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In this episode, Doomberg and Aaron discuss the idea that energy is life, forthcoming instability in major nations, and the optimism required to make a difference. They also cover the principles of prepping your home for calamity.
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If you liked this interview, check out our interview with Tucker Max where we discuss Doomer Optimism and our interview with Mike Green where we discuss Bitcoin.
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There's going to be food shortages. It's going to cost an enormous amount of money to feature family. For the wealthy people among your listeners, that's going to be a nuisance. for the the wide depth of the pyramid of people in the world, it's going to be a life and best struggle. And as we've been warning from the very beginning, on the path from, abundance to starvation is riot. People will riot. There will be social unrest. I expect public executions of political leaders in a variety of countries, some countries that might surprise you. The path from empty grocery door shelves to the guillotine is a short one. This is it's like we have learned nothing from history.
Aaron Watson [00:00:53]:
Hey. You're gonna find this interview with Doomburg really interesting. We discuss a wide range of topics including financial censorship in Canada the origins of Domburg's generalized pessimism about what the future might hold. Some challenges ahead for Xi in China and why Bloomberg isn't a Bitcoin maximalist. You're gonna learn a lot. Stay with us. So, Duke, I'm excited to be talking with you. Aaron, it's great to be here.
couple of weeks in the making, and I'm glad we're able to get together.
Aaron Watson [00:01:31]:
Absolutely. And, you know, sometimes we'll have guests on and we'll say, you know, this is their first podcast. which is always an exciting experience. But in in my case, you're a first you're my first, anonymous, anon to come on the podcast. Yeah. So, I wanna kinda get into a little bit of that down the line, but to just kick things off, the name, Bloomberg, the, people are watching on YouTube, icon or, or, or, logo of sorts is a green chicken. I was explaining my business partner before we started recording. You know, it's like, you know, chicken littles, sky is falling, and some people may be, you know, close their ears to the, the warnings that were coming in. there's there's kind of an obvious on the nose kind of connection to some of these ideas, but to start things off this, the the sense of doom, the framework for why one would have the negative outlook that you do on a macro basis on a macro picture. Can you kind of just summarize that for people? Or at least give us an entree and we'll dig into it a little bit more.
You bet, I would say at the outset that, both myself and and the Dumberg team individually at the micro level, are very optimistic people. we live, wonderful fulfilling lives. we're very giving people to a fault sometimes, to be totally honest with you in in the business that we've been trying to build together over the past several years. and the character of the green chicken and the name, Bloomberg, and the brand iconic for you around it that we have developed, flows from that base of optimism, but in in a sense, the Bloomberg brand and the things we write about are meant to try to get ahead of potential catastrophes that we see coming to explain the basis of why we think we may be on certain paths, that are suboptimal that might lead to substantial negative consequences for humans. We're a very human centric organization. we're very empathetic. We're very caring, very giving, all the things we talk about earlier. And so, we view our job at the sort of highest level as content creators to explain non finance concept to finance people in the language they can understand. And that is the inefficiency in the content creator market that we were looking to exploit. because we are anonymous for a variety of reasons, not the least of which, is the brand. You need to stick out. So the sort of the first rule of marketing is can't be remembered if you don't stick out and the green chicken, you know, every impression we get on Twitter of the green chicken with the stunned sort of funny eyes, which are the core to the brand. makes us memorable and, gets us in the zeitgeist. and you can't, affect change if people don't listen to your arguments and you can't get people to listen to your arguments if they don't read you, and brand is just one of 5 pillars as we've created this content creation business, that we think a lot about, and we are sort of experts in in our real life. I should say in our real life, we run a a bespoke consulting firm, where we are essentially a a think tank for hire for you know, family offices and C suite executives. Our team is composed of people with decades of experience in heavy industry and the commodity sector, which is probably 60 to 70% of what we write about. we sprinkle in a little bit of geopolitics and some crypto. but by and large, we are optimistic people we're giving people, and, we see the world making incorrect decisions and want to find the most effective way to be a contributing part of that debate that shifts opinion and, bends the curve of of some of our developments so that you know, more people can live a better life. and it it sounds sort of, you know, polyana, but it it it's, you know, if you don't contribute, then and you don't participate, then you just sort of have your your victim to the flows. And, occasionally, we swim against the current, and we're happy to do it. And we have a blast doing it. It's the work of my life in particular, and I have a very supportive team. this is literally, I believe, what I was do when I was put on this planet. I've had a very good career, but this is the funnest thing I've ever done. and, it's just been a blast.
Aaron Watson [00:05:42]:
I mean, that's that's epic. And and you really kind of started the needle here on on on the big idea for me is you can have a negative outlook on you know, might what might be coming down the pipe as it pertains to energy or commodities or food or the potentiality for conflict but there's still this embedded optimism of, hey, we started our own thing. Like, we started, eventually, started the re boutique research firm as well. There's an optimism in any entrepreneurial pursuit, and then optimal optimism embedded in the presumption that you can make an impact. And like you said, Bend the arc of, our lives and and and time towards, more optimal outcomes for humans that, you know, sometimes are are are in a position where they can't influence influence it themselves. We're seeing, you know, climbing oil prices, climbing, costs to energy, and that's gonna disproportionately affect the folks who, you know, don't have a choice about whether or not to fill up their their car with gas and drive to their minimum wage job and work for 8 hours just to pay for that tank of gas to be filled. Yeah. And I I I'm happy to give a little bit more context and background. It's just we had developed a really great book of business,
and then covid hit. and like many small business owners. You know, we had left very good jobs to hang up our own shingles, sort of the American dream, spend more time with our family, do what we love doing all day. I could even take a step back and and maybe share this with you and your audience. we had sort of done an analysis, and when we were sort of working in standard jobs at big companies and with responsibilities. We we had sort of so if you just audit your meeting calendar, we had found that we probably wasted 80% of our time. and we created all of the value in 20 percent of our time. And so the original, firm idea that we had was let's just do that 20% and package it and sell it five times. And so if if, you know, our old employers would pay us 100 units of value for the value that we created and we created that value in 20% of our time, we could market that 20 percent for 40 units of value and sell it multiple times and end up only doing what we love and making more money than we were making, you know, as executives. and that worked. It worked until COVID hit. And the mistake that we made, in building our firm and then look as entrepreneurs big or small, you you have to learn from your mistakes and you make them. Like, it's literally the only way to improve. The mistake that we made was we had a very concentrated book of business from mostly publicly traded companies. And when COVID hit as a variable cost, you know, the first thing that gets shut off, which we understood. And we in fact called clients and let them out of contracts, that they had with us because we were concerned about employees losing their jobs. And, we understood the the seriousness of the COVID pandemic, and