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And this year’s Tommy Franks ‘expert’ award goes to…

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On December 10, 1896, in the picturesque seaside town of San Remo, Italy, the famed Swedish chemist breathed his last breath after suffering a devastating stroke, and died.

Nobel was an incredibly wealthy man at the time of his death, and most of his wealth had been placed in a trust.

(In doing this, Nobel managed to sidestep Sweden’s gargantuan inheritance tax that had been in place since 1884, AND the Kingdom of Italy’s estate tax.)

Nobel’s death is commemorated every year on December 10th, at the annual banquet which honors the newest recipients of the Nobel Prize.

That’s tomorrow. And among the honorees at this year’s banquet is the former head of the US central bank, Mr. Ben Bernanke.

I’m sure Bernanke is a wonderful human being who certainly tried his best. But, as you may recall, he was the “expert” who established the precedent of slashing interest rates to zero and conjuring trillions of dollars out of thin air.

When Bernanke first became Fed Chairman in 2006, the central bank’s balance sheet was about $850 billion. And as the housing market began to decline, he continually insisted that there wouldn’t be a housing crash… nor a recession… nor certainly a major economic crisis.

He was completely wrong on all three accounts.

Within a couple of years, the entire global economy had nearly collapsed. Bernanke responded by printing so much money that the Fed’s balance sheet ballooned to $4.5 trillion (from $850 billion). And he cut rates to zero.

Bernanke had this power because the nature of our financial system awards dictatorial control of the money supply to a tiny group of unelected central bankers. And Bernanke was the chief of that unelected committee.

Bernanke faced some criticism for his actions, most vocally by then Congressman Ron Paul.

But similar to the incorrect predictions he made about the economy and housing, Bernanke insisted that there would be no consequences… that the Federal Reserve could continue to keep rates low and print money, and nothing bad would happen.

Once again, this view proved to be totally wrong. And we’re seeing the consequences now with record high inflation.

It’s not Bernanke’s fault. He’s human. He made mistakes. All of us have.

The real problem is having a system that gives supreme control to a tiny group of imperfect, mistake-prone human beings.

The Fed has virtually zero oversight, zero accountability. They do whatever they want, and hundreds of millions of people have to suffer the consequences of their actions.

More perversely, though, they’re held up as “experts”. And even though they’re just as human as the rest of us, these “experts” are somehow seen as infallible.

We experienced the same thing during the pandemic; a tiny, unelected group of public health “experts” were given near totalitarian control over how hundreds of millions of people were allowed to live their lives.

And we were expected to suspend all doubt and scrutiny, and to believe everything they say without question… because they were the experts.

The most absurd part of all, though, is that even when they’re proven to be completely and totally wrong… these “experts” are awarded our society’s most esteemed prizes for achievement.

Again, Bernanke may be a wonderful guy who tried his best. But his approach had devastating consequences. He created one of the biggest financial bubbles in human history. And tomorrow he’s won the Nobel Prize.

This makes about as much sense as giving the Nobel Peace Prize to Henry Kissinger or Barack Obama.

Or the special 2020 Emmy award to New York’s governor Andrew Cuomo.

Or when Will Smith received a STANDING OVATION when he won the 2022 Academy Award for Best Actor, literally minutes after assaulting Chris Rock on stage.

Or Vladimir Putin receiving the French Legion of Honor. Or Kamala Harris winning Time Magazine’s Person of the Year.

Or the New York Times and Washington Post winning the 2018 Pulitzer Prize (for ‘excellence’ in journalism) for their “deeply sourced. . . coverage of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election”, which turned out to be a complete hoax.

Or Tony Fauci winning the US government’s “Employee of the Year” in 2020, after having already won the US Presidential Medal of Freedom.

It’s hard to take any of this seriously when these organizations bestow their awards to “experts” who are so consistently wrong.

This is the topic of our podcast today, which I call “Another win for the expert class”. It’s a bizarre cycle where ‘experts’, who sit on these award committees, bestow their prizes to other ‘experts’, thus inflating the credibility of the expert class far beyond where it should be.

Again, we’re all human, and we all make mistakes. And that’s precisely the reason why no one… no matter how much of an expert he or she may be… should have unchecked power over hundreds of millions of people.

Not to completely miss out on the fun, though, and given that this will be my last podcast until January, I also decided to resurrect an old favorite of mine– the annual Tommy Franks award.

Tommy Franks is a retired four star general who was the first commander during the early days of the War on Terror after 9/11.

Franks is a no-nonsense guy from Texas who didn’t pull any punches. And one day when a reporter asked Franks what he thought about a senior Pentagon bureaucrat, Franks didn’t miss a beat and quipped “he’s the dumbest fucking guy on the planet.”

So, since the “experts” have been showered with so many awards already, I would be remiss if I didn’t add one more to the mix, and once again roll out the annual Tommy Franks “expert” award for 2022.

Obviously the competition was pretty stiff. German Chancellor Olaf Shulz seems bent on freezing his people to death. Chinese President Xi has single-handedly been destroying his country’s social and economic prospects in the name of a virus.

Teacher’s Union head Randi Weingarten is on the list for waging jihad against America’s children. Kamala Harris makes the list for her endless incompetence and word salads.

Press Secretary Karin Jean-Pierre is also a nominee for maintaining an incredibly impressive level of general cluelessness. Pelosi makes the list for her keen grasp of arithmetic (“It costs nothing”) and for nearly causing World War III over Taiwan.

The list goes on and on. But there is one who stands head and shoulders above all the rest.

You can listen in to the podcast, and cheer on this year’s winner, by clicking here– “Another Win for the Expert Class”.

[00:00:00.890]
Today, we’re going to go back in time to the 20 May in the year 325 Ad, to an ornate, luxurious palace of the Roman Empire, but located in an area that today would be considered part of northwestern Turkey. Now, the guy at the time who was the Roman Emperor’s, name was Constantine the Great. He was present that day and his job was to essentially preside over over the opening ceremonies of what would be one of the most important conferences to have ever taken place in the history of the world. Seems like a weird concept, but it’s absolutely true. This was a conference to which nearly 2000 people were invited.

[00:00:39.140]
It’s not exactly known exactly how many of them showed up, but historians estimate that at least a few hundred made the very long journey. In ancient times, it was a big deal to have to travel, to go such a long way and made the long journey to Turkey to attend the event again. This was part of the Roman Empire, and Constantine, who was the Emperor, was there. Constantine was a Pragmatic guy. He didn’t become known as Constantine the Great because he was stupid.

[00:01:02.140]
He was actually a very intelligent guy. He was a highly skilled politician, and he had spent really almost two decades trying to reunify Rome. And this is actually an important part of Roman history, because in around 293, the guy who was emperor at that time, in 293, his name was Diocletian. Diocletian may sound familiar to you, especially if you understand and know economic history relatively well. Diocletian is the guy that had this famous edict on wages and prices.

[00:01:26.400]
He tried to set price controls in the same way that price controls have been tried by many kings and emperors and rulers throughout history. They never work. They’re always a terrible idea. They were a terrible idea when Diocletian tried them in the early fourth century. And so this is the same guy who also decided, you know what, I’m going to split up the empire.

[00:01:44.510]
That was another one of his brilliant ideas. In addition to wage and price controls, diocletian decided he was going to carve up the Roman Empire and then award the power and ruling of all these sort of smaller regional empires to a bunch of different people, all of whom had their own agendas. And as you can imagine, it didn’t take long for these regional rulers and these mini Roman empires to go to war with each other. And so, essentially, by splitting up the Empire, all Diocletian did was he created four times the mess of the original empire. Terrible idea.

