Bizarro World Episode 156: Can't Find My AirPods

Inflation is ramping. Gold is ramping. Stocks are not ramping. We told you to be careful out there. We drill down further into why this week as bond yields and stocks continue to be volatile. And we get into what it means for copper and housing and crypto. Heather Morgan: Bitcoin thief and rapper. War drums are pounding and make for a great distraction. Joe Rogan, Dave Chappelle, and misinformation. Wisconsin gun law. And what we're watcing in the markets. 

Gerardo Del Real: Mortgage rates are the highest since 2019. The 10-year broke 2%. Will the Fed pivot? Gold looks good. Crypto's back again. Copper's surging. Everybody's mad at Joe Rogan. Spoiler alert, I don't care what you think about Joe Rogan. I am Gerardo Del Real along with my co-host Mr. Nick Hodge, and this is episode 156 of Bizarro World. Welcome to therapy, Nick. How are you, sir?

Nick Hodge: I'm doing great, Gerardo. The days are getting longer. It's getting a bit warmer, and my tech shorts are paying me wonderfully. How are you doing?

Inflation, Interest Rates, Gold, Stocks, Volatility

Gerardo Del Real: I'm doing great. It's beautiful outside. The sun is out. The days are getting longer. Interesting week, right? The market's down some 500 points today. 600 at its low today. The 10 year's of up 2%, as I mentioned up top. We talked a bit off air. I feel like we're just reciting what we told people a month ago was going to happen. And more specifically, what you told people to position for, which was lighten up, get defensive, get some cash on the sidelines. All of those things would've saved a lot of people a lot of money. Not bad for a free podcast.

Nick Hodge: It's not bad for a free podcast. And you could've even made more money for $99 a year, which isn't a bad value either. What happened today? You got a 7.5% inflation number on the CPI, which is likely peaking.

Gerardo Del Real: Highest in 40 years.

Nick Hodge: Yeah. Sort of what I was mentioning last week is that things turn. And so this number that just came out is adding up things that were in the past. And so I think you're in a shift. The 10 year going above 2% is very interesting, and I was writing about it like a dying star this week. That issue hasn't come out this week. Shooting stars shoot before they die. And I think that's what the bond yields are doing. They're taking their last gasp upward. Because, remember, they've been going upward for the past year now. It's not like they started going up when Jerome said, "I'm going to raise rates." No, they started going up a year ago when the inflation was actually manifesting, when Jerome was saying, "There is no inflation."

Gerardo Del Real: When it was transitory?

Nick Hodge: If you think he's got his finger on the pulse... This is what I was saying this morning in a video. Then I've got a bridge to sell you, because he's going to come and try to hike rates when market's already fucking hiked them, Gerardo. The Fed hasn't done anything yet in the 10 year is at 2%. And the 10 year's not going to keep going up if you keep getting down days in the stock market like this. And so that's what we mean when we say the market's going to tell Jerome who is in charge, because if you think he can sustain another 600 point down day and then another one and then another one, and you think their fucking mandate is to help you, I've got something else to tell you. So what I'm saying is I think bonds are still going to go up, and I think it's still time to be cautious. And we haven't even got into GDP numbers yet. Just earnings.

Gerardo Del Real: My thoughts on that: It's going to be two hikes maximum. And I'd actually even be surprised if they got to the second one. I think the market and the bond market's teaching Jerome exactly who's in charge. And I think if we've learned anything about Mr. Powell in the last several years, it's that he'll do an about face with zero shame, with zero shame the minute that the market demands it from him. And so again, and it's just kind of like war games. You game theory it. You can look at what happened in the past. And in the famous words of Rick Rule, if past is prologue, then you can kind of see what the policy's going to be. And the pivot will be fun, but I'm telling you, people, it will happen soon. And if he gets two rate hikes off, that's going to be it, in my opinion. We'll see. I'm positioned for that.

Copper & Cryptos

I don't think it's a coincidence that copper's surging again. I was listening to Keith McCullough earlier this week and it was funny. It was the day before it surged, and he was saying, "Well, you can't drive copper and you can't eat copper." And I'm sitting there and I'm like, "Keith, I love your stuff. I love your research but you're just wrong on this, Keith. You are driving copper." It's everywhere. And I think he, like we all get calls wrong, he just got that call wrong. But look, I think $4.60 copper from $4.44, $4.45, that was a one to two day jump. And it was fast and it was furious, and it doesn't seem like it's going back the other way anytime soon. I'd love your thoughts on that copper jump.

