John Rubino

John Rubino is a former Wall Street financial analyst and author or co-author of five books, including The Money Bubble: What To Do Before It Pops and Clean Money: Picking Winners in the Green-Tech Boom. He founded the popular financial website in 2004 and sold it in 2022. He currently manages a Substack newsletter at:

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Coal miners were famous for bringing canaries down into the mines with them, as the birds served as an early warning system for poisonous gases.

If the canary suddenly died, that was an important signal for the miners to drop everything and rush back to the surface.

Today’s guest expert, macro analyst John Rubino, has shared with us in the past the early warning indicator he watches closely to alert him when a recession is likely about to hit.

And that indicator has suddenly started flashing a bright warning.

What’s the indicator? And what is it telling us to expect?

To find out, we’ll ask him directly.


John Rubino 0:00
If they get it wrong, I mean if they if they make things worse with government responses to these things, then then it could be the worst things. Worst thing we’ve seen in our lifetime certainly could be something like a combination of the Great Depression and wine or Germany or something like that very easily based on the numbers.

Adam Taggart 0:25
Welcome to Wealthion Wealthion founder Adam Taggart. Coal miners were famous for bringing canaries down into the mines with them, as the birds served as an early warning system for poisonous gases. If the canary suddenly died, that was an important signal for the miners to drop everything and rush back to the surface. Today’s guest expert macro analyst John Rubino has shared with us in the past the early warning indicator he watches closely to alert him when a recession is likely about to hit. And that indicator has suddenly started flashing a bright warning. What’s the indicator? And what’s it telling us to expect? To find out? We’ll ask him directly. John, thanks so much for joining us today.

John Rubino 1:09
Hey, Adam, thanks for having me on. Good to talk to you again.

Adam Taggart 1:12
Great. Well, John, look, it’s always a pleasure to have you on the program. You’re highly requested guests by the audience here. But you’re also a good friend. We have lots of great discussions, you know, on our own off channel, but it’s always fun to have you back on and dive into things. And this one’s going to be really fun because we had you on this channel. Gosh, I don’t know almost a year ago when we were talking about people’s experts, Brown m&ms. And that’s a reference back to the old rider and the Van Halen contract. You know, when they would show up at a venue, they demanded that there be a bowl with all the brown m&ms removed. And everybody thought that they were big prima donnas, but it was genius, because they had such a complicated technological show with pyrotechnics where people could get injured. They wanted to make sure that the venue that they were showing up at the people there had read the contract really closely. And so they could just look at that bowl. And if they saw brown m&ms in it, yeah, I’d say, hey, these guys didn’t set the venue up. Well, we have to check everything. So back when we, when I asked you, what are some of your brown m&ms, you told us what your indicator is, which I’m going to keep keep keep people in suspense about for just another minute. Because before we get to it, I do just want to start with a question I normally ask all my guests at the beginning, which is what’s your current assessment of the global economy and financial markets?

John Rubino 2:35
Well, the world in general is a horrendous mess. Right now, we’ve been making terrible mistakes since at least the 1970s. And there are those who would say that the mistakes go back to 1913 with the formation of the Fed. But basically, we’ve been in recent years borrowing way too much money, and encouraging basically everybody else to leverage in one way or another. So you got massively indebted governments, and then corporations, and then individuals all with too much debt right now. And that always leads to trouble. Whether it’s, you know, whether you’re an individual or a corporation or a government. When you borrow too much, your life spins out of control. And we are really for the first time in human history. In that situation, globally, now used to be the one country or another would, would make some big mistakes, blow up the currency, have a gigantic crisis, whatever. But that would be in the context of a sound money world where everybody else was back was on the gold standard, and therefore basically, okay, financially. But now, everybody has a fiat currency printing press, and they’re all abusing that privilege. So when the consequences come home, and you can make the argument that they already are, you know, we’ve got inflation, yada, yada, going on right now that that will lead to a lot of trouble. But when when the serious problems hit from all of this, it’ll be the first time that it’s global, in scale, and in scope. And so that’s going to make it very different and hard to predict. But I think you can say with certainty that right now, the global financial system is in very bad shape and headed for worship.

Adam Taggart 4:19
Okay. That’s a big statement. Sure, people want me to dig into it with you. And I’m going to first though I want to go over to your early warning indicator, your your canary in the coal mine that I referenced in the introduction, that indicator that you have shared with us in the past that you watch closely to try to get a sense for when we are going to tip from you know, what’s been sort of a, an era of relative prosperity. Coming out of the global financial crisis where tons of stimulus was being pumped into the system asset prices pretty much went straight up for the better part of more than a decade. People have been feeling increasingly flush. And one of the things that a lot of people did when they felt flush was go out and buy RVs. And the pandemic, when it sort of shut the world down, you know, offices were closed, and people were being sent checks in the mail and whatnot. Boy, RV sales kind of went through the roof is everybody wanted to try to, you know, have a COVID safe way to get out of home. And also, they had that extra cash sloshing around. So I know you’ve been watching that indicator closely to see that, you know, is that strong buying demand going to peak and maybe start coming down? And I believe and correct me if I’m wrong, but one of the reasons, kind of why you watch this is in past economic cycles. Yeah, when people feel good, they go out and they buy big toys like this. And then when we enter the bus cycle, obviously, the demand dries up. And then you can pick these things up, you know, at the bottom of a cycle for a song. So what are the indicators telling you right now in the RV space about where we’re headed economically?

John Rubino 6:02
One other rolling over again. And you know, I should say that I spent the last 30 or so years living more or less in suburbs, where we’re the RV ends up being the biggest toy that people buy at the peak of the cycle, you know, when I’ve got a boat, they’ve got motorcycles, and jet skis and, and a big house, all that stuff. And they still have extra money, or at least they’ll have extra credit if they go out and they buy a house that you can drive from place to place, which is, you know, patently absurd idea just on the surface. But but it is a good cyclical indicator, because because it’s usually the last thing people buy RV sales boom towards the end of credit expansions, and then collapse on the other side of it, you know, and so the lesson from that is twofold. Really the, you know, it’s a sign of what’s happening with the economy. And it’s also a sign of when you should be buying an RV, do not buy one at the peak when the prices are going up. But in the depths of recession, people have to give their big toys away just about because they, they run out of credit, they can’t cover their car loan and their motorcycle loan and their jet skis and all that, that’s when you buy these things. So this would be a time when you probably still don’t want to be buying an RV, because we’re still at that kind of elevated price levels, but they’re starting to rollover, along with I would argue the rest of the economy, you know, we’re headed into a recession, it seems. And a lot of other indicators point in that direction. But the RV indicator definitely does. You told me that you saw a an ad for an RV that was 30 or $40,000, below MSRP. That’s the kind of thing you see, just as the cycle turns and sales dry up, and prices start to get cut. So if we’re seeing that now, then you can add the RV indicator to all the other indicators that say we’re heading into a recession. Yeah,

Adam Taggart 8:02
it’s funny, you you. You’re right, I had a friend who’s sort of been monitoring RV prices, basically largely based upon your earlier video on this channel from like I said about eight months ago or so where you were talking about this indicator. So he contacts the local dealership and just sort of you know, every so often ask them, Hey, where are prices right now? Well, now the dealership actually reached out to him and said, Hey, we know you’ve been calling from time to time. We have a floor model here that you know, we’re pricing for a song right now. So if you’re, if you’re interested, come on in. And he said, No, that’s okay. I think the RV markets actually got a little further to fall. So I’m going to wait but just curious, what’s the price of the model you’re talking about? Guy said it’s MSRP of 133,000. And they’re going to offer it to my friend for the low low price of 89 999. So that’s already a pretty substantial discount there what I’m doing the math in my head, but it’s it’s getting close to like a 35 40% haircut that they’re putting on MSRP right now. And again, this knife may still be falling, so it may still have a lot further to fall from here.

