Bizarro World Episode 139: Retrograde Ending



The mainstream now admits inflation isn't transitory. We told you that a year ago, and have been profiting from it ever since.

But what's next?

In this Whack-a-Mole inflation environment, which mole will pop up next?

Police are hunting activists in one state while protecting criminals in another.

The release of the Pandora's Box papers continues to show how the global elite move money and property to avoid taxes and even launder money. We use it to further highlight the two-tiered justice system that exists in America and beyond.

Table of Contents

1:14 Markets: Bitcoin, Oil & Gas, Copper, Inflation, Precious Metals
18:25 Minnesota Police Hunt Activists While Capitol Police Abet Criminals
25:48 Pandora's Box: Further Proof the Global Elite Operate Under Different Rules
33:00 Dave Chappelle, Space Jews, William Shatner
34:17 Former Employers & The State of the Financial Newsletter Industry
43:18 John Deere Worker Strike & Right-to-Fix

Gerardo Del Real: Bitcoin's not dead. Elon's not dead. Zinc is at $1.60. Copper's at $4.71. Inflation is not transitory. We'll get into the Pandora's Box. We'll talk William Shatner. We'll talk Minnesota Police hunting activists and John Deere workers going on strike. A lot to get to. I am Gerardo Del Real along with my co-host Mr. Nick Hodge, this is Episode 139 of Bizarro World. How are you Mr. Hodge?

Nick Hodge: 139's got a pattern to it, Gerardo. I don't know why that popped into my head. I'm doing really good. Mercury in retrograde is coming to an end. If you've been feeling wonky for a couple of weeks, you can attribute it to that. We certainly have had a bit of wonkiness here. I think we're coming out of that. And we talked a couple of weeks ago about being excited for the fourth quarter and I think investors are starting to see why in the market. So plenty to talk about. How are you doing?

Markets: Bitcoin, Oil & Gas, Copper, Inflation, Precious Metals

Gerardo Del Real: I am excellent. Wonky is right. Retrograde is correct. Just got my tax bill. Ouch. Yeah, looking forward to getting over with the retrograde and on to an exciting fourth quarter. Both you and I opined in Q3 that Q4 would be very profitable if you were positioned well. I have to say I think we were positioned well. I think subscribers have been positioned well for the most part. And I think there's a lot of wins and a lot of triple digit gains in the portfolio both on your end of it and on my side. Where should we start?

Let's talk Bitcoin. It's at $61,000. Other groups were putting out letters that Bitcoin was dead, Bitcoin is trash, the rally was over, take your profits... And here we are, right? $61,000. You still hodling?

Nick Hodge: I'm still hodling my Bitcoin. I don't have a price in mind for what it would have to fall to for me to add. But, yeah, we told you many weeks ago that Bitcoin was going to continue to inflate when it had its sell-off on the China ban news. And what's the news this week? You know we might get a Bitcoin futures or Bitcoin ETF is the news. I don't know if this news is going to be bought or sold in the crypto market. What I do know is that I was correct about the call to buy more when it dipped a few weeks ago and so we'll navigate what comes next when it comes. That's sort of how you do markets, right? 

Gerardo Del Real: If you do them right.

Nick Hodge: A lot of people out there thought it was over but it's a long way from that. I've always said I'm not a crypto expert but I've been able to at least identify trends and get in and out occasionally to the benefit of my bottom line. We should talk about people who know more than us and those are people we're seeking out to bring new products to market. So, we'll have a Bitcoin letter out here soon for existing members to join and then open it up probably to the wider public going into 2022.

But, look, this whole crypto market is a long way from dead for lots of reason that we’ve talked about and we'll talk about in this podcast... from decentralization of institutions to abuse by elites of the current financial system to the death of the dollar, which continues and we sort of told you that as well. It wasn't going to break out above 94. So, I don't know if I answered your question about Bitcoin. I rambled a little bit.

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

Nick Hodge: That's it.

Gerardo Del Real: You think it's going higher? Could pull back of course it can pull back.

Nick Hodge: In the long term it's going higher than $60,000, sure.

Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. Another call that you were spot on and you were early and this is the one sector that I don't cover in the resource space just because I don't feel qualified enough to do so is the oil space. The energy market. You absolutely nailed that. Here we got crude at 82 24 up another percent today. I know subscribers of yours have done extremely well with multiple plays. Speak to that. Where do you see that going?

Nick Hodge: Look, man, I'll give credit to Keith McCullough before I start talking. Hedgeye has been a wonderful tool for me to use and the signals that he puts out have allowed me to articulate my views on the market, which come from a different sort of view in investment and things. I'm not trading in the broader macro markets every day, but I use those inputs from his process to help me with other things.