Nick Hodge: I want to say that I don't know because I don't. And it's been going back and forth. "Copper's going up today! Oh shit. Copper's going down today. Copper's going up today! Oh shit, copper's going down today."

Gerardo Del Real: Yep.

Nick Hodge: So I want to say it's in flux. I also want to say that China's desperate for it, which is one of the reasons it's been going back up. We were reading about, at least I saw a couple LME headlines again this week, about stockpiles and things. So there's those underlying fundamental drivers, which obviously we're on the same page on. The electrification of everything. In the short term or the interim, if things melt down then nothing is spared. Commodities can go down, copper included. And so I think it's waiting to make sure that the entire world isn't going to collapse and then it's going to continue going up. The other thing I was... I'm going to tell you all the things I was writing about that I-

Gerardo Del Real: Tell me all the things, Nick. You're getting it for free, people. Again, you're getting your money's worth this week.

Nick Hodge: The Goldman Sachs Commodity Index, if you line it up next to the 10 year rates which we were just talking about, is they're going up like straight. And not like this up, they're going like...

Gerardo Del Real: Hockey stick.

Nick Hodge: Yeah. So they can't do that together forever because-

Gerardo Del Real: That's a long time.

Nick Hodge: Well yeah. And if rates continue to hockey stick it means that growth has to slow. You can't finance copper projects. You can't finance big infrastructure projects because rates are going up. And so then commodity prices have to soften because you can't build those things out. And so that's why I think what I just said, the yields have to slow down. That shooting star is going to fade and then commodities can go back up. In this next whatever, month to two months until the Fed figures out it can't act or figures out it can't hike rates then I think copper can go down marginally in the short term. But I don't think it's bear market for commodities. I think it's just getting this short term deflation out of the system

Gerardo Del Real: Agreed. And look, I hate agreeing with Goldman Sachs but their analyst, I believe it was Jim Curry. I could be off on the name. But his forecast basically is, "We're out of everything." He said, "Whether it's aluminum or copper or lithium or uranium, we're out of everything right now." And so there's a timeline to take and build projects and get these materials that were desperate for into production. It doesn't just happen with the flick of a switch. We're behind the curve.

Nick Hodge: He was saying it's a molecule issue. And that's an interesting way to think about it because we even have like copper molecules if you go back to chemistry class or whatever, right? The periodic table.

Gerardo Del Real: Yep.

Nick Hodge: And now we're using the petrochemicals and things like that because the engine is in the car. But soon the engine is going to be not in the car. And like you said, you do drive copper and things like that. And so the demand picture is there, for sure.

Gerardo Del Real: I like it. Got to talk cryptos. I'm looking forward to get Mr. Chris Curl back in here. He was spot on with his crypto call when we had him on a few weeks ago. We finally launched that part of his service where he's putting capital to work. It's been a great first week, so go Mr. Curl. Thoughts on the crypto space?

Nick Hodge: Hey, we haven't lost any money yet. I'll do a little rapping for you. We saw the couple that got arrested. You've got to HODL, go to Istanbul or Constantinople.

Gerardo Del Real: Shout out to Heather Morgan. What up, Heather?

Nick Hodge: We'll have to talk about that couple in a second, but thoughts on the crypto space.

Gerardo Del Real: Largest financial seizure ever.

Nick Hodge: It's similar to copper, actually, would be the answer in that, gosh, it's hedged that inflation for the past year but has been soft recently. I would've gotten it wrong this week. I thought crypto was going to head lower and actually started to head higher. So we do got to get Chris back on, because to me I thought that Bitcoin could go back to $39,000 but it doesn't seem to want to get all the way down there. I don't know actually what I think in the short term. In the long term I'm bullish on crypto. I've told you that 100 times. I hold my Bitcoin.

I think the new financial system is going to be partially built on top of it. In the interim I think, again, it's like copper until you get the firm direction from the Fed and exactly what's going to happen with rates. I think you could still see some downside, frankly, in the cryptos. And you might be surprised to know that it correlates more closely with the VIX than other assets. And so if we don't get this volatility out here, it's, kind of a crapshoot.

Gerardo Del Real: Agreed. Did you see that company that accidentally Tweeted its financial results early and dropped 21%?

