Untold Stories: Simon Dix And The Dangers Of A Central Bank

Simon Dix is the Chairman of Ecstatus Capital. In this conversation, Simon and Charlie Shrem discuss hitchhiking to South Africa at 18 with no money, the risks of the banking industry, gold vs silver and why globalization isn’t necessarily a good thing

Untold Stories Ep 6 Blog Graphic.png

Charlie
For my next guest today, we're in for a real treat because whenever you listen to other podcasts, speeches, or other shows, you always hear theoretically about what happened during certain hyperinflation days or during crisis of government of state and issues when our governments don't act in the best way possible. We're very fortunate to have Mr. Simon Dix today. I consider him a very good friend of mine. He's the chairman of Ecstatus Capital. Welcome Simon. Thank you for coming to the show.

Simon
Thanks Charlie. Great to be on your show and I'm looking forward to this chat with you,

Charlie
Simon most people in the world that especially we talk to and we interact with, and I don't like to use a term like first world country, but you know, in the West, you know, if we have to use that term, don't really interact with the state until it's time until let's just say pay taxes. So the first time you really interact with the state is get your driver's license and then eventually when you get into the workforce to pay taxes. It seems like where you grew up in Zimbabwe, you've probably had to interact with the state, whether it be a positive or negative way much early on in your life. Do you remember that first interaction or some first interactions you've had with the government of, was it Rhodesia at the time?

Simon
Yeah, it was. I was actually born in Rhodesia, which is now Zimbabwe. The first 11 years of my life was interesting. There was a sort of a countrywide guerrilla war going on. Lots of lives were lost, but basically that's when minority government was overtaken by the majority, which led to independence in 1980. So I've been through, you know, a country where we've changed government. We've had, interesting political leaders there, which, you know, we had a dictator path for 38 years. He's now left Robert Mugabe. And it's been a lot of changes through the country, it's affected people. You know, it's lead to happen inflation, collapse of the currency and a lot of those similarities which I've been through are glaringly in our face today and are quite concerning.

Charlie
Were you aware of any of these things as a 10 year old living in Rhodesia or Zimbabwe?

Simon
Well not really, I mean, only probably in a few years ago I was pretty oblivious to how the whole system actually worked. Fortunately I got involved with IT solutions and in the banking space and I had my eyes wide open in terms of how money is created, how we are controlled by governments and how we basically have our wealth. And our freedom ripped away from us. So you know, my time in Zimbabwe growing up in Zimbabwe and having to move countries to South Africa, coupled with the fact that I've had this experience in the banking space have all led me to where I am today.

Charlie
Why did you have to leave at a young age to South Africa?

Simon
Well, basically went through schooling in Zimbabwe first 11 years, like I said, was a war, I came from a very conservative family and the vision was to, to finish my schooling and then maybe gone to university or college as you would call it, and study business that really what the vision was. It didn't really turn out as planned.

Charlie
Does it ever?

Simon
It doesn't, everything happens for a reason. But in hindsight it all worked out pretty well. So, you know, finish my schooling. Had a great experience at school in Zimbabwe. It was a wonderful place as it, as a young guy to grow up and we had lots of freedoms. We, you know, we could walk around. Yes. off the independence. They were freedoms and I think the country wasn't a good space for awhile. But like any country, what happens is governments tend to lose control. They embark on, on different programs and ultimately in Zimbabwe's case, they printed too much money, and they lost their way through hyper inflation and collapse of the currency, which happens several years later.

Charlie
Well, how did that play out? So here you are it's Zimbabwe, they changed the name of the country. It's majority rule government now, the people are happy, you have a new leader, and everything seems should go well. I mean, this is a familiar story. You see it happens all the time. what happened?

Simon
Well, I mean, 1980 independence, we had a new government, under Robert Mugabe, which came into power. And for the first few years, Zimbabwe was on a strong trajectory. We were the bread basket of Africa. The economy had become very self sufficient and this is all hard to believe. Having had sanctions on the country for many years, there was a lot of local industry, a lot of manufacturing locally and that really did boost the local economy. But in time that all changed and I think often my leaving school, I embarked on a very different journey for a number of reasons and we can go into that. But it took a very different route in my life. I didn't go to the traditional university and on a path that was sort of mapped out for me in life.

Charlie
What did you end up doing as your first career was your first job? You're walking around on the street

Simon
It goes back probably it's when I was a kid actually. I was, you know, like I said, I came from a very conservative family and, pocket money was one thing that my father was a little bit tight with. So I think my first business VHS started when I was about 12 years old where I started, my entrepreneurial idea of selling golf net to the local members of the, at the local country club. My father was my business partner and this little venture and in some pocket money and then the bug had bitten. And after that I decided, well, I really, I had to be an entrepreneur and I didn't know it at the time. And then in my final year of school, I was unfortunate. I was involved in quite a serious car accident, which set me back a little bit. And I thought at that time that, I was going to just go and do a B Comm or a bachelor of business science, something like that. And I wasn't going to possibly make the grades too to get into university. But like I said, everything happens for a reason and like any 18 year old, you want to conquer the world.

Simon
So I left Zimbabwe and I hitchhiked to live to South Africa where I realized very quickly that I didn't have any money and I needed to find a job. So what do you do when you need a job? You phone up the sales manager of the most successful office automation company in the country and you'd demand a meeting with them. And I did this and I remember very clearly 18 years old walking into his office. And he looked at me and I had this long suits on, which was a bit too big for me. And he said, well, how can I help you? And I said, well, I'm looking for a job in sales. And at that point he said to me, will, what experience have you got? So I said, well, I'm, and I've got no experience and you obviously need to give me some experience so I can gain experience. So he packed out laughing and, said to me, well, I'll tell you what, sell me this pen. So I thought about it for a second or two and then I said, well, how much you prepared to pay for it?

Simon
And he said ---, I'll say right at yours. From then on he realized, well, this guy could probably sell, but he's a little bit wet behind the ears. So I tell you what, we'll offer him a job in the technical side of the business. So the next day I came to work and I was a technician wearing overalls and, I went and asked my boss for a pay increase, which as you can imagine, didn't go down to on the first or second day, second day at work. So I did leave it a little bit. And then, you know, he said, well, you're not worth anything to the company because you don't have any experience. So I said, well, you better send me on some training so I can gain some experience and, become an asset to the company. And that's what happened. I got trained and then shipped off to some remote parts of the country, for a year after, which I went into sales, which I thoroughly enjoyed. And I did, I was selling office automation, xerox equivalent to xerox machines for the local company called Nashua. And it was a great company. It was a great training ground. I learned a lot about sales, about rejection, about cold calling, about putting yourself out there. And all of these jobs stood me in very good state for what was done lay ahead in the future for me. So I did that for about a year, and then decided I was going to go back to Zimbabwe and start that franchise in Zimbabwe. I was 20 years old at the time.

