Introduction: Ron Holland is a contributing editor to several newsletters dealing with political and investing topics and author of several books, including Escape the Pension Trap. Originally from North Carolina, Ron lived in Geneva from 2003 to 2004 and divided his time between the US and Europe until 2012 when he moved to Toronto. Ron has developed and introduced several innovative investment products to investors in the US, including the first Swiss-franc denominated variable annuity portfolio licensed in the US.
In his writing and conference presentations, Ron emphatically advocates global investment diversification into foreign currencies and non-US markets as essential for protection from the US government's growing debt. Holland is particularly concerned about the vulnerability of retirement funds in the US, and consults to leading financial solutions providers seeking to provide viable options for citizens seeking protection. Ron's latest book is Restoring Our American Legacy.
Daily Bell: Good to catch up with you, Ron, and thanks for making time to talk with us today. You recently lived through a significant, life-altering event. Care to tell our readers about it?
Ron Holland: It is sort of embarrassing, to say the least. About 30 years ago my ex-wife nagged me to go to the doctor for a check-up. Everything was fine except for high cholesterol and very high blood pressure. My solution was simply not to go to the doctor again for the next 30 years. This was not one of my better decisions, in retrospect.
My wife, Tami, saved my life in early August this year. After apparently spending at least the last two months with congestive heart failure that I self-diagnosed as a chest cold or walking pneumonia, Tami "forced" me to go to the emergency room while on vacation down in North Carolina. I was pissed, until the attending physician said, "Sir, you are in deep shit." With less than 10% of my heart functioning and kidneys failing, he told me, "You probably wouldn't have lasted two days." You know he got my attention.
Yes, I had felt a little under the weather in recent months with a constant cough and shortness of breath, but I'd moderated sessions and danced the night away at FreedomFest in Las Vegas, hiked somewhat breathlessly through Tuscan mountain villages, spent time with wonderful daughters and grandkids in Toronto and Chapel Hill and joined Heidi, my 17-year-old, high in the Swiss Alps looking for a seminar location.
Anyway, guys, if you have a smart wife I would suggest maybe listening more to her. I must thank Tami for the "kick ass, take control moment." Now I'm at home and starting to write again around my long walks, blood pressure medications and generally healthy eating habits.
Daily Bell: Well, we're grateful to Tami, too! How has it changed your life, so far, in just this short time since you were hospitalized? What's come of it for you personally?
Ron Holland: First, I've always been a very thankful person and appreciative for the wonderful life I've had to date. Now, some of it has been hard work and good choices but a lot of it has been timing and blind luck. I grew up in a very rural farming community and I ended up in the securities business before I went to university, thinking I was applying to be a bank security guard but it turned out to be working in a securities section of a large bank trust department. So majoring in banking and finance at university rather than becoming a forest ranger as I planned was luck and ignorance at the time.
I believe time is precious and we should fight and write to advance freedom and liberty while we have the God-given opportunity. Therefore, I decided that, should I have the chance to write and express my views again, I would say exactly what I believe and to hell with the consequences.
No more nice guy, moderate drivel about the dollar and what was our country but rather the truth about those powerful evil interests who run politics, the financial system and the Western world as well as real history, current events, finance and the dollar. Note, this is not about who is the president, a specific political party, right/left, libertarian/conservative or free-market vs. socialist. These ideas are how those who rule over us make wars and steal global resources as well as our wealth and freedoms, about how we peacefully defend our wealth, liberties and properties from those who have divided and conquered us.
Daily Bell: Yesterday was the anniversary of 9/11. Now, 13 years later, where are we? What has been the lasting impact of the crimes of 9/11 and what do you think is the most valuable thing we've lost as a result?
Ron Holland: Well, first of all, Osama Bin Laden (formerly on the CIA payroll), if he were alive today rather than probably having died of renal failure a few years after 9/11, could certainly claim victory. Although I don't think this guy hiding in a cave in Afghanistan had anything to do with the attack, he was happy to be crowned by our intelligence services as the mastermind of the attack because it made him a hero in the Arab world. He was certainly an enemy of America and, like many ex-employees in the private sector, he was out for vengeance. His goal was to break America financially and destroy our freedoms with a police state and both goals were accomplished thanks to the attack.