And so, going back, he made a bullish inflation call 17 months ago, right? Drilling down on that it was easy to see that things were going to inflate, including oil. Even coming into it last year you've been able to do quite well. So, beating a dead horse… in November last year we were in oil stocks and rotated into oil and gas explorers and producers in the summertime and that's done well as natural gas has continued to go up.

Look, the other thing I would say is that everyone else is playing catch up here now. And we've talked about that, Gerardo, last week I think, how once the mainstream finally realized that inflation was real that these things were going to go even higher and you're seeing some of that this week. We'll talk about individual commodities in a second. But the point I'd want to end with in this little segment is that you got the Feds starting to talk about stagflation now and I think that's wrong. They're late catching up to the narrative.

First off, earnings are coming out good which we sort of said was going to happen. CNBC is writing about an unexpected pop in retail sales. No, fuck you, it wasn't unexpected. No. What I say is that I think stocks can go higher alongside energy. Another thing in the mainstream is that oil prices are going to be bad for stocks. I’m not so sure. It's back to that growth, right? If the growth can run commensurately with the inflation, then it's an up scenario and you had a 500 point up day in the Dow yesterday. Stocks ripping again today. Dollar is starting to break back down. And so, again, can crude pull back to $70, $65, $60 bucks? Sure it can. Can it go up to $100? Yeah, it can go up to $100, sure.

Gerardo Del Real: Absolutely. Got to talk copper, right, $4.71. Hell of a week. We've been writing about copper since at least 2016 when I launched my first service under your banner. And I know you've been writing about copper and energy and the electrification of everything for over half a decade now at the very least. Got to love the price action. I do have to say before we get into gold that Keith McCullough at Hedgeye has absolutely nailed the gold trade and we'll talk about that in a bit. But, how are you feeling about the copper space? We'll talk copper stocks in a second.

Nick Hodge: All I know is China was running out of bullets which we’ve mentioned. They had been selling on the open market to sort of keep the price subdued because one of the things you got to do when you're a communist oppressive regime is keep your people quasi-happy. And when things priced in dollars globally are ripping higher, they were trying to suppress the copper market and they’re sort of out of bullets on that front and you've got the copper price moving higher in a hurry from $4.25 just a couple of days ago to $4.75 a pound today. How high can copper go Gerardo?

Gerardo Del Real: Copper can go much higher.

Nick Hodge: Going to get a copper eagle.

Gerardo Del Real: It's coming. It's coming.

Nick Hodge: Liberty.

Gerardo Del Real: Yeah, don't get me going. Look, the bottom line is this. And it didn't take a genius or a technician to get this call right here in the past couple of weeks. If you know that China is selling into the market to keep the price of copper down, and the price of copper still wasn't really being held down, what did you all think would happen? It seems like the simplest trade to make. And look, the bottom line is we were able to position subscribers and readers and followers and frankly, listeners of this podcast. Some of the names that are now absolutely ripping, right? Kutcho Copper (TSX-V: KC)(OTC: KCCFF) closed at C$0.98 cents today. All-time high. I could go on.

And despite that, there are still significant bargains in the space. Chakana Copper (TSX-V: PERU)(OTC: CHKKF) had some more great news. Two releases this week. That stock's still not getting any love. Hannan Metals (TSX-V: HAN)(OTC: HANNF) has an entire basin. That stock perked up a little bit, closed around the 30-cent level today. Massively undervalued, in my opinion, if they're able to find what I think they're going to find next year. A lot to like in the space. 

It's great to be positioned ahead of time. I know for a lot of newer subscribers and traders and speculators, it can be frustrating to sit and wait and watch nothing happen for a couple of months, sometimes even a year. But, man, it sure is nice when you're getting 100%, 200%, 300% pops in weeks, right?

Nick Hodge: “Screenshot Days” — that's what I saw them called this week. It's a “screenshot day” where you take a screenshot of the percent up days in the uranium stocks, etc. And so, yeah, this is what the resource cycles are all about and unfolding here in real-time is very interesting to watch and be a part of.

Gerardo Del Real: Agreed. Agreed. Gold. I mentioned Keith McCullough, I mentioned Hedgeye. I mentioned that he's been absolutely spot-on on his call. I believe earlier this week I heard him say somewhere whether it was on Twitter or somewhere, that he would short goal if it got near that $1,805 range. That was like the top of his range. And it got to $1,798 and sure enough, right back down to $1,767.

Nick Hodge: The rates continue to go up. While the dollar broke down, rates have continued to be strong and if you pull a rate chart out for the past year it's no wonder why gold has been unable to break out. The 10-year yield if I put it in percent terms is up 100% in the past year. And so, that is material inflation in the bond yield that frankly, gold is not competing with. And so, it's a good discussion to talk about all the names that it has now because everyone's got a name for it.