[00:02:13.210]
And eventually, Constantine was the guy that managed to reunite that empire. He did it in 324 Ad, after nearly two decades of really trying to unify this, defeating all the other rulers. And he did so because he had a great deal of help from Rome’s Christian population prior to Constantine under Diocletian in particular. And before diocletian. To be fair, christians in Rome had been heavily persecuted.

[00:02:39.180]
Diocletian was particularly brutal to them. Christians had been deprived of their property. They were arrested, tortured, executed. They were thrown into the colosseum and eaten by exotic animals for everybody else’s entertainment. Constantine was the guy that put an end to all of that.

[00:02:52.310]
He knew that Christians were committed, there was a lot of them, and that he would probably be better off in his political career and the campaigns that he was about to wage militarily if he had the Christians on his side. So he made it clear to the Christians, made certain promises that he would liberate them from their persecution, and this ended up being a very good gamble. Constantine was an educated guy. He was brought up to be able to easily socialize and had friends. They were pagans and Christians and could sort of mix in and out of all these different circles.

[00:03:22.950]
And he knew that promising religious freedom to the Christians would be enough to mobilize them towards his side in this war to sort of retake the Roman empire. And that’s exactly what he did. Now, unlike most politicians, constantine actually made good on his commitments. And so in 313, this was before he had finalized reunifying the entire empire, but by 313, it was clear that he was the top dog. He was clearly the dominant leader of all the remaining rulers that were trying to control the empire.

[00:03:48.130]
It was obvious that Constantine was the dominant guy at that point. And so in 313, he announced full religious freedom, not just for the Christians, but for everybody in the empire. He said, you know what? You can believe whatever you want to believe. I don’t really care.

[00:03:59.930]
You do you, and it’s fine. And he ended up actually, later on, restoring property to the Christians, the property that had been confiscated from them by the Roman government. And so the Christians liked this guy a lot. In theory, Constantine himself actually converted to Christianity. He was baptized on his deathbed and all these things.

[00:04:17.330]
And so they liked him, they appreciated him, and they definitely supported him. And so it was after, in 324, he defeated the last competing ruler. And so Constantine became the emperor of the kind of reconstituted Roman empire. But at that point, he decided to move the capital to the east, because at that point, the east was the future of Rome. And he knew it.

[00:04:38.390]
A lot of people knew it. Rome, the city, rather. The Roman empire deteriorated, really, at that point, so much that the city of Rome, the legendary city of Rome, where it all started, rome wasn’t even the imperial capital anymore. It wasn’t even the provincial capital, the regional capital in the west, in fact, the western capital of the Roman empire. And the western Roman empire actually moved to what is today Milan in northern Italy.

[00:04:59.370]
So Rome, the city of Rome, wasn’t even the capital anymore. And he said, you know what? We need to move on from this. Let’s turn the page. We’ll have a new start, new empire, just reconstituted.

[00:05:08.140]
We’re going to have a brand new start. I’m making a new capital. And so he decided to make his capital in modern day Turkey. This was this was in the east, and that’s where the future was. So they got to work on a city, the capital city that bore his name for 16 centuries.

[00:05:23.120]
It was known as Constantinople for 16 centuries. Today it’s known as Istanbul, obviously in Turkey, but it takes a while to build capital. So in the meantime, he had a vast palace nearby in a city called Nica. And it was in Nica that he called this great conference the following year in 325 Ad. And the reason why he did that was because he was concerned.

[00:05:44.680]
Again, Constantine was a pragmatic guy, and Christianity was still relatively nascent. It was only three centuries after the death of Christ, and it took him two decades of winning the peace. He had fought war and battle after battle, and he just he didn’t want conflict anymore. And he knew that there were internal divisions within Christianity. Again, it was still pretty nascent.

[00:06:06.450]
And these internal divisions could cause an all out civil war, at least serious social strife. And he said, you know what? After two decades of trying to win a peace and reconstitute the empire, I’m not interested in this. I don’t want to have this anymore. And he was far too pragmatic to allow any kind of social conflict to take place.

[00:06:22.410]
So he convened this grand event, this big conferencing. He invited bishops and people of high religious standing from all over the empire to come and once and for all settle their religious disputes. And you might be thinking, well, what kind of religious disputes are we talking about? Because if you’re somebody who’s Christian today, it might seem like all that stuff is water under the bridge. But really, in the early days of Christianity, there were a lot of disputes.

[00:06:47.710]
There were a lot of unresolved questions. I mean, honestly, some things that we might think of today is really people really had a fit about that. Yeah, they did. Things like, did Jesus Christ own his own clothes? This is a guy that was going around healing the sick and taking care of the poor and so forth.

[00:07:07.610]
Did he actually own his clothes? Did he have any personal property to have any possessions at all? People really vigorously debated those things, and the questions, particularly in front of the Council of Nica, they had an agenda, and the agenda were things like, if Jesus was the Son of God, did that make Jesus lesser than God or more than God, or equal to God? And was he born or was he created? And all these different things.

[00:07:30.590]
And then some of these were administrative issues as opposed to purely philosophical and religious issues. How do you deal with there are a lot of Christians that were called lapsed Christians, people that literally, at the point of a sword, soldiers come in and basically shove a sword in their face and say, are you Christian or not? And if you are, I’m going to kill you. And some people renounce their faith on the spot and said, no, I’m not a Christian. And these were called lapsed Christians because basically they renounced their faith in order to avoid persecution, to avoid torture, to avoid execution.

[00:08:00.080]
And so would those people be welcomed back into the Church? And how easily could they be welcomed back in the Church? And so these are sort of administrative issues that need to be sorted out. One of the actually almost silly administrative issues was when exactly Easter, the Easter holiday, would be celebrated. And this was this shockingly caused tremendous controversy in the early days of Christianity, because it was a time when the holiday was a lunar calendar, Jewish calendar, the Hebrew calendar and the Roman calendar, the Julian calendar, all these different things.

[00:08:27.800]
And it was really difficult to determine when exactly the Christian holiday would be celebrated, when Easter would be celebrated. And again, these disputes might seem quite petty to a lot of people today, but this back then, it was really enough to cause extreme social turmoil. And you had factions developed, and you had people that say, this is what we believe, and if nobody else believes us, when we’re going to fight each other, all these things. And it was a lot of internal strife within the community of Christians. And so Constantine, always the diplomat, always the Pragmatist, convened this conference.

[00:09:00.400]
It’s now known to history as the Council of Nicaea. And to his credit, even though he was the emperor of the Roman Empire, had a lot of power, he pretty much stayed out of it. And he let all these hundreds of people argue with each other and sorted out among themselves the bishops and the clergy that were in attendance and had people from all these different factions. He basically let them battle it out. And in the end, the Council made its final resolutions, and they literally defined what was the belief system that still actually exists today for most denominations of Christianity.

[00:09:33.280]
They defined essentially, this is the truth. This is the truth. And they defined every last detail about what the followers were supposed to believe. And they came up, even with a formal statement, this is called the Nicene Creed to summarize the key points of this truth, they said, this is the truth. This is what we’ve decided is the truth.

[00:09:51.700]
And anybody that doesn’t accept this will be excommunicated from our system. And after they decided that all these are the religious authorities. Now, Constantine as the civil authority, the Emperor of Rome, who was in charge of the government, he didn’t get really involved in the religious issues and the religious decision making. But as the head of the government, he played along and he said, okay, the religious people have decided, and the government now is going to support you. So you’re saying you’re going to threaten people with religious punishment and excommunication if they don’t believe your truth?

