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I Buried My Mother Yesterday

Posted June 30, 2020

Albert Camus opened his book The Stranger by writing:

My mother died today. Or maybe yesterday, I don't know. I received a telegram from the old people's home: "Mother deceased. Funeral tomorrow. Very sincerely yours." That doesn't mean anything. It might have been yesterday.

Camus was a Frenchmen with an absurdist philosophy that's akin to existentialism. The Stranger was first published in Nazi-occupied Paris and snuck past the censors despite its anti-totalitarian nature. 

In it, an indifferent man named Meursault is condemned not because he shot an Arab but for not crying at his mother's funeral. He didn’t play the game.

Arlington

I buried my mother yesterday, or rather her ashes. She died a year ago, but the bureaucratic wheels at Arlington National Cemetery move slowly.

There were 10 of us allowed, all in masks, sweating in the hot sun. The plot was on a swell of green grass under a crisp blue sky with white puffy clouds that framed the Washington Monument like a postcard.  

The rounded white marble tombstones stretched away row by row.  

The priest gave a muffled prayer under his blue mask while the airplanes from Reagan National flew over every 34 seconds, gaining altitude up the Potomac. The bagpiper chewed up a few bars of Amazing Grace to close it.

Irrational

It is a market truism that Wall Street can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent. And it was John Maynard Keynes who famously said in regards to economic forecasts, “In the long run, we are all dead.”

My parents did well economically. My father is still alive and takes an active role in his portfolio buying and selling Boeing (NYSE: BA). They traded houses up the inflation ladder in the 1970s and '80s and paid off their mortgage early.

They bought and held equities for decades letting the magic of compound interest and reinvested dividends have its glorious effect.  

They were clever enough to be born at the right time. The U.S. left the gold standard in 1972 and went from a creditor to a debtor nation in 1980. The stock market boomed from 1981 to 2000 and again from 2009 until today.  

But the market isn’t the same as it was then. Far from being a creditor nation, we are mired in debt and feverishly working our way down into the quicksand.  

The currency is debased on a monthly basis. Real wages have stagnated since the end of the gold standard. The gulf between the rich and the great unwashed grows is and daily fought over in the streets, with the ever-shrinking middle class taking the brunt of the blows.

The fabric of society is so stretched that when the stock market crashes and the monthly $600 checks are inflated away, cities will be unlivable and riots will spread to the suburbs.

And, of course, as in Camus' book, you’ll be condemned if you don’t grovel and apologize before the mob.

All of this begs the question of what you should do with your money…

The obvious answer is gold. Gold is a storehouse of wealth in troubling times. Gold miner stocks are running lean and mean after a long bear market. Debt is down and cash flow is up. Input costs have fallen with the price of oil.  

Gold also competes with bonds as a safe haven and interest rates are heading toward the negative.  

Furthermore, international demand from China, Russia, and India remain strong at a time when production has slowed due to mine closures. It is no wonder that the price of gold is up 26% this year, leading all major investment sectors.

History tells us this run is just getting started. At Bull and Bust Report, we are putting the final touches on our special gold report, which includes three gold stocks you want to own now. Keep an eye out for it.

Gold will be your best protection from the absurd.

All the best,

Christian DeHaemer Signature

Christian DeHaemer

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Since 1995, Christian DeHaemer has specialized in frontier market opportunities. He has traveled extensively and invested in places as varied as Cuba, Mongolia, and Kenya. Chris believes the best way to make money is to get there first with the most. Christian is the founder of Bull and Bust Report and an editor at Energy and Capital. For more on Christian, see his editor's page.

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