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Claudio Grass

Claudio Grass

Claudio Grass is a passionate advocate of free-market thinking and libertarian philosophy. Following the teachings of the Austrian School of Economics he is convinced that sound money and human freedom are inextricably linked to each other. He is one of the founders of GoldAndLiberty.com.

Articles by Claudio Grass

US election: Red flags for investors

1 day ago

Part II of II
Outlook and wider impact
As showcased during the debates and in the entire campaign rhetoric, politicians in the US but also in Europe, are solely focused on promoting solutions that only serve to paper over the problems and address the symptoms of the disease. From “covid checks” to rent relief, and everything in between, all their proposed “fixes” are only providing some temporary breathing room to those millions of citizens affected by the economic shutdown and ongoing restrictions that they imposed and most of them continue to support. These proposals and measures are all short-sighted and superficial, and do nothing to solve structural problems. In fact, they exacerbate and perpetuate them. For instance, a worker that lost his job because his

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US election: Red flags for investors

4 days ago

Part II of II

Outlook and wider impact

As showcased during the debates and in the entire campaign rhetoric, politicians in the US but also in Europe, are solely focused on promoting solutions that only serve to paper over the problems and address the symptoms of the disease. From “covid checks” to rent relief, and everything in between, all their proposed “fixes” are only providing some temporary breathing room to those millions of citizens affected by the economic shutdown and ongoing restrictions that they imposed and most of them continue to support. These proposals and measures are all short-sighted and superficial, and do nothing to solve structural problems. In fact, they exacerbate and perpetuate them. For instance, a worker that lost his job because his employer was

Read More »

US election: Red flags for investors

6 days ago

Part I of II

The implications of the upcoming US election are obviously very important not just for American citizens, investors and ordinary savers, but for the rest of the world too. Economic, fiscal and monetary developments and trends that take place in the US influence the global economy in a major way, and the policies that are adopted there often come to define the rest of the West. After all, central planners in general tend to think alike and seek to confirm their own misbeliefs and biases through the actions of their peers. Any attempt to describe and properly capture the level of political division, social friction and infighting within the American society, especially since the start of this year, will probably result in an understatement. It is clear by now that the

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Tyrants Are Waging War Against Their Own Citizens

14 days ago

As [D] Mayor de Blasio shuts down schools and restaurants in NYC yet AGAIN, and as cops in Australia arrest women on beaches for traveling outside of 5 KM from their homes, it’s clear that tyrants around the world are openly waging war against their own people. Claudio Grass joins me to discuss.
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You cannot print your way to prosperity – Part II
Looking at the damage inflicted upon supply chains, production facilities and global trade in particular, how quickly could these operations snap back even if all COVID-related restrictions were lifted tomorrow? Do you think we’ll eventually get back to business as usual, or have we now experienced a permanent shift to a “new normal”?

Read More »

Tyrants Are Waging War Against Their Own Citizens

15 days ago

As [D] Mayor de Blasio shuts down schools and restaurants in NYC yet AGAIN, and as cops in Australia arrest women on beaches for traveling outside of 5 KM from their homes, it’s clear that tyrants around the world are openly waging war against their own people. Claudio Grass joins me to discuss.

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Switzerland – The safest haven from the Covid storm

19 days ago

Switzerland remains a “special case”

As we now enter fall and the news cycle continues to be dominated by Covid-related stories, the “second wave” and new lockdowns and restrictions being enforced all around the globe, hopes of a swift recovery have by now completely evaporated in all rational investors’ minds. It is clear that this surreal new state of affairs is here to stay, as we all get acquainted with this “new normal” in the way we do business and in our daily lives. What is also most assuredly here to stay is this severe economic downturn, a recession that could very well turn into a depression, as well as the concerted political efforts for more state control, centralization, spending, borrowing and wealth redistribution.