And I don't want to knock gold is another point. I think gold has done its job. It's held its value. It fucking went to an all-time high last year. You should have sold some stocks. I don't know what else to tell you. It's done pretty damn good. But it's rotated into other things. I've called it whack-a-mole inflation. I think Marin’s got another word for it. Schwab was calling it persistently transitory this week.

Gerardo Del Real: I got something persistent for Schwab.

Nick Hodge: You got it popping up in all these different areas, right? We've talked about this ad infinitum. Inflation popping up in copper. Inflation popping up in Bitcoin. And then cooling off and going into oil etc. And that's just been how this inflation has played out. So, it's going to be interesting. Next week we'll be in New Orleans; I'll be on the precious metals panel. Mr. Thom Calandra who's going to host the panel was asking for us to send him cartoons about gold and there wasn't many positive cartoons that were coming back and forth. One was kids at the end of a rainbow and they had a pot of IOUs.

Gerardo Del Real: That is hilarious. That is hilarious. Look, the time to position in the gold space is and has been the past 13 or 14 months after the new all-time highs, right? It's a longer-than-usual consolidation. It has frustrated even the most faithful of gold bugs. I am not a gold bug. I like to make money. I like to use trends to my advantage. I like to do it in the real estate market. I like to do it with gold, with copper, with you name it. If I can make a buck from it, I want to position ahead of that. This is the time to position ahead of that, folks. We said this for over a year in the uranium space and now those “screenshot days” as they called it, you're chasing stocks that are up three, four, five... sometimes 10-fold in the uranium space and likely going higher. It's a whole lot easier to make money, everyone, if you just get in a little bit early.

This is the get in early time for gold. Magna Gold (TSX-V: MGR)(OTC: MGLQF) just reported a quarter where they're selling gold at $1,767, I believe. They're mining it at $1,130 or $1,150 and they just did 19,000 ounces this past quarter. They're on track to do 65,000 to 75,000 ounces this year. That's generating over $42 million dollars in profits annually. And it's got a market cap of I think $65-$70 million U.S. The valuation and the disconnect there is insane to me. Load up and just wait for the markets to catch up. Gold will see its day. This is not the time for it. It's copper, it's zinc, it's lithium, which is also going gangbusters.

Brandon Macdonald of Fireweed Zinc (TSX-V: FWZ)(OTC: FWEDF) made a comment on Twitter that had me in stitches all week. He said he is the human avatar of zinc. And good for him because they've been putting out some phenomenal results into the market. It's good to see the zinc price finally cooperate and people give a shit for a change. Right?

Nick Hodge: Yes. Even PGM's catching a bid this week which I noticed.

Gerardo Del Real: Opportunities in the space. Companies, I mentioned Magna. Many companies out there that you think are very, very cheap on a valuation basis or just good speculation. Maybe they don't have cash flow.

Nick Hodge: Do you want precious metals companies or any companies?

Gerardo Del Real: Any company. People want to make money, people are listening to me curse and scream and get frustrated and rant, let's give them a bone, right?

Nick Hodge: I'm scrolling on the list. In the precious metal space... Revival Gold (TSX-V: RVG)(OTC: RVLGF) is going to be having news in the new year if not late this year working towards recommencement of that mine. Just absolutely undervalued on the precious metal side of things. Let me see what else I see here. You already mentioned Hannan. If you can handle  permitting risk there's Almaden (NYSE: AAU)(TSX: AMM) , right? You can talk about Almaden.

Gerardo Del Real: Look, market cap, I think, stands at somewhere like $55 million Canadian. Let's check it's been a few hours. Where are we at? $66 million Canadian. They have a mill that has a replacement cost higher than the entire market capital of the company. Oh, and by the way, you get a polymetallic silver gold deposit equal parts gold, equal parts silver. A couple of million ounces of gold. I think 70 million ounces of silver. Great exploration upside. Drills are turning again. 92% of that property hasn't been explored.

Nick Hodge: It's almost promo worthy.

Gerardo Del Real: It's almost promo worthy. And I think they've done a great job of bringing in some Mexican nationals to the board that are more familiar with the permitting process in Mexico and I think better connected. I think that was a smart move by Morgan Poliquin and the Almaden team. I think that's going to bear fruit as far as advancing the permit discussions. And look, getting denied on a first go-round in Mexico isn't a new thing. That happens often. But, bottom line is the great exploration upside, there's a resource that anchors the valuation. There is a mill there as well. And yeah, will you have to be patient? Probably. Will it be worth it from these levels? Probably as well.

Nick Hodge: There you go. That's pretty good for a free podcast recommendation.

Gerardo Del Real: Not bad. I'll give you one more just for kicks because I'm about to get on a rant. So, this is the part, everybody, where in about a minute you probably want to tune out if you don't like rants. So, the other one that I'll give you is going to be Patriot Battery Metals (CSE: PMET)(OTC: RGDCF). I've highlighted that company multiple times. Reached a high of C$0.80 cents recently. They have a pretty aggressive marketing push. I helped finance it at C$0.16 cents; participated in that financing. Watched it go to 80 cents. It's pulled back to $0.38, $0.39 cents. I suspect there were people that weren't able to get into that C$0.16-cent financing that got a little upset when it went to $0.80 cents and are probably pushing the stock down.