John Rubino 9:16
Yeah, at the bottom of the cycle, they’ll give you that RV for 50. And they’ll throw in a car that you can attach the back of the RV with you. Since you’re driving your house you might as well take another car to see bring your entire suburban lifestyle with you to wherever you go. And you know that’s that’s true of all the other big toys, pickup trucks only buy pickup trucks at the very bottom of a recession and motorcycles, etc, etc. And we’re nowhere near that yet. We’re just starting to take some baby steps in that direction. So when this really gets going, it’ll be a completely different thing. Most of your audience probably remembers 2008 2009 Because it was so recent but that was that was apocalyptic. For a little while, and based on the numbers, something much worse than that should be coming. So when you’re thinking about indicators, and you’re thinking, if you’re thinking about buying a big toy, keep that in mind that things are gonna get much, much worse, as somehow, someway, all of this deck at work gets worked off. And every indicator is, at the very bottom, every indicator is going to look like end of the world. And the prices of things that people are trying to sell will seem like Great Depression events, you know, where these people are going broke, and they just have to get rid of something, no matter what, just take it away, you know, that, that’s the way it’s gonna be. And, you know, the, the RV thing is, is kind of that it’s an indicator of that whole thing with a little bit of shot and Freud thrown in, because at least this is, again, I’m talking about my own personal experience here. You know, I used to feel kind of jealous when I’d see my neighbors buy these 40 foot RVs in the driveway, and my kids thought they were so cool, and wanted to play in them and everything. And, you know, I never felt comfortable owning something like that. But I did feel jealous of the people that did own them. So, so it there’s always a kind of a sense of, of justification when we have a down cycle like this, and, and all these guys have to sell their big giant toys.

Adam Taggart 11:23
Yeah, I mean, it’s, you’re not, no, you’re talking about you’re not necessarily delighting in someone else’s pain, but but you’re you’re sort of welcoming the return of rationality back to the world, right? Where all right, you know, we all know, we shouldn’t be living outside of our means. And, you know, spending ridiculous amounts of money for toys that, you know, it’s sort of the land boat, right? I mean, if you own a sailboat, that thing’s just a money pit. Right. And it’s not that you shouldn’t own sailboats, or whatnot. But you shouldn’t basically be, you know, overextending the way that people tend to with these toys in the late stage of the cycles and people that are more rationally minded, like you and I, it just you get angry at the fact that, that it works as long as it does for people. When we know that it’s, it’s, it’s not sustainable, right. And then when that sustainability starts really expressing itself, there is a little bit of okay, well, thank goodness, we’re, the world’s starting to make sense again.

John Rubino 12:20
Yeah, that’s a better way to put it. I’m not taking pleasure in watching this happen to everybody. It’s, but it is nice to see a return of sanity, I kind of am taking pleasure sometimes and watching people who, who throw money around like crazy, get what’s coming to them. But

Adam Taggart 12:40
alright, so um, you know, another kind of related indicator, though, is like, the town I used to live in, and even to a certain extent, the town I’m in now, there are parts of town that when you go through an economic downturn, you people start parking their cars, or their Arby’s even right with the big for sale signs on them, right? It kind of becomes like a de facto used car parking lot, right? But it’s just where everybody in town is agreed, okay, this is where we’re going to park our stuff during the day to try to sell it right. And I haven’t, like I’m beginning to see cars pop up around town with for sale signs on which when I started to see it, it made me realize how long it had been, since I had seen them before, because we’ve had this really pretty long stretch of prosperity. But gosh, I mean, I remember that the last town I used to live in down in Palo Alto. There’s kind of a stretch of El Camino where people do this. And I remember during bust, how I mean, it was about as far as you could see down the road, just you know, cars with for sale signs on them, because everybody was having to dump you know, all these expensive cars that they did overstretch to buy beforehand. I’m beginning to see, like I said, a little bit of that beginning to creep in where I’m right now. But it’s sort of another one of those indicators that just we as regular people, in addition to all the financial data that we see on our screens, that we can just look at it in our real lives as kind of a barometer for where we are in the story.

John Rubino 14:10
Yeah, yeah. And we’re nowhere near the bottom of anything yet, like, like, you and Wolf Richter, were talking about a week or so ago, the economy is actually surprisingly strong in a lot of ways, considering all the reasons that it shouldn’t be weak. And today, they just reported, the Feds favorite inflation measure went up. So So inflation is actually accelerating according to that measure. So, you know, we’re not in a recession. And a lot of the signs like the the for sale signs in a parking lot you were talking about, are not that plentiful. Yeah. But there are a lot of reasons to think that that day is coming fairly quickly. There’s a lot of other indicators that that are more behind the scenes, than say for sale signs, so you don’t notice them when, when they’re just kind of bubbling out there and getting ready to work their way into the real economy. But a lot of those are, are pointing down now at a steeper and steeper rate. So I think as more and more things rollover, then the the overall picture that most people have in the economy is going to be a lot more negative, and the big numbers are going to reflect that. So I think that’s the second half of this year story. And I think it’s, it’s reasonable to predict that by the end of this year, we’ll be in an in an official recession. And the question will be, when does the Fed start cutting interest rates? So

Adam Taggart 15:43
okay, we’re gonna, yeah, let’s, let’s dig into that. And I want to, I want to just use as a jumping off point into a discussion. It’s, it’s a really weird time right now, because like you said, there’s a just a ton of indicators, you know, leading economic indicators, rising consumer debt, falling savings rate, declining real wages, I mean, we can go through a whole ton of them. And I’m sure we’ll get back to talk about a bunch of these macro factors. But at the same time, you’ve got the stock market up, you know, nine plus percent this year, you’ve got the NASDAQ up over 25%. You’ve got Nvidia up, like over 200%, since the most, in fact, we actually have kind of a bubble going on right now in AI stocks. And in the biggest stocks, the biggest companies, they’re involved in they I happen to be those like top 10 stocks that, you know, oftentimes referred to as the fang stocks that are kind of pulling the market indices up with them as they rage right now. And so it’s a weird time because you can, you can see this euphoric party going on in the markets where they’re just pricing in wonderful days ahead of us. But then you can turn and look at all this other data that you just referenced to and say, Oh, my God, it looks like we might be going off a cliff later this year. Right. So it’s just such a weird time right now, I know that a lot of investors are really caught between which do I believe, because in a real sense, people are making a lot of money today in certain stocks. And while they’re fearful of what might be coming ahead with the grim data you referenced, they also have, you know, FOMO is starting to come back of like, but but my idiot friend is making a ton of money right now, why am I missing out on that party? So I just I wonder if you could sort of speak to this, this very schizophrenic time that we’re in right now?

