Tag Archives: money

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”.

Greece – Convenient Victim or Complacent Masochist? The Devastating Social Impacts of IMF-ECB-EC “Economic Medicine”

By Peter Koenig



Why this title? – Because Greece doesn’t have to continue playing the card of the victim, nor being masochist. Greece seems to suffer under the Stockholm Syndrome – she is in love with her hangman. Greece could change this. Exit the prison, exit the EU and exit the euro. Greece could return to her sovereign national currency, her own sovereign central bank, make her own monetary policy and implement it with a sovereign public banking system that works solely for the Greek economy. Within less than 10 years Greece would have recovered and would even be able to pay back some of her illegally begotten debt.

Although, here it must be added, according to international law, most of Greece’s debt was imposed by the troika under illegal circumstances. It’s also called “odious debt”, the description of which reads “In international law, odious debt, also known as illegitimate debt, is a legal doctrine that holds that the national debt incurred by a regime for purposes that do not serve the best interest of the nation, should not be enforceable. Such debts are, thus, considered by this doctrine to be personal debts of the regime that incurred them and not debts of the state.” This doctrine is complemented by a similar one inscribed in the charter of the IMF that says that the IMF shall not make any loans to a country in distress, that will unlikely be able to reimbursed the debt and pay the debt service.

There is not a day that goes by without Greece making the headlines as being abused by the troika (IMF, European Central Bank – ECB and the unelected European Commission – EC) and by the Germans. Here are three of the latest examples, but there are many more – “Destroying Greek, Plundering Greece. The Latest Update” (by Leonidas Vatikiotis); “Austerity: Public Hospital Halts Chemotherapy, turns away Cancer Patients, because ‘Budget Exceeded’”; and “Greece Crisis: Cancer Patients Suffer as Health System Fails” (Giorgos Christides).

Already years ago, The Lancet reported an increase in Greek suicide rates and child mortality. The misery is indeed real and mounting every day. The western imposed atrocities also abound on a daily basis. Salary cuts – and at least five pensions reductions since 2010, an almost completely dismantled social safety net. Those who depend on it are generally poor. More than 4 million people out of a population of 11 million live at or under the poverty line; 15% live in absolute and abject poverty. About 28% of children live in absolute poverty, meaning malnutrition and diseases, stunting growth and brain development. At least a generation of Greek may be in part intellectually challenged, possibly implying health hazards and restricting economic development over the next 20-some years. Unemployment is hovering around 25% – 30%, with close to 50% for youth (18-35 years). The outlook is grim and promises to become even grimmer.

Public hospitals and schools are either privatized or closed because of lack of budget. Medication is scarce, as part of imposed import restrictions, imposed by Greece’s lovely European neighbors and allies or overseas masters. Specialized and expensive medication, for example cancer medicine, are especially scarce. People die from flu, from colds, from pneumonia – even intestinal diseases that could normally be healed as a matter of routine, but there are not enough antibiotics available. Austerity – budget cuts. Thanks to the brothers from Europe – and again their masters form overseas.

Greece has absolutely no control over her budget anymore. She had to sign this responsibility over to Brussels for what? – another ‘rescue package’ – what else. In September 2016, the Greek Parliament had to approve hurriedly, in less than a week’s time, a 2000-page text of legislation, drafted by Brussels in English, unreadable in this short time for most of the Greek Parliamentarians, with which the Greek Parliament signed away not only all of the publicly owned enterprises and infrastructure to the “European Stability Mechanism” (ESM) for 99 years, during which period all of it may be offered to fire sale prices for privatization, or outright demolition; but, as if this was not enough, the Parliament also signed away its sovereign authority over the Greek budget to Brussels.

Can you imagine? This in the 21st Century. It has not happened since in 1933 the Bundestag, the German Parliament, signed over all decision-making power to the “Führer” – Mr. Adolf Hitler. This is outright EU imposed fascism. The world watches silently – and in full complicity – the literal dismantling of a sovereign country, with the esclavisation and impoverishment of the population that goes with it.

This, though, is not news. It’s rather well-known. It has been written about umpteen times, by umpteen journalists and writers, to greater or lesser extent criticizing the troika, the Greek government, the EC / IMF / BCE imposed austerity, as all three know very well that austerity does not work, nowhere. Never did.

So, why repeat it here, in yet another article? – Because it must be said again and again, and repeated ever so often, until the Greek governing body listens. Greece could stop this bloodletting and misery for the majority of her people almost instantly – by quitting the euro, and by quitting the European Union. She would not be left alone. Acts of Solidarity would come from Asia, Latin America and even Africa. Such offers were already made in 2014 and 2015. But they were not heeded, since the Greek elite wants to part of the EU elite, rubbing elbows, being part of this nefarious club. Many pictures, too many, have been circulating of Mr. Tsipras and his buddies laughing and cajoling with the Lagarde’s and the Junker’s of this world.

