Remembering The Privateer

The Privateer was “The Private Market Letter for the Individual Capitalist”. I remember I started subscribing to it in 2002 or 2003, and continued with it right up until the end, when the Australian Bill Buckler decided to stop publishing it in 2013.

Yet another (one of the very few remaining) voice of reason calls it quits after 30 years of writing The Privateer, one of the best financial newsletters. At this rate there will be virtually nobody left to challenge the daily propaganda spew coming out of the mainstream farcism. As Bill says, “We have been analysing the idiocies and imbecilities of the financial and political “powers that be” for a long time.  And for an equivalent time, we have been watching the “markets” succumb to this detritus.  That process was completed with the global near death financial experience of late 2008 but it had been building up since long before we began to chronicle it in 1984…. we need a break.”  Sadly, expect the amount of idiocies and imbecilities to rise exponentially in the near future as the insolvency of the dying status quo regime is exposed for everyone – not just rich Cypriot depositors – to see. As for Bill: enjoy the break, you have earned it.

At the time (which was around this time of year, I just realized) he gave Zerohedge permission to publish the final issue in its entirety. In addition to putting out The Privateer every 2 weeks, like clockwork for over 30 years, he also issued the Weekly Gold Report every Friday afternoon. It was a treasure, a rare voice of reason against an increasingly shrill din of hysterical, fabricated narratives that pass for “news” or “analysis”.

the-privateer.com comes available

I was thinking of all this because just recently when Mr. Buckler’s old domain name that he used to run his operation from, the-privateer.com, came up for expiry. As some of you may know, my $dayjob is as CEO of a domain registrar, so knowing how to navigate the arcane and byzantine labyrinth of the domain expiry aftermarket, I was able to swoop in and purchase it on auction. No doubt I rescued it from winding up a as a pay-per-click page, or worse.

Quality Alternatives

In the absence of The Privateer it was a challenge to find quality, replacement newsletters, but after wading through a lot of noise, I have found some decent signal:

Wall Street Window

By Mike Swanson is listed first because it was the first one I subscribed to after The Privateer. I’m not much of a trader and don’t have much of my net worth invested in equities, but I still subscribe to this day because what I like about WSW is that Swanson teaches you about markets and trading. He’s not a black box that spits out stock picks. And he’s not afraid to tell you “right now it’s best to sit on the sidelines” if he feels there are no tradeable opportunities. He takes some heat for that, but it’s a rare quality I admire.

(Wall Street Window)

Gloom Boom Doom

Dr Marc Faber, who also wrote Tomorrow’s Gold: Asia’s Age of Discovery, puts out Gloom Boom Doom report. He sprinkles each issue with a smattering of stock picks, mainly framed as what he’s invested or investing in, and more sectors than individual equities. More international as well. He has been reducing exposure to US equities for years and recommends rallies as opportunities to take profit and rotate into other areas. But I like the macro and sector overview, well written, balanced against a backdrop of philosophy, history and the odd parable.

(Gloom Boom Doom)

The High Tech Strategist

This is my latest find, and I just re-upped for my second year. Fred Hickey has been putting this out for a long time, not sure exactly how long. Mr. Hickey has been active in the markets for decades. He splits his time living between his homes in the New Hampshire and Costa Rica, the report is also split: first half is an exhaustive overview of tech equities (he’s short, across the board, positioning for another global sell-off and recession), and the second half is all gold: juniors, seniors, everything in between, and he’s long and strong).

Mr. Hickey is old-school, he doesn’t even have a website. You have to email him. I won’t put his email out here on the web to get spammed, so I’ll put it in the mailout to my mailing list. You can also follow him on Twitter @htsfhickey

Addicted To Profits

My fellow Canadian (and fellow of-Yugoslavian-descent, although my dad was Serbian and I think his people are Croatians), David Skarica is a professional trader who operates out of the Bahamas. His approach and positions are frequently in harmony with Mike Swanson’s Wall Street Window, in fact they often do podcasts together to discuss their positions.

What I like about Skarica is his grasp of economic and financial history. His knowledge of historical market characteristics seems near encyclopedic and he’s written three books “The Great Super Cycle: Profit from the Coming Inflation Tidal Wave and Dollar Devaluation”, “Collapse!: How the Federal Reserve Created Another Stock Market Bubble and Why it Will Collapse” and most recently “Bear Market Rising” may have called this Everything Bubble too early. But they are every bit as poignant and relevant now, if not more so.

(AddictedToProfits)

The Dollar Vigilante

Another fellow Canadian, Jeff Berwick, who was the founder of Stockhouse back in the day, like the prior-to-2000 day, cashed out before the bubble popped and moved to Acapulco, Mexico. There he has fully embraced anarcho-capitalism,  runs the annual Anarcapulco conference, and puts out the monthly Dollar Vigilante newsletter.

I subscribe to this one for one reason and one reason primarily:  Crypto-currencies. I mean the rest of the newsletter is pretty good. The folks at TDV Media also like gold, but I have plenty of access to quality gold newsletters (See above). What is in short supply, are non-hyberbolic, sober cogent analyses of Bitcoin and the other crypto currencies. This is one of the few (the only?) paid newsletter models that addresses crypto that I find to be worth it.

(DollarVigilante)

(I was once a guest on Jeff Berwick’s Anarchast, Episode #233)

And let’s not forget….

Guerrilla Capitalism

That this’s place. It’s not like I could ever fill the guy’s shoes, but suffice it to say that GC was born in the spirit of The Privateer. Contrast with the above mentioned newsletters, my mailing list is free, so sign up today.

Bring Buckler Back

I often wonder what Buckler thinks of the world today. My gut bets that he’d loathe crypto, but who knows. Maybe not.

It would be truly amazing for him to come out of retirement, if only to issue a special limited edition or reduced volume of commentaries. Even an annual report, a la Dave Collum‘s amazingly excellent year in review.

Mr. Buckler, if you’re out there and would seriously consider it, just say the word and your old domain is yours.

Help us Obi Wan, you’re our only hope!

 

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Mark E. Jeftovic
 

Mark E. Jeftovic is the founder of Guerrilla Capitalism and CEO of easyDNS.com, a company he co-founded in 1998 which has been operating along the lines described within these pages. No stranger to competing with 800 lb gorillas, easyDNS has consistently "punched above its weight" in a field dominated by behemoths such as Godaddy and Web.com. Since 2013 the company has successively achieved YoY all-time high revenues and profitability despite the entry of Amazon, Google and Oracle into the space as direct competitors.

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