John Rubino 17:37
Yeah, the headlines do not seem recessionary. Really, and one thing we can say about the stock market, two things really, one is Nvidia is a serious short candidate right now, you know, I’m, I’m really tempted. And the other is that market breadth, which is, you know, how are the average stocks doing not just the handful of great stocks, is the worst it’s ever been just about the, they’re just this tiny handful of stocks pulling the rest of the broad market averages up. And historically, that’s the end of a cycle. You know, when you when breath gets narrower and narrower or narrower, narrower, or eventually a few of those stocks, if you have the, the stocks that are doing great, stopped doing great, in part because they’re just overvalued, you know, they roll over, and then that pulls everything else down. And then you get that bear market that coincides with a recession. So this is normal, it’s normal for market breadth to contract and a few stocks to do great, right at the end of the cycle.

Adam Taggart 18:38
Hey, can I just interrupt it in. So you say this is a store a cyclical story we see, right? We’re at the end of the cycle, market breadth continues to narrow until it’s just in a few stocks, and then they they tumble, and then everything goes into the corrective phase. It sort of sounds a lot like you know, the ship of the sinking ship at sea. Right, where, you know, the the nose of the ship goes under the water, but but the stern is actually rising, and everybody rushes up into the stern, of course, because it’s above water. And even though the stone is rising, yeah, for a brief period of time, you know, it’s it’s still going up, but then eventually, it slips under the water, like everything else before it did. And it brings all the people that get concentrated up in there down with it when it finally goes under. Is that an apt analogy?

John Rubino 19:28
That’s a good visual for something that’s a non visual phenomenon. But yeah, that’s that’s basically how it works. And I think the overriding we can go through some specific indicators of imminent trouble. And I think the biggest thing to pay attention to now is the money supply. We are shrinking the mtwo money supply, at least for the first time. For as far back as a lot of the charts go, you know, we just don’t normally have a shrinking money supply in a fiat currency system because that’s Your currency system is basically a Ponzi scheme, it must grow money. Yeah, the money supply has to grow. To cover all the interest that has to be paid off, you know, interest charges go up, along with debt year after year after year, you need more money coming in to pay those off. When the money supply starts to shrink, that means a growing number of people out there can’t get the new credit in order to cover their interest costs, and they start to go bust. And that’s how a Ponzi scheme finally blows up when when the new money coming in is inadequate to cover the payouts to the existing investors. Well, we’ve got that going on right now. And unless the money supply were start would start to increase dramatically. From here. There’s no alternative but to a lot of different overleveraged entities blowing up in the not too distant future. And there’s nothing happening to make the money supply go up. Now, interest rates are still rising, the Fed is still shrinking its balance sheet. So so we’re still in quantitative tightening, which means the money supply is going to continue to decrease, which means lots of people are gonna blow up here pretty soon. You know, this economy is full of financial zombies, whether they’re individuals or corporations, or even some governments. And they’re just not going to be able to make their payments at some point in the future. So leaving everything else aside, what stocks are doing, what the housing market is doing, what car prices are going. Shrinking money supply in a fiat currency system means big trouble out there. So that’s almost all we have to look at. To know that at some point, something really big has to change, either the Fed has to start flooding the system with money again, or we get you know, that little mini banking crisis we had just lately on steroids just writ large, and the insurance companies and the pension funds and the rest of the banks all start feeling the effects of not enough money and seeing their balance sheets blow up in one way or another and having to report horrible numbers and having people pull their money out because of that. That’s the kind of thing that is virtually guaranteed, unless we make some big change here. And there’s apparently no big change coming, especially with today’s inflation number. You know, that makes it almost impossible for the Fed to cut interest rates anytime soon. And it makes it really hard for them to even stop increasing rates. So that’s the really, really macro meta view of what’s going on right now. And that’s almost all you need. Because you know that that mathematically, is going to cause a big problem in the not too distant future.

Adam Taggart 22:48
All right, so I follow that logic completely. A conversation that we’ve had on the site, in this channel relatively, of late is it all makes sense. So like, where are the defaults? Right? You know, you we jacked up interest rates faster, and by a greater magnitude than we ever have before in history, at least within the short period of time in which we jack them up. And you know, we’ve had mortgage rates double. We, we all know that the system we have right now got accustomed one could easily argue addicted to kind of reserve world, right. And yet, yes, we had a correction last year. But like I said, markets are up against this year. There’s a lot of people who are saying, Yeah, everyone keeps telling me the housing market is going to correct but in my area, prices are coming down, they’re still bidding wars. So there’s this, and we in the press, we now have a huge debate over you know, hey, it might not be a hard landing, if we have a recession, there’s more voices coming out for a soft landing or even no landing, right? People are arguing that we’re going to be able to somehow skate by without going into recession. You know, showing my my cards for a moment, you know, I personally ascribe to what you’re saying there, John, but I understand that some people are asking the, hey, it hasn’t happened yet. And if you had told me years ago, that you’re the Fed was going to increase the Fed funds rate by more than 500 basis points. And we were going to double mortgages and you know, do Qt and all this stuff. And we’re gonna have a banking crisis thrown in and all that stuff. I would have thought, you know, stock price stock market would hit another correction housing would be down way more than it is but but these things haven’t happened. And I’m guessing you’re gonna say, yeah, they haven’t happened yet. But why is it taking so long?

John Rubino 24:41
Well, that that might be the single biggest question of most people’s lives, right? Why hasn’t this happened? Yeah, that should happen. And that’s, that’s kind of how life works. If usually, if it’s something you really want, it takes a lot longer than it ought to, to happen and You know, for people who don’t want a stock, stock market crash and a recession, you know, it could go on forever and just be fine. But for the people who are watching for it, because we think based on past experience, and you know, the numbers as they are right now that it shouldn’t be happening, and it’s not happening, it’s frustrating. But, you know, I can, I can tell you that it’s always been this way at the peak of every cycle, especially now that we’re early in bubble territory here. Things that should happen don’t happen for a really long time. Like, just one example. Back in the 1990s, I was a tech stock columnist for a online magazine called the And I was kind of, you know, by 1998, I was kind of the resident bear. And so I used to get horrible hate mail from all the tech stock bubble guys, and everything. But by 98, it should have bubble should have burst. All the numbers were crazy, and there was no reason for it to keep going on. But it did and went through 1999. And then through part of 2000, before it finally did blow up. This is like that, you know, this is something that should be happening, there’s a lot of stuff in the background, that kind of implies is going to happen soon. But it’s not happening yet. But life is that way. It just takes longer than it should for a lot of things to happen. And, you know, let’s go through some stats that kind of imply that it will happen pretty soon. Because that’s what I tend to look at. And I come away whenever I dig into the stuff that’s behind the scenes, it seems clear that we are headed into some kind of a recession, if not something much worse, that you know, whether it’s much worse depends on how governments respond to it. And there’s no clear way to know how they’re gonna respond to the next thing when it happens, because they’re so spooked by inflation right now. But anyhow. It you know, the the short answer is that what should happen eventually does happen, just not always on the, in the timeframe that we think is logical and wish for. And this is just one of those times.

