Previous post Next post

On the Marc Faber Controversy

Il n’y a rien à defender – by Vidocq

Il n’y a rien à defender – There is nothing to defend

Personne n’a lu ce qui a été écrit. – Nobody read what was written.

Personne n’a pensé avant d’agir, comme la plupart des gens de nos jours. – No one thought before acting, like most people nowadays.

L’homme que tu pends est l’homme que tu as fait, pas l’homme que tu tiens. – The man you hang is the man you made, not the man you hang.

Pour ceux qui n’ont pas entièrement lu la lettre de Faber, Nous vous confrontons, Vous qui suspendez quelqu’un sans jugement, sans contexte, et parce que vous êtes égoïste et paresseux, vous, une auto-émeute.

–  To those who have not fully read the Faber letter, We confront you, you who hang someone without judgment, without context, and because you are selfish and lazy, you, a self made irrational mob.


By this time anyone reading this particular article on Acting Man will know about the controversy surrounding Marc Faber these last days, when a single paragraph of many from his October 2017 newsletter was published out of context. Of the now many many comments that have been written or spoken by various people in a wide variety of media, we have found none who have actually read the entire report out of which a single paragraph was published beyond the original sent to subscribers of the Gloom Doom Boom Report.

However, what was not published, was the entire letter.  We offer it here, in its entirety,  which you may download now from the link further below. We urge you to read it from beginning to end.

History is factually replete with the rise and decline of lucky nations. That the  favored nations of our time are now threatened by their own bad choices does not change the past, nor does it change the repeating of that past.  Saying it is not so is not factual, but is wishful thinking. It is clearly debatable what of history should be remembered and serve as a useful lesson.

The October issue of the Gloom Boom Doom report was an in depth look at some of the more important economic and social questions of our day, placed in the broader framework of history. We suggest strongly that you read the full Gloom Doom Boom letter which we provide here and then decide for yourself what was really said by Marc Faber.

Dr. Marc Faber

Dr. Marc Faber, author of the Gloom, Boom and Doom Report Photo credit: Michael Wildi / RDB - Click to enlarge

Equal Opportunity Offenders  – What Is One “Allowed” To Say? By PT 

Is Dr. Faber a racist? Perhaps one should ask his Thai wife if she thinks he hates her or considers her inferior. Or maybe one should ask his mixed-race daughter what she thinks about it. We actually happen to know her personally and although we only met her on one occasion, our educated guess is that her reaction to anyone posing such an absurd question would be to laugh them out of the room.

As Vidoq mentions above, we are hereby leaking the latest Gloom, Boom and Doom Report so that people who have followed the recent controversy can see the remark that has invited so much criticism in its full context. Thinking about it, if we had made an off-hand remark along similar lines in an article, we would probably have phrased it differently, tying it more explicitly to culture rather than race.

But anyone who has spent considerable time in Africa and isn’t overly fixated on political correctness would likely just shrug and think “what else is new”, regardless of the phrasing. We are not mind-readers, but we strongly suspect that many of those who professed their disapproval of Marc Faber’s remark initially had exactly the same reaction and probably still do, even if they don’t dare to admit it publicly.

If one considers the highly hypothetical scenario of black African tribes discovering and settling the US in the 17th century in a historical-cultural ceteris paribus context (it is highly hypothetical because building ocean-worthy ships and going on risky exploration journeys wasn’t their thing), it seems obvious that they would not have brought the ideas and institutions of the European Enlightenment with them, but rather their tribal cultures. It is hardly possible to assert that this wouldn’t have made a difference. The reasons are obviously debatable and race does not necessarily have anything to do with it, hence a different phrasing may have been better.

Dr. Marc Faber and his wife

Dr. Marc Faber and his wife Phtot credit: Goran Basic - Click to enlarge


At the time Europeans began to settle in America, Europe was still ruled by monarchs and despite their opposition to such authoritarian rule, the colonists certainly left a lot to be desired from today’s perspective. Nevertheless, the ideas and institutions characterizing the US over the coming centuries – the rule of law, respect for individual liberty and all the rights connected with it, such as freedom of expression, religious and political freedom, property rights, free markets and so forth, were already fully developed and implemented by them.