and we were making an investment in karma, you know, and we care very deeply about our reputation with our clients. And so we lost 85% of our business almost overnight. And, and so as an entrepreneur, and many, many, many, many small businesses in the world, and in the US in particular, we're facing a very similar predicament. And so, it it's kind of devastating to put 2, two and a half years of your life into something that is going really great. We had a record billing year, you know, the month before COVID hit, and we had a record billing year the month after for the exact wrong reasons. And so we had to reinvent ourselves, and we took did a deep think, like, should we just dissolve and try to go get a job. Well, that's not like the economy was conducive to, people with unusual resumes trying to get new jobs back in March or April 2020. And so we decided to reinvent ourselves and and, we came up with the concept of helping content creators run their businesses better as a new product that we could offer as a consulting firm. And that was great. And we got a couple of big clients and help them a lot. And we learn the content creator business inside out because that's what we do as a firm. We're very thorough They were very systematic. And and we have a framework for analysis of businesses that we assumed would apply to content creators, and and sure enough it did. And then after doing that, we had reestablished just by doing that. We established the totality of the business we'd lost by the end of 2020 and then some. And, it was a really remarkable journey. We met these great people, and we started to study the content creator market. And then one of our clients was very supportive insisted that we should think about doing this ourselves and, that we were good enough to do it ourselves and that we should we should put our stuff out there. And so we did. we we came together and created the Bloomberg brand and created the icon of the green chicken. and, you know, plugged down nose and jumped in the pool last May. It's 10 months in, and it's been a spectacular success. And and I could've you know, that the week before COVID unfolded and the world fell apart, if you would have told me that within 2 years, I'd be spending almost all of my time you know, writing under an anonymous green check-in, I would have laughed at you, but it is truly the work of my life. I'm I feel incredibly blessed that I found it and the support of my team to encourage me to do it. it's been truly a remarkable journey, and I know that for the next 20 years, this is what I'm going to do because it was it is what I was meant to do. And,
Aaron Watson [00:11:07]:
the ability to distill the complex, the opaque to an audience that can't necessarily decipher or kinda cut through the noise given your experience is this really, powerful place in which to sit. And that's really where I wanted to, make sure we spent some time today, which is if you're just reading headlines, there are dozens dozens dozens of different, calamities that are imminent that are coming, and it's really, you know, the media business model fundamentally to spike your, blood pressure and and get the engagement and get click because of the, you know, as as humans, we're biologically predisposed to be on the alert for whatever the the risk may be. And the thing that I found from your writing, generally is, not only your ability to really hone in on very, kind of unambiguous issues that, like, there's there's actual substance here. It's not just a headline to get a click, but there's there's real substance here. but to to make clear, the the kind of underpinning infrastructure, that is that causing some of these issues. So maybe, you know, as you're thinking about the name Domburg, and and the ability for pessimism to always kinda sound smart if not always necessarily, be true in in most of media, and you have this background in commodities, what are some of the core things that you point to that that you wanna influence, but you really think people need to have greater fluency and, a greater understanding of in order to assess the real risks and to maybe not ignore, but but pay less attention to some of the things that are more superfluous.
So I think the thing that's most differentiating about our writing and the highest impact pieces that we've had center around our learned views in the energy space. and the direct and visceral connection between energy and life and energy is life. And the consequences of the trade offs of the decisions that are before us vis a vis global warming, energy policy, energy mix, standard of living. These are all tightly intertwined. And, unfortunately, many of our decision makers and most of our fellow citizens don't have the deep scientific training that we do. and can't see or connect the direct consequence of a poor decision over here leading to somebody starving over there. and, we're not naive enough to assume that there aren't always such trade offs in life. But if you're going to make such trade offs at a bare minimum, you need to be informed as to what those trade offs are and what the consequences are. And in particular, We are bounded by the laws of physics, and our politicians aren't trained in physics, and they aren't trained in the sciences. And they just assume that if they say certain platitudes enough that they will become true. But as we say, constantly on Twitter and in our writing and on various podcast appearances, the in the battle between platitudes and Physics, Physics is undefeated. and, we are about to starve a lot of people. And so, you know, you sort of wonder where the sort of sense of doom might come from with it's putting ourselves in the position of the people that are on the cusp of the starvation line that now because of our full, hearty energy policies will start. Like, this is real. there's a proximity effect to ethics that most people don't realize, but I've traveled the world. I've been to the slums of Brazil to Mumbai I've been to, the rural parts of China. I've seen how most of the world lives, and most of the world lives on the edge of calamity. I mean, they just do the western experience is in a is a is a is a is a is a totally, oh, I would say fake existence that that we are so privileged to be living that we're we're so privileged to be living the fake existence that we do that we forget how fake it is. and just how real the consequences are of our stupidity to hundreds of millions of people, real people, around the planet. And so another key attribute of the Bloomberg think tank and the Bloomberg team is we are human first. We we do not believe that humans are a cancer on the planet and have no right to a decent standard of living. We we believe the reverse of that. And, to the extent that certain extreme elements of the environmental movement are secretly anti human we we believe part of our role, and this is something that, you know, Alex Epshteyn has has taught us, is part of our role is to expose just how anti human some of these streamous elements are and put it to vote. Like, I could tell you that the people that are barely getting by in Mumbai or in Sao Paulo I know which side of the ledger they would vote on. and, you know, those are real people. There's they're they're somebody's mother, somebody's daughter, somebody's child, somebody's father, somebody's brother, somebody's cousin. and we're a deeply human first organization. And, you know, even if you are spitting into the wind, at least you can rest while knowing that you tried. We,
Aaron Watson [00:16:33]:
you know, my background is a an economic degree, and I remember being taught the Malthusian, model of basically throughout most of history when human capacity went up, population came up right there to meet it. So that that ability to kind of always be on the precipice of, you know, not having enough food, not having enough substance for people. was that kind of perpetual state? And then we reached the industrial age, and they show the graph and that just kind of exploding a part where there's this capacity for excess. and it, you know, what you're saying in terms of this this potential teetering really doesn't sound like a return to the Malthusian model. It sounds more like the ineptitude of certain policies that don't allow us to realize the kind of bountiful access that modern technological advancements have made. Is there a kind of specific example of that that you would point you to make this really tangible for people. Energy is life. you know, that that that that's kind of operating up here in the metaphor. Is there is there a tangible, like, rooted to the ground example, outside of, obviously, you know, there's a war right now, Ukraine and Russia, 2 of the biggest wheat exporters. you were you were calling about food concerns well before that broke out, and this seems to just exacerbated.
