Charging Up the Lithium Bull Market — Bizarro World 183

The Fed brought the pain at Jackson Hole, ending the market rally. We recorded before that happened but called it correctly nonetheless. Should student loans be forgiven? Why can’t people pay them off is a better question. Fake outrage over Finnish Prime Minister getting sassy. An update on gold, which despite feeling boring is at record prices in many currencies around the world. Then a deep dive on all the factors lining up for a sustained lithium bull market. Lip-synching, trash bag purses, and peak Instagram culture. Plus: Big uranium News. This is episode 183 of Bizarro World.

4:45 Forgiving Student Loans
12:06 Finnish Prime Minister Condemned for Partying
15:40 Gold & Gold Stock Update
19:20 Patriot Battery Metals Update 
22:57 Charging Up the Lithium Bull Market
29:35 Peak Instagram Culture
40:00 Big Uranium News

Gerardo Del Real: The fun police are back. We'll talk about the prettiest, youngest, most vibrant prime minister in the world and why the fun police hate seeing people have fun. We'll talk about the dollar. We'll talk about uranium — big uranium news in the space. We'll talk about lithium. We'll talk about the biggest gold mine event that Mr. Nick Hodge will be putting on here soon. We'll talk about crooked police. We'll talk about the college loan forgiveness program which is triggering everybody on all sides. As always a lot to get into. I am Gerardo Del Real along with Mr. Nick Hodge. This is therapy session, otherwise known as Bizarro World number 183. How are you, Nick?

Nick Hodge: Lots of opinions out there on all sorts of stuff, Gerardo. Is it Trudeau who's the youngest, sexiest prime minister out there?

Gerardo Del Real: Sanna. Sanna. Let's jump right into it. How are you? You holding up all right?

Nick Hodge: I'm good. It's late summer. We're enjoying all the fresh produce, lots of tomatoes, lots of berries, lots of peaches, and just biding time until the fall comes. Biding time until this Jackson Hole event gets underway, which I think the market is looking forward to, and biding time until conference season, which is coming up as well.

Gerardo Del Real: Let's get into the market before we talk about Sanna and her pretty friends and the work-life balance program, which I completely subscribe to, by the way. I think you need work-life balance. I think you should be allowed to have fun. I think if you're doing a great job running your country, go out there and have a good time. Men get away with far more, men in power. So we'll talk about that a little bit later on and provide the context for those that aren't up to date. 

But look, the market the past couple of days has been basically calling bullshit. Jackson Hole meetings coming up. By the time people watch this, it would've came and went. The talking heads are already out there giving their two cents. Bullard was talking earlier, screaming to the skies and the heavens that they're going to remain aggressive with the rate hikes and the market basically called bullshit. It's rallied for the last couple of days and maybe it's a bear market rally, maybe it's not. I think we'll know soon but I'd love to get your take on just how consequential this meeting is and whether or not there's the potential for a quick, quick U-turn, a bullish U-turn.

Nick Hodge: I continue to say no. I continue to say bear market rally. We saw options expiration here towards the end of August. It was last Friday, August 19th, and the market had a really rough day, put in one of his worst days since June, since this, what I would say as a bear market rally started. It started in June. The market's up, I don't know, 13, 15% since then but still down over 10% for the year. How consequential is the meeting? I don't know, Gerardo. I'm not a huge Fed watcher but I would say that the sub 1% basis point increases they've been doing aren't enough to combat the 7%, 8% inflation that we have. And that's going to remain around for several quarters to come. I mean, granted the stock market's not the economy but all the economic indicators I look at, and we've gone over them for weeks on end here, but they continue to come in bad. I mean, whether it's housing starts, or construction prices, or small business sentiment, or the consumer's ability to pay back loans, or the amount of new credit accounts that have been opened because people don't have enough cash to cover their bills. I mean, I ran out of breath. I could keep going. You know what I mean?

Gerardo Del Real: Buy, buy, buy as Cramer would say. Buy, buy, buy, on all the bearish news. Buy, buy, buy.

Nick Hodge: Yeah. And so I think the Fed continues to hike. I think they have to. I think there's a lot of people out there hoping that they pivot. I hear a lot about a pivot from permabulls and the Bloombergers of the world but I'm not sure we get a pivot. Certainly not here in August.

Gerardo Del Real: Yeah. I don't think we get a pivot in August but I do think we're going to get indications that a pivot is coming. And I think that's really what the market is front running. We'll see. Again, by the time you all see this and read this, we would have known, and at the end of the day, does it matter? It may matter for a month or two. It may matter for another meeting or two. At the end of the day folks, it's not going to matter. They will pivot eventually and it will be a U-turn and there will be trillions more printed for everything imaginable. We're going to keep building roads in the Ukraine that are being destroyed. 