Charlie
Was South Africa going through sanctions at that point?

Simon
Yes it was, but I'm South Africa. It was again was also it was a strong economy compared to where I'd come from. So I wanted to go back to what I knew. And at that stage it was Zimbabwe.

Charlie
I read somewhere. So you just described that you sold equipment that was the equivalent of Xerox and I read somewhere that, you know, growing up in South Africa, or growing up in the United States, our products are made everywhere. TVs made in China, our chocolates from Germany, everything's from everywhere. But growing up in South Africa, I had read that everything was made in South Africa. It was wildly because of the sanctions, they embarked on a program to basically produce everything internally. So your TV was actually South African, correct?

Simon
Yeah, I mean, and then Zimbabwe, it was probably too even a greater degree. With the sanctions in Zimbabwe, what happened is that all the local industries flourished, the currency was basically picked, it had a very strong agricultural base. And it was the bread basket that had a massive agricultural surplus. And the country did well. I mean, you look at the rest of the world today, you look at the US today. I mean, everything's been exported to the rest of the world. And we know how that's turned out and where, where it's all gonna end and I think it's all going to end very, very badly.

Charlie
So that's one extreme, right? South Africa is extreme in those days was that it produced everything. It almost imported nothing. Did it export much?

Simon
Well Zimbabwe exports a lot of tobacco, so there were the second biggest tobacco exporter in the world. And it also exported some minerals, gold, very strong gold mining infrastructure at the time. And certain other agricultural products, maize was being exported. So the country was in a very strong financial standing at that stage.

Charlie
So now we live in a world though where we are, people don't really make anything anymore. We're kind of exporting. That's what my grandfather would say. You know, but you young whippersnappers don't produce anything, you know, get your hands down and make something. And I say, well, I make a podcast that's, that's making something right. But well we live in a world where we don't really, we all kind of trade with each other and that's the business of today trade with each other. You think we're better off doing that versus where countries were very independent themselves and could produce their, you know, their basic necessities for their populations?

Simon
No, not at all. I mean, if you look at the economy globally today, I mean pretty much everything's been exported across to the east. I mean China's obviously manufacturing for the world and obviously holding so many US treasury notes and obviously they're concerned and, and you just have to look and see what they've done in Africa in the last few years. I mean, they've been acquiring gold mines, and, and stockpiling gold. And that pretty much tells you the lack of confidence in the dollar long term. So in any country that's exported, all this manufacturing have really got to get that back to the natural they countries and, and building local industries.

Charlie
Now what happens after that?

Simon
Well, I think once, you know that the US is in a different position because they've got the privilege of the US dollar at the moment. So for most countries, they need to build up local manufacturing so they can export and they can have a strong balance of payments. The US on the other hand is in the very fortunate position that they've got the US dollar as the global reserve currency and it's been sort of this since world war two where virtually every currency was picked to the dollar. But more importantly, since the 60s, you've got the advent of the petrodollar. So, you know, these days, fortunate position for the US as they can print as many dollars as they want out of thin air, and they can basically export those dollars through to the rest of the world, who each country has to manage the balance of payments, balanced their budgets and build up their forex reserves for the imports. So today the US is in a very fortunate position, but I see that changing in time. And, you know, I think we just have to look at, you know, the whole history involving money and what is money, which, you know, paints a very gloomy picture for where we are all today. And for those very reasons, the reasons why we are in alternative assets.

Charlie
So you, you're a young kid and you're in Zimbabwe opening up the branch for the company that you'd worked for office automation. What did you do next?

Simon
So both this company, it was a family business in Zimbabwe. We had it for a number of years, it was a great training ground and like I said, my father had been a very conservative man. He sold the business after a couple of years and that was probably the right decision. I had a five year restraint on me at the time, which I was a little bit bitter about and didn't really get anything from the sale of the business. So I really had to start again. And I had really, I take this as my phd in life skills. I didn't have a college under my belt, but that was the greatest thing that ever happened to me, I suppose. And at that time I remember computers were just coming onto the scene. I remember sitting and watching a video of a company in the US that we're listing that we're going through the IPO and they were promoting document management.

Simon
So I wasn't really interested in the IPO, was more concerned about the concept of information management at a time when computers were just coming out. So, the whole concept they was, I didn't want to sell pcs. I didn't wanna sell servers or networks. I really wanted to focus on a corporate's most valuable asset being as information. And so I started a business with a colleague of mine. We didn't have a lot of money. We were two young guys, big ideas. We were ready to conquer the world. But our vision at that stage was to provide information management solutions to corporates. We believe that the most important thing was not the piece of paper, but the information that lay on that piece of paper. So what we did is we found ourselves a big brother. We started a business partnership with a big company in the US that you familiar with NCR - National Cash Register. And at the time they were the leading company in terms of retail and banking. They were into ATMs and check processing and they were sort of our big brother in terms of getting this business started. We would provide the software solution for their clients and they would provide the servers and the networks and the databases. So it seemed like a pretty good idea in the beginning. And that went pretty well for awhile. We all did ok and til the time came when NCR decided that they were going to go at it alone. At that point we are a little bit bitter about it, but we, we licked our wounds and carry it on. And we were building up quite a nice little business at this stage. One thing I wasn't too fond of was the fact that every year the annual software licensing, which was about 18% of the total cost of the software was payable to the software vendor. And I said to my business partner at the time, I said, you know, we need to be the guys managing our own destiny and creating our own software and we need to do things differently from what we had seen with NCR and in the marketplace.

Simon
There was another company called Unisis who were very big in the marketplace, in the bank space and our little information management solutions. We were going along nicely and we decided to develop a solution that was everything that they systems weren't, in other words, they had to be hardware independent. We could drive any hardware, device, any scanner, any equipment like that, any server, any PC. They had to be database independent. So, you know, oracle, sequel, whatever the case may be, we would use it. And they had to be modular and easy to use. And that's what we did. We, you know, we took on resources and, we built our own software team and over the period of about two years develops our own application for Africa. And then what happened is there was a startup bank in Zimbabwe at the time and they were not happy with the, what they'd seen in the marketplace with the traditional check processing solution providers.

Charlie
They're happy with hyperinflation but they weren't happy with their software?