Well, again, the worst thing that can happen to a doomsayer is to see the things they predicted come true. I take no pleasure in being right. And in fact, I joked with friends. I wish I was wrong way more often. I would be happier if I was literally chicken little as opposed to accurate prognostic care. because these are real devastating consequences to real people. If I take a step back, and build out the framework of analysis a little bit more for you. The the human endeavor is a constant unrelenting struggle against the forces of entropy. Disorder is spontaneous. This is just sort of a basic laws of physics, the basic laws of thermodynamics. And literally, your standard of living is defined by how much energy you can waste to impose otherwise unstable disorder upon your local environment. Right angles don't exist in nature. the home that you live in has a lot of right angles in it. It has a lot of, stored potential energy in the walls and in the floors. And then, you know, you you we just take these things for granted in the Western world. that when we turn on the tap water flows, and that water is potable, and it's drinkable. And it's not gonna make you sick, and you don't have to boil it. You don't have to go in, gather wood to burn, get a fire going, get hot coal so that you can boil the water so you can make it safe to drink. You'd literally just try to tap on. you'd flick a little switch and the light comes on. You don't have to make a a makeshift torch. We take these things deeply for granted in in the west, and the human endeavor is a constant unrelenting struggle that's entropy and energy is life. And if you just look at the hierarchy of energy density at the top is nuclear, below that is fossil fuel, and then below that, is renewable. And it is just undeniable that if we're going to proactively construct the supply of high density energy. And we're going to limit the proliferation of that life nourishing energy to the population, then people are gonna die, and standard livings are gonna fall. And this is a knowable and unavoidable trade off, and we should at least have the conversation about it. before we sell people on one vision and then stick them with the other. And so as we sit here today with energy markets falling apart, fertilizer prices skyrocketing. We're seeing the economic vapor lock of countries, trying to limit their exports so that they can preserve whatever it is they have for the local population or at least be seen as trying to do so. and all the things we've been writing about for the last 5, 6, 7 months are beginning to come true. And and it's scary. Like, so the to break it down to your, like, original question, which is sort of real, there's going to be food shortages. It's going to cost an enormous amount of money to feed your family. For the wealthy people among your listeners, that's going to be a nuisance. for the the wide depth of the pyramid of people in the world. It's going to be a life and death struggle. And as we've been warning from the very beginning, on the path from abundance to starvation is riot. People will riot. There will be social unrest. I expect public executions of of of political leaders in a variety of countries, some countries that might surprise you. The path from empty grocery store shelves to the guillotine is a short one. This is it's like we have learned nothing from history. And so as we arrogantly assume that we can, snap our fingers without consequence and violate the laws of physics, the laws of physics will teach us who is the boss.
Aaron Watson [00:21:40]:
So one of the things that I mean, so so when I'm not doing this podcast, I'm running a marketing company. Right? and and, you know, it's not, too large of a step to say that we trade in platitudes. Right? Like, that there's to some degree we're trying to help with the byline, help with the narratives that surround the firm that we're, you know, supporting in some way shape or form that we're serving. and, you know, a a past guest, Ben Hunt, has talked about his framework for coming to markets of looking at it through the lens of the narrative machine. These narratives are swirling around us. And, you know, I I can point to all these things. I'm I just turned 30 last year. And for for most of my adult life, I can point to these very intangible things at the very least appearing, if not in reality, seeming to matter the most. It's these digital platforms that we're giving our attention to, it is these narratives du jour that, you know, either either that's associated with the green movement or these other kind of movements that that, rows people and and and move them in different directions. And what I'm hearing, if you were to maybe take a step out and say, 20 tens, 2020s, and, like, the the Venn diagram of similarities and differences. Yes. narratives will matter. The digital platforms are here, but there will be a substantial, decentralizing on the physical world as it pertains to where these decisions get made, at least in the western world. As you're you're as you're saying, it's always been the case in in these, less privileged corners of the globe. But for the folks that are probably watching this that are that are more likely to have all the, you know, latest Apple products and and be listening to us on such devices, there has to be a re centering on the physical to even try and make sense. If if you're purely consuming the narrative consuming the platitude, you're you're late, like, even in the information, flow in the sequencing.
Yeah. So I would say the wave function will collapse and, we will ultimately be confronted with the physical limitations of reality. and I would argue that the last 20 years, we have, surfed the sea of a peace dividend and a, an orgy of access that is, historic in its uniqueness. And for many people listening, I grew up very humble. I grew up quite poor. I was hungry, like, literally hungry a lot. And, and I still have those memories, you know, that you they say you're shaped by your experiences. And, I've struggled for food and and, immigrant to the United States. And every day I wake up blessed that I was able to get here and to be able to thrive and to be able to carve out a career for myself and to be able to support my family. I I I feel deep gratitude for the country for having provided me with those opportunities. There's a whole swath of our population that have never experienced such things. And, they're real. and, they they they can do one of 2 things. They could bring out the best in people or they can bring out the worst in people. And one of my fears is that, the Western Society in particular is so untrained for living a life without access that we might be among the global populations ironically we might be, among the least prepared for what's inevitably coming. And I do worry about the social fallout and the stability of our institutions. And, lord knows that we're not led by serious people in the US. and that, they don't yet seem to understand the world of hurt that's coming our way. And, And so, you know, one of the things I do is is, and one of the things we've written about is sort of preparedness starts at home and and, you know, you own your own sort of destiny and, best you understand what's coming and and to be prepared to deal with it. What what advice would you give to folks who who are,
Aaron Watson [00:25:50]:
not as attuned to this type of pessimistic outlook in terms of trying to make yourself more, anti fragile, because there's a whole there's a whole line of thought that says, yes, It's gonna be rocky, say, here in the United States, but we've got the the great plane, America's bread basket. We've got these, you know, eventually, local sources of energy that, even can be tapped into. It's not like we have to go on some Yeah. you know, cross continent run to get the energy that we need.
