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”.
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.
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: Read on
The Gartner Group is widely credited with formulating the “Hype Cycle”, a trend curve that is said to model the adaptation of a new technology or paradigm.
Simply put it looks like this:
It certainly seems to have held sway regarding the Internet revolution, where the Peak of Inflated Expectations culminated in the Nasdaq blow-off-top of 2000 and the ensuing “Tech Wreck” crash. I remember that well, for a number of reasons including that my co-founders and I were still in “start-up” mode with our company, easyDNS. I remember profoundly misunderstanding what was happening in those final few months.
I remember thinking, literally “this is an entirely new economy, it’s not about running profitable businesses anymore, it’s about running up your stock price.” There was a Sun Microsystems commercial that was near music video length, set to the soundtrack of the iconic rock track “Hocus Pocus” whose sole call-to-action at the end of the ad was the “SUNW” ticker symbol. And then it all imploded. That was when I started seriously learning about economics, history and finance.
I remember sitting in a diner one night having a coffee with a friend, mere months before the crash. Bullshit .COM’s were getting funded all over the place and everybody else, except me it seemed, were becoming millionaires overnight. Read on