You Can Always Hide in Kazakhstan — Nick Giambruno/Doug Casey

Kazakhstan is gigantic. Over a million square miles – the size of Western Europe, or the U.S. east of the Mississippi – but with only 17 million people. In the east, on its 2,000-mile-long border with China, the Himalayas rise up out of the plains, but most of the country is just vast, desolate grasslands, or steppe. Two-thirds of the people are central Asians – tall, rangy looking Orientals who speak languages in the Turkic group; one third are Russians.
That’s information you can get out of any world atlas, and it’s not worth much, because nothing that everyone knows is worth much. What I want to do is tell you what I think it means. What’s going to happen in Central Asia in the near term and long term, and what you may want to do about it.
My friend Rick Maybury coined the term “Chaostan” for this whole part of the world. It’s populated by dozens of tribes and ethnic groups, most of them ex-nomads speaking different languages.
Perversely, the main things tying them together are a veneer of Soviet culture and the Russian language. And one other thing: an ingrained dislike of Russians. These folks have just never learned to appreciate the Russians conquering them, purging them, taxing them, destroying their indigenous cultures, and drafting them for their armies. They rather resent having been used as pawns in what used to be known as “The Great Game,” which was largely played between the Russians and the British in the 19th century.

This post was published at International Man

Gold and Silver Are “Asymmetric” Trades

An asymmetric trade is a situation where investing a relatively small amount of money holds the potential of yielding a profit many times the amount of the original sum at risk. In other words, where the risk to reward is skewed massively in the direction of reward.
This took place recently with Bitcoin (BTC). Is this conceptually different from bets made years ago on Microsoft, Cisco, Amazon, or Facebook, which yielded hundreds of percent profit to intrepid investors? Does it have relevance to the possible returns during the next few years for those who hold physical gold and silver?
I would answer “yes” and “yes.”
The current “mania” in the cryptocurrency space – most notably BTC and Ethereum (ETH), along with a few other “app coins” – offers an in-future lesson for a similar setup in the precious metals. (For more on the above topic, see “The Blockchain: A Gold and Silver Launchpad?”
First: This may be the first time ever that an investment “story” has had the ear and investment dollars of a global audience on a simultaneous basis. Individual investors, hedge funds, businesses, and even countries, are sending a torrent of funds, with the effect, to paraphrase Doug Casey’s famous remark, of “trying to push the power of the Hoover Dam through a garden hose.”

This post was published at GoldSeek on Friday, 23 June 2017.