I also suspect that the company might announce a financing soon. And I think that presents an opportunity because it just had a news release outlining a very aggressive marketing campaign that will start next Tuesday. You get this on Monday. By Tuesday I suspect we're going to see higher prices for Patriot Battery Metals. It's drilling a big, long copper trend. Long lithium trend. The drill program appears to be going well from their release, so there's an opportunity there.

Nick Hodge: Good stuff. What's the rant about?

Minnesota Police Hunt Activists While Capitol Police Abet Criminals

Gerardo Del Real: Oh, fucking cops, man. Here we go everybody. Minnesota police were caught on video hunting activists. Not looking to arrest criminals during the Black Lives Matter riots, protests. Call it what you want. We're not Delicate around here. Whatever you want to call it, right? So, I always get on rants about accountability. If you're a criminal, if you get caught committing a crime, you should go be accountable for it, right? If you're not, you should be treated like every other citizen, fairly.

So, in the midst of these riots, there's body cam footage that they've now released where the officers are... this is not even an officer, this is a Minneapolis police sergeant who's instructing his officers, these are his words not mine so get mad at him. "If you see a fucking group fuck them up. Gas them. Fuck them up. The first fuckers we see we're just handling them with 40s." Another officer is on body cam saying, "Be very, very quiet. We're hunting activists. Tonight we're going out hunting. Just a nice change of tempo. Fuck these people."

That in conjunction with a capitol police officer, and I got some pushback on this when the insurrection was happening and I said, look, yeah, there were some cops that were brave and that were putting hands on the rioters and the protesters and the insurrectionists. But there were also a lot that were literally just opening the gates and allowing them in and giving instructions. Well that's not a tinfoil hat conspiracy theory anymore. A U.S. Capitol police officer has just been indicted on obstruction of justice charges. He's being charged with helping hide evidence of a rioter's involvement. This mother fucker, Michael A. Riley, is accused, accused, of tipping off someone who participated in the riot by telling them to remove posts from Facebook that showed the people inside the Capitol during the January 6 attack.

This was an attack on our Capitol. Criminal trespassing. So on the one hand we have activists in Minnesota, most of which were peaceful, and the ones that weren't go straight to jail, go have their day in court. Round them up and give them their day in court. But the ones that weren't sure the hell don't deserve a sergeant telling his officers, instructing his officers who they look to for leadership to fuck them up. "You see them gas them up."

And on the other hand you have a Capitol police officer that is literally helping insurrectionists get off and dodge indictments like teaching them how to hide evidence. If there's not two systems of justice in this country, if that's not clear… I can't do anything for you. It makes me sick, Nick. It makes me sick that the people that we look to, that we finance through our tax dollars — I joked about my tax bill, right? — have no troubles paying my taxes for good services, good police, good fire departments. But this is criminal. It's literally criminal. People should be arrested. People should be indicted. I don't care if they're officers. I don't care if they're sergeants. I don't care if people were burning down buildings. The same way you went and got those assholes that were burning down the buildings, you go and get the assholes that are looking to fuck people up, everyday citizens who are out there protesting. Because most of them were just protesting peacefully.

Nick Hodge: They likely won't as you know because they're behind the thin blue line and they protect their own. And so the mayor in Minnesota, which you were just talking about, has strongly denounced the actions of the police and the internal affairs investigation is ongoing. There's a piece of footage that's a part of that where there's a girl yelling that, "This is America. We're out here peacefully protesting unarmed." And the cops throw stun grenades at their feet. And so, that's sort of it. It's the abusive arm of the state. 

Gerardo Del Real: Are they behind you Nick? You know what I mean?

Nick Hodge: No, it's the abuse arm of the state and the police have evolved into their brutality force, right? Their enforcer force. They've gone un-reined, unchecked as far as the use of violence, the equipment that they have, how they're protected in the courts, etc. And that's one reason why those protests were happening in the first place. But you talk about a two-tier system of justice, and so that's what I wanted to talk about. Because I got a lot of things to tie together so I'll wait until you're done to get the signal to go because I'll go for a little bit.

Gerardo Del Real: Yeah, no, I'll let you go in here one second. And I'll put the link up to the Rolling Stone article. But there was this footage that was released and the reason the footage was released was... in the discovery process it was requested by the lawyer of a man who was caught up in an exchange of gunfire with police that night. He was an army veteran, Jaleel Stallings, who was exonerated for acting in self-defense. Basically what happened is this footage, the cops had it, of course they didn't release it. This man is charged with assault with a deadly weapon for firing at an officer. And it turns out the reason he was firing at an officer is because the cops ran up on him looking to fuck him up because they were hunting. Right?