Greece could have exited the EU and Eurozone from day one – with the first rescue package in 2010. But she didn’t, for whatever reason. Maybe personal threats to the Tsipras family and Government and / or the “left-wing” Syriza party? – We don’t know, but all is possible in a western civilization where opponents of the Master hegemon in Washington and his dark handlers, are simply assassinated. John Perkins, explains clearly how this works in his bestseller “Confessions of an Economic Hitman”.

But what about integrity of the leaders, of the party, their obligation to the Greek people? Integrity and support foremost to the average Greek, not the Greek elite which way before the troika-Germany onslaught, transferred billions of their euro holdings to Switzerland and other western safe havens. The Tsipras Government’s duty to the vast majority of Greek, who have to survive from their daily work and miserable pensions, has been betrayed. For these people integrity would have called for quitting the Eurozone and the EU.

Why holding on to a European Union that only despises Greece by its non-action, by watching passively over the destruction of their brother? There are no trustworthy allies in the EU. They are all beholden to Brussels and to Washington. There are only greedy enemies. Greece has been singled out as an example for worse to come. Other mostly southern EU countries that were given the insulting name, PIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain), would be treated equally, i.e. sucked into oblivion – if they would dare to resist the systematic milking by the western financial system.

This EU – euro system cannot be reformed. And since abolishment or the simple collapse which is clearly written on the wall, is being extended at all cost, including the blood and lives of the Greek population, there is only ONE WAY for Greece to safe itself – LEAVE THE EURO – LEAVE THE EU.

Greece’s debt today (January 2018) is € 320.2 billion, or 190.4% of GDP (€ 168.2 billion) – and steadily mounting – with an annual interest of € 17.6 billion, increasing at the rate of € 557 per second (€ 48.1 million per day) – See the Greek Debt Clock. So, there is no relief in sight, no matter what western pundits and the IMF are saying. All lies, as is usual in the western world. Greece will never get out of her mountain of debt, while being a member of the euro-zone and the EU.

Greece – wake up, you have the opportunity to walk out of the EU and save the lives of more than half of your population, who are at risk of famine and deadly diseases – Mr. Tsipras and Co. no matter what lengthy theories and economic projections the elite economists who want to save their billions of euros hidden in safe havens, will present to you – it is your duty, your civil obligation as an elected official, elected by the people, to honor the people’s lively interests and to exit this horrendous repressive and abusive club, called European Union.

Greece – you must regain your sovereignty.

Leaving the EU and the euro does not mean you are leaving Europe. Greece, as every pupil knows, is geographically anchored in Europe. Greece is one of the most dramatically beautiful southern European countries and will continue to be visited by millions of tourists from around the world, and naturally from Europe. Other nations will want to trade and deal with Greece and her charming, friendly and smiling people. Friendliness and beauty is one of the key trademarks of Greece. Greece will gain even more respect for standing up for herself.

It’s late – but never too late. Take back your local autonomous currency, take control of your economy through local public banking with low or no interests to stimulate yours – the Greek economy – not the German, not the European economy, but the Greek national economy. Within less than 10 years Greece would have recovered from the current depression. Others have done it, like Argentina, or even Germany, especially after WWII. You will not be left alone. Support, if needed, will be there, particularly from the East, from where the future is. Think of China’s One Belt Initiative (OBI) – which already is linked up with Greece through the Greek port of Piraeus. OBI is a multi-trillion-euro economic development program that will encompass China, Russia, Eurasia, eventually all the way to the western rim of Europe, securing jobs, scientific and cultural development, transcontinental land-and sea transport, trading and more – over the next few hundred years. The west is gone; passé. It’s greed and war-driven economy is slowly but surely committing suicide.

If Greece is not seizing this last-ditch opportunity to exit the euro and to exit the EU, to literally safe her people’s skin, one might legitimately ask, has Greece become a convenient victim, subservient to its own elite and the Brussels-Washington masters, or is she simply masochistically enjoying her misery, borne, incidentally, by 80% of her population?

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for Global Research, ICH, RT, Sputnik, PressTV, The 21st Century (China), TeleSUR, The Vineyard of The Saker Blog, and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance.

How Billionaires Become Billionaires

By Prof. James Petras



First published by Global Research on October 5, 2017

America has the greatest inequalities, highest mortality rate, most regressive taxes, and largest public subsidies for bankers and billionaires of any developed capitalist country.

In this essay we will discuss the socio-economic roots of inequalities and the relation between the concentration of wealth and the downward mobility of the working and salaried classes.