It is impossible to prove a negative, but it is definitely legitimate to doubt that anything remotely similar would have happened if African tribal chiefs had determined the fate of the US. Imagine a different hypothetical scenario for a moment: let us say that 300 years before Columbus, Arab traders had discovered America and decided to expand the Caliphate into this new world. This was just after Islam had come under the intellectual sway of Salafist theologians, which is to say, the economic, scientific and military prowess of the Muslim world was at the time still close to its peak in relative terms.

We imagine Arab forces would have made even shorter shrift of the native American population than the Europeans eventually did (which incidentally remains a big stain on the reputation of the latter) and would have found it quite easy to expand across this vast new continent. Having almost five centuries of practice under their belt, they were well-versed in conquering large territories. Thus the country would not be known as the USA today, but something like the UIE, or the UIC (United Islamic Emirates/ United Islamic Caliphate).

Conceivably the features characterizing this somewhat different America would include frequent beheading of people in the public square for a wide variety of crimes (inter aliawitchcraft and sorcery”). Road safety would be enhanced by a distinct lack of women drivers. There would be zero gay pride marches and acronyms such as “LBGTQ” and its offshoots would never have come into being. Presumably non-Islamic religious activity would not be tolerated either (perhaps a few dhimmis would be allowed to exist though, so this point is debatable).

And there would certainly be no free press, or freedom of expression generally (provided the internet had been invented, uppity bloggers would have to expect to be jailed and whipped). Think about mainstream press reports on president Trump for a moment – it is a good bet that reports on the hypothetical Caliph would look quite different.

Many detest the leftist bias of the mainstream media, but as far as we can tell, the opposition makes use of its own freedom of expression rather than the whip. Since the Left has no sense of humor and is utterly incapable of creating noteworthy memes, it is easy pickings in many ways, and its control of the mainstream narrative is trumped (no pun intended) by the grip its opponents have on the so-called “alternative media” living on the internet.

Political correctness would of course be strictly enforced in the Caliphate, that is an apodictic certainty. But it wouldn’t be the kind of political correctness that is propagated by the establishment in the West nowadays. We can hereby guarantee to all Western proponents of political correctness that they wouldn’t like the Caliphate version one bit.

How many Americans would consider the hypothetical scenario described above desirable? Does political correctness allow anyone to make statements along the lines of “thank God that didn’t happen”? We are not entirely up to speed what is and what isn’t currently “allowed” under PC rules – it is entirely possible that mentioning this hypothetical scenario is considered too Islamophobic for polite society. And yet, every single feature of our imaginary United Islamic Caliphate is a reality in modern-day Saudi Arabia.


Q & A with Dr. Marc Faber

[Ed. note: This is a response by Dr. Faber to emailed questions which to our knowledge was originally published at The Globe and Mail]


Q: I understand the context of what you wrote, but regardless people are interpreting it as racist as you are clearly stating the superiority of the whites in comparison to blacks.

MF: From the perspective of economic progress and development clearly. Is the world a better place after 200 years of Western economic and political as well as military superiority? No, we whites have been extremely cruel, but I sometime wonder if other ethnic groups would have been any better??

Q: Do you have any regrets about that or do you stand by your comments?

MF: Why should I regret stating historic facts?

Q: Is there anything you would take back if you had to do it again?

MF: No

Q: Would you still write what you wrote knowing what has transpired? Namely,  big backlash in the public, and being sacked from the 3 boards in Canada.

MF: If saying what I said leads to these consequences I prefer not to be on these boards.

Q: Does the backlash bother you, or are you immune to this?

MF: It bothers me greatly that I had to hear all the time I was at school and at University about enlightenment, freedom of speech and of expression and that the media nowadays did not find anything better to do than to label me as racist. To call someone a racist is a form of low blow insult. Insult is the response of the weak to strength of character.

