Jim Rickards, an economist and lawyer who has been peddling newsletters for Agora for a couple years, has a new ad out for his Strategic Intelligence newsletter that tries, as so many have for the past five years, to lather readers up into a panic about the imminent demise of the U.S. Dollar.
And, of course, it’s a newsletter ad — so there has to be a deadline. There’s no urgency to sign up unless they tell you that this huge opportunity will only last until a specific date… and without urgency, of course, we’re free to wander off and think about other things. Just like car salesmen frantically try to get you not to you leave the dealership by throwing their “best deal” at you and saying the car you like may be gone tomorrow, newsletter pitchmen are panicked that you might click away from their ad without buying. The customer who waits to think things over is much less likely to buy.
And the deadline this time is September 30 — and Rickards makes it seem even more imminent and “insider-y” by putting a time on it, too:
“This time, and on top of every other pressure our cash already has to face, there’s an exact deadline on the calendar . In a nutshell, it’s an event scheduled for Friday, September 30th.
“By my best estimate, what’s coming will go down around 4 pm.
“And when it does, you’ve got no idea yet how radically this could end up impacting your financial safety.
“Not only could this event gut the U.S. stock market… and cannibalize your retirement savings… but it could ultimately END what we’ve come to know as the American way of life.”
No soft-pedaling there, right? Soft pedaling doesn’t sell newsletters, strong opinions and urgency sell newsletters. Just ask Porter Stansberry about his “End of America” presentation from 2010 and 2011 that predicted riots in the street, food shortages and more as the dollar loses its “reserve currency” status.
As we’ve seen with most “doomsayer” pieces over the past 40 years (Porter’s “End of America” piece was the most aggressively marketed, but there were lots of other people saying much the same thing about the dollar’s demise not only in 2010, but for years before that… and from time to time over the past few years, too), these arguments usually have plenty of reasonable-sounding logic in them and there were and are real risks, not least because the general trend of all “fiat” currencies is to inflate the currency base and gradually erode the value of the currency over time.
But believing in the “fear” message or the specific predictive power of a particular pundit too strongly would have likely led to tremendous opportunity costs for investors who bunkered down and missed out on the big run in stocks, bonds and the US dollar over the past five years. People were already afraid of stocks after the 2008-2009 crash, they were ready to hear the message that “the end is nigh” and hide in the cellar, and that’s not so likely to have worked out well for most of them (depending, of course, on the specific pundit and spiel you’re talking about — but there were a lo