Welcome to the Recession: Hear this Bear Market ROAR- Bizarro World 176

After a week off for the Fourth, we’re back at it with episode 176 of Bizarro World. We cover the evidence that we’re already in recession, including sagging GDP and corporate earnings growth, hiring slowing, and falling commodity and stock prices. Should your financial newsletter editor be rich? We think so. If not, why would you take his or her advice? Ghislaine Maxwell gets a light sentence for serving up girls to the highest-ranking members of society. Why gun laws and policing are broken, and evidence of broader collapsing of institutions. Why lithium won’t be replaced in the next decade and how to profit from it. Plus: how South Dakota is a microcosm of the larger good ol’ boy network that plagues all of American politics. 

1:20 Evidence We’re In a Recession & Bear Market Will Get Worse
12:28 Should Your Financial Newsletter Editor Be Rich?
22:40 Ghislaine Maxwell Gets Off Easy
30:14 Gun Laws & Policing Are Broken
39:20 The Inertia of Lithium & Uranium 
44:55 Jason Ravnsborg Reveals the Good Ol’ Boy Network

Gerardo Del Real: Gold is not gold stocks. Timber alert! Nah, you're going to be okay. I'll spoil it for you all. We're going to get into the inverted yield curve. I think it's been three times now in the past few months. We're going to talk about recession and why it's already here. We're going to talk about big uranium news. We're also going to get into Ghislaine Maxwell and R Kelly's sex trafficking sentencing. I thought it was interesting. Should your newsletter editor be rich? We'll ask the question. We'll talk about it. We'll talk about why.

I am Gerardo Del Real. It's great to be back along with Mr. Nick Hodge. This is episode 176 of Bizarro World, which as all of you know by now, is our weekly therapy session. Apologies for not getting to you last week. I was out in Chicago visiting family. And given the state of the markets and the world, we thought it best to give you all a week to process, but here we are. Mr. Hodge, how are you, sir?

Nick Hodge: I just couldn't bring myself to do it alone, Gerardo. I needed your positivity to help us through.

Evidence We’re In a Recession & Bear Market Will Get Worse

Gerardo Del Real: Well, let's get into the negativity, right? Our mentor always says that he's an optimist too, because I always joke that I tend to be optimistic despite my rants and sometimes my offensive language towards things that I'm passionate about on the negative side. But I do tend to try to be optimistic in the sense that, I want to be accountable, I want to find solutions to things. I was taught very young by my father, "Never bring me a problem unless you have a solution to offer, even if it doesn't work." And so, I try to approach life in that manner and fashion.

But let's get into some of the problems we have. We're in a recession. Let's just get right into that. The inverted yield curve is screaming that we're in a recession. And if you don't know that by now, I think all you have to do is go to the grocery store and go look at the state of the world for 99% of the world. And it's pretty darn clear that inflation has really, really burned a hole in people's pockets. And now, it's burning a hole in the pockets of those that are having, and we were joking off air, first world problems — the wealth effect.

Even the wealthy and the rich are starting to feel a slight tickle or pinch, nothing like what most of the world is feeling. And for those of us that are feeling a slight pinch, we're very fortunate and it's good to acknowledge that. But look, we're in a recession. The Atlanta Fed has said as much. We'll talk about what Bullard just got done saying a few hours ago and why I am optimistic for a fourth quarter rebound and a 2023 that I think is going to be historic and very, very profitable.

But first, the recession. I just read your letter that you sent out to subscribers, Nick. I thought it was very well written. You were concise and precise, and I'd love for you to summarize what you told everybody.

Nick Hodge: Well, yeah, I mean, recession is here. And so, the classic definition is two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth along with maybe a slowdown in earnings and in hiring and things like that. And those are already manifesting. So, the Atlanta Fed has come out with their update last week. In fact, they'll have one out today after we get done recording this podcast, but saying that our Q2 GDP is going to be negative. And that, of course, will mean two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth. Hiring has already slowed to an 18-month low. And you can feel it all around you. I mean, people are tightening their belts and we haven't even gotten to corporate earnings yet, which I've been saying are going to be bad.

So, I was looking up the number the other day, because I was writing a monthly issue to see what the S&P earnings growth was in Q2 2021. And it was nearly 90%, right? Because it was being compared to when everyone was locked down in their houses. And so, to put that in comparison this year for Q2 forecasts or for the S&P corporate earnings growth to be less than 5% and they're being reduced down. So, a couple of months ago, it was nearly 6%, and then it was 5% and they just keep going lower and lower. Especially because retailers, primarily, the Targets, the Walmarts of the world have been drastically reducing guidance, which I was writing about a month ago.

So, recession is here in very real terms and it's created a cascading effect in the market. You mentioned the problems of the 1%, the first world problems. We can't make more money just like people can't go out there and ask for increase in wages. But what we can do is sell stock because we're the equity owning class. And so, that begets more selling in the market, which is why I continue to believe that there is more pain ahead for the broader indices. And then, you can really see that in gold, which you mentioned at the top of the podcast, breaking down through the support. We've been saying gold’s held in there all year, it's holding support at $1808 or $1810, or wherever it was, and then boom, right?

