Basel III and Bailouts: What Do They Mean for the Markets?

January 1, 2020

By The Gold Report – Source: Maurice Jackson for Streetwise Reports   12/30/2019

Maurice Jackson of Proven and Probable interviews Andy Schectman of Miles Franklin Precious Metals Investments about the implications of monetary policies being implemented by central banks worldwide, and about the state of the U.S. economy.

Maurice Jackson: Joining us for a conversation is Andy Schectman, the president of Miles Franklin Precious Metals Investments. Today we will address Basel III, the state of U.S. markets and the Fed’s new bailout program, and how you may benefit financially.

Andy, you’re a big thinker, and I would say years ahead of most people in the space in your ability to critically and analytically think and cipher through the noise, which is why we’re delighted to have you on the program today. I want to begin our discussion at the 30,000-foot level, and have you share with us the implications of Basel III. Let me begin by asking, what is Basel III, and why should precious metals investors be aware of this decision-making body?

Andy Schectman: Well, first of all, Maurice, you’re too kind to say that. I appreciate that very much. As far as Basel III is concerned, I think it’s the most game-changing watershed event of my career, and I don’t say that lightly whatsoever. Let me explain. Prior to April 1, 2019, gold was considered a Tier-3 asset. What that would mean would be that a country that would own gold on their balance sheet would only be able to declare 50% of its value on the balance sheet, thereby denigrating the ability to transact international business and, probably more importantly, sell bonds. Now, Basel is the canton, or state, in Switzerland, where the Bank for International Settlements is located. Every single year the Bank of International Settlements, otherwise known as the central bank of central banks, [has] a meeting, and they invite all of the central bank representatives to Basel to discuss what’s happening, and what’s going to happen going forward.


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In 2017, as the central banks take care of themselves, I believe they decided that in 2019, gold would be reclassified as a Tier-1 asset from a Tier-3 asset. You see, a Tier-3 asset would provide virtually no incentive to own it if you’re a country like any of the countries in Europe—the PIGS, Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Spain, with a less-than-pristine balance sheet—for four reasons. Number one, it costs money to store. Number two, since 2011, gold and silver have moved sideways and down. Number three, there’s no interest paid. And number four, most importantly, was the denigration of the balance sheet, and how it would inhibit the ability to transact international business and write loans.

And so I believe that in 2017, when they met, they said things are going to change, and we’re going to reclassify gold as a Tier-1 asset in 2019. I say that to you because in 2018 the central banks bought more gold than at any time in the previous 55 years. In 2019, so far, the numbers reflect an 80% increase of central bank acquisition over 2018.

Putting it mildly, you have the most sophisticated, well-informed, and influential and well-financed investors on the planet rushing to accumulate gold and sell dollars. The only other Tier-1 asset prior to this year were U.S. treasuries and dollars. And so what you would have would be an incentive by the world central banks, evidenced by their selling of gold for many years, to shed gold and to accumulate dollars and treasuries. That Tier-1 asset status would make it easier to transact business and do loans, would not incur a storage cost [and] paid a rate of return in terms of interest.

The groundswell to sell gold was substantial for many, many years by the world’s central banks. And it was a tide that people were buying gold were fighting—fighting the central banks for many years. And now all of the sudden they have an incentive, if you will, to de-dollarize. You don’t have to look any further than a country like Russia, [which] is shedding all of [its] U.S. Treasuries, and bought more gold than any country on the planet last year.

But even take it a step further, and look at the things that are happening on the periphery. You have the Chinese, with the Chinese petroyuan bond. They’re buying oil from Gulf states, and natural gas from Russia, paying in bond denominated in yuan that is immediately convertible into gold on the Shanghai Gold Exchange. That’s why the Shanghai Gold Exchange delivered almost 80 times more gold than the Comex did the last two years.

So you have countries that are setting up unilateral trade deals, that are usurping the petrodollar, that are reclassifying gold as a Tier-1 asset to challenge the treasury as the only Tier-1 status. You have the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) nations setting up a system very similar to that of the Swiss system, with many of the European countries now, much to the dismay of the West, signing on to that system.

