Buy Gold and Consumer Staples: Safe Havens in Volatile Markets

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has caused increased volatility in markets that were already volatile. We go over what the safe havens are.

Crypto prices have been all over the place. Nick reveals at what level he's a buyer... and at what price he'd buy even more.

We discuss the merits of a new Texas law that would treat gender-affirming therapy as child abuse.

Prince Andrew conveniently bought himself out of prison and now the world will likely never the full truth about the Epstein child sex ring.

In positive news: The first woman has been cured of HIV using stem cells.

Plus: a new utility for NFTs and how to play it. 

Table of Contents

0:57 Russian Invasion of Ukraine
11:36 Safe havens in Volatile Markets: Consumer Staples & Gold
16:37 Bullish on Bitcoin
18:46 Copper Stock Highlight
22:55 Texas' Questionable Child Abuse Law
31:08 Prince Andrew Bought His Way Out of Prison
33:30 First Woman Cured of HIV Using Stem Cells
35:03 The Utility of NFTs

Gerardo Del Real: Russia has invaded Ukraine, gold flirted with $2,000, then flirted with $1,875. Cryptos crashed, then they surged. The Dow crashed, then it surged. Same for the NASDAQ. Prince Andrew settled. A whole heck of a lot going on. I'm back, everybody. This is Gerardo De Real, along with my co-host Mr. Nick Hodge. And this is episode 158 of Bizarro World. Nick, a somber day if you are a human with a pulse and a conscience. How are you doing, sir?

Nick Hodge: Doing good, Gerardo. It's good to have you back. Obviously, a lot going on, which we'll talk about, including the invasion, which you're alluding to.

Gerardo Del Real: Yeah.

Nick Hodge: But I'm doing good. Can't complain.

Russian Invasion of Ukraine

Gerardo Del Real: Good. Thank you for holding it down last week. I missed being on the podcast. I actually feel like I have a whole heck of a lot to get off my chest because I didn't get my weekly therapy session last week. So it's a very fluid situation in regards to Russia and Ukraine. And let's get right into that. You and I spoke a bit off-air, and let's talk about the human toll. We already know that there's close to 100 people confirmed dead. We know that there's going to be more. We see people leaving their homes with their pets, with their belongings, and taking whatever little they can take as fighter jets and helicopters and bullets and tanks whiz on by.

So, hard to really focus on a lot of the other stuff, the obvious stuff like the market stuff that we're going to get into here in a little bit. But I just want to start by saying thoughts and my heart goes out to everybody out in Ukraine because you realize how much we've won the lottery by being born in a country where we can protect against that somewhat, pretty robustly. And again, I just can't imagine waking up and there are planes and bombs and all this stuff that comes with war. So my thoughts to everybody out in Ukraine. Horrible situation, obviously. Yeah.

Nick Hodge: It's a tough time. It makes you think about how quickly it could spread, how safe you are, how fortunate you are. And then what is the response going to be from the free world to mitigate the expansion of the invasion and to keep it off our shores, I suppose.

The market's all over the place, as you said. It's 2022, so you can watch the bombings in real-time on CNN with Applebee's commercials in between. And that's a little bit Twilight Zone-ish. Yeah. I watched the footage last night on the west coast. We have that advantage that it wasn't so late and I saw the invasion actually live on CNN. It was crazy.

At the same time, you can't have your head in the sand. You need to do what you've got to do for yourself and your loved ones, whether that's if you're in the area, as you mentioned, going to bomb shelters, trying to escape, or securing your capital and possessions elsewhere. We get complacent, I guess, is one of the things I wanted to get off before I forgot, is that when I was younger or writing different publications, I would often run through the checklist of your emergency fund and your gold in the safe and your guns in the safe, and we forget to write about that.

I don't forget to have gold and guns in the safe, of course, but it might be a good time to run down those checklists, I guess. But other than that, I guess events like this are not times not to act, especially when volatility is high and price action changes. So we'll get into a little bit of that, I'm sure.