[00:10:21.610]
Well, I’ll go along with that. And I’ll essentially impose civil and criminal penalties, including exile on the people who the council majority had decided to excommunicate. And there were people at the Council of Nica that stormed out of the council angry and bitter because their faction didn’t win the philosophical battle and they were excommunicated. And some people went off stuttered their own church and so forth. But Constantine actually ended up exiling these people because it was what the religious majority decided that they wanted.

[00:10:51.220]
The powerful bishops that defined the truth, this is what they wanted, and he went along with it. Now, I’m not saying all this to dump on any religion or anybody’s beliefs, but I do, as you can imagine, believe in freedom. I believe absolutely in all sorts of freedom, including the freedom of religion, which is really, in my opinion, a form of intellectual freedom. I think that people should be free to believe in whatever they want to believe and not have it dictated to them by a council of, frankly, people that are generally proven to be self interested bureaucrats. We’ve seen this ourselves many, many times.

[00:11:26.000]
Obviously, one very recent example of this was COVID, the Pandemic Debacle. We all remember it. Not only is it very recent, but it will forever be burned into our memories. The virus came along. It’s been three years ago now, recording this, December 9, 2022.

[00:11:40.290]
It’s been basically almost three years exactly at the end of 2019. By March 2020, it had taken over the world. And also having taken over the world, were the public health dictators. Now, let’s be fair. Like a lot of us may remember things a little bit differently, but most people were really shit scared at first because based on the available information at the time, the stuff we heard in the media, the stuff we heard on social media and all this stuff was that it was like this flesh eating virus that if you got it, your brain would explode and you would die instantly.

[00:12:14.980]
And that’s sort of the thing that everybody thought. We saw the videos of people getting welded into their homes in mainland China and all these sorts of things. You think, well, jeez, that’s probably not good. That sounds like a really nasty virus. We had images of a lot of people that are a bit older probably remember the Ebola outbreak in the 1990s and the hot zones and all that stuff.

[00:12:36.710]
That just I mean, that was really terrifying stuff because it was like you were just bleeding from all these orifices in your body and just have this horrible, convulsive death. And I think that’s what a lot of people thought, you know, COVID-19 was at first. And if I’m really fair, I have a very difficult time faulting anybody for their initial reactions to COVID-19, including politicians and policymakers and the public health people. But you’re supposed to be leaders, are leaders for a reason. And after several months of this highly reactionary, super emotional response, several months of that, there was more than enough time and more than enough data, more than enough information for these leaders.

[00:13:15.210]
I’m doing air quotes, of course, to summon their courage and to analyze the information and to look at the data and weigh the costs and benefits to make pragmatic and rational decisions. But that didn’t happen. Instead, basically, we got a new council of Nica where you had a handful of bureaucrats, self interested bureaucrats, defined the truth that everybody else was told to believe, and anybody that didn’t believe it, anybody that had different opinion, anybody that had different data, anybody that had different analysis was punished. They were censored, discredited, and basically exiled. Now, we know the stories.

[00:13:51.210]
This is nothing new. We’ve talked about this. I’ve written about this a lot. These are very familiar stories. You might remember the Great Barrington Declaration early on in the pandemic.

[00:14:00.670]
This is a bunch of eminent scientists who got together and said the cost of the lockdown is not worth it. The lockdowns will cause far more harm than good. And you have these people at the top of the pyramid. Francis Collins, Tony Fauci sought to use their influence and all their connections in the media and big tech to discredit these people who wrote the Great Barrington Declaration, who had a different opinion and thought that the lockdowns weren’t worth it and they should try a different approach, and tried to discredit them as fringe scientists. And of course, the quote from the email, a very famous email, was, we need a quote, quick and devastating takedown of its premises.

[00:14:37.120]
So these are fringe scientists and this wacko idea that we shouldn’t lock down the whole world, this was considered controversial and these people had to be censored and discredited. And it’s crazy when you think about the extent to which this happened, because that one example only scratches the surface of the censorship that took place during all the peak pandemic insanity. And I don’t want to spend this episode today rehashing all of that because we all remember it so well. But a few of these examples that you’ll recall I mean, remember when the vaccines first came out and anyone who said at the time that a vaccinated person can still get COVID. Oh, if you said that, you were erased off the Internet in an instant, and it was these key members in the government that ensured that the censorship would take place.

[00:15:29.450]
And of course, now we know that that’s obviously true, that of course, if you’re vaccinated, you’re triple vaccinated and quintupley boosted that you can still get that people still get COVID. They absolutely get COVID. But if you had said that back when the vaccines first came out in 2021, late 20, early 21, you would have been erased off the internet for your misinformation. And again, anybody that suggested that COVID was leaked from the wuhan institute of virology, you were canceled, you were raced off the internet, you were decried, you were discredited and said, oh, this denounced. Everything about this person is evil, terrible misinformation.

[00:16:04.990]
Now, of course, this is a mainstream, widely accepted idea, and there’s a lot of evidence to support it, and certainly a lot of evidence to show that all these official investigations discrediting that theory were highly biased. And we didn’t even get into that whole rabbit hole. And yet again, the entire time, I’ll just call it church and state, because by church, I mean the holy warriors and the COVID fanatics who teamed up in public health to define truth, jam it down everybody’s throat, shut down intellectual descent, do a devastating takedown of any intellectual descent, and excommunicate all the non believers. These were the holy COVID fanatics that had serious positions of power. This is what they were doing over and over and over again.

[00:16:52.340]
And of course, now it turns out that many of their key policies, these major ideas, the entire concept of lockdown, lockdown, lockdown, let’s just shut everything down and just sit and wait for a virus to just disappear. It turns out that there’s a mountain of data showing that many of these ideas and concepts may in fact have been horrifically wrong, that the lockdowns were totally destructive. And we’ve seen a lot of data behind this. I’ve written about this and reprinted a lot of reports about this showing in the United States. For example, a recent report showing that just really the devastating impact on young people their educational, developmental, and social progress.

[00:17:33.390]
A lot of this stuff actually comes from the government itself, from the education department that shows how far behind young people have fallen. We can see all the data on suicides, drug abuse, spousal abuse, child abuse. It’s absolutely disgusting. And then the mountains of data on things like mask mandates, and we could see this country versus country, state versus state. If you remember when the state of Texas said in 2021, they said, you know what, we’re done with mass mandates.

[00:17:58.300]
We’re not going to do mask mandates anymore. And of course, fauci came in and predicted this giant wave of death in the state of Texas. There’s going to be bodies piled up in the streets because Texas is saying, no more mass mandates. And it didn’t happen. It didn’t happen.

[00:18:11.690]
And when you compare, you know, the death rates and the infectious rates and so forth in these states that had looser mandates versus stricter mandates and so forth, there was no clear consensus. And in fact, in many respects the looser states, the easier going states fared better off. If you look at especially on an age adjusted, population adjusted basis, you compare places like Florida and California, it was pretty clear that there was an advantage to places that had looser restrictions, that didn’t have the same mandates. And yet all the bishops and the high priests and the media just let them get away with it. When they said, hey, what happened with Texas?

[00:18:47.200]
You said it was going to be bodies stacked up in the streets. You just shrugged it up and said, oh, I don’t know, and they just let him get away with it. So everything that this guy said, the media just repeated and said this is the gospel. He went to Zuckerberg and all the social media guys and they said anything that Fauci says is true and anybody that disagrees with it is not true. And even when he was totally wrong, they never really came out and said, okay, well, sorry, we were wrong about that, we were wrong about this and we were wrong about that, and we’re changing our policies and so forth, they just gave him a pass.