Basically what you have, I believe, Maurice, is the beginning of the end for the U.S. dollar in terms of its singular world-reserve status. You have J.P. Morgan Private Bank; they are the division of J.P. Morgan. They’re a division that works with the wealthiest of the wealth in the world, the centi-millionaires and the billionaires, who created quite a stir not too long ago by sending out a letter to all of their clients saying we want you to divest of dollars into foreign currencies and precious metals, as we believe the dollar will be challenged for singular world-reserve status in the near future.

All the pieces are being put in place, and the final piece of the puzzle, Maurice, is the Tier-1 asset change of gold from a Tier-3 status, by the Bank for International Settlements. And that went into effect April 1. So as far as I’m concerned, you’ll never see $1,000 gold ever again, and the floor is in on it, and all of the movements that we’re seeing right now is posturing, allowing the big money to reposition. They don’t want to let it go up too fast, to gain too much attention, to be crowded out of their own trade.

And I find it disturbing, alarming and grotesque that the entities that we call news services don’t tell us about things like Basel III, things that we should be knowing. And there are others that we’ll talk about later on in this interview, but Basel III being at the top of the list. I think the reclassification of gold from a Tier-3 asset to a Tier-1 asset is the most significant event in my career. Bottom line is you have an incentive and a vehicle to de-dollarize for the first time ever, and that is what’s happening.

And I think the central banks realize that the U.S. is at the end of its rope. A country that’s $120 trillion in debt, and the mismanagement of the world reserve currency has aggravated much of the world. And I think it’s time, they feel, for an alternative, and I think that’s where we’re headed.

Maurice Jackson: Andy, I think you’ve opened up a lot of eyes here, moving from a Tier-3 to a Tier-1 status. Now based on this action here, what prudent actions are your clients taking right now regarding this?

Andy Schectman: Not enough, to be honest with you, not enough. Gold’s up, I don’t know, 15%, 18% this year. That’s all as a result of central bank acquisition. Our business is actually quite good in terms of overall volume. We’ll do north of $200 million plus in sales. We’re doing just fine. We’re actually having one of our bigger years.

But the thing of it is, is that in 2011, when gold was approaching $2,000, and silver $50, we were getting 200 orders a day. And now in 2019, with gold doing very well, outperforming at the stock market in terms of total return, we’re getting 10% of that volume. But the order size—we’ll do more volume in terms of total sales this year—in 2019, close to $300 million—than we did in 2011 when gold was at its peak. So the bottom line, here again, is it’s emblematic of more institutional-accredited investors making larger purchases.

But the average Joe on the street [doesn’t] believe it to be true yet. And they still believe, as do most people in this country, that the road to retirement is only paved firmly with mutual funds and stock certificates. And so part of me understands that, and it’s hard to get behind a market that has been down so many years. When you take one step forward and two steps back for so long, it becomes difficult. But nonetheless, when you see a change like this, where you’re no longer fighting the largest investors on the planet, the central banks—in fact they’re now joining the same side of the ledger—I guess all you just need to have are some strong fingertips to hang on and trust your conviction and your belief structure. And I think you’ll be rewarded.

You see, Rick Rule often says something to the extent of: the world deals in rhetoric, and he deals in arithmetic. And rhetoric is just that, rhetoric. And arithmetic always, in the end, finds a way to express itself. And I think this is a good example. The rhetoric that we see is of normalcy, everything’s OK, look the other way, but in the background it’s anything but that. We’ll talk a little bit about that, what’s going on here, but the central bank repositioning is a good example of that.

And the fact that no one talks about it in the media is exemplary, I think, of this phenomena where you have to almost trust your gut, and have strong fingertips, and hang on. Because I think we haven’t seen anything yet, and the arithmetic will bear that out. But the rhetoric will make it tough to trust your gut. Sometimes you just have to hope your intuition is correct and hang on tight, because it’s going to be bumpy. This is a high-stakes game, that’s for sure.

Maurice Jackson: And you were alluding to the media, and the psychological effects they can have on investors. I noticed recently on a mainstream media site regarding investing, they were talking about exactly what you’re referring to, the strong hands are hoarding—the word was hoarding—gold. And I always chuckle when I say that, because when they purchased those 401Ks and those mutual funds they’re not hoarding, are they? To them it’s. . .