so so so what perspective would you share there? So it depends on your vantage point. If your vantage point is how well we have it compared to the rest of the world as we enter this period of high uncertainty, you should be very optimistic. If your vantage point is how capable are we of putting up with small deviations from the way the world used to be, This is the point that I'm trying to make, which is we are, spoiled. We we know no other life than excess. and ready access to, the things that make life, not only livable, but pleasurable. the internet always works. The lights always come on. The water always flows. The toilet always flushes. The gas tank is always full. just a very rare existence. And so if you sort of are looking from the perspective of randomly being dropped on the planet. Which country would you want to land on? Of course, this is a landing in the United States and North America is a lottery. I mean, you've won the lottery of life. precious few people in our society have the level of maturity and perspective to recognize that. and their basis is a much higher level of standard living that came much easier than what I fear, will be becoming down the road as as this war in Ukraine and Russia and the aftershocks and ripples flow through the pond. we're going to get crushed economics, you know, economic activity is going to contract. Europe is screwed. I mean, if you ask me where would I rather be dropped in the US or Western Europe. Of course, it's a no brainer. The United States has so many advantages that we can be so stupid and still live a pretty good life. but there's a lot of people who are used to living a certain life that are about to get a major disruption starting in your but that that is going to create a set of dominoes that ultimately falls here, and I see precious little in our political leaders that indicate to me that they even understand what's going on, let alone are prepared to think about it correctly and elucidate the proper responses for the maximum benefit for all of us. I we live in a deeply corrupt society. We are led by deeply on serious people who have no understanding of science whatsoever. who speak in platitudes and deny physics, and there's going to be a consequence of that. And we wish there wouldn't be. There's an easier path, but we're going to take the hardest pass first which is going to implement the most amount of pain, which is going to cause the most amount of social disruption. And then hopefully, we'll figure out that maybe we should do things differently. And look, I wish I could be more optimistic in which we are deeply optimistic people, but we are not led by serious people, and and it's going to get hard for many.
Aaron Watson [00:29:16]:
So I, try to ask question again in a different way. What are you doing to insulate yourself and your family, your community, protect your pack, tangible steps? because, you know, like, so one of the things is you know, power. We've we've got escalating, power costs. Some people are gonna say, well, I'll install solar panels or I will, you know, like, what are some things you -- So -- -- see see as viable. Wonderful. Great. So security starts at home.
and, ice I counsel our clients and our friends with the following. if you own a home and you pay home insurance, you don't degrudge the fact that you spent a $100 a month to the insurance company at the end of the year if your home hasn't burned down. you're happy that your home hasn't burned down and you've quote unquote wasted that $100 a month. So you're willing to buy insurance. Insurance is a losing bet integrated over your life. You will waste money buying insurance, but you do it anyway for good reason because you want to insure against catastrophe. So I would say and what the way that I live and try to counsel my friends to live is you must consider that the necessities of life are worth buying insurance against. And I view my home as a factory. The product of my factory is the health and well-being of me, my spouse, and my children. And I care very deeply about that. And my factory has inputs and waste products. The inputs into my factory are electricity, water, natural gas, and goods and services, the Amazon man. post office or post person. And the outputs of my factory are waste, human waste, and garbage. And you have to have a plan for if any of those 6 input slash outputs are disrupted. And what is that plan? And literally just thinking about your home and that framework puts you in the top 5% of people because they've never even given it a second thought. So I have a plan for if the water gets turned off, if the natural gas stops coming in, if the garbage stops being picked up or, you know, the the city sewer stops working. These are all low probability events with substantial negative consequences if you're unprepared for them. And so I I am an unabashed, prepper. I think about preparedness. I think about the responsibility of the well-being of me and my spouse and my and my children. I take that personally. I don't rely on the state. to provide me with, that insurance. I certainly rely on the state for all of the tangible things that a well run state gives to society, and we're certainly benefited from it, including a good education and all those other things. but in a an emergency, I have a detailed plan across all six of those dimensions to, you know, in the the sort of level of preparedness that I have for my family is we could lock our front doors for 30 days and lose access to all 6 of those things in the relatively comfortable life And my theory is if the world is collapse so bad that 30 days isn't enough, I probably don't wanna be living in it. Any -- And I it's also important I guess, to recognize that, like you've said, through most of history,
Aaron Watson [00:32:35]:
it's not been a given that all six of those were taken care of by an outside party. So it is not only learnable, but attainable to be able to take more controlled sovereignty over those elements because there there there's a well worn path of humans being able to handle that
used to be that we would store food for the winter. The harvest mattered a lot because you would preserve the to get you through the long hard winter. Now we just go to the grocery store and food is there. and that's great. I hope it continues. Believe me. I'm the last person in the world that wants to, test my preps, you know, and we tested our preps. So we had a local emergency and in our community. And we hosted, nine people in our home over a period of several days as this emergency unfolded, and we were blessed. because we were able to provide food and comfort and warmth and drink and protection for their pets. And, we were able to help them get protect their homes or get back on their feet if their homes were damaged because of this emergency. And, we we were very blessed be able to to be able to have done that. And and I feel like that event, which was a a few years ago, validated my personal decision to be sort of independently sovereign or as you say anti, you know, anti fragile. and I can assure you that all nine of those people are a grateful and be far far far further along on the preparedness, journey after that that experience, you know, until you have to flee your home because of an emergency. And, to discover what a prepared home looks like, Once you have that visceral experience, then it's sort of it's it's it's it's unforgettable. And and again, I we're not, I don't have a bunker with, you know, like, 50 firearms and I don't have, 20 years' worth of food, stored in a shed somewhere. I have a detailed plan for what our family response would be to losing any or all of those 6 key dimensions for up to 30 days. And that's it. And the rest of it is sort of I sleep well because at least I know, if the power goes out for the next 30 days, I have a detailed plan for that. And one really important thing that I would say for anybody who is interested in doing this, and I'm maybe this is going deeper than you you were wanting to go before we started talking, but if you buy things as insurance for an emergency, they're not preps until you've used them in a simulated emergency to see whether they would work. So I'll give you an example. if you buy a generator because you want to be insulated against the power going out. and you just assume that since you have a generator, you'll be able to run your fridge and your food won't spoil until the power gets restored. until you've actually unbox that generator, put the oil in it, put the gas in it, started it, and ran your fridge with it for an hour or 2. It's not a prep. It's just stuff. And the only thing that converts stuff into a prep is to actually use it for the purpose that you're acquiring it for vis a vis your insurance policy. And so I have a basement that has a sump pump in it. Water comes into that. And if the power goes out, it could on our basement. The generator is just a thing in a box until I have successfully run the power cable from the sump pump to my generator in my driveway and successfully operated that sump pump using that. generator. you might have alternative cooking means until you've made a meal with those alternative cooking means. They're just stuff. They're not preps. or just things in a box, and I can assure you that the very worst time to implement a prep for the first time is during an emergency. And I'll tell you a story, during the same emergency I described here where we had nine people living in our homes. I went to a friend's place who had lost electricity, and they had a generator, but they'd never used it. And we decided, hey. We're gonna save your deep freeze. Let's let's get this going because there's a lot of meat in the deep freeze and all that other stuff. Of course, you never started it. We pulled it out of the box. there was no oil. The oil didn't come with the generator, and you're sitting in the middle of a local emergency with a thing that can't be started because there's no oil. Now luckily, the neighbor had oil and had no generator, and we could run an extension cord to the neighbor's fridge as well. And so the neighbor traded us oil. We got the generator started, and we kept 2 homes going. That was a very deep lesson to my friend, which is until you actually use this thing in the line of fire. It's just a thing. It's just a paper rate. It's just a thing in a box. And so, simulating sort of, hey, you know, if, if the toilet stop flushing, what would I do? This is very that's actually the thing that people plan at least for. That is the quickest way to make your home unlivable, but that's a probably a less palatable story for this podcast, but it it though though that's the mindset, which is, until you've tried it, it's just the thing. And hopefully that then contributes to some optimism
Aaron Watson [00:38:04]:
knowing that at least your family, your kind of a local community,
is is insulated to some degree. That's the extent that you can. And, look, I mean, only so much you can do. And this is a deep rabbit hole you can go down, and and I would not encourage people to go too far down it. That's why I kept myself at 30 days. because there's literally no end to it. If you just say, well, 60 days is better than 30, you know, and 90 days is better than 60. And next thing you know, you're you know, sitting in a warehouse full of, mountain house, freeze dried food. It's it's only so far you need to go because in the realistic scenario, The thing, the way I try to instruct my friends on is how much of your edge risk do you want to take off and at what price?