The most valuable things Americans lost were our personal and financial freedoms, willingly given up due to the terrorist attack. The lasting impact is that the US is now in permanent war and occupation in the Middle East controlling oil and pipelines.
Daily Bell: Is there a way to restore the liberties lost in the wake?
Ron Holland: No. There is no way to restore the liberties lost in the wake of 9/11, as when they decide to take our remaining freedoms, liberties and wealth another enemy will suddenly appear as needed.
Daily Bell: Any other thoughts about it, looking back over this period of time?
Ron Holland: My final thoughts are how amazing it is that any of us, me included, for a few weeks after the event could believe the official version of the attack. How anyone now after 13 years could stomach the government's story is just beyond me.
We will likely never know the truth in our lifetimes – or maybe I should say your lifetimes to our younger readers (grin). There are so many conspiracy theories it is impossible to know the truth. I have a hunch it could have been the largest insurance fraud event in world history, and we have never been told who bought all the market puts. There is a funny name for that but it isn't politically correct. Just follow the money and those who benefited or were supposed to benefit from the resulting foreign policy actions.
Anyway, I'm tired of reading about 9/11 and all the false propaganda but when you see horrible events like this promoted in almost a religious and dogmatic frenzy for decades following, just know you are being manipulated for money, profit or power.
Daily Bell: How was the response to your latest book, Restoring Our American Legacy? Can people still email you for a copy? Where?
Ron Holland: The book was well read online and it is still available at The Daily Bell, here. For me, there is little profit in books anymore so I usually sell the rights and make a free version available for a limited period of time.
Daily Bell: Will you be another book soon?
Ron Holland: Well, I haven't written a lot lately for the public but I've been working on several manuscripts while I've been under the weather.
Daily Bell: Your thoughts about the independence vote in Scotland?
Ron Holland: First, I've been following the historical independence vote in Scotland and took the opportunity to watch the classic "Braveheart "movie staring Mel Gibson several times along with his second best movie, in my opinion, "The Patriot."
I hope Scotland votes for independence but doubt they will. Every establishment banking and financial institution and elite media talking head from statist, bottom-feeder Paul Krugman on up, as well as all the EU and global political scum have come out against independence. All are threatening every kind of negative economic results including the plagues of ancient Egypt should the people vote for self-determination.
How dare a people try to shake up the world order? There is nothing "new" about the world order. The bottom line is this: Small countries are more free and prosperous than large nation-states. (See, South Carolina? Maybe you should try independence a third time. Just joking. Maybe "the third time is a charm" but really, I wouldn't want to see Charleston nuked.)
Watching the British political elites heading up to Scotland to beg the voters not to leave shows the fear, loathing and desperation of the British political class as well as the weakness of empires like the US, UK and the EU to the lawful right of self-determination for a people and their territory.
Advanced nations like Canada and the United Kingdom are to be congratulated and applauded for allowing a vote for independence for provinces and self-determination, unlike Spain with Catalonia. Or Lincoln with the southern states where 600,000 Americans north and south were slaughtered all to keep import duties and tax competition from a lower tax Southern jurisdiction from competing with the Northeastern manufacturing establishment.
Regardless of whether Scotland votes for independence or continued dependence on the UK, this close vote and the frightened reaction of UK elites shows the fear big nations have of losing taxpayers and tax jurisdictions. In the case of over-indebted nation-states and empires like the USA, when you add the leverage of the threat of debt repudiation by the newly independent entity for their citizens and the new state balance sheet, today we well understand the weakness of big government and their political elites. It's all about the government debt and who pays for it.
Existing countries losing citizens and tax revenues to newly independent but debt-free nations will likely lose their ability to threaten the independent entities.
This is the Washington, London, Madrid and Brussels/EU Achilles heel. Global government bond markets might well determine the economic future of bloated, indebted nation-states even more unable to float their debts with lost territory and tax revenues. This really puts between a rock and a hard place the future of mega-governments' practice of maintaining power only by buying votes and supporters via stealing from future generations. Secession movements combined with the threat of existing national debt repudiation might well be our only chance in the US to control the current all powerful Washington leviathan.
