Tag Archives: Finance

Covid Has Triggered The Next Great Financial Crisis

Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog

What’s left are the ‘fatal synergies’ of soaring debt and leverage, diminishing returns on stimulus, the substitution of credit for savings and the coming deflationary tsunami that pops all the speculative bubbles.

Imagine a once modest but sturdy home built near a cliff to maximize the vistas. Over the decades, the foundation slowly degraded and the house moved imperceptibly closer to the unstable edge of the cliff. Those who observed the slippage and the potential for eventual disaster were either derided as alarmists or ignored. 

Given the enviable location and views, the home rose in value and a series of increasingly gaudy additions were added, completely obscuring the once-modest exterior with cheap imitations of long-lasting, time-tested materials (plastic trim and brittle fake-marble veneers). The foundations of these ostentatious additions were slapdash, shallow and poorly made, as the goal was not durability but appearance. 

The low-quality additions accelerated the slide to the unstable cliff edge, and in 2019 the viewing deck broke away and crashed into the canyon below. The repairs were hasty and the residents were assured all was well–in fact, better than ever. 

In 2020, the weak foundation of the gaudiest, lowest-quality addition crumbled. The response of the owners was to fill the widening crack in the decaying structure and spray on a new coat of paint. There–good as new, the residents were told. 

But this was not true. The house is now teetering on the precariously unstable cliff edge. Ironically, the vast majority of the residents have moved to the game room, which is now cantilevered over thin air. The slightest movement will tip the entire decayed structure over the cliff. 

That decayed, precariously unstable structure is the U.S. economy, and Covid was the catalyst that nudged the economy right to the edge. Gordon Long and I discuss the causes and consequences in our new video program, Covid Has Triggered The Next Great Financial Crisis (34:46). 

Chief among the many causes is a very basic one that’s easy to understand: America has consumed more than it has produced for decades, and filled the gap with imports purchased with borrowed money and currency created out of thin air. 

As Gordon and I explain, this is a very well-worn path to instability and collapse:governments (which now include nominally independent central banks) have always responded to declines in productivity and affordable energy/materials, the expansion of a parasitic elite and excessive spending with the same bag of financial tricks: 

1. They borrow more money, eventually borrowing more to pay interest on existing debts, greasing the slide to default and insolvency. 

2. They defraud the users of their currency by devaluing the currency. In the old days, this was accomplished by substituting base metals for silver or gold in the minting of coinage. Eventually the coins contained only a trace of silver. Users soon caught on and the result was the coinage lost purchasing power, a.k.a. inflation destroyed the value of the officially issued money. 

In today’s fiat currency regime, central banks create trillions of new units of “money” with a few keystrokes, effectively diluting the value of all existing currency. 

3. Desperate for revenues, governments raise taxes, which despite all claims to the contrary by political leaders, fall most heavily on the productive middle class. Since the parasitic elite will never accept any consequential reduction of their wealth or power, the higher taxes and economic stagnation that result from these three policies crush the middle class, which was the engine of productivity and demand that enabled the parasitic elite to live large. 

These are key dynamics in what Gordon calls the killing of the golden goose, theproductive synergies that generate widespread prosperity and opportunity. 

What’s left are the fatal synergies of soaring debt and leverage, diminishing returns on stimulus, the substitution of credit for savings and the coming deflationary tsunami (53 min) that pops all the speculative bubbles, setting up the destabilization and cliff-dive of the entire decayed, flimsy structure–The Next Great Financial Crisis that cannot be papered over with more central bank legerdemain. 

There’s more in our 34-minute video program:

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Covid Has Triggered The Next Great Financial Crisis

My COVID-19 Pandemic Posts

Meet The Billionaire Who “Finally Understood Bitcoin” After Tripping On Magic Mushrooms

BY TYLER DURDEN (via Zero Hedge)

Christian Angermayer built his portfolio the old fashioned way: by taking psychedelics and buying bitcoin.

That’s the actual story of the 42 year old German billionaire that was highlighted by Bloomberg on Thursday. He literally “rode the wave” of every big fad over the last 12 months – including bitcoin and SPACs – and made a fortune in the process.

His family office is called Apeiron Investment Group and has been the lead investor in 7 companies that have gone public in the last year, raising more than $1 billion combined. He has 10 more companies slated to IPO this year.

Angermayer took his first trip on psychedelics in 2015 before investing in companies that are in the space. A conversation with a neuroscientist at a dinner party is what turned him on to the idea of magic mushrooms, despite the fact that he doesn’t drink alcohol. “It was the single most meaningful thing I’ve ever done in my whole life, nothing really comes close,” he said of his first trip, which took place in the Caribbean.

After the trip, he claimed he “finally understood bitcoin”. From there, it became a feedback loop of investing in the things he was passionate about while riding the crypto wave that has swollen over the last half decade. 

On his investing style, he said: “I just invest in what I’m very curious and passionate about,” he told Bloomberg. The report calls him the “German version of Chamath Palihapitiya”. 

