Bizarro World Podcast
with Nick and Gerardo
April 6, 2022
We explain why an inverted yield curve means a recession is coming, and what you can do about it, including buying gold stocks which are starting to outperform the metal.
Lots of oil "experts" didn't make a buy call until oil approached $100. We look back at why you should've been buying oil as early as 2020 like our members did.
Plus: politicians continue to call for new supply of critical metals to support the clean energy transition... while the government continues to stymie mining projects that are doing things the right way.
Something's got to give.
Plus: Why Julia Child slaps harder than Will Smith.
Table of Contents
1:20 Inverted Yield Curve, Recession, and Gold Stocks
7:46 The Time to Go Long Oil Was Over a Year Ago
12:30 US Government Wants More Metals Production But Rountinely Stymies Projects
29:12 The Use of Celebrity and Corporate Culture to Further Causes
Gerardo Del Real: Golden and crypto, still perky. Bond yields are coming back down. Bruce Willis. We'll talk about Bruce. Permitting in America. It's getting a little trickier out there. We'll talk about a decision out of California on an exploration play that I personally wasn't expecting. And there may be an opportunity there. We'll talk Citi covering abortions. That's interesting. A lot to get into as always. I am Gerardo Del Real along with my cohost, Mr. Nick Hodge. I believe this is therapy session otherwise known as Bizarro World number 163. Is that correct?
Nick Hodge: They are flying by and we double dipped this week because of travels. So I feel like we just did one, but nonetheless, plenty to talk about as we get to the end of the quarter as we see some of those inflection points starting to inflect that we were talking about last week. And as we just generally I think gear up for the next phase of the year, right, with 25% of it behind us. So heading into Easter here and looking forward to that, so let's get into it.
1:20 Inverted Yield Curve, Recession, and Gold Stocks
Gerardo Del Real: Let's get right into it. Let's start with bond yields. We got the 10 year back down closer to 2.30% than 2.50%, where we were about a week ago. We both keep track of yields, not just here but overseas as well, right? As often those are leading indicators for what's to come at least economically for different parts of the world. I'd love your thoughts on yields there Nick.
Nick Hodge: I mean, I'll give you my thoughts, but we should have a conversation. So last week we were talking about how the yield curve had inverted, not just the twos and tens, but the fives and thirties. And I want to break down what that means for a second because I feel like sometimes it gets glossed over and that's not helpful for people who are trying to figure it out or who don't know what that means. So very quickly and simply, a bond is a debt and you get the interest rate. How much is the government going to give you in interest to take that money? You just said the 10 year was at 2.3%. That means for 10 year money, you're getting 2.3% and typically longer money should have higher interest, right? So if I'm giving you a hundred bucks, I'm going to want a higher return if you're holding it for a year than for 10 days or something like that.
So when you hear about the yield curve being inverted, that means shorter money has a higher interest rate than longer money. And what's important is that every time that's happened since 1970s, specifically with the twos and the tens, the two year interest rate being higher than the 10 year interest rate, a recession has followed. We got that inversion here recently and in a much bigger way because like I just said, it wasn't just the two year rate being higher than the 10. You also had the five-year rate being higher than the 30. And so we had been saying that the rising rates were unsustainable and might not be able to continue to rise despite what the federal reserve might want. Right? So that's that portion of it. The yield curve, inverted recession is coming. If you escape it, great. It's never happened. Never is a long time. So a recession is on the way.
And then what we started to say, including you, is there's not a way for rates to rise the way the market was pricing them in. Remember we talked about there being seven or eight or nine rate hikes priced in. Yet after the very first quarter point rate hike, you already have interest rates starting to go back down, which we said we were wrong on for a while. But as you said in the beginning of this podcast is now starting to happen across the entire curve, across all durations. Right? You have the rates starting to pull down a little bit. And of course bond prices rise when that happens, which is why I've been telling people in the monthly letter to be long bonds because the recession's coming and we didn't think the rates could go up that high. What else do you want to talk about with rates? You mentioned other countries, like other countries know they can't raise rates. It's an American hubristic thing, right?
Gerardo Del Real: They're honest about it. They're honest. We know. We know we can't raise rates, but they are honest about it to their people at least.
Nick Hodge: Yeah. So you got the fed out there jawboning saying they're still going to raise rates when it's almost mathematically impossible. And if they do the recession is going to be much worse than it already would have been or will be. And I guess that's almost it on interest rates except to say you've got a slow down coming. We already know that. So it's not good to increase them further. And you had gold going up while those rates were zeniththing. And now you've got a typical good environment for gold to go higher if bond yields continue to pull back. And I know you wanted to talk about the quarterly close, so it's probably a good segue.
