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Monthly Wrap Up

Monthly Wrap Up with Eric Sprott - April 2023

Monthly Wrap-Up with Eric Sprott and Craig Hemke - April 2023

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In this Monthly Wrap-Up podcast, Craig Hemke welcomes Eric Sprott to discuss the current state of the banking crisis and its implications for the economy. They also delve into other matters and aim to provide answers to the following questions:

- Is the financial world in the early innings of a banking crisis?
- Why is commercial real estate in danger?
- How big is the gap between political parties in resolving debt problems?
- What are Eric's thoughts on the potential increase in gold prices and the upside for gold stocks? And much more!

For the answers to these questions and more, be sure to watch this YouTube video.


Craig: You're listening to Sprott Money's "Monthly Wrap Up," with Craig Hemke. 
Craig: Welcome back to Sprott Money News at sprottmoney.com. And it is time for your April "Monthly Wrap Up," one of those features we do every month here at Sprott Money. You wanna subscribe to the channel, wherever you're watching. Subscribe, like, whatever it is, so that you can always be notified whenever there is new content, whether it's the monthly projections with Chris Vermeulen, maybe it's the "Ask the Expert" segment, maybe it's some of the great articles written by people like David Brady, or maybe it's your "Monthly Wrap Up." And you wanna make sure you're getting these notices because you never know when a special guest might show up, like today's, everyone's favorite retiree, Eric Sprott himself. There he is. Hey, Eric. 
Eric: Hey, Craig. Happy to be with you. [inaudible 00:00:51] May instead of April. Well, yeah, I'm the April Fool, I guess. Is that the idea? 
Craig: Yeah, there's a lot of people looking at the two of us going, "Yeah, I know those two jokers." 
Eric: We feel like the old guys in "The Muppets," right? 
Craig: Right. 
Eric: [inaudible 00:01:06.000]. "Yeah, it was lousy. Rah, rah, rah." 
Craig: That's exactly right. Well, let's [crosstalk 00:01:12.799] 
Eric: Hey, by the way, thinking of that, I was actually thinking... So, I gotta give a speech a couple of days from now. And I was thinking, "You know what, I finally got to use the number 60 years. I've been investing for 60 years." Yeah. 
Craig: Wow. That's back, like, when you had to read the tape, right? And you're like, "Ah..." 
Eric: It did. Yeah, everything was hand-written, right? 
Craig: Yep. Yeah. I remember back when they had order tickets. You had to make sure you filled out a green one or a red one... 
Eric: Yeah, yeah, right. 
Craig: ...so that you wouldn't screw up it was buy or sell. Come a long way, haven't we? 
Eric: Oh, yeah. 
Craig: Well, I look forward to getting caught up with you. I do wanna remind everybody that there's a company called Sprott Money, which has your name on it, by the way, that is a fabulous online bullion dealer, and they are the sponsors of this content. So, you wanna keep this stuff coming, [inaudible 00:02:00] throw them a bone every once in a while. Go to sprottmoney.com, check out their deals on bullion, and storage of that bullion. Always great deals. Periodic sales from time to time. You wanna always be checking the site. Or of course, just call them up at 888-861-0775. 
Eric, I think we last spoke at the end of 2022. And if memory serves me right, you and I were both pretty bullish about where we're headed this year. We're off to a pretty good start. Let's start there. It's, we're four months into the year, we're a third of the way through. What have you seen that has caught your eye, and what are you expecting from here? 
Eric: Well, I think, as I sit and look at where the financial world is today, I think that we are in the early innings of a banking crisis. We already lost three banks in the United States. We lost one in Europe, a big one, Credit Suisse. It looks like First Republic, not gonna make it. And as you think of how quickly, how quickly, these banks just disappear. I mean, that Silicon Valley Bank, I mean, it was gone in about three weeks. First Republic will probably ultimately be, like, six weeks or something. 