But he doesn’t have as big of a presence on social media as Chamath. This hasn’t stopped him from cultivating serious relationships with influential investors like SoftBank and Peter Thiel. 

Bitcoin bull Mike Novogratz said of Angermayer: “He’s probably the best networker I’ve ever met. He’s built this amazing network of people who like and have learned to trust him because he’s made them money. As a capital raiser, he’s awesome.”

Angermayer’s office, based in Malta, “helped China’s HNA Group purchase 9.9% of Deutsche Bank AG stock in 2017′ and received a finder’s fee of $15.6 million for introducing executives at SoftBank and the now-defunct Wirecard.

Apeiron has $2.5 billion in assets, half of which are Angermayer’s. The fund “has averaged an annual internal return of more than 50% over the past decade”, according to Bloomberg. The portfolio is full of companies like AbCellera Biologics, which has developed an antibody drug for Covid and Compass Pathways, a psilocybin-focused depression treatment company that we highlighted shortly after it went public. 

He has also produced or executive produced 21 different movies, the report notes. Thiel said of him that his curiosity “allows him to recognize trends very early or invent and create an entire sector himself.”

Benedikt Franke, CEO of the Munich Security Conference said of him: “He is an investor who has fully understood the importance of geopolitics for long-term strategy.”

Angermayer added: “I understand politicians better than investors. One reason I’m very happy is I’m very honest with myself. I want everybody to like me.”

When asked what type of hedging he uses, Angermayer responded: “None”.

Billionaire Wealth: Who Are the 10 Biggest Pandemic Profiteers?

One year after the Covid-19 pandemic began, U.S. billionaires have made out like gangbusters at the expense of workers.

By Chuck Collins (via Global Research)

A year ago, the Institute for Policy Studies published “Billionaire Bonanza 2020: Wealth  Windfalls, Tumbling Taxes and Pandemic Profiteers,”  and began tracking billionaire wealth gains as unemployment surged.  We teamed up with Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF) to track the wealth growth of America’s billionaires over the last year.  This report summarizes the extraordinary growth in wealth of those now 657 billionaires based on real-time data from Forbes on March 18, 2021.

Here are highlights from the last 12 months of billionaire wealth growth:

  • The combined wealth of the nation’s 657 billionaires increased more than $1.3 trillion, or 44.6 percent, since the pandemic lockdowns began. [See Master Table] Over those same 12 months, more than 29 million Americans contracted the virus and more than 535,000 died from it. As billionaire wealth soared over, almost 80 million lost work between March 21, 2020, and Feb. 20, 2021, and 18 million were collecting unemployment on Feb. 27, 2021
  • There are 43 newly minted billionaires since the beginning of the pandemic, when there were 614. A number of new billionaires joined the list after initial public offerings (IPOs) of stock in companies such as Airbnb, DoorDash, and Snowflake.
  • The increase in the combined wealth of the 15 billionaires with the greatest growth in absolute wealth was $563 billion or 82 percent. [See table 1] The wealth growth of just these 15 represents over 40 percent of the wealth growth among all billionaires. Topping the list are Elon Musk ($137.5 billion richer, 559 percent), Jeff Bezos ($65 billion, 58 percent) and Mark Zuckerberg ($47 billion, 86 percent).

The 10 biggest “Pandemic Profiteers” saw the greatest percentage increase in their wealth—at least 300 percent. [See Table 2]

They mostly multiplied their fortunes in the world of online goods, services and entertainment, as forcibly homebound Americans shopped, invested and diverted themselves in isolation. They include the owners of ecommerce leaders Quicken Loans, Square, Carvana, and cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase; social media sites Snapchat and Twitter; online streaming platform Roku; and digital ad agency Trade Desk. 19 other billionaires experienced increases of over 200% while 48 others more than doubled their fortunes with 100%+ gains.

  1. Bom Kim (670 percent/$7.7 billion): A U.S. citizen and founder of the e-commerce giant Coupang, the Amazon of South Korea. Kim’s fortune surged as high as $11 billion after the company’s IPO in early March.
  2. Dan Gilbert (642 percent/$41.7 billion): Owner of Quicken Loans, which capitalized on cloistered citizens tapping online financing. Lives in Michigan.
  3. Ernest Garcia II (567 percent/$13.6 billion): Biggest shareholder of Carvana, the online car sales and auto-financing giant. Arizona.
  4. Elon Musk (559 percent/$137.5 billion): Musk is now the second wealthiest Americans—at nearly $138 billion—as his shares in Tesla, Space-X and other companies that he owns continue to climb. Lives in Texas.
  5. Brian Armstrong (550 percent/$5.5 billion): Chief executive of Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the country. California resident.
  6. Bobby Murphy (531 [ercent/$10.1 billion): Co-founder of Snapchat, with his Stanford fraternity brother, Evan Spiegel. California resident.
  7. Evan Spiegel (490 percent/$9.3 billion): Co-founder of Snapchat with his other billionaire super-gainer, Bobby Murphy. California resident.
  8. Jack Dorsey (396 percent/$10.3 billion): Co-founder and CEOs of both Twitter and Square, the small business payment app. Lives in California
  9. Anthony Wood (331 percent/$5.3 billion): Founder of Roku, which enables online TV video streaming. California resident.
  10. Jeff Green (300 percent/$3 billion): Californian founder and chairman of The Trade Desk, a digital advertising firm.