Aaron Watson [00:38:48]:
so I I wanna That was some really edifying, insights into the micro. I wanna go up to the macro a little bit and just help people you know, make everything that's going on a little a little bit clearer, a little bit less opaque. you said something earlier in this interview about leaders that might be in more trouble than one would suspect. So maybe there's, you know, just historically troubled unstable, areas of the world that, you know, like, a nation state framework was imposed on them, and that's kind of a an unnatural, skin that they're they're they've been shedding off in some form for even through this peace dividend stable time. what are some of the areas of the world that you foresee instability, greater parts of instability, including Western Europe, but just wherever your mind goes that, you know, you hope to be wrong, but you you don't really see the physics pointing towards anything other than, really rocky road ahead.
Well, that that's one of the big elephant in the room, of course, is the stability of the Chinese Communist Party. and as you say, Ping's attempt to solidify his leadership for life this year, in China. And I think that's a vastly underreported story. And I think, he is not nearly as secure as most analysts believe. And and if you think about sort of the economic black swans, that might seem obvious in hindsight, we would point to the stability of the Chinese Communist Party and the paranoia of the Chinese Communist Party vis a vis it's perceived stability internally. And and this is a point that I don't see enough people making. But and look, I in my executive career, I traveled to China four times a year for a decade. I I I wouldn't consider myself a geopolitical expert, but if you've got 40 Chinese stamps in your passport, you probably have some basis of of, framework to do some analysis. and, there's one thing that the Chinese Communist Party cares about over and above everything. more than Taiwan, more than Hong Kong, more than defending itself from America, and and the the, you know, Let's see if China it the thing that the Chinese Communist Party cares the most about is domestic tranquility, visa, fee, food inflation, period. And that is a framework that too few analysts in the west use to analyze the behavior of the Chinese Communist Party. and with the energy crisis in Europe spilling over to China because of their interconnectivity with regards to the LNG market because they're bidding against each other for the same carriers. The price of energy in China spike And early and immediately, the Chinese Communist Party began to take actions to insulate their domestic population. against the food inflation fiasco that they knew was coming. And this is why we wrote a piece, you know, in October called starvation diet, which we believe was pretty prescient in predicting the consequences. You know, you never know where they're gonna flare out, but you know that, like, you you're pressing the balloon and it's gonna pop out somewhere else. the Chinese Communist Party limited the exports of phosphates, which are key inputs into the production of fertilizers back in late September. And that was a huge siren for the Dumberg team. And we knew that the dominoes would fall from that, and they have. And, the behavior of the Chinese Commerce Party makes perfect sense if you understand what the fundamental framework is and the fundamental prism is through which they view the sort of robustness of their, attachment to the leadership positions that they currently hold. With fertilizer prices spiking, energy prices spiking. farmers planting less and yields being lower because there's less fertilizer. and the economic vapor lock of countries reducing exports of their own specialties, whatever it is that they do that is sort of globally competitive. you're going to see huge food inflation, in places like China, India and sort of the emerging economies, the brick economies, Brazil, Russia, India, China. that is going to lead to systemic instability and then I do fear that these regimes are gonna counter that using all the tools of technology that we in the west have foolishly enabled them to create this, surveillance state, that the the confluence of food inflation, Xi, up for sort of reappointment for life, certain factions in the Chinese Communist Party, perhaps thinking that's not such a great idea. we could be in for a very interesting 2022 in China. but at the same time, nobody would have had sort of the uprising in CASX on their bingo cards for early January. Like, you just don't know when these pressures are going to, explode onto the scene in in very unpredictable ways. But if you sort of ask me highest level. Where am I watching the most? Where am I checking the headlines? Where am I texting my friends in China to sort of even though they have to speak in code because they understand that all the texts are being monitored. the transition of of power from Xi as a temporary leader to Xi as a permanent leader is the big move on the chessboard that I'm watching very closely for 2022.
Aaron Watson [00:44:27]:
And another, another part of that, once again, the, the spoiled Western world, I'm gonna start using that a lot. I think that's a really helpful framework for people, spoiled Western World, we're also spoiled by the fact, and this is often taken for granted and and lamented by some, that we have this release valve in the, you know, flipping back and forth from red to blue. When we're unhappy with this regime, there's a correction to the other regime and they're all they're they're all corrupt. They're all trading in platitudes, but at least for the psyche, you have the ability to really do, like, the the Gerardian scapegoating mechanism of, you know, throwing down, like, you know, scapegoating and then moving on to some alternative, whereas in one of the single party regimes, the the reason they're every leader should be, but they're so sensitive to something like food insecurity is there's no one to pass the buck to. There's no one to pace the blame to. Obviously, she could be that scapegoat of things or when things get really dire, but that is, another element of the the -- Yeah. -- chessboard there that we don't necessarily see in in other
and more so than voting and more so than the perceived ability to select our leaders. The thing that scares me the most and the thing that, I see degrading the most is, at least over here, we have the freedom to express ourselves to publicly express our disapproval of certain leaders to protest, to assemble, to exercise our first amendment privileges, freedom of speech. And the thing that is most alarming that we've seen, even more alarming than And I know this is gonna sound, you know, silly to some. On par with the alarm that we see with what's going on in Europe and the oppression, that we're seeing in China. The reason why it matters more to us is because it's more visceral than we're closer to it. The events that happen in Canada and the retroactive, making retroactively illegal the first amendment right of donating to a cause that you thought was, was something that you agreed with, freezing of the bank accounts without due process and the stifling of speech and the the, labeling of everyday Canadians as, you know, racists and Nazis and, extremists terrorists that deserve to lose their banking privileges is a 3rd rail of politics that we are shocked that a western duly elected leader, albeit with not even a plurality of the vote. You know, Trudeau was only elected with 30% of the vote for Trudeau to retroactively freeze the bank accounts of his political opponents without due process. and to proudly do it, is shocking and is a a huge degradation in the what we perceive to be, you know, western freedoms. And so you might be naive to think that your vote matters at the booth. and that there's any real difference between the parties here in the US or the, you know, the fragmented, 5 party system that exists in Canada. but at least you never worried about if you tweeted something that a politician didn't like, you might lose access to your credit cards. and you might not be allowed to participate in modern society for a view. this is a deeply troubling thing that far too people far too few people are paying attention to. And, is far more like what the Chinese Communist Party does from our proceed fantasy's point over here than what we would ever have imagined would occur in the western, in the western democracies. It's very scary stuff.