How the Billionaires become Billionaires

Contrary to the propaganda pushed by the business press, between 67% and 72% percent of corporations had zero tax liabilities after credits and exemptions … while their workers and employees paid between 25 – 30% in taxes. The rate for the minority of corporations, which paid any tax, was 14%.

According to the US Internal Revenue Service, billionaire tax evasion amounts to $458 billion dollars in lost public revenues every year – almost a trillion dollars every two years by this conservative estimate.

The largest US corporations sheltered over $2.5 trillion dollars in overseas tax havens where they paid no taxes or single digit tax rates.

Meanwhile US corporations in crisis received over $14.4 trillion dollars (Bloomberg claimed 12.8 trillion) in public bailout money, split between the US Treasury and the Federal Reserve, mostly from US tax payers, who are overwhelmingly workers, employees and pensioners.

The recipient bankers invested their interest-free or low interest US bailout funds and earned billions in profits, most resulting from mortgage foreclosures of working class households.

Through favorable legal rulings and illegal foreclosures, the bankers evicted 9.3 million families. Over 20 million individuals lost their properties, often due to illegal or fraudulent debts.

A small number of the financial swindlers, including executives from Wall Street’s leading banks (Goldman Sachs, J. P. Morgan etc), paid fines – but no one went to prison for the gargantuan fraud that drove millions of Americans into misery.

There are other swindler bankers, like the current Secretary of Treasury Steve Mnuchin, who enriched themselves by illegally foreclosing on thousands of homeowners in California. Some were tried; all were exonerated, thanks to the influence of Democratic political leaders during the Obama years.

Silicon Valley and its innovative billionaires have found novel way to avoid taxes using overseas tax havens and domestic tax write-offs. They increase their wealth and corporate profits by paying their local manual and service workers poverty level wages. Silicon Valley executives ‘earn’ a thousand times more than their production workers..

Class inequalities are further reinforced by ethnic divisions. White, Chinese and Indian multi-millionaires exploit Afro-American, Latin American, Vietnamese and Filipino workers.

Billionaires in the commercial conglomerates, like Walmart, exploit workers by paying poverty wages and providing few, if any, benefits. Walmart earns $16 billion dollar a year in profits by paying its workers between $10 and $13 an hour and relying on state and federal assistance to provide services to the families of its impoverished workers through Medicaid and food stamps. Amazon plutocrat Jeff Bezos exploits workers by paying $12.50 an hour while he has accumulated over $80 billion dollars in profits. UPS CEO David Albany takes $11 million a year by exploiting workers at $11 an hour. Federal Express CEO, Fred Smith gets $16 million and pays workers $11 an hour.

Inequality is not a result of ‘technology’ and ‘education’- contemporary euphemisms for the ruling class cult of superiority – as liberals and conservative economists and journalists like to claim. Inequalities are a result of low wages, based on big profits, financial swindles, multi-trillion dollar public handouts and multi-billion-dollar tax evasion. The ruling class has mastered the ‘technology’ of exploiting the state, through its pillage of the treasury, and the working class. Capitalist exploitation of low paid production workers provides additional billions for the ‘philanthropic’ billionaire family foundations to polish their public image – using another tax avoidance gimmick – self-glorifying ‘donations’.

Workers pay disproportional taxes for education, health, social and public services and subsidies for billionaires.

Billionaires in the arms industry and security/mercenary conglomerates receive over $700 billion dollars from the federal budget, while over 100 million US workers lack adequate health care and their children are warehoused in deteriorating schools.

Workers and Bosses: Mortality Rates

Billionaires and multi-millionaires and their families enjoy longer and healthier lives than their workers. They have no need for health insurance policies or public hospitals. CEO’s live on average ten years longer than a worker and enjoy twenty years more of healthy and pain-free lives.

Private, exclusive clinics and top medical care include the most advanced treatment and safe and proven medication which allow billionaires and their family members to live longer and healthier lives. The quality of their medical care and the qualifications of their medical providers present a stark contrast to the health care apartheid that characterizes the rest of the United States.

Workers are treated and mistreated by the health system: They have inadequate and often incompetent medical treatment, cursory examinations by inexperienced medical assistants and end up victims of the widespread over-prescription of highly addictive narcotics and other medications. Over-prescription of narcotics by incompetent ‘providers’ has significantly contributed to the rise in premature deaths among workers, spiraling cases of opiate overdose, disability due to addiction and descent into poverty and homelessness. These irresponsible practices have made additional billions of dollars in profits for the insurance corporate elite, who can cut their pensions and health care liabilities as injured, disabled and addicted workers drop out of the system or die.

The shortened life expectancy for workers and their family members is celebrated on Wall Street and in the financial press. Over 560,000 workers were killed by opioids between 1999-2015 contributing to the decline in life expectancy for working age wage and salary earners and reduced pension liabilities for Wall Street and the Social Security Administration.