Adam Taggart 27:15
Okay. I mean, one of the answers that I’ve been hearing, asking this question of others of late is, you know, we’ve had this pig through the Python effect, right, where we just shoved an unprecedented amount of stimulus into the system, you know, in response to the pandemic. And, you know, eventually that that stimulus will make its way through the system, that pig will exit the other end of the Python. But some of the explanations have been just been that pig was so damn big. Maybe we should even be calling it like a hippopotamus through the Python, where it’s just still going through it. Like it’s just it’s it’s delayed the reckoning because we we still have to get the remaining amount of stimulus out of the system before the system really can start rolling over due to the impacts that you and I are talking about. I’m just curious, do you do you think similarly or have a different opinion?

John Rubino 28:09
Well, yeah, we increased the money supply by between 40 and 60%, depending on which monetary measure you’re using,

Adam Taggart 28:16
in within just two years, right? Yeah.

John Rubino 28:19
So that accounts for the spike in home prices, for instance. And the fact that stocks went up so far during a recession and a pandemic, you would think that people would go risk averse in a time like that. But money was just so cheap, that they instead they just, you know, they went risk on bought whatever they could buy, because that’s what people do when they have too much money on their hands. By the way, RV sales boomed during that time, too. But yeah, it could well be that all of that money is still working its way through the system. But that is coming to an end. Now, too. If you look at interest rates, for instance, car loans now, especially for used cars are up in double digits. 14% record high. Yes. Yeah. So that’s, that’s not easy money anymore. Mortgage rates just this week hit 7%. Again, which, which make the average more the average mortgage now accounts for 41% of the disposable income of the family that has the mortgage, which is way too high, you know, wait, you hear? Yeah. And there are lots of other housing related stats waiting in that direction. But that money is no longer easy. And because of that, what existing home sales are down by 23% year over year, and home prices are starting to fall. They’re down by 4% year over year. And or I’m sorry, 4% sequentially now, month over month. So we’re seeing it start to happen. And it just hasn’t worked. its way into the very top line numbers yet. But housing is a big part of the economy. And if interest rates are too high for housing to really function, you know, you had a really good interview a few weeks ago where you had one of your resident experts interview another resident real estate expert. And they talked about housing as being frozen right now. Because yeah, prices are really high. But there’s very little inventory, people don’t want to sell at these prices, because they remember slightly higher prices in the recent past, and buyers can’t buy here, you know, very few people can buy a half a million dollar house with a 7% mortgage, that’s just beyond the means of 70 or 80% of the country,

Adam Taggart 30:45
right. And with anybody that brain you don’t want to buy, even if you could, because you’re like I’m so getting near record prices, right, and I’m having to pay a very high price. And I’ve got a mortgage rate, That’s double what it was two years ago. So I’m getting the worst of both worlds, I’m getting the high price, and I’m getting the high mortgage. Right now,

John Rubino 31:04
even if you can, it’s a horrible deal compared to anything in your adult history, right? You remember 20 or 30 years when it was a better deal than this. So it’s just hard to do. And you know that the way it works in the housing market is that sales tend to dry up at a peak, because of the factors we just talked about. The prices don’t go down for a while, there’s just fewer and fewer sales. And then people start to panic, people who have to sell put their house on the market for just whatever. And then there are all these empty houses out there. There’s, there’s something like 10 times as many empty houses in the US, as there are houses that are currently for sale. And a lot of empty houses are there, Airbnb or their things where people bought a bathroom as an investment and whatever. But a lot of those people can be spooked by what’s happening, they can have problems in their own lives and then have to sell the the optional stuff, you know, the house that they’re not living in, and when that hits the market, that will push prices down dramatically. So along with all this other stuff, you know, rollover in the economy into recession, we should see a big drop in house prices in the coming year.

Adam Taggart 32:15
I’m glad you said because you’ve seen a lot of cycles. And you’ve written books about these cycles when your most recent ones being the money bubble. And I like hearing your statements here, because they’re corroborating statements that I’ve made in the past, which is that, you know, we have a lot of a lot of folks more I think, than previous generations who own second homes or in certainly the Airbnb, you know, boom, encouraged people to buy many homes, right to rent them at an Airbnb. And those are, you’re not living in them, right. So if you personally enter tighter Financial Times, well, it’s pretty easy to sell one of those properties, right? Because it’s not essential to Yeah, especially if it’s an Airbnb, and it’s starting to go negative, right? You’re like, yeah, just get this thing slipped. Let me stop the bleeding. Let me just sell this thing, right. So when when you have this, this sort of freeze in the market right now, transaction wise, right, it’s right now this, the sellers are just trying to see if they can hold on through this rough patch, right, and then hopefully, the Feds gonna pivot and we’ll get back to the point where interest rates go back down. And I’ll be okay, housing wise, right, and prices will stabilize or come back to where they were. But the longer that, that doesn’t happen, right? There are going to always be some organic transactions, right? The people die, they get divorced, they have to move whatever, right. And so because housing is priced at the margin, it’s it’s that percentage of organic transactions that are going to start to reset prices in these markets. And yes, sellers can hang in there for a certain period of time. But once you’ve got somebody who gets either enters into a distressed state, or is just looking and seeing that the prices are starting to come down, because of the organic sales, there’s a first mover advantage, right to bolt from the herd. If you’re a seller and say, Well, look, if I do a price reduction now and get out, I can still get out with about 95% of what I have right now. Right? So I can still get most of my equity in the house. I don’t want to be one of the bag holders who’s waiting, you know, later on once everybody else has started to sell. So people will start to vote. And when that happens, I think it sort of becomes a scramble for the exit for anybody who was going to sell, right which is what geez, I better put my market my house on the market now because I’m going to get a better price this week than I will a month from now. And then you kind of get this cascade factor. Do you see it the same way?