Nick Hodge: No.

Gerardo Del Real: But earlier today a company called Affirm (NASDAQ: AFRM)... Somebody's going to lose their job.

Nick Hodge: Or already did.

Gerardo Del Real: Or already did. Yeah. Somebody accident tweeted the release of the financial results. It's one of these buy now pay later companies. So they offer short term and low-interest loans. Kind of like a modern day, better version of a payday loan place.

Nick Hodge: They ain't doing so great with the rising rates.

Gerardo Del Real: No, not so much. Not so much. Again, they could've listened to you a month ago when you were writing about this, and frankly over a month ago, and positioned properly and made some money. But what are you looking at in the market? You still putting that capital to work? I asked you last week. I know you have a pretty robust cash position. You eat your own cooking and you took your own advice. You've got some cash on the sidelines. Your timing was excellent because I suspect your money manager's probably would've not done the best with that. So kudos-

Nick Hodge: It would've been a fucking draw-down. Yeah.

Gerardo Del Real: So go you.

Interest Rates, Housing, Construction, Real Estate

Nick Hodge: Yeah. No, exactly. I was going to talk to you about the housing market because I wanted to talk about it anyway. I'm just taking some notes. You had asked me a couple of weeks ago about if housing was going to do okay. And I was like, "Oh, fuck yeah. Housing's going to be great. I don't expect rates to go up. All these millennials are going to buy houses." And I had recommended a construction, housing ETF, which was the wrong move. And I wanted to parse that out a little bit and talk about the housing market and rates because construction stocks are not homes, which I learned in the past two weeks. I guess I didn't know that. Home construction stocks can and will go down when rates rise because it's tougher to build houses. Just like I was saying about large infrastructure projects, you can't finance them when the rates rise.

And so the construction stocks that I thought were going to be a safe haven simply weren't. When the stock market was selling off in January, the home construction sector was getting whacked pretty hard. What held up better was some of the REITs that are able to pass on those higher rates in the form of highe rents and things. But when it comes to buying a home, the home construction stocks got whacked. And so where am I putting my money? I think I'm buying a house this week, a second house, because homes are not construction stocks, which I just said. And so with my contrarian hat on, I was watching the rising rates and I see the home prices still going up. And I know that there's all these first-time home buyers out there. They just saved their 20%, which sucks, but I don't make the market conditions.

And in this market, the rates tick up a couple of points, and I know that they can't put in the offers that they were putting in a couple of months ago because their financing picture changes, especially on houses that might need a little bit of work. If you come in at the top end of the ask and it needs whatever, a new furnace, a whole coat of paint and you just saved that 20%, you don't have that extra $5,000 or $10,000 or $15,000 to come in there and clean house real quick to make it livable or nice. And so the market softened up. Houses that were getting 10 offers, some site unseen, I was able to pick off a little bit with a little bit less competition.

And so that's the entire market. That's not just the stock market. That's using the insights from things that are going in macro-land to better your ultimate bottom line, not just through owning equities. And so anyway, a little bit of a difference between home prices, home values, and construction stocks there and how they relate to rates, I would think. And then again, pointing back to copper. A house is a commodity. And so I could sit on it here for some time and know that 30 million millennials still got to buy a house by 2026 and sell it in four years or whatever. So anyway, I guess that's where I'm deploying my cash because I've got to write a earnest money check and come up with a down payment.

Heather Morgan: Bitcoin Thief & Rapper

Gerardo Del Real: Well, congrats on the house. That's always exciting. It's always fun. I love real estate. It was the first time I made a couple of pennies, was in the real estate space. And so to this day it's kind of my hedge against my volatile resource stock positions. I've gotten less volatile here in the past couple of years with some luck and some hard work, but you could do like Ms. Heather Morgan, who you were quoting earlier, and just launder $3.6 billion worth of crypto coins. That is a crazy case. I think you're better versed on this than I am, Nick. Do you want to talk about that a bit?

Nick Hodge: I haven't put all the details together and I don't know all the names and how they got caught and all of that, but I can definitely it context and a little bit of levity, I guess. They stole $3.5 billion worth of Bitcoin. And they weren't masterminds. It was this couple who ended up getting caught living in New York City. A millennial couple at that. And the way they got caught was seemingly not the smartest, like storing their passwords in cloud-based services and things like that that the authorities were able to track down. There's a ton of stuff you can talk about. You've got to talk about their lifestyle and stuff first before you get into the serious stuff, because they got a whole Instagram page, Gerardo. They were going out to brunch and talking about their business and talking about society and rapping about their AirPods, and rapping about why you got a yodle to hodl. There's hundreds of videos.