Forgiving Student Loans

We're going to keep forgiving $10,000 in college loans for folks, which by the way, given how much money we counterfeit and the money that we spend elsewhere, I'm not completely opposed to forgiving some college debt or at the very least, at the very least, making it to where the interest on those college loans isn't as predatory for those that are really sincerely looking to get and pay for an education.
I guarantee you that most students and people, especially those coming from lower-income backgrounds would love the opportunity to just pay back the loan that they actually took out instead of this $10,000 in debt forgiveness. But the problem isn't always the amount on the loan. It's really the interest. There's a lot of students that go and they borrow $80,000, a $100,000, $200,000 and the interest ends up being three or four times more than the actual amount that they borrowed for school. So, yeah, it's interesting to me and not surprising at all how triggering this has been for the lift me up by my bootstraps folks on the right that are perfectly okay with tax cuts for us, the rich, and perfectly with a military defense budget that runs nearly a trillion dollars annually, perfectly okay with corporations getting tax cuts and stimulus, and everything else, just have a huge problem with forgiving some kids' debt for college.

So Jon Stewart had a good point. He said there should be a draft where every young person has to do one year of something. Military, public works, something so that we all feel invested in the same game because that's the part that we've lost. I would love a national civil program that forgives student debt, forgive all of it, in exchange for a year or two years of service to the country where a kid from Oklahoma can go and work in a community in Chicago. And a kid from Chicago can go and work in a community like St. Louis. That was a Cubs-Cardinals joke. But no, just exposing people to different cultures, different communities, people of different backgrounds. I know a lot of my military friends when they talk about traveling to Europe in their teens and in their twenties, it did wonders for the way that they approach the world. And whether they're conservative or lean left, it really informed a lot of their viewpoints and made them more open-minded individuals.

And I think it's a shame that for a country like the US, which says it's the best at everything, we've completely sacrificed, we've disincentivized national service. It's a forgotten cause here in America. It's not surprising to me that there's such a wedge and that everybody is so tribal in their camps because there is no real dialogue anymore. It's just you're this, you're that, name calling, put it on Twitter, go campaign, and that's it. Right? Nobody really has meaningful conversations for the most part anymore. So anyway, that's my rant on the college loan forgiveness program. Sorry to go on so soon into the episode. Told you it was therapy.

Nick Hodge: No, I mean, there's a lot to talk about there. I'd like to talk about it more. Gosh, I'll probably forget all the things I was thinking while you were going there but it's some Fourth Turning stuff. We've lost our sense of community somewhere along the way. It's been very individualistic and that's a spectrum. It ebbs and flows and it's going to come back towards that sense of community and then requiring service is one great way to do it. My mom, as a career, was a volunteer coordinator for the state. She created programs for at-risk youth like summer camps, Hooked on Fishing, Not on Drugs, and all that sort of stuff. And you bet your ass my mom made me volunteer at those programs. I was at Safetyville pushing the kids around in their little cars. And I was at the Hooked on Fishing, putting worms on the hooks and all that sort of stuff.

And it definitely bonds you with your community, gets you to meet more people. And I don't see a lot of that going on but I do think that it's going to come back around. And sure, Jon Stewart's idea is a good one. We'd like to see more of it. I guess, going back to the student loans. I mean, gosh, everybody had an opinion about that once it was announced. I'm just going to run through some of them. You've got the sort of like a professor, the head of the Harvard Law School saying like, "This is a great day for my former students," and this, that, and the other thing. And it's like, "Dude, your students, if they're making under $125,000 you're doing something wrong." Like, this isn't for you, man. If you went to Harvard Law School and that's what you're making then you got some serious issues. He was just trying to trumpet his cause and his side of the debate, I think.

But some of the most insightful comments I've seen came from a gentleman who runs a Twitter handle called @iowahawkblog. I don't know if you follow that guy or not. It's great. He's primarily into cars but he's also into farming and other things like that. And he was talking about how some of the things you mentioned, how a lot of this debt is burdened by or held by low-income people. And it affects people that dropped out of school, went to a community college, and needed remediation or remedial learning because they were behind already, made it a year or a year and a half, and then dropped out. And they didn't even get the degree and they still have the loan. Or he was talking about predatory colleges like barber colleges and aesthetician schools and stuff like that that you can get a loan to go to where you're never going to make six figures, or maybe you make six figures but it takes longer. I mean, it's a service trade.