[00:19:17.300]
Every time he was proven to be completely wrong, they gave him a pass. When he was caught telling a bold faced lie, they gave him a pass. They completely ignored. He never apologized, never admitted he was wrong, never admitted he might possibly be wrong. And his ego was so massive that even aligned himself to the very concept of science itself as if he is the second coming of Isaac Newton and Stephen Hawking and all these things completely ridiculous and even to this day still seems to be a believer in these policies.

[00:19:46.070]
In the lockdowns you might have seen, there was a recent interview did with CBS News and you have to use some of these words very loosely. Interview you have to do very loosely the journalist you have to put in error quotes because to describe it as a softball interview would be a horrific insult to the sport of softball. The quote unquote journalist was basically asking and answering the questions for Fauci, so he didn’t even really have to say very much because she was just putting the words in his mouth and essentially asking whether or not he agreed. It was so ridiculous. And then when asked about there’s COVID outbreaks, so there’s RSV, there’s all these things do we need to close the schools again?

[00:20:25.930]
And of course, Fuchsi pipes up and demonstrates that he’s completely open to the idea of closing schools again, even though the science very clearly proves that to be wrong, that the consequences just are not worth it. The benefits are marginal, the consequences on the lives and the development of young people have been enormous. And he’s just still stuck in this mode of, well, we’ve got to consider that and maybe we should close the schools and again, living in the past. He’s telling the reporter, oh, we’ve got a long way to go and we’re not there yet. And he’s still insisting on the wet market theory that, oh, it must have been a bad must have been, et cetera, can’t bring himself to acknowledge the idea of a lab leak.

[00:21:09.070]
And probably the most hilarious part is that when asked if China is covering up the truth about COVID’s origins, he he actually said this in reference to the term covering it up. If it’s a cover up, he said, quote, I don’t know what that means. Literally, direct quote, I don’t know what that means. I don’t know what a cover up means. His delicate babe virgin ears can’t possibly comprehend what a cover up is.

[00:21:35.070]
This is from a guy who is the highest paid federal employee who’s been in his position for decades. Been in his position since 1984. Was put in his position when Ronald Reagan was president. Put in his position by Ronald Reagan, whose net worth just happened to soar during the pandemic, thanks to his vast stock portfolio, which is almost 100% invested in the pharmaceuticals companies he was promoting and in funds who were invested in these pharmaceuticals companies. This is not some wild conspiracy theory.

[00:22:00.860]
This is all publicly available information because as a government employee, anthony Vouches had to file public disclosures about his financial status. And so to see the benefit couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. I mean, it is really a financial success story. Good for him. So let’s put a bookmark in this for now, and we come back in a little bit to our friend Dr.

[00:22:22.420]
Fauci because I want to move on to another expert. And this is another expert that’s actually in Sweden right now as we have this conversation as record this again. This is December 9, 2022, because he’s about to be honored at the Nobel Prize banquet tomorrow, every year on December 10, to coincide with the death of Alfred Nobel, which took place on December 10, there’s this Nobel Prize banquet. And one of the guys who’s receiving Nobel Prizes here, there’s the Nobel Prize in economics is Ben Bernacki. Ben Bernacki used to be the chairman of the US.

[00:23:01.850]
Federal Reserve, the central bank of the United States, from 2006 to 2014. So he was the head of the largest central bank in the world, which meant that he had an incredible amount of influence and authority in setting US. Monetary policy. Now, that might sound relatively boring unless you actually really understand what US. Monetary policy is, what monetary policy is in general.

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And to give you a little bit of a snapshot, Bernanke Bernanke once bragged in a televised interview I think it was on 60 Minutes, this was some years ago and he claimed, quote, that he could raise interest rates in 15 minutes because people would say oh, well, you’re printing a lot of money and you’re expanding the money supply. And isn’t this going to cause inflation? You said inflation. You don’t have to worry about inflation. I could raise interest rates in 15 minutes.

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And he kind of bragged about it, because when you think about it, that’s an incredible amount of power for a single human being to have, or even a small group of human beings. Because what he’s saying is he has the ability to change interest rates on a dime at the drop of a hat, to create infinite quantities of money at the drop of a hat, and do so without any congressional approval, without any presidential approval, without really any oversight whatsoever. Him and a couple of other people on this committee, they go, let’s create trillions of dollars out of thin air. Let’s slash interest rates. And they could do all these things without, again, any approval mechanism.

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And the impact of these actions is incredibly profound. Raising and lowering interest rates, printing money, they have really profound impacts on the economy. The easiest way to think about this is that interest rates are essentially the price of money, right? Interest rates are the price of money. When you think about it, it makes sense.

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When you’re borrowing money, you pay interest. So that’s the price you pay for money. When you’re saving money, you’re essentially loaning it to your bank. When you’re saving money, that’s the price of money. The interest is the price you get paid or that you pay for money that you might borrow or lend or anything else.

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And so when you have the ability to set interest rates, you’re essentially setting the price of money. And when you have the ability, the price of money is the most important price in the entire economy, followed probably fairly closely by the price of energy. But when you have the ability to set the price of money, it really gives you the power to control the price of just about anything. Real estate, stocks, sovereign debt, literally just about everything is derived from the price of money. And this isn’t really hard to understand.

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Let’s think about real estate, for example. If interest rates right now drop to 0.1%, the 30 year mortgage is 0.1%. Just imagine how much money you could borrow if the interest rate is 0.1%. I mean, with $1,000, you could borrow $12 million. If interest rates are 0.1%, it would be utterly ridiculous.

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And because of this, home prices would probably rise, right? If it’s that cheap to borrow, that means the average home buyer could afford to borrow more money. And if the average home buyer could borrow more money, that means they could bid more money for a home. So all home prices end up rising because interest rates are so low. But if interest rates rise to 99.9%, right, home prices are going to plumb, it because it’s so much more expensive to borrow money, right?

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It’s because you’re paying so much more interest, buyers won’t be able to afford to. Borrow or pay as much for a home. And so home prices are going to fall. So because interest rates rise and fall, that affects the price, the value of homes. It’s the same thing with stocks.

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It’s the same thing with business equipment, the same thing with all this stuff. And you think about over the last several years, businesses, big corporations, they have borrowed so much money because it’s been so cheap. They’ve been able to go to the bond market and borrow money at 3-2-1 percent. I mean, nothing, right? And they use that money.

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They borrow 1%, and they use it to buy back their stock. So their stock ends up going up 10%. They borrow money at 1%, they use it to buy back their stock so the stock price goes up. And these are the sorts of things that happen when interest rates are low. And so by cutting rates, it creates this extra stimulus, this big monetary stimulus.

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All this money sloshing around the system, and it affects the prices of all these assets, which impact the price of everything, means that it’s easier to do big projects, which has impacts on the prices of oil and gas and gold and everything else. And it all comes down to this handful of people, this unelected committee that has the supreme power to change interest rates in their sole discretion whenever they want to. Again, like Bernacki said, I could raise interest rates in 15 minutes. No human being should have that kind of power because it gives them extraordinary control over virtually everything in the economy. Now, Bernacki, when he was a Fed chairman, he was the first guy really, in modern history to use that power unabashedly to slash interest rates down to zero.