In these unprecedented and unpredictable times,

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We don’t have to kill the king, if we just can ignore the king

25 days ago

“The right of self-determination in regard to the question of membership in a state thus means: whenever the inhabitants of a particular territory, whether it be a single village, a whole district, or a series of adjacent districts, make it known, by a freely conducted plebiscite, that they no longer wish to remain united to the state to which they belong at the time, but wish either to form an independent state or to attach themselves to some other state, their wishes are to be respected and complied with. This is the only feasible and effective way of preventing revolutions and civil and international wars.” (Liberalism, p. 109) Ludwig von Mises
It is time for a radical decentralized thought process on an individual level, on how to protect oneself in the

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We don’t have to kill the king, if we just can ignore the king

26 days ago

“The right of self-determination in regard to the question of membership in a state thus means: whenever the inhabitants of a particular territory, whether it be a single village, a whole district, or a series of adjacent districts, make it known, by a freely conducted plebiscite, that they no longer wish to remain united to the state to which they belong at the time, but wish either to form an independent state or to attach themselves to some other state, their wishes are to be respected and complied with. This is the only feasible and effective way of preventing revolutions and civil and international wars.” (Liberalism, p. 109) Ludwig von Mises

It is time for a radical decentralized thought process on an individual level, on how to protect oneself in the future and to create

Read More »

“The U.S. economy felt like a balloon in search of a needle” – Part II

September 26, 2020

Interview with Robert Mark:
Claudio Grass (CG): In this surreal policy environment, how has the role and the investment process of the value investor evolved, especially over the last decade?  How can one still identify value in a world of subsidized binge borrowing, extreme indebtedness, and stock buybacks? 
Robert Mark (RM): The patriarch of value investing, Ben Graham, once said, “In the short run the market is a voting machine, but in the long run it is a weighing machine.”  As markets have evolved into modern, global electronic exchanges, Graham’s analogy remains true.  Short-term, stock markets are beauty pageants. Speculators continue to vote for the Wall Street darlings. On the other end sits the weighing machine which measures the future earnings of a

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“The U.S. economy felt like a balloon in search of a needle” – Part II

September 24, 2020

Interview with Robert Mark:

Claudio Grass (CG): In this surreal policy environment, how has the role and the investment process of the value investor evolved, especially over the last decade?  How can one still identify value in a world of subsidized binge borrowing, extreme indebtedness, and stock buybacks? 

Robert Mark (RM): The patriarch of value investing, Ben Graham, once said, “In the short run the market is a voting machine, but in the long run it is a weighing machine.”  As markets have evolved into modern, global electronic exchanges, Graham’s analogy remains true.  Short-term, stock markets are beauty pageants. Speculators continue to vote for the Wall Street darlings. On the other end sits the weighing machine which measures the future earnings of a business. As a

Read More »

“The U.S. economy felt like a balloon in search of a needle” – Part I

September 23, 2020

Interview with Robert Mark
As we move deeper and deeper into this covid crisis, more and more people understand that there’s a lot more to fear besides the disease itself. As the economic impact and the full scale of the damage caused by the lockdowns and the shutdowns become undeniable, there are too many questions lacking any sort of convincing answer and the future for so many employees, business owners, investors and ordinary savers seems bleak and uncertain. The one thing that is obvious to all of us by now, is that this crisis is not the like the ones that came before it. The same is true of the government and central bank responses to it and their unprecedented stimulus measures.
It thus inevitable, for seasoned investors and for ordinary citizens alike,

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“The U.S. economy felt like a balloon in search of a needle” – Part I

September 22, 2020

Interview with Robert Mark

As we move deeper and deeper into this covid crisis, more and more people understand that there’s a lot more to fear besides the disease itself. As the economic impact and the full scale of the damage caused by the lockdowns and the shutdowns become undeniable, there are too many questions lacking any sort of convincing answer and the future for so many employees, business owners, investors and ordinary savers seems bleak and uncertain. The one thing that is obvious to all of us by now, is that this crisis is not the like the ones that came before it. The same is true of the government and central bank responses to it and their unprecedented stimulus measures.