Simon
While the hyperinflation hadn't happened at that stage. It was much later that hyperinflation kicked up. So in the early days, they wanted to open independent systems that were easy to use, well-priced and basically, far better and more modular than what was available on the market. So, you know, they turned to us and they said, well, what do you know about check processing? And before we knew it, we were on a plane back to the US to find a product or solution and learn about the business and implement that in Zimbabwe, to compliment our information management solutions. And that was how we sort of got into the banking space and into payment solutions, which was great.

Charlie
So you, you basically brought the solution, the software solution to a bank. That'll, that ran their whole back end essentially.

Simon
Correct. Correct. So in the early days it was simply check processing. And we had very humble beginnings, the concept being very simple, you know, our systems had to be easy to use. And we really, now we're sort of in a David and Goliath situation. We were taking on the big US multinationals. So the solutions evolved from initially basic information management and scanning solutions to check processing and into the payment solution space. We had a few lucky breaks. We managed to get the Pan African deal for Barclays, which was a great breakthrough for us. And in time, our systems evolved, we put out the first check truncation solution in Africa, which meant that we could now settle check clearances almost instantaneously, which was the third of its kind in the world.

Charlie
What year was this?

Simon
Oh this is back in about 2002, it was about 2002.

Charlie
So why does it still take three days for my check to clear here in the United States?

Simon
Well, that's because the banks are sitting on your money in the business case, doesn't make sense for them that the technology is out there. They could clear your checks instantly. It's just that the banks are a bit of a fraud. I mean, how the banks run, how money is created, the concept of money itself, it's all one big lie. And we'll come into that...

Charlie
Who's to blame though, is it the state itself or is it the banks?

Simon
Well, it's both. I think, you know, ultimately the banks and the government are in cahoots together. The government uses the banking system as a means to control the population and that's not going to go away. And we've seen more recently since 2008 in the financial crisis that, you know, no banker goes to jail and they just get a slap on the wrist and, and worst case scenario, a small fine, so that's not going to change, but a lot is going to change globally going forward. So you're just going back to the business, you know, we built the business up over 20 years. I think today they're, they're in about 30 countries across Africa. It's the largest payment solutions provider in Africa, the company called Cyber.

Simon
But the business grew to a stag where I, you know, I'm an entrepreneur at heart. I'm not corporate. And I realized that I needed to get out of this corporate environments and challenge other opportunities. So back in about 2013 I sold the business to a listed company on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and we were the largest acquisition at the time. And I was also very concerned about, you know, banks, the central banks, how they treat the populations, how they cheat us. And so, you know, I was very, very concerned right back then. You know, about, you know, what I learned about money and, I think suppose to this day, that's really what's moved me into, into, you know, cryptocurrencies, bitcoin, hedge funds, and prior to that Bitcoin mining.

Charlie
What did you, what did you learn?

Simon
Well, I think, you know, generally the population has no idea what is money they think that those notes in your wallet is his money and in fact, it's just currency. So we really need to sort of all educate ourselves on what is money and what is currency and really the difference between the two. And that's exactly what happened in Zimbabwe. And so many people have become financial prisoners in Zimbabwe from not knowing the difference and not taking action. And I'll come onto that a little bit later, but one of the main reasons we are in this financial mess globally is that, you know, people think that paper fiat currency is money and you know, many has to be certain things. It has to be a medium of exchange. It has to be a unit of account. It's gotta be portable, durable, divisible. It's gotta be fungible in other words, each unit has to be the same as the next. But most importantly, which most people don't understand and all they forget is that money needs to be a store of value over a long period of time. And I guarantee if you speak to wealth managers or your banker or even your accountant, possibly, they won't understand the difference between currency and money. And that's what scares me.

Charlie
They're just salesman.

Simon
Absolutely. 100%. They looking for their fees, those annual management fees, that's what they're after. And I suppose because governments can print more and more money of it and dilute the currency supply, it's constantly transferring wealth out of your pocket or your bank account to the governments and into the banking system. And that's the reason why, you know, for thousands of years, four, five, 10,000 years, gold, silver, now bitcoin or the optimum form of money because of those properties, it's an easy medium of exchange, and, obviously gold. So the, now crypto is a great store of value in a very, very small area. I mean, you can have all of your wealth sitting on a little Trezor, you know, cold storage, wallet or Ledger Wallet. It's great. And you know, obviously bitcoin has very similar properties, you know, globally it's pretty much the same price, although in some countries there is a premium. It's all about supply and demand through the exchanges. But it's very portable. You can, it's the ultimate money in my mind really. And bitcoin in one country, generally speaking, another will buy either similar amounts of goods and services.

Charlie
Sure, sure. That's, I mean, those are the most important properties that are needed. And it's one of the reasons that the dollar is still has its global reserve currency currency because you can go anywhere in the world. And let's just say you want to purchase a car. Have you hand the person dollars. Any country where you hand the person dollars, they're not going to not take it. They're going to take it for the sale. But if I'm in, you know, if I'm in Mexico and I'm selling a car and someone has me Russian rubles, I'm probably not, I'm going to go say go to the currency exchange or guy and, and converted into dollars or pesos.

Simon
Exactly. Exactly. And obviously this is, you know, we've got inflation today. I mean, you know, the fact that Bitcoin is limited to 21 million, I mean, that's, that's so powerful. We haven't even seen the benefits of that yet. And I think only once the institutional money starts coming to the space will that really be realized. But, you know, the whole concept that, you know, things like, for example, the Federal Reserve, I mean, Federal Reserve is largely privatized by three major families. Yes. The other major banks have a very small stake in the fed. It's never audited, but most people don't understand that. They think it''s, it's controlled 100% by the government. And that's not the case. You know, we've lost all idea of what money's all about. And, that goes back to, you know, when the Fed was created back in 1913, it's not, money has not been a currency, has not been a good store of value since then. It's depreciated. We've lost what, 95-96% of its purchasing power. Whereas if you look at Bitcoin on the other hand in the last 10 years, it's by far the best performing asset out there, and it's a real store of value. So yeah, I mean, the history of money is quite alarming and, people need to sort of wake up and understand, you know, where did money come from and what are the risks within the monetary system?

Charlie
Could anything really be money? I mean, you tell me, you told me stories, how you travel once a year or two to the auction to purchase beautiful animals for your reserve, you know, you have giraffe and you have all these different animals in South Africa. Well those have value. Can those be, giraffe be considered money?