And so, in this footage that wasn't even it. They're making racist comments. They're cursing at journalists and protesters. They're slashing the tires of parked cars. And I thought the Rolling Stone article did a brilliant job of explaining in short this is how they phrased it. "In short they were acting more lawless than the crowds they were supposed to be controlling that night."

Nick Hodge: Yep.

Gerardo Del Real: And again, I have three boys, 23, 18 and 13. They're opinionated, they're law-abiding, they're great kids. But they are the type of kids that would want to be out peacefully protesting for equality. Whether it's equal rights. Whether it's justice. Whether it's, whatever it is. Good kids. Right? And so, if this is what they were walking into here in Austin, I understand why Mr. Stallings thought that he had to fire in self-defense. Whether it was firing at an officer or not. And again, I hope there's some sort of accountability with this because this is absolute bullshit.

Pandora's Box: Further Proof the Global Elite Operate Under Different Rules

Nick Hodge: Absolute bullshit. And a complete inverse of what it's supposed to be. Look, you got citizens firing at cops to protect themselves. Think about that for a minute. I've told you for a long time that cops steal more than robbers. I've told you for a long time that cops commit more crimes than we know about across the spectrum. And so, coming out here into the fore and hopefully people don't stand for it much longer. Because like you say, when you pay your taxes those police work for you. They've been allowed without oversight to morph into the brutal arm, police enforcement arm that you just described.

I was going to talk about taxes and the Pandora's Box and tie it back to even South Dakota, for example. So, you had this Pandora's Box thing which we wanted to talk about. It was the largest leak of how the elite hide their wealth since the Paradise Papers and the Panama Papers before that. This was the largest release, and it's everything you already knew about the Kings of Jordan and rulers of Azerbaijan and how they own hundreds of millions of dollars of real estate in the U.S., etc., and the law firms that they use to do it and where the bank accounts are.

And one of the hotspots that emerged for the... Actually, let me talk about Banksy first. They were owning Banksy paintings and so that's very ironic if not hypocritical. Right? Because you know what Banksy stands for and is all about. And he's selling these paintings. And then you've got the elite buying Banksy paintings for millions of dollars and stashing them in offshore things. It's sort of a bizarro world, right, Gerardo?

But back to South Dakota. They had... let me just pull up the article so I get the numbers right. It was like hundreds of billions of dollars of wealth stored in South Dakota. South Dakota is the new Delaware basically. And so, according to the report they had $367 billion in assets stashed in South Dakota.

Gerardo Del Real: B, right, with a B?

Nick Hodge: With a B. That total is approaching the annual economic output of Ireland. And so multiple times the next state, Florida or Delaware or whatever. And so you think about justice. These papers make clear that a lot of the activities in these papers were not “illegal,” right, because of the way that they're done in offshore accounts, etc. But in some cases they're pretty clear that it's money laundering. Some of these accounts in South Dakota were from a Colombian textile manufacturer that had already been caught doing some nefarious things, for example.

So, you think about that and the billions of dollars that are flowing through the South Dakota private money game or whatever you want to call it. And then you think back to the state's attorney that ran a man over and didn't get any charges for it. And I just wonder how many of these accounts does he know about or has been greased to look the other way or dinners that he's gone to with the people that make South Dakota what it is, right? This haven for money to be stored. The judge that let him off easy, does he know about these accounts? Has he worked on any of those things?

Because then you see these insider trading reports. There was one that came out today about judges who were working on cases involving public equities and not only did they not recuse themselves, but accounts that they and their families owned were actively trading in the companies that were... that had cases in front of the judges that own the accounts. All that is legal in that second tier of justice while people exercising their First Amendment right are being hunted by the police. Do you see where I went with that?

Gerardo Del Real: It's a Bizarro World. And then look, we've been telling you about this for a while. For about 138 episodes of Bizarro World and its' getting more egregious. It's getting bolder. They're not even trying to hide it anymore. Right? And I know that we talk a lot about Fourth Turnings, but this is the type of stuff that lights the match. I made the analogy of the Molotov cocktail. There's two types of people. People that light it and people that toss it. I'm not advocating for that. I just, historically I know where these types of abuses, whether it's our justice system, whether it's the lack of upward mobility, whether it's the way we treat individuals based on gender and sexual preference or sexual identity. These are the things that light that cocktail and toss it and have those multiplied many times over.

And again, it's not what I hope for, but something has to change. This can't continue. This can't continue. Again, you and I, Nick, we joked about our tax bill. Woo-hoo champagne problems, we did well last year, right? There's people that just want a fair shot and whether it's central bankers or police officers or lawmakers or your local politician that's gerrymandering districts so that votes aren't represented equally... they're making it harder for the average citizen to have that upward mobility on multiple fronts. That's going to lead to a not happy, calm outcome. And I hope that as a society we are prudent enough to front run what I think is coming because I don't have that kind of faith in politicians or central bankers or police officers.