Gerardo Del Real: No. Look, and I hate to conflate the two topics because they're very different, but I'm writing about this as we speak for the March issue of Junior Resource Monthly, and I actually touch on the gold, the having... And this is underrated, but having an attorney whose number you can recite, and having liquidity outside of the banking system and having some gold and having that liquidity in different shapes, way, forms, fashions. I think of Canada. And you and Chris Curl did a wonderful job covering this last week, but I want to touch on it because I wasn't here. I never thought that I would see the equivalent of martial law being declared for protests that are largely peaceful.

And does that mean that I agree with all the protestors? Of course not. I don't agree with all the members of my family about things. How the heck am I going to agree with an entire group of people protesting? But they sure in the heck have the right to protest if they're doing it mostly peacefully. The same way I said last summer when we had the protests here in the US and the cameras and the media was focused on the 4% that were looting and burning and not focused as much on the 96%, that we now know we're doing it peacefully because there are white papers on this now.

And so when I look at what's happening in Canada, when I look at what's happened in New Zealand when I look at what's happened in Australia when I look in Mexico and the state of affairs back home there, and everything that's going on in Ukraine, it would be foolish of us to not polish up that checklist that you mentioned and make sure that whatever your capacity is, whatever you're able to do, whether it's food, ammunition, if it's legal and you can own it, guns, self-defense ability, if it's legal and you can own it, water, rescue, legal counsel. It's all fun and games until the government shows up.

And I can't believe the stuff that I was seeing out of Canada this past week, while I was in Miami. And this isn't remote. I was speaking to a CEO yesterday and he had a friend of his, a colleague, that had donated $60 or $70 to the protestors, had her bank account frozen had a knock at the door. $60. $60.

Nick Hodge: The Gazpacho police?

Gerardo Del Real: Right. Right. And so, no, look, I think that's the right place to start. I think there's definitely a Fourth Turning underway. I think it's accelerating. I don't think it's a trend that abates anytime soon.

And let's go back to Russia and Ukraine. I heard a speech by President Biden. I also heard a General speaking. And it sounds like what's going to happen is we're going to try to cripple Russia economically. That's not a short-term solution. That's a long process. And so that leads me to a logical conclusion, which says this could be something that goes on for 90 days, 120 days. You try to starve out bank accounts of corporations and banks and subsidiaries and individual accounts, Russian accounts, to try to see if you can get them back to the table. But it looks like, to me, like we've said, "Well, Ukraine has gone away. Let's try to mitigate the human toll and let's try to make sure it doesn't happen to NATO members." Am I wrong in my opinion that that's what it sounded like? I don't know if you saw the President speak, but it sounded like he was saying, "We'll give you this one. It's going to cost you some money. But you're not touching the NATO members."

Nick Hodge: That's exactly what happened. When there wasn't a military response last night, swift and immediate, you knew there wasn't going to be one. And so then today, when you see the sanctions that are announced, it pretty much said that they're going to take some time to take effect. And oh, by the way, we're not imposing them on the S.W.I.F.T. System yet, which you know you need to get money across borders from investing in junior mining companies privately. So they're still not taking that away from them. And you wonder, and it gets very geopolitical and again, I'm not an expert. So this is what I think. Europe still has to get assets from Russia in some way, especially Eastern Europe, especially when we're talking about energy, natural gas, and things. And so they got to have to be able to still buy that stuff, Germany, from Russia.

It makes me want to talk about nuclear. It's probably not the right time for that. But if Germany was more willing to accept nuclear or wasn't so committed to shutting down their fleets, you have to think they wouldn't be as reliant on Russian natural gas. But no, what you say is correct. Without a NATO or an allied response militarily, immediately, then yeah, you just gave away Ukraine.

And so I continued to think also that, and this is tinfoil hat stuff, that we didn't want to jump in right away because we need to wait and see how bad the stock market, economy, GDP print, and what's going to happen with interest rates next month. And so if the market could course-correct on its own, we might not need a war. But if things potentially get worse, then maybe we do, because war is a great stimulus. It's also a great distraction. You mentioned Prince Andrew. Everybody's forgotten about all of that very quickly. And so anyway, that's a little out there, but yeah, they gave Ukraine away, for sure.