People just take their money out because of the mismanagement of the assets versus the liabilities. The liabilities, the deposits, can walk out the door just like that, and now you got a total mismatch because the assets that you have, you can't sell them. They're all going down in value because they're all financially related. And once the interest rates go up, that mortgage isn't worth it, the commercial real estate mortgage isn't...the building is going down in value. You see it in... We've had Brookfield already default on two sets of buildings, one in Washington, one in LA. BlackRock defaulted on some buildings. It's just gonna keep going. These defaults are gonna keep going. 
I got a guy building a big building just outside of me. And I've been away for six months, to come back, I'm looking at the building, say, "Hold it now." There's no movement in that building anymore. And he's got, like, two and a half stories built. And I'm sure if he, look it, we got $15 million in the building, but it's gonna cost another $85 million to finish it. And when we finish this $100 million building, it won't be worth $50 million. Maybe we should stop now. And he has... 
Craig: It sounds like silver. 
Eric: You know? So, this whole commercial real estate thing, what, there's $3 trillion of commercial mortgages. And the whole formula, you know, building used to be 90% occupied, now it's 50% occupied, and maybe you gotta give the guy a rent break. And your cost used to be X, and now it's 2X because of the interest costs have gone up, if you can get the loan. If you can get the loan. And there's a lot of that "if" not happening anymore in commercial real estate. Like, who's gonna lend you the money in commercial real estate? They're not gonna lend their money on the same terms. I mean, it'd be ridiculous. 
So, I think the banking crisis is alive and well. And, you know, I think just as we watch it manifest itself and watch what people do with their money, I mean, how fast they can take it out... For example, we see that Bitcoin shot up today. Gold has done nothing yet, but, and not that I'm saying Bitcoin is a good safe haven. I don't believe that at all, but other people do. But I'm certain that gold and silver are safe havens, and we're gonna see lots of demand for gold and silver. 
There was a little item that said the search, on Google, the search engine has seen its highest request for "Where do I buy gold?" Ever. So, it's all good. And, you know, I just saw the import data for China on gold and silver, and it was just crazy big. You saw the retail sales in China. I forget what they're up, I think they're up 10%. But the jewelry sales led the parade, up 34. Yeah. So, I think a lot of good things are happening, I think a lot of people realize these economies and these debt problems that we have, including, you know, the debt limits in the States, which I don't know how they're gonna get over that bridge between...the difference between the two parties is just so wide that somebody better figure out something. 
Craig: Eric, the banking crisis thing seems like kind of a double problem for the Fed, in that, you know, as banks get squeezed, they're gonna lend less and less, you know, with the commercial real estate issue and all that stuff. And then on top of that, they've gotta bail them all out, you know, whether... And so, where do you fall on this, you know, eventuality of QE and everything else... I mean, because there's people out there that think, "Oh, no, no, no, the Fed's just gonna keep hiking, they're gonna drown out inflation, and it's different this time." 
Eric: I don't believe the Fed can keep hiking, okay? And you kind of hear it in the voices of the people in commercial real estate, people in the hotel business, "Look, we can't take any more increases, okay?" It just, it's not gonna work here. So, what do I imagine? The only one way of stopping this banking crisis, by the way, is to reduce the rates such that, theoretically, the building can be funded again. You can't fund it at 6% and 7% and 8%. It doesn't make any sense. The formula doesn't work. Why would anybody refund? "Here, bank. You take the goddamn building." You know? And what are they gonna do with it? 
So they gotta stop this thing somewhere. I'm not, you know, necessarily predicting that they will cut the rate soon. But they have a big problem on their hands, which is where you're going, but there's a problem that's sitting right in front of them, and they gotta deal with it quickly. And I think this thing about worrying about inflation is not what the Fed should be worrying about today. They should be worrying about the banking crisis that they fomented. That they fomented. 