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Nobody had really ever seen that before. They kept using the word unprecedented. Unprecedented. But he made unprecedented normal. He made unprecedented kind of commonplace because Bernacki was if you remember, during this time, Bernacki was the Fed chairman right before he came in, right before the last financial crisis, the big financial crisis in 2008.

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A lot of you probably remember that. You know, I mean, this was this was where everything, the banks crashed, housing crashed, the entire economy, the entire old global economy almost went off the rails. You had entire countries that went bust overnight. Iceland famously went bust literally overnight because they had so much economic exposure to all these different things. It was a really, really terrible financial crisis.

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So Bernacki dealt with it by slashing interest rates to zero and printing trillions of dollars.

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Right before this happened, he was completely unaware that there was anything wrong, that there are any problems. And there was a certain point he went and testified before Congress. This was prior to when the crisis really kicked off in 2008. I don’t remember exactly when it was, but it wasn’t that long before. And he insisted that there would not be a nationwide decline in home prices.

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And even if it did happen, that even if there was a nationwide decline in home prices would not cause any broader economic problems. He kind of kept saying this over and over again, everything’s going to be fine. Everything’s going to be fine. And of course, he was proven hilariously wrong. It didn’t seem hilarious at the time, but it was completely and totally wrong because the entire global economy nearly collapsed and he totally didn’t see it coming.

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Again, this is a guy that’s about to get the Nobel Prize, be honored for winning the Nobel Prize literally tomorrow in Sweden. So as he again reacted to all that slash interest rates to zero, he kept them at zero for pretty much his entire tenure as head of the Central Bank. And when you think about that, zero interest rates are kind of a funny thing. Again, if you go back to the concept of what are interest rates? Interest rates represent the price of money.

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And if you’re talking about the zero interest rates, what you’re saying is the price of money is zero means money is free, right? Or more appropriately, if the price of money is zero, you’re saying that money has no value. And that’s a very dangerous concept. It’s a very dangerous incentive. Capital should always be treated as a precious and scarce resource.

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Because if it’s a precious and scarce resource, then that means that the allocation of that capital, where it’s invested and how it’s invested, should be determined by rational, prudent people. And instead what we’re saying is capital has no value. We shouldn’t treat it as a precious and scarce resource. We should treat it as something that has literally no value. And so when money is free, it has no value.

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You can just borrow and borrow and borrow and borrow for nothing. You just get money for nothing. You go to the bank, you borrow 0% and people end up making terrible capital allocation systems. Now, of course, the average guy isn’t borrowing money at zero, but if you’re a bank and you’re able to borrow money at zero, they open up the discount window and big institutional people come in and borrowing money at almost nothing and they end up making really terrible capital allocation decisions. This is how bubbles form.

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This is how, again, companies who have no hope of ever turning a profit end up being worth $50 billion and they’re able to borrow lots of money and buy back their stock. And they don’t even generate enough revenue to pay the tiny little bit of interest that they have to pay, but they’re able to continue borrowing money. They have no hope of ever turning a profit, but they’re just able to keep borrowing money. And all the different things that we’ve seen in the Art Basel Art Festival, some guy duct tapes a banana to a wall, calls it art and then sells it for $120,000. Who would pay $120,000 for a banana duct tape to a wall.

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But you do that when capital has no value, or you get $91 million for an NFT of a picture of I think it’s a white sphere on a black background, becomes valued at $91 million. I mean, this is the sort of stuff that takes place when capital has absolutely no value, and capital has no value when interest rates are zero. And this is something that comes officially from the central bank. And again, at zero interest rates, money literally has no value. These are the sorts of things that we see over and over again.

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This policy was continued. It wasn’t just Bernanke. The policy was continued through most of his successor’s tenure. His successor was Janet Yellen, who is now the Secretary of the treasury. Janet Yellen was actually a very interesting case because Yellen was, you know, she, she admitted, quite surprisingly, she actually admitted that she was caught flat footed on inflation.

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She gave a speech, she said, oh, and some interview saying, I didn’t see it coming. I should have seen inflation, but I didn’t see it coming. This is actually really interesting because several months ago there was a reporter who wrote a story actually, I think wrote a book, talking about inside the Biden administration, inside the Biden White House, saying actually Yellen did, though, and she alone was the only voice of reason in the entire administration that was cautioning them about inflation and saying, look, we really shouldn’t spend so much money. We really shouldn’t have these build back better, huge multi trillion dollar stimulus. Things like this is going to be very inflationary and you shouldn’t do this.

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And Yellen was the only one that knew that this was going to happen, and the reporter published the story saying Yellen was the voice of reason. Yellen knew that inflation was coming, and so there was at least one reporter to say, no, she was competent. She knew there would be consequences, and she said something about it. But apparently just somebody insinuating that she was competent infuriated her so much that she called a press conference. Now, bear in mind that this report, this story came out on a Friday afternoon.

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She couldn’t even wait until Monday morning to denounce the report. She called a press conference on Saturday to denounce the story and insist, no, I was not competent. I had no idea. I was just as clueless as everybody else about inflation. You have to look at this and go, this is the treasury secretary used to run the central bank.

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That just has to leave absolutely no doubt that she had no idea what she was doing, had no idea about that there would possibly be any consequences. And of course, now we have another guy, Jerome Powell, as Fed chairman. This is the guy that famously rejected the notion of inflation in early 2021 when people said, hey, there looks to be some inflation said, no. What do you talk about? You’re crazy.

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There’s no inflation. Then later on, by the summer, they rolled out that transitory. They said, oh, it’s transitory. Inflation is transitory, which basically is Fed speak. It’s code for prices are going to go prices are higher, but they’re going to go back to their original levels later, so it’s going to be a little bit of a plateau and then come back down later.

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Finally, they acknowledge, okay, fine, it’s not transitory, but we’re going to do something about it. We’re going to raise interest rates. We’re going to do something about it. I swear to God we’re going to do something about it. And then months and months and months went by, and they finally started with this tiny little 25 basis .0.25% interest rate increase.

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I guess that was in March 2022, and of course, nothing happened. Wow. Inflation didn’t suddenly plummet back down to 2%. And so then by the middle of the summer, a couple of months later, they their whole monetary policy had transitioned from this you know, there’s no inflation to its transitory to we’ll get to it when we get to it. So now it’s this hair on fire, ultraemotional panicky.

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Oh, my God, we’ve got to do whatever it takes, no matter what the cost, to get rid of inflation. We’re going to raise interest rates. We don’t care. It’s this really panicky signal they keep sending in their monetary policy. It really does make somebody scratch their head and go, these are really the experts who have dictatorial control the money supply.

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They completely missed it. I mean, not only did they miss it in the case of the Treasury Secretary, who had to go out of her way to make sure everybody knows that she completely missed it, she wanted to make sure she held a press conference to make sure that everybody knows that she had no idea that there could possibly be any inflation. And I mentioned them by name because it’s impossible not to. And I’m not trying to disparage. I’m sure they’re all perfectly nice people and maybe perfectly honest people and perfectly intelligent, rational people, but it seems pretty clear that they’re not the infallible experts that they’ve been made out to be.

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And that’s the problem when you’re dealing with these sorts of things, these experts, is that they’re often made out to be infallible. These experts can never be wrong, and of course, they often are. And we’ve seen this now over and over and over again. To be fair to Powell and Yellen, this whole policy idea of let’s slash interest rates to zero and conjured trillions of dollars out of thin air, this started with Bernacki back in 2008. Again, this is a guy he slashed interest rates to zero.