And she's not a good rapper. It's absolutely cringeworthy. One of the choruses is, "AirPods, AirPods, where's my fucking AirPods?" Or earbuds or whatever. "Apple find my iPhone. Can't find my earbuds." And you could just go and-

Gerardo Del Real: Bizarro world. What is wrong with people out here?

Nick Hodge: Literally bizarro world. Filming themselves inside their bathroom in their condo in New York City. Everything is out there to see. I'll send you the Instagram channel if you want to see-

Gerardo Del Real: Can I read her bio really quick?

Nick Hodge: Sure.

Gerardo Del Real: This actually describes herself: "When she's not reverse engineering black markets to think of better ways to combat fraud and cyber crime, she enjoys rapping and designing streetwear fashion because..." Of course she does. So yeah, interesting times for sure. The judge has ordered that they be held without bail. And if they are granted bail, the judge has ordered they come nowhere near a computer or an internet connection or anything of the sort. So they're going to get a social media cleansing here in the next-

Nick Hodge: Well, they're going to get a movie deal too.

Gerardo Del Real: And likely a book deal and a couple of other things. So let's see how much time they're going to get as well because it's not just fraud. It's the IRS, it's the tax evasion. There's a whole layer of charges that they're going to end up having to defend against. And if there's one group out of all the alphabet agencies, the IRS is the one where you probably don't want to be in a situation where you're defending yourself in a court of law against those people. So yeah. No, look. Crazy times.

Nick Hodge: I've got a couple more thoughts.

Gerardo Del Real: I love it. Come on.

Nick Hodge: Yeah. The other things you have to mention are, they got caught. So one of the things you hear is that there's all this nefarious activity with crypto and it's untraceable and it's going to open up all this crime and things. And they got caught, Gerardo. And so it shows... And we've talked about this before. It shows that you can conduct criminal investigations on the blockchain, track down thefts on the blockchain, et cetera. And so that's one piece I wanted to say. The other thing is, I continue to see people pointing at it like, "Oh, I guess criminals have to go back to dollars now."

And it's like, "Well, what do you think? They stopped using dollars to commit crime?" I never understood that argument. And then yeah, I guess mostly I wanted to say that they were able to get tracked and caught. And so I think that's an important point, that they weren't able to disappear into some black hole. They weren't able to get away with it. There was a recourse of action in a legal framework, which I think gives validity to it. So call me crazy.


Gerardo Del Real: Let's pivot back to gold. Gold looks great. I said it a couple of weeks ago. I thought it looked healthy. I loved the fact that as the dollar was rising, gold was rising in lockstep. Here we are with the 10 year above 2% and gold closed right around the $1,830 level. It was as high as $1,843 earlier today if I'm not mistaken, and looks like it's flirting with that breakout $1,860 level. If it can get above that, then here comes $1,900. And then it gets really fun really quick because we know how the market players are fundamentally wired to like round numbers. For whatever reason, it's the way it is. I think a lot of the speculators are waiting for $2,000 gold before they really commit capital. I see a lot of the smart money or at least the deep pockets positioning ahead of that move.

You're starting to see more volume. You're starting to see, even on down days, a lot of the better juniors, mid-tiers, and majors catching a bid. And so all of that screams healthy to me. And you mentioned last week, look, we have an $1,800 gold price. If that's all it ever does from here on out, there's going to be a lot of ways to make money in the sector. But I think the speculators are bored with gold, and it's going to take $2,000 to get over that hump. $2,000 might be in the cards in the next month or two.

Nick Hodge: They wouldn't be bored if they were buying like NUGT, for example. I was doing a little NUGT this week. It's fun when you get the triple leverage.

Gerardo Del Real: You like that triple leverage?

Nick Hodge: For a day or two, sure.

Gerardo Del Real: Gold thoughts, Mr. Hodge. Gold thoughts. I said a lot there.

Nick Hodge: No, it's going higher. I did. I bought triple leverage long gold earlier this week. I've already sold it.

Gerardo Del Real: Like a boss.