And of course, it goes back, you know, 20 years that they fomented this thing with the rates going to zero in the first place, which is a joke. So now they're gonna have to do something, I think, and it would... And I think if they overtly said, "We're gonna do something," I think it would be good for the precious metals. People would realize that the currency's vulnerable here. You and I were talking about the currency just before this podcast, and, I mean, it's within an ace of breaking down here. And so many... 
Craig: The dollar index. 
Eric: Yeah, the dollar index. Some people are calling the dollar index, which is, like, 101 today to go to, like, 70. And, like, what's that gonna do for inflation? 
Craig: Well, yeah. Right. Right. 
Eric: You're already in a recession, and you got all this inflation around you because everyone is gonna charge you more for your goods because your currency's weak. Speaking of currencies, I should point this data point out. I was reading about Argentina, and it's a stunning number. Their inflation this year is 102%. [inaudible 00:09:12] how do you deal with this? How do you deal with that? And of course, all I would wish is that everybody in Argentina either had the U.S. dollar or gold, but knowing that the U.S. dollar's gonna go down, there's only one choice. There's one logical choice, and that is to have gold or silver. And when are people gonna come around to this? 
Craig: Do you think, Eric... I just had a friend of mine ask me this over the weekend. The central bank digital currency. You know, eventually, we all worry it's gonna be this draconian thing, where they're gonna track every purchase and all that stuff. But is it initially...are they rushing to get it out just so that they can directly feed zeros and ones to the banks? 
Eric: Yeah. I don't get the need for digital currency. Unless it's just, you know your money's gonna be worthless, so let's creating a new money. That's all I can think of. But why we as a population would want that? We shouldn't want it, to my mind. You know, it's the banking elite that wanna go there so they can keep doing what they do. And when I [inaudible 00:10:14] banking, I always find it somewhat ridiculous that banks can have their profits above 15% every year for the last 40 years, and the population grows at 1%. Well, how do you get 15% more, when 1% more fools out there? 
Craig: Yeah. Excellent point. 
Eric: You're doing something. You're taking more of the pie all the time. 
Craig: Yeah. All right. Well, let's... All right. Should we start with silver or do you wanna talk about gold? Which one do you wanna talk about first? 
Eric: I wanna talk about ChatGPT. 
Craig: Ah, let's do it. 
Eric: ChatGPT. Because somebody asked ChatGPT, "What is the recommended portfolio, a defensive portfolio in today's environment?" And ChatGPT, and the smartest guy in the room, he only looked at trillions and trillions and trillions of data, and he came out and said, "Well, you should have 40% in bonds, you should have 20% [inaudible 00:11:13] say 10% in cash, another 30% in stock," and get this, "20% in precious metals." Twenty. ChatGPT, everyone's smartest guy in the room. 
Craig: Yeah, right. 
Eric: I always prefer computers over people. You know? The computer's looking at all the data. That's where you gotta be, man. 
Craig: Right. Objective. 
Eric: And as you and I know, and most gold investors know, when we have these economic disruptions, the price of gold will definitely go up a little. When you get [inaudible 00:11:48] bull market, it goes up, like, 700% or 800%. And then the stocks go up double that, which is outer-worldly returns, okay? 
Craig: Yeah. Right. Right. 
Eric: And we've already seen lots of instances of where we can imagine great things happening. So, for example, silver's up 45% off the low. Gold, [inaudible 00:12:09] 350, it's up about 20% off the low. The stocks... I don't know what the stocks are up by, but I think it's, like, 30% or 40%. While the stock market's going down. Maybe the S&P [inaudible 00:12:22.724] 10%. And gold stocks are up, like, 35% or something. We're already seeing the signs of what is logical to be happening in the environment we find ourselves in. It's very logical. 
And I just think [inaudible 00:12:35.783] play out again. And one of the guys that I rely on is Michael Oliver, who you've interviewed. And, you know, he called the top of the market in NASDAQ, January of '22, and the S&P in February. And he's been as right as rain about everything that's going on. And he is just outer-worldly about where silver is going. Gonna blow through $30, go through the old high of $50, and there's a lot of upside. And if he's correct, I mean, the upside will be stupendous, okay, for the shares. Like, [inaudible 00:13:12] dramatic, what would happen. 