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He expanded the Federal Reserve balance sheet from $850,000,000,000 to four and a half trillion in a very short period of time. So, I mean, do the math on that. That’s trillions of dollars that he conjured out of thin air on the Fed’s balance sheet to a level that was considered unprecedented. And then it remained unprecedented for so long, it just became the norm. And they kept insisting that, you know what?

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Our economic theories suggest that we can print all this money and we could slash interest rates, and there’s never going to be any consequences forever and ever until the end of time. And just in case there are any consequences, just in case there might be inflation, I can raise interest rates in 15 minutes, and everything’s going to be fine. It was Ben Bernanke who set that example, and his successors continue to follow that. So it is kind of ironic that Mr. Bernacki is in Stockholm right now, where tomorrow morning he will be honored with this Nobel Prize Award.

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I actually have to pause and say, just technically, people talk about the Nobel Prize in economics. Technically, the Nobel Prize is awarded in, I guess it’s five things. It’s physics, chemistry, medicine used to be called physiology, I guess. Now it’s medicine, literature, and peace. I always have to throw up a little bit in my mouth whenever I said, talk about the Nobel Peace Prize, but we’ll get to that.

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But technically, what’s known as the Nobel Prize in economics is actually what’s known as technically called the Nobel Memorial Prize, and it’s endowed by the Swedish Central Bank, but it’s awarded alongside the other five. So it’s sort of regarded as the same thing. People call it the Nobel Prize in economics, but it’s technically the Nobel Memorial Prize. It’s a little bit different, but it’s pretty much the same. And they’re honored in the same banquet and all of that.

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So Ben Bernardi is one of the recipients this year. So he’s in Stockholm right now getting ready for that big Nobel banquet that’s going to take place tomorrow, December 10, which is again coincides with the day that Alfred Nobel died on December 10, 1893.

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This is the guy who totally missed it, who started this trend of zero interest rates and conjuring money out of thin air and so forth. What’s interesting is there’s another guy again, if you know economics well, you know the name Friedrich Hayek, who is a very famous guy in what’s known as the Austrian School of Economics. The Austrian School does not care for printing money. They don’t care for conjuring money out of thin air. They don’t really care for central banking either.

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And the Nobel Prize, the Nobel Memorial Prize and economics, to be technical, in 1974, went to Friedrich Hayek of this very famous Austrian economist, and there was a great quote. He was talking about the Nobel Prize, and he said the great quote, he says, The Nobel Prize, this is Hayek. The Nobel Prize confirms on an individual an authority which in economics no man ought to possess. An authority which no man ought to possess. And he says he goes on to explain because the influence of an economist and he’s talking about economists in particular, it didn’t apply to physicists and chemists and so forth is particularly for an economist because he said the influence of the economist is an influence over politicians, journalists, civil servants and the public.

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And this is true, right? Because the Nobel Prize does confer a certain level of authority and it’s really true in all things. But Hayek pointed this out. He said it’s not the same in physics, right, where a recipient, a Nobel Prize winner’s authority is really only as good as his or her work. And you see this this has happened actually in the past.

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And Rico Ferrema won the Nobel Prize in physics and later actually found out, oh, actually, that thing I won the Nobel Prize for wasn’t even right. But I did discover something else, kind of discovered nuclear fission in the process, but I’ve been wrong. And he admitted that he was wrong. And people respect that when you actually admit that you’re wrong. And this is a guy that won the Nobel Prize.

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And a lot of people come back to Nobel Prize winners and challenge their work and so forth. And this is what happens a lot of times in the hard sciences because the hard sciences, it has to be based on the quality of the work, the ideas. Researchers and academics are constantly proving and disproving each other’s ideas. And the fact that somebody’s won a Nobel Prize doesn’t necessarily insulate their ideas from scrutiny. But in economics, because economics touches everybody’s lives.

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Economists who are Nobel laureates are deified by the media, especially if they’re advocating the things that the media likes. The media is generally a leftist institution, a left leaning institution. So you’ve got some Nobel Laureate in economics and some economist who’s advocating for these leftist principles like wealth redistribution, tax the rich and all these sorts of things. They deify these guys and the media will generally believe, hey, this guy won a Nobel Prize. So everything he says is right.

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And the public just goes along with that because they’re being thrust in our faces all the time saying this is what the truth is. And everybody just believes it because it’s a Nobel Prize winner. He’s an expert and again, not trying to disparage the Nobel Prize or any of its recipients. Plenty of very fine people, plenty of very intelligent people, plenty of really worthy people that have won these prizes. But it’s definitely one of these I call it an expert award.

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And it would be ludicrous if we didn’t point out that many, many times that these expert awards, let’s say, politely leave us scratching our heads, considering to whom they were or in many cases were not given. The Nobel has a long list of controversies and not just obviously there’s the Peace Prize, which is a total joke, but complete and total joke, but even some of the harder sciences. In the early 20th century, there was a chemist. If you study chemistry or medicine, you know the name Gilbert Lewis. Lewis structures, et cetera.

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This is a guy that’s made so many contributions of field of chemistry to literally fill entire textbooks. He was nominated by his peers, who really know what they’re talking about, 41 times for the Nobel Prize, but he never received it because he had his arch rival and good buddy, close buddy of his arch rival was on the selection committee. And so Lewis was blocked 41 times from the Nobel Prize. He’s like the Susan Lucci of the Nobel Prize. You know, you you won’t know that name unless you’re like Gen X or or baby boomer, but he’s the Susan Lucci of the Nobel Prize.

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Or, like, almost like a DiCaprio who kept getting nominated for the Academy Award. Finally actually won after he ate, like, some cow intestine or something and then puked. But for a long time, you get these people that just keep getting nominated. Nominated, never win. That was Gilbert Lewis.

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Never won his entire life. 41 times nominated by his peers. But he kept getting blocked because he had this arch rival who made sure that Lewis never won the prize. Amazingly enough, actually, the Nobel Prize in Literature has a very long and controversial history, again, given who it has and has not been awarded to. So you got a guy like Bob Dylan.

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I get. No offense to Bob Dylan. I like Bob Dylan. But Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize in literature a couple of years ago. Kind of a joke, considering that other people that didn’t, leo Tolstoy, who’s considered one of the greatest writers in the history of the world, who was nominated also by his peers many, many times, never won.

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And obviously that’s owing to if you’ve read Tolstoy, you know his political views. Tolstoy was an anarchist. Tolstoy believed, if you haven’t read Tolstoy, it’s great stuff. Tolstoy believed that the government was a force of violence, corruption, intimidation, was not afraid to say it was not liked by the Nobel Committee. It was presided over by the king.

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And all this, they didn’t care for Tolstoy. So never won the prize. The Nobel Prize. Let’s see the 2008 Nobel Prize in Medicine. This was partly awarded to a scientist who discovered the link between the human papilloma virus this is HPV and cervical cancer.

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A lot of people have heard about this. This is the original guy that made the link between cervical cancer and the HPV virus. It turns out, though, that AstraZeneca, which actually had a big stake in a bunch of HPV vaccines, the ones that you probably remember, they were trying to force 14 year old girls to go and get this vaccine. And a lot of parents freaked out about that. No, AstraZeneca owned those vaccines, or at least the biggest stake in those vaccines.

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AstraZeneca was really like fermenting. They were, they were there. They were linked to key members of the selection committee. They were sponsoring stuff and really heavily influencing the award outcome. So there’s a lot of controversy, things like that.