Gerardo Del Real: No look, I think everything you said is spot on, Nick. I don't think it's a coincidence that with gold holding up near the $1,935 level in a rising rate environment. We're now seeing the highest quarterly close ever for gold at $1,937 here. We're recording this on a Thursday, March the 31st end of month. And so I think exactly what you ended with is exactly how the month of April is likely to start for gold and the gold price. And I think even the related equities are finally going to get a little bit more love. We've been seeing the gold producers get some love and the gold majors. It hasn't trickled down to most of the exploration companies, even the really successful ones yet not in the fashion that I expect it to. So no, I think you're absolutely right. I think we're entering a very, very favorable environment for the gold price to shoot higher. And I would not be surprised if new all the time highs are around the corner here in Q2.
Nick Hodge: Well, we said it last week, "they," the powers that be, needed the last couple of weeks or the quarter to be better than the first two months. And so you saw stocks put in their best two weeks in two years, the headline is, "S&P delivers best performance since 2020." And it's like, okay, but the yield curve just inverted and I'll take ever since 2020, like I'll take that math. And so, you have literally the S&P was down 12% to 14% through the middle of March year to date. And now it's only down like 5%. It regained like nine or 10%. And that's just what I would call a framing the pitch, right? I mean, that's the catcher, just trying to make it be a strike when it's clearly a ball. And it's a ball, it's a recession. It's slow earnings growth. Like the pitch isn't good. And no matter how you try to frame it by painting the tape or whatever you want to call that, it's not.
And I think that ends here literally at the end of the month. So I told you last week I was buying more GDXJ. I went leveraged short NASDAQ this week. And so let's see how they open up the first week of the quarter.
Gerardo Del Real: Looking to make it an interestinng April, huh Nick?
Nick Hodge: Madness, March madness as it were. Right. And so, yeah, I think that a lot of that comes to an end as the quarter close passes us by. And the other thing we haven't said yet is volatility, right? Because as the stocks delivered their best two weeks since 2020, the volatility fell off a cliff. And I don't think we're done with that yet either not just in stocks, but in energy as well. And I'm sure we'll get to oil and all the oil experts.
7:46 The Time to Go Long Oil Was Over a Year Ago
Gerardo Del Real: No, let's get to the oil experts. A little bit of context, Mr. Hodge, you want to tell everyone when you positioned your readers to make money off the year plus surge in oil prices?
Nick Hodge: I mean, it's been a long time ago now. It was November, December, 2020. So when oil was just at like $45. And we were in that position for a year, right? And in that oil went to $85 or $90. At which point we exited. We sold oil in the Fall of 2021. And then what happened in December and January and certainly in February, 2022 is oil broke a hundred dollars and went up a little bit. Supply and demand, maybe. War in Ukraine, definitely. And so it's not growing on economic hopes. We just said a recession is coming for the yield curve inversion there. But what happened was once oil hit $100, then it's a bull market, right? At least according to the talking heads and many other oil and energy experts that I've seen, right? All of whom didn't say shit from $45 to $90 while it doubled. And we made a hundred percent or more on our money.
But as soon as it hits $100, everybody's all "you got to buy the oil dips. $100 dollars is the new floor. It's going back to $140." And what happens? That's the bandwagon, right? When everybody gets excited like that is not the time. Right? And so I literally saw oil experts, people that have newsletters with energy in the title, for example, saying "buy every dip in oil now." But they didn't tell me to buy it when it was $40, $50, $60, $70, $80, $90, not until $100 a year and a half later did the energy expert say to start buying, oh, and then what happened? Where the oil now? $100.
Gerardo Del Real: And they flaunted their credentials as well. All the little letters at the pretty degrees and the doctors and the PhDs and the MBAs. No knock on MBAs or letters or any of that. But let's put some of that good old common sense to work, folks. Let's get that right. Lisa Murkowski, Republican Senator from Alaska, who I typically agree with on a lot of positions. She's one of these centrist politicians that actually likes to get things done for her constituents. And so she had a tweet that said in 2020, we tried to refill the strategic petroleum reserve when oil was at less than $40 a barrel only to see it blocked on partisan grounds. She goes on to say, we had a chance to buy low... Didn't do it... And now are left with a big panic sale that will do us no favors in the long run.
And of course she is referring to the fact that we're now going to release millions of barrels of oil into the market in hopes of trying to keep the price down when we should have been buying low back in 2020. And if anything gives you a hint as to how ass backwards America is as it relates to energy and resource policy and all the other policies too, by the way, that'sI thought a healthy example of where we're at with things, right? I don't think it's a coincidence that the Biden Administration is releasing all this oil until guess when? The midterms.