And he was tweeting out the lists of colleges that had the highest default rates on the student loans. And you've got your Harvards and your Ivy Leagues that are like 1%, 2%. And then you've got these rural community colleges and these barber schools that are 5%, 6%, 7% where these kids just aren't making the money to pay it back. And he's somewhere in the middle as I am on a lot of things. He's saying, sure, well and good to pay these or forgive these loans but why don't we investigate the cause of why so many people are defaulting on them or can't pay them back to begin with? Maybe let's course correct that, and so not let these private colleges and these trade schools charge the rates that they are and allow kids to get loans to go to them, and not allow kids to get financial aid that's greater than the school cost.

He was citing examples of, just to make it simple math, schools that cost $5,000 a year but you could get a $10,000 loan to go to. Well, why are you taking up twice the amount of money than the school costs? And so, I don't know. I don't really have a dog in this fight. I paid off my loans long ago. I guess I've got a bit of jealousy that I didn't get any of my loans forgiven but at the same time, I realize that I'm fortunate to be in the position I am, that I was able to pay them off. Maybe they could give folks like me a tax credit or something, let's see.

Gerardo Del Real: I think a tax credit's a wonderful idea. I think national civil service is another wonderful idea. 

Finnish Prime Minister Condemned for Partying

I got to get to Finland's prime minister because I think partying with your beautiful friends is a beautiful idea as well. And so for those of you that are not familiar, Finland's prime minister was caught having fun earlier this week. She was at a party, she's dancing with her friends. She's having some drinks. She's having a good time. She's doing what a fun person in their mid-thirties should be doing when not running a country or not at work, which is balancing the work part of work-life balance with some life, with some partying, with some good-natured fun. And then apparently that didn't get enough of a severe reaction from the fun police because later in the week they released another video and now you know it's a hit job.

She must have pissed somebody off, somebody that wasn't let in on the party, or somebody's boyfriend that wasn't allowed to go, or whatever it was, somebody was offended. A girlfriend, somebody that wasn't brought along but somebody got a hold of this video and somebody's been leaking it. So the second one was a little sassier. You've got her cute little model friends kissing each other and topless. And again, I should remind people for those that are outraged, that a politician is out there having fun or hanging out with friends. And I should remind people, these are private videos that somebody stole and leaked. It's not as if she's out in public doing this. It's not as if she was out in the middle of a nightclub. She's at home just having a good time with her friends hanging out, and her friends happen to be hot and they happen to be models and they happen to like kissing girls.

Nick Hodge: I don't know how I missed this.

Gerardo Del Real: You missed this, Nick? Did you? Oh my God. Well, I'm so glad we're here now. It's been a week for her. So look, that's my take. My take is just what I said upfront. I think male politicians are allowed to get away with so much more, forget having fun. They're allowed to get away with borderline criminal stuff. And so I think she-

Nick Hodge: And some criminal stuff.

Gerardo Del Real: ... And some criminal stuff. So I think she's getting a lot of flack because she's young, she's beautiful, she's educated, she's accomplished and she's a woman. And that's the bottom line. That's it. I'll forward you the link. It's a good link.

Nick Hodge: I'll get in my obligatory Epstein mention and how we haven't got the list of politicians who were clearly involved with him who were obviously male. But even other than that, you saw videos of people back in the day flouting the COVID restrictions. Remember when Nancy Pelosi went to the salon to get her hair did and wasn't wearing a mask and everybody else was in lockdown? Some of this stuff is permissible and admissible [to criticize], I'd say. Like Boris Johnson was out partying or Ted Cruz flew to wherever he flew to. 

Gerardo Del Real: Yeah, while, we froze our ass off.

Nick Hodge: ... Exactly right. And so some of that stuff is called for but I don't know anything about this woman and she's running the country and she's not breaking the law and things are okay for her citizens. Then, of course, she's allowed to party it up like anyone else, like JFK back in the day and those pool parties.

Gerardo Del Real: Those were more than pool parties. But I mean, that's one way... Is that what the kids call them nowadays, the pool parties? Damn, summer's over. No more pool parties here. Let's get back to the markets. 

Gold & Gold Stock Update

Gold is holding in there pretty well. It's right around the $1755, $1760 level, despite a dollar that flirted with the 110. The dollar index flirted with the 110 level, pulled back to just above the 108 level as we speak. But any thoughts on gold? I know it's been a boring couple of months. Everybody knows my two cents. I think it'll turn here in September, October after we get a blinking by Mr. Powell. Thoughts on your end, Nick?