Gerardo Del Real: She had to sit down. She's been dancing all year.

Nick Hodge: And very fast. I mean, $20, $30 a day, right? And if you look at that chart, that's actually a scary one, because you can really see how it could get to below $1,700 very quickly. Albeit, I think, that would be brief if it does happen, sort of one of those washouts. But that's just like it was in March 2020. It dipped below $1,500 just for a couple of days. And so, anyway, it's scary out there. People are selling everything that's not nailed down to get their hands on those dollars, which I should also mention, because they're at 20-year highs. You have to go back to the turn of the millennium to see a dollar index at 106 where it is now.

And so, everyone wants as many dollars as they can have to buy groceries for themselves and their kids. My wife sent me a picture today of DiGiorno pizza at Walmart. One DiGiorno pizza, $10, in a northern Idaho Walmart she was in today.

Gerardo Del Real: And probably a smaller $10 Di Giorno pizza.

Nick Hodge: Right. Think of a pizza, what it costs in New York or LA at this point. I mean it's absolutely nuts out there, and I guess I'll stop there. But yeah, we can talk about the next couple of quarters and like you mentioned inflation potentially coming down, but that's the negative part of it, for sure.

Gerardo Del Real: No, I think that's well said. I agree with you that there's likely more pain ahead, especially in the broader indices because of the comps, right? If you're going to go from 84, 85, 86% to 4%, that's a noticeable differential, as some would say. And so, let's get to whether or not, well, let me rephrase that. I think this moment in time with the summer doldrums with gold consolidating and breaking down a little bit with very few bids — and some very desperate asks — in the market, I think this is a spectacular time to be a contrarian. But the catch is you have to be liquid enough to own any stock that you buy today for probably at least three quarters and maybe a year.

And I think, if you're able to do that and have conviction about what you're buying and why you're buying it, I think you'll look like a genius in a year and maybe even in six months. But also, you may look very foolish in a week or two weeks, because that stock could drop another 20 or 30%. And again, it has nothing to do with the underlying fundamentals of the stock. It has a lot to do with overall market sentiment and market psychology is as important when fear is more prevalent than greed. But man, the greed part of my contrarian upbringing really, really likes the prices of some of these stocks.

And we talked off air, Kutcho Copper (TSX-V: KC)(OTC: KCCFF) at C$0.23 cents is an absolute gift, people. An absolute gift. And I could go on. There's a list of about 50 names that are on my radar that are getting very, very attractive. So yeah, dollar index at 106, 107, that's something we talked about before. That thesis took out a little bit longer to play out than I thought it would. I knew it would eventually because when everything gets a little bit oversold, people rush into dollars for a little bit, they rush into gold. I actually think they'll continue to rush into gold. Though, it wouldn't surprise me to see gold dip to the low $1,700, high $1,680, $1,685, that level there. If you breach that, you made a very good case in your letter today for a quick drop down to the $1,500 level. And look, the last time that happened is when we got the coiled spring slingshot to new all-time high shortly thereafter. So, would that be the worst thing in the world? Probably not. Unless you really need to sell gold.

And if you really need to sell anything over the next couple of months, you probably want to do that sooner rather than later. And we've been preaching this for months. You've been preaching this and doing it in your personal accounts for months. I think, maybe, for the last six months, if I'm not mistaken. Starting with, you taking your money back from the fund managers that were not outperforming, I'll be polite.

And so, look, it just really depends on your timeline right now, folks. Do you need money in the next two or three months? And do you have to sell stock in order to get there? If that's the case, I would just go ahead and raise it now and give yourself the tranquility to enjoy the rest of your summer. But if you don't need the money, if you don't need to sell stock and you're actually in a position to be able to add to some of your positions that are probably down 50%, 60% from all time highs or recent highs. Oh man, again, my contrarian heart smiles at the current scenario.

Nick Hodge: Tranquilo, tranquilo. I guess, the one thing I didn't mention was the commodities have sort of fallen off a cliff as well. I didn't mention copper, which has quickly gone from nearly $5 in March to well below $4 here in July, down something like a third from those March highs and 26% just in the past month alone. And that's one of the reasons the Kutcho Coppers of the world have sold off like they have. We've been saying that gold stocks are not gold. Well, that holds true for copper stocks are not copper. It's sort of the same thing. So, if you've got copper down a third, you've got copper stocks that are down by half, even the big ones, right? The Eros (NYSE: ERO) of the world, for example. It's not been fun to own those.

And at the same time, like you said, if you can have a timeframe that goes out beyond three, six, nine months, then it makes sense. I've got stink bids in, some of which are getting hit, for some of those commodity related stocks. And what else did I want to mention? I guess I want to talk about Bitcoin just for one second. Back over $21,000 today, I was pecking away a little bit over the past week or so while you were gone. Like I say, want to get to that whole Bitcoin and can still see a future where Bitcoin plays a significant role in the financial system. So, don't forget about your cryptos either, I guess, is what I would say.