Nick Hodge: I suspect you might see some cannabis legislation around that as well. What of coincidence?
Gerardo Del Real: Cannabis, oil forever wink, wink. Try to get the prices down. Wink, wink. It's going to be a hot mess for everybody out there. As usual, I'm here for the chaos. It's a damn shame, however, that our politicians, most of them anyhow, are no longer interested in getting anything done on either side. They're just interested in fundraising, getting reelected, keeping the healthcare that you as Americans don't have access to, keeping the security around them that you as Americans don't have access to unless you pay for it. But again, if it's good for the goose, it should be good for the gander. Right?
Nick Hodge: Well, that's why I essentially written them off for the better part of a decade now and focused on the what's happening and not necessarily the who's saying what and who's doing what, but actually reading the market tea leaves and positioning for and responding to them and not hanging anything on what a politician says, right, on both sides of the aisle. And we've done another very good segue.
12:30 US Government Wants More Metals Production But Rountinely Stymies Projects
So we're doing really good in this podcast because we also wanted to talk about permitting. You mentioned the strategic reserve, right?
Gerardo Del Real: You read my mind.
Nick Hodge: Yeah. Because it all makes total sense unless you're a fucking buffoon politician. You mentioned filling the strategic reserve or releasing barrels from the strategic reserve. Another way to reduce oil prices or to bring more supply online is to open up production, which we have a problem with here in the United States, whether it's pipelines or fracking or drilling in Alaska or whatever it is. It's a lot of, nimbyism, a lot of not in my backyard. A lot of you can't do that here. A lot of this is going to ruin a water well or whatever it is. And so that's coming home now in many differenet ways. Expensive gas and oil, sure. But also copper and fertilizer and critical metals inputs that you need for all these other goals that the politicians want to set. And so we've been talking about this for years, the green metal boom, and how you know, we're not investing enough and there's not enough supply to make all these batteries. But then I continue to see all these headlines or announcements from the government, like what was it last month?
Nick Hodge: We had a White House briefing. It was like a critical metals thing. It was like a whole thing. Had the fucking stationary and everything.
Gerardo Del Real: Little stamp.
Nick Hodge: It was important.
Right. We're going to do this. We're going to bring on more American supply. And then this week there was another headline like "Biden to embrace cold war powers to bring more critical metals online." And you know, I got to go back to the solar roads because those are just headlines, unless there's actual action. Unless the rubber is meeting the solar road, then it's nothing. It's poof. It's lip service. It's not actually bringing new production online or changing rules to do so. It's just talking about it. So I know you want to talk about permitting projects and you should do that
I'm getting more gray hairs in my chin and more grays in the corner of my hair. And you know, we've been involved in mines, like Midas Gold or Perpetua, for example. That would be like one of the U.S.'s only sources, if not the only source of antimony, which is a critical element and needed for renewable energy technologies. My daughter's going to be in first grade next year, Gerardo. They started that permitting process before she was born.
Gerardo Del Real: Quite a bit before she was born. And look again, perfect segue, Lisa Murkowski, Alaskan Senator, oil. Here's a dumb ass tweet by Mr. Biden. And again, I'm not picking on him because he is the Democrat. I don't pick on Republicans because they're Republicans. I simply don't care. But the tweet is constantly put out there by his media people. And it's to remind everybody that there's 9,000 unused oil and gas drilling permits out there. And that the solution to getting oil prices back down when it's not Russia's fault is to tax or impose fees on those unused permits because we don't already have a hard enough time developing our mineral wealth in America, right? Let's go ahead and tax permits that have already been paid for. They've already paid for the work to secure the permits. They've already paid for the land. They're waiting for the right economic cycle to get back in there. They're waiting for the right labor teams to be available. We also have a labor shortage also caused by Powell and as you call them the squad of buffoons that we have in office right now on all sides of it. And I'm supposed to believe that oil at over $100 a barrel, this is the time to do that into the midterm? And, this is a time to go and tax these permits? There was a Trilogy Metals update back in late February where the Ambler project ... It's a project in Alaska, the state and the company were working together to go ahead and co-fund and develop this road that would provide important access for this huge project that had already been approved.