Gerardo Del Real: I wrote about this earlier. Why are we printing? Because we don't have it here in the US. Why are we printing $700 billion a year? And we can't prevent this. This is an ally. NATO or not, this is an ally. Ukraine is an ally of ours. To the Biden Administration's credit, everything they said would play out is actually how it played out, which is why I have to believe they chose to give it away because they knew the roadmap. They actually laid out a very compelling, detailed case of how it would play out. It's played out exactly how they said it would. So why are we as taxpayers, subsidizing $700 billion in defense spending a year if we can't prevent this?

Nick Hodge: Well, there's a lot we can't do. We can't beat the terrorists in Afghanistan. I mean we just pulled out of there after 20 years with minimal success. The spending seems to be a lot of waste. And we've talked about this a lot over the years and not a lot of victories. We do it to keep a presence around the world, which is one thing. We do it to keep the edge with aircraft carriers, which are very important, which we're not willing to use, seemingly, in this case.

Gerardo Del Real: Do they have to be brand new every year?

Nick Hodge: Well, you see the cost overruns with the programs, as well, like the development of new jets and things and yeah, nothing new under the sun. It's the military-industrial complex. And so it's a form of stimulus in many ways, honestly. And so I guess those would my thoughts on that. And so I'm one that has said for years that the military budget shouldn't be that big. And so I think it's clear where I stand on that.

Safe Havens in Volatile Markets: Consumer Staples & Gold

Gerardo Del Real: Yeah. I don't think it's a coincidence that NASDAQ was down 3%. It's up 3%. Everyone knows that we recorded this on Thursday. So Thursday is the morning after the invasion here. At the worst, the Dow was down 900 points. The Dow right now looks like it's going to close up in triple digits. The NASDAQ was down 3%. That's a 6% swing. It's up 3.2% right now. The S&P was down 2-3%. It's up 1.5%. Gold went from, and I mentioned this up top, gold went from $1,985 to $1,885 in about 45 minutes. So what that tells me is that the markets figured out, or thinks it has, anyhow, that the Fed is going to use this as an excuse to maybe get one or two hikes off. But you're crazy if you think we're getting more into what I perceive as a slow down in economic growth, inflation, persistent inflation. It may be peaking, but it's still persistent.

And you can bet that a lot of the wage inflation and the inflation that you're seeing passed on to the consumer, they're not coming back on that. That's not going to change. They're not going to do a U-turn when those inflationary pressures subside a little bit on the Kellogg's (NYSE: K) of the world or the automakers of the world. That's not transitory. That's here to stay. And so to me it appears the market is rallying because it thinks that this will force the Fed to once again, do what we said it would do for, we didn't know the reason, but I think we have it now, do an about-face like he did last time and maybe even start some QE action.

Nick Hodge: I've been talking about the consumer staples, even on this podcast. You've actually got a lot of value on this podcast the past couple of weeks.

Gerardo Del Real: Months?

Nick Hodge: They've held up very well because they can pass on the prices, and of course, they're not going to take it back. Staples finished up the day very strong.

The other thing that happened today that I was talking about recently was bond rates pulled back swiftly. They turned around as many things did during the day, but I was not incorrect in saying that they were making a zenith a couple of weeks ago. And while I hadn't recommended them in any letter, I certainly took the opportunity today to sell some bonds when the rates dipped precipitously. So that was a correct call, as well.

And we've also been talking about gold, saying that it was in a bull market, and saying that it could rise very quickly once it broke $1,900. The last time it went through $1,900 in 2020, it went to record price very quickly. So the inflationary pressures are still on. You see a flight to safety in not just the staples, but the high dividend payers. And if you can get some high dividend payers, maybe perhaps in some of those commodities that are inflated in price that Russia produces a lot of you, see oil going up to date, and PGMs and nickel would be in the mix.

Gerardo Del Real: A little palladium.

Nick Hodge: Exactly. Right.

Gerardo Del Real: If only we had a project coming public soon that had a ton of palladium and some nickel and some gold.

Nick Hodge: Wish it was less than 24 hours to get there. Been looking at the flights.

Gerardo Del Real: Yeah. Yeah. It's going to be a long trip, but it's going to be a beautiful one. And I didn't mean to interrupt, but yes, you're 100% spot-on in that assessment.

Nick Hodge: No, no. I had it all out.