But going back to commodities in general, the one thing that I failed to mention in the first part of the answer to the question you posed is every single commodity in the CRB index is down over the past month, except for the Lean Hogs that was what I was writing about today. And so, you name it. I mean, whether it's soft commodities like soybeans and sugar or orange juice or silver or nickel or aluminum, I mean, they're down across the board over the past month and that's not giving people the warm-and-fuzzies about the market.

And so, the last time we recorded this podcast, we were saying that we were in the middle of a relief rally or a bear market rally. And that definitely continues to be the case. You've got the S&P not breaking out to higher highs. And so, I was shorting tech stocks again today in my personal account, for example. And again, I just don't think we're out of the woods yet.

Should Your Financial Newsletter Editor Be Rich?

Gerardo Del Real: I think this is a perfect time to get to that question that I posed and that you actually posed for this week's topic list, which we scramble to fill in five minutes before we get on here everybody. Should your newsletter editor, that's giving you advice, be rich, right? Because let me just say one thing really quick. It's not getting easier out there to pick winning stocks. It wasn't a spat because it was just somebody saying my name. They say a lot of names and I could care less about that person. I wish that person all the best and all the reciprocity in the world.

But I had received a not too kind note from another fellow writer back when Almaden Minerals (NYSE: AAU)(TSX: AMM) got its permit denied. This is from a person that had never visited the project, never talked to the locals, never went down there. They just had an axe to grind, and for whatever reason felt attaching my name to his was something that was worthwhile for him, and it isn't for me. So, I'm not going to say his name. But the bottom line is when that happened, it never feels good as somebody that's recommending stocks and somebody that still loves that deposit and loves that company. And actually, got a very favorable decision this past week, being given access to UNICEF and working together with UNICEF as a model project moving forward, which again speaks to the community service and the social license. And now, there's a process to where I think they're going to be able to get that permit.

But look, Rio2 (TSX-V: RIO), the reason I brought up the nameless gentleman, Rio2 recently got his permit denied. And I really like that company. I really like the management. I really like that asset. But I bring it up not to poke, just simply to say, even if you know what you're doing, and even if you're a competent stock picker and the fundamentals are great, permitting is not getting easier in countries around the world where traditionally, it was getting better for a time. And even in countries where it's been friendly in the past, it's getting harder.

So, I say all that to say and to answer the question, you answered it briefly for me, because you're still buying certain things. So, my answer to that question that you posed Nick is, rich or not, there's still a way to make money in this market if you identify that timeline. And if there's writers or advisors or people out there that are screaming, there's nothing to do and there's just nothing but money to lose right now. That to me, is more of a red flag than whether or not my editor is rich.

Now, I'll preface that by saying that, look, if he or she's been doing this for over 10 years and they haven't been able to figure out how to get rich, you probably should be listening to that person, right? Because you can be a new mechanic and not know what you're doing, but my God after year 10 you better know how to change that fucking tire and you better know how to check my sensor or I'm not coming to you for car advice anymore. And so, the same with your newsletter editors, folks and the people that advise you. If after several years of bull markets, bear markets, resource cycle peaks, resource cycle bottoms — if that person still hasn't figured out how to play those and make money for the long haul, then maybe you shouldn't be listening to them. So that would be my answer. Take it away, Mr. Hodge.

Nick Hodge: So, a couple of things, I guess. One is, it's been really easy to make money for a decade, right? And so, when the entire market was going straight up from 2009 to 2020, up to 2022, anyone could have a letter and then put advice out there and stocks would go up because all stocks were going up for that time period. And so, what's changed over the past 10 years is, one, now everybody's got a microphone and a camera and can put out a letter or a product or a video or whatever it is. But the other thing you've seen is that, I think the consumers are getting smarter, they're able to separate maybe a little bit the wheat from the chaff and the cream is beginning to rise to the top as it relates to newsletter editors and the products that are successful.

So, let me pick on Agora first. A lot of their products have guru editors, right? Guys that are on TV, on Shark Tank or guys who have written books. But what a lot of people don't know is that they aren't writing the letters week to week or month to month and they may not necessarily be picking the stocks. There's a co-editor or some assistant editor that is doing that. And that person is a nine to five salary person who may or may not be rich. I'm not going to throw a blanket over top of all the divisions over there, but just one thing to be cognizant of. It was much more about the marketing, coming up with marketing strategies than offering true investment strategies on the whole, again, not all the divisions.

And then, what really set me down this path is I saw a podcast or a video from another publisher head addressing this question, should your editor be rich? And it's because he employs a lot of editors who aren't rich. So, he felt defensive and the need to address this question. And his answer didn't make one lick of sense. His analogy was this...

Think about if you go to the gym and you hire a personal trainer, he said, why is that person not a professional bodybuilder? Or why is that person not a professional athlete? But like the copy that comes out of that place where that publisher publishes is completely a non-sequitur, right? Because your personal trainer doesn't have to be a professional athlete or professional bodybuilder, but they do have to be in physical shape, which would be the true analogy to make. And if that's the true analogy, then yes, your newsletter editor has to be wealthy, right? He doesn't have to be a professional money manager. We know some of those guys don't kill it all the time.