And one of the things that I kind of favor these days, or looked more closely at, I've been a little involved with, is some of these very large low-grade deposits, where, you know, let's say you got a one-gram deposit and, you know, your cost is 80 cents on the dollar, you're making 20 cents, but now the price of gold goes from $2000 to $2500. I mean, your profitability just went up by 250%, right? Because it's all profit from $2000 to $2500. In fact, it was all profit from probably $1600 to $2000, is all profit. So, things just explode. So, I noticed that, I don't own Seabridge, but someone was saying, "Well, it looks like Seabridge is gonna go..." And of course, Seabridge has, what, 30 or 40 million ounces. I don't even know the number, low-grade ounces. But hey, that's where you wanna be looking. 
We own Tudor, who says they have roughly 30 million ounces of [inaudible 00:14:12] resources up at Treaty Creek. We own Freegold that came out and said, "Well, you know, using a certain cut-off of whatever, we could have 20 million ounces." And I would say between Tudor and Freegold as an example, and even Seabridge... I know in Tudor and Freegold's situation, you're probably buying the gold in the ground for $5 U.S. Five. Trades for $2000. Gotta be worth more than $5. Imagine if the price went to $3000 or $4000 or [inaudible 00:14:45.481]. What the hell is this gold worth? 
Craig: Well, let me ask you that, because, you know, gold's gonna break out, and it's gonna go above the old all-time highs, and probably rally at least 10% to $2300. You know, I see the people that say, "Oh, once it's above there, it's going to $3000 immediately." And I'm like, "I don't think that's the way the banks work that market, you know." So, if I could play, not devil's advocate, but I think it's easy to say bank advocate, because we just swap out devil for bank. That makes sense. How do we get to $4000 or $5,000 gold with them still running the show? 
Eric: Well, here's what I'd say, Craig. They've always run the show. Okay, they always have. Okay. But, you know, back in 2000, gold was $250. It went to $2000. It went up 700% with them in control. 
Craig: With them in charge. 
Eric: [crosstalk 00:15:41.312]. Obviously, they lost a little bit of control, okay? I think the control game is for them, every three months, to let it go up, get everybody in, get them all buying options, then we take it all down, just like you wrote about recently, a great write-up, by the way, where, "We're gonna take it down to max pain, where all the option holders lose everything. We wanna make sure our customers lose everything, and we make everything, again." 
And so, it might be that they're more into the three-month cycle, you know, and it can go up in [inaudible 00:16:11] right? But they're still big short. I don't know how they don't record it, the losses. But as you know, banking is a rather strange business. But while this may not be a mark-to-market thing, you know, you don't have to mark your loss, just like Silicon Valley Bank didn't have to take the loss on things. And then [inaudible 00:16:32] the [inaudible 00:16:33] "Well, they haven't taken the loss. If they took the loss, my deposit would be at risk," which it would have been. Which it was. 
Craig: Which it was. 
Eric: The Fed had to step in, right? 
Craig: Right. 
Eric: So, I'm not worried about what the banks would like to do, because I kind of think it's out of their control now. There's too many people buying in the world, okay? China, Russia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brazil, Turkey, Iran. There's more of them than us, by the way. And they like gold. 
Craig: Right. And they have to at some... I mean, they'll do it, I guess, until they can't make money at it anymore. I mean, and so, do you think... And one of the things I've been writing about this year is the idea of, whether it's copper or a nickel, you know, that's backed by bags of rocks... I'm sure you saw that story. One of these other markets, you know, that works under this digital derivative, you know, fractional reserve pricing structure, could one of those other markets fail or get close to fail, and that could be enough to put a fear of God in these banks, or make it a little run? 