It thus inevitable, for seasoned investors and for ordinary citizens alike, to become

Read More »

You cannot print your way to prosperity – Part II

September 10, 2020

Interview with Theodore Deden
Claudio Grass (CG): Looking at the damage inflicted upon supply chains, production facilities and global trade in particular, how quickly could these operations snap back even if all COVID-related restrictions were lifted tomorrow? Do you think we’ll eventually get back to business as usual, or have we now experienced a permanent shift to a “new normal”?
Theodore Deden (TD): Forget about the legal COVID-related restrictions. If it were really just about social distancing, masks and the like, companies would innovate their processes to find ways to deliver. The real hit is on the operational risk side. Because of the virus, those who allocate capital are now forced to consider a whole new palette of scary possibilities.
Consider, for

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You cannot print your way to prosperity – Part II

September 8, 2020

Interview with Theodore Deden

Claudio Grass (CG): Looking at the damage inflicted upon supply chains, production facilities and global trade in particular, how quickly could these operations snap back even if all COVID-related restrictions were lifted tomorrow? Do you think we’ll eventually get back to business as usual, or have we now experienced a permanent shift to a “new normal”?

Theodore Deden (TD): Forget about the legal COVID-related restrictions. If it were really just about social distancing, masks and the like, companies would innovate their processes to find ways to deliver. The real hit is on the operational risk side. Because of the virus, those who allocate capital are now forced to consider a whole new palette of scary possibilities. 

Consider, for example, a

Read More »

You cannot print your way to prosperity – Part I

September 4, 2020

Interview with Theodore Deden

There might be a lot of conflicting opinions and disagreement these days about the right way to get out of this current crisis and to rebuild our economy and our society. One the very few things we can all agree on, however, is that the challenges and the disruptions we’re faced with today are simply unprecedented. There is no blueprint, no known formula for this kind of scenario. 

And yet, while the triggers of this crisis might be very different from the ones we’ve seen before, the effects of it and the precise pressures that it exerts on the economy are not. And while the state and its central bankers might not have the rights tools, or more likely, the will to use them, it doesn’t mean that we, as savers, as investors and as citizens, can do

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Standing at a crossroads

August 31, 2020

“The more we gained knowledge of these new totalitarian systems of mass-rule, the more we realized not only their similarity of structure, but also the fact that we had to do with a type of dominance that had been known in earlier epochs. We discovered that what the ancients called “tyrannis,” or ‘cheirokratia,” what Sulla or the tyrants of the Italian Rennaissance had practised, and what finally alarmed the world in the French Revolution and under Napoleon, had surprisingly many similarities with modern totalitarianism, although this latter had elements with which they cannot be compared, and although it possessed means of domination unknown in past ages.”

Willhelm Röpke

This is an old quote I very much admire, it is as relevant today as it was in the past. History does not

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“Central banks, not elected governments, run the world”

August 25, 2020

Interview with Chris Powell 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve seen many crucial and historic developments in the precious metals market. For long-term physical gold investors, who recognized the importance of the precious metal as a safe haven and as a hedge against systemic and monetary risks, the rally has been especially rewarding, while it has also served as an undeniable vindication of their position. 

Today, with gold having reached historic highs, there are many open questions in the mainstream about why and how we got here and what to expect next. I’ve always believed that, in order to understand the present and get an idea about the future, one must first study the past, as the perspective provided by history is essential and greatly illuminating. This is why

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Gold doing what it does best – Part II

August 18, 2020

Beyond economics 

While the economic forces that drive this rush to precious metals are clearly understandable, there are other, deeper and less obvious factors that must also be taken into account. This “fear of uncertainty”, which pushes demand for gold higher as it has done so many times in the past, is different this time. It goes well beyond mere economic uncertainty and it involves concerns much more serious than just inflation expectations, productivity metrics and unemployment levels. 