Q: Will the financial impact from losing income from those lost board seats impact you in a big way, or does it not really matter?

MF: It will be a huge loss. I shall go back to being a waiter.

Q: Have you had a significant amount of subscribers cancel their subscriptions to your newsletter as a result of the controversy?

MF: No, I think most people actually agree with me and certainly defend freedom of expression even if it does no coincide with their views.

Q: Does it bother you that the U.S. business channels say you will no longer be welcome as a guest?

MF: It bothers me greatly that the media has become this biased against people with a different view.

Q: Do you think the actions of the three companies (Ivanhoe, Sprott & Novagold) to ask you to resign was appropriate, or do you think you should be allowed to keep those board seats?

MF: I think the corporate world is now run by compliance people. In this context I understand their firing me. In the meantime another two companies asked me to resign – so 5 in one day.

Q: Do you see any hypocrisy at all from the three companies in asking for your resignation?

MF: Unfortunately, Western societies have become extremely hypocritical. Their so called moral superiority will take them down.

Q: Are these companies as moral and upstanding as they profess to be? Below is what the three companies released yesterday. As you can see Sprott and Ivanhoe clearly state they have certain values that they uphold rigorously.  Do you think they actually adhere to these values or is this lip service designed to protect themselves?

MF: Morals in the corporate world? “When it comes to money, everybody is of the same religion” = Voltaire. I am not God. I am not here to judge other people. One CEO stated that I must have been on some drugs when I wrote my Gloom Boom & Doom report. Since I have only taken Cocaine three times and marijuana about ten times in seventy years, I did not think these were appropriate comments.

Q: Have any of the companies privately told you something different than what is in the statements below?

MF: Numerous board members have expressed their regrets that I am leaving their board and actually invited me to stay at their homes.


Conclusion by PT

As readers of this blog know, we are equal opportunity offenders here. We regularly publish articles by people who have no respect for political correctness whatsoever. We only try to make sure that those we publish know what they are talking about. Whether it is Republicans, Democrats, Catholic Popes, EU Commissars, central bankers, or the political leaders of India –  no-one is safe. Of course, for allowing no-holds-barred criticism of these poor, powerful authority figures, their courtier intellectuals and in the case of politicians, the people voting for them, we have occasionally been accused of bigotry. Such accusations often strike us as a case of projection.

As mentioned above, we would probably have expressed ourselves differently than Dr. Faber did, but bluntness is part of his style. We admire that he has refused to knuckle under and is sticking to his guns despite the backlash. The October Gloom, Boom and Doom Report can be downloaded below – context is important and this provides a lot more of it than was available elsewhere.


Download Link:

Gloom, Boom and Doom Report, October 2017 (PDF)

PS: the fact that Dr. Faber mentioned Zimbabwe may have been seen as particularly stinging. Consider this report on the country’s former “megalomaniac” central bank chief Gideon Gono in this context: “I will print and print the money”.

PPS: we have seen many people make comments based on very little information,  aping the mainstream media characterization of Dr. Faber as a “permabear”  and falsely concluding that his advice would not have been helpful to investors. It is immediately obvious that people making such assertions have never read his newsletter. The media know him as the man who correctly predicted the 1987 crash and ever since, they seem to be waiting until he mentions that the markets are overbought and ponders the potential for a correction before they invite him to inquire about his opinion. That way they ensure that he stays “in character”. Readers of his letter know better of course – he regularly offers a plethora of excellent and well-researched ideas in markets all over the world for a variety of investment horizons.

PPPS: A thoughtful comment on the controversy we found elsewhere on the intertubes at Economati: Marc Faber crosses the imaginary line of political correctness


Full story here Are you the author?
Pater Tenebrarum
Pater Tenebrarum is an independent analyst and economist/social theorist. He has been involved with financial markets in various capacities for 39 years and currently writes economic and market analyses for independent research organizations and a European hedge fund consultancy as well as being the main author of the acting-man blog.
Previous post See more for 6b.) Acting Man Next post
Tags: ,,

Permanent link to this article:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.