And so the federal government decided the department of the interior after the state had already approved the permits had already green lit the road ... They decided the DOI to file a motion to remand the final EIS and suspend the permits that were already issued to the Alaska industrial development and export authority to the Ambler Access project. And so if moving forward, this is the kind of security that resource companies in the US can expect, it's going to be not two, three, four years of a commodity bull market. We're looking at decades of this because it's going to be so hard to get everything up and going, let alone permitted. And now for those that go well that's a very huge project and it's in Alaska and they should review the review, which was reviewed by the reviewers, then I submit exhibit B. K2 Gold (TSX-V: KTO), which just announced the indefinite suspension of activities at the Mojave project, a phenomenal copper gold project by the way, one of the best early stage projects ever according to Discovery Group Chairman, John Robbins, who's seen a few, right?
They announced the indefinite suspension of activities of the projects because the BLM decided that to now receive an exploration permit in this part of California, K2 would have to submit an EIS, which is typically reserved for mine development and construction. So I got curious. I said, well man, maybe the team at K2 is a bunch of assholes. Maybe they've been lying to me for the last couple of years, telling me that, yes, we knew there would be permitting challenges as the project was developed when it came time to mine it, and they talked about how responsible they wanted to be and how they wanted to make sure they consulted the locals and the stakeholders to make sure that they were informed and then that they addressed it when the time came.
No one ever anticipated that for an exploration permit to drill some holes with very minor disturbance that an EIS would have to be submitted. An EIS that would take another year to prepare. Mind you, K2's been waiting for years to get the exploration permit. They had already submitted everything. The plan of operations was considered complete by the BLM. And so when I get to digging and see if K2 Gold is lying and they're a bunch of assholes, I find out that the source of the problem is a flower.
Nick Hodge: Must be a delicate one.
Gerardo Del Real: Yeah. If a flower is going to hold up the exploration of a project, building a mine is going to be tough. And I tell you what, Nick, I'm usually pretty optimistic when it comes to things, but I'm getting a little bit more concerned about the US as a mining jurisdiction. A lot more so than I have been in the past. And you talk about Perpetua, formally Midas Gold. I don't like the new name. I don't think it's a coincidence that it's done nothing but go down since the change of name, but anyhow, that's another story for another day. Still one of the best undeveloped deposits in all of the Americas, but it's another story for another day. But when I look at a project like that, which like the project in Alaska that trilogy has, has bipartisan support. Locals are for it. The natives are for it. The corporations are for it. When I look at a project like that, now I'm talking back about Stibnite in Idaho and it's got bipartisan support and people want the jobs and the economic stimulus. And oh, by the way, the place is already trashed from irresponsible mining during the second world war where antimony was mined and they left it an absolute disaster. And oh by the way, Perpetua would be coming in and cleaning all that up. Most of it upfront, upfront costs to remediate the site. I'm starting to worry about the direction that that decision goes. And so look, I do think ultimately Stibnite gets permitted. I think there's enough investment upfront. I think so much of it has been extremely well done by the management team over there and and vetted well, and there's been several delays. I actually think that one gets a permit, but I worry more now than I did before.
And again, I'll share a couple of freebies. I don't think it's a coincidence that companies like Lithium Americas, which I wrote up at $19. I recommended to subscribers. Before we could get the alert out, it had gone up to $25. It never hit the $19 price target because it never came back down. So I rewrote it up at $25, got the alert out in time. People were able to get in at $25. I don't think it's a coincidence that touched $40 today. And then the reason being it's Nevada, it's Argentina. It's lithium. It's going to take a while to get new lithium supply online. And look, the supply demand fundamentals are robust to say the least.
MP Materials (NYSE: MP), if you want to talk rare earths. Also a mine in California, one that apparently doesn't have a flower hanging it up. I don't think that's a coincidence that it ... last I looked was what? $54 or $55.
Nick Hodge: I didn't look today, but I was up almost 100%. Closed at $57.34.
Gerardo Del Real: And you recommended it at?
Nick Hodge: Oh gosh, half that if we're up almost a hundred percent.
Gerardo Del Real: So I'm highlighting this folks not to brag about the picks because everybody has losing picks too. Right? It's the way that it goes. K2 so far is one of them for me. But I highlight that to say that if you can identify projects and companies that are able to navigate this tricky permitting situation that's developing in all parts of the world, not just the US, you are going to be paid an absolute premium on your shares by the market. And it's why I get so excited about companies like Patriot Battery Metals (CSE: PMET), which is back flirting with new all time highs, right? It's like a nickel off new all time highs or a dime away from a new all time highs. And I expect those new all time highs to come quickly as in the next week or two. So a lot of opportunity out there, but you definitely have to sharpen those skills, sharpen that skillset, sharpen those knives because it's not getting any easier to identify projects that won't be significantly protested even for something as small as a delicate flower.