It all goes back to the aforementioned “crossing of the Rubicon” by governments and their shocking and aggressive foray into their citizens’ private lives and their household finances. The realization that the state has the power and willingness to prohibit you from engaging in gainful

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Gold doing what it does best – Part I

August 13, 2020

Gold’s stellar performance throughout the pandemic and especially over the last weeks has managed to capture international headlines and dominate expert analyses and commentary. The media frenzy quickly intensified once the precious metal first broke the $2,000 ceiling in early August, a record that was widely covered by mainstream outlets, bringing gold to the attention of the wider public. So far, the rally been described as “exceptional”, “historic” and “extraordinary”, showing how surprised many in the industry were. Personally, it is precisely their surprise that I find surprising.

Reliably predictable and predictably reliable 

Precious metals have so often been attacked and dismissed as an asset class because they offer no yield and mainstream analysts and financial

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A blueprint for a European superstate

July 30, 2020

The EU Pandemic Relief Deal

After intense negotiations, long days and nights of clashes and a distinctly sour note underlying the entire summit, European Union leaders finally agreed on an unprecedented 1.82 trillion-euro ($2.1 trillion) budget and COVID recovery package. This agreement provided €750 billion in funding meant to counter the impact of the pandemic, while it also includes €390bn in non-repayable grants to the hardest-hit members, with Italy and Spain being the main recipients.

The harsh negotiations brought to the surface once again the deep economic, structural and cultural divide between North and South. This divide has been at the core of every serious political and economic crisis in the bloc so far and its reemergence served as yet another reminder of how

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Is the West repeating India’s mistakes? – Part II

July 28, 2020

Interview with Jayant Bhandari

Claudio Grass (CG): In such a vast and incredibly diverse country like India, can top-down measures and centralized policies like affirmative action or caste-based economic incentives effectively force social change and economic equality? Or can they be seen as merely symbolic moves, or perhaps just political maneuvers? 

Jayant Bhandari (JB): The government should get completely out of the business of social engineering. Even under a purely meritocratic system, India would be desperately short of leaders and competent bureaucrats. For example, India needs good doctors. Today, the best doctors emigrate, the second-best work for the Indian private sector, and those who know nothing, who usually get a certificate because of affirmative action

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Is the West repeating India’s mistakes?

July 23, 2020

Interview with Jayant Bhandari: Part I

Following the publication of our last conversation with Jayant Bhandari, I received a lot of interesting feedback and remarks. The common denominator of all those comments was the astonishment of many Western readers at the real conditions and dynamics on the ground in India. In fact, I was surprised myself by how little we actually know and understand about a country so vast, so populous and so potentially influential on the world’s geopolitical stage. The coverage we receive by Western media is often so superficial, ahistorical and frequently biased, that it deceives us into believing we roughly understand the politics and social problems there, when in reality we are entirely clueless. This dangerous illusion of knowledge in turn comes to

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War on poverty, or just war on the poor?

July 16, 2020

As the dust is now begging to settle, both from the heights of the COVID panic and from the riots that shook the western world, we are starting to get an idea about where we stand after this unprecedented and tumultuous time. We are able to begin taking stock of the damage that was inflicted by the lockdowns and to evaluate the governmental efforts to help those affected and to provide support to the economy. More interestingly, we are finally in a position to see clearly who amongst us paid the highest price, who suffered the most and whose livelihood was taken away.

This picture is especially clear in the US, where the numbers speak for themselves. One look at the unemployment figures as seen in the chart below is enough to demonstrate the extent of the damage of the economic

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The attitude should be gratitude

July 3, 2020

During these increasingly polarized times, it is easy for logical debates to give way to emotionally charged shouting matches. Once the idea of free dialogue is gone, riots, destruction and violence are sure to follow, as we’ve seen in almost the entire Western world over the last weeks. However, there is a much more important element at the core of these tensions, that is being overshadowed by the loudest voices and the incendiary media coverage, and this is the value of the Western civilization itself. 

Attacks against Western values, ideas and even the Enlightenment itself, have been around for decades, but up until recently, they had been largely contained in academia and in the fringes of civil society, only rarely escaping to the “real world” and inflicting actual damage.