Inequalities are cumulative, inter-generational and multi-sectorial.

Billionaire families, their children and grandchildren, inherit and invest billions. They have privileged access to the most prestigious schools and medical facilities, and conveniently fall in love to equally privileged, well-connected mates to join their fortunes and form even greater financial empires. Their wealth buys favorable, even fawning, mass media coverage and the services of the most influential lawyers and accountants to cover their swindles and tax evasion.

Billionaires hire innovators and sweat shop MBA managers to devise more ways to slash wages, increase productivity and ensure that inequalities widen even further. Billionaires do not have to be the brightest or most innovative people: Such individuals can simply be bought or imported on the ‘free market’ and discarded at will.

Billionaires have bought out or formed joint ventures with each other, creating interlocking directorates. Banks, IT, factories, warehouses, food and appliance, pharmaceuticals and hospitals are linked directly to political elites who slither through doors of rotating appointments within the IMF, the World Bank, Treasury, Wall Street banks and prestigious law firms.

Consequences of Inequalities

First and foremost, billionaires and their political, legal and corporate associates dominate the political parties. They designate the leaders and key appointees, thus ensuring that budgets and policies will increase their profits, erode social benefits for the masses and weaken the political power of popular organizations.

Secondly, the burden of the economic crisis is shifted on to the workers who are fired and later re-hired as part-time, contingent labor. Public bailouts, provided by the taxpayer, are channeled to the billionaires under the doctrine that Wall Street banks are too big to fail and workers are too weak to defend their wages, jobs and living standards.

Billionaires buy political elites, who appoint the World Bank and IMF officials tasked with instituting policies to freeze or reduce wages, slash corporate and public health care obligations and increase profits by privatizing public enterprises and facilitating corporate relocation to low wage, low tax countries.

As a result, wage and salary workers are less organized and less influential; they work longer and for less pay, suffer greater workplace insecurity and injuries – physical and mental – fall into decline and disability, drop out of the system, die earlier and poorer, and, in the process, provide unimaginable profits for the billionaire class. Even their addiction and deaths provide opportunities for huge profit – as the Sackler Family, manufacturers of Oxycontin, can attest.

The billionaires and their political acolytes argue that deeper regressive taxation would increase investments and jobs. The data speaks otherwise. The bulk of repatriated profits are directed to buy back stock to increase dividends for investors; they are not invested in the productive economy. Lower taxes and greater profits for conglomerates means more buy-outs and greater outflows to low wage countries. In real terms taxes are already less than half the headline rate and are a major factor heightening the concentration of income and power – both cause and effect.

Corporate elites, the billionaires in the Silicon Valley-Wall Street global complex are relatively satisfied that their cherished inequalities are guaranteed and expanding under the Demo-Republican Presidents- as the ‘good times’ roll on.

Away from the ‘billionaire elite’, the ‘outsiders’ – domestic capitalists – clamor for greater public investment in infrastructure to expand the domestic economy, lower taxes to increase profits, and state subsidies to increase the training of the labor force while reducing funds for health care and public education. They are oblivious to the contradiction.

In other words, the capitalist class as a whole, globalist and domestic alike, pursues the same regressive policies, promoting inequalities while struggling over shares of the profits.

One hundred and fifty million wage and salaried taxpayers are excluded from the political and social decisions that directly affect their income, employment, rates of taxation, and political representation.

They understand, or at least experience, how the class system works. Most workers know about the injustice of the fake ‘free trade’ agreements and regressive tax regime, which weighs heavy on the majority of wage and salary earners.

However, worker hostility and despair is directed against ‘immigrants’ and against the ‘liberals’ who have backed the import of cheap skilled and semi-skilled labor under the guise of ‘freedom’. This ‘politically correct’ image of imported labor covers up a policy, which has served to lower wages, benefits and living standards for American workers, whether they are in technology, construction or production. Rich conservatives, on the other hand, oppose immigration under the guise of ‘law and order’ and to lower social expenditures – despite that fact that they all use imported nannies, tutors, nurses, doctors and gardeners to service their families. Their servants can always be deported when convenient.

The pro and anti-immigrant issue avoids the root cause for the economic exploitation and social degradation of the working class – the billionaire owners operating in alliance with the political elite.

In order to reverse the regressive tax practices and tax evasion, the low wage cycle and the spiraling death rates resulting from narcotics and other preventable causes, which profit insurance companies and pharmaceutical billionaires, class alliances need to be forged linking workers, consumers, pensioners, students, the disabled, the foreclosed homeowners, evicted tenants, debtors, the under-employed and immigrants as a unified political force.

Sooner said than done, but never tried! Everything and everyone is at stake: life, health and happiness.