Industry Commentary

Read commentary from industry experts and SWP's feature writers.

Jeff Thomas | Dec 4, 2019

Of course, the business of governance is far more important than a friendly poker game between friends. All the more reason why, when political leaders are making their assessments as to the national future, they should make sure they have a winning hand, prior to betting heavily. Every day, we’re reminded that the Asian powerhouse is moving ahead at a pace that’s unheard of in the West. It’s almost as though the clocks stopped in the West ten years ago, but Asia kept on advancing in every way.

Jeff Thomas | Nov 26, 2019

In the days of yore, there were kings. Everybody could agree to hate the king because he was rich and well-fed, when most of his minions were not. Then, a more effective system was invented – democracy. Its originators had in mind a system whereby the populace could choose their leader from amongst themselves – thereby gaining a leader who understood them and represented them. In short order, those amongst the populace who wished to rule found a way to game the new system in a way that would allow them to, in effect, be kings, but to do so from behind the scenes, whilst retaining the illusion of democracy.

Jeff Clark | Nov 21, 2019

I was stupefied at what I was reading… A Bloomberg article earlier this month reported that JP Morgan and Citibank were significantly reducing their gold positions or closing them out entirely. Based on the article, it seems they made this decision based on the flimsiest of changes in the market:

Jeff Thomas | Nov 19, 2019

Throughout the world, the media televise weekly reports on the protests in Hong Kong. Developments have remained highly visible, courtesy of regular demonstrations that take place like clockwork, every weekend in the business district of the city. And these are not small demonstrations. A crowds of up to two million has gathered on at least one occasion.

Jeff Thomas | Nov 13, 2019

Just prior to a war, the majority of people in the nations that are about to become involved tend to assume that another nation is threatening theirs, whist their own leaders are doing all they can to avoid conflict. This is almost never the case. The “etiquette” of starting wars is for leaders to claim to their people that the last thing they want is war, but the enemy is goading them into armed conflict and, at some point, retaliation becomes “unavoidable.”

Jeff Thomas | Nov 5, 2019

A half-century ago, the US was the envy of the world – the Land of the Free, where virtually anyone could prosper, if he were willing to roll up his sleeves and work. America was made great through the immigration of those who wished to pursue the American dream of “work = personal success.” It’s important for us to remember that those who were less ambitious remained in their homelands and helped their countries stagnate, whilst their worker-bee counterparts colonised America for generations.

Emil Kalinowski, CFA | Oct 30, 2019

‘Money’ is being crossed out. Not lost. Not wasted. Crossed out. The author is aware that such words will offend the reader as absurd. True, the reader may grant that normal ‘billfold money’ does have a tiresome habit of departing too quickly. But it is certainly not dematerialising.

Jeff Thomas | Oct 28, 2019

“Trump is doing the right thing. Without him, we have no protection against China. China doesn’t only wish to dominate Asia, but the world.” Here in Hanoi, so said my dinner companion - a major manufacturer and worldwide exporter of steel products. He, like so many other major Asian producers, sees an opportunity in international trade for all of Asia to capitalize on. In the Western world, the argument rages as to whether the US tariff war will benefit the US or not.

Mark Yaxley | Oct 21, 2019

One of our clients recently submitted a question to our experts: What is the ideal ratio of metals to hold to weather the economic storms on the horizon? To answer their question, we took a look at data provided by the CPM Group, a leading precious metals research firm out of New York City. Their findings may surprise you.

Jeff Clark | Oct 17, 2019

A textbook in my Master of Psychology program theorized that most things in life come down to core drives—food, shelter, sex, etc. Throw in Freud’s pain and pleasure principals and this is supposedly what drives everything we do. We had a good time poking fun of simplistic theories as to what motivates people. Human emotions and motivations are complex. Except when it comes to money.

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