This self-inflicted chrissy prezzie arrived (from the UK but not from Amazon) in time to get read over the holidays when, in order to stay married, I didn’t dare leave home to go to my hide-out to get something worthwhile accomplished. Anyway, as Jd’A has been fickle, the dust is building up again in the library there, and the weather down under here was a pleasant 26 degrees Celsius on Christmas morning and the view of the Poinciana tree covered in bright red blooms over its dark green foliage was stunning from the back deck at home, so that is where I parked myself to deal with this book. What a disappointment!
I should have known it would be, once I noticed that it was independently, or self- published, as there are usually valid reasons why a commercial publisher won’t touch certain manuscripts. At least the book was apparently professionally copy edited, so the prose is grammatical and there are no typos. The page layout is somewhat quirkily idiosyncratic, but one can ignore such things. The real problem is with the content of the book, which has only a little directly to do with the title.
In fact, very little of it is devoted to silver at all - only chapter 8, ‘The Silver Bomb’, beginning on page 127 and going on for all of 17 out of a total of 182 pages, even mentions silver apart from brief historical factoids included in the 40 page first chapter, ‘Why Silver and Gold Are the Money of History’.
So, what is the purported ‘Silver Bomb’ of chapter 8 and the title of the book? It seems that ‘We are on the brink of an absolute change in the economy of the entire world and particularly in the economy of the American-dominated western empire’, which for some will be an unfolding disaster. (But,) ‘For others it is the brink of unmatched opportunity as we come face to face with a “cosmic alignment” of the forces of economy and history.’ After a couple more paragraphs emphasising the unique aspects of what is said to inevitably be coming to pass, the authors get to the crux of their contention: ‘For the few that understand the tremendous opportunity, silver is positioned for a price explosion. The world is running out of silver. (Emphasis is in the original, from page 127.)
What evidence is provided for this bold assertion? More assertions, only, as in: ‘Of all the silver ever mined, which is around 50 billion ounces, only about 1 billion ounces, or 2% of it, still remains above ground, with the rest having been consumed as an industrial metal (page 128), and ‘It is believed that as much as 98% of the Earth’s above ground supply of silver has already been consumed (page 129). We all know who the principal source is for such beliefs, and I have (sort of) recently posted on the facts of the matter here at Screwtape Files University, to wit: that the great majority of historically mined silver is still in existence above ground, albeit mostly not in the form of readily available bullion.
There was other arrant nonsense here and there in the book on the ‘intrinsic’ value of precious metals that JMG may want to consult with the authors about. Here is one of the most egregious examples: ‘They are intrinsically valuable. That means that they represent a store of value in and of themselves. There is a certain level of effort and investment required to obtain them that is represented in their value. The rest of their inherent value is the utility they find in human endeavour and whether or not they are to be found as indispensable, which makes them wanted. Their value is inside their very molecular make-up which cannot be duplicated. They are, by cosmic design, the measure of the value of other things’ (page 141). If anyone out there can tell me what all those words actually convey, I would be grateful.
So, did I learn anything at all from the time I spent quickly reading this book? Very little that could not be found, on almost a daily basis out there on the internet, including all the blatant clichés. However, there was one thing I was reminded of (if I actually ever really consciously knew it) from the first, historical chapter, something which we were certainly never taught in our American History classes in High School back in Iowa in the 1950s (for the first three cases, anyway): out of the four US presidents who have been assassinated in office, three (Lincoln, Garfield, and Kennedy) had recently, or were about to introduce monetary policies and actions that directly threatened the ‘moneyed interests’ of the big banks, including the Fed in Kennedy’s case. Wikipedia tells me that McKinley, the forth, was a proponent of high protective tariffs, supported the prevailing international gold standard against Bryan’s inflationary monetary silver goals, and was murdered by ‘an anarchist’, but that is all I know about him except that he initiated the Spanish America War.
The take-away lesson in all this? Don’t spend good money to buy a privately published book from unknown authors, despite a seemingly intriguing title, unless you have read a review of it by a source you trust to be able to discern the difference between shit and Shinola.