Aaron Watson [00:48:22]:
So, Domburg, you've you've left a a really kind of fat pitch in my strike zone here, which is to start talking about crypto. I don't actually wanna do that yet because one of the best things that well, well, one of the best things you can do as a podcaster is to wait till the end to start talking about crypto because you'll lose some of the audience candidly It's too easy to go there in a podcast. So what I would actually prefer to explore with you first, and then we'll get to that is trying to unpack the why. And what and and and in this very broad, so I'll I'll try to make clear what I'm what I'm alluding to. is you've talked about, number 1, there being a peace dividend, that has led to this excess. and and people could also, you know, point to concepts like entertaining ourselves to death where it's just, you know, we have the, low calorie hype, kind of, blood spiking type of headlines reality TV, these things that are distracting very kind of impractical, non essential information diets. And like you're saying, there's the under reporting of something like, g's pursuit of you know, lifetime leadership of China. There's under reporting of the, financial censorship happening in Canada. candidly, I just think there's in general under reporting on here's how, you know, the commodities markets work which is what opened the door, like you said, at the very beginning of this conversation, for the opportunity to, start this Bloomberg brand and have such an on people because there was, obviously, a thirst to hunger for this type of information. And if you you you go a little backwards looking for the last 20 years or So is it as simple as saying with x, you know, with excess, pigs were able to get fat? We didn't we we're able to take our eye off the ball, or are there other forces causes at play that have led to such a blind spot where, like, even I would say my smart friends Mhmm. Like, like, genuinely folks that I would point to, they're educated. They've got their head screwed on, straight. they don't have, like, many politicians, some sort of perverse incentive to pull the wool over there in other's eyes. They're just not sensitive to it. Yeah. how how would you unpack that with me? I'd say the real
sort of innovation for better or worse that makes this era different than all the others is the power of the social media algorithms to divide and conquer and to foment negativity and to foment, panic and to foment ignorance. So that dopamine hit that comes from, you know, only having people in your feed that agree with you and like what you say and respond favorably to the things you post. and the power of the algorithm to decide what gets placed in front of you, is the real sort of the real difference between today and, say, crises of the past. And, there's pluses and minuses. Look, I mean, Twitter is fantastic and Twitter is terrible. And, we spend a lot of time on Twitter. The signal to noise is terrible. but the raw information that you can get in real time can give you a huge advantage. And you just have to become accustomed to understanding what is propaganda, what is likely propaganda, what is probably true, and what is probably authentic, but incorrect. and you get skilled in doing that over time. but that, you know, this ability So, you know, it's very standard. This is well worn territory. The the algorithms are optimized for engagement and negativity drives engagement. And so the angrier that Twitter can make you the more engaged you're going to be, the angrier that Facebook can make you the more engaged you're going to be. and we've allowed these monopolies on social media to, to shape dictate, participate in the social discourse in a way that nobody can see possible 15 years ago. And it's a real serious problem. And then worse than that, one of the things we've been writing about and arguing about from the very beginning, I think our second piece addressed this. our our beliefs and expectations can be shaped by people who don't like us. the social media platforms can be manipulated by outside regimes who are, otherwise negatively predisposed to our social political objectives. And so just to give one example, this is the first inflationary burst that we've had in the era of social media. And if the classic economics textbooks tell us that inflation is at least in part driven by inflation expectations, and we would argue because of our weakness and our addictions to social media, those expectations can be manipulated by people who don't have our best interests in mind. And so it's a sort of a classic thing that we've written about, which is, you know, TikTok is a Chinese company. TikTok is controlled by the Chinese and TikTok. you know, decides a very powerful algorithm, a very addictive algorithm. Anybody who spends any time on TikTok will tell you that it is, deeply pleasing from a dopamine perspective to just let the algorithm put things in front of you that you're enjoying. what happens when China decides to spuke America vis a vis inflation and weakened the dollar. So when the first $20 Big Mac goes viral on TikTok is that because people wanna see that or because the Chinese want us to see that. so we are in an era of real inflationary pressure, where for the very first time, our collective inflation expectations can be manipulated by people who don't like us. And I believe, and we have written, and we've argued that the the Federal Reserve is not only prepare they're they're ill prepared for it. They have no idea that this is real. They're still sort of working on the analog models of the, of the era when the Tandy 1000 was the highest end laptop you could buy. those days are gone. And and inflation expectations can be manipulated and and
Aaron Watson [00:54:52]:
the proliferation of social media makes it a very, very dangerous time. Well, you you you've ratcheted enough that we can we can avoid it no longer. Now talking about inflation in conjunction with financial sense censorship. There's gotta be at least one listener that's, you know, screaming in their car, their gym, wherever they are. Bitcoin. Yeah. Bitcoin, Duenburg. Sure. Bitcoin. dissuade us.