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The Nobel Prize in economics. Paul Krugman won the Nobel Prize in economics some years ago. Later on, he went on TV during the 2008 financial crisis, talking about the way out of the financial crisis were for the government to just print money. And, and invent actually what he said in this interview, I think he was on CNBC or Bloomberg, and he was talking about the government should invent a hoax threat, a phony threat of an alien space invasion. He said if the government just threatened, just pretended that there was the space aliens were about to invade and we had to go and spend a trillion dollars to defend against this fake space alien invasion, then this, this recession would be over, you know, in a month.

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And, you know, obviously said that somewhat tongue in cheek, but these are the sorts of ideas you just got to look at it go, really? This guy won our society’s most esteemed prize for intellectual achievement. And the ideas are and this is again, a person that usually goes out in the New York Times and writes his editorials about we need to print more money, we need to go into more debt and all this stuff, and it doesn’t matter, and it’s all fine. These are, these are bizarre notions. And again, we haven’t even scratched the surface of these.

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Again, you get into the, you get into the Nobel Peace Prize, and again, you kind of have to vomit in your mouth a little bit. Barack Obama cousin Barry awarded the Nobel Peace Prize early on in his administration after having done absolutely nothing, and then, of course, his administration was quite noteworthy for going and dropping remote control bombs on children’s hospitals in countries full of brown people for his entire eight years of office, he escalated the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He destabilized the region, making conditions for ISIS to thrive, made things worse with North Korea, worse with Russia, and yet the Nobel Committee actually doubled down a few years later and insisted that Obama did in fact deserve the award, even though basically nothing he did was in the name of peace. Absolutely ridiculous. Henry Kissinger won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1073, which is just stupefying if you look at all the different, you know, the people that have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

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Absolutely ridiculous. But, you know, it’s not, it’s not just the again, not really singling out Nobel Prize or saying that it’s a silly award or anything like that. There are some incredibly intelligent people that made incredible breakthroughs. But it’s one of these expert awards that confers, just like Hayek said, it confers a certain level of authority that in some cases, just simply not deserved. And there are a lot of these expert awards, and I think, quite famously, we saw when New York state’s sexual harasser in chief Andrew Cuomo.

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You remember that guy? And they gave this guy an Emmy award in 2020 for his courageous leadership on television during COVID And then they went the following year, they took it away from him because he turned out to be sexually harassing all these people and the whole thing, you got to look at it and say, how do you expect to be taken seriously? What a joke. Just these awards, you got a you got a bunch of overpaid pampered celebrities standing around showering themselves with awards. They go and bring this idiot politician to show up and give him this special leadership award.

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But it’s the same sort of thing when Will Smith received a standing ovation when he won the 2022 Academy Award for best actor. This is just earlier this year, literally minutes after he assaulted Chris Rock on live television and then went on and got took his award and gave this very rambling, nonsensical self serving speech about universal applause and hugs and kisses from Bradley Cooper and Denzel Washington. Whatever farce. The whole thing is such a farce. The 2018 Pulitzer prize, which is awarded for excellence in journalism, was given to the New York Times and the Washington Post for, quote, deeply sourced coverage of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and its connections, obviously, to the Trump campaign.

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And of course, this all turned out to be a complete and total hoax. And yes, these people won these dire institutions won the most esteemed prize for excellence in journalism. Nobody ever went back and said, wait a minute, that actually turned out to be complete bullshit. But it just goes on and on and on. Vladimir Putin was a word of the French legion of honor.

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Kamala Harris was the name time magazine’s person of the Year, which puts her in the same category as Gandhi, nelson Mandela, and the Apollo Eight astronaut crew. So it’s again, not trying to take anything away from people that have received these honors or even the honors themselves. But again, it’s just clear that sometimes these expert awards end up on the mantles of very questionable individuals. That brings me back to Dr. Fauci, who, along with his colleague Francis Collins, who’s the head of the National Institutes of health, both of these guys were awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and Fauci himself actually won the I think they call it federal employee of the year in 2020.

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So let that sink in for a moment. The Presidential Medal of Freedom. The Medal of Freedom, these are to went to a couple of guys who advocated for lockdowns and censorship. They were decidedly anti freedom. They worked with their friends in media and big tech to destroy any and all intellectual dissent.

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And like Constantine and his Council of Nicaea in 325 Ad. They and they alone determined what the truth was. They tried to force it down everybody’s throat. They tried to force everybody to believe it. They threatened to excommunicate anybody who didn’t believe it.

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They discredited and disparaged anybody that didn’t believe it. And yet they won the nation’s highest civilian award for freedom. Now, tomorrow morning, another expert is going to win our society’s most esteemed prize for intellectual achievement, being the person that started the trend of zero interest rates and making money literally worthless with zero interest rates, which has been a major contributing factor to the inflation that we’re facing today. I’ve written about this a lot. There are a lot of factors about inflation, including the Lockdowns.

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I mean, frankly, the lockdown policies, the guys who won the Presidential Medal of Freedom were very much in favor of that has a lot to do with inflation. The demand side has a lot to do with inflation. Supply side has a lot to do with inflation. Zero interest rate policy a lot. It really has to do a lot with demand.

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And they just really spiked overall consumer demand that contributed to supply chain shortages and so forth. Too much demand, not enough supply. And that’s been a big reason why we’ve had so much inflation and this concept of zero interest rates making money worthless, printing money, giving it to the government, letting the government go and redistribute it, literally putting money in people’s bank accounts. That’s been a major factor, major contribution to the inflation that we’re facing today. And it’s interesting because these are the people, they win their prizes, and yet they rarely seem to notice their shortcomings.

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I mentioned Yellen earlier, actually acknowledges that no, in fact, she called a press conference to make sure that everybody knew that she had no idea what was going on. She completely failed to see inflation. But most of the time, people generally tend to. I mean, Fauci quite famously, just refuses to acknowledge mistakes, refuses to consider the destruction that was waged on people’s mental health, on their finances, on their businesses, on the school, on education development, on all these things. All the consequences.

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Just rejects it, just refuses to accept it. Bernacki famously predicted no consequences when the housing market softened, predicted no consequences, failed to see that the 2008 financial crisis would would play out. In fact, actually had the Fed put out a paper a couple of years later, I think it was in the summer of 2010, after the, after the dust settled in the financial crisis. And the paper, the, the paper that that they wrote basically was it was a complete denial of rejection of the notion that the Fed was was culpable in any way or that they could have seen it coming. And then they actually there’s a great quote from the paper that came out in 2010.

[00:52:28.050]
It said, quote, nothing in the field of economics or finance could have predicted what happened with regards. To the housing bust and subsequent economic fallout. In a speech actually, Bernacki said that standard economic models, quote, did not predict the crisis, nor do they incorporate the effects of financial instability. And he went on to muse. He said, do these failures of our macroeconomic models mean that they are irrelevant or at least significantly flawed?

[00:52:56.770]
I think the answer is no. So even after it’s clear that he’s even saying that they did not predict the crisis. But you know what? They’re not flawed. They’re not irrelevant.

[00:53:09.380]
They’re still absolutely useful. We should continue to rely on these models. These are the models that led to the conclusion that they could expand the money supply without limitation, that there would never be any consequences to zero interest rates. They could make money literally worthless and everything would be fine forever and ever until the end of time. Well, guess what?

[00:53:24.710]
It turns out there have been a lot of consequences. Record high inflation is just one indicator of that. And the models were wrong again. Now, this is going to be my last podcast for the year. I’ll obviously be back in early January, but for the next couple of weeks it’s just typical holiday family stuff, etc.