Nick Hodge: A couple of things to add. Let me see if I can recall them all. So one, it's a mindset thing partially, right? America loves to outsource, right? And we're seeing some of the repercussions of that now when it comes to supply chains and goods that we can't get our hands on because we've outsourced the supply or the production of those things. And so you're in a dangerous spot for doing that with the future of battery metals, right? If you're not going to allow development of those in your own country, by default, it almost means that you're okay with child labor, right, and mining those things that you need for your car and in Africa and South America. So I mean, that's inherent to that. If you don't want to develop the resources here, the industry is going to get them from other places. And then you talk about investment and jobs, right? Like K2 is not going to be bringing in investment in jobs to that part of California.
And I'm going to be content to hold my shares in Ivanhoe which are up almost 400% percent since I bought them, right, but they're African asset. And so as a capitalist, I don't care if my capital appreciates in Africa or-
Gerardo Del Real: Or Mexico or Brooklyn. Yeah.
Nick Hodge: I don't care where it is. As long as it's in my account, I necessarily don't care where the asset is. And so I think it's ... And it's not just a mining thing. I mean, it's accross projects, It's oil. It's pipelines. It's factories. It's warehouses. It's low income housing. Nobody wants anything beside them. And we're going to have to come to terms with that if we are truly serious about being self-sufficient in our supply of those things as we're increasingly crowing about from the highest levels of government. You can't have it both ways. And then I guess just to tie it close to home for a second is I spend probably too much time reading this Nextdoor site because I love seeing what people are bitching about in their neighborhoods, right.
Gerardo Del Real: I've tried Nick. My wife does it. She shares some of the things and she knows I have a low tolerance for fucking stupidity.
Nick Hodge: I mean, dude it's like the best ... the comments on YouTube videos. I mean they just go on and on and on. But anyway, for this particular conversation, I saw one other day about how this ... We have a gravel pit like two miles from our house and the gravel pit has put in permits to expand the gravel pit to make an asphalt production plant, which is fine by me. I mean, we're up wind. It's over two miles away. It's hidden behind some trees. They got a long access road. But people are up in arms that they would even file a permit to have an asphalt plant. And it's not like there's a neighborhood around it or anything like that. I guess people are worried about the smell. Or maybe they just don't even know what they're worried about. They're anti-progress almost, it sounds like.
And so anyway, this thread about podunk Cheney, Washington and its asphalt plant gets four dozen responses or something like that. And so I can only imagine about the development of mines and exploration like you were mentioning in California. And then it pulls at the heartstrings and it generates the clicks. So the media runs with stuff like that. Like today it may have been yesterday following on with the K2 announcement. CNBC had like a 10 minute long video about Rise Resources and their Grass Valley project. I don't know if you had a chance to see that you saw that on CNBC. I mean, dude, they sent a reporter, a camera crew. They were talking to the locals. They did a whole segment on it, right. And they don't talk about like the mine or the economics until like the latter half of the segment. The first half it's talking to the guy who thinks that the town's going to be covered in dust and it's going to be an industrial wasteland, right?
And not until the back half of the thing, if you watch it all, which lots of people don't, do you learn that the studies have been done. Only six wells will be impacted. And the company, the mining company, Rise, is going to provide water for the six houses that are going to be affected. And it's an underground mine, 3,500 feet deep. Anyway, CNBC was content to let all the locals crow about how they didn't want the thing there. And it was going to be industrial wasteland, contaminate all the wells and there was going to be noise and pollution. And I just think to myself again, I'll go back to the Congo. Like one, modern mining is not that. And two, if you want the things that make modern life possible, like the camera that's recording you bitching about a mine that you need mines.
Gerardo Del Real: And us bitching about you, but don't worry. The government's on it. Nancy Pelosi says gasoline rebates to consumers is among ideas being discussed as an alternative to suspending the federal gasoline tax. So you're either going get taxed with the federal gasoline tax, or you're going to be taxed by paying the rebate bitches. But either way you're fucked. And people are like, oh my God, Nancy, you're brilliant, take my money.
Nick Hodge: Give me some of my tax money to pay for this higher gas prices. That's hilarious. It's my money.
The Use of Celebrity and Corporate Culture to Further Causes
Gerardo Del Real: I got to say it's Thursday, March the 31st. Happy Transgender Day of Visibility. Kudos to Ariana Grande. She doesn't have to do this because she's a big enough artist, doesn't have to do anything if she doesn't want to do it. And she wanted to be gimmicky. She could be gimmicky with a million other things, right. But she said that she would be matching funds raised up to $1.5 million dollars, partnering with a fundraising platform called Pledge, if any of you all want to donate, to raise money for transgender youth to commemorate transgender day of visibility. The fundraiser campaign is to celebrate the accomplishments of transgender people and acknowledge the hardships they continue to face. Very worthy cause. Now you know where to go if you want to donate and good for Miss Ariana Grande for taking some of that celebrity capital and saying, you know what, I'm going to go ahead and use it this way. Because frankly at that level you don't have to do a damn thing.