Eric: I think we saw that with the nickel market, you know, in the [crosstalk 00:17:41.688] I mean, those guys were gonna be toasted. But they got bailed out, okay? They just [inaudible 00:17:47], they changed the rules, just like they did with the Hunt brothers. They changed the rules on them. And they may have to do that in the COMEX. Who knows. But the fact is that there's more likelihood of being shortages. 
So, I'm reading about palladium today, and how the South African power company, where I think they already produce 70% of the palladium, [inaudible 00:18:09] "Well, we might have a lot less electricity this year than last year." And of course, you've gotta give it to the homeowner first, and the business second. So, you guys might wanna be prepared for a little more shutdown than you're used to. And of course, palladium looks like it's gonna perk up here. 
So, that's a metal that already has done things like that before, where, all of a sudden, these guys were short, and they get run out of town. So, no, I think those guys realize they can get run out of town too, if there's enough interest. And of course, you have this theme where a lot of individuals, and I think maybe even hedge funds, buy these one-day options. You know, like, they buy one-day options. And it forces the guy that counteract [inaudible 00:18:53] all these options that they're writing, and they gotta do something, and, you know, they're taking these guys to the wall every now and then. So, maybe it'll happen again. 
I think that between the fundamentals, we can all feel very comfortable about the fundamentals. For example, silver, with their, what, 237 million-ounce shortfall this year, you know. And then the guy writing [inaudible 00:19:16] which is metals-focused, says, "Yeah, but we think the price is going to $18" or something like that. Like, come on. Give your head a shake, man. 
Craig: [inaudible 00:19:24.379] I know. You know, they make it sound like everybody and their brother's already buying silver and gold, and everybody thinks it's going up. I just saw Ronnie [inaudible 00:19:33] printed a tweet this morning about all of the investment banks, you know, say their target for gold for two years from now is $1,700, and silver is $21, and I'm like, "What?" 
Eric: Yeah. Yeah. No, that's what they're wishing. 
Craig: I guess. Yeah. They try to talk it into existence. All right. Let me go then to silver because... And I'd invite everybody, you know, if you're already on the Sprott Money page, go into the Insights tab, and you can scroll back. And Eric and I last spoke at the end of December, and you were very excited about silver, that it had come up 30%, 40% from its lows, in early September of last year. Now it's up this year, but only $1. So, like, 3% or 4%. But, I mean, you were really excited about the prospects for silver. I'd assume you still are? 
Eric: Oh, yeah. Well, you look at the production, keeps going down. And some of these countries, you know, like Peru and other South American countries are having a tough time keeping production up. I saw where Glencore, in the first quarter, I hope I'm not wrong in this, but their silver production was down something, I think, like, 15% or 18% in the quarter. So, people are having difficulty keeping production up in silver, because nobody's making a lot of money at that $20 of silver. They're just hanging on by their fingertips, right? So, nobody's out looking, or starting new mines. 
So I think, from a production point of view, we're in good shape. I think from a consumption point of view, particularly, you know, we witnessed last year the Indians just buying silver by the bucketful. And even this year, you look at the amount of silver being bought by the Chinese, it's way up year over year. And I think they bought, what was it, like, 8 million ounces in March. So, that's, like, 100 million, annualized. We only make 800 million. But you used to buy 50, now you're buying 100, and we had a shortfall last year, well, what's the shortfall gonna be this year if these guys wanna buy an extra 50 million? 
And of course, the U.S. Mint doesn't punch out nearly as many coins as they should. They could be doing 40 million a year, and they do, like, 12 million or something. It's a joke. The interest is there already. So, I've been a big buyer of silver here. I continue... There's two things I do. I keep buying silver, and I keep putting on shorts. And I short the bigs, okay? And whether it's Amazon or Tesla, names like that. Apple. And I'm short some bank stocks. And I just keep going a little deeper all the time, because I think, "Man, this economy's just not gonna make it. It's just one of those times." 