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The COVID Crisis Supercharged the War on Cash

June 30, 2020

The corona crisis has already taken a very high toll and caused deep damage in our societies and our economies, the extent of which is yet to become apparent. We have seen its impact on productivity, on unemployment, on social cohesion and on political division. However, there is another very worrying trend that has been accelerated under the veil of fear and confusion that the pandemic has spread. The war on cash, already underway for almost a decade, has been drastically intensified over the last few months.
The “Problem”
Over the last years, and as the war on cash has escalated, we’ve gotten used to hearing certain arguments or “reasons” why we should all abandon paper money and move en masse to an exclusively digital economy. These talking points have been

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“The illusions of Keynesianism create a morally corrupt society” – Part II

June 26, 2020

Part I can be found here
Claudio Grass (CG): Overall, apart from the obvious economic consequences of the crisis, do you also see geopolitical and social ones, on a wider scale? Given all these “moving parts”, from the upcoming US election and internal frictions in the EU to the Hong Kong tensions and the rising public discontent in Latin America, where do expect the chips to fall once this is over? 
Jayant Bhandari (JB): What I have told you about India to a large extent also applies to all of the Third World, where 5 billion out of the 7.5 billion human population lives. China is the only exception.
The Third World simply doesn’t have it in them to maintain the institutions that the colonial powers left behind. After a decade of rapid growth because of

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“The illusions of Keynesianism create a morally corrupt society” – Part II

June 23, 2020

Part I can be found here

Claudio Grass (CG): Overall, apart from the obvious economic consequences of the crisis, do you also see geopolitical and social ones, on a wider scale? Given all these “moving parts”, from the upcoming US election and internal frictions in the EU to the Hong Kong tensions and the rising public discontent in Latin America, where do expect the chips to fall once this is over? Jayant Bhandari (JB): What I have told you about India to a large extent also applies to all of the Third World, where 5 billion out of the 7.5 billion human population lives. China is the only exception. 

The Third World simply doesn’t have it in them to maintain the institutions that the colonial powers left behind. After a decade of rapid growth because of extraneous factors, the

Read More »

The War On Cash – COVID Edition Part II

June 21, 2020

The digital “toll” 
It doesn’t require too dark an imagination to realize the gravity of the concerns over the digital yuan. China is a true pioneer when it comes surveillance, censorship and political oppression and the digital age has given an incredibly efficient and effective arsenal to the state. Adding money to that toolkit was a move that was planned for many years and it is abundantly clear how useful a tool it can be for any totalitarian regime. The ability to track citizens’ transactions, access their financial data, control and freeze the account of anyone that presents a potential threat, it all opens the door to the ultimate oppression: total control over private resources, over people’s livelihoods and their capacity to cover their basic needs.
But

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“The illusions of Keynesianism create a morally corrupt society”

June 18, 2020

Interview with Jayant Bhandari: Part I of II

The global economic shutdown has inflicted unprecedented damage and caused widespread destruction both in the economy and in our societies. While the true scale of the crisis is yet to be revealed, we already have enough data to support the case for a deep recession that will likely last for a long time. And yet, mainstream media reports and “expert” commentary has so far largely been focused on the impact of the crisis in the West. 

We keep reading analyses and seeing footage from European and US cities and hospitals, while our perception of the economic and human toll of the corona disaster is restricted to a Western point of view. On the rare occasions that the situation in emerging economies is mentioned in media reports, the

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The War On Cash – COVID Edition Part II

June 16, 2020

The digital “toll” It doesn’t require too dark an imagination to realize the gravity of the concerns over the digital yuan. China is a true pioneer when it comes surveillance, censorship and political oppression and the digital age has given an incredibly efficient and effective arsenal to the state. Adding money to that toolkit was a move that was planned for many years and it is abundantly clear how useful a tool it can be for any totalitarian regime. The ability to track citizens’ transactions, access their financial data, control and freeze the account of anyone that presents a potential threat, it all opens the door to the ultimate oppression: total control over private resources, over people’s livelihoods and their capacity to cover their basic needs. 

But we don’t even have

Read More »