Nick Hodge: You know you mentioned that we've got this event coming up? It's America's Biggest Gold Mine is what it's called and it's happening on September 8th at 3:00 PM Eastern time. There'll be plenty of ways for you to sign up for it if you're on any of our lists, Resource Stock Digest or Daily Profit Cycle. We'll also have ads up on those websites here in the next couple of weeks. And I've been writing some articles and some ads and things for that. And while it's almost tough to get excited about gold and silver in US dollar terms, we were talking before we recorded that if you look at it in places where inflation is much higher than it is here, if you look at it in Polish terms or Argentinian peso terms or Philippine peso terms, or pick your currency, that's been much weaker than the strong dollar… And you've got gold literally at all-time highs in some other currencies.

And so if you look at it in that way, it's easier to get excited about gold. And then if you look at some of the individual equities that have made discoveries or who are executing, they are being rewarded in the market. We might have mentioned, I know I was asking you or mention it to you this Western Alaska Minerals (TSX-V: WAM), the WAM on the TSX has had phenomenal returns delivering good results. And then one I've been watching lately is in a company called Snowline Gold (CSE: SGD). I don't know if you've seen that one.

Gerardo Del Real: I have.

Nick Hodge: I mean, some of those charts are going from below a dollar to $3, $4, $5 on the back of discoveries. And so the market is receptive to quality execution and good returns with the drill. But even Filo Mining (TSX: FILO) was back out this week with some results and turned itself around from its recent slide. And so, gosh, all that to say, and we've mentioned this before as well, the gold rally comes post the Fed rate cycle and post the recession cycle. If you think back to 2008 when did gold hit record highs? Well, it was like 2011 and '12. And if you look back to the last time the Fed was hiking in 2015, you had your gold bull market kick off in 2016. And so I think we see that here, if not in the next couple of weeks, certainly in 2023, as this recession comes to an end. And as we get through the cycle that we're in.

There's a reason I called the website Daily Profit Cycle. I mean, things don't work all the time and many things in the market are cyclical and certainly gold has held its own I would say. I mean, it's still relatively flat for the year down a percent or two but has been significantly buoyant relative to other so-called inflation hedges like cryptocurrencies, for example, and certainly relative to the broader markets, which I already mentioned earlier were down more than 10% for the year. So gold has done its job. $1,800 gold is a good price for the producers. As long as they can relatively keep their costs down, which has been a problem for the miners here recently. But I see drill programs getting executed and I see results starting to come in. And I've got to think, given how slow the summer was, and I mentioned biding time until conference season, I'd have to think that some gold companies are biding their time to release some results too.

Patriot Battery Metals Update 

Gerardo Del Real: I think that's absolutely the case. I got to give you my Patriot update, our main inflation edge at this point. This Patriot Battery Metals (CSE: PMET)(OTC: PMETF) is  one company that's not holding back on news. Really important news this past week. The company appointed former Pilbara Managing Director and CEO Ken Brinsden as Non-Executive Chairman. Now, strategically, this is just beautiful work by Blair Way and the team. This is a gentleman that is a member of the LME Lithium Committee. He also took Pilbara from a company that was developing a project, financed it, built it, and then turned it into an $8 billion company. And so for him to come onboard is a ringing endorsement for the Corvette property and more aptly described as the Corvette Lithium District, which I think when it's all said and done, you're going to have four, five big monster lithium deposits in this district.

Ken, he referenced the potential in the release. He said there's so much to like about the Corvette property with work-to-date demonstrating both local and regional potential for a large-scale project, ideally placed within the emerging North American lithium raw material supply chains. It’s a long way of saying, "Look, I'll lend my name to this because I think it's going to be the biggest lithium story in decades — maybe ever." And I just can't think of a better non-executive chairman. It also doesn't escape me that Pilbara has got something like over a half a billion dollars in cash just sitting there. It’s Australian-based. It has a project that's very, very similar in terms of grade and deposit style or project style, except that this one's going to be much bigger, I think. And so when you start looking at potential valuations, I keep saying it almost every week. I think it's $10 here soon and then I think maybe $15 by the end of the year and definitely in the $20s next year.

But $20 bucks is a couple of billion dollar market cap. It could go to... I was talking to Mark who always listens to the podcast. Both you and I know Mark. Hi, Mark. And he was telling me, "I got to tell you, Gerardo," he goes, "I participated in that 16-cent financing. And when you first started talking about this thing maybe going to $5 and then $10, and then you started talking about $15," he goes, "I must admit I sat there. And I said, 'What is Gerardo smoking?" He goes, "But it's turned out to be my largest personal holding." He goes, "And now I absolutely see $15 as the floor on this thing." It's just, it's a billion and a half market cap. If they do that resource update, it's 200 or 300 million tonnes... All those comps are $4 billion and up. That's $40 a share.