Andy Schectman: Absolutely. And those subtle plays on words, Maurice, are very significant. And that denotes the prepper, and the doomer and gloomer, and it has a negative connotation. And most of the mainstream analysis of gold will typically come with some sort of a backhanded compliment, even in a positive spin, and that’s a good example.

Maurice Jackson: Now let’s bring this conversation down to the 10,000-foot level and discuss the U.S. markets and the Fed. Beginning with U.S. markets, what has your attention and why?

Andy Schectman: This may be more alarming than anything we’ll talk about—maybe the most alarming thing I’ve ever heard actually, as it pertains to the U.S. market. So every single year the U.S. Treasury publishes a report on the status of the dollar in the markets. This year they published one, and they said some things that I find to be very, very alarming. And here again, I want you to think about what we just talked about with the media. And I want you to think, when we’re talking about this, about the Democratic candidates who have been debating and talking about their platforms. And I want you to think about these two things deeply, as I discuss what the United States has put in print and admitted in February. OK?

So the Treasury publishes a report. And they say we have $22 trillion in debt. We all know that, and that’s growing exponentially by the day. And they say we have a shortfall in Social Security of $53 trillion, and in 2034 it’ll all but insolvent. So let’s just stop for a moment. Just between the national debt and Social Security, my math says that’s $75 trillion in the hole. Now I want you to think not only about the media’s lack of attention, the candidates’ lack of interest, I also want you to think about the central banks taking care of themselves and repositioning before the crowd. And I want you to think about the fact that every media station, television, radio, magazine, newspaper—everything in the United States—is owned by four companies. And the information that they disseminate is purposeful.

But think about the central banks repositioning ahead of the crowd as we talk about this. So the U.S. government says OK, just between those two things we’re $75 trillion in the hole. Now, Maurice, a trillion seconds ago was 31,680 years ago. So when we talk about how big these problems are, the fact that it’s not front-page, center, news—$75 trillion in the hole just between national debt and Social Security, Social Security to be insolvent in 2034 headline—the fact that the Democratic candidates talk more about going after the rich, global warming or Trump, than about things that will completely destabilize the United States and destroy the lives of our children and grandchildren, is beyond me.

But it gets worse. So they said, when we take into account things like Medicare and Medicaid, and government and military pensions, our unfunded liabilities exceed $100 trillion. This is the government’s own admission. The government says we’re $100 trillion plus in the hole.But they say, wait—we have assets. Oh that’s great. They say we have $3.8 trillion in assets against north of $100 trillion in liabilities. Do you know what the largest singular asset is in the United States, Maurice, according to the U.S. government?

Maurice Jackson: No. Not knowing that report, I’m going to say it’s either bonds or gold.

Andy Schectman: Neither, actually. And this is where it gets, to me, incredibly alarming. Number three is land, $500 billion plus. Things like national parks and bridges. Number two, military, north of $1 trillion. Helicopters, military bases, aircraft carriers, bullets and the like. The number one largest singular asset of the United States—the land of the free, the world reserve currency, home of the brave, center of all markets—is student debt of $1.8 trillion.

Five years ago or so they passed a law that if you have student debt and you die, your children inherit it. If you have student debt and you file bankruptcy, they’ll attach your Social Security payments. You cannot get out of it. It is considered a receivable by the U.S. government. And so the largest asset of this country is student debt, and you have half of the Democratic Party trying to lobby to absolve it.

So, the bottom line is, when we talk about Basel III, and we see the most sophisticated countries on the planet, or banks or investors on the planet—they know what’s going on. And they see that, OK, so this country that we have given the privilege of being world reserve has north of $100 trillion in liabilities, against a backdrop of virtually nothing in assets. They, the U.S., don’t make anything anymore except debt, and it’s time for a change. So we need to classify gold as a Tier-1 asset so we all have a life raft before the U.S. dollar sinks. And I think the fact that this is not front-and-center news is absolutely deplorable.