We wrote a piece called, what Canada means for crypto. And, the the key conclusion for us in that piece, which, we we were able to thread the needle of simultaneously annoying the crypto browse and the gold box. crypto is not money. Another is gold. Money is what the government says it is. These are political problems, not technology problems. if Justin Trudeau decided to shut down Aaron Watson's bank account. No amount of crypto on a cold while gonna get you the ability to transact for the food, water, and medicine that you need to live a healthy life. There are 3 elements to the definition of money. Money is a a medium of exchange, a unit of account, a store of value. and Bitcoin fails the unit of change. You couldn't take your Bitcoin and go buy things with it in Canada if Trudeau froze your bank accounts. it's a store value in theory. You might be able to put the flash drive that contains your, you know, your, your keys in your pocket and walk across a border and have something that you can start life over with in a new environment. But as a test of what money is it failed. and on top of that, the US government and the Department of Justice are, very skilled in tracing the permanence of the blockchain. And, they will decide whether you're allowed to transact. They will decide whether you have any value. And so, to the Bitcoin Maxis that are listening, who might be annoyed by what I'm saying. I would say that you have diagnosed the problem correctly, but the solution is irrelevant. it's not workable. we need political intervention. We need to raise the awareness of, the threats to the liberties that we have at least may perhaps naively assume that we enjoy. and no amount of of, Bitcoin on a on a cold storage wallet is going to save you when the government decides to come get you. And they have the capacity to do so without recourse if you'd listen to Justin Trudeau. So that sounds very similar to,
Aaron Watson [00:57:27]:
Mike Green's perspective on Bitcoin generally and and the the desperate need that we have for political action by, I don't even know how you would categorize the the the folks of people that have diagnosed the problem. It's certainly in my mind a minority,
and, a minority that is kind of more the opt out minority than the opt in minority in terms of participation, would you would you feel like that's fair or maybe not? Yeah. And I should finish the idea to be very fair to the crypto browser. Same thing holds the golf to the gold box. Good luck. taking your gold eagle and trying to pay for some milk and bread and exit the grocery store when the government has turned off your credit cards and and frozen your bank accounts.
Aaron Watson [00:58:07]:
Well, how about this too? How about how about this? I've started to cut you off, but you referenced the trade, the trade of we got the generator working with the neighbor's oil in exchange for, like, you're -- But if all you have lefty barter, that tells you just how powerful the government is. Right. And and and no one was thinking about gold coins or bars that they probably didn't even have on-site, Like, that wasn't the thing that mattered. And nobody was thinking about Bitcoin either.
Right. so when it mattered the most, both gold and Bitcoin failed. if you were a Canadian car and they still exist, by the way, this is an underreported scandal. that Trudeau is still punishing his political enemies. This is a freaking G7 country. Justin Trudeau has 30% of the popular vote in the last election his party does. They run a first pass to post, political system, which is, I think, a scandal on itself. Justin Trudeau is actively punishing his political enemies for exercising their freedom of speech using the most dastardly weapons a state can point towards its its population, but this is the nuclear weapon. to in person somebody to make them unable to transact in the modern economy without due process without recourse This is a scandal of epic proportions that we would typically have ascribed to, you know, the Chinese Communist Party. So when you needed it most, I don't care if you had a 100 Bitcoin on a flash drive. You had nothing. So Bitcoin is not money. Bitcoin is a is a medium for speculation, and Bitcoin is a theoretical store of value. but it is not a medium of exchange. It just isn't. It won't ever be. The government decides what money is. If you want, Bitcoin to be money. You need a new government.
Aaron Watson [01:00:01]:
So in terms of some of these changes, you referenced the the, you know, up unrest being really, really hard to Right? Mhmm. And something like China feels a a mildly more predictable, if not necessarily, very clearly on a timescale that's easy to define. on on the other side of this, some of the arguments that I've seen are, you know, certainly, in the face of crises, people can come together, start a new institution that's a democratic, republic that that has, you know, these kind of embedded rights that, have inspired past political review revolutions, but there's also the potential for, you know, different more authoritarian leaders to step in in in in the chaos of of these crises. I don't know how familiar you are with, the, you know, some of these these arguments I've seen are like neo monarchists, as either a solution or a potential out come of, this type of unrest. Do is that the type of thing that you would see happening and more? Cause we we have that in Putin. It seems like we're, you know, trending that direction in in China. And, you know, do you see a a world in which that's actually more pervasive? Well, I mean, I, again, I don't want to annoy,
perhaps the base of Bloomberg, but we came very close to it, in many ways with Trump. Trump had certain tendencies that made us very uncomfortable. and, however, justified he might have thought his behavior was. And however, distasteful the the sort of political leadership was that, he replaced. I mean, if if left completely unchecked, I suspect that we might be in a slightly different position here in the United States. And so, yeah, I think this is a huge risk. I do believe, I mean, fundamentally, that, representative democracy is not the natural state. of society. It is a it is a an exception to an otherwise relatively unblemished track record of monarchy slash dictatorship slash authoritarianism. and it's very easy for people to get sucked into such you know, regimes because as long as it doesn't feel like it's happening to you in the moment when the major power shifts, then you don't object to And this is why we got so loud around Trudeau and this, you know, his behavior, vis a vis the truckers. we get sucked up into the team sport, then we just assume since it's happening to the other team, and I'm on this team, it's gonna be okay. Well, the other might get into power someday, and that precedent is dangerous, and everybody should object to it now. so I I I would say that we are much closer to the press you know, to the precipice that that many people would imagine, but then again, that's why it's called.
Aaron Watson [01:02:57]:
Well, this has been intensely educational, hopefully eye opening for folks that, have not heard this per perspective before. I wanna aim towards asking our standard last two questions, and we're gonna make a, a passion to plea here shortly to subscribe to the Bloomberg substack. But before we do,
ask those last questions. Was there anything else that you were hoping to share today that I didn't give you a chance? No. I think it's been a great discussion if, probably went a little darker than both of both of us thought it would, but we're in in kind of dark times and it's important to be realistic about things and to appraise them and to to at least educate yourself on what's going on so that you can be best prepared to respond to it.
Aaron Watson [01:03:36]:
Yeah. I I know that from my vantage point for for many people is the pandemic as a as a kinda, in March 2020 catalyst -- Sure. -- for you know, taking a different posture, but really, you know, candidly, since I first came across the Peter's eye on stuff, it's it's it's been something where I have, personally within my family and then more broadly out to my community, try to think through how to take a posture. I I've used anti fragile earlier this conversation. and and part of that is seeing the board more clearly. And I think that you do that a really really, really effectively. I'm I'm very grateful for the work you and your team do to to put into that. And I'm gonna make the hard pitch here to subscribe to to the Bloomberg substack. but, what other digital, digital coordinates would you wanna point people towards if they wanna learn? Yeah. We, we only have 2 outlets for our content.
one is dumberg.substack.com as mentioned, then the other is on Twitter. We're very active on Twitter. we view Twitter as sort of the front end of our product funnel where we create original content on Twitter that we don't necessarily, include in our sub stack. we are at at Dumberg T, t as in Thomas. So if you just add T to the end of Dumberg, as it as it goes up, somebody was squatting on the Domburg handle, and so we had to add a add a letter to the end of it. and we're we're quite active on Twitter. We enjoy the interactions, and, we have fun with the trolls. And, you know, we're we we do a lot of original content there. And so but, our real passion is our writing, and and, one of our rules is if we wouldn't write about it, we don't tweet about it. And so We tend to only tweet about the things that we have either already written about or we intend to write about. And, if we tweet about something long enough and we don't end up writing about it, we tweeting about it. And so those are the two places where you can find us. And, it's been a really spectacular run for us, and, the growth has been very encouraging, and It's really truly, sort of indication that this is the thing we were meant to be doing.