Gerardo Del Real: Most of them.

Nick Hodge: He doesn't have to be a hedge fund manager, but he does have to be wealthy and have made a lot of money from investing, which newsletter editors at that company don't make. And so, he made a wrongheaded analogy because his newsletter editors aren't rich. And so, just the caveat emptor out there, right? And look, I was a 22-year old kid once that was picking solar stocks. That was easy. Like you said, the mechanic starting out doesn't know shit. Well, I was the guy starting out in 2007, 2008 that didn't know shit, but I learned shit, right? I didn't just gravel around for 10 years. And then, and I'm still whatever, driving the same car or making the same salary and just taking my yearly increases or whatever.

No, I went out there and made millions of dollars in the stock market. And so, if your newsletter editor hasn't done that, can't show you how he or she has done that, and isn't doing that for you, then certainly, it's time to re-evaluate. And like I say, a lot of products are going by the wayside here lately because investors and consumers are figuring it out. And just to twist the knife a little bit more, I'm completely proud of the refund rate that we have. It's among the lowest in the industry. I know because I've seen other people's refund rates. And so, keeping subscribers happy is one of the names of the game. And I think ours are thoroughly happy from the low amount of refunds that I see coming through.

Gerardo Del Real: And look, frankly, being able to deliver triple digit wins in this resource bear market, which make no mistake, we're in a resource bear market. It's going to prove very profitable for us. But if you can have a couple of Critical Elements Lithium (TSX-V: CRE)(OTC: CRECF), like you've had, or a couple of Patriot Battery Metals (CSE: PMET)(OTC: PMETF)... or if you were able to buy Nevada Sunrise Gold (TSX-V: NEV) at 3 cents or 5 cents or even 10 cents here recently. To be able to do that in this market and also see a runway towards much higher prices once the overall markets do have better sentiment attached to them, then you can feel comfortable in having a position that's down 50%.

Most of my biggest wins at some point, including Patriot Battery Metals, where I wrote multiple checks and then watched the price drift lower. We're down 50% at one point. Heck, it's down 50% from recent highs. Now, again, mind you, I started at 16 cents, worked all the way up to $4.50. It's down now to the $2.30, $2.35 level. I could care less because the shares I have, I don't plan on selling. I see the path towards $5 than $10 and in a better market, even $20 a share. And so, the market and time is my friend, because I can afford to add to that position if I choose to at prices that I think are an absolute gifted current level.

So, that's different from someone that may have to sell shares of Patriot right now, in order to meet their monthly or weekly or even daily commitments. And so, define your timeline. And yeah, back to the newsletter editor, whether they should be rich or not. If they've been doing it for more than five years folks, they should at least be able to show some progress. And look, it doesn't even have to just be in the stock market. Pick an asset class, right? If it's Bitcoin, if it's crypto, if it's real estate, I mean, I don't want to toot our own horn too much, but we haven't just done it with stocks. Let's be absolutely clear.

You've done it with publishing, Nick. You've done it with real estate. I've done it with real estate. I've done it with stocks. And so, we just had one of the best bull markets across all asset classes in the history of the world. If a bull market in all asset classes, whether it's comic books, sex toys, posters, crypto stocks, real estate. If you weren't able to make money in that market, let me tell you something, baby: You're not going to make money in any market, because it's not going to get any easier here in the next couple of months.

Nick Hodge: Long sex toys is a great name for a podcast or a band.

Ghislaine Maxwell Gets Off Easy

Gerardo Del Real: Can we add it to Bizarro World? The Bizarro World Long Sex Toy Podcast. It'll be a different kind of therapy actually. I'll tell you that much. Speaking of sex toys, let's talk about Ghislaine Maxwell and R Kelly. I'll be brief. Look, I don't think there is a lot to get to here. I think I have voiced my displeasure with the fact that in the case of Ms. Maxwell, who just was sentenced to 20 years for child sex trafficking, I know people who have served more than 20 years of prison time for engaging in conversations about drugs, right? It's called conspiracy. How you get 20 years — just 20 years — for child sex trafficking and also are allowed to get off without cooperating, given the names of anybody that was involved. And again, everybody knows how I feel about informants that are allowed to commit crimes and informants that are given the green light by our government with taxpayer dollars like yours truly to go and cause chaos to further a government cause. I hate informants that are that kind, the not accountable kind.

