QUESTION: Isn’t the current version of the economy much more decadent than in ancient times? So the past is not always the same.
ANSWER: I think you have not paid attention or perhaps you have never gone to a museum. The one thing that stands out is the constant changing in fashion. It’s been a long-standing joke that when women’s skirts rise, so does the stock market. When they fall to nearly the ground, the market crashes – i.e. Roaring ’20s.
There are indeed similar trends in ancient times. The term he assumed the Purple meant that the Emperor was the only one allowed to wear purple which was a very expensive die imported from India. In the Catholic Church during Advent, the priest wears purple vestments symbolizing the same Roman tradition.
However, even if you look at the coinage of the various wives of Emperors, and you will quickly notice the changing hairstyles. I suggest looking at a Fashion Museum and you will also see a cycle in clothing that corresponds to the rise and fall in temperatures. Fashion indeed becomes more elaborate in good times, and it does become standard during the bad times.
QUESTION: Hello, re: Fauci Under Global Attack I have to disagree with your comment that China did not benefit. I think they had to have been somewhat aware of what was going on, or at least caught on early and let it happen. This was a big benefit to them, specifically with respect to Hong Kong and the protests that had been going on there for a long time. I think anytime China has an opportunity to grab more control over its citizens, they will take it.
But I do agree with your belief of how it went down. I reviewed the publically available evidence such as patents, etc. a year ago and thought it was highly probable that this was man-made and intentionally released. That being said, it really doesn’t matter. Governments will use any excuse, with help from the media (pravda) to grab more power….in the name of protecting our freedoms, how ironic. I continue to be amazed at how dumb people are. On another note, and I am a very anti-violent, anti-war person, but…why doesn’t someone just assassinate Gates, Schwab and Soros? Cut the snake off at the head, so to speak. What are your thoughts on Mauritius? I am looking to get away from this crazy world.
ANSWER: All the information I have, which is EXTREMELY reliable and firsthand, not hearsay, points to this being created to further the Great Reset. China benefits from the deliberate response of the West, which is organized as part of this Build Back Better arrangement. I can confirm the Great Reset was talked about at Davos 1 year before COVID. They selected China in an effort to force them to join this Great Reset. China was on track to exceed the US as the largest economy before COVID. Their economy grew BECAUSE they did not deliberately try to crush it for the Great Reset. This is like a wife whose husband was killed in 9/11 saying she benefited because he had a large life insurance policy. China will become the Financial Capital of the World and they need not do anything but sit on the side, reject the Great Reset, and watch the West self-destruct.
Now as far as someone assassinating Gates, Soros, and Schwab, I think history proves that at the very least there will be attempts on their lives. After all, on July 20, 1944, Claus von Stauffenberg (1907 – July 21st, 1944) and other conspirators attempted to assassinate Adolf Hitler inside his Wolf’s Lair field headquarters near Rastenburg, East Prussia. The name Operation Valkyrie—originally referring to part of the conspiracy—has become associated with the entire event. There will be someone else who emerges to save humanity just as Claus von Stauffenberg tried to save Germany.
QUESTION: Dear Martin Armstrong What happened to the various sectors of the oil industry? Why are they not talking back? No, CO2 is not destroying the climate! No, we are not the cause of global warming. There is no global warming! We are not destroying the seas with oil and plastic garbage, lack of utilities for sensible waste handling is. Why don’t we hear objections from the big companies? Why are they so compliant with all these faulty narratives? I fail to see what NWO, WEF, Great Reset and more rubbish of the sort have to offer them. Their power base is more potent than this lofty rhetoric from experts and fake scientists. It’s their products that makes the world economy spin around. Why don’t they say something? Top high regards and mountains of best greetings /Uni
ANSWER: I believe that there have been major bribes paid to some politicians. I also believe that Bill Gates was involved with Epstein, not for young girls, which would have been legal in Europe if they are over 14, but for the purpose of getting powerful people in a compromising position to blackmail them. I suppose the test of my theory will be if Ghislaine Maxwell is actually allowed to go to trial. She has refused to plead guilty and they seem to be trying to get her sick or to pull off another suicide. Her conditions in solitary confinement are deplorable as they flood her cell with raw sewage. But according to Biden, Americans never torture anyone. RIGHT! Even when I petitioned the court to be taken to a real doctor the judge denied medical treatment. You have no idea how ruthless these people really are. They will stop at nothing to win.
QUESTION: Hello Mr. Armstrong,
I hope this email finds you.
Admittedly, I was first drawn to your blog years ago due to an interest in economics. After seeing various academic theories proved false by the market, I was searching online for someone out there with experience who could shed some light. Personally, I’ve become more and more curious about subjects beyond economics/politics. I want to learn more about how things are connected, something you’ve highlighted many times.
Do you have any recommended reading into physics? Something to help me orient myself. I would love to understand more how physics links into economics. Not just at a high level.
Kind regards, SJ
ANSWER: I wish I could refer you to a book on the blending of these subjects, but unfortunately I cannot. I am trying to write a book on this to bring together the works of various people I have studied over the years. The greatest problem has been that they are specialists in their field but do not step outside of that.
One of our major Australian corporate clients ordered their CFO to meet with me after he lost $50 million in foreign exchange. He was against cycles and had his back up, which was understandable. No matter what I said, he would dismiss our track record as luck. I finally asked him his background. He said he had a degree as a nuclear physicist. I said, “Great! Let’s look at the markets from the Second Law of Thermodynamics.” His mount dropped and said, “Oh my God, there has to be a cycle!” I responded, “You got it!”