Gerardo Del Real: Yeah. You're 100% on in that assessment. Look, the $100 pullback in gold, I actually think it's healthy because as I mentioned, there's a lot of accounts that are getting blown up that have triple leverage on long positions. And when the market's down $900, you got to sell what you got to sell to cover. Russia's going to have to maintain some form of liquidity if everything's getting frozen and sanctioned.

So I think that the 50 to $100 days are going to continue, but it looks like where before $1,800 was a new floor, $1,880, $1,875 might be the new floor. And look, I think it's off to the races from there. I think these dips are to be bought. And so that is going to be your free actionable advice for the day. If you're looking to add to your gold position, if you don't have an established gold position yet, the $1,875 to $1,885 level might be the place where you want to start dipping your toes in the water.

Nick Hodge: Yeah. I agree. I wrote as much this morning, as well. You got to buy gold on pullbacks. Yep.

Gerardo Del Real: Copper. Anything to talk about there? It's been the most boring of copper days because of everything else that's going on.

Nick Hodge: The rest of the commodity sector is a bit tough because things are bouncing around so much. We talked about this a little bit the last time you were here in that, if rates stayed high, we didn't know if commodities could keep going up because the cost of capital is such that you can't invest in these new projects that need the commodities. So I think copper's got a new floor and I don't worry about it falling to $3 or whatever.

Gerardo Del Real: Yeah.

Nick Hodge: If it goes to $4.25, whatever it is, that's fine. I have invested in a lot of projects that are just fine at $4 copper. And I think the fundamentals are such that interest rates and wars aside, you have a robust copper price for some time going forward.

Bullish on Bitcoin

Gerardo Del Real: Dying to hear your thoughts on the crypto space. So it was getting hammered. And then again, it did a U-turn and an about-face, like the NASDAQ, like the S&P, like the major indices. Any thoughts there?

Nick Hodge: Yeah. I've been buying Bitcoin when it goes below $37,000, $36,000. I had said... Well, actually, yeah, to $36. I had said that it was going to go to $36.

Gerardo Del Real: Mm-hmm.

Nick Hodge: I told Chris on the podcast, it was going to go to 36, and I started buying as it approached 36. I'm trying to get to an entire Bitcoin. So I've got a third of a Bitcoin. And the chart is a lot of uncertain right now. So in a very real way, Bitcoin could go to, I don't know, I'd have to look at the chart real quick. Let me see. But below $30,000. So it just depends on lots of other factors. Sorry. This is all over the place.

Gerardo Del Real: No, no, no. I like chartist Nick. I like the technician chartist Nick.

Nick Hodge: Oh, that's the market cap. Sorry.

Gerardo Del Real: You're good. You're good.


Nick Hodge: Yeah. You could go to $29,000 on some really bloody days and I would make bigger purchases, I think if that happened. Outside of that, I'll give you the same answer I always do. I'm holding, I'm bullish, long term on crypto for the reasons we mentioned at the top of the hour about the seizing of the bank accounts, the GoFundMe, the stuff Chris and I talked about last week, how you could have passed through those sanctions with decentralized wallets and how some of the leaders of those decentralized wallet companies told the governments as much. The governments tried to get those accounts and the CEOs were like, we can't give them to you. We don't know where they are.. And that's sort of the point.

And you got to be seeing that clearer and clearer through the lens of the things that are happening, whether it's the protest stuff that we just talked about, whether it's Ukraine. You think about having to jump up and leave out of your house in the middle of the night. Like Chris says, if you can remember 12 words, you can take all that wealth with you. So I'm bullish for those reasons. And yeah, the chart is a little shitty looking right now, but when I start seeing Peter Schiff get all giddy about gold going up and Bitcoin going down... It tickles my contrarian sentiments. Yeah. I'm a buyer of Bitcoin on big red days, for sure.

Copper Stock Highlight

Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. Let's talk resource stocks. Aldebaran Resources (TSX-V: ALDE)(OTC: ADBRF) finally reported some long-awaited results. They had some news last week that I wasn't here for. They hit 700 meters of continuous clean mineralization of something along the lines, and I'm freestyling, 0.54% copper. They had news this morning, where they had 14.9 meters of 19.08 grams per ton, gold. Appears like they hit a feeder structure. Appears like they're going to chase some more. If they're onto a feeder structure of that huge mineralized system, this can get really, really, really exciting, because it was already exciting. We bought it early for a reason. You financed it, I believe, at the 35 cent mark, 30 cent mark?