John Rubino 34:37
Oh, yeah, that’s how markets work. And we have to remember that prices are set at the margin. In other words with the house if you sell your house for 10% less than the previous house in your neighborhood sold for you’ve changed the comps in your price every house, every house you have with that and see that that’s especially if fiat currency system, that’s how fast wealth can evaporate because that one house, like you said, it made the whole rest of the neighborhood less valuable. So just that relatively little amount of money that changed hands had this massive multiplier effect, negative multiplier effect on the neighborhood, that’s gonna happen to the stock market, when somebody decides to bail on a big position in Amazon or something like that. And then all of a sudden, half a trillion dollars just evaporates. And when a short Nvidia and it plunges, that’s going to be, you know, another half of half a trillion dollars just gone. It’s not like it goes anywhere, it just ceases to exist.

Adam Taggart 35:42
And this is an important point. I’m glad you mentioned it. I’ve referred to this in previous videos as money heaven. And I, I find that people don’t really understand this so much. So to use your example of houses in a neighborhood, right? Let’s say the houses and that there’s 10 houses in the neighborhood. And after the past couple of years, when it’s been a hot housing market, they’re all now worth a million dollars each, right? So the market value of all those houses in the neighborhood is now $10 million. Right? Then you use your example, somebody then sells their home for 10%, less. All the other houses are repriced down, right. It’s not like we were at $10 million. Now the market value of the the neighborhood is $9 million. It’s not like that million dollars went into somebody else’s pocket. Right? It just went poof, right or, technically, it’s $900,000 that went poof, but it’s it’s nobody got it, it just literally was fantasy, value fantasy market value that probably wasn’t merited. And once that new comp hits, it’s just gone. Nobody got it, it went to money, heaven.

John Rubino 36:51
Yeah, another way of putting that as leverage as a two edged sword, you know, it increases values across the board dramatically on the way up, and then those values and the wealth that was attached to those values just disappears on the way down. So yeah. If, you know, if you’re somebody who might want to buy a house now, or two or three years from now, two or three years from now, it’s gonna be way better, because because that this process will have had a chance to work out where a huge amount of value will just evaporate. And then the people who are left selling will be just so panicked that they’ll entertain lowball offers without being offended. And that’s the time to be buying. So, you know, I think we’re headed into a time like that for definitely, for financial assets, like equities, their stocks are gonna be much, much cheaper at some point in the not too distant future. And, and so we’ll, you know, quasi financial assets, like houses that you buy with a mortgage, just because that’s how cycles work, you can go back through, well go back to, for instance,, bust in 2000, there was a thing called the 90% Club, there were a lot of big name, tech stocks went down 90% from their previous highs, and nobody got that money, that money just disappeared. And the same thing with houses. In 2008 2009, house prices in the US dropped by what was the average is like, 30%, or something like that. After? Yeah, after, but after never having dropped since the Great Depression. I wrote a book on the housing bubble in 2000, or 2003, which was way early for that bubble bursting. But one of the criticisms I got, I’d go on, you know, radio shows and things like that, I mean, have somebody saying, but house prices never go down? You know, can you point to a time when house prices have gone down? And and I would have to say, well, the 1930s, the 1930s. You know, it’s ancient history. Yeah. And, but then it happens, eventually, you know, when things get too far out of whack, even things that never seem to go down, go down. And we’re, you know, to repeat the theme, we’re headed for a time like that, because we’ve inflated so many bubbles all at once. That they’re going to not just burst on their own, but they’ll feed off of each other. And the the end result will be the governments of the world will have to either let it burn and I mean, burn almost literally, when this gets going or step in and bail everything inside out at the cost of their currencies. So that’s, that’s the big thing we’ve got coming is this kind of sea change, where governments lose the ability to bail everything out because their currencies are crashing? And yes, that hasn’t happened for a really long time either. But it’s another one of those things that that is inevitable, and very possibly imminent. Now, finally, after decades and decades of people being able to get away with doing things that they shouldn’t have been able to get away with. Well, now now the the consequences We are about to hit. And I think the next couple of years are going to be very different from the last couple, but equally stressful.

Adam Taggart 40:08
You know what’s so interesting about that, too, you’ve written, as you’ve said about how we’ve, the way in which this is structured is it’s a process, that sort of every, every cycle of rescue comes at the cost of the currency. And that, in the end, they’re going to be faced with that sort of binary decision of you can nominally you know, save or rescue the the leverage system. But if you do that, it’s really at the cost of your currency, you’re going to destroy your currency in the process. And I think, I think still for the average person, that’s, that’s not something that they can just really fully imagine like, this is the US, right? We’re not Zimbabwe, right? The US, I’m not going to wake up and the US dollar is going to be toilet paper tomorrow. And I agree with him, I don’t think it is, it’s not going to be an overnight, you know, situation like that. But what is interesting is, maybe for the first time, what’s that old saying, Ah, god, it’s something about not one man in a million can notice the the impact of inflation or something like that. It’s this insidious thing that sort of slowly erodes your purchasing power. But sometimes it happens fast enough that you can start to see it. And you know, we’ve just come off the massive stimulus response from a pandemic. And lo and behold, you know, we’ve had this massive inflation. And so, you know, our dollars basically buy depending upon the goods or service that you’re looking at, I mean, they buy anywhere from 10 to 30%, less than what they did just in 2019. Right? I mean, if you’re talking about food at the supermarket, or you’re talking about the gas, you put in your car, or a number of other things, I could listen to the rent, you pay whatever, like health care, like those things are all up way more than 20% Since the end of 2019. Today, so it actually isn’t this sort of crazy academic, you know, theory that John’s mentioning that, oh, the currency might get destroyed, like, we can look back at the past two and a half years and be like, Wow, our currency took a pretty major hit.

John Rubino 42:20
Yeah, that’s what’s going to be different about the next round of gigantic bailouts, as people were actually able to conceive of inflation now, because you had to go all the way back to the 1970s to have unruly inflation that was actually dangerous and scary.

Adam Taggart 42:36
And then the US started in Iraq, but but we do have people watching from other countries who are probably saying, Hey, buddy, here in our country, we noticed it. But yes,