And so what has my eye? That has my eye. The fact that we’re broke and we continue to print money, and it’s growing in an unabated fashion. And the rest of the world is looking for alternatives. And the worst thing that we can do is ask ourselves how much gold and silver we should own. A better question is how much of your life do you want tied up in a currency that is north of $100 trillion in the hole, that has nothing in the way of assets?

And when the rest of the world is quietly setting the stage, both in the way oil is traded, the way transactions are routed, like the SWIFT system, and now in the reclassification as a Tier-1 asset. The rest of the world is looking for alternatives to the dollar because of these things. And the question that we should be asking ourselves is how much of our wealth do we want tied up in a currency that appears to be in this much trouble? And then work backward from there.

Maurice Jackson: Andy, we’re not here to provide financial advice, but you have relationships with some of the world’s financial elite. Can you share with us how much of an allocation toward gold and silver they feel comfortable with?

Andy Schectman: I spent three summers in Zurich in the ’90s, learning our business. Our business, when we started it, was heavily wrapped up in Swiss investments. And I haven’t met a Swiss banker in my career that wouldn’t tell you in the very best of times 10% of your assets should be in gold. But let me explain something to you, and maybe the readers can think for themselves and look at this a little bit differently. Most readers, and yourself too, will probably know who Morningstar is.

Maurice Jackson: Yes, sir. The Morningstar report grading service?

Andy Schectman: Yes, that’s right. So Morningstar has a company that they purchased out of Chicago called Ibbotson, and Ibbotson is a service very similar to Morningstar, before they were purchased by Morningstar. Now Morningstar owns them. But they’re a research service, and basically they were tasked with finding alternatives to the stock market. There was a time when stocks were risk-on and bonds were risk-off. And they would say that because bonds would pay a fair rate of return, 4%, 5%, 6%, 7%.

So when you’re working, you take your money and put it into the risk-on category, stocks, earn a return. If it’s volatile it’s OK, because you’re young and working. And as you get older you take a portion of that risk-on money, and. . .move it into the risk-off category, into bonds paying a fair rate of return. And then you retire safely, comfortably. At 7% interest on a couple million dollars over time, you’re making nice money. You’re making $150,000 a year in interest. You’re fine.

So now, with interest rates at the lowest level in human civilization—and really, when we talk about manipulation, it’s been interest rate manipulation more than anything that has skewed all the markets, because the interest rate manipulation has created this illusion of prosperity in our 401Ks and in our home values.

But anyway, so what Ibbotson basically said was because of the interest rate manipulation, because interest rates are so low, the inverse correlation between stocks and bonds is gone, and they are now positively correlated. . .If we wake up one morning, heaven forbid, to see OPEC say, “You know what? We’ve struck a deal with Russia and China. They’re going to protect us as well. We’re going to offer up oil in yuan, in ruble and in euro.” Overnight, the dollar would implode. People would be dumping dollars so fast. All of these countries that are forced to buy oil in dollars would be dumped. Like the U.S. would dump dollars so fast it’d make your head spin, and interest rates would shoot up quickly, as inflation was bearing down on the U.S.

If interest rates rise it is the perfect storm to kill all of the financial markets in the United States, because the stock market is overvalued by every single metric you can think of—every single metric. It is at its all-time high, at the lowest interest rates in the history of human civilization. And the bond market, which went from 7% in the late ’80s–’90s, down to where we are now at 2%—that’s an enormous bull run, one of the biggest ever. For 25 years this has been a bull running unabated. And now, with $17–18 trillion in negative-yielding interest rate bonds across the globe, and the U.S. paying 2% on a ten-year, when money creation and inflation is running north of 4%, we’re basically –2%.

But if interest rates rise, it absolutely kills the stock market, because who would buy stocks at their highest level ever by every metric, when you can buy treasuries paying a fair rate of return without risk? It kills the bond market, the mother of all bubbles. If you’re loaded—if you’re a corporation with a billion dollars—where do you put your money? You go into government treasuries, because nowhere else will protect it. And even if you’re a huge corporation in Europe with billions of dollars, where do you put your money? You go into those government treasuries paying 99.5%, so you’re happy to lose a half percent and be guaranteed the majority of your money.