Simon
No, I don't think so because they're not very portable, they're difficult to catch. You need a helicopter. Those are some of the characteristics which probably don't make great money. You know, they don't last forever and a giraffe at some point dies. Yes, they will reproduce hopefully. But those are the sort of characteristics that we do need in money today. And, you know, as far as I'm concerned, money has to be a long term store of value. And I don't know if you remember back, I mean maybe you would've been too young, but I remember certainly I'm a bit older than you, Charlie, but I remember when growing up as a kid, I remember that all the notes used to say on them, I promise to pay the bearer on demand. And essentially what you could do is, that evolved way back from the jewelers. Way Back in the day, the jewelers who used to take people's gold and silver and give them a receipt for it, they became the bankers and it evolved into that over of a hundreds of years. And what they soon realize is that they could rehypothecate those notes and overstate how much money they must, was in the system. And that's what led to inflation. But going back to prior to 1971 I could take my $10 bill into a bank and it sit on the note, I promise to pay the bearer on demand and I could collect $10 worth of coins. I mean, you know, that's obviously all gone now.

Charlie
I can't do that today?

Simon
You can't do that anywhere in the world. I mean, every currency in the world is now a fit currency. In other words, it's dictated by confidence in the government and only that is, there's absolutely nothing back in the currency whatsoever. So, I mean, you know, countries have all started out with sound money. And I mean even more recently, even in countries, Luxembourg, they moved across to the US dollar sort of overnight, the government looted those coffers and issued a something called a bond note or that was just a, another fiat currency backed by absolutely nothing within a couple of months, hyperinflation and collapse of the currency. And I see that happening to all currencies going forward. I don't think any country in the world will manage to escape what's coming. It's pretty hick of what's last a hit of us down the road.

Charlie
Most people don't understand what, what really hyperinflation is or what happened. You know, they know that you can go to Ebay and buy a trillion dollar Zimbabwe note, and that's, you know, it's all cool and fun and everything. But from your perspective, being on the ground, like give us, explain to us what happened and give us a, like as if we could imagine it, you know, like what was the weather that day? It wouldn't happen over one day, but you kind of see my point. What was it like being in the mist? You were in that country, you were working in that country and you know, the direct country south to it. You were there most people weren't. What was, what was that like from, from, you know, I consider you a monetary theorist, from that perspective?

Simon
Well, it all goes back to the government of the day. I mean, at the time they needed power. The country had gone through a war. And the people who had been fighting for their freedom for the independence now were saying to the politicians of the time to the Robert Mugabe regime, we need compensation for fighting in this war. We need mandatory compensation. And this has happened to through to history in many instances, including the US. But this carry on Zimbabwe. So at the time the war veterans who had fought in this war demanded a one off payment of $50,000 and a pension for life and the government granted them that. But in order to give them this compensation, the government clearly didn't have the money, so they had to print the money, which we know how that ended up, it ended up with hyperinflation. You know, $50,000 at that time was quite a lot of money. Within sort of a year or 18 months, you couldn't buy a Coca-Cola for $50,000. That was more like a billion dollars. So when you overinflate the currency, what happens is you basically have a greater far, far greater supply of currency chasing a fixed supply of goods and services. And that's always going to end badly. That's going to happen. Flate the currency and collapse it. And every currency bond, none in the world have gone to zero.

Simon
And I mean, even if you look at the US, I mean through history, there's been wars. You had the revolutionary war where in order to pay the soldiers, this is back in the US, the continental war. Exactly the same thing happened. They created a proxy very much like they did in Zimbabwe, created a proxy to pay the troops and that was called the greenback. That's where the term the green came from. And essentially what happens is created hyperinflation and collapse of the currency. Again, that's where the saying I don't give a continental comes from, it comes from the continental war in the US. So this has happened, this has happened time and time and time again. And it happened in Weimar, Germany after World War 1, in order to pay the reparations for World War 1 they had to pay and the that didn't have the money. So what did they do? They printed it and hyperinflated it and again led to hyperinflation and collapse of the currency. So it never ends well. And I think you know, closer to home right now as you are looking at what's happening with this quantitative easing. And if you go back and you see that you know, the world currencies are being obliviated through inflation, printing all this money and it's simply just kind of continue to lose the value. And there's no way of avoiding what's coming down the road. The only thing I can say is you've got to find a place to store your wealth. Keeping it in the banking system is very, very concerning for a number of reasons. You need to really understand firstly, you know, what is money, lot of people don't understand the risks of the bank and the risks of the current monetary system.

Charlie
What are those risks? What is money and you basically built banking software, for what a dozen countries in Africa. What is it, how are they running behind the scenes? what is it like?

Simon
Just talking about firstly, you know what people may not understand about money. Firstly, there's two things really that come to mind. I mean, the first thing is the money that you have in your bank is not your money. And secondly, how money is created. So let's talk about money in the bank. I have a lot of mates. You often say, well I I bank with bank X, Y, Z, and I've got money off shore with this Bank and that Bank. But the reality is that money is not their money. It's the bank's money. The minute you deposit money into the bank, it goes on to the banking system, the banks balance sheet as their asset. If you deposit 10 grand and tomorrow you try and draw $5,000 in cash out of that bank, they're going to try and stop you, going that they're going to try and think you're either an arms dealer or a terrorist or, or give some other funny reason why you can't draw off the money. And the reason being is all of the money's tied up in date and paper lines. And they're also trying to protect themselves from a run on the bank. So your money's actually the bank's money. You are simply a credit of the bank. So that's the first part. Okay.

Charlie
What would happen before we get to the second part, what would happen in before the FDIC existed? If you put your money in a bank, well it's not your money. The banks using it to loan out and the bank failed. Well you wouldn't get your money back. Right?

Simon
Well, going back, they were in short. Okay. That's all changed. You know, we have insurance now of 250,000 only prior to that,

Charlie
The banks have private insurance?

Simon
Bank insures the deposit of up to 250,000. So if you've got $10 million on there, you're going to get $250,000 back if they collapse.

Charlie
That's great.

Simon
So it's not great. So it's not a great business model. Okay. And in effect, how is actually money is actually created from within the banking system? That's very concerning.

Charlie
It gets printed.

Simon
It's printed out of thin air, absolutely. So let's take Charlie Shrem. You deposit around number, let's work a round numbers here. You put 1 million bucks into bank XYZ. Okay. What they then do is they take that million dollars and they put it on their balance sheet as their asset, you are simply a creditor of the bank. And then they'll lend out that money on something called a fractional reserve lending system on a 10 to one basis. So for your $10 million, they'll lend out a $1 million or lend out $10 million in the form of mortgage debt, credit card debt and student loans, whatever the case may be. And they're going to charge interest on the full $10 million, which is actually your $1 million originally. And when that $10 million is paid off. Guess what? They lend out 100 million and so on. And that's all against your initial $1 million of hard earned cash. So that's really how money is created. And since then, we've seen in 2008 with the credit default swaps how banks are bundling all this, these debts together. And they've got out of hand and ended up in an absolute almost calamity in 2008. And quite frankly, they should have let the whole system collapse.