John Rubino 42:45
yeah, that’s true. There are other countries who have experienced bouts of inflation. But in general, in the developed world, currencies have depreciated, but not in a disorderly way. So it was hard to, it was hard to conceive of a disorderly decline in the value of the currency. And in other words, prices really spiking in ways that hurt you. And now we can conceive that the last couple of years have showed people that, yeah, you can literally not be able to get toilet paper or eggs might be $7, a dozen, you know, that kind of thing actually happened to people. So it’s part of their lived experience. And it was, you know, it was a result of the government’s stepping in and bailing out the economy in a really big way. So the next time that happens, maybe the, you know, the banks or the insurance companies or whoever start to run into trouble. And the government has to step in, and the number is $5 trillion, or something like that, which they could have gotten away with back in the the housing bust of the 2000 10s are the 2000s. Now people are going to look at that, and they’re going to think, instead of Oh, the government is going to save us, they’re going to think, Okay, what will that do to inflation? In other words, is the dollar really just going to fall off the table? Now? You know, can I, I’m just barely able to put food on the table for the kids right now? And is this going to make it worse, in a way where I have to choose between driving to work, paying rent and feeding my kids, you know, is that what’s going to happen now. And that’s gonna be a whole different thing. Because people will kind of see this coming. They won’t be blindsided by it, they’ll be anticipating it. And if they act accordingly, which is to say if they, if they start converting their cash into real stuff, because they’re worried about their cash becoming less valuable, and they have perceived that real things hold their value, in other words, land, gold and silver, energy stocks, things like that, that governments can’t make more of, you know, if they, if they perceive that to be the case, and they start acting accordingly. But then we get this massive shift in capital. That that still leads to a decline in currency. But also leads to big jumps in maybe oil prices, maybe uranium, definitely gold and silver, things like that. So, in other words, there’s an investment thesis in all of this, it’s not just oh my god, the world’s ending, you know, the thing that you draw from this is that there could be a huge mass reaction to the next gigantic bailout. And it could lead to capital flows going in a very different direction. And we could anticipate that by buying ahead of that. So I think that’s what we should take away from this, that there is some serious opportunities here. You know, I think uranium stocks just they’ve actually been doing pretty well, even when everything else hasn’t been lately. Or in the commodity space, things haven’t been lately. And I think there’s a reason for that. Great. So let’s

Adam Taggart 45:50
like folks gonna say Adam, just dig dig away with with John here on this. So let’s dig into this. So let’s let’s start with uranium stocks. So why are you so particularly bullish about them? Okay, well,

John Rubino 46:00
first, they fall into the category of hard assets, real plants that governments can’t make more of, they emphatically can’t get more uranium. But over the past couple of decades, especially since the Fukushima accident in Japan, governments have been moving away from nuclear power, as their you know, their green energy plans, they didn’t include nuclear in that, in fact, just the opposite they started closing down nuclear plants and and just mothballing existing ones and, and closing down plans on future plants and, and that made the demand for uranium go way down and the price went way down. But in the past few years, it’s been the case that a lot of the alternative energy sources that governments shifted towards didn’t work out quite as well. For instance, Germany went big time into solar and wind. But it turns out, that’s a cloudy, not very windy country. And so those things didn’t work nearly as well as expected. And then the natural gas pipelines they contracted for with Russia. We know how that went

Adam Taggart 47:04
up, but they also decommissioned their nuclear plants at the same time, they were doing all this,

John Rubino 47:08
they did that. That’s right. And so a lot of countries are perceiving that process to be a mistake now. And so they’re, they’re reversing year. And they’re taking their nuke plants out of mothballed. And they’re, they’re building new plants. And just China I think has 20 or 30 new nuclear plants on the drawing board that that are, you know, in the process, one stage or another being built. And there is no way that the current output from today’s nuclear or uranium mines can satisfy all the demand that is likely in the next five to 10 years if all of these plans turn out to be put in place. So you’ve got the potential for a huge shortage of uranium out there. So you’ve got to think that’s real, the government can’t governments can’t make more of they can’t inflated away, and the demand for it is rising dramatically faster than the supply of it right now. So how do you get higher supply in a situation like that? Well, prices have to go up to lead miners to bring more properties online. In other words, you know, if something is marginal at today’s prices, it’s very profitable at twice today’s prices. So that’s that’s what we’ll see in that space, you know, barring some kind of huge dis dis continuity, like a nuclear war, or, you know, some kind of massive depression starting soon. And those things are not impossible. So that means uranium isn’t a guarantee. But if you look at just the trends that are in place, right now, it’s really attractive. And same thing with oil, we’re going to need more, believe it or not, and more petroleum going forward. And, and there’s less and less of it around. Same thing with copper, we need way more copper to to build out the electric infrastructure that everybody is planning, all the governments of the world seem to think we can have 50% electric cars on the market, or on the road in just another half decade or a full decade at least. But where does the copper come from all that world that because an electric car takes several times as much copper as an internal combustion engine car does. Where does it come from? Well, that’s not clear. You know, it has to be at a much higher price to bring on enough new copper production capacity to make that possible. So there’s no another highly likely investment thesis and a lot of stocks out there that are very cheap compared to what there will be if the price of the underlying commodity goes way up. So you know, there’s a lot of great stories like this out there and golden silver Of course, we’ve talked about that. Every time you and I’ve talked, I’ve talked we’ve talked about why and how gold and silver should be a lot higher than they are now and why they’re going through the roof and nothing has changed. In fact, it’s gotten a lot better lately for silver, because Silver has suddenly gone into, into deficit. In other words, the world’s silver mines. And the mines that produce silver, as a byproduct, aren’t producing enough to cover demand and we’re running through inventories. Well, once those inventories are gone, then we then we go from a deficit to a shortage in which prices have to rise to incent miners to find more silver, or to to cause users of silver to stop using it. That’s that’s less likely right now at anything around today’s prices. So Silver has to go way up to make this work. And it hasn’t even really started yet. So. So there’s a lot of stories out there that are very exciting. In this kind of a world in a fiat currency world that’s falling apart, you know, you end up with a lot of things that That ought to do really well through that process. And, and the key to protecting yourself and your family and maybe even profiting from all of this is just to position yourself so that you’re there when these big price moves start happening. And you know, it’s a very straightforward thing to do. And on my substack that’s one of the things that we do, we’re setting up portfolios of uranium stocks, and gold and silver miners and copper stocks. And so far, so so if you know that some of them have gone up, some of them have gone down. But the the macro story, or were those sectors still looks great.

Adam Taggart 51:35
All right, great. And, yeah, we’ve been working up in this discussion to ask people how they can take action on this and get ideas of which particular kind of companies to invest in or ETFs, or whatever, however, you’re playing this. So we’ll give a little preview sounds like go subscribe your sub stack, and they can actually see what you’re recommending there are recommending that people look at, it’s not personal financial advice on your end. But it’s, it’s you’re putting these portfolios out there for people to consider. Well tell people in just a moment exactly where to go to get your substack. John, on the get so many notes I took while you were talking, I’m not sure if we’re gonna be able to get through all of them in the time we have left here. But on the precious metal side of things specifically, I know that you, you know there’s commercial uses. So there’s similar commercial demand elements like you had for some of the other assets that you mentioned. But obviously, they have the monetary side as well, in in a Fiat world where the purchasing power of the fiat currencies is being eroded due to higher inflation. Obviously, precious metals make even more sense as a monetary form in which to store the value of your money and protect your purchasing power. Lots of ways to invest in precious metals from owning the metals directly to owning the companies that mined them, etc. And I know that you follow the mining space really closely. And that’s where you can have your biggest gains. But I’m curious right now, you know, gold has done pretty well. It was close. So if we’d been talking a couple of weeks ago, it was right up near its all time high. Now it’s kind of sold off a bit by about $100 an ounce or so sober hadn’t really quite done as well as gold did this year and it’s now selling off a little bit, a little bit harder. But the mining companies haven’t really been keeping pace with the metal prices. This cycle, like they have in average in past cycles. And so I’m wondering are you seeing right now like a particularly good time to be buying into the mining space for the precious metals miners? Because they they’re relatively underperforming right now?