Nick Hodge: That's it? We talked about the trans stuff a little bit last week with Leah Thomas the swimmer, and so all for visibility and supporting those who make the transition, but while still making sure it's fair for everyone involved.
Gerardo Del Real: Absolutely.
Nick Hodge: It sounds like a wonderful cause.
Gerardo Del Real: You mentioned the asphalt plant and mining and back again, tying it into accountability and seguing, right? Guys, There's a responsible way to do everything. There's a fair way to do everything. We don't want to discriminate against Mexicans anymore than Italians anymore than against transgender people or minors or explorers or asphalt companies. There's a responsible way to agree to disagree on things and still carry on civilly, responsibly, and in a way that has ethics and a moral compass that is worthy of recognition whether you agree with it or not. And so maybe one day we see a world where that happens. I try to surround my stuff with people that I disagree with often. And I have a couple of close friends that I joke with them I disagree with 75% of the things that come out of your mouth. Love you to death though. Slap the shit out of somebody at the Oscars for you. Kidding. Backstage though, not in front of people.
Nick Hodge: The Babylon Bee said that Chris Rock was going to sleep with Jada to make it up to Will or something like that.
Gerardo Del Real: Which is her choice by the way because we're talking about being accountable. That would be Will's choice too if he's okay with that. I'm not knocking it.
Nick Hodge: Because I mean, you remember Will was crying about Jada cheating a couple of years ago here.
Gerardo Del Real: She had an entanglement, Nick.
Nick Hodge: Yeah. She had an entanglement. My buddy texted me that. I told him it was a bald face slide.
Gerardo Del Real: Is that Chris? Is that Will? They're coming for you. I got one more. I got one more because last week we talked about people were making way too much about it. One, it was a slap. Two, anybody else would've been arrested. Three, Will could have handled that a whole lot better. The academy awards, you could have done it in private. We got into all of that and we talked about what the fallout would be and how they would be okay. Because at the end of the day, it's two very, very wealthy three actually if you include Jada, very, very accomplished and wealthy human beings that are going to go on to do just fine. Right? Will will get some therapy, Jada might join him. Chris is going to be Chris. So the fallout from it has been Chris Rock's tour ticket sales have skyrocketed. Jada's going to have Will come on her Red Table show on Facebook. That's going to be the most watched meman most paid for by advertisers. Meaning most revenue generated for a Facebook show ever, probably ever, which as you said ever is a long time. Everybody will be richer. Will might get some therapy.
Jada and Will might learn something about each other and all is well that ends well for an unfortunate situation.
Nick Hodge: No such thing as bad press, unless you're Prince Andrew.
Gerardo Del Real: Even then. $17 million, you can do all the raping you want. They don't even have to be of age.
Nick Hodge: I was going to segue for you for Citibank. And we were talking about celebrities. We were talking about Ariana Grande. I watched the Julia Child documentary on the plane the other day. I don't watch a lot of TV. So what I do, I tend to talk about it on the podcast.
Gerardo Del Real: Yep.
Nick Hodge: But I watched a lot of Julia Child when I was little. So my Mom used to sit me in front of cooking shows and I would just like watch the cooking shows. Kept me entertained and I've loved to cook ever since then. I just loved watching cooking shows. So anyway, Julia Child was like the first one that, well obviously pioneered cooking shows, but there weren't a lot on when I was little. So I spent a lot of the time watching Julia Child. So when I saw the documentary, I decided to check it out and I had no idea about Julia Child sort of arc to fame and what she did once she became famous.
I mean, she came from this super wealthy, conservative, rich white Anglo-Saxon waspy family. Right? Mom didn't cook. They had cooks and servants for that. She went to college, but wasn't expected to work. Women weren't working at that time. And then World War II happened and she decided to volunteer as many people did. So she ended up being in France and got a taste of that French food and French markets and said, oh shit, this is like better than American food. Right. And really liked it. And so ended up going to Le Cordon Bleu to get her ... become a chef and then wrote a book. And so I'm making this a long story, but-
Gerardo Del Real: It's a good story. Yeah.