Nick Hodge: With warrants at 75 cents, I believe.

Gerardo Del Real: With Warrants. Right. I recommended it at 51 cents. Here it is trading above a buck. And look, Argentina is on fire. Not only is Aldebaran hitting-

Nick Hodge: Fuego.

Gerardo Del Real: En fuego. Si, senor. The neighbors are hitting. And I had a great conversation with John Black earlier and we talked on-air and off-air about how neither one of us would be surprised if that becomes a region that is targeted by majors for major consolidation, for the simple fact that you have 40, 50, 60 billion pounds of copper in that region. You have tens of millions of ounces of gold. Argentina, in this part of Argentina, is mining-friendly. There's skilled labor, there's ready labor, it's inexpensive relative to the US, and in some other locations that are getting more and more pricey and dicier and dicier, as well, as far as jurisdictional risk goes.

So it's funny how quickly the tide turns. Argentina now is a bastion of stability, as I like to call it now, in South America for mining. But no, I was elated with those results and I'm curious to see what the follow-up holes look like.

Nick Hodge: I like pricey and dicey. That high-grade gold section today had an even higher grade interval inside it, like 1.6 grams of-

Gerardo Del Real: 93 grams per ton gold.

Nick Hodge: Gold. Right. So when you think about that inside of a disseminated system like that, with the first results that you mentioned, it's quite the project. And of course, there's already a very robust resource on that, which I think a lot of people forget about that includes billions of pounds of copper, with a B. So, yeah. People are going to be praying at the altar.

And the other thing I guess is worth mentioning is that there's been a little bit of consolidation among the majors. As we've mentioned Agnico (NYSE: AEM) here buying Kirkland. We've mentioned Kinross (NYSE: KGC) buying Great Bear. And so there were others in the mix there that didn't get their feed. There were others, majors, bidding on those assets. And Barrick's (NYSE: GOLD) has been talking about getting bigger into copper, as well. So you have other natural bidders for some of these projects outside the Rios (NYSE: RIO) and the BHPs (NYSE: BHP) of the world, when the gold majors are talking about getting into copper, as well, because it's more of precious metal at what, four or some dollars, than it is much cheaper.

Gerardo Del Real: We should know that-

Nick Hodge: Especially, sorry-

Gerardo Del Real: No, you're good.

Nick Hodge: Some of these projects are polymetallic or multi-minerals, when you can get a gold-copper project of that robustness, then there are various things you can do with that as a major.

Gerardo Del Real: Absolutely. And that was going to be my point, my point being that hole that Alderan reported was a partial hole. And, so it only went down to roughly 400 meters. That's the gold portion of that. They state in the release that they can see visible copper on the bottom part of the hole and they're waiting for assays. So that has the potential to be just a barn burner of an entire hole. Got partial results today, looking forward to getting the other half in the coming days and weeks.

Nick Hodge: Looking forward to exercising warrants.

Texas' Questionable Child Abuse Law

Gerardo Del Real: Meanwhile, in Texas, the state of freedom. Fucking hell on wheels Governor Abbott over here, picking on the trans kids, man.

Nick Hodge: I didn't see.

Gerardo Del Real: Let me read the headline for you.

Nick Hodge: Shouldn't pick on any kids.

Gerardo Del Real: I agree. Shouldn't fucking pick on anybody, but especially not kids, and especially not by putting a target on kids' back and threatening to separate them from their families for making a decision. For a governor that is so pro-life and so parental rights, I put exhibit A and exhibit B on my Twitter the other day. There was an article with imposing, with a bunch of families saying, families have the right to be the ultimate deciders of what their children are allowed to do and not do. And you will not take away the power of the family. The parents deserve the authority that they've earned.

And so when I read Texas Governor Greg Abbott orders state agency to treat gender-affirming care as child abuse, let me explain what that means. What that means is he wants the state child welfare agency to investigate reports of gender transitioning procedures as child abuse. And he wants to use that order to threaten to separate families that have chosen, together, for their child to undergo the process. So he wants to separate families. The border wasn't enough, apparently. He didn't get his kicks off with my people. Now it's going to be in Texas, the state of freedom. The state that paints itself and values independence like nothing else. And let me tell you how this came about.