And, you know, in saying that, I mean, I was there in the NASDAQ crash, and saw it, way ahead of that. I saw the Great Financial Crisis very clearly. It was easy. And do I see a banking crisis today? Of course I do. How are these guys gonna get off this real estate that they won't loan money against? 
Craig: Right, right. Right. Do you remember the term...really popular 10, 12 years ago, called "crack-up boom?" 
Eric: Yeah. 
Craig: Do you think... Does that worry you? If you're short, or if you're thinking the market's gonna go down, do you think that could still play out? 
Eric: Well, I don't think so. I just think the banking problems are quite fixed. You know what I mean? Like, how are you getting out of this... These commercial real estate, as I'm looking at these buildings here in downtown Toronto, I mean, those buildings are worth 30%, 40%, less than they were a year ago. These are big tickets. We're talking about guys that lost a lot of money. And I think you're gonna see more and more defaults on buildings, and somebody's eating this stuff, right? 
And you look even at the banks and these variable-rate mortgages that we particularly have more so in Canada than you have, but, you know, guy's got a building, he's got a variable rate on it, and then the rate doubles on him, if they can get the money. If. There's just too much of that around. It's just, it's almost like a déjà vu all over again from the Great Financial Crisis. Too many people speculated too readily in real estate, and they ended up buying the second home or a home to rent to somebody, and all of a sudden, the interest rate goes from 3% to 6%, and the whole thing falls apart. The whole thing falls apart. And nobody could have imagined that ahead of time. But they all should have imagined it ahead of time. 
Craig: Well, I guess that kind of then gets back to what we were discussing a few minutes ago. I mean, does the Fed have any option? I mean, they're gonna have to choose, pick, you know, the right road or the left road. They're coming to a fork, where they gotta, you know, forfeit all whatever credibility they think they have left, let inflation just do whatever, because they've gotta keep the plates spinning. Or, keep rates at 6%, watch everything collapse. 
Eric: I think, ultimately, like, the market's already basically priced in, what, 125 bips of cuts here? The market has. The credit markets have. And I think the realization will happen that you may not see inflation in the sense that food prices come down, or interest costs, which is a big cost to the average person will come down. But when you see the industries being affected, and people get job layoffs... And of course, these job numbers, in my mind, they were all phony before, okay? They used to say there's 200,000 of them. [inaudible 00:24:58] "Well, we got a revision here. It's 240,000 now. It's 20% worse than we thought," okay? 
Meanwhile, the Fed's like, "Well, we got a tight labor market. Nah, nah, nah, nah." Yeah, well, excuse me. And I find one layoff rather interesting this week. It was Ernst & Young, laying off 3000 people, and I thought, "Hmm." That [inaudible 00:25:18] you don't make anything. You consult to people. And, you know, "We can give you a program for where you're gonna be in five years." And, "You know what? We don't want that. We gotta survive first." 
Craig: Right. Right. Right. 
Eric: [crosstalk 00:25:31.204] Like, "We have no money coming in the door. Don't tell me how we can run it more efficiently." And I just see that as, okay, now we're getting into the heart of the matter here, in that the companies don't have the money to spend on things like consulting anymore. So, and, or tax advice. Who needs tax advice when you're losing money? [crosstalk 00:25:55.105] you're losing money, file your return. 
Craig: I'm laughing. Remember we used to do those Weekly Wrap-Ups? And so, one Friday a month, we'd always just sit there with pulling our hair out. You obviously did a little better job at that than I did. Whenever they'd have the data like the jobs report, you know, it was just like, "Oh my god. What?" And boy, these latest numbers have been... Now, another one's coming up here now. We got the Fed, with the FOMC meeting next week. We've got the next jobs report on Friday, the 4th of May. And, you know, as we kind of go to wrap up, I'm gonna type into EricGPT, and ask EricGPT to kind of project, you know, about maybe by the next time we talk, maybe late summer, about time the football season kicks off, where are we gonna be? What's it gonna look like? 