[00:53:40.880]
But before I sign off for 2022 and in light of all these awards, etc. E. And, and by the way, you know, it’s nothing personal, congratulations to Ben Bernacki. It must feel incredible to win the Nobel Prize. But let’s be honest, in the midst of all this to say, okay, here’s the guy who came up with this unprecedented idea of slashing interest rates to zero, making capital worthless, conjuring trillions of dollars out of thin air, assuming there would never be any consequences from that, forever and ever until the end of time.

[00:54:10.160]
And just in case there were consequences that he’d be able to, quote, raise interest rates in 15 minutes and all the consequences would go away. This is the same guy that totally missed the housing crisis, totally missed the global financial crisis, and now in the midst of record high inflation, we’re going to say here’s a Nobel Prize. At a certain point, you got to step back and go, seriously guys, honestly, it’s really just absurd. But nevertheless, congratulations. And hey, congratulations to Tony Fauci.

[00:54:36.320]
After 40 years in the same position, after being put in your job by Ronald Reagan, you’re finally stepping down. You’re letting it go from your clenches and finally relinquishing control and perhaps we never have to hear that name ever again. Congratulations. And in light of all these awards and big wins for the expert class, I’ve decided to blow the dust off of a little tradition I started some years ago. I wrote about this a couple of times, what I called the Tommy Franks Award.

[00:55:07.740]
Now, if you don’t know the name, Tommy Franks is a retired four star general. Tommy Franks was the guy who was the head of US central Command in 2000, 2001, I think, to 2003, which basically made him the commanding general in the early days. Right after 911, he oversaw the invasion of Afghanistan, the early days of that war, the invasion of Iraq, all of this. So he’s a really prominent guy back in the early two thousands, and his guy from Texas was kind of straight shooter, no nonsense sort of guy. And there’s an author named, I think, Thomas Ricks, who wrote a book, and he reveals a story about how one day Tommy Franks, general Franks, was asked about some reporter asked him about one of the senior bureaucrats at the Pentagon.

[00:55:51.060]
And Franks didn’t miss a beat. And he referred to this guy in the Pentagon. He said the guy was, quote, the dumbest fucking guy on the planet. So in tribute to Tommy Franks, this is what I call the Tommy Frank’s Award. Everybody else is getting an award.

[00:56:04.510]
We have all these expert awards. So I would like to award another expert award. I have the Tommy Frank’s Expert award for 2022. It’s a tough decision, as you can imagine, because if you’re thinking about the dumbest fucking god on the planet, there’s a lot of stupid, a lot of people to choose from. Vladimir Putin, frankly, is a nominee.

[00:56:22.880]
But I look at him and go, I don’t know if that’s stupidity. It’s more diabolical insanity than anything. I would also put the German chancellor Olaf Schultz on that list. This is a guy who’s really a contender. He’s seemingly trying to freeze his entire country to death this winter through completely incomprehensible energy policy.

[00:56:40.340]
I mean, you think about the Germans. They claim to love the environment, but they’re going out and they’re buying the dirtiest coal they can possibly get their hands on from every country they can in Africa. They’re going and chopping down all their trees, and yet they’re turning off their nuclear power plants. So this is the thing. Nuclear is the clean, cheap, efficient fuel source that’s environmentally friendly, low CO2 emissions, all that.

[00:57:01.130]
Instead, they’re shutting that stuff off and they’re saying, let’s chop down the trees and get the dirty coal. It makes absolutely no sense. And there’s a huge imbalance here. That was a close call, but unsurprisingly, the person I’ve chosen this year is Joe Biden. Now, this is actually a tough decision because I feel a little bit bad about it.

[00:57:20.280]
The guy doesn’t know where he is half the time. He goes around shaking hands with thin air, and he finishes his speech. He starts wandering aimlessly around a room until one of his handlers goes, picks him up like a puppy dog and turns him around. I feel a little bit bad about this, but you got to be honest about it. And just this is about results and performance, really, more than anything.

[00:57:38.440]
And it’s like, oh, my God. It’s just from a geopolitical perspective, you got the debacle of just you start with the withdrawal from Afghanistan last year, where the locals passing babies over razor wire and people hanging onto an airplanes landing gear, only to plummet to their death trying to escape the invasion of Kabul, which the guy said literally weeks before wasn’t going to happen. No way was that going to happen. Then it happened. They said, oh, we’re not going to escape like we did in Vietnam, then have helicopters flying away.

[00:58:03.310]
And that’s exactly what you ended up doing. And then leaving behind $100 billion worth of military equipment to your sworn enemy, the Taliban, who you just insisted was not going to come in and take over the country. You’ve got worsening relations with the Chinese. Watching Pelosi go gallivanting over to Taiwan and supporting all the blank checks to Ukraine, completely mismanaging the Russian sanctions so that Russia benefited substantially from higher energy prices, while US. Consumers saw their gasoline prices double.

[00:58:31.250]
That then actually went and blamed that on corporate greed. And this is this guy that from day one of his administration had an energy policy that was anti fossil fuel, anti energy company. They said we’re canceling pipelines. We’re not going to lease you federal property, which they’re actually required to do by law. The Interior Department is required by federal law to lease land, federal land that has energy assets, to have a bidding process with energy companies.

[00:58:54.160]
These guys just refuse to do that. Just in the same way they’ve over and over again just decided to not follow the law. They just completely make up the laws as they see fit. His CDC director just decided to commandeer the entire US. Housing market.

[00:59:07.950]
They got constantly just doing things that are in total and complete violation of the law, and they do this over and over and over again. Now you have gas prices. You got energy prices where they are because they’ve been waging war on energy companies from day one of their administration. And then, wow, what a surprise. Energy prices are high, supply is low.

[00:59:25.680]
And he’s beating up the energy company saying, it’s your fault. It’s your fault that I haven’t been following the law. It’s your fault that all these policies are actually the energy policies are actually achieving their intended outcome, which is to screw the energy companies and make it more difficult for them to supply. And now it’s more difficult for them to supply. So energy prices are higher, and he’s blaming the energy companies.

[00:59:44.800]
It’s completely insane. It’s so crazy. It’s so stupid. And the stuff that comes out of his mouth about this, he loves beating up on ExxonMobil, and one of my favorite ones is beating up on ExxonMobil and saying, like, oh, look at how profitable they are. They make billions and billions of dollars, and this is so wrong.

[01:00:03.070]
I’m going to make sure that everybody knows how much money they make, and you just got to go, oh, my God, it’s a public company. They’re supposed to tell everybody how much they make. It’s not a secret. It’s not a secret. It’s not like you’re leaking their profits.

[01:00:17.320]
They have to report every quarter. They have audited financial statements. They’re a public company. They tell the whole world how much money they make, and they like to tell the whole world how much money they make because it makes their stock price go up, but just cannot connect the dots. There’s not even any dots.

[01:00:31.140]
It’s like a dot. It’s like you’ve tried to destroy these companies from day one, and now energy prices are higher. Wow, what a surprise. There’s not really a whole lot of heavy intellectual lifting that’s required there, but that just seems to be out of the completely beyond his grasp. So, look, we could go on and on and on.

[01:00:48.590]
I know that was kind of an easy target. I got to feel a little bit bad because, again, the guy doesn’t know where he is half the time. But we came down, made a decision. It’s Joe biden. So congratulations to President Biden for winning this year’s Tommy Frank’s Expert Award.

[01:01:01.770]
And congratulations to all the other experts that have won their award. Great year for the expert class as always. And again, would like to thank you, every one of you for listening to this, and we’ll come back to you again in a couple of weeks. Thanks very much for listening.

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