Nick Hodge: Yeah. I mean, it's been a great run. I don't have a lot to add there. I didn't participate in the $0.16 but I participated in the $0.30 and I guess I'll just pound your chest for you. You gotta put some sort of numbers on that. We read these and write these newsletter promos where stocks go from 10 cents to $3 to $5 or whatever and how much that can make. I mean, in this case, you've literally made readers 3,000% on their money. And I see the six figures racking up in my account from the placement I did and I know many others have seven figures or more from Patriot Battery Metals already. And so it certainly has that potential. 

Charging Up the Lithium Bull Market

And then I guess I would just continue down the lithium topic for a second. We continue to see the announcements. Rock Tech Lithium (TSX-V: RCK) was halted this week to partner up with Mercedes-Benz who says they're going to off-take the lithium starting in, I forget what it was, 2026 or '28 or something.

But the deposit is much smaller. It's under like 30 million tonnes, for example. And granted they're building a lithium plant, a purification plant in Europe. Estonia, I think it is. [ed. note: It’s in Germany.] But it's not anywhere near the size of Patriot Battery Metals. And you look at the rest of the space and I mean, things continue to perform well. Albemarle (NYSE: ALB) had an all-time high just before we recorded this podcast today. That's one of the largest lithium producers in the world. Allkem (TSX: AKE) reported results this week. They were record results, record financial results from Allkem, which is another one of the large producers. And last week we were talking about the floods in China. There's also significant heat in China. It's been 35 degrees Celsius for days on end which is like 95 degrees Fahrenheit. And they're shutting down factories and their rivers are low so they don't have the hydropower to run some of the facilities. And as a result, lithium's at all-time high prices. It's very close to $70,000 a tonne.

Gerardo Del Real: Take that Goldman Sachs.

Nick Hodge: All the things are lining up and not to kick a dead horse but now you've got these new incentives in the US. You've got the EV tax credits coming and there's going to be a scramble for lithium, a continued scramble, as we say. So if you can get a stake in what you're calling, one of the largest new lithium discoveries in the world, perhaps the largest, then that's a pretty good place to be. And I guess so just to keep piling on, it's also the place where the stocks can run the most. If you look at the Lassonde Curve right before there's metrics tied to it like a New Found Gold but in lithium. How big is it? What's the next result going to be? It actually does remind me of New Found Gold (TSX-V: NFG) when they were actually putting out results.

Gerardo Del Real: It's by far the most consequential one of my career if it goes and does the $20, $30 thing that I think it's going to do, just because of the position. But I thought it was really interesting that Mr. Brinsden decided to take a million stock options at $7 and another million at $9.20, meaning those options are worth nothing if the stock doesn't go to $7 and then to $9.20. And the fact that he seemingly, and then those vest immediately, by the way, with a four-year term. So this isn't like, he's hoping that it hits $10 in four years. He's pretty confident that's going to happen in relatively short order. But the other brilliant part of the way that this is structured is that brings in pretty significant cash to Patriot's treasury. That's $17, $18 million Canadian that would come into the treasury just from Mr. Brinsden exercising those options. So a lot to like there, still a lot of runway. I still get subscribers that write in and ask whether they've missed the boat and sure you missed the first 4,000% when we bought initially. But I still think there's at least another 500%, 600%, 700% potential in the next couple of years. And I don't think it makes it out of 2023. I think by the end of 2023, a Pilbara or a peer is going to buy it out because it's not going to take that long to prove up what's there. And if they make another monster discovery somewhere else, eight kilometers away, then those numbers start getting insane. Insane. So no, good times there. Absolutely, good times there and a lot to come.

Nick Hodge: Well, that'll pay some tuitions that we don't have to take out loans for our kids.

Gerardo Del Real: Good God. It's not cheap. It's not cheap. I got one in going back to school sophomore year, and then we have one that just started high school, as I mentioned last week. So fortunate and blessed to have some amazing kids, man. It's easy to parent these three boys. They're amazing young men, but yeah, college isn't cheap everybody.

Nick Hodge: I mean, private school’s not cheap either. I've got two pre-K and a first grade and I got the tuition bill and I was like, "Holy shit."

Gerardo Del Real: Yeah. I think you got it worse than I do actually, Nick, if we're being honest because yeah, private school is not cheap at all. What else should we talk about? I think we have to bring up Nevada Sunrise Gold (TSX-V: NEV), which I want to change its name to Nevada Sunrise Energy Metals but that hasn't happened yet. But look, that's finally starting to run. It's flirting with 30 cents. As we record it's at 52-week highs at 36 cents. It's cashed up for a 10-hole program that should start in the first week of September. I know all of us as shareholders are excited but for those of you that think you missed the boat on Patriot when Patriot was very speculative and we weren't sure what was there or just how big this could be, I would say Nevada Sunris. And I put my money where my mouth is. I wrote a check at 20 cents here recently.