Nick Hodge: I was telling you about Agnico Eagle (NYSE: AEM) and Kirkland Lake (NYSE: KL). That deal is now closed. You should be getting your shares of Agnico if you were a Kirkland shareholder. And then Franco Nevada (NYSE: FNV) raised its dividend for the 15th consecutive time in a row. And that's not the sexy 10-cents to a dollar, but that is the enroll in their drip program and buy your new shares for a 3% discount and do that for a couple of years type of thing.

Gerardo Del Real: Yeah. Can't go broke doing that.

Nick Hodge: Gold is very strong. Especially, like I said, last week... You said we were going to be repeating ourselves. If it stays above $1,800, even better. And then if these rates break down, if that shooting star does decide to fail, then you've got that tailwind behind gold as well. So,bullish on gold. Yeah. We'll likely recommend GLD this week.

War Drums Are Pounding

Gerardo Del Real: Like it. War drums continue to roll out. That's looking more and more likely. I don't want to use probable, but it's looking more likely. Of course I'm talking about Russia and the situation there. That has serious geopolitical implications with the US and China and everybody positioning and taking sides. I hope I'm wrong. I hope it's not likely. I hope smarter, calmer minds of reason step up to the plate. I just don't think we're living in those kind of times.

Nick Hodge: Well, that's what I put on my hat too. And I think about the Fed not being able to raise. And I think about how you taper a Ponzi scheme. And I think about the perfect distraction from all of that.

Gerardo Del Real: Always. War, right? And the perfect cover, frankly. You have midterm elections coming up here in the US with the Republicans doing everything they can to make sure that voting is tough for those that aren't well off. If you don't have a vehicle, if you work a 9:00 to 5:00, if you don't have a lot of transportation they're trying to make it hard as all hell for you to get out there and get that vote. So food for thought there on that side of it. And then on the left you have Mr. Biden who, again, hasn't had the best first year of an administration during the past 12 months. And seemingly continues to miss on real big, legitimate issues like immigration. Can't get anything through the courts. Didn't get the infrastructure bill that he wanted. It's a hot mess right now, Nick. It's a hot mess out there.

Nick Hodge: Yeah. That's why I say cash, gold, defensive. Yeah. Stocks can go down a lot. We'll see what the Fed does, but they're going to have to backpedal, I think, before it gets that ugly, or else dun, dun, dun.

Market Watching 

Gerardo Del Real: Yeah. Yep. Let's talk deal flows. What are you looking forward to in the next week or so?

Nick Hodge: You've been asking me this.

Gerardo Del Real: Every week.

Nick Hodge: What am I looking forward to? Finally we'll get some listings of private companies that are either spinouts or that have been private that are going to list. That's a good thing.

Gerardo Del Real: Labrador Uranium. That went through. That'll be looks like the end of the month. We have, I believe, Lode Metals, gold and copper vehicle. I think that should be four weeks away. Both of us wrote checks, I believe, in those deals.

Nick Hodge: Oh, I mean you're naming names.

Gerardo Del Real: Yeah, why not? They're private.

Nick Hodge: I spent some time in SEDAR yesterday, Gerardo. I saw filings for Greenlight. I saw filings for Lannister Mining, which is in Western Montana up here by me. And so the filings are going on in the background. I can only assume things are taking longer, like everything takes longer these days. But yes, for all of those companies I've seen various documents filed on SEDAR. So they are coming for sure.

Gerardo Del Real: Good. Good. I am still looking forward to it because we didn't get them again this week, Aldebaran Resources' (TSX-V: ALDE) drill results. I'm expecting those. We did get more results from Patriot Battery Metals (CSE: PMET)(OTC: RGDCF). Very good results. We also got a news release outlining an aggressive 20,000 meter drilling program. A winter and a summer program. So I think that's going to be an entire year of just consistent busy news flow. Assays are still pending on the copper and gold and one lithium hole, but that's starting to look like a real legitimate discovery. Closed at $0.60 today.

Nick Hodge: Market likes it.

Gerardo Del Real: Market likes it, and it's still tiny. Even at $0.60 you're talking the market cap of about C$36 million right now with C$13 million of that backed by cash. So enterprise value, you're looking at roughly C$23 million for something that I believe has the potential... And it's early stage, mind you, but if these pegmatite bodies end up playing out the way that it looks like they're going to play out, and we'll know within the next six months, there could be 100 to 150 million tonnes at 1% easily. Easily.

