AUTUMN '79 INVESTMENT SEMINAR--Zurich, Switzerland DFO846 7 October 1979
--(Notes by Oshea, now with International Investments.--Edited by Dad, 27/10/79)
OPENING REMARKS--Nicholas Deak, President, Deak--Perera Group, N.Y.: The strengthening of the dollar doesn't look as if it can come through. It's mostly window-dressing & noise, a short-lived & temporary package. It won't work because inflation is rooted in the deficit spending of the U.S. & other governments.
THE SWISS ECONOMY--Director of the Swiss Tourist Office: Inflation in the U.S. is now running at 14% (officially) versus 4% in Switzerland. (But the Swiss inflation is directly tied to U.S. version. My boss leaned over to tell me that by international convention, Switzerland has to maintain a certain relationship with other European currencies, which must in turn maintain a certain relationship with the dollar. So the Swiss Franc is indirectly tied to the dollar. Witness the Swiss national bank purchase of $1 billion in the currency markets last week to prop up the $.--Oshea.)
THE SWISS BANKING SYSTEM--Hans Weber, President of Foreign Conference Bank, Zurich: The Swiss currency in circulation is backed by 50% gold. The Zurich gold market is probably the biggest in the world. Both South Africa & Russia market practically all their gold here.
ASPECTS OF INVESTING--Jack Williams, Economic Research Counsellors, Vancouver, Canada: Silver has appreciated 1,129% in the last 12 years. Gold has appreciated 852% in the last 8 years. Platinum has been appreciating at 110% annually. Diamonds have been appreciating at 10% annually. I see no forces currently operating to drive gold & silver prices down. Everytime the U.S. government mounts a rescue package to save the dollar, it's a perfect time to buy gold & silver, since the price goes down temporarily. There's just not enough gold & silver to go round. Gold & silver are real money--paper money is just artificial money.
INVESTMENT GUIDELINES FOR THE 1980s--Gordon McLendon, "Investment Guidelines": (He ended up his speech by witnessing to the entire conference saying:) Above all, don't forget to smell the flowers & look up at the limitless heavens above, & remember that, whatever you call Him, there is a higher power, & that without acknowledging Him you cannot enjoy the ultimate wealth--happiness! (By the way, I got Proverbs 3:13-15 for this conference. They fit perfectly! PTL!--Oshea.)
NICHOLAS DEAK, Bankhaus Deak in Vienna & Deak National Bank in New York: Offer actual gold checking accounts! You keep your funds in gold, & when you cash a check on your account in whatever currency it's in, they sell a small amount of gold corresponding to this amount. Deposits credited in gold. (Can be done through bank or by mail to Vienna.)
INFLATION OR DEFLATION, WHICH WAY?--Murray Rothbard, Author, Economist & Historian:--You'll never have another depression, because they'll be called recessions.--You can call government printers counterfeiters--they perform the same function. Muggers & rapers get 1-2 years in prison, but counterfeiters get 20! Government doesn't care about me & you, but when their revenues are touched, then they care! Counterfeiters are in direct competition with them.--The way the government inflates, there are definite benefits to certain people: The government is the first to benefit--they spend the money they print before its inflationary effect pushes the prices up.--Fear of the future is going to be translated into the policy of: "Buy now--it's just going to go up later."--As long as we have lack of faith in the dollar, the dollar cannot appreciate internationally, & as long as there is inflation there cannot be faith in the dollar, & the trend will continue downward at present. No person, entity or government can go on spending more than they take in. (Like U.S.!--Dad.)--There is no such thing as the floating dollar--there is only the sinking dollar.
EQUITY PROFITS IN THE EIGHTIES--Jerome Smith, Editor-in-Chief, World Market Perspective:--I decided my purpose in life would be to search for a way to put an end to the enormous, systematic plundering of little people by paper currency that enslaves the world! This is what I have fought to overcome in my life. Economics in its true human sense is voluntary human action. In the sense it is used today, it is coerced human action. A prediction--We're soon going to reach a point where there will be no more silver in the commodity exchange warehouses--it will all be in private hands. This may not happen with gold--there are huge stockpiles in storage. 90% of all gold ever produced is still around. The opposite is true of silver. From the time they reached double-digit inflation in Germany (10%-99%) to the time economy collapsed was 10 months, in a period of limited communications. What took place in 10 months in Germany could take only 10 days in the U.S., once we reach a certain point.
IMPACT OF INFLATION UPON INSURANCE--Lawrence Scott, Chartered Life Underwriter: There is nothing called the dollar at this present time, except your belief in it!
ALEXANDER PARIS--Author, Economist: The brunt of the recession is going to fall in 1980. How bad is it going to be?--Very severe! Over the next 18 months there will be a record number of bankruptcies & bank failures--the big bust. We have inflation & deflation at the same time--rising prices & falling productivity. The coming recession will be severe, but because of government power to control the economy, things will keep going. I have great faith in the power of crafty politicians to hold things together! (Ha!--Dad.)
HARRY BROWNE, Author, Financial Advisor, Zurich: The investor's most important asset is humility. Runaway inflation always reaches such a point that people are trying to get a rid of their money as fast as possible. (Harry Browne gave his scenario for the future from one of his books about to be published, which includes a big depression in the early '80s, banks closing & never reopening, strikes & crises in America, & finally America goes to war & a large segment of the population is killed!) (He was one of the most honest lecturers, & one of the simplest as well.--Oshea.)
PANEL DISCUSSION--All major speakers: Someone asked the question: "Assuming that a great depression hits the world, will there be any economic havens?" Deak--"It will affect the entire world.-Cemeteries will be the only safe place." (He later added that Switzerland will be safer than most.) Rothbard--"No." Smith--"We must pay the piper. Overprinting money with nothing to back it always leads to a deep depression, no matter what happens. The consequence would be a complete collapse of money & a possible bloodbath. There will be no havens!" Browne--"Switzerland will not be hurt so badly." (He lives in Zurich.) Paris--"Go to the country with the most political freedom left." (But where?--Dad.)--The Bible says in Isaiah 2:
ENTER INTO THE ROCK, & HIDE thee in the dust, for fear of the Lord, & for the glory of His majesty. And the idols He shall utterly abolish. And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, & into the caves of the Earth, for fear of the Lord, & for the glory of his majesty, when He ariseth to shake terribly the Earth! In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, & his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles & to the bats; to go into the clefts of the rocks, & into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the Lord, & for the glory of His majesty, when He ariseth to shake terribly the Earth!"--Verses 10 & 18-21.
--The only safe refuges the Bible advises are the Rock, Christ Jesus, and the dust!--The grave?--Or the soil--a farm with food?!--You can't eat gold or silver!--Are you ready?
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