But as it relates to anything having to do with sex trafficking, child sex trafficking, pedophilia, give them the deal that you need to give them to go get the other 100 or 50 or 30 or 20 people that were involved. In this case, we all know that because of the wealth and stature of a lot of the people that were involved, there wasn't a lot of pressing. And speaking of pressing, the press is guilty for not being more outraged. There's outrage about everything. I hear Tucker Carlson's stupid ass on TV every day. He's mad right now because he thinks the reason that males are shooting shit up like they did in Highland Park and like they did in Uvalde, is because women aren't pandering enough to the males and they got these bottled up frustrations and boom, boom, boom, boom. "I'm just going to kill everybody because my wife won't talk to me nicely. My girlfriend won't talk to me nicely." Are you fucking serious, Tucker Carlson? What is wrong with you and the people who listen to these people? I digress. I digress. But back to the thing with Ghislaine Maxwell and R Kelly. In both those cases, R Kelly was sentenced to 30 years. Ghislaine Maxwell was sentenced to 20...

Nick Hodge: Let's make a point that  that's more than she got for an international child sex ring with the highest-ranking members of society.

Gerardo Del Real: And that was going to be the next point. And with R Kelly, there were at least some names that were disclosed and other people that are at least under investigation and other people that are going to be arrested for facilitating it. I don't understand how we allow ourselves as a country here in America for those listening from a broader somewhere else. We allow ourselves to be so outraged by what the media tells us. We're supposed to be outraged about males not being catered to enough by women. And somehow, being able to segue into saying that's maybe a cause of why these young men have mental health issues.

In Highland Park, which is 40 minutes from where I just came back from visiting family, shooting stuff up in broad daylight in the morning at a 4th of July parade with kids, grandparents, and parents. There's so much more to be angry about that's valid. This is insane to me. This is insane to me, the lack of accountability, the lack of outrage. And frankly, the lack of pushing back by the media, which picks the craziest things to be outraged about, and the people that follow them, right?

Nick Hodge: Well, none dare call it conspiracy, Gerardo. I mean, there's a reason that the scapegoating is now nearly complete, right? They put that thing, the Ghislaine thing to bed very nicely, right? One person hung himself in a jail cell. And the other one is going to go quietly away, as you say, without giving up names precisely because of who was involved there. And there's a couple of journalists that have done some great work. And there was a one that put out a great Twitter thread. I don't recall the gentleman's name, but I have to find it and put a link up about why some of the reasons why we may never learn the absolute truth.

And they range from the people being as connected as they were. We're talking here about prime ministers and princes of large countries all the way to, going back to your rant on informants, the fact that law enforcement may have known about this and was using them as informants for some other things. And so, we may never know. But the fact that people aren't more outraged and it doesn't get more press is truly incredible. And again, I would point back to who is truly in charge, right? The insiders of the world. And then, you mentioned not having to give anyone else up.

For many other crimes, you got to talk or you're offered a deal, right? And so, I was just reading a story today about Oregon wildlife crimes. People who are trafficking endangered species or endangered plants and things like that. And one of the new requirements in these cases is hours of community service. But the hours of community service are with a researcher. And you have to tell the researcher how you traffic the animals and the plants. We're doing this for animals and plants, but not for young women who were raped and trafficked over the course of years. And so, I mean, try to rectify that in your mind, I dare you because you fucking can't.

Gerardo Del Real: And then here in America, we're passing laws to not allow victims of sexual assault that end up being impregnated, the opportunity to terminate the pregnancy even if it's within the first couple of months. It's absolutely bat shit, crazy.

Nick Hodge: Even a 10-year-old I saw in the past week.

Gerardo Del Real: Just fucking heartbreaking and infuriating. And Tucker Carlson's main point, because I follow him because it's good to see what they were saying.

Nick Hodge: You got that contrarian stream, sure.

Gerardo Del Real: His most important topic of the day, it's July the seventh folks, you can look it up. I'm not making this stuff up. He's outraged at Nancy Pelosi's cleavage because how dare a 70 something year old woman, who I personally don't care much fo,r how dare she have cleavage or tits that you can see with your eyes.

Nick Hodge: He should show his balls. I'm sure they're nice and tan. Do you remember that?

Gerardo Del Real: We talked about that. We talked about that. You mentioned journalists that have done a great job on the Epstein case. The one for me that has been an absolute superstar and broke the case tenaciously is a Miami Herald reporter.

Nick Hodge: That's right.

Gerardo Del Real: Julie K. Brown. For those of you that are on social media, @jkbjournalist. Phenomenal, phenomenal writer, just an absolute beast of a researcher, tenacious, was ignored for years and she's largely responsible for anybody being brought to justice and stopping this child sex trafficking ring that now two people have been held accountable for. She's got a new book, I'll plug it here just because she's done such amazing work. She should have a new book. It's called The Perversion of Justice and it's the first hand accounting up close look at what it took for her to expose Epstein and his crime. So, look that up, very worthwhile. She's a great follow on Twitter. She also does very, very, very good investigative research. So, yeah, I got to shout out the good stuff out there too, not just the Tuckers of the world.

Nick Hodge: Sure. There was another one. I can't find it right now, but I will find it and I'll post it somewhere.

Gun Laws & Policing Are Broken
Gerardo Del Real: Let's talk about something that people should be more outraged about. The Highland Park shooter, 21-year-old, killed six. I believe a seventh died. Dozens injured. I was in Chicago. Actually, I was just outside of Chicago. I was in Poplar Grove when this broke and he was still on the loose, right? And he had ties to Rockford, Illinois, which is a 10-minute drive from Poplar Grove where I was visiting family.