Other notable billionaire wealth gains during the pandemicNet Worth of US Billionaires Has Soared by $1 Trillion to Total of $4 Trillion Since Pandemic Began

  • Eric Yuan, co-founder of video-conferencing technology Zoom, saw his wealth rise by $8.4 billion during the pandemic year, a gain of 153 percent. A year ago, Yuan had $5.5 billion which increased to $13.9 billion. Last year Zoom paid no federal income taxes on its $660 million in profits, which increased by more than 4,000 percent.
  • The three owners of Airbnb saw their wealth accelerate thanks to their pandemic year IPO. Brian Chesky’s wealth increased from $4.1 billion to $14.6 billion, a gain of $10.5 billion, an increase of 256 percent. Nathan Blecharazyk and Joe Gebbia, with equal ownership stakes valued at $4.1 billion a year ago, each saw their wealth increase to $13.2 billion, for gains of $9.1 billion each, or 222 percent.
  • Jim Koch, owner of Boston Beer Company and brewer of the Sam Adams brand, saw his wealth increase from $1.3 billion to $3.2 billion, a gain of $1.9 billion over the pandemic year, or 146 percent.
  • Dan and Bubba Cathy, the owners of drive-through sensation Chick-Fil-A, saw their combined wealth of $6.8 billion rise to $16.6 billion, a gain of $9.8 billion over the pandemic year, or 144 percent.
  • Harold Hamm, the politically connected oil and gas fracker, saw his wealth increase from $2.4 billion to $7.5 billion during the pandemic year, an increase of 5.1 billion, or 212.5 percent.

Of 17 industry categories, billionaires in the technology industry had the greatest collective wealth growth—$564 billion, or nearly 68 percent. [See Table 3]

They were worth $1.4 trillion on March 18, 2021, or one-third of the billionaires’ total. The titans of Wall Street—the Finance & Investment industries—saw their wealth grow by $226 billion—a nearly 37 percent increase. Automotive industry billionaires had the biggest percentage point increase in wealth—317 percent based on an increase in wealth of $172 billion. That was largely driven by the extraordinary rise in Elon Musk’s wealth—$137.5 billion or 559 percent.

All but three states saw the wealth of their billionaire residents increase. [See Table 4]

Topping the list in total wealth growth are California at $551 billion, Washingtonat $134.6 billion, and New York at $116.4 billion. The top three states with the greatest percentage increase in wealth are Michigan at 164 percent, Arizona at 110 percent, and Hawaii at 107 percent.

Billionaire wealth growth is calculated between March 18, 2020 and March 18, 2021, based on Forbesdata compiled in this report by ATF and IPS. March 18 is used as the unofficial beginning of the crisis because by then most federal and state economic restrictions responding to the virus were in place. March 18 was also the date that Forbes picked to measure billionaire wealth for the 2020 edition of its annual billionaires’ report, which provided a baseline that ATF and IPS compare periodically with real-time data from the Forbes website. PolitiFact has favorably reviewed this methodology.

Interview: Rabbi Abraham Finkelstein: human meat in Mcdonalds, kidnapped children, banking scam, diamond lies

Video Interview with Rabbi Abraham Finkelstein on Turner Network radio

In a rather convincing radio interview between now deceased Pastor Wickstrom, and Rabbi Abraham Finkelstein, concerning admissions were made, which if true, highlight some alarming aspects of society which need more investigation.

Now we’ve done our best to look into the history of this interview and everything is a little sketchy. There’s no obvious record of Rabbi Abraham Finkelstein, which makes us think he’s just been wiped off the Internet. Pastor Wickstrom however does have a wickipedia page and has had his fair share of controversies. Which personally, allows me to believe that there’s more weight to this, as it takes a cunt to know one. The fact they both have their demons is very evident in the amount of passion delivered from both sides in this interview.

Some interpretations have argued that Rabbi Abraham Finkelstein is a Jewish extremist, who is effectively expressing hate at non Jews. Which, if listening to this interview it’s pretty easy to come to that conclusion. Yet, we do have to bare a couple of facts in mind while examining this, and that’s the fact that like any religion it’s very simplistic to generalise as there will always be different sects. Some stats from Paw Research show just how fragmented the Jewish religion is. (see below)

Courtesy of Paw Research

This is in no way to try and play down what’s in this video, but potentially what’s being spoken about is a dying tradition, yet, it’s still worth investigation.


After more investigation, one you tuber has done their best to try and debunk this theory, calling it a hoax, and portrayed by an actor. Although, the amount of passion, and conviction conveyed through Abraham’s voice makes it difficult to not believe him.



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