And so all of this big money, and all this money creation and easy money that we’ve seen over the years, and the money that’s being pumped into the system by the Fed, has gone into financial assets like bonds and stocks, creating these inequities.

The bottom line is Ibbotson came out and said the only asset class on the planet that is inversely correlated to the U.S. Stock Market [is] precious metals. So not only are the central banks divesting of dollars. . .but now you have the most mainstream reporting service on the planet saying if you want protection from a fallen stock market, you have to own precious metals, because there is nothing else inversely correlated.

And so you put it all together: You have stocks and bonds protection by buying precious metals. And you have currency protection by buying precious metals—at least that’s what we’re hoping for. And so I think the question is not how much should you own, but rather what exposure do you want to the dollar? And then work backward from there. I think anything under 20% to 25% of investible assets is foolhardy right now, to be honest with you.

Maurice Jackson: I’m so delighted that you’re here, because you’re sharing with us so many insights that we don’t hear on the financial news networks, that we don’t receive from financial planners; because I see a correlation. I get a lot of phone calls in reference to the same question: How much allocation should I have in precious metals? And then they always ask me, why is it my financial advisor doesn’t ever share that with me? Why don’t I ever hear it on these financial news networks? And I’m like, the data’s there. It’s just. . .where you’re receiving it from may not be willing to share with you because they don’t benefit from it. And it’s truly disheartening, because they should be in it for the best interest of everyone.

Andy Schectman: Well, think about it, Maurice. When I started in this industry in 1989, there were stock brokers. And in a brokerage house there may have been two or three financial advisors—the guys that had been there for 30 years—but everyone else was a broker making 1% of your trade. You’d spend $1 million buying a stock, they make $10,000. And so that’s the way that it used to work, until the Internet came along and rendered brokers obsolete. Now trades are free. And so everyone’s an advisor, which is a Series 25 [test], I believe. . .It’s test on ethics. It’s the easiest test I ever passed. I used to be a financial advisor. It’s a joke. So you have to be a high school graduate or a GED, and pass a Series 7, which allows you to be a stockbroker. That’s a tough test. But to be a financial advisor, it’s 100 questions on ethics. It’s the easiest test ever, excuse me. And now, passing that one test you’re “an advisor.”

And so many financial advisors learn more and more about less and less, until they know everything about nothing. And they are the ones who perpetuate the fact that there’s only one way to retire, and that’s mutual funds and stock certificates.

And the difference between an advisor and a stock broker is a broker made money for a trade. An advisor makes money by keeping money under management. And so if you pull money out of management to buy gold that’s that much less that they’re making. So you’re taking food off your plate every time you pull money out from management. Therefore, human nature would dictate that most of the advisors, unless they are independently wealthy through a successful career, would find every alternative to recommending what’s best for the client. They call that OPM, Other People’s Money. It’s a lot easier to make a proclamation about someone else’s money than it is about your own, because when it’s your own you’re emotionally attached. When it’s someone else’s you don’t have the same vested interests.

I think you need to use your gut, but the bottom line is that 25% of investible assets minimum, to me, is a minimum that you would want to do. And quite frankly, if I told you what I really believed I’d probably lose credibility. But suffice it to say, I think 25% is a good starting point right now, becomes times are not normal, and the big money is proving that by their movements.

Maurice Jackson: Now for our audience members, yes we’re biased. We want you to purchase precious metals, by all means. But you notice the difference here is the allocation was 25% max, whereas what we were referring to is 100% allocation toward bonds and mutual funds in your 401K. That’s not being balanced at all, and so I just want to make sure we’re clear on that.

And you were referencing rates here. The Federal Reserve was a much-discussed topic on the news this month, as they announced their decision not to increase rates. But you believe the elephant in the room really is the Feds participation in overnight repos, which is another form of bailout. What can you share with us?

Andy Schectman: Well, it’s insidious. Here again, our media doing a bang-up job of telling us what’s really going on. And it’s just disgusting to me that people consider themselves well informed by reading their local newspaper or USA Today, or scouring the mainstream investment sites. And yet anyone you talk to has no idea what Basel III is, has no idea that we’re this much indebted, has no idea that a trillion seconds ago was as long as it was. And no one knows about the open market operations that are going on, and the repo programs, which I find to be tremendously frightening right now.