Charlie
Let's talk alternate history for a second. Let's talk, you know, what would've happened if we let it all collapse where, you know, 10 years later we're sitting here, what would the world have looked like?

Simon
Well, I mean, we would've had some pain. There's no question about that. And the world actually needs to go through.

Charlie
Some of the pains are good though.

Simon
Everyone tries to avoid avoid pain. That's the problem. They want to kick the can down the road a little bit longer, but the world would have not gone back to a database society. But what have they done? They've actually made the situation so much worse than it was. Okay. I mean, since then derivatives have got out of control. It's a major, major problem and there's a lot of things pointing towards an economic collapse. You just have to look at history, it's going to repeat itself and it always does. So there's a lot of lessons we can take back from what's happened in the past. Debasing the currency to pay for public works is never gonna end well and that's just going to keep repeating itself. So I don't think there's any question that we headed for some sort of economic collapse in the future. Obviously the death of the dollar and consequently a new monetary system. So, you know, like I said, sort of the currency normally lost every, for 30 to 40 years and at that point there's a new monetary system.

Simon
Okay. Today we have a fiat currency, a date based society and that one re-emerge I believe in the future we will either go back to some sort of currency-backed solution, either with a basket of currencies backed by precious metals to some extent or some sort of crypto based solution. I'm not sure how the crypto one would pan out and we'll talk about that further because I think what will emerge is nations are going to bring our to centralized cryptocurrencies and most people are going to be none the wiser. But let's bank that for now. The other thing that's leads me to believe that there's an economic collapse is inevitable, is the fact that the (38:10)pitcher dollars doomed. You know, any country that has straightened to sell us oil in anything besides the dollar has been attacked. I mean, think about Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, that's just to name a few. Also since 2008, there's been massive amounts of quantitative easing and I took 200 years to go from no dollars to $850 billion. And then they started this QE and I started printing $1 trillion a year. And this is not a good situation, people are going to get worried and it's going to lead to hyperinflation and people are gonna start looking for other areas to park their wealth. And those will include cryptocurrencies, bitcoin and precious metals, I believe.

Charlie
Well most people are goldbugs. You've been a big fan of silver. Why?

Simon
Well if you think back, silver was sort of demonetized in 1873 and really it's used in jewelry, but it's been demonetized globally. It's not deemed an asset. In fact, recently there has been recognize as an asset again. But if you look at silver. Silver on the other hand, let's go back to 1980. Silver was at $50 an ounce. It was practically only used for photography. So fast forward, so 39 years ahead, it's now used, probably the most important strategic metal in the world. It's used in every cell phone, every laptop, every car, every television, microwave, oven, you name it. It's used in the medical space. It's used for solar, there's thousands and thousands of use cases for silver. And on top of that, there's very, very small amounts of above ground reserves. So one would think that anything that is rare and is often are using every day, the price is going to go through the roof given supply and demand. But silver's been pushed down by the likes of the big banks and especially JP Morgan. They've pushed the price of silver down and shorter that extensively from $50 an ounce down to about $14 an ounce today, and this basically sums up my concern with the banking system. We lose faith in these banks because they tell a lie. JP Morgan has shorted the crap out of silver from $50 an ounce down to $14 an ounce, and guess who owns the muscle around the world today?

Charlie
JP Morgan

Simon
Seven hundred million ounces of silver, and that's the lie.

Charlie
Why? Why would they know that?

Simon
It's a very, very undervalued asset. I mean, if you have a 99% sale at your local stores, people are going to be banging the doors down to get in there. But because silver's been short and it might not look great on someone's balance sheet at the moment, people have generally stayed away from it as an investment. Most people look at the Dow Jones and think, I'm making massive returns. That's where I'm going to put my money. But I can honestly tell you, the system does collapse, a precious metals and cryptocurrencies are going to fly. Money is going to find a new home in these safe haven assets and they're going to go through the roof, especially once the institutional money comes into the space. So silver's been an interesting one for me and I'm holding it and I believe longterm, it's only got one place to go. I mean, if you think about it logically throughout history, the gold to silver ratio has been 15 to one. Today it's closer to 80 to one. So it's a screaming buy, and coming out of the ground at the moment, it's a byproduct of various different mining activities. Gold and copper and zinc and about nine ounces of silver are coming out of the ground for every one ounce of gold. So assuming that gold is fairly priced at the moment, silver should be at about $150 an ounce, but it's at 14. We know that gold is undervalued. So, you know, there's a lot of people are suggesting that silver should be valued anywhere between 700 and a thousand dollars an ounce. So it's a screaming buy right now?

Charlie
I agree with everything you're saying, you know, we've had those conversations before an I've been bitten by the metals bug as you say, or the gold bug of silver bug. And it's definitely a great, and this is what people say. It's a great hedge against the world. But when I read, this is what, this is what I don't understand, when I read the history books and I say, okay, I want to look for examples of when owning gold or silver, we're good. When the world has done something stupid or a large government has done something stupid or major war has broken out, owning gold or silver was a good thing. And I've kind of found the opposite, which is what I don't understand. You know, I look at two examples. I look at World War II, and the price of gold went down a lot because you had an influx of gold on the market from Jews that were fleeing Europe and then from Germany selling gold in order to pay for their war. Almost all of these countries selling their gold in order to pay for their wars. That's one example. Then I look at 2008 I looked that as an example, when the world, you know, had its most recent recession. And then I look at and you know, a smaller example as well, the Russian revolution, a hundred or so years ago when when the Bolsheviks took over and they took all the gold and they sold it in order to pay for the new country and the price of gold collapsed and all these people holding gold basically lost out. What am I missing here? Why, why am I wrong?

Simon
Okay. Well, I mean I think in the short term, there have been instances where that has happened, but if you think about it logically, if you go back, you know sort of a hundred years barrel of oil back then cost you very similar to what a barrel of oil in terms of gold would be today. Whereas the currencies themselves have all gone. They've come and gone. (44:10)The dollar number of times certainly dollar. Most currencies have actually lost all of the value. So for me the question is where do you preserve wealth? How do you preserve wealth? And it can't be in currencies because they are manipulated. The printing it out of oblivion. And I see precious as one of the hedge. I wouldn't say to put all your eggs in one basket. I really think that there's a massive, massive opportunity for bitcoin in particular going forward. The fact is that there's only going to ever be 21 million. The fact of it being deflationary. These are very powerful factors and are going to make price go way, way higher in the longterm. But it depends how you look at a Charlie. I mean, if you're looking at it from a speculators perspective or as a store of value,

Charlie
Well I'm looking at it at store value.