And look, this is a gentleman, this is a guy. This is an asshole that had threatened to stab his own family members. And it was so serious that they had to hide all the knives. This is a guy that had made threats against partners in the past, girlfriends in the past. And somehow, the dad still thought that it was a great idea to sponsor his ownership of firearms card, that he was stable enough. He wrote a letter endorsing that card because in Illinois you need that endorsement in order to be able to go ahead and carry safely and carry legally.

And somehow after having to call law enforcement to report the domestic violence, which by the way, researchers have done brilliant work on how people, especially males with domestic violence histories tend to be disproportionately high in the amount of violent crimes that they commit with weapons of the caliber of what this asshole used, which again was an assault rifle. And so, I say all that to say, you can set up all the red flags.

Chicago's got and Illinois has some of the strictest gun laws in the country. They still provide a legal pathway to have responsible gun ownership. But then, we have the Indianas of the world next door where you can go buy a hundred guns at a gun show without showing an ID sometimes and drive right back to Chicago, an hour, an hour and a half later.

And then you have fathers, like this kid's father, and I'm not blaming him for the shooting, but there should be some accountability there on parents, friends. Just like the Uvalde shooting. That kid had told several friends that he was threatening to shoot the school up. There were texts that were released that were saying, "I wouldn't want to go to school, any school today." And it was serious enough for people and kids to say, "I didn't want to go." We have to do a better job as just citizens on acting and reporting on some of this stuff. And helping prevent some of this stuff. And there is no one solution folks.

We've talked about guns in this country. We've talked about owning them safely. We've talked about the mental health crisis, the lack of emphasis on treating mental health. But we're really failing at the most basic level of everything right now, it seems like. Whether it's the economy and inflation, whether it's immigration and the way we pursue that, whether it's criminal justice, and that's what it's becoming, criminal justice or just the amount of mass shootings in America. Which again, folks, is a uniquely American problem. Not shootings in general, but just the amount of mass shootings, the frequency that we have here, it's not even close.

If I showed you a chart, you would wish that you own the stock of frequency of mass shootings in America compared to any other country in the world, by far. If I showed you a chart and I said, "Hey, these are the stocks. These are the charts of the stocks, which one do you want to own over the next 12 months?" You would point at that chart every time — the chart of America and the frequency of mass shootings in America. As a society, we just got to care more. We have to be more empathetic. We have to be more thoughtful. And it's going to take everybody to make a dent.

I don't want to be a person that if I'm a responsible assault rifle owner has to turn that in, but we can't keep doing the same thing. And I feel I'm saying the same thing every week. Because every time I go away for a week, there's a mass shooting.

Nick Hodge: Week in and week out. And then, you have one shooting in Europe and it gets more headlines than the four or five mass shootings that go down in the US on a weekend or weekly basis. That sort of points back to the Ghislaine thing we were just talking about, right? Watch what the press covers, and more importantly, what the press doesn't cover to see what the narrative is that they're trying to feed you. So quick on Uvalde, the police chief has finally stepped down. Thank goodness. He was taking a leave of absence, I think last time we were talking. And now, he has resigned. He said that he didn't know that he was in charge.

And then, I was reading yesterday that we got the initial full report of what went down that day. And there was a police officer with a rifle who requested to shoot the guy before he went into the school and didn't get a response.

Gerardo Del Real: He had him locked in.

Nick Hodge: And didn't get a response, right? And yet, you got a black guy running in Akron, Ohio that gets 60 bullets into his body. So, it's not that they're unwilling to shoot. Lord knows the cops want to kill People.

Gerardo Del Real: With no gun in his hand, that kid, by the way. He didn't have a weapon. He did have a weapon, but not in his hand and it wasn't on his body.

Nick Hodge: It sounded like he shot from the car. So, I'm not letting him off the hook by any means. What I'm saying is, those cops pumped 60 bullets into him. While in Texas, they watched a guy walk into a school with a fucking assault rifle, right? Shoot that guy, right? I don't understand. Again, try to rectify that in your brain. And then, the other thing I was thinking about was just the tribalism and the dogma with which people approach these topics. You say there's no one solution. We've talked about some of the solutions, enhanced background checks for people under 21. This was again, a young kid, like you say.

And then, you've got people like Kamala who go and give a speech talking about banning assault weapons. That's not going to fucking happen, Miss Harris. Let's have some middle ground here and let's not try to be completely, not juxtaposed, but on complete opposite ends of the spectrum. You're never going to come to the middle and actually solve things that way. And so, I just think that sort of tribalism, dogmatic approach has to end. And I was going to talk about Wall Street Silver, but it's not the time for that. Because the same thing.