Our attorney general is a guy by the name of Ken Paxton. He's being investigated for fraud, he's under indictment right now, all sorts of crazy shit. Because it's Texas. It is what it is. So he issued a written opinion that defines gender-affirming care as child abuse under state laws. So the way that I imagine this happening is six months ago, they got together at a nice, swanky restaurant in downtown Austin. Maybe they went to the Driscoll, maybe they sat in the back room. Maybe they sat in one of those rooms where the ladies of the night used to go way back in the day. We got the tour there. We stayed there for the company party. And maybe they had a scotch or two.

And they said, "Well, how the heck can we fucking piss people on the left off a little bit more?" And this should piss people on the right off, as well, because I don't consider myself of as a lefty. I'm a lot more aligned with the libertarian principles and a lot of traditional conservative principles than I am a lot of the stuff on the left, but this is just absolute, and it's pandering, because he's running for Governor, to the extreme right-wing portion of his party. And so the way I imagine this happening-

Nick Hodge: The religious.

Gerardo Del Real: Yeah. They sat down, they said, look, I need a legal opinion in order to enforce these laws that will threaten trans kids and their parents from pursuing this the same way they did with abortion. They just made it to where it's so onerous to provide the services that everything's got to close down because everybody's afraid of a minimum $10,000 lawsuit by private citizens that aren't even here, if you provide the services, including abortion, that some places like a Planned Parenthood, for example, would provide.

So this is the next target. And so this includes puberty blockers. So often, a trans kid will be unsure whether or not they identify as one way or the other or as many different ways. And again, that's their choice. And maybe the parents are supportive and want to give that child the time and the space to make that decision. And so there are puberty blockers that a doctor can recommend that are reversible. These aren't permanent changes. That's included in this order.

A physician is now legally supposed to be required to report as child abuse if someone comes in and inquires about gender-affirming care. And the child welfare agency then has the authority to go and make a proclamation that this kid should be removed because the parent is practicing child abuse. This is fucking crazy. Again, this is like Canada, where they're looking to pass the law, or it's already passed. I think they're looking to pass it. Where if you think someone might say something hateful, you can report them.

Nick Hodge: Preemptive hate speech. Yeah.

Gerardo Del Real: What the fuck are we doing, humans? What are we doing?

Nick Hodge: Well, you're going down an Orwellian path. That's one thing. Catering to the religious right is nothing new and has been going on for a while. And that part of it's like the hypocrisy of modern conservatism. Like we're all for individual rights and separation of government powers from the individual unless we want to be like up in your vagina or private parts, seemingly. And I've never understood that, certainly as a libertarian. No. None of this is child abuse. So I guess my question is, it's written into law? Does it have to go through Congress, the state Congress, the state legislature?

Gerardo Del Real: No. The Texas attorney general has issued the written opinion, and this is now state law.

Nick Hodge: It's crazy.

Gerardo Del Real: Mm-hmm (affirmative). The twisting of state law to force the teachers-

Nick Hodge: Yeah, because-

Gerardo Del Real: It applies to teachers, as well, Nick. Not just pediatricians.

Nick Hodge: Yeah, because whatever, the opinion or the moral guidance that it's child abuse only come comes from a religiously based, whatever, ethical framework. And so to interject that into politics, when we're supposed to be a complete separation of church and state doesn't make any sense to me. And it's just like gay marriage or your right to be whatever. Whatever you want to be, actually. The government shouldn't have any say in that. Certainly not to the extent that it needs to be mandatorily reported by physicians and teachers-

Gerardo Del Real: Or teachers.

Nick Hodge: ... like there's bruises on the kid's arm or something.

Gerardo Del Real: And again, the way they made this to where it's immediately enforceable is there was already a state law on the books about what should be reported, and what is considered child abuse. The legal opinion was broadened in the state of Texas, by Ken Paxton, by him just deciding. Ken Paxton, the guy under indictment and investigation for fraud, who's also running for office simultaneously, because Texas. By him giving his legal opinion, it just immediately becomes enforceable. It's insanity to me. And it's bullying to me. And it's the equivalent of on a big macro scale and different things, but Vladimir wakes up one day and decides I need more land and I'm feeling short and, fuck it. Ukraine. Easy pickings. Let's let's go get that. It's a lot. It's a slippery slope, y'all. Be careful.