John Rubino 53:49
Yeah, the the mining space is is a really interesting story right now I’ll hit the high points when one is that when the underlying commodity in other words, golden silver versus the gold miners, and silver miners, when when it starts to go up, it takes people a while to look beyond just hey, I’m gonna get some gold and silver coins are going to buy this ETF that owns a lot of gold and silver to the miners because they’re more complicated and a little bit forbidding to a lot of people. So it takes them a while to get going. Once they do get going. And once for instance, people have made a lot of money in gold and silver bullion, or that ETF that just buys a bunch of bullion and puts it in a vault, then they think okay, I’m a genius. I got this right now, how can I? How can I make even more How can I turbocharged Yeah, exactly. And so they they look around for other things and they find the miners which are generally referred to as leveraged bets on the underlying metal. In other words, they have operating leverage so that if the price of what they’re selling goes up by 10%, their operating profits might go up. by 50%. And so the miners can go up a lot more quickly than the thing that they’re mining in good times, but you got to have those good times go on for a while to get people excited. So I think that’s part of what’s holding the miners back. Now, but there’s another more ominous reason that they’re not doing well. And that is a lot of governments around the world are starting to view the extractive industries as kind of pots of gold, you know, as sources of revenue. And they’re changing the laws that apply to gold, silver, copper miners oil companies, so that the government gets a bigger cut of whatever a miner makes within that country. And that’s changing the profitability calculus for a lot of these companies. And you know, it’s especially true in copper right now, where copper mines are these big gigantic operations that are very visible. And governments were there were some of the biggest copper miners operators start starting to tighten the rules and ask for more money. And that’s changing the potential profitability of these companies. And that’s something we really got to look into, we got to run the numbers and figure out how big a deal this is. And whether it fundamentally changes what how we should perceive these companies, because it’s possible that maybe the best way to play commodities is just the physical ETS. In other words, buy stock in something that just like the the uranium trust that Sprott runs, where they go in, they get literal uranium and store it somewhere. And then you own a piece of that, that pile of uranium, and so you just, you profit as rhenium is price goes up, you don’t have to worry about government action and political risk and things like that with the miners. So it’s possible that the best portfolio in the commodity space now is the best quality, physical ETFs. And maybe the, the streaming companies and the royalty companies because they aren’t as directly affected by governments changing the rule, right. So so we need to think about this, it’s not a it’s not a guarantee one way or the other. But it’s definitely a thing to look into. And to come to a conclusion about.

Adam Taggart 57:30
Yeah, I’ve, I’ve told people often on this program, that if you’re going to be investing in the mining space, unless you’ve got a ton of history yourself, it’s much better to to, you know, sort of follow an expert. And there’s a lot of folks out there that have their own newsletters where they’re, you know, they’re the ones that are have relationships with these companies, they’re talking to the senior management, they’re experienced and looking through drill results and things like that. Sometimes they go and do the mind tours themselves. It’s it’s a, it’s a complex industry to understand. And you know, there’s, there’s a lot of companies just aren’t going to make it particularly down at the Explore side, right. So you want somebody who’s got a lot of seasoned experience, being able to separate the wheat from the chaff there. Now you’re introducing even more risks now under the table here in terms of country risk, and government risk and stuff like that. And so, I think it’s just, you’re just making that argument even more important in my mind, which is, hey, you know, if you’re just a regular armchair investor, you really want to be leveraging the people who are, you know, leaning into this space 24/7. And really understanding what’s going on here. Because it can be really easy as a regular person just to miss a lot of this stuff, if you’re just picking stocks on your own. So one more reason for people to go check out your sub stack, which we’ll get to in just a second, John, real quick. I’m just looking, we’re getting a little short on time. So I want to do a little bit of a lightning round with you if we can just sort of fully complete the context for people. So much of what we talked about here, prior to talking about these, these assets, these opportunities in hard assets. You know, it sounds like you’re pretty pessimistic about where both the economy and the markets are headed from here. In terms of the economy, what sort of odds do you give us of going into a recession in the next year? And if so, if it’s if they’re good, how severe recession are you expecting this time around? As the everything bubble really starts to unwind here? Is this. Is this going to be a mild recession and moderate recession or maybe a severe recession?

John Rubino 59:41
I think it’s highly likely that we get a recession in the coming year just because so many things have already turned down with nothing on the horizon to make them turn back up again. And as for how bad it is, the numbers are horrendous. I mean, we’re just so insanely over indebted and over leveraged at this point, but you There’s a lot of things that can just blow up and then be the first domino that that knocks all the other dominoes down. So it could be really, really bad. And part of the the near term decision making process that will determine what happens is what will the governments of the world do when things start to rollover, and we saw that the US did already here with a couple of banks went not even went bust. It’s just that they they had runs, because their bond portfolios didn’t do so well with higher interest rates that that caused a paper losses on some of their bonds. And they had to report that and that scared depositors and, you know, it wasn’t even anything that serious, but the government had to step in and offer a guarantee for basically all bank deposits, which is several trillion dollars,

Adam Taggart 1:00:52
right? That’s a very big backstop.

John Rubino 1:00:58
That is a very big backstop. Yeah. And, and now we’re, you know, taxpayers are on the hook for this stuff, if more banks start to fail, but then you’ve got insurance companies, which own massive amounts of, for instance, commercial real estate and bonds, both of which are, are in bad shape right now. And they’re not going to be doing as well. And a lot of big insurance companies. Well, at least they used to own a lot of derivatives. I don’t know if that’s still the case. But the big money center, banks in the US have massive derivatives books, which are derivatives are very obscure, opaque bets that banks and hedge funds make with each other in order to generate fees. That’s in total notional value or looking at like half a quadrillion dollars. Yeah, it’s just so huge. So something like that. I mean, already, in 2009, if the government didn’t step in and bail out the derivatives, books of the big banks, they all would have ceased to exist, JP Morgan, Chase, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, they would not be here today, if the government hadn’t stepped in and bailed them out with trillions of dollars of at least guarantees and things wouldn’t be a better world today, if that if it allowed that to happen, you know, a world without Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase would be a much saner world. But we’re still looking at that, or something similar. We haven’t fixed anything. But that was involved in that last crisis. So all of this stuff could happen again. So I think that the most likely scenario is that some of this, some of these possible crises become real, they happen, the government steps in and Bails them out. And then the question is, what does that do to the currency market and the global bond market? And we’ll have to see, I mean, I think it’s completely possible that it spooks the financial asset markets in a way that is uncontrollable. And that, that leads us to some kind of a big crash. That leads us to the big Currency Reset that we’ve been talking about for such a long time. So it’s completely possible that that’s the next stage of this process. And it could be if they get it wrong, I mean, if they, if they make things worse, with government responses to these things, then then it could be the worst things. Worst thing we’ve seen in our lifetime. Certainly, it could be something like a combination of the Great Depression and wine or Germany or something like that very easily based on the numbers.