Well, I am going to talk about it. Because the same thing happens in the markets. You get people who are, and this sort of relates to the newsletter editors being rich who have to talk their book all the time. Like Schiff, “gold's always going to the moon and Bitcoin's crashing.” And look what happened to Mr. Schiff this week. Or you have things like WallStreetBets who come out the ether last year, amid this whole meme stock thing. And it's “silver to the moon, silver to the moon, and all these memes about things.” Well, you know what? Silver is down 25 fucking percent since you started telling people to buy silver.

Nick Hodge: So, these people who are always dogmatic and who always have the same approach and who always talk their book, that's not the way to approach anything. Investments, life philosophy, worldview, solving problems. You have to be flexible and be able to change your mind when the facts merit it. And we're just at a point now where I don't see a lot of people doing that, no matter what it relates to.

Gerardo Del Real: Here's a cool headline. You want to hear it? "Boris Johnson was forced to resign this week." And I believe this is another fourth turning event. I think it's the first of many to come, by the way. Politicians that are just completely finally forced to have some dignity and do what's best for their country. It took a lot for Mr. Johnson to do that. It took his whole staff, basically, quitting on him after infidelity scandals, after finding out that one of his top people was accused of sexually harassing a female colleague, he went on to promote him. Then he went on to lie about the fact that he knew about it. Then he admitted it, but said, "Well, hey look, I've gotten away with everything else."

So, what does this guy do? He just resigned as UK Prime Minister and he's going to join a crypto startup. I can't make it up. I can't make this stuff up. It's not called Bizarro World for a reason. We're on episode, what is it? 175, 176.

Nick Hodge: 176.

Gerardo Del Real: 176. I think, we've taken maybe three or four off during the course of the last three, four years or what have you. It gets odder and weirder and just crazier every fucking month. It's a bit tiring. It's somewhat amusing. It's a bit scary for those that aren't ready for what's coming because I see a global reset of almost every institution out there. And you know what? It's probably a good thing because the current ones are failing everybody but the very rich who can still get away with running an international child sex trafficking ring and get less time than somebody with 10 grams of crack might get. It's a crazy bizarre world out there, folks.

Nick Hodge: It's a clown show, man.

The Inertia of Lithium & Uranium 

Gerardo Del Real: It's a clown show. Let's go back to the markets really quick. I've made no secret that I think in the next three to six months, I think lithium and uranium are going to be the place to be as far as the first sectors that are going to really start to outperform when market sentiment gets better. And I think in those specific sectors, it'll get better for the lithium and uranium names sooner just because of the robust underlying fundamentals and how out of balance the supply demand fundamentals are.

Gerardo Del Real: And I think, the amount of headlines that are going to come from those sectors, but I've also made no secret with the fact that I think, the precious metal stocks, specifically gold, later on in the year will also start to break out. And I think the gold price breaks out and everybody knows I think new all-time eyes are coming and eventually we'll have another historic run here in the not too distant future. But you had an interesting note there about, is lithium being replaced? And there was a keynote by Robert Friedland who of course is no stranger to the battery metals and no strangers to massive discoveries and no stranger to getting ahead of a cycle really early in the cycle and getting very, very wealthy off of it. And so, I wanted to let you kind of touch on that a bit, Nick, and I'd love to hear your take.

Nick Hodge: First, back to newsletter editors. I keep seeing these promotions about “lithium is dying” or “this battery's going to replace lithium, you got to buy now." And it's like no, you gotta sell your newsletters, that's why you keep putting that out. But nothing's replacing lithium at least for the next 10 to 15 years. You've got these gigafactories that have been built across the world at sunk costs in the high billions, if not trillions of dollars. And it's just the chemistry that we've got right now. Do we need new battery chemistries? Yes, as Mr. Friedland was saying in that keynote, but no way to get them perfected, tested, and the supply chain is built to make any significant dent in displacing lithium-nickel-cobalt batteries in the next 10 to 15 years. So, I guess first Benchmark Intelligence. Let me start there with their...

Gerardo Del Real: Phenomenal work.

Nick Hodge: The refuting of the Goldman Sachs report, the short report on lithium that was out a couple of weeks ago, and them just saying, "That's total bullshit, right?" I mean, you're not going to have supply come online, even if the PFSs and the PEAs say that it's coming. And this is what Robert Friedland was saying. And we know this, it's just we got to keep saying it right. Mine's take years to come online. I mean, they take years to prove up, to de-risk, to get financed and...

Gerardo Del Real: And to get permitted.

Nick Hodge: Absolutely. And so, you've got car companies now going up upstream. Not necessarily owning or wanting to mine lithium, but Tesla's (NASDAQ: TSLA) taken stakes in lithium producers and now Ford (NYSE: F) has done the same in an Australian producer. And you're going to see absolutely more of that. He was saying in the talk that if these global car companies Toyota, Volvo, Kia, Ford, GM, whatever, call up their battery manufacturer, Panasonic, Sony, whoever it is, and say, "I want X amount of batteries." They say, "Okay, we'll keep that in mind." 

Gerardo Del Real: Cool story, bro.

