last decade, the income from renting an Australian home won’t come close to paying the expenses of buying a home. The rationale for the invincibility of their market is similar to things I heard here 5 years ago (continual flow if immigrants that will maintain a “shortage” of homes far into the future) and speculators are buying multiple properties.

However, unlike the U.S., I can’t find public housing builders and even if CDS instruments exist on securitized loans there, there’s no way for a retail investor to purchase them.
If you have any ideas, I’d love to hear them.

Housing prices sure are expensive in Australia. This is made even more so by the strong Aussie Dollar. I’ve seen studies that suggest that their housing is even more overvalued than ours (US) was at the peak. Then again, just because something is expensive, that doesn’t mean it is going to get cheap any time soon. I could be wrong, but I have been of the understanding that there isn’t all that much debt in the Aussie housing market. It just isn’t like how the US market was. A lot of the increase in housing prices is because of strong economic fundamentals, not idiots with leverage.

I am sure there are homebuilders out there in Australia. I really have no interest in shorting anything. We are about to have a massive worldwide bubble in every asset class. It is caused by Ben Bernanke who is armed with endless liquidity. You know what they say, “to a man with a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.” His solution to unemployment seems to be creating bubbles in Australian real estate and all sorts of other asset classes. It’s sheer madness. I sure don’t want to be short until someone takes away his printing press.

Thank you for your interesting wisdom on the markets. I am writing to you because I’m curious to your perspective on entrepreneurship in the US. In particular, as a young businessman with big ambition, I plan on starting a global business in the future. Lately, I have become fascinated with manufacturing. I realize the US manufacturing base has been destroyed due the outsourcing of labor but do you believe the US is a good option for one to start a manufacturing business in the future? Or do you believe, there is better value in positioning a manufacturing business overseas? You have travelled the world and witnessed different cultures and business environments so I consider your insight worthwhile. I worry that regulations, taxes, and uncertainity will continue to hurt the US business environment.

If you could provide what parts of the world you believe are most attractive to you on a business start up perspective, I would greatly appreciate it.

That’s a great question, but I really feel unqualified to answer it. It really depends on the individual circumstances and what sort of business it is. Do you want cheap labor or educated employees? What are you going to produce? Low taxes are important, but so is low corruption. You need rule of law. There is just so much that goes into a decision like this. I really don’t know where to start. Finally, I wouldn’t completely count out the US. All you need is a few good tweaks to our system and it will be functional again. There is a lot that works here, my fear is just that it’s going horribly in the wrong direction over the past few years. It’s salvagable, but you need better leaders than the ones we have now. A well functioning America is far better than almost all other options. Keep that in mind.


You’ve had a few different people ask how to see CDN insider activity and you’ve told them about SEDI, but this is actually much better. free and a really good way to skip all the BS associated with SEDI.ca.

I have never used this site, but for readers who wanted an answer, it looks like a good (and free) alternative to SEDI