That, in this lithium market, it screams $100, $150 million dollar market cap. Again, we're at about a $36 million market cap and about $23 million in enterprise value. So that remains one of my favorite plays and one of my largest holdings. What else? What else is out there? I'm hearing rumblings behind the scenes. And Abacus Mining (TSX-V: AME) alluded to it in a recent press release, but it seems like the Ajax project in BC, the permit-challenged I should mention. Ajax project is getting some traction. Again, I'm excited to see what the next shoe dropping from its partner KGHM and Abacus is any kind of forward momentum, as in drilling or favorable negotiations with first nations, which was the fatal flaw the last go around in 2017 when its permit was denied.

Any positive developments on either of those fronts make that company another great, great speculation if you're looking for a lottery ticket, and a great, great optionality play on higher copper and gold prices. 2.6 million ounces of gold. Over a million per pounds of copper. And Abacus owns 20% and is carried all the way through to production. So that's a sleeper pick there for everyone. A free one. Everybody's getting their money's worth today.

Nick Hodge: That's a big, big project that it sounds like, yeah, they're trying to reengage. We'll see what the Polish company does. But it's carried for sure. It's a big project to be carried on.

Joe Rogan, Dave Chappelle, and Misinformation

Gerardo Del Real: It is. It is. I mentioned up front, I don't care what people think about Joe Rogan. I will say this: We, especially in America, have done just an amazing job of politicizing everything.

Nick Hodge: NPR had a story this week about the color of the thumbs up emoji you choose and what it says about you.

Gerardo Del Real: How about the size? I don't use emojis. Can you adjust the size of your thumb emoji?

Nick Hodge: Not sure. You want one of those big number one figures in basketball?

Gerardo Del Real: It's getting crazy out there, everybody. It's like, yeah, I don't care what you all think about Joe Rogan. If you like him, great. If you don't like him, that's great too. You don't have to listen to him. Like Dave Chappelle says in his latest comedy special: "You clicked on my face when you saw me on your screen and you came to my show."

Nick Hodge: Mr Chappelle was in the news this week.

Gerardo Del Real: He was. Let's talk about that. He was in the news.

Nick Hodge: Hold on. No, let's talk about Joe first.

Gerardo Del Real: All right, let's talk about Joe.

Nick Hodge: Did you have anything else on Joe?

Gerardo Del Real: No, I'm just amazed at how people have been able to politicize this. It's crazy to me.

Nick Hodge: But since that whole thing, the Neil Young, the Joe Rogan thing that we talked about for the past couple of weeks... Isn't it interesting that the science has changed in the past two weeks since that started? Literally the science has changed. That's what the government is saying. Fauci says we're past the full-blown pandemic part of this now. The Democratic governor in New Jersey says we don't got to wear masks anymore. Democratic governor of New York says we don't got to wear masks anymore. Gavin Newsom says we don't got to wear masks anymore. This is since Joe Rogan was spouting the misinformation. And so it's just awful curious and coincidental to me that we can all take off our masks and we're past the full blown pandemic portion of this right after there's a big blow up of somebody saying nearly as much and being accused of misinformation. Here in Washington we still have to wear our masks.

Gerardo Del Real: Mandated.

Nick Hodge: Well yeah, you're supposed to wear your mask. I'm wondering when it's going to change. But anyway, it's very curious that the science has changed in the past two weeks.

Gerardo Del Real: Yeah. Truckers in Canada, still at it. Baseball players. Major League Baseball Players' Association and the owners still going at it. Still a lockout, really quietly. We're seeing... And again, because my brain is weird this way. It connects with different things. But we're seeing across the board, people are just pissed off. People are not going to accept the norm because you call it the norm or because you were put in a position where you get to dictate. But that's once upon a time. That's Fourth Turning stuff. I see it from the young generation on up. I think it's great all the way around. And yes, I still don't care what you people think about Joe Rogan. It doesn't matter. Let's talk about Dave Chappelle, though. And I know very little. Actually I saw it. I had it on one of my topics to discuss. And I wanted to wait because Dave Chappelle is usually pretty tactical in all of the things that he does. And so for those that aren't aware-

Nick Hodge: I was thinking the same thing. There's got to be something else.

