So you’re telling me there’s a chance…
By Simon Black - January 27, 2023

via Sovereign Research

As a member of the Boards of Directors of several companies, I regularly attend board meetings to help oversee and guide businesses.

One company in our portfolio is run by some very sharp and talented young guys who have created one of the first metaverse advertising companies. It’s growing rapidly, and they’re even expanding into video games now.

In a recent board meeting, the management team was telling me about their ‘KPIs’ for this year; KPI stands for ‘key performance indicator’, which is essentially a key metric that a company monitors to get an overall sense of the business.

Apple, for example, probably monitors iPhone sales very closely as a major KPI.

These guys at the metaverse business had a long list of KPIs. And as they were explaining the metrics to me, at a certain point I had to stop them.

I told them that, first of all, you can only focus on so many things at once. You cannot prioritize everything. You have a certain amount of time, money, people, and energy, and leaders need to make deliberate decisions about how to allocate those resources.

And second, you have to focus on things that you control.

I told the guys that they cannot control the number of daily active users in the metaverse, or in the video games where they’re advertising.

But they can absolutely control the number of advertisers they work with, the properties in their inventory, etc.

I’m telling you this story because I think it’s a sensible way to think about a Plan B.

Right now, it feels like the world is chain-smoking crisis after crisis.

Consider inflation, for example, which has remained stubbornly high. I can’t do anything to bring down price levels; there are only a handful of policymakers who have that ability, and they clearly don’t get it.

What I can do, however, is focus on the things that I can control in my own life.

And I can absolutely control, for example, the impact that inflation has on me, because of the decisions that I make with my savings and income.

I can’t control the solvency of Social Security either. But I can make sure that I have plenty of money stuffed away for my own retirement, regardless of what happens to the Social Security trust funds.

But today I really wanted to discuss how the future is far from certain.

We discuss regularly in these letters that the US, and the West in general, have set themselves on a very destructive trajectory. Too much debt, too much spending, too much money printing, too much conflict, etc.

And based on this current, destructive trajectory, if we fast forward 10-20 years, it doesn’t look good.

I also write a LOT about various historical examples of once great empires that fell from glory for many of the same reasons.

But again, the future is not certain. If there’s anything we’ve learned over the past few years, it’s that ANYTHING can happen. The world can change overnight.

And today I wanted to tell you a different story… not one of decline, but really more of a turn-around story.

It’s the story of a country that was on the brink of disaster… heavily indebted up to its eyeballs and about to be invaded. And they also happened to have a head of state with hardcore dementia who reportedly went around shaking hands with trees.

But they fixed it.

They managed to right the ship, turn everything around, and usher in a period of unprecedented peace and prosperity.

So it is possible. But in case this turnaround doesn’t happen… well, that’s why we have a Plan B.

This is the topic of our podcast today; you can listen in here.