Eric: Well, you know, the famous saying, you deteriorates slowly, and then all of a sudden. And I suspect... I mean, I'm a great believer in the theory of weakness begets weakness, okay? So, when EY lays off 3000 people, that's 3000 people gotta change their consumption patterns, right there. They're gonna affect another, whatever. And where's the strength coming from? Who is hiring out there? Other than the government, maybe, and of course they got their own problems with funding, which, they're just whistling past the graveyard, right? Oh my god. I don't know what the heck those governments are gonna do about, the tax revenue's down, what, 29% or something? Yeah. The tax revenue's down 29%. Well, excuse me. You can't be spending... I think in March they spent 34% more, year over year. And the revenue's down 29%. Excuse me, that's a bit of a gaping hole here. It's gotta be dealt with. 
So, I just think we continue to go downhill, that weakness will beget more weakness, we'll start to see car sales fall off and retail sales falling off, and everything under the sun is going to be affected, okay? The fact that guys stopped building buildings, stopped building plans, I just think it'll... We can't deal with these interest rates here. So, yeah, I think they'll cut rates, but the damage may be cast in stone already, you know? That nobody wants to spend anymore. You don't... Get a bank, they don't wanna lend. They see how weak industry is, and how weak people are. No, we're not gonna lend you more money. So... 
And as you know, money supply's gone way down already, right? 
Craig: Well, yeah. And it's like, all those businesses that don't wanna employ Ernst & Young, you gotta, you know, cut your voluntary, you know, excesses and try to trim fat. All the banks are doing the same thing, and they're all looking out for number one. I mean, all roads seem to lead back to more QE, more fiat debasement, more... 
Eric: Somebody has to prime the pump again, right? 
Craig: Right. Right. 
Eric: Weakness begets weakness. Who's priming the pump here, to get us out of this jam? And of course, part of priming is, like, cutting rates again. Well, imagine if we actually... Imagine the rates are gonna go back to 1% and 2% again. Oh, my god. You know, I think it'd be good for precious metals, okay? And yes, you could have a bit of a crack-up boom in stocks. You never know. But I think the precious metals would way outweigh that. I mean, I got open short positions. I don't really worry about it much. Yes, they're very volatile. You saw what happened with high-tech names here in the first quarter. They just went crazy on the upside. Well, now they're kind of giving it all back. So... 
Craig: All right. Well, let's have some fun here in the last couple of minutes. I mean, people used to love when we'd talk every Friday, and we'd take some questions, and remember, we'd get, like, 90 names of [inaudible 00:29:43] people, "Hey, have Eric talk about this one." Because they know that if you talked about it, it would open 20% higher, you know, that day and all that kind of stuff. I don't know. Just for fun, you got a couple of, I don't know, silver explorers? You got a... If silver's gonna go to the moon, you'd think there'd be some silver companies we might wanna look at? 
Eric: Yeah. Well, I've always thought that Discovery Silver would be would lead the parade because they got more ounces per dollar invested than anybody else. So, I would... And of course, I think every silver stock could go crazy. I mean, literally, hundreds of percent. What happens as silver manifests itself. And I've focused in the last year and a half on silver. And even in the last six months, I've been a physical buyer of silver, a lot. And the funny part is, silver's actually outperformed the stocks, which is kind of weird. You'd think stocks would do better than the price of silver [inaudible 00:30:37] But it could be that silver has been so manipulated and so depressed for so long that it just explodes out of here. That's kind of what I expect to happen here. 
So, I like Discovery. There's all sorts of other silver stocks that I own. I probably own, like, 30 of them, and they're all great. So, yeah. And I don't have 30 names for you [crosstalk 00:30:59] 
Craig: I remember, you couldn't find... I mean, you wanted to get into silver, and they're just not that many opportunities. 
Eric: [crosstalk 00:31:06.933] 
Craig: And I just... that could be a big part of the calculus going forward too. 