Nick Hodge: I'll segue shortly. She wrote the book, The Art of French Cooking. I probably got that wrong, but that was like the big cookbook. Took her like 12 years to write. And she ended up being on like what would've been a podcast, like a radio show back in the day when the book first came out. And she asked the radio host, or I guess it was a little TV segment, actually. Sorry, like PBS. If she could have a burner, and he was like, wait, you want to do like a live cooking demonstration? She wanted like a burner, like a burner plate to make an omelet or something. And so she made an omelet on this little segment and like the phones lit up man at the PBS station at the public broadcasting station because the women didn't know how to cook.
It was like the era of TV dinners and packaged foods and everything was bland. And when she came on, housewives started calling in. And so a TV executive being the TV executive was like, oh shit. He was like if that made the phone ring... Let's make a cooking show or whatever. And then the rest is literally history. But conservative Julia child, she was 6'3 by the way, like my sister.
Gerardo Del Real: Wow.
Nick Hodge: She ended up marrying this artist and became essentially liberal. Right. She did like the 180 and they have all her letters and correspondence. And she documented this, writing about how she came from a conservative family and world experiences and living in New York and Paris had made her more liberal and understanding of the world. So anyway, the reason I was going to segue was because I didn't know that in her late life, she became like a staunch supporter of Planned Parenthood and was hosting dinners, like putting her celebrity on the line to host dinners.
And that was like the beginning of the anti-abortion or anti Planned Parenthood rallies when they would come and picket outside of events. They were doing that to like Julia Child's dinners she was hosting for Planned Parenthood. That was like the beginning of it. And so I just thought that was interesting. And then she went on to be a huge supporter of basically gay rights and AIDS support because she had a lawyer that was gay and died from AIDS in the early eighties. And then that became like one of her causes. And so anyway, I had no idea and I know that you had a similar topic on the list. So I figured I would blabber for a few minutes about Julia Child and segue you there.
Gerardo Del Real: Yeah, no. Look, we talked about Texas and now I believe it's Arkansas as well. Right?
Nick Hodge: Idaho just passed one this week.
Gerardo Del Real: Yeah. It's a trend. And so when I read the article about Citi paying for women to be able to travel to get an abortion, and this is Citigroup. They'll travel. They'll pay travel costs for employee abortions was in response to the Texas law. This is the first major U.S. bank to announce a policy change in response to this legislation. And we've talked before about how in this current political environment, right, while we get this Fourth Turning to come and go and get it back to where our democracy is democracy if it gets there and we burn down the institutions that no longer serve the people? Until we get to that point, because of the power that corporations yield now and the influence that they yield through the money that they give the lobbyists that then write the laws for the politicians who barely even read the laws most of the time.
We've talked about how important it was going to be for these corporations to step up and not just do the right things that I think are right or the things that Nick thinks are right. Or the things that people that disagree with us think are right. But to do the things that the corporate culture wants to practice and preach for them, and it could be different for every company, right. There may be a Hobby Lobby that comes up and says, well okay, we'll pay for protesters to go protest that. Right. And I think that's fine too if it's not violent and not threatening. Everybody should have a right to an opinion. We've talked about that in the past, but look, I applaud Citi Group. I agree with the decision. I've talked before about how it's funny to me how everybody has a stance when it comes to abortion, but I don't think anybody wants more. I don't think people that are pro-choice want more abortions.
Nick Hodge: Just want it to be accessible and safe.
Gerardo Del Real: That's it. Right. And to provide more education so that people in general are more aware and maybe reduce the amount of unwanted pregnancies when there's a choice, right. When there's an option, when it's not rape, when it's not sexual assault. Education doesn't fix everything. But man, taking safe choices away from human beings sure in the hell does not. And when most of these laws are being passed by men that don't know what it's like to be a woman or be pregnant or carry a child, it's concerning. But it's a trend again that's increasing in the U.S. I'm curious to see if a counter trend of corporate activism grows from where it's been recently.
Nick Hodge: I don't think Citi was the only one. I saw another. I don't know if it was a bank or a fortune 500. The name's escaping me, but another company has stepped up and they said the same thing, will provide compensation or pay to get access when you have to go outside your state.
Gerardo Del Real: Bumble created a relief fund.
Nick Hodge: There you go. There might have even been another one. But anyway, yeah, I think I lost my point there. Oh, I was going to say it's a rare time you're going to praise the bank, I guess. Right. Good on them for the corporate culture getting it done. Many other things you could take them to task for. But no, they got that one right.
Gerardo Del Real: Agreed.
Nick Hodge: You're seeing it elsewhere as well. I mean, you made the point so I don't need to make it again, but whether it's Russia or other things you're seeing corporations sort of lead when politicians are lagging.