What's coming will not be peaceful. What's coming will not be a question anymore; it'll be a demand. And so, I'll leave that there. I'll leave that there. You got anything else on that front there, Nick?

Nick Hodge: Just that the middle class now goes up to $141,000 of annual income. And so if you're making $141,000 and you're still in the middle class, you've got to see that it's getting squeezed out and that's what you're talking about, right? That lack of opportunity where even if you're making $150k a year you're not getting out of the middle 60%. And it's all down the line. Imagine making much less than that and trying to go out in this economy and buy things with the rising prices and shortages. I think it's Gerald Celente who says when people have nothing left to lose, they lose it.

Dave Chappelle, Space Jews, William Shatner

Gerardo Del Real: But we're mad at Dave Chappelle because he told a joke that hurt someone's feeling.

Nick Hodge: "Punching down on me."

Gerardo Del Real: Did you see it?

Nick Hodge: I did it was amazing. I'll get in trouble if I quote some of it. But I just went around yelling “Space Jews.”

Gerardo Del Real: He started with Space Jews.

Nick Hodge: It was great.

Gerardo Del Real: That is one brilliant storyteller. William Shatner, let me change it up and lighten it up a little.

Nick Hodge: Speaking of Space Jews. No, I'm joking.

Gerardo Del Real: William Shatner went to space. I don't know how at 90 years old he was fit enough to go to space. He said it was a life-changing experience and he said he hopes he never awakens from the feeling that he experienced while he was out there. And all I could think during that whole time was, man, I'd be so claustrophobic.

Nick Hodge: Yeah. Dude, how old, yeah. I can't believe he was-

Gerardo Del Real: He's 90.

Nick Hodge: That's crazy man.

Gerardo Del Real: He's 90.

Nick Hodge: Good for him. George Takei was a bit miffed.

Former Employers & The State of the Financial Newsletter Industry

Gerardo Del Real: A little bit. A little bit. Yeah, Space Jews. Y'all have to go see the special before we get ourselves in trouble over here. Hey, speaking of getting in trouble, I see that you mentioned your Wikipedia page being altered. I know you mother fuckers listen, so, Pace is a real thing and we have the numbers and we have the letters so keep playing.

Nick Hodge: Wikipedia shows you the IP address of the people that edit the thing and so it's easy to see who it is. It's just a bit petty, but petty is as petty does, I guess. That's what someone said to me. And so, anyway, yeah, no, if you want to come back to Molotov cocktails, right, we got bullets.

Gerardo Del Real: Yeah, Pacer. I said Pace I meant Pacer. Numbers and letters. And just so we're clear, for those of you that are listening since it's out there and we put it on Twitter now. We were being classy about a situation that was Delicate when we left Angel Publishing and Outsider Club. Outsider Club being Nick Hodge's baby. He grew that division from... literally he birthed it from inception and grew it to a reach of over 400,000 people that received his editorials. My first opportunity came as a result of being put together with Mr. Nick Hodge under the Outsider Club banner. And had some great years there. Did some great work. Grew that business.

Gerardo Del Real: There was a situation when we left where there were accusations towards one of the principals of sex trafficking. It wasn't an accusation; it was a 26-count indictment. I'll speak for myself. I did not feel comfortable staying given the scope of the indictment because I read it. I went page by page. Went through it. There seemed to be at the very least enough there that made me sick to say I no longer want to be a part of this company. Not to make accusations against all of the principals. Not the case. Not what the indictment said. But the one individual who was a co-owner, it disgusted me. And I made the decision immediately to jump ship.

I'll leave that there. I'll just say I think we were classy in the way that we dealt with it and have been. We weren't allowed to reach subscribers without being edited. That was an issue for me at the very end. And we decided that we would form our own publishing company hence, Digest Publishing, which is up and running and we have a new crypto product we're excited to introduce to all of you here soon. It's been fantastic. That's why I left when I left and that's why it was as abrupt as it was. Everybody knows how I feel about rapists, molesters, sex traffickers, anything of the sorts. Don't have an inkling of tolerance for that.

And the guy was found guilty and bailed out and killed himself. So, you can go ahead and judge that for yourself. I wasn't there. I don't know what happened. I don't know this man. I've never met this man. I couldn't tell you if the accusations were true or not. I could tell you that a jury thought they were true. And I can tell you that he is no longer here because he killed himself. So, for the people that think it's cute to fuck with Nick's Wikipedia page and Nick can defend himself, he's a big boy, he can fight his own battles. Go ahead. Keep playing.