Gerardo Del Real: Yeah, because he was passionate about this one. So for those of you not aware, Dave Chappelle is one of my favorite comedians. And again, you can think what you think of Dave Chappelle. Don't care. But he showed up at his hometown in Ohio's city council meeting and got up there and said, "If you're going to allow this affordable housing development to be built near two buildings that I just bought and committed to expanding, revitalizing a part of this city, this town, which is near and dear to me, I will pull my $65 million worth of investment that I've contributed and planned to contribute to this town, and you can go ahead and award the $35 million company that contract. And we'll put the link up. He said, "Call my bluff."

Nick Hodge: Said, "I can't believe you would make me audition for you. You look like fools. Call my bluff. I'm not joking. I'll do it."

Gerardo Del Real: Exactly what he said. And again, loved it. Don't know the backstory. I'm sure we'll hear about this. Again, people manages to politicize this. "There goes Dave Chappelle. King Asshole killing affordable housing." Well, he's not saying he's not for affordable housing. And he's not saying that there shouldn't be more affordable housing. He's saying, as a private citizen who pays taxes, who just bought quite a bit of land to develop with the city's blessing, "We had a deal. I'm bringing a comedy club. I'm bringing restaurants. I'm bringing this whole new entertainment center and district, and you want to kill all of that by building affordable housing and using an outside company to come in and do that in the town that I love. So fuck you, and fuck off. And if that's what you're going to do, then shame on you and I'll pull my money."

And good for him because, one, it's his hometown. Two, it's his capital. Three, he's putting his money where his mouth is. If you're not willing to defend your own capital and your own hometown, I don't know what you're willing to defend. And for people to immediately take the position that, "Oh, he's just a jerk because he doesn't want to allow affordable housing," again, why do we politicize everything? Why has Dave Chappelle become the punching bag for a certain sector of society? It's the oddest thing, the way all of this stuff plays out nowadays.

Nick Hodge: Yeah. There's definitely a backstory because he called out one of the council members by name. I forget it. Let's say it was Barbara. And he was like, "Barbara, I can talk to you about this privately if you want," before he went on his rant. So there's definitely some backstory there that you don't know. But yeah, just thinking about it purely as an investor, if you put down capital and something's coming that's going to change the framework of why you put down that capital, then of course you're going to defend it. That's sort of inherent in the capitalistic system. And it's a problem everywhere. Look, we've got these underpasses here in Spokane because the train runs through downtown. And so they've got these viaducts on certain streets where you go underneath the train. And obviously they're turning into homeless camps because they're covered up, and on both sides.

And so just this week they started putting chain link fences in there to narrow the width so that the homeless can't congregate underneath the viaducts. And there's no good solution. I think about this often. Not that I'm some public planner or policy guy, but I try to think about, how would I solve the homeless problem? There's not a lot of good answers either.

Gerardo Del Real: It's not a one solution type of problem. No.

Nick Hodge: No. And we don't have to recite the mental health and the drugs and all that sort of stuff, and rising prices. But you can certainly see how, in city to city... and you've been to a lot of cities. I've been to a lot of cities. How it's handled in various cities. And here in Spokane they, I would say foolishly, decided to put the shelters right in the downtown corridor. And so some of those people don't want to be in the shelter for whatever reason, but they still congregate around it and so it spills over into the downtown core. I'm getting a little bit off topic. But if I was an investor who was going to build a business downtown and they were going to put something, whatever, a new homeless shelter or something next door, I might have something to say about that.

And it just speaks to further planning and better ways to let investors, capitalists, and the people who drive the economy thrive while still providing for those of us that don't have the means or unfortunately don't have a roof over our heads. And I'm going to talk about homelessness, I guess, for one second because increasingly people are homeless for reasons that are outside mental health and the drugs. I was reading this case in Canada this week where the husband and wife had two kids, gainfully employed. Their landlord wants to move into their apartment so he's kicking them out. And they got $2,500 a month but they can't find an apartment in Victoria, Canada where they live. And so they had a hearing today, I think. I was going to follow up February 10th. And if they didn't win the hearing, they had to be out by February 12th. Wife and two kids with $2,500 a month to spend for an apartment. The apartment literally doesn't exist.

Gerardo Del Real: Both gainfully employed.

Nick Hodge: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Yep. He works for the city. He's an arborist, full time. It's crazy, man. And so they looked for an apartment, and literally every apartment $2,500 bucks or less a month has like 1,000 applicants the first day that it goes up. And so there's different reasons that people are homeless. And I forget the ultimate point I was going to make there, but yes, it's a complex problem and it's not going away, I don't think, especially because the prices of houses are continuing to rise.

