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Ep. 431: Bill Bonner Interview with Michael Covel on Trend Following

Bill Bonner

Bill Bonner

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Michael Covel interviews Bill Bonner. Bill is author of “Hormegeddon: How Too Much Of A Good Thing Leads To Disaster.” He has made a career out of skepticism. That skepticism started right out of college as he helped a friend start a grassroots organization, The National Tax Payers Union. There, he was able to get an inside look at government. It was during his lobbying for this grassroots organization that he saw the true motivations of politicians.

Bill and Michael start the conversation off talking about having too much of something, good or bad. Everything in the world, when you get too much of it, it is bad. Bill uses Germany as an example: When Hitler first got into power, his message to the people was more security. As Hitler kept gaining more power, the government took more control and things began to fall apart rapidly from there.

Next they talk about negative interest rates. There is a social contract being broken by the use of negative interest rates. Bill says the whole idea of work leading to output, leading to money, leading to investment, which leads to further output all falls apart with negative interest rates. Negative interest rates don’t stimulate the economy, they actually lead to people hunkering down and saving more money. This segues into the next topic of myth and reality. Myth plays a large part in society. Our conception of government is based on myth, and our idea of how government operates is far different than the reality of how it is actually run.

Michael and Bill move into discussing how internet has connected people and put information at everyone’s fingertips. However, it has proven too difficult for people to sift through all the information and find the wisdom inside it rather than the noise. Bill brings up a poll that was done by the National Constitution Center. The poll said that 41% of Americans are not aware that there are three branches of government. 62% of them cannot name what the three branches of government are, and 33% of them cannot name a single one of the branches. Americans can’t be shocked that a government doesn’t work the way it “should” work when they don’t even know how it “should” work in the first place.

Lastly, Michael and Bill talk about prediction and crashes. Since 1970 there has been seven recessions. Economists were able to predict none of them. Even in early 2008 when everything was crashing, not a single economist thought we were heading into a recession. This just shows how little the government basis their studies on facts but rather on human judgement. Bill says that unemployment is a great example. Unemployment rates aren’t subject to scientific analysis, they are subject to human analysis. The GDP growth rate is made up of the same kind of fictitious numbers and based on human judgment. It is more a measure of how quick people are going into debt not if they are better off in life.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Declining marginal utility
  • Unemployment
  • Negative interest rates
  • Myth vs. Reality
  • Government polling

“The fed’s try and stretch the addiction out as long as possible. Why? Because running a rehab clinic can be a good business, especially if the patients never recover. Patients are never allowed to hit bottom. They never get better, and the quacks bring more and more wealth and power to themselves and their friends.” – Bill Bonner

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