I would say Nevada Sunrise presents a phenomenal speculation. It's higher risk because we don't know what's there yet. We're two holds into it, very high grades for being in Nevada and the potential for a brine, which is the ultimate prize there. But this has the potential to go from a $20, $25 million market cap to a $100 million market cap very, very quickly in short order. So that would take it to just above a buck. And if you find a brine in Nevada, the comps are majors. There are no junior comps that have a significant resource. I know that there's a company-

Nick Hodge: I just mentioned Albemarle at all-time highs. I mean they're a brine operator in Nevada. Yeah.

Gerardo Del Real: ... Yeah. They're the big major there. That's the big analog. And so don't know if there's a brine there. We know the lithium and water came from somewhere. We know they have eight to nine square kilometers of land staked, and we know the drills are going to start turning and they're spacing those holes out pretty wide. They're like kilometer-wide step-out. So I like all that. It's not a company that's just drilling a hundred-meter step-outs. They're getting out there and they're trying to prove up some scale. So Nevada Sunrise Gold, that's your freebie of the week, everybody.

Nick Hodge: I was going to be you for a second and give you a wide-hole joke, but I'll wait.

Peak Instagram Culture

Gerardo Del Real: You want to talk about peak Instagram culture?

Nick Hodge: You know I do if you don't mind.

Gerardo Del Real: Let's get into it. I was going to get into crooked cops. I'm going to leave that till next week. I'm in a good mood. Patriot's doing well, Nevada Sunrise is doing well. The kids are getting back to school. Most everything's going really well. And I'm excited about September, October and November, and December and conference season. And so we'll talk about crooked cops next week. We'll give them a break for the week. I'm sure they'll phenomenally fuck something up in the next seven days that we'll have to add on to this list and we can pile on next week but let's talk about peak Instagram culture.

Nick Hodge: ... It's not hard to find something on the police front. I guess a couple of things. We have social media accounts and everyone does now from Instagram to TikTok and I just see increasing amounts of sharks being jumped over. And what I mean by that is everyone has the same marketing tactics for every industry. Every chef, every restaurateur, every small business owner, every real estate agent, every self-help guru, every sales guru is pointing to word bubbles on the screen and the word bubbles are popping off and they're lip-syncing to whatever their lip-syncing to and the audio is from some famous movie or something. Everybody's doing the same exact thing. And when everybody's doing the same exact thing, nobody's doing anything. And so I just see it repeatedly, whether it's for marriage counseling or for whatever these accounts are. And everybody's got an account at least one, perhaps two. What I'm seeing now is moms are creating their secondary account. They have their account for the family and then they're creating their “look at me mommy account” in their yoga pants doing their dances in their kitchen or whatever, showing off their stainless steel assets, whether that's their personal assets or their appliances.

But I just think it's at a peak for the benefit that any user can get from that. Because when I open up my phone and I scroll through that, I'm not gaining anything. There's nothing insightful and nothing that's hugely useful. I might learn some new stretches to loosen my back but it's still a chiropractor pointing at some word bubble. And so all that to say that it's not hugely real information. If I were wanting to go on there, I'm not going to submit myself to lip-syncing anything about financial markets or pointing to word bubbles to entice you to sign up for my newsletter. I think, not that it's beneath me, but I've heard that-

Gerardo Del Real: It's beneath me. It's beneath me. Fuck that shit.

Nick Hodge:... It's beneath the users as well. That's not who I want to attract. I see some of these things are about how to save $20, how to save a minimal amount of money a week. That's not where I'm at. That's not who I want to be catering to. So anyway, like you say, this is therapy session so I'm just getting some stuff off my chest. Have you seen the Balenciaga trash bag purses? Have you seen that story in the past week?

Gerardo Del Real: No. I know people are mad about Kanye West for selling Balenciaga clothes in a trash bag. I don't know if it's related but.

Nick Hodge: I'll get one on you then since I didn't know about the prime minister. So Balenciaga's got this $1,500 purse they're selling but it looks like a trash bag, like a Hefty trash bag. It's a white bag with the orange thing around the top. And do you know why? And there's also one that looks like a pigeon. So you can pair the pigeon with the trash and it's like a pigeon hand clutch and that thing's like $700 bucks or something. So I get quality stuff like Coach and quality leather goods that are going to last a good time. And I get luxury goods, Tiffany and all that. But the reason that these $1,500 trash bag purses are selling is why? Because they get the most attention on social media. So if you can post yourself with a picture of your trash bag purse, it's more recognizable because it looks like a trash bag than some Coach bag that costs the same amount that's actually a nice leather quality bag.