Nick Hodge: Well, that's where the Fourth Turning comes into it. There's all sorts of different things going on. All the stuff that we talk about all the time, the reason the podcast is named what it is. And so, yeah. Whether it comes to the erosion of rights, the creep of governments, or the threat of war, almost all Fourth Turnings throughout history, since the 1500s, have ended in a war.

Prince Andrew Bought His Way Out of Prison

Gerardo Del Real: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Or several. Prince Andrew bought his way out of prison.

Nick Hodge: Yeah. I've had that on the list for a couple of weeks. You weren't here last week and I probably forget some of the details now, but the sad thing about that is he settled. And then we mentioned, we thought that he wasn't going to settle because Miss Giuffre was going to get to, or at least wanted to get to the truth of the matter. And it wasn't a monetary thing.

Unfortunately, that was wrong and he has settled and now he doesn't have to be deposed, and so it's seemingly the end of the line for this whole thing. This other guy, I forget his name, ended up dead in his jail cell the week after Andrew settled. The other guy that was known to be associated with Epstein and help him line things up from Europe. And so... Yeah.

Gerardo Del Real: If you turned this into a movie, you would be like, come on, too many plots and twists.

Nick Hodge: I know.

Gerardo Del Real: The guy dies in his cell by suicide, just the way Epstein died in his maximum security little cell a week after Andrew settles?

Nick Hodge: A week after Andrew settles, and it's like a nice little bow on it.

Gerardo Del Real: Yeah. I'll say this for Ms. Virginia Roberts, and I don't ever shame the victim, or would never, ever, ever say what's right or what's wrong as to how people decide to move on with their lives, but I hope it was a huge check for Ms. Roberts. I hope she got a humongous check. And she was hell-bent on taking this to trial. So hopefully, at the very least, it's the generational wealth that that check was written for and not just peanuts.

Nick Hodge: Yeah. It's sad to see because it's tough to see an avenue to really learning the entire truth now.

Gerardo Del Real: Only one woman has been convicted for an international child sex trafficking operation that involves everyone and every level throughout the world. Think about that.

Nick Hodge: Yeah. And those everyone's, I continue to pound the drum, are the ones who can take your bank accounts with impunity and say you're abusing your child when you're just trying to do the best for them.

First Woman Cured of HIV Using Stem Cells

Gerardo Del Real: Let's talk something happy, Nick, because I hate to be all warrish and somber. And the mood is kind of that because again, war just means a lot of dead people and defense contractors getting bonuses. And that's always tough. But did you see the article about the first women being cured of HIV using stem cells?

Nick Hodge: I did. I don't know the details, but I saw the headline.

Gerardo Del Real: That's phenomenal. I'll just read it verbatim here. I'll just read right off of here. A woman of mixed race is the third person in the world believed to be cured of HIV after receiving a stem cell transplant from a donor naturally resistant to the virus. The success of the new method involving umbilical cord blood could allow doctors to help more people of diverse genders and racial backgrounds.

Two previous patients had also been cured of HIV. They underwent a different treatment using stem cells from an umbilical cord, as well, but a bone marrow transplant, some other stuff there, some genetic mutation, that blocks HIV infection. But my point is, they're starting to find multiple options for this, and this is huge. This is huge if it's scalable. So that, I thought, was positive. I tried to hard to find something positive this week, because man, there's a lot going on out there. Good for her, good for them.

Nick Hodge: That's a hugely positive story. Yeah. The stem cells are wonderful and I don't think there's a limit to the things that they can be used for as technology advances. We have all three kids' umbilical cords, blood and cells in storage for exactly that reason. The possibilities are going to be unlocked in 20 or 30 years. So that's a wonderful story.