Daily Bell: You continue to be alarmed over the state of the dollar. Last time we spoke (in May), you mentioned the signing of a Russia/China gas deal.
Ron Holland: Yes, and I must mention this is moving far faster than I expected primarily because of US financial penalties on Russia supposedly over Russian actions involving the Ukraine. All of this from the US that originally created and funded the ISIS terrorist group that took our weapons and funding and then turned on us and our puppet government in Iraq.
Sadly, most of the violence and civilian causalities in Iraq and Syria are a result of Qatar's planned natural gas pipeline through Syria to compete with Russia. The Ukraine problems are also a direct result of US covert actions and the need to limit Russian pipelines. All of America's foreign wars and meddling today concern pipelines and oil, and you can forget anything about freedom, representative governments and democracy.
Believe it or not, though, even the Obama Administration is doing a slightly better job than the British government in the area 100 years ago during World War One. I urge readers to buy the national bestseller Lawrence in Arabia by Scott Anderson. The book is described as "War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the making of the Modern Middle East" and it is the best book I've read about World War One to date.
In my opinion, the Moslems and Christians of the Middle East have been totally screwed by first London and later Washington for 100 years. Both groups deserve better and this is one reason why Christianity is dying in the Middle East. It is a sad time in the world when the only world leader standing up and with the best interests of both groups in mind, although for selfish and nationalist reasons, is President Putin of Russia.
I'll suggest the best way to follow the coming death of the dollar, related to the violence in Iraq, Syria and Ukraine because of the gas and oil pipelines: Start reading www.zerohedge.com daily to keep up with pipeline wars and the coming new axis of Russia, China and India as they build a new Asian center of power, a gold backed currency alternative and new trade agreements outside the dollar.
Daily Bell: You were impressed with Belize as a safe haven last time we talked, and even intended at one point to write a book on the subject. Have you looked at anywhere else recently? Give us more of a sense as to why people should want a safe haven.
Ron Holland: I'm still impressed with Belize as an island safe haven. I've also found a potential domestic safe haven location in the Southeastern US mountains as well as the South American nation of Colombia for Americans who want a safe location should the dollar, Treasury bonds and government services, welfare and employment be reduced. Remember, almost 50% of Americans live off the employment or welfare teat of the federal government.
These people are not used to working for a living but rather have existed off of stolen wealth for their lifetimes and this is multigenerational theft. Many will come and threaten your wealth, life and property when the SHTF so you should have a plan to be out of their way should this take place. I'll finish the book when the Colombia plans and location are finalized.
Note that many – should I say most? – domestic and foreign real estate developments fail because of a lack of capital, questionable sales and development practices and high expectations. Both the Belize and Southeasternrn US safe haven locations already have the infrastructure built and available for added development.
The same can be said for Colombia, as once details are finalized, a country club, fantastic shopping and restaurants, top health care facilities and an international airport are literally minutes away together from the rural mountain location. E-mail me for more information on any of the above if you are interested (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Daily Bell: We've sometimes suggested that most people have about another two years to get their assets and their loved ones out of various Western states, including the US. After that things get much harder. Your thoughts?
Ron Holland: Well, it depends on unknown future events. Speaking for the US, it will be too late when the next real or contrived major terrorist attack on the US takes place. A couple of days after this happens, the United States and your ability to leave, or have funds wired into or outside the country unless you are a major corporation or elite will likely be curtailed. Read "The Final Presidential Executive Order" if you want to know how easily the US could become locked down following a future attack.
Daily Bell: The market keeps running up. Central bankers obviously want another bubble. Why?
Ron Holland: What other choice do they have to buy time for the political and Wall Street establishment? Right now the dollar and stock markets are still going up. Never fight the Fed in the near term. So the Wall Street Party continues for now regardless of longer-term free-market and Austrian economic principles. Never question the ability of powerful governments and financial monopolies to control markets far longer than you estimate.
Daily Bell: What should people put their money in?
Ron Holland: I can only speak for myself but I like gold bullion held personally or outside one's present national jurisdiction. It may be time to begin slightly nibbling at mining and natural resource shares, as they are down so low. Finally, never store gold in a safe deposit box. Right now I'm very excited about several special unique situations ranging from real estate to marijuana.
