con man

con man by cdrummbks, on Flickr

Oh, gods! My brain feels like it is burning. Is it the quart of Mia-Tia’s from last night? Is it the allergens blowing in the wind this morning? It is that new position that they wife wanted to try with the trapeze and the mayonnaise? I could only wish it were these things! No it is from giving up 77 minutes of my life watching Porter Stansberry’s on line fear mongering investment services pitch!

You may have seen the commercial on TV recently (I spotted it on the prime time MSNBC line up) touting an online video about a prescient investor who is predicting the collapse of the Untied States government this year (italic and bold). You got to the website www.Endofamerica2011.com to see this hour long turd. For the love of all that is good and pure don’t waste your fracking time! I did it for you and I’ll give you a good summary of this piece of ca-ca.

First off a word on format; it is set up so it has to run continuously. You have no opportunity to jump ahead. The whole thing is Stansberry droning on in a voice that could put a meth addict who just snorted a whole gram of meth to sleep inside ten minutes! The only video part of this on line Sominex is text of what Stansberry is saying, with scary red lettered words here and there for emphasis.

He starts by tooting his own horn on how he predicted the collapse of GM and the Wall St. reaction to the housing bubble. He conveniently forgets to mention his 1.5 million dollar fraud fine from the SEC over investment “advice” he sold through a news letter. The SEC claimed and the judge agreed that the report was “replete with lies”.

So you can see why old Porter might feel the need to burnish his image a little. Then he goes on to lay out scary facts in the manner that is most common to the Republicans and Conservatives. He gives you actual facts but fails to give you the context that would allow you to understand them.

For example he claims, accurately, that if all personal income were taxed at 100% it would not be enough to fund the spending of the United States government. The thing that he fails to point out is the amount of taxes on business is more than 50% of the total revenue collected. This is even though we have the pernicious pass thorough check box that allows businesses to skip paying taxes on revenue if they pass the money through to shareholders.

He then starts to scare people by talking about the “when not if” the U.S. dollar stops being the worlds reserve currency. Again, it is true that there has been some talk about this, but the reality is no one talking about it has been able to put forward a way to do it that would not in and of itself perpetrate a massive world wide financial collapse. Sure other nations would like a piece of the pie that the US has in this regard, but getting them means killing their economies first so no one is seriously trying to do it, they just want to do it.

From this premise of economic collapse Stanberry goes on and on and on about how things will get incredibly bad. He takes a long time talking about a European nation that had hyper inflation, that “stole” the assets of the people by keeping them form withdrawing the money from banks. How gas was unavailable at stations except ones that catered to foreign nationals. How the people all wanted Marks or Dollars and how their inflation rate hit 100% per day.

What was this nation? Yugoslavia, in 1993-1995! You know after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Soviet Block communist economies. This is the example he gives of “it can happen here!” the troubles of an Eastern Block nation as it struggled to form a market economy.

He then asserts that it will happen here! He tries to defuse any skepticism the viewer might have (assuming they are still awake) with a droning explanation of the normalcy bias, which says that people can’t recognize paradigm change until it has happened and even then they will resist because they are more comfortable with the old norm. It is a real thing, but he is not using it to talk about sociology, he is trying to sell you something.

Since he is not a fan of the Government (who is when they get their hand slapped for over a million dollar?) he gives the conservative trope about how regulation is killing business in the United States. As if the lack of regulation is not what got us in this mess in the first place.

Then he gives a bunch of other dire examples like Britain in the 1960’s and how it devalued its currency 14% overnight. He talks about all the bad things that happened then and asserts they “will” happen here.

Then he tells you that he is sure the government here is going to have such sever problems that there will be food and water shorteges and that there are likely to be riots in the street. He predicts that you must have a 6 month supply of food and water and that you should be ready to flee to the countryside if you live in an urban area.

Now that he has done scaring the shit out of the view (not me I just got pissed off) he goes into his pitch, 59 minutes into this piece of shit!.

He starts by saying you can not only protect your assets, you will be able to profit over the economic and social collapse of the United States! Do it now!

He has five ways that you’ll be able to make a fortune off of this disaster. First get as much of your money out of the U.S. as you can before that evil ol’ gub’ment seizes it to pay for its programs. He has a booklet for the 4 off shore investments you don’t have to report. After all if the gub’ment man don’t know where you money is they can’t take it! He is careful (after all he doesn’t want to pay another big ass fine) to say you’d have to report the money if you sell these investments and pay the taxes but only when you get out of them.

Then there is the pitch for gold. You knew there’d be a pitch for gold didn’t you? The Gold Investors Bible is just the thing for you! Then Stansberry predicts that gold will hit 5K an ounce sometime in the near future. Invest now! How can you lose?

He goes on to hype silver and his report “The Secrets of Silver Investing” including such tidbits as where to hide your silver (no joke) and an assertion that silver will once again be a hard currency, in the United States. Get yours while it is cheap!

Then he talks vaguely about something called the 100% Strategy. Without going into details he claims you can make tons of money and never have to own a stock. Then he makes the disclaimer that you might be forced to buy a stock at less than its current value if something goes wrong. By this point I assuming that Stansberry thinks viewers will be so afraid and nearly asleep that they won’t notice the cognitive dissonance between those two positions.

He bolsters his claim with the names of some folks who made a lot of money with this “strategy”. The thing here is there are always atypical results in everything from weight loss to test scores. Picking out a few at the far right of a standard distribution says nothing about the over all effectiveness of a product or a strategy.

So far all this is free, but wait there is more! Number four is the “One asset that will protect your family”. He never tells you what that asset is, just points out that it has done better than gold in the past 30 years and a bunch of really rich people own it. My guess is this is property but who knows? You have to get his report to find out.

Then the final bit:

The worlds most valuable asset in times of crisis” Again he won’t tell you what it is, but this bit of unobtainium is going to make you a butt load when the U.S. goes up in flames!

So how do you get all these wonderful and important documents? You pay $50 bucks (half the usual cost, don’t cha’ know?) for his news letter. You even get to ask for a refund in four months if you don’t like it and you get to keep these “reports” for free!

There is an hour and 17 minutes of my life I will never get back. You know I don’t mind people making a buck on investment advice, investments are tricky and if you know what is going on you should be able to sell that knowledge. What I do object to is fear mongering to pump up your subscription services.

This asshole Stansberry runs a commercial with a scary website name that says “Warning This Video is Controversial and May Offend Some Viewers”, and that is about the only honest thing he says about it. I was offended. I was offended that someone would play on the fears of the Fox News crowd and older folks about the future of our nation just to sell his crappy advice.

All the government bashing and no context warnings only serve to make people afraid and when people are afraid they are going to make bad choices. Which is what Stansberry wants, he wants them to make the bad choice of being propagandized by him on a regular basis while his pals in the gold and silver business suck up lots of profit by selling to scared people.

Porter Stansberry is a con man. He is so full of shit that no real investor would let him within 1000 yards of their portfolio. How can we be sure? Because if he really was that good, if he had the real deal, he would never be spamming his products around like this and never ever selling them for only $100 bucks a year.

Sadly there is one born every minute. There are people as we speak signing up to have this shit mailed to them and e-mailed to them. Do yourself a favor, if you hear any of your relatives talking about this con-man’s ideas, make them stop investing right away!

Ugh, I think I need another quart of Mia-Tia’s

The floor is yours