Simon
That's why I believe that silver has far more upside than gold, there's very, very big shortages globally and it is being manipulated right now on paper it's been greatly manipulated. They're trading in one day or two days on the comics and what they mine in a year. So, you know, that is all gonna come to an end where they fail to deliver. Someone demands their gold, their physical golden, they can't deliver well the game's over. And that's not too far ahead.

Charlie
But when you keep your money in precious metals, you can't really use that money to work for you unless you borrow against, you know, and there are companies, there are companies, local companies here in Florida that you can borrow, you know, at 7 8% against, against your, your gold, and then use that money to buy real estate or do something where you think there's more upside. Is that something worth doing?

Simon
Absolutely. It's all about aging. So, I know in Singapore there's an organization that you can buy precious metals, you then can leverage your precious metals and pull out 50% loan to value and put that into, into any other investments you see fit

Charlie
What's the interest rate? Is it something doable?

Simon
No it's very affordable. It's 4, 5% per annum. And what people are doing is they are buying silver and they hedging against that and they pulling the money out and putting it into cryptocurrencies. And you know, that sounds like a great time to be investing in Crypto is right now. You know, you buy low and sell high. You know, obviously in 2007 everyone was jumping into cryptos and December's it got completely overbought and needed a pullback that was healthy for it. But now we, you know, we've seen the price come back and I think if you're not at the bottom, we certainly near the bottom. So great time to be buying right now.

Charlie
It's early May right now we're recording. It's May, 2019 and literally about a year ago I was in South Africa with you and the price. I remember we were waking up every morning and we were like in tears because the prices were just going to shit. That's when the bear market was really, that's when people started really saying, okay, the prices is about to go through some sort of bear mark. And here we are a year later. What was your year like? Did you lose faith in Crypto? Did you, did you get nervous? How did you feel?

Simon
I think all of the above. I learned a lot about myself. I realized a few things. I realize firstly that in 2017 I thought it was a fantastic trader. December, 2017, things were going well. Fast forward 6-18 weeks. And I realized a few things. I realized that, I'm really not a great trader. I don't possess any of the qualities of a trader. I'm too emotional. I'm too impatient. And that's when I started looking for an organization. Where I could park my portfolio and have someone professionally manage it for me. And there wasn't anyone out there who I could turn to and hence we formed the hedge funds, which we have today. But yeah, I mean I've been in the bitcoin space and cryptos since sort of 2013 and it's been a great story since then.

Charlie
So what is your fund doing now? You basically started this fund to do something that you needed yourself.

Simon
Yeah, so basically, I started to funds. Okay. We've got the digital asset fund, which is a crypto fund, interesting strategy. It's a long short strategy. We're, using technology, we're using artificial intelligence. We have an Algo which we've bought a 50% stake in a company that's been around for about 15 years. Interesting story. Quite a character who's developed the software and built a great little business, was involved in MR6 for a number of years and then use that software back in the day for sort of human trafficking.

Charlie
What are you talking about?

Simon
The artificial intelligence company that we bought a stake and I decided we wanted to use artificial intelligence as a means of taking the emotion out of our trading. So we put together this fund way. Basically we would, we've registered in the Caymans. It's an offshore fund as you know, 85% of other funds globally on our days. And the whole idea is we use various strategies powered by artificial intelligence, which manage our risk and really the key driver performance in volatile markets. And essentially what we doing was we managing volatility. We trading volatility for our clients, but in a regulated environment. I mean it's been exciting. We've got the two funds, we've got the digital assets fund and the other fund is our FX fund, which again, you know, employs the same strategy we're using algo to trade volatility in the FX markets, which are very liquid and a give a return for our clients. So it's, you know, it's still early days. We've spent sort of several year building the business and trying to get the foundation in place, which, it all takes time.

Simon
And you know, I suppose building a fund during a bear market has never easy, never fun, but, it's, you know, we'd be picking ourselves right now if we, if we were in a, in a mess of bull run and we didn't have all our bits and pieces lined up. So, yeah, it's been interesting. It's been, it's been a long journey. And we started to build a solid team of finance and technology people, which, you know, guys, you had a sound understanding of the technology. And the markets. And we've decided to first start as capital to, you know, build this, you know, Cayman domiciled funds. Athorities there were able to structure our fund offering both affordably and efficiently. Our main business is based in the UK, in London. And we have our independent fund administrators there, which is our place of a fate of management. And yeah, blockchain and global IP, we wanted our strategy, to across Europe, focusing on sort of small family offices and high net worth individuals, fund of funds. So that's really where we at. It's an exciting space and yeah, I think the future's looking really good here.

Charlie
So tell me about nation-backed cryptos we hear that term a lot.

Simon
Well that scares me. I think what's gonna happen if we look at, if we look at what I think could trigger a collapse first and foremost, and how this blends itself into national cryptos we take, it's like for example, the largest bank in Europe being (51:48, unclear word) bank. They've got about a, you know, $65 trillion derivatives exposure. And then you've got commerce bank, which you know, has got about a $55 trillion derivatives exposure. My concern there is they've recently tried to bundle these two toxic banks together in Germany. So you've got two banks with a combined 120 trillion derivative exposure. And to put that into context, the GDP of Germany is around 4 trillion in a year and that's never going to end well. Charlie, you know, when they fall, the domino effect from kind of party risks with all the other retail banks globally is going to be horrific. You know, and I think that's where you might see all of the retail banks going down together. They won't just roll over and accept that they've messed up the financial system. They'l clearly blame it on some black swan event. But I think that's what's going to happen and we are staring at a mess of global crash ahead. People obviously going to lose confidence in the currencies and in the short term we'll move to safe havens, like precious metals and cryptocurrency.

Charlie
Will that be like an instantaneous thing we just wake up to, or it'll start to happen. Will we see the warning signs and try to reverse it?

Simon
Well, I think already the warning signs are out there. If you just look what's happening in the emerging markets. If you look what's happening in Venezuela right now, there are a lot of signs around us every single day. The fact that interest rates are near zero and they can't afford to put up interest rates in the future, that'll trigger it in itself. So I think we are, we are very, very close to this happening and people still have time to get their house in order, but you know, they need be wide awake. So I think what you're going to find is, I don't believe central banking is ever going to go away. And that's the means by which governments control their population through the monetary system. We saw Jamie Dimon a year ago poo-pooing cryptos and, you know, obviously recently, recently with them announcing that they bring out a stable corn, which is just hilarious. But to answer your question, you know, national coins, a lot of people will fall for them, but what they don't realize that they're going to be centralized coins controlled by a central body with the likes of Bitcoin are completely decentralized through miners globally, who can't be shut down. You can't shut down every miner I globally and really that has the key strength of what bitcoin stands for.