Nick Hodge: Well, that's it. I don't even know why it's a battle or why it had to be so petty. It just seemed like such a non-starter thing to have to do. But you want to do that, that's fine. I can re-edit etc. I can start being more vociferous about things as well. But more I think what I want to say is it goes back to being ahead of trends and wanting to do things the right way. So let me talk about the newsletter business for a second.

It had gotten, and remains, a little bit out of hand with respect to lead generation and the promises that were being made and the types of deals that were being offered to retail investors to sign up to newsletters such that the value of an editor's letter, his true performance, was no longer... it wasn't a meritocracy anymore basically. It was about conversion at all costs because the moDel had changed. So you weren't trying to monetize a lead that was on your newsletter as in Outsider Club, which you described very nicely. But you were going to someone who had never met you before and telling them whatever you needed to tell them to increase your cart value to pay off what you were spending to get that person's eyeballs on your ad in the first place.

I'm not the smartest man, but I came to view that practice as unsustainable. And so I did what I could and what I thought was best to voice those concerns. Largely fell on deaf ears at least as I viewed it. And so, I knew that I could probably have better opportunity working for myself, and so had set those wheels in motion and was very transparent about that. The event that you speak of was certainly the, let's go with... bullet in the head.

And so, yeah, we decided to jump ship and create something better. And so let's talk about trends and the direction of the business. We talk about being ahead of cycles not only in our lives but in the market as a way to profitability being literally ahead of the herd. The herd isn't feeling so great right now because they're being left behind. I just told you that it takes $141,000 to get out of the middle class.

I want to put products out there that people can profit from. It became increasingly harder to do that in a wave of promises and nonsense. And so, I think you're starting to see the reverberations of that. And so the best way I can articulate it is that most financial publishing companies put 80% of everything — spending, marketing power, brain power —  into marketing and selling you the product…. and 20% into the actual product itself. Our mission, and don't let me put words in your mouth but I think you feel the same way, is to have better products. And the marketing might not be as fancy and the copy might not be written by guys who get paid $30,000 to write 6000 words to sell you something...

But I can tell you that it still sells. And I can tell you that I am more proud to put out the products. And I think the entire industry is going to have to go that way. And I think some are learning it faster than others and some are learning it right now. I think that it's just another case of being ahead of the herd. Because I read that there's a mass resignation underway, Gerardo. I think we beat it by a year.

Gerardo Del Real: And just to be clear, there's some very good people over there. Look, I work remotely like I have since 2013. I wasn't the guy, I wasn't even in the same state. I didn't show up to the office. I didn't hang out with everybody. I think I went twice in the four or five years that I was there. There's some great people over there, some very good people. This is definitely not meant to disparage several of the good relationships that we have that way.

But, the petty shit, those shots can get a little bit more specific if y'all want to keep playing with it. So, I'll leave that there and if anybody wants to defend the guy that was convicted for sex trafficking and all the other sick shit and get mad at us for talking about it, priorities are fucked up.

Nick Hodge: Open invitation to come on and do so as well.

Gerardo Del Real: Absolutely. Absolutely. Mr. Hodge, what else you got on your mind?

John Deere Worker Strike & Right-to-Fix

Nick Hodge: I did pretty good on the Pandora's Papers. What else are we going to talk about? I was pretty proud of that.

Gerardo Del Real: I think you put the nail in the coffin on that one. That was well done, sir.

Nick Hodge: We got to talk about John Deere.

Gerardo Del Real: We got to talk about John Deere. Look, again, this goes back to our theme, right? People are angry. For John Deere that means 10,000 John Deere workers are on strike. Why? Because they want better pay and better benefits. Look, this labor shortage that's going on where people are no longer willing to accept seven bucks or eight bucks or nine bucks an hour-

Nick Hodge: Or $14.

Gerardo Del Real: ... or $14 or $15. This is a trend that will continue. It pays literally to treat your people well before you have to. And John Deere's learning right now and so we'll put the link up to the article. But, 10,000 workers at 14 different Deere plants including seven in Iowa, four in Illinois and one each in Kansas, Colorado and Georgia that can inflict a significant amount of pain at a time where there's already logistical challenges because of COVID-related Delays and other Delays as it relates to the supply chain. Right?

And so, the company has said it's activating a continuity plan to bring in non-union employees to keep the operations running. That's not sustainable. And look, there's a lot of companies that are leading on employment and perks in the way they create a culture that is nurturing and enables the best out of employees. And there's people doing it the complete wrong way. Again, not to say that John Deere is doing it the wrong way. I don't work there. I don't know anyone that does. But however it's doing it, 10,000 people are upset.