The repo program; now let me just kind of set the stage. In 2008, the Federal Reserve went to Congress and asked for $700 billion to bail out the banks, all at once, when Bear Stearns and Lehman went belly up. Since September, through the Federal Reserve, typically the banks would borrow from one another overnight, for whatever reason. They would borrow each other’s money, and they would do so through what’s called a repo agreement.

So I’m a bank and you’re a bank, and I happen to have IBM on my payroll, and it’s a $55–60 million obligation every two weeks or whatever, and maybe tonight I’m $10 million short—I’m just using this as an example—on top of all of my other obligations. So I would then, through a third-party intermediary, pledge a certain amount of U.S. treasuries, the Tier-1 asset, to you, and you would loan me the money overnight for 1% annualized rate. And I would then meet my obligations on payrolls. I would be made whole, and I would pay you back, and the treasuries would then be returned to my account. Simple.

Well, in September the repo rates went up as high as 10%. That’s called backing away. What that basically means is, is that the other banks who trade with one another, they don’t trust one another. They think that they’re going to go out of business and not get their money back, basically is what they’re thinking. They’re thinking that—and that perhaps the treasuries have been rehypothecated, pledged many times to other people. So the bottom line is that the banks stopped lending with one another, and interests rates started to spike on the overnight lending. And the Fed had to step in as the lender of last resort.

Now here’s where it gets frightening. Last night, I believe, the number was $365 billion that the Fed injected into the system last night, just to keep the banks alive. Every night going forward, over $365 billion. Bix Weir thinks the numbers are going to get as high as $700 or $800 billion. But they don’t have to declare it on their balance sheets—the Fed doesn’t have to—because it settles every day, overnight.

So the bottom line is the banks are so far under-capitalized and overextended that they need $365 billion per evening just to stay afloat. Every single evening since September this has been going on and increasing. It was $40 billion, $50 billion, $100 billion, $200 billion. Now it’s up to $360 billion and growing. And that way they don’t have to go to Congress and ask for a bailout. They’re doing it every single night. Every single night they’re pumping this money into the system just to keep the banks afloat.

Does that sound like a place you want to keep your life savings? In a system where the Federal Reserve has to quietly. . .And no one’s talking about the fact that these loans are oversubscribed, that there are more banks trying to borrow money overnight than the Federal Reserve is willing to lend. They’re not only oversubscribed, they’re growing in size, on top of their open-market operations, which are buying $60 billion a month in U.S. treasuries.

Monetization, it’s called, to try to buy the back end of the curb, to keep interest rates low, to inject liquidity into the system, which is only being put into bonds and stocks, further creating a bubble and a dislocation. The bottom line is that the Federal Reserve is pumping hundreds of billions of dollars into the banking system every night through these repo loans that don’t have to be declared because of the way they’re doing it, just to keep things afloat.

To me, look at all of the things we’ve talked about. Put them all together. You don’t think that the most sophisticated, well-informed traders on the globe know this? And you don’t think that’s why they reclassified gold? You don’t think that’s why they’re repositioning the way that they are? You don’t think that’s why the European, or the Eastern Block nations, have set up a system to usurp the petrodollar, and to usurp the SWIFT system? The handwriting is on the wall. And so when I see now the banking system, with the huge derivative exposure, the contagion would spread across the globe.

And I think there are some people who believe that this is the final stage, if you will, of a knowing attempt to blow up the system. That we never intended, we reached a point somewhere, where we never intended to pay back the debt. And we’ll milk as much infrastructure as we can, cities and bridges, and military and things, out of the system and then default. Because it’s getting to a point where it’s either inflate or die—die being default. And they’ve chosen, obviously, the inflation path, but at some point we may have no choice but just to default, as the rest of the world has not had alternatives to choose from. And it’s changing now.