Gerardo Del Real: I always hate to end on a sad note. But hopefully, there's some sort of silver lining. But growing up, Bruce Willis, because of the Die Hard movies was one of my favorite actors. Right. Yippy ki-yay, motherfucker. I was like seven, eight years old running around saying that in school, getting my little ass in trouble. Right. Like, quit saying yippy ki-yay motherfucker. Right. My Mexican immigrant parents would be like "What the fuck is a yippy ki-yay? Shut the fuck up." So telling me not to curse while cursing me out about cursing. Typical immigrant Mexican household. But Bruce Willis is one of my favorite actors. Man, those movies are like Christmas classics to me. And yes, Die Hard one is a Christmas movie for those of you disputing it.
Nick Hodge: Absolutely.
Gerardo Del Real: Yeah. So when I hear that he's stepping away from acting and he's struggling to remember lines and just having his mental health deteriorate because he's diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease, that was a little bit of a sad one for me. I know people go through sad stuff all the time and there's more serious stuff, but I thought I think if there's a silver lining, it's just a reminder to all of us that man look, Bruce Willis looks great for 67. Right? He's aged well. Obviously, he's had a successful career.
Co-parented publicly as a celebrity. Like few people out there, right? Would be out to dinner with Demi Moore and Ashton Kucher when they were together and his new girlfriend and then the other new girlfriend, and she'd get a new boyfriend and he'd be like, yeah, let's go hang out at the awards show post parties. I mean, I thought at least publicly, the guy was all class, did multiple things very correctly at least in the public eye. You never really hear too much dirt on Bruce Willis, right? From his kids, from his wives, from his ex-wives, from his girlfriends. And there's been a bunch of all of those. So hopefully it's a reminder to everybody that man, it can change on a dime. Right?
The story was that he was on the set of a movie recently and he looked at two people and he said, "I know why you're here. And I know where you're here, but what am I doing here?" And he just had momentary lapses. Right. And it just kept getting worse and worse. So look all the best to Bruce and all of his family and extended family. For everybody out there that's got the chance to go do something nice for yourself, do an extra nice thing for your spouse, with and for your kids, just do it because it changes in a heartbeat, everyone. And if you can be just a tad bit kinder to everyone else, including yourself, everyone would be better off for it including yourself. So yeah, that one actually brought a sad face to me here for a little bit. Wish him the best.
Nick Hodge: I agree. I had similar sentiments when I saw the story about Mr. Willis. Agree about the Die Hard movies. They were all fantastic. Yeah. I mean, we don't got to recount his movies, but I'll tie it back to generational turnings is what I think about, right, because you see those 80 some, 90 year old actors are leaving us for good. And then the generation before that, which would be Bruce Willis is entering that next phase of life. Right? He's a late boomer I would say if he's 67 years old. And so you got those boomers progressing to the next stage of life. Right. That's what it reminded me of. And so yes, a reminder for sure that things change and people age and we're doing so in a massive way right now. He's not sick, but I'll tell you what caught me off guard when I saw it this week is that Ferris Bueller turned 60 years old, Matthew Broderick. And so I was like, wait, what? And so Ferris Bueller being 60 years old is the whole generation has aged. Right? Obviously.
Gerardo Del Real: The wisdom hairs, Nick. That's all I got. Anything to get off your chest. Nick, what are you watching in the markets next week? I know you're off on vacation for a few days. Just a day I think.
Nick Hodge: Yeah. Taking the kids to Disney. We'll be back next week.
Gerardo Del Real: Good for you all.
Nick Hodge: I think we said it. The end of the quarter. So I'm interested to see how this new quarter starts out, how gold and interest rates act are some of the most important things that I think that I'm watching right now.
Gerardo Del Real: Agreed. Watch gold. Watch yields, watch the capital rotation away from some of these sectors that you should have already been rotating away from. Now that the quarter's over because come companies that were dolling up and painting up their portfolio, that's done. That ended today. We get a new quarter starting tomorrow and I think real price discovery to the extent that the current version of capitalism allows for it. We're going to start seeing it here early, early next week, which is this week when you all get this. Should be an interesting April, May, June. I'm looking forward to it. I think it's going to be another volatile one. But I think if you're positioned well, I think it's going to be a really profitable one.
Nick Hodge: Agree.
Gerardo Del Real: That's all I got. Gerardo Del Real along with my co-host, Mr. Nick Hodge. This was episode 163 of Bizarro World. Send them off, Mr. Hodge.
Nick Hodge: Yippee Ki-Yay, motherfuckers.
This transcript is unedited. Please excuse grammatical errors and run-on sentences.