Daily Bell: Are confiscations coming? Gold? Silver?
Ron Holland: Yes, but the timing depends on a future financial crisis or war situation – remember Franklin Roosevelt's gold theft, and don't doubt this will be done again by Presidential Executive Order. This is why I do not recommend storing gold in bank safe deposit box, as offshore is free from Washington political risk. I have reviewed three offshore gold storage alternatives; if any readers are interested in more information, just email.
Daily Bell: Who runs the US Empire?
Ron Holland: The best I can ascertain, the Washington Empire is run by a cadre of highly intelligent technical types working behind the scenes moving between public, private and think tank employment for a series of sometimes competing special interests both national and international, financial firms and oligarchies. All national politicians are just front men and women to take the credit or public outcry when things go wrong, with little actual political power.
Congress and both political parties have been bought and controlled by these interests since 1913 and their foundations are used to "educate" the American public and voters in order to manipulate public opinion relative to the elites' preferred course of action. Although not every politician is controlled, a majority always are in order to create their public policies and actions. This is why freedom and free-market actions and legislation always lose against statist forces.
Daily Bell: Are the BRICS part of it or are they opposed to it?
Ron Holland: These nations are always looking after their own national best interests. Right now some of the BRIC nations are backing the US Empire but I would estimate all will jump ship as Russia and China get their new currency non-dollar alternatives available on a global basis. Most national leaders and educated citizens know how badly their national wealth and prosperity have been ravaged and stolen by the military enforced petrodollar system.
Daily Bell: When will we see a global currency? Last time we interviewed you, you were doubtful about its appearance anytime soon.
Ron Holland: No, I believe for the next decade or so we will have the dollar, euro and a few others increasingly at odds with the growth of a Russia/China and Asia alternative probably backed by gold, energy reserves and agriculture lands.
Daily Bell: What are your thoughts on bitcoin?
Ron Holland: Here I'm in a real minority of one. I have a lot of friends that think bitcoin is the future of private money and storage of wealth on the planet. I hope they are right but personally, I believe only a currency or store of value backed by a major nation or regional nations with the adequate defensive military might will survive an attack and ultimate destruction by the United States, Federal Reserve and central banking cartel.
Daily Bell: Update us on politics. At one point, you seemed hopeful about Rand Paul. Now?
Ron Holland: I still continue my endorsement of Rand Paul for the GOP presidential nomination in the 2016 election as otherwise I do not plan to vote at all. But do not take my endorsement of Paul as an endorsement or any respect and confidence in the current closed two-party monopoly in the United States. Rand has the potential to be another Ronald Reagan and this is positive for America but we will not change the ultimate direction our nation is heading by votes for either political party or their candidates.
As you will see this upcoming week in Scotland, only a vote for peaceful democratic secession and self-determination has any chance of overthrowing the elite status quo leading the entire West to hell in a hand basket. Otherwise, at least in the US and outside of parliamentary forms of government with multiple parties, there is little chance to effect real political change. This will change should Scotland vote yes for independence and other entities realize secession combined with national debt repudiation really scares the elites and Goldman Sachs/Rothschild entities in the world.
Daily Bell: Is it a good time to buy junior miners yet?
Ron Holland: Again, I would say it is probably time to begin nibbling, as hopefully we are close to the bottom.
Daily Bell: What do you think about the growing cannabis industry?
Ron Holland: As I've said before, I'm high on cannabis as an investment but not literally. While I want to tell you about a coming watershed event that is going to dramatically change the global marijuana industry that is about far more than growing pot for profits, new health benefits or legalization efforts, I simply cannot go into detail on this right now but maybe in a few short weeks. This could create a major economic impact and multi-generational fortunes for early investors that truly are of historical proportions.
For example, only tobacco saved the original Jamestown colony from total bankruptcy and collapse. How would you like to be able to go back in history to the early 1600s and become a large shareholder in the first major export from what is now the United States? The Virginia Company, also called the London Company, started the global tobacco industry.
Another analogy might be the later East India Company that created Earl Grey tea and the worldwide tea industry in trading from India to the entire British Empire. Even our American Stars and Stripes flag came from a similar East India Company flag.