Nick Hodge: Yeah. If there's 10 automakers at the table, only two of them are getting their orders filled, right? And so, that's pretty much it. I mean the lithium price is up 400%-500% in the past year. I mean, it's not going to come down any time soon. And I find myself looking at even the producers, not just the Patriot Batteries, not just the Critical Elements, which you mentioned Nevada Sunrise, which is onto a potential new discovery. But even the Allkems (TSX: AKE) of the world and the Albemarles (NYSE: ABL), I mean, these are stocks that are going to supply literally what is the new gasoline. And then, I guess it's worth mentioning the penetration of battery electric vehicles so far. It's 1% of cars in the US.

And so, if you've got 220 some million cars or 250 million cars in the US, and less than 1% penetration so far… I was talking to my father-in-law about this who was in town recently. People just, they don't understand. They don't think about this. Where is that lithium going to come from? And it's not from recycling and it's not we're going to replace the battery. It's the mines that you and I, and our subscribers own and the companies that are discovering and exploring for that lithium now. I mean, that's pretty freaking clear to me that we're the lithium barons of the 21st century.

Gerardo Del Real: I'm very proud of us, Nick. Oh, free name for everybody out there. Lithium Americas (NYSE: LAC), which is right in that sweet spot, right in between, becoming a producing major, I think that'll happen soon. And still not be in there and rightfully so, not priced as one of those. But the recent pullback there, that's another gift for all of you out there. But I was going to say, I'm really proud of us. We took a week off, we're back, we're refreshed. We're busy, but we managed to get long sex toys and not just one, but two penetrations into the podcast. And I can't think of a better way to end it than with long sex toys and two penetrations. Do you have anything to add to that?

Nick Hodge: No, I won't even look at the list. I'm sure there's plenty more to talk about. Actually, I do want to mention just one thing. I'm sorry. I'll see if I can work the sex toys back into it, but...

Gerardo Del Real: And the penetration, those two penetrations.

Jason Ravnsborg Reveals the Good Ol’ Boy Network

Nick Hodge: Do you remember Jason Ravnsborg? The attorney general from South Dakota. Do you remember the story from two years ago?

Gerardo Del Real: The guy that hit the guy? That guy?

Nick Hodge: And said it was a deer, but the guy's glasses were like on the front seat of his car and he called his buddy the sheriff. 

Gerardo Del Real: Windshield was busted and yeah. The guy's ID was in his wallet. I made up bad part guys.

Nick Hodge: No, that wasn't true.

Gerardo Del Real: Pretty damn close.

Nick Hodge: The guy's flashlight was still on the side of the road lit up. And he said he didn't see anything. He didn't know anything. And well, that guy finally got kicked out of office formally. He got impeached. And that was a bipartisan thing. The lead investigator, the guy who was taking his case, as prosecutor said, "We've seen better lies from five-year olds." And he was able to drag this on for two years. The guy's glasses were on his front seat and he said he didn't know he hit a person.

And so, anyway, the truth has come out and he was obviously texting on the phone right before he hit the guy. He was coming back from a late-night fundraising event, wink, wink. You can only imagine what that means. The imbibing that is involved with those sort of things. And so, anyway, he was brought up on charges. He was kicked out of office. But one of the interesting things was, is the good old boy network is just getting blown up in South Dakota. You can imagine what sort of good old boy network exists there. And good old girl network, I should say, because the governor is Kristi Noem who has presidential ambitions in the next cycle.

So, this guy didn't go down without a fight. He started throwing shit like a monkey. And we learned all sorts of things about South Dakota, about how the governor was using her office to get her kid’s real estate licenses that they didn't pass tests for and all sorts of stuff. And now, the governor is on the ropes defending herself and her actions. And so, I just thought that was a brilliant pulling back of the curtain of how these people are in office to enrich themselves, use their office to protect themselves and their families. And aren't really doing much for you, whether that's helping shrink the wealth gap or improving upward mobility or prosecuting people who rape your daughters. I mean, it's as simple as that.

Gerardo Del Real: Think about that folks. In America, which prides itself and it's still a great country. It's still chock-full of opportunity. But in America that prides itself on law and order and acknowledging and respecting the right to life. It takes two years for a person that was run over by an elected official that had his glasses inside the vehicle, broken windshield. And anybody that looked for one minute could have seen the guy was texting right around the time that this accident happened. It took two years, not for that person to receive justice, just for that person to be pushed out of office so he can't continue to pass law in America. That's the state of corruption in the United States of America in 2022. Mind you, charges have not been brought up or stuck. There still has been no justice for that person. And man, do I wish that guy all the reciprocity in the world as well.

Nick Hodge: That's it. Sorry, you didn't get to end on your joke. I'm sorry.

Gerardo Del Real: I'll reload for next week. We'll figure it out.

Nick Hodge: There you go. There you go.

Gerardo Del Real: It's great to be back. Everybody needed this one. I am Gerardo Del Real along with Mr. Nick Hodge. This was episode 176 of Bizarro World. We'll see you next week everybody. Promise to keep them coming.

Nick Hodge: See ya.