This is the beginning of, I believe, the end of the dollar as the singular world reserve currency. And when you see the banks, all of which keep our money in for safety, beginning to be on thin ice the way they are right now, needing $360 billion a night just to stay afloat—and the way that they’re doing it in a nefarious fashion, to keep it from being on their balance sheets and everyone to know what’s going on—in other words, it’s not QE [quantitative easing] if it has a different name. These are all very ominous, dark clouds. I don’t like what I see on the horizon as it pertains to the dollar, and the future my children are going to grow up in.

Maurice Jackson: Before we close, last week it was announced that Metals.com was being sued by the state of Massachusetts. Do you have any comments?

Andy Schectman: Yeah. I think they were sued by the state of Minnesota as well. I’m almost positive. This is a federally non-regulated industry, and there are a lot of companies out there who have done a huge disservice to their client base, selling them overpriced crap, making them promises that would never happen. It’s federally non-regulated, and it means that there’s not an oversight out there to protect the consumer.

Minnesota is the only state in the United States, where we’re located, that regulates this federally non-regulated industry. We are licensed. We are bonded. We are background checked annually for this exact reason. And that’s why almost every single precious metals company outside the state of Minnesota has boycotted the state, because they don’t want to be subservient to the regulations that we have, to be, namely, licensing every year, bonding every year, background checks every year.

This is the same scenario that we have seen over and over and over again for the last several years, where precious metals companies are defrauding the consumer. I’m very proud of the fact, and I think you, Maurice, wouldn’t associate with Miles Franklin if this wasn’t true, that in 29, almost 30 years this February, we’ve never had a customer complaint ever. We have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, without ever having a complaint.

And when we talk about reasoning, to buy from a company who may be a few cents cheaper across the board, these are reasons why you don’t. Because it wasn’t too long ago that it was Tulving who defrauded almost $50 million from the public, and then went to jail after that. It was Northwest Territorial Mint: They defrauded almost $35 million from the public and are in prison, or are still fighting it out in court. And then there was the one in Austin, Texas—I forgot the name of it now, but he stole $35 million, and these were always the three most underpriced companies on the Internet.

The bottom line is, you get what you pay for. And there’s something to be said for working with a company with a great reputation like ours, and with a gentleman like yourself, with a stellar reputation. You get what you pay for, and part of that is accountability.

And it doesn’t surprise me that Metals.com was sued, and they’ll be many more like it. And that’s why we would recommend that you call Miles Franklin—call Maurice—because reputation is really, really important when it matters. And you never realize how important reputation is until you get screwed, and then all of the sudden you realize that being pennywise and pound foolish is never a good idea.

Maurice Jackson: Couldn’t have said it better, and thank you for the compliment sir. Prior to me joining Miles Franklin, one of the mistakes I would have made, and I couldn’t figure out, I should say, is this: I’m listening to this interview, and I look at the precious metal prices, and Miles [Franklin] is a little bit higher than a competitor. But if I go to that competitor’s website, there is no education. They are just simply waiting for Miles Franklin to educate me, and then I would go there for a lower price.

Andy, please share the website address for someone that’s interested in becoming a client of Miles Franklin.

Andy Schectman: It’s www.milesfranklin.com, and in your case, www.provenandprobable.com. But we also would more than welcome phone calls at (855) 505-1900. All of our brokers have a long tenure, and can speak to a wide range of topics from politics to economics, to geopolitical events to current events.

And what we do pride ourselves on, is accountability and accessibility. We’re accessible. I am always accessible by cell phone to my clients seven days a week, and it’s something I pride myself on. In a world that is very homogenous, we like to hang our hat on our reputation, our accountability and our accessibility.

Maurice Jackson: And as a reminder, I’m a proud licensed representative of Miles Franklin Precious Metals Investments, where we provide a number of options to expand your precious metals portfolio. From physical delivery, off-shore depositories, precious metal IRAs and private block-chain-distributed ledger technology. Call me directly at (855) 505-1900, or you may e-mail [email protected].

Finally, we invite you to subscribe to www.provenandprobable.com, where we provide mining insights and bullion sales. Andy Schectman, thank you for joining us today on Proven and Probable.

Maurice Jackson is the founder of Proven and Probable, a site that aims to enrich its subscribers through education in precious metals and junior mining companies that will enrich the world.

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