The Utility of NFTs

Gerardo Del Real: Love it. Love it. Have another one that's not as wonderful because it has a grizzly beginning, but it does speak a bit to an avenue for NFTs that I had not considered. There was just a horrible murder that was televised of a reporter in Virginia named Alison Parker. And she was interviewing a politician when a gunman came in, just started firing on the news crew, and unfortunately, she died. And so, because this happened live on air, there's this footage on the internet of this woman's death. And it gets, because fucking humans, it gets tens of thousands of clicks every day. And the father who has to relive this every time because just again, human nature, you're going to go on there and just try to see if it's still up, see if it's been taken down. Hasn't been able to successfully take it down. He just hasn't been able to do it.

The media companies won't cooperate, the websites won't cooperate, so what he is looking to do now is he's looking to turn the video into an NFT and make it to where he is the sole owner of the clip. And so I'm not sure if you can remove the entire clip and turn it into an NFT, but that is his approach right now, and if he's successful, hey, there's another little bit of utility for that one that I didn't foresee.

Nick Hodge: I'm not sure who would own the ultimate rights for that. If it's the news corporation or someone like a Cox Cable or a Tegna or something like that. But it reminds me of Filecoin, which I've looked into a little bit, that's a type of coin, an alternative coin. And it's utility is that you could store things with it on the blockchain, just like you're mentioning. So think about it like this. Right now, I pay Apple some amount of dollars every month, I don't know what it is, a couple of bucks every month to have my iCloud storage, so that I don't have to delete shit off my iPhone when it gets full, basically. My wife can take as many pictures of the kids as she wants.

You might not have to pay an Apple for that in the future, if you just upload them to the Filecoin blockchain, for example. And then each of your pictures becomes a nonfungible token on the blockchain. And it's stored there forever. And I don't know how much that would cost right now, but if it gets to a place where the fees are cheaper than Google or Apple charges, then all your stuff can be uploaded into the blockchain, whether it's Filecoin or some other coin that ultimately does it.

But the point is this, it's more secure because it's not on one company's servers. If Apple's servers get whatever, bombed, thermo-nuked, whatever it is, all that shit's gone. But with the decentralized storage on a Filecoin blockchain like that, your pictures are stored on everybody's computer in the entire world that's on the blockchain. And so it's very unlikely that all those computers are going to go down all at the same time. And if they do, you got bigger things to worry about than the pictures on your phone.

Gerardo Del Real: I got to say look, between the podcast last week and the several excellent articles that Chris has written and in his excellent Crypto University series that he has for his paid service that I highly recommend, I've learned more about crypto and NFTs and altcoins in the past two weeks than I have the past two years. So I wanted to give Chris kudos. I want to encourage anybody who's even half curious, give that service a try. You get a money-back guarantee in the whole thing. You don't like it, we'll get you a refund on it.

But if you're at all curious, it's really, really, really informative. I've learned a lot. Mr. Curl has been busy this week adding on the weakness. I think that's going to be rewarded well. Of course, we have our $50,000 crypto altcoin NFT challenge thing going on, where he's putting his skillset to the test. And I think that's going to turn out very well for everyone involved. But yeah, had to plug that because it's been a fun couple of weeks. I've learned a lot.

Nick Hodge: He's been doing great on the educational front. We're just starting to deploy the money. The markets of course have been tough, but I told you that I'm personally buying a Bitcoin earlier, and so, a long way to go there. I've learned a lot, as well, and those tutorials have been great. So we'll put links up as we always do to check out the product and we'll have more coming for you on that soon. We might have to wrap it up, Gerardo.

Gerardo Del Real: I think so.

Nick Hodge: I said last week, as I said last week, were hiring, and people actually knew. I talked to somebody on the phone yesterday and they were like, oh, you're hiring for customer service. I heard it on Bizarro World. And I was like, yeah, buddy.

Gerardo Del Real: We're hiring, we're expanding, we're growing. If you're unhappy out there, if you're disgruntled, if you're a loyal, creative, enthusiastic, hard-working person with a great work ethic, send us a message, shoot us a message, let us know what you do. We'd love to look at it. I think that's a trend that will continue for quite some time. Mr. Hodge, always a pleasure. I am Gerardo Del Real along with Mr. Nick Hodge. This was episode 158 of Bizarro World. Love each other a little better, everybody.

Nick Hodge: Stay safe out there.

This transcript is unedited. Please excuse grammatical errors and run-on sentences.