Aaron Watson [01:05:40]:
Well, I I will I will make the the pitch one more time. It is a very high signal to noise ratio. And I I'm I feel like I'm basically in the process of filtering in and out, more good sources of perspective information. I find, your stuff to be that. So I I hope that people will check it out and subscribe and learn a lot about how the world works. actually before we, we give you the mic a final time due break to issue the challenge, what if if you could, you know, there's a there's a a concept in startups, of, arms of a of a venture investing of a call for startups where a firm or an investor will basically say, like, I have this thesis. I have this idea, or or I see this problem, and I I can't find the startup that solves it. And that's actually candidly how, benchmark ended up in the Uber investment because they had the thesis of on demand kind of vehicle ordering from a mobile device before they actually found Uber, solving that problem. From your vantage point, I know that you really hunt for the kind of small boutique Twitter accounts that have a a high signal to signal to noise ratio, are there arenas or sources where you would love to find more content, see more insights being delivered that you can't find.
Boy, we sell ourselves to our clients as we live on the internet so you don't have to. And so we pride ourselves on being connected in the know, finding those accounts, reaching out developer relationships with what we call sort of the, the humble experts. And, you know, there's and so I we don't feel like we're missing much. We do think that Substack is the future of reporting. We think that Twitter is future of, of of interaction. We do think there's a megatrend of the decentralization of entertainment and education. and sort of, being part of that flow and creating the Duburg brand in the middle of it. It was sort of our the reason why this is the work of our life. And so because we're on the internet all day and because we've gotten good at recognizing signal and, eliminating noise, we've been able to curate some really great content, which is feeding an endless loop of ideas for Bloomberg to write about. advice I would give to people is if you're gonna go on Twitter to make lists, use lists, identify good people, create lists on them, and and don't let the algorithm decide what you should be looking at. take control over it. That is the one thing that is is sort of the biggest piece of advice I could give people is recognize that the algorithm is fooling you. that your, group group think is by design and that it's all optimized for dopamine hits and clicks. and that if you can take that control back to you, and systematically decide to curate. List another big piece of advice is I have a whole list of people that disagree with me, and I check them regularly. I have a list of Bitcoin Maxis. I have a list of, renewable, you know, advocates. I have a list of anti nuclear advocates. I have a list of people who, think the world is going to end because of global warming. I like to see what they're saying. I like to understand, you know, their point of view. And, if I can't negate it, then I have to learn something. if I can easily negate it, that's fine. It just reinforces my beliefs. the sort of standard tricks of the trade. And then, you know, or or things like that, but on top of that, the harder it is for you to hear somebody say an opinion you disagree with, the more likely it is that if you open your mind, you will learn something. And, far too few of the participants in the social media wars, view life that way. And I think that is probably one of the things that makes Bloomberg unique is that we are at least willing to understand and then negate and to polite respond to to to things that we disagree with. And then, you know, for example, I'm happy to go and debate anybody about Bitcoin or cryptocurrency politely. I don't think that people who are Bitcoin Maxis are bad people. I think they have authentically held beliefs and if they are willing to express them politely, we'll engage anybody. so, you know, let's not lose fact that, you know, that lose lose track of the fact that we're all humans and that we're all sharing this planet and, that these technologies can manipulate us if we're not careful.
Aaron Watson [01:10:05]:
I said that we'd we'd wrap up with the challenge here. I feel like there was a couple embedded in that piece of advice, but, before I let you go, any, final personal challenge for the audience.
Yeah. So you had given me a heads up that this was a question that you ask everybody, which is, what is an actionable personal challenge, and I assume that the personal challenge would have the desired effect of, self improvement on the other end of it if you're able to pull it off. so I would, give you, 2 of them, if you don't mind. Maybe I'll take a little access and give 2. Let's do it. One is the very first thing I tell myself every morning when I wake up is, something bad might happen to me, but it's not going to be today. and, it's just a great little mindset change that says, like, I've got today to live There might be something I'm worried about. Maybe I'm gonna, like, not get the job performance rating I want or maybe I'm not gonna get the grade on the exam that I was hoping for. maybe the date that I have later this week is not going to work out. I'm, you know, obviously, I'm I'm not well beyond dating, but I'm just sort of speaking, you know, in in ways that your audience might, might resonate with whatever it is that's giving you concern. If you just wake up and the first thing you tell yourself is something bad might happen to me, but not gonna be today. I'm gonna live the hell out of today. I'll deal with that tomorrow. It's a great way to start the day. the second thing that I would say is The single greatest investment you can make is in skill development. It's the highest NPV lowest cost. I have lived a life where if I believe that spending some money or spending some time or exerting some effort, on something will result in me learning a lifelong skill. That's the highest NPV investment, that present value investment I can make in myself. and I do that every day. What skill am I gonna learn today? So for example, I literally one of the key technology skills for the Bloomberg team is our ability to use our Bloomberg terminal. We pay a lot for that Bloomberg terminal. It's a key element of our business. and I try to learn at least one new function on my Bloomberg terminal every day. There's countless numbers of them and I can now, you know, with a few keystrokes pull up slightly more information that I could readily access before, and every day that makes me better. so skill development, personal skill development is a single greatest thing. So starting the day off, with a positive mindset. And then finding at least one thing to learn every day integrated over time over 1000 of days makes you irresistible to prospective employers or or clients.
Aaron Watson [01:12:52]:
Fantastic. I, best investment is investment yourself. And, I I like that that framing, just to enter the day with some some gratitude and some positivity. Dumberger, we we've we've hit both ends of the spectrum, optimism, and pessimism. I think that's a, an apt metaphor for life and a a valuable, experience and listen for me for the audience. I appreciate you sharing your time and wisdom with us today. Aaron, anytime. I'm happy to come back, and it was a real pleasure.
Aaron Watson [01:13:20]:
We just went deep with Bloomberg. Hoping out there has a fantastic day. Thanks for watching to the end of my interview with Doomburg. There are 2 other interviews that you will enjoy if you enjoyed that conversation. The first is a conversation with New York Times best selling author Tucker Max about Doumer Optimism and that same idea There's some bad stuff coming, but we can be prepared for it. Further, if you like the conversation about finance, about Bitcoin, about some of these macro factors in our past conversation with Mike Green is an absolute must listen. We talk about index funds, Bitcoin, Investing, so much more. Check those out