Also, consider the Dutch East India Company that brought spices to Europe from Southeast Asia. The possibilities of this economic event are of historical proportions like the early trading companies that brought tea, spices, coffee and tobacco to the Western world.
Millions should consider the growing list of medical benefits from proper cannabis use. So I'm high on the economic and financial benefits to accredited investors in this exciting new growth industry.
Daily Bell: Should people consider a cannabis buy-in while central banks are still pumping securities marts? How do you see the opportunity expanding? What are factors to consider regarding cannabis investing?
Ron Holland: Yes, it's certainly worth considering but remember that all startups are risky ventures and you should be prepared to risk losing all of your investment. The survivors will be companies that can compete at the lowest cost and overcome the regulatory hurdles of shipping, import and labeling. This is all I can say on the subject right now but if you want to know more I'm happy to put you on an email list.
Daily Bell: How long does this bull have to run generally?
Ron Holland: Well, are you talking about the fake bull market on Wall Street created for political re-election purposes for politicians or the more narrowly defined bull markets created by unique market forces? These are two separate situations. Many investors have gone broke betting against the power of Wall Street and central banks to keep the rally going. I don't have a clue so when you invest in equity startups, find unique special interest situations that should prosper and grow regardless of central banking actions at home or on a global basis.
Daily Bell: Can political events stop it? Are we going to see war with Russia?
Ron Holland: No. America will not go to war with Putin and Russia and neither will the European Union or NATO. This is all talk and bluster on the part of the United States. There are two historical names that sum up why the West will not go to war with Russia: Napoleon and Hitler. Plus, Putin is probably the best political leader in the world since Ronald Reagan.
Daily Bell: How about ISIS and the Middle East? Is ISIS a "false flag"?
Ron Holland: ISIS was an American creation to bring down the government of Syria and they turned against us. I don't think they were a false-flag operation but their actions today can be used to create a future false-flag operation, as we are desperate to invade to promote the Qatar pipeline, as I've said elsewhere.
Daily Bell: The West is obviously inciting war. Will they succeed in igniting a generalized war against Islam?
Ron Holland: The US desperately needs a war for two important reasons. First, to create an ongoing crisis situation necessary to provide Washington cover for massive wealth confiscation; second, to provide a scapegoat nation or nations that our politicians can use to blame the coming death of the dollar as the world reserve currency and our petro-dollar scam, as it is ending quickly now.
I don't think we want a generalized war against Islam but rather we need other real nations to blame, e.g., Russia and/or China, where the outrage and hate can be directed. When the dollar dies the central bankers, powerful money interests and major politicians will be hated far more than they are despised now. This must be avoided and thus a scapegoat will be created, the necessary black-flag operations will be implemented and many people will die just to protect those really responsible for the coming downfall of America.
So Washington prefers a short, small war with limited objectives. It was the same at the start of World War One as well as for Hitler in retaking a few nations and people that had been forcefully removed from Germany at the Treaty of Versailles. Wars are easy to start but difficult to control or finish.
But I do believe the antiwar movement in Europe and the US will be helpless to stop a war once it starts. Hermann Goering understood war all too well and his quote below on war is well worth reading and remembering.
Naturally the common people don't want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, IT IS THE LEADERS of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is TELL THEM THEY ARE BEING ATTACKED, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. IT WORKS THE SAME IN ANY COUNTRY.
– Goering at the Nuremberg Trials
Daily Bell: We see the progress of the Internet Reformation and despite the gloom we are optimistic. We believe people are waking up. Your thoughts?
Ron Holland: Yes, worldwide the people are waking up but specifically in the United States, there currently is no ability for the people to really effect change on major issues and policies through the present political system as it is organized.
The Scotland independence vote is a good case in point. Can you imagine Washington politicians ever allowing the people of a state to vote for secession and independence if they had a chance of winning?
Of course not because even the risk of a state withdrawing from the union and leaving all the national debt created by the Washington politicians with the Washington federal government where it really belongs would collapse the US treasury market. Actually, even the threat of states leaving the union and the national debt would crash the government bond market and it would be quite a spectacle to watch the president and cabinet traveling to such states begging instead of threatening for a change. The threat of peaceful secession and opportunity for citizens state-by-state to escape the coming collapse of the dollar and Treasury debt is the only leverage Americans have against the controlled federal government.