Gerardo Del Real: Absolutely.

Nick Hodge: But it's not as noticeable in an Instagram picture or something. So anyway, I think that, like I said, jumping in the shark there with the trash bags and then the Instagram culture and I'm content just to provide quality content like this podcast instead of getting on the TikTok and pointing at the word bubbles.

Gerardo Del Real: I'm not doing a dance for you all and singing a fucking song for you guys so I can have 200,000 followers or subscribers. Frankly, I don't care enough. I think a large, and correct me if I'm wrong, I don't mean to put words in your mouth, Nick, but part of the reason why we co-own Digest Publishing and ventured out on our own and why we co-own Resource Stock Digest is we love the freedom and the independence that comes with ownership. And we're fortunate enough to be able to build two companies that are doing well and are trending in just one direction. We're fortunate in that sense. We've worked our ass off for that. But the freedom is why we took that approach. And so I'm not going to start compromising who I am and feeling like I gotta go take a shower at the end of my TikTok dances and pointing at the bubbles.

And the Patriots started here and went to there, like get on, disgusting, just not going to happen, right? I'll tell you a story. I'll tell you a story that I've shared privately I think with you about my kid brother. So my kid brother, who's 31, by the way, he is not a kid, but I'm 43. He's my kid brother. He's a reporter for the Washington Post and his first national assignment, he was a national political correspondent for the New York Times back in 2016 when Mr. Donald Trump started campaigning in the primaries. And his very first assignment was to follow Donald Trump on the campaign trail. And one, he wrote a piece on Mr. Trump, and the piece was titled something along the lines of “even if he loses Trump may have already won.” And the premise of the article was because this was the primaries and it still was a long shot that Donald Trump was going to even make it out of the primary, let alone become president.

But the premise was that because of the exposure and the attention and the branding, the wonderful job that Mr. Trump had done branding himself during these primaries that he had already won. Either way, it was a win-win. On the entertainment side of it, he was going to come out of there, super clean and flush with cash. And that was the premise of the piece. So my brother's driving one day and he gets a phone call and he picks up the phone and he's like, "Jose, is this Jose?" And my brother's like, "Yes, who is this?" He goes, "Jose, this is the Don. This is Donald Trump, Jose. How are you?" And my brother's like, "Holy fuck. Donald Trump is calling me." Right? And then Donald Trump proceeds to tell him what a brilliant job the piece was and how much he enjoyed the writing and how great the writing was.

And halfway through the conversation, he said, Donald Trump got really paternal and said, "Jose, wait a minute. Jose, are you driving right now, Jose?" And my brother goes, "Yes, Mr. Trump, I'm driving." And he goes, "Jose, Jose, I'll call you back. I'll call you back. Be safe, Jose. I'll call you back. We'll talk another time," and he hung up and he took off. And my brother said he didn't know how to feel about a politician like Donald Trump being paternal to him as he's driving down the road. He goes, "It wasn't a good thing or a bad thing. It just made me feel a certain way." That's how I would feel if I was doing fucking dances and singing songs for you all so you could subscribe to my business, social media, the handles, and channels. It's never going to happen, folks. If we can help make you a little money, give you some advice, give you some guidance at the very least share what we're doing and some of our wins and some of our losses, then great. If you can benefit from that's awesome. If not, go have fun. Go have a pool party, have a good time, live your life. Ignore us.

Nick Hodge: I forgot one of the things I wanted to say and we've actually talked about this before, how there's been studies about how logging on Instagram makes young girls feel bad about themselves and how they eventually get ads for-

Gerardo Del Real: Depressed.

Nick Hodge: ... yeah, that and ads for weight loss things that drive eating disorders and all sorts of stuff because it's not real. And so I forgot the one important part which is one of the reasons I wanted to talk about it this week is there's a new social media service called BeReal, which is like a backlash to this fake Instagram culture where the premise of the service, I haven't looked, I haven't signed up for it or anything but I read an article, is to post two pictures a day, one from the front of your camera and one from the back of your camera — candid, something you're actually doing during the day.

And it's growing quickly, so quickly that Instagram is ripping it off basically and it started their own internal tests for the same kind of service. And that actually comes back to, we were talking about lack of community and Jon Stewart tweeting about having to do service, I would relate the two. And this social media culture for the past, I don't know, 10 or so years has been increasingly toward the individual, and look how great I am. Look how good my life is even when you might not be that great and your life might not be that great. It's the window you want to present. Well, and now you're seeing these new social media services pop up that are intended to be real, as it were, as opposed to being fake. And I think that is part of the cultural turning that we're undergoing.