Adam Taggart 1:03:32
Wow. Okay, that’s a big statement. Hi, to the person who says, hey, well, so this thing’s start going off the rails, the government just comes in. Yeah, they do an even bigger rescue than they did before. What’s the big deal? John, they’ll just keep doing that every time they need to. What’s your response to that? I mean, presumably, every time that they have to reinsert themselves, they have to do an even bigger type of rescue. And of course, that makes an even bigger hit on the currency. So I don’t want to make the argument for you. But But I guess my question is, how many times do you think they can rescue this system? Using the playbook that they’ve been using before? We have this currency forced reset that we’ve long talked about?

John Rubino 1:04:22
Well, I thought the great recession was basically the end of the road for the fiat currency system. So I was wrong about that. They managed to buy us another decade. But it was at a cost of rising inflation in the last year or two. Now that was partially due to the pandemic lockdowns too, but, but the last big set of bailouts led to a serious currency issue. And if the next big set of bailouts is even bigger than the last, then it follows that the currency consequences would be bigger too. And it would also be something that people are looking for they’re not blindsided by it anymore, because that’s what happened last time. So they’re looking for the same thing that happened last time to happen this time. So you get a market reaction. At the same time, the government is doing things that may or may not screw up the currency. So, you know, I think it’s completely possible that the inflation that we saw in the last couple of years could recur. But on a bigger scale, and the, you know, the shift in asset prices that are the shift in capital that we saw in 2009, to 2011 timeframe, when everybody piled into gold and silver, that can happen again, but on a much bigger scale. So I think a lot of what, what is likely to happen is going to be stuff that’s already happened. But the bigger and the question is, Is it big enough to completely break everybody’s faith in the system itself. And I think that’s conceivable, I think we get something like the crack up boom from the Austrian School of Economics, where things just kind of spin out of control, and people give up on the currency. And, you know, we weren’t that far from that when we were having toilet paper shortages. In Costco, people were just buying everything they could think of, in other words, they were handing their currency over to buy real stuff, because they didn’t trust their currency to be able to buy them real stuff, three months into the future, or whatever, that that was on a very small scale compared to what could happen when people just take that idea and extend it across the board in their lives. And eventually, that’s what’s coming. So it could be this time, but numbers are big enough. Or it could be that they buy us some more time by doing some really extreme bailout. And that I don’t know. And at the same time, that’s happening, regardless, they’re going to be using the crisis, to institute a lot of things they couldn’t get away with otherwise, because that’s when the central bank digital currency becomes mandatory. Right. And, and who knows, if they’re, you know, there’s another pandemic and they decide that vaccine mandates just become local law or something like that, there could be a lot of things that that happen. Because there’s a crisis and people with the power to to impose their will decide they want to use that crisis in order to get some other things done. So that there’s going to be that added complication, which is inherently unpredictable, but will add to the stress that everybody’s feeling at the time. So yeah. Hopefully, we’re all feeling that stress roll is what we’re all watching this crazy stuff happens. But at the same time, we’re online looking at our brokerage account, and seeing Oh, okay, my oil stocks are up another 20%. This week, you know, and so we’re getting that kind of psychological compensation of being right about our investments, while the world is getting more and more stressful. So that’s what we have to hope for. I mean, I don’t think we can hope for a non stressful world, because the the money that we borrowed makes that impossible, but we can hope for some offsets, because of the good decisions that we made leading into the next big bout of societal stress. And I think that’s what we should be shooting for. We want to be doing things right now that either make us immune to what’s going on or in some way, allow us to profit from it.

Adam Taggart 1:08:36
All right, well, we’ll really well said, I’m going to disappoint people by not digging into a few of the things that you mentioned there like cbdc, just because we are over time at this point. So we’ll have to talk tackle that next time you come on, John, but to your point there, which is right in the bullseye of Wealthion ‘s mission, right, which is helping people position prudently today, given where things may head, you’ve given us, you know, a great, detailed and somewhat, you know, concerning frightening and scary picture of where things may be headed from here, for folks that want to be positioning themselves prudently. In, potentially in many of the things that you mentioned more in the hard assets space there. Where can they go to follow you and in be able to, you know, continue to see your evolving thinking on this sounds like that’s your substack

John Rubino 1:09:30
Yeah, my son Zach is And there are different ways to sign up. You can get a free subscription and you get most of what I publish and then a paid subscription which covers a lot of the actionable stuff, like the portfolio’s we’re setting up and specific ways to short the market and things like that. And I guess that’s it.

Adam Taggart 1:09:54
All right. All right. Well, look, it’s it’s been wonderful to see so I mean, John, I’ve followed your work. No new for ever now. I mean, it’s it’s definitely over a decade since we first met, it’s crazy that the time has gone that fast. But obviously, you know, huge big fan of you and your work. It was fun that you announced basically your substack on this channel earlier this year. And it’s great to see how quickly it has grown in just a few short months, so kudos to you on that entirely well deserved. And to anybody who’s enjoyed this conversation with John, and is potentially interested in following his insights, I can’t recommend enough going to the substack and subscribing. Alright, John, well, look, this has been wonderful folks watching, in addition to going and checking out John substack. If you’re relatively new to this channel, you know, one of the things I talk about in almost every video is the wisdom of working under the guidance of a professional financial advisor who understands all these macro issues and risks and challenges that John mentioned. And to be honest, there are relatively few out there that do that are even willing to admit them and think about them. But even fewer that then put that information as inputs into their portfolio management. I highly recommend you find one who does and can build a personalized financial plan for you and then execute it for you. And if you’ve got one who’s doing that for you, congratulations, you should definitely stick with them. But if you don’t, or you’d like a second opinion of one who does consider talking to one of the financial analysts, sorry, financial advisory firms that Wealthion endorses, have a free consultation with them to set one up, just go to It’s totally free. It doesn’t cost you anything. There’s no commitment to work with these guys. It’s just a public service. They offer to help as many people as possible position smartly, given what might be coming down the pike and John has given us you know, a lot of things to consider that may be coming. All right, John Bullock this has been fantastic. Folks. If you’d like to have John come back on again soon and get into some of the other topics we didn’t get into today, like the CBDCs. Do me a favor and support this channel by hitting the like button, then clicking on the red subscribe button below as well as that little bell icon right next to it. Always find John, you’re welcome to come back on this channel anytime you want to. Thanks so much for coming on this week. It’s been a great discussion.

John Rubino 1:12:11
Thanks, Adam. Talk to you soon.

Transcribed by

John Rubino

John Rubino is a former Wall Street financial analyst and author or co-author of five books, including The Money Bubble: What To Do Before It Pops and Clean Money: Picking Winners in the Green-Tech Boom. He founded the popular financial website in 2004 and sold it in 2022. He currently manages a Substack newsletter at:

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