Charlie
Basically from what I understand, nation backed cryptos are literally the same thing as money in an online banking account today. It would be the exact thing

Simon
Absolutely, much of the same. Exactly. And that's why there's no future for it. They will just simply rehab and they will print more and more and more. And it'll be the same as what's happened in Zimbabwe. It'll be the same that's happened in every country with the fiat currencies.

Charlie
But I feel like it's going to be used as a ploy because as the popularity of crypto grows, the population of the world are going to say, we want to do this and we want to be involved in this and hedge on this and you know, when you remove the, the power of money, when you remove the ability for the governments to control the money supply, that's huge, that's as if not more important than controlling information. Governments are going to feel under pressure and they're going to launch their own cryptos to say, here's the Crypto, here's the dollar back crypto. Here it is. And most people will be satisfied. How do we prevent against that?

Simon
Well, I mean that's ignorance. If you look at most people today, they think that our currency, our fiat currency is backed by gold. They've got no idea that it's backed by nothing. It's backed by confidence in the Reserve Bank, which has a private cartel. So most people today are ignorant of the fact that our fiat system is doomed to failure. And that's the concerning thing. You know, we need to educate people and we need to get the message out there that the current system is seriously flawed. You know, we've, I've lived through this firsthand, growing up in Zimbabwe, we've had 20 years in the payment solutions game. Where I could see firsthand and it opened my eyes to my why, so my why for being in Bitcoin as the fact that it's, you know, it's limited. There's so many factors. I'm in Bitcoin. But the main thing is the current banking system being so severely flawed, we don't have control of our own wealth. I, I don't like the fact that I have to ask my bank manager and justify my withdrawals and have my card either denied or accepted. It's too much risk. I don't like the fact that we are all forced into the banking system. That there's a war on cash. I mean, you just look at India a few years ago, they took away the two highest denomination of currency and straight away, 85% of the, you know, the currency in circulation fell by the wayside. I don't want to be controlled by that. You know, these central banks, they're private cartels.

Simon
They look at their own agendas, you know, what happens is, you know, countries like Iran, Iraq, they're all opening up central banks right now. And it's the same people who involved in the Fed who are controlling these cartels. And I just have to look at 2008. I don't think any bankers went to jail. I mean, since then, I mean many banks have done massive criminal injustices. They have manipulated interest rates. They've manipulated interest rates, you know, they working with governments primarily to control the population. And, you know, so I went to my own financial freedom. And when I heard about bitcoin and read Satoshi's white pepper, I knew it was a no brainer for me. You know, we experienced hyperinflation, the collapse of the currency in Zimbabwe, we'd experienced being chased of our funds and having to relocate to a more stable country. And I learned about the issues around fractional reserve banking and date. And you know, more recently we've seen the establishment of the Brinks Bank, which is Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. And that's challenging the World Bank. And you know, this really means to me that the dollar is on borrowed time.

Charlie
So you think replacing the dollar with something else is a good idea like that the same type of...

Simon
No, not at all. I think we need a completely new financial system. We can't have a system right now where it's all backed by date and there's nothing sound behind it. The world needs, we need to have some sort of blockchain technology. And I think that's where the underlying technology of blockchain is the exciting thing for me, not only Bitcoin, I mean who knows in the future, bitcoin may not emerge as the winner here. But certainly what I do know is blockchain technology is here for keeps and it's all about trust and, I've had a lot of confidence. In the few conferences I've been to lately, even going back two years ago, I was at consensus in New York and interestingly enough, it was sponsored by the Dubai government in conjunction with Australian government. And when these governments are looking seriously at blockchain, I really get a strong feeling that the underlying technologies here longterm. So yeah, I mean the fact that, you know, I can control my own wealth and in my own wallet with no counterparty, it's really a part of very powerful thing. And one of the main reasons that I'm involved in cryptocurrencies today. So it's been a no brainer as an alternative asset class, it's been great. And, you know, a few years ago I was involved in mining, which again was very exciting. Bitcoin mining.

Charlie
It's interesting that you live in the country that exports the most gold in the world. And do they still, does Africa still export the most gold in the world?

Simon
No, I think we exporting a lot. I don't know if we still, number one, obviously the Chinese are the greatest producers of gold in the world, but they're also the greatest importers. And if we just look across Africa, most of the mines nowadays across Africa are being bought up by the Chinese so they can see what's coming and they are investing very heavily in gold. As are many other countries asking for a repatriation of their own gold. I mean, Germany have done that in other countries. More recently. I've done the same. So it just paints a picture of where the thing's going to go.

Charlie
And so you, you decided to get into bitcoin mining. Most people just start holding, why did you get into bitcoin mining?

Simon
Well, luckily it was in 2014. In fact, it was after the Mt. Gox hack, I got exposed to bitcoin mining. My initial experience was in a sort of a cloud mining set up, which I could see after a while that, I needed to control my own destiny. So, I was fortunate enough in 2015 through some relationships that I had, I was introduced to, a mine that was for sale in Washington state. And you know, the early days back then mining was lucrative. But obviously as times gone past it's got more difficult. The number of minors has increased and, as you know, there is a fixed supply of bitcoin rewards every 10 minutes. So, you know, basically miners are getting rewarded with bitcoins for, you know, every ten minutes, back then it was, it was, 25 bitcoins every 10 minutes. It didn't, we had harving in July 2016 down to 12 and a half bitcoins every 10 minutes or so. And, again, next year we're going to witness another harving, so at that time it was, it was lucrative, but there's another challenge which was called difficulty. And the easiest way to talk about this I suppose as imagine, as more and more machines are competing for fixed bitcoin rewards, the horsepower, the processing power that you need to achieve the results increases exponentially. So, you know, as Bitcoin became very popular in 2017, a lot of people were taking profits and buying mining equipments and competing for bitcoin rewards. So, you know, we had a good run and today my miners have been moved out of Washington state. I've actually moved them better to another location, in South Africa. Not that lucrative at the moment, but, we had a good run and yeah, so it was, this was an interesting time in my life.

Charlie
You're not mining for profits for today. If you feel that bitcoin is, you know, the future and going to grow in value in price, then it doesn't really matter if you're using your machinery, you're just charging electricity and you're getting more bitcoin, that's the best situation.

Simon
Well, that's the name of the game long term. It's really about trying to accumulate as many bitcoin as you possibly can. And that's my strategy. So the rewards have slowed down a lot. Power's not as cheap as it used to be, so it's not as viable. But to answer that question, fast forward the predictions with many people who've had five years down the road, and I don't even want to go there with a prediction on my own, but you know, it'll be worthwhile just hang onto this bitcoin.