Nick Hodge: It's even broader than that. Let's talk about the tractors that John Deere makes for one second which in some cases are several hundred thousand-dollar modern marvels that drive themselves via GPS etc., and know how much fertilizer to put on what section of the crop based on sensors that are tied into weather algorithms and things. One of the things that farmers hate is new John Deere tractors because you can't fix them yourself. When I saw this issue… it's broader than that. It's more of this Bizarro World institutions thing because not only are they treating their workers in a way that their workers feel like they have to go on strike, but the products that they're producing are mistreating the consumers that buy them by making them pay extremely high fees to get their tractors serviced for even routine service. Hydraulic oil change or whatever it is, right?

And so, there's already cases about this in Washington D.C. What is it called? Right-to-Fix, I believe it's called. You should have a right to fix a product that you buy on your own without taking it back to the dealer. Apple is even being targeted in this respect. And so, it goes back to that product. And the treatment of the employees, which you said, and I'll touch on both. Like I just said, wanting to make a product that you're prouder of that benefits the consumer. And, of course, you want to make money and you want to have margin and you got to take distributions and feed your kids and make a living.

But there's a way to do that such that it's a win-win for your employees and the people who produce your products. And that's the long arc of this Turning. That's the long arc of this de-institutionalization. The treating better of employees and the making of products so that you don't have to hire a lawyer to sue the company just so you can change the oil on your own. And then I would just pound on our chest a little bit because I already talked about the products and stuff. But the corporate structure and culture as well was set up such that we pay 100% of the premiums for everyone's health insurance, and every single full-time employee has a stake in the profits. I think that's the way of the future even tying it back to the things we invest in like mining. Going upfront to the indigenous communities and give them literal NSRs or stakes in the thing upfront so they're profiting in the thing. Call it socialistic, communist or whatever you want to, but, I think the moDel of the future involves some things like that.

Gerardo Del Real: People want a piece of the pie. Not only is it good business, it's the right thing to do by people that are literally the life of the business that make it happen. People hear my rants and they read my writings and they hear Nick's intelligent conversation and dialogue and read his newsletters. But there's a whole team behind the scenes that dots all the I's and crosses all the T's. It's an incredible group of guys and gals that do phenomenal work, and it's been an absolute privilege to grow a company from inception alongside Nick under his guidance and with this team. It's been fun and I look forward to many, many, many, many years of being able to do business in a way that directly reflects the values that I think Nick and I want to live by and do business by, right?

Nick Hodge: That's it.

Gerardo Del Real: That's it. I encourage anybody who hasn't seen the Joe Rogan and Dr. Sanjay Gupta clip or the podcast if you have a couple of hours. I haven't watched the whole thing but have you seen this Nick where Joe Rogan... CNN when Joe Rogan got sick, made it a point to... again, pettiness, stupid shit. They changed the filter of him when he announced he had COVID to make it look like he was sicker. The color of the screen. And then they kept saying that he was taking a horse dewormer, a horse tranquilizer, whatever the hell it was, the dewormer.

Nick Hodge: Ivermectin.

Gerardo Del Real: Yeah, Ivermectin, exactly. So he had Sanjay Gupta on there and he grilled him. It was beautiful. It was great. He said, "Doesn't it bother you that your employer, the network that you work for, lied about what I was taking and lied about the efficacy?" He goes into it and I encourage everybody to watch it. Again, is it easy to point at a Dave Chappelle or a Joe Rogan and say I don't agree with everything. Of course that's easy. You're not supposed to agree with everything. Of course I curse a bit more than I probably should on this podcast. Of course I'm opinionated and that's going to rub people the wrong way. It is what it is. I am the only I that I know how to be.

But do we discount everything that Joe Rogan does or says or everything that Dave Chappelle does and says because there's one part of him or her that you don't like? Like they said: don't click on. Don't listen. And so, you should watch the clip. I'll send it to you, Nick, and anybody out there that's listening should watch the clip because it goes back to the point we were making about people no longer trusting the institutions because the institutions have gotten so drunk on their own power.

Nick Hodge: Have proven themselves distrustworthy.

Gerardo Del Real: Proven themselves distrustworthy. And I thought it was great that Sanjay Gupta had to go on a podcast only to see him get put on blast for what his network did. It was good stuff. It was good entertainment and factual entertainment. And again, it's why people are upset with the system the way the system's running now.

Nick Hodge: Yeah. And seeking independent media which we're trying to provide.

Gerardo Del Real: That's it. Go to, everybody. If you're looking for paid services If you're looking for sponsored content on resource companies, Nick and I will be presenting at the New Orleans Investment Conference. It's my favorite conference of the year. I'm looking forward to catching up with several people. If you see us out there, please stop and say hello. Love talking with subscribers and readers and just people in general. So, if you want to talk shop, reach out to us. Mr. Hodge, anything else?

Nick Hodge: I'll even shake your hand.

Gerardo Del Real: Hey, look at that we're shaking hands again. I am Gerardo Del Real along with Mr. Nick Hodge. This was Episode 139 of Bizarro World. Say something nice to the people Nick.

Nick Hodge: Adios.  

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