Articles by Patrick Mondaca
To The Trenches

Is China's Central Bank Gold-Buying Spree a Precursor for War? Part II of II

The idea of a nation acquiring large gold reserves in preparation for military endeavors is not without historical precedent. Prior to World War I, European powers increased their gold reserves, and a century later, Russia's central bank doubled its gold holdings in the years before its invasion of Ukraine. This same strategic stockpiling of gold could be inferred from China and its pre-war positioning for a Taiwan incursion.

May 06, 2024 04:17 PM EDT


Is China's Central Bank Gold-Buying Spree A Precursor for War? Part I of II

Since 2009, China has more than doubled its gold reserves. In wartime, particularly in wars perpetrated in violation of international law, the resulting international sanctions can force an invader state to rely on its gold reserves. Thus if a country is preparing to go to war and incur sanctions, it will ensure it has an ample reserve of gold.

May 02, 2024 03:08 PM EDT


Costco's Gold Bars Part II: From Africa to the Alps to You

So where exactly does that shiny new "999.9 fine gold minted" bar from Costco come from? Under that "Essayeur Fondeur" Swiss authenticity stamp lies a long, bloody trail of death and tears.

Apr 26, 2024 01:26 PM EDT


Buy Gold Bars at Costco? Why Guns, Gold, and Hard Assets Go Viral

The numbers show that when the going gets tough, Americans get to buying guns and gold. Signs of this gold rush might even be found amongst something as commonplace and red, white, and blue as Costco's floor-to-ceiling pallets of bulk household products and its $1.50 hotdog line. But the gold's origins are not so red, white, and blue.

Apr 12, 2024 02:28 PM EDT

The Next Generation of Video Streaming Is Vertical: Short Film Creators Monetizing the Dopamine Addict in Us All

Described as "TikTok-style short soap operas" with scripts adapted from web novels, short films are optimized for vertical viewing on mobile devices and to get viewers hooked fast. Free for the first few episodes, just enough for you to get a taste - and a dopamine rush - and boom, you're hooked.

Apr 09, 2024 08:49 AM EDT

The Red Glare of the Baltimore Bridge Collapse Conspiracy Theorists

The collapse of the Baltimore bridge bearing Francis Scott Key's name following a collision with a 948-foot-long cargo ship on Tuesday killed six construction workers and snarled port traffic into the East Coast. Almost immediately, conspiracy theories surrounding the events that led to the tragedy ran rampant.

Apr 02, 2024 03:03 PM EDT

A Modern Neo-Feudal State, The Tech Lords Ushering in a Return to the Medieval

If ever such tech lords decide that their will should supplant that of the majority's, or that through their influence they might alter the course of history by sustaining one country's war of aggression on another or by manipulating the political landscape, democracy will be the casualty - in America and throughout the world.

Mar 26, 2024 03:28 PM EDT

The Rent is Too Damn High? Let Them Eat Cake

As the concentration of global wealth ends up in fewer hands, the rich continue getting richer as the poor continue getting poorer.

Mar 23, 2024 01:37 PM EDT

Is Your Car a Snitch? Your Auto Insurance Premiums Might Beg to Differ.

Not since GM's Oldsmobile Cutlass was the best-selling car in America has it cost so much to insure a vehicle in the United States. With an MSRP starting at $4,290, buying a Cutlass outright 47 years ago would cost nearly as much as some Americans pay for their annual car insurance premiums today.

Mar 18, 2024 03:40 PM EDT

The Federal Reserve's 'Death Star'. The Battle Over America's Wallets.

The CBDC debate continues. Concerns over the exploration of the creation of a central bank digital currency in the United States, commonly referred to as a CBDC, has some lawmakers up in arms regarding its potential for increased government surveillance and control.

Mar 12, 2024 05:24 PM EDT

The American Dream Dies With Homeownership in US

The prospect of achieving the homeownership part of the American Dream is thus further from reality for some groups of Americans-primarily those of color-than ever. Indeed, a February 1st McKinsey Institute for Black Economic Mobility study found that it could take more than 300 years at the current rate for Black Americans to achieve "racial parity" in terms of housing equality.

Mar 08, 2024 02:54 PM EST

America First! American Tax Dollars for Americans! Nyet. Nein. The First Duty of Taxpayers is to Liberty.

Ukraine's fight is America's fight. "The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty" is an American obligation.

Mar 07, 2024 12:41 PM EST

The Hidden Hand: How Ukraine's Covert Teams are Shaping the Eastern Conflict

This is the Mossad of Ukraine: An Exploration of the Country’s Specialized 'Wet Work' Teams and Their Impact on the Russian-Ukrainian Conflict.

Mar 01, 2024 12:28 PM EST

“Buy at the sound of cannons and sell at the sound of trumpets.”

The old Wall Street adage says to buy when stocks plummet at the outbreak of war and sell when stocks rise as hostilities end. Buying low and selling high has long been a fundamental financial strategy particularly as it relates to gauging wartime market sentiments. And where some might hear the drums of war beating and jackboots ringing on cobblestones, others hear only the sound of cold, hard coin clanging into their coffers.

Feb 29, 2024 01:49 PM EST

Rise Against Terror: How Ukraine's Resistance Could Spark Global Democratic Uprising

Part 2 of Is Ukraine hunting Russia's blood gold traffickers in Africa?

Feb 28, 2024 12:42 PM EST

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