Gerardo Del Real: Couldn't agree more. There's a great documentary on Netflix. I wish I remembered the name that got really in-depth about how detrimental social media is especially to young users and it went into the science behind it and then explained why very well. I'll try to find the documentary and maybe try to post the link here with this episode. 

Big Uranium News

But you know what, I know we're 40 minutes in, can't leave without talking about the big, big uranium news. We had talked about Germany doing an about-face last week and pivoting back towards nuclear because it doesn't have a choice. And now we find out that Japan plans on re-starting up to 17 reactors by summer of 2023 and plans on building new what they're calling next-generation nuclear plants. That is a humongous deal in the uranium space. We had talked about the fundamentals last week, how bullish they were.

We talked about lithium and uranium and how a lot of the people that are upset that their portfolios are down this year, what they're really upset about is that they're heavily weighted towards gold and silver and maybe some base metals. And so I think the uranium space, like the lithium space, has a lot of legs. I think there's some quality names out there that are going to be triples and quadruples here in the next 6 to 12 months. And I mean that's as bullish a news as we could get for a sector that already had very bullish underlying fundamentals. Your thoughts on that, Nick?

Nick Hodge: I mean the shoes keep dropping in not a bad way for the uranium space. You said it: you've got the country that basically was responsible for this prolonged bear market in uranium ever since the Fukushima event, not that they as a country were responsible but that's where it happened. And then shutting down their reactors was a queue to the rest of the world that maybe we should take a pause from nuclear energy. Maybe we should reevaluate the safety of these plants. In the case of Germany, they expedited the shutting down of their plants. And for a while, when you talked to uranium investors or went to conferences where people were talking about uranium stocks, that was always one of the biggest catalysts. I remember 5, 6, 7 years ago when we were counting how many reactors in Japan were coming back online and it's like, "Oh, the next reactor's going to kick off the next bull market."

But that hasn't been the case. Well here we’re all the way to the end of that now, and I would argue that the bull market in uranium has started, and this is just a continuation of that. Long-term uranium bulls have said that there's no way the world can meet its climate change goals without firing up these reactors. And that continues to be the case and not just the climate change goals but now just their straight up meeting their electricity demand without being able to import natural gas or whatever it is. We see that they have to turn back to nuclear in a big way and it's being embraced. And as you said in that Nikkei news article that was out this week, they are turning to the next generation of reactors. 

Last week we were talking about the nuclear reactor in the Ukraine and how there may or may not be an incident and how the media was running with that story, like fresh nuclear fears. “There's going to be a calamity, a catastrophe.” They just got out their thesaurus to look up other things that they could say for catastrophe basically and kept running with the headlines because it drives the clicks. Well, I made the point last week but it is worth making again. And for me, it underscores how safe nuclear energy is. I mean, this is a nuclear plant that was being shelled for Christ sakes and there hasn't been an incident. And so if you can shell a nuclear plant amid a war, I mean, I think that speaks to the safety. Hopefully, I don't think people are going to go around shelling nuclear plants in Japan and the United States, and Europe, not unless there's an all-out war. And so the fact that that nuclear plant has withstood what it's withstood over the past couple of weeks and months to me just shows you how safe it is. And yeah, it's clearly not over yet. You got Japan turning back to it. So nuclear bull for sure.

Gerardo Del Real: Couldn't agree with you more. I want to leave with this note. While everybody's outrage about the young, educated, hardworking, very beautiful Finnish prime minister, the Belgian prime minister's warning that the next 5 to 10 winters — as in years, everyone — will be difficult because they didn't plan appropriately to prevent a full-blown crisis. Y'all got to start prioritizing what you get upset about. People should be furious with the governments in this part of the world that have not prepared adequately to prevent their citizenry from boiling in the summer and freezing in the winter. There's where your outrage should be, not because a young lady's got some pretty model friends that like to show their tits every now and then and kiss each other at a private party. Y'all should get a life and find something better to do with your time, everybody. That's all I got. That's my rant for the week. Nick, anything else you want to get off your chest?

Nick Hodge: I need to find some new friends.

Gerardo Del Real: Pool party at my house. I am Gerardo Del Real along with Mr. Nick Hodge. This was episode number 183 of our therapy session that we call Bizarro World. Nick, leave us with some wise words.

Nick Hodge: A Silver Symposium here in Spokane, August 30th and 31st. If you can be there, great. If not, check out the videos of it. We'll be sure to post them and hope you have a good start of school and end of summer.

Gerardo Del Real: Be safe, y'all.