Charlie
You got me excited.

Simon
Now you've put me on the spot. Charlie, I want to ask you that question of yourself. What do you think?

Charlie
That it's higher than it is today. Sure. I look at it like this, you know, I'm, I've been through so many of these bubbles and bursts and what I can say is that usually or at least in the past, it's exponential growth, right? So if you look at it on a linear scale, you go first. So I started some of the really early ones. The price goes from 10 cents to a dollar and then it goes back down to 20 cents and then it goes back up to a dollar, and then over and it goes back up to $10. Then it dumps again. That's for two. And then I'm missing one or two here and there, but then it goes from two to 36 and that bubble, I actually remember very clearly because as the price was going from two to 36, I had just not felt, I hadn't had enough in the first, the one right before that. So I went all in at $32. I bought a ton of bitcoin and then the price dump back down to like $2. So I was wrecked, you know, and then the price went from, and I sold a lot and the price went back up to like $200. And then we all know happened after that, I went down to a hundred and then went back up to 1200 and then, and then went to 20,000 eventually. So if you just look at it from a scale of that, then you're looking at easily over a hundred thousand dollars, $200,000 per bitcoin.

Simon
Absolutely. Absolutely. I mean that's a minimum I believe. For sure. I mean, just look at ethereum. I mean, ethereum in 2016 was, you know, it was about a dollar give or take in the early days, in the beginning of, you know, 2016 and went up to 10 bucks. You know, bitcoin was in the region of a thousand and joining 2017 in the space of 12 months since then, ethereum went up 120 times and Bitcoin went up 20 times. So lots can happen. It can be, it can be very exciting. It all depends on when you get, I just know one thing you need to buy low and sell high.

Charlie
Yeah, it usually works. You gotta time it, right?

Simon
Absolutely.

Charlie
But don't you get emotional with crypto too? I get so emotional with it.

Simon
I'm far too emotional and that's why I've decided I'll leave it to the experts in the fund. And they manage it for me primarily. So we use technology and the fund is open to people outside accredited investors out of the US there are certain criteria, so yeah, the funds open to investors, accredited professional investors, there's a minimum investment amount, which is $100,000. And that's sort of governed by the Cayman's. It's not something that we have control over, but, I suppose that's there for a reason to protect people they don't want to have happening what happened in the ICO craze of 2017, 2018 happening in the future.

Charlie
So I don't, I want to ask you about that because you know what you just said, offhandedly said without, you know, without even thinking, kind of totally symbolizes where we're going in from the world. So what you just said was accredited investors outside of the US so the accredited part is very important, obviously. You don't want people getting their house on these things, you know. And that's a consumer protection rule. And I like that rule. But the outside of the US thing would that means that I can't participate in your fund. And that's hard because it used to be where if you wanted to do business in the United States, you have to pay to play. But now, like in your words, the, the cabals of the, of the United States, these central banks and everything, they don't allow it. And so what most country, because we're living in a more globalized world, other governments like the Cayman Islands is just saying, you know what, we just don't want to deal with it anymore. And there's enough business outside of the US so we're just going to basically say no United States customers. And in the crypto space, you see that all the time. You see that where it used to be that of you're a US citizen, you can work with and do business with any country in the world. Now it's like almost the opposite. Where you go to (inaudible - 1:06), you have to check, it'll say, oh, United States citizen, you can't do business with us.

Simon
For sure. I mean, I think that's why you see a lot of people who are interested in the cryptos and moving to Puerto Rica to Malta, Belize, they're moving out of the US, you know, they want to become citizens of the world. They don't want to be controlled by these governments to the extent that they are anymore. The world's a smaller place. So yeah, absolutely. It can't be easy being an American right now. I feel for you. I've been through it, you know, we've lived through all of the price controls, currency controls and the controls that our governments put on us. Well, that's not easy at all.

Charlie
Will that change? Will we eventually get to a point where we're in a globalized enough world where people can go to, like jurisdiction shopping and eventually do business with each other? Or are we going to see, are we going to see more globalized world and 10 years from now or are we going to see a less globalized world?

Simon
I'm very concerned about this globalization. It's a massive of concern for me. I think countries need to control their own destiny. Again, you know, having, I mean, if you look at the EU, the European Union is an absolute mess and just talk about Britain for a minute, the fact that Britain wants their own sovereignty back to row their own boat, I think is a good thing. You know, for hundreds of years they fought wars and you know, the whole of the EU is in an absolute state. I don't know if you need to be part of a sinking ship,

Charlie
Why not try to path the hole of the ship instead of jumping off of it.

Simon
I don't think that's, you know, the globalists concerned me. The fact that there's just more controls, more control for, you know, the EU, the World Bank, the IMF, these are all the same cartels and it never ends, not gonna end well where you and I are going to be rubbed of our freedom and our time and our money and our wealth. And that's what scares me.

Charlie
Do you want to go back to the world though with nationalism and independence where we're all fighting wars with each other over, over what?

Simon
Well, I think there's other ways. There's other ways to handle it. I don't think that's going to solve anything. But certainly having one European Union and one or two unions in the world, it's an absolute mess that hasn't worked and I don't think it is going to work.

Charlie
So you, would you say that you believe in an economic cooperation and not like political cooperation or is it the opposite?

Simon
Economic, definitely 100% and I think the fact that, you know, whether you for Trump or against Trump, the realities in the world today, we've got two leaders and Trump and Putin who are both nationalists. And the fact that they want to make the respective country strong again is a good thing. They need to get the local industry booming again. You can't outsource it all to China and then be at the mercy of the east. That's not going to end well either. There is going to be a war on the currency and that's unraveling as we speak. What has to happen is the US has to gain strength. They've got to get on top of the date. They've got a balance of budget and that hasn't happened in 30 years and they need to go back to sound money, which they've clearly lost sight of. It's too much date.

Charlie
Simon, thank you so much for coming on the show. You've definitely open people's eyes to where we are in the world today, but I want to ask you one last question. Leave it with this. What can people do today to preserve their wealth or, or their money that they're earning. What would you, you know, people who don't want to take too much risk in anything. What would you suggest they can do today as they're listening to the show?

Simon
Well, my advice to anyone today is just make a start, get some money, some wealth out of the system that you can control yourself. I'm not saying put all your eggs in one basket, but buy some bitcoin and a bit of precious metals. And you can even do a combination where you can buy some, for example, some silver, you can leverage debt and buy some Bitcoin, but the reality is you need to sell out. So Charlie, thanks for having me on your show, it's been great catching up and I'm look forward to chatting again.