Thanks to an explosion in cheap goods available to the average American consumer, the tagline “Made in America” is rare today. After all, why buy a pair of pants from the American producer when you can buy 3 or 4 relatively equivalent ones imported from the Orient and available in the ubiquitous entity that is your friendly neighborhood Walmart? However, even that situation is changing and, when inflation (and potentially hyperinflation) rears its ugly head, even Walmart might seem too expensive to the regular Joe and Jill.
Most of our readers are familiar with the gold Maple Leaf, Eagle, Buffalo and Krugerrand. Along with the Nugget/Roo and to a certain degree, the Panda, such coins are widely recognized around the world as a good way to hold physical metal. But there is also another coin that belongs to this group and in fact (as a Swiss contact confirmed recently), it carries one of the lowest premiums of the internationally recognized one-ounce variety: the Austrian Philharmonic.
In the business world, Germany is known as a powerhouse manufacturer of high-quality, higher-end goods – particularly in the Business-to-Business markets. The key to this success is exceptional efficiency and productivity – two critical keys to success in a developed country that needs to pay developed-country wages to their workers. However, that’s only the stereotype and in today’s feature, Bill Drake attempts to drill down deeper into the classic German business and management mentality
As a general rule, I don’t pay much attention to the talking heads on the news networks nor the politicians who argue with each other about who can better butter-up the voters – if I want to see chimpanzees screaming at each other, I can go to the zoo. However, there is occasionally a time when they are of some use… and that is when you need to get a sense of what the general population spends their time thinking about. Nowadays, that seems to be some generalized sense of worry followed by a “we need those guys in government to do something about it”.
For those that have followed IM for a while, you’ll likely have noticed two common themes driving the quest for internationalization. The first is opportunity. It’s no secret that many parts of the developed world have entered into a severe decline.
To say that holding some gold or silver in physical form is a good idea would be somewhat of an understatement. Most of our readers will appreciate that the metals were used as money long before abstract fiat currencies took that place. And, it’s increasingly likely that at some point in the relatively near future, gold and silver may take their rightful place once more as everyday instruments of trade rather than simply a speculation.
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