Gerardo Del Real: Which takes us back to all my rants about central bankers and Fed policy and what that mandate is. And how the Fed is here for the stock market and the rich. And yeah, lucky enough to be able to profit from that. But societally, what are we doing? What are we doing when a family with kids that's both gainfully employed can't afford an apartment? Forget a house. They're not talking about buying, from my understanding of what you said, right Nick?

Nick Hodge: No.

Gerardo Del Real: Talking about renting.

Nick Hodge: That's it. $2,500 is what they got for an apartment, and they just can't find one. They could move.

Wisconsin Gun Law

Gerardo Del Real: Yeah. Yeah. No. Crazy times. I wanted to talk, and I'll be brief on this, but there was a Republican bill in Wisconsin that has now advanced where they want to allow 18 year olds... They want to lower the age of legal gun ownership, handguns, from 21 to 18. So for those outside of the US, in the United States, you can own a rifle once you're 18 but you can't own a handgun until you're 21. And so me, I'm a very pro second amendment guy. I believe there's a smart way to own weapons. I believe there's a smart way to train and learn how to be safe and all of that. I think there's a whole host of things that we can do to be smarter and more responsible gun owners as a society. Whole nother conversation for another day.

But this bill would allow, potentially, a senior in high school who's 18 to be able to carry a pistol around the school grounds. On school grounds. And so again, I don't know what we're doing when it comes to policy. This is coming from someone that is very pro second amendment and understands the value of being able to defend yourself against not just people but government as well. But it seems like if we don't put the safety mechanisms, pun intended, and tie those safety mechanisms to gun ownership, we're just going to continue crazy ass gun society that we have where it's just the norm. It's just the norm.

Nick Hodge: You've got to have some common sense in there somewhere. You know me. Gun owner, second amendment guy. We don't need kids going to school with guns. That's not part of the deal. I was reading an article about this and one of the Democratic state editors or state congresspeople... It was a woman. She's got her concealed carry permit. She's packing heat everywhere. And she's pro second amendment too. And she was saying, "I pack heat in the grocery store but we don't need kids to be carrying guns around on the school grounds." And that's obviously the right answer. There's a common sense approach here. And you were just mentioning about how we politicize everything. Well, this is clearly that. This is taking something all the way to the extreme to make a point about gun ownership, when it goes all the way to such an extreme that it's like a caricature of itself. Even as a gun owner, like what? It doesn't make sense.

Gerardo Del Real: Yep. Just watch out for the Gazpacho police out there, Nick.

Nick Hodge: Oh, there's Gazpacho police? Are they monitoring the temperature of the soup?

Gerardo Del Real: That was hilarious. Did you see that one?

Nick Hodge: No.

Gerardo Del Real: Oh, you didn't see that one?

Nick Hodge: No.

Gerardo Del Real: Okay. So you know who Marjorie Taylor Greene is, right?

Nick Hodge: Mm-hmm.

Gerardo Del Real: Famous on the right for being a gun-toting, non-mask-wearing, red blooded American Patriot. That whole thing. She Tweeted. She was ranting, in true Greene form, on Twitter. And she mixed up the soup with the Gestapo and said something along the lines of, "Nancy Pelosi's Gazpacho police is coming after you."

Nick Hodge: That's hilarious.

Gerardo Del Real: So the memes around the were absolutely great. It was fantastic.

Nick Hodge: Hopefully somebody did something with the Soup Nazi.

Gerardo Del Real: Oh, they're out there. Just go down the rabbit hole for five minutes. You'll get a good laugh. You'll get a good laugh.

Nick Hodge: That's funny.

Gerardo Del Real: I think that's all I've got, Nick. Anything on your end of it that you want to get off your chest?

Nick Hodge: No, I think I want a fresh, cool soup.

Gerardo Del Real: That's all we've got, folks. I am Gerardo Del Real along with my co-host Mr. Nick Hodge. This was therapy session, otherwise known as Bizarro World number 156. Say goodbye to the people, Nick

Nick Hodge: AirPods, AirPods, where are my fucking AirPods? Apple, find my iPhone. Can't find my AirPods.

Gerardo Del Real: Interesting times, world.