Daily Bell: We see the decriminalization of cannabis as evidence of this. Agree?
Ron Holland: Yes. The horrendous drug laws and their use to profit the prison industry lobby, law enforcement and the legal profession at the expense of mostly poor and minority members of society is a hidden, mostly racist tragedy in America. After all, the US has by far the largest percentage of its population in jail of any nation in the entire world.
But change is coming because the Internet allows anyone interested in the subject to learn the truth about medical benefits of cannabis and the negatives to society from prohibition. I've certainly changed my views on the subject because of the Internet.
To date, American drug laws have primarily benefited the legal profession, prison industry, law enforcement funding, crime syndicates and politicians through graft and payoffs. This is now changing here and globally.
First, the prisons are now packed full of poor and minority populations who are the prime recipients of drug-related sentencing because they can't buy their way out. America has the largest percentage of prison population per capita in the entire world.
Second, the federal and state governments and politicians are desperate for revenues and they see the potential tax revenues from legalizing marijuana far exceeding the payoffs and benefits from the legal profession and prison lobbyists, criminal elements, law enforcement etc.
Third, marijuana has been smoked by a large percentage of the population and there is no need for providers to fund a massive advertising budget to create a market in this sustainable green industry. The only advertising needed will be for market share and brand awareness.
Fourth, there are real medical benefits from cannabis usage and as the benefits are becoming more well known from the alternative media these medical needs will be met. This can become an important source of government revenue just as hard narcotics helped fund the British Empire.
Fifth, legalization will cut criminal elements out of a major part of their revenue, transferring the bulk of the revenue to the bankrupt federal government.
Sixth, just as alcohol probation failed and actually increased the demand, so has the long prohibition of marijuana. Government can't control the distribution so they might as well make it an important revenue generator through taxes, regulation and control combined with more funding to curb the real drug problem, which is hard drugs.
While the logic of grow-your-own and localized mom-and-pop marijuana farming and distribution like vegetables and other cash crops might be preferable to the population, this will never happen; too much revenue will be lost in a private, free-market, farm-to-table environment. Government will demand massive control and regulation to such an extent that small growers will likely be forced out of the equation – and herein lies the profit potential for major producers initially, and later, as big pharma and other big players with political power buy up the large, independent producers.
Finally, the producers likely to benefit and prosper the most from marijuana legalization will be based in jurisdictions with the lowest costs of production. This could benefit several countries in Latin America, especially.
Daily Bell: Thanks for your time, Ron. We really are grateful to have been able to sit down with you again.
Ron Holland as usual makes a lot of good points in this plainspoken interview – encouraging ones as well. We're glad he decided to speak his mind. He always does, but given his health scare and determination to speak out, we found this interview to be especially eloquent.
Among his most interesting points was his comment on the nature of Washington's serial wars and the preference for smaller ones. We've long maintained that the invention of the atom bomb rendered warfare a far less useful tool for extending and manipulating state control.
Washington may want smaller wars but modern war is almost always used to manipulate public opinion and consolidate the power of the war-makers. In this regard, large wars work better than small wars. But thanks in part to the Internet, current militarism is not yet whipping up domestic audiences, certainly in the West, the way previous "world wars" did.
Over the long term, Ron believes that citizens will be helpless against the rising tide of warfare. But limited warfare may not be as effective with domestic audiences as world wars were in the 20th century.
This goes for the war on drugs as well. Once again, we see that the Internet has made "war" more difficult. Power brokers who benefited from the war on drugs, certainly in the US, may have come to the decision that a reconfiguration of legal stances as regards drugs was preferable to the status quo.
Even the Scottish vote on independence can be seen through the lens of an awakening population. Regardless of its success or failure, the issue of secession has now galvanized international attention and thus, we would expect additional agitation elsewhere as a result.
In this interview, Ron makes it clear that he intends to continue to speak out for freedom and to educate people as best he can about lost liberties and about how people ought to adjust their lifestyles to recognize new realities. His effort to offer information about safe haven properties in Belize, the Southeastern US and Colombia is yet another example of how he tries to act on his convictions. Our best wishes for his continued good health.