Eric: Big part. It's a big part. Because there's hardly any new guys, for sure. We should talk about some stocks, though. Like, I'm a huge believer in New Found Gold, okay? [crosstalk 00:31:19.980] going down to Newfoundland, to give a little chat down there. And I still believe in the whole geologic setting there. They keep coming out with these stunning, stunning results. And I think there's a short guy quite active in the stock, and almost every day, they'll [inaudible 00:31:37] in the last minute, it closes down a half of 1%. Every friggin' day, this guy comes in and knocks it down, and, like, you know, a half a percent every day, in 200 days of trading, that's 125% less than where you should be. Oh, my god. 
So, now that we're saying that they can keep coming up with these great results, you got people working against you. But I'm sure that ultimately, the whole Appleton fault that they're on is gonna prove to be highly endowed here, so I'm of great hope for that. As I mentioned, I'm looking for some of these low-grade deposits, whether it's Tudor, or Freegold in particular, that look pretty spectacular. Yeah, it's amazing how, when you have a good drilling program... When I first bought Freegold, they theoretically had 6 million ounces, and all of a sudden, I pick up the paper, you know, three days later, and they got 20 million ounces. Holy geez. Because you get these holes that have, you know, 500-meter intersections, and they went down, and then things change very fast. So, there's lots of good things happening in both silver and gold, and even platinum and palladium look quite interesting these days. 
Craig: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. You know, again, people, if you do your research, you find some independent voices that can help you out, you know, and kind of confirm what your thinking is, there's a lot of them out... I mean, as we've discussed, I mean, you get gold and silver going up, the shares, the gains in the shares are gonna be outsized. 
Eric: Yeah. Outsized. While everything else is failing. 
Craig: Right. Good point. Good point. Well, all right, my friend. Thank you so much for your time. It's just always so much fun to get caught up with you. And hopefully, we can do this again. You know, like I said, around start of football season maybe, and see how things are going. In the meantime, safe travels. Keep helping us out by buying as much physical silver as you can. 
Eric: I do, all the time. And I wanna say, look, I thought your article on where gold was gonna close when the options expired was phenomenal. You were right on the money. I mean, the manipulation carries on here, but, you know, now that the manipulation period is over, we probably got a good two months at least of finding a new level before we go into a little correction again. But we should be fine. 
Craig: Well, thank you. I very much appreciate the kind words. It's one of those things I don't wanna be right about. You know, I'd much rather say, "Hey, gold's gonna break out next week," and then it does, than have to warn everybody the banks are ready to sit on it for a week or two. But it is what it is. It's the market that we have to deal with until we have something else. And so, hopefully, we will have a nice run. Again, we get the Fed to shift policy maybe by June, boy, silver gets a three handle, and gold gets above $2100, it's gonna be a hot topic. 
Eric: Game on. 
Craig: Yes, let's hope so. And before we get there, just your friendly reminder. Add to your stack. You never know when prices are gonna explode, and then all of a sudden you're chasing. sprottmoney.com, the place to do it. 888-861-0775. And of course, give them a like or a subscribe on whatever channel you've been watching this. Eric, my friend, safe travels, and hopefully we'll talk again soon. 
Eric: Hey, Craig, all the best. Good luck to everybody. 
Craig: And from all of us at Sprott Money News and sprottmoney.com, thanks for watching. We'll have more content for you next month. 

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About the Author

Our Ask The Expert interviewer Craig Hemke began his career in financial services in 1990 but retired in 2008 to focus on family and entrepreneurial opportunities.

Since 2010, he has been the editor and publisher of the TF Metals Report found at TFMetalsReport.com, an online community for precious metal investors.

*The author is not affiliated with, endorsed or sponsored by Sprott Money Ltd. The views and opinions expressed in this material are those of the author or guest speaker, are subject to change and may not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sprott Money Ltd. Sprott Money does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, timeliness and reliability of the information or any results from its use.

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