They just do not bring the various fields together. That is what I am hoping to do with the fourth book in this series I have been writing, “TheGeometry of Time.” I hope to have the “Discovery of the Business Cycle” ready by the end of the year. After these five books, I will be ready for Scotty to Beam Me Up. I did what I was supposed to do.
QUESTION: You have mentioned more often ancient coins rather than US coins as an investment. Is there any particular reason other than your personal interest in history?
ANSWER: The Chinese are big buyers now of ancient coins in addition to their own. But the difference with ancient coins is that there are collectors worldwide so they tend to be much more of an international market. The coins of a particular country still are valuable but tend to be local — not international. The 1933 $20 gold coin just sold at Sotheby’s for $18,872,250 on an estimate of $10-$15 million would not bring that kind of money in Beijing.
QUESTION: Good Morning, If we take the statement “History repeats because human nature never changes” it would suggest that the human nature cycle will never reverse. That in itself does not track. If everything is like a pendulum, shouldn’t it swing back around to where human nature can and will change? And a lesser 2nd question to that end, if human nature did change how would that affect Socrates’ forecasts 🙂 ?
ANSWER: Human nature will never change insofar as we all have personal feelings — we can love or hate. That said, we are also influenced by mob behavior. The experiments of Stanley Milgram show that people would torture another if ordered to do so. He called his discovery, Obedience to Authority.
That said, society swings back and further between public & private confidence. People canceling anyone who has ever said anything, even 30 years ago, is the swing of the pendulum excessively to the left. The swing is based upon the “sheep” who can be herded and they will move back and forth depending upon their influence. That does not negate that we still have within human nature the battle between good and evil. Therefore, every government in history has collapsed because human nature swings back and forth.
Socrates is NOT HARD-CODED to follow some specific predetermined outcome. It adapts to the changes in trends. It is truly Artificial Intelligence, not some neural net or expert system that looks up the predetermined answer. All I did was teach it how TO ANALYZE and then set it loose on the world. This is a very important point. I was interested in discovering how the world functions. I did not create a program to merely report what I wanted it to say — I am not the government!
This is the real deal. It has taught me a lot in life.
QUESTION: Hi Marty, I have read your blog every day for years and you really appreciate the behind the curtain look at the world. You mentioned that gold is not manipulated which I can understand. My question is if the Silver market is really manipulated or not? I read that JP Morgan has been fined many times for just that. You have mentioned on multiple occasions that once the metals are ready run that silver will out place gold. Will the Liquidity crisis set this all into motion? Thanks, NEF
ANSWER: They can “manipulate” any market within the trend. What they cannot do is make a bull market out of a bear market or vice versa because EVERYTHING is connected. You cannot have gold trading for $100 more than it does in Shanghai compared to New York, it will be quickly arbitraged. So to be very clear, what I am talking about is a sustainable reversal of trend counter to everything else in the world. I went head-to-head against Buffett during his last and final attempt at commodity manipulation thanks to PhiBro. This is what I am talking about. They moved the silver from New York to London and had the fake news talk about a shortage in silver to jack the price up. They were only looking for a rally to $7 and then they sell it to the retail crown once again.
I know the gold bulls hate my guts because they want to always say gold is manipulated. NOTHING is systemically manipulated for decades. The only time that has taken place is governments imposing controls of fixing currency values. Even that never can be sustained. I was named FOREX person of the year because I had forecast when the Swiss peg would collapse. I even met with the head of that operation for the Swiss central bank. I warned him the peg would crack a few weeks prior. He said they could hold it and I replied nobody has ever been able to fix a currency against the capital flows. The peg broke. The same was true in the 1997 South East Asia Currencies Crisis where the pegs broke. I was called in by the central bank of China on that one. Then there was the British pound peg to the ERM that broke and made Soros a billionaire.
I have been around with all of these attempts to manipulate. NEVER has it ever been able to be sustained against the trend. Yes, they can get a blip. But never have they been able to change the long-term trend. The manipulations that they have often been fined over as in LIBOR is they know ow where the stops are and they push the market to elect them. But that is not changing a bull market into a bear market. That is often involving front-running.
New York City is dying thanks to COVID. It has really killed Broadway. When I would often go to a play, the vast majority were tourists from overseas. I would often listen to the different languages being spoken around me. New York City is clearly dying as a mass exodus has taken place of not just the rich, but even Wall Street is moving quietly to Florida. The rise in taxation that is reducing the quality of life will only continue to send more people south, and the hallow remains will gradually decline into 2042. Even permits for guns have soared in New York as the police are unable to restore order. The East Village was the hardest hit with so many businesses just gone. NYC is rapidly becoming extinct. Politicians only see the world from their perspective. They fail completely to comprehend how the economy truly functions. Thus, NYC is on the edge.
This COVID plan-demic has so altered the social structure it is dividing the population into vaccinated v unvaccinated. Even among those who were vaccinated, they are not what you would call Biden supporters. Some have taken the vaccination just to be able to visit family in Europe. Others thought that it would mitigate COVID and prevent hospitalization. Yet, the destruction of jobs and suspending education for many cannot learn remotely. There is also a massive shift with millennials returning home to the nest.
The Democrats are hard at work and desperately trying to open the flood gates to grant citizenship to those from the Mexican border, giving them access to a welfare state, while keeping the border closed to Canadians, fearing they would vote Republican. Then they are also promising citizenship to what they call the “dreamers,” again trying to expand their voting base.
While many try to blame China for COVID and presume they did this deliberately while they are not locked down, any rational thinking person would quickly realize that such theories are attributing clairvoyance to the Chinese leaders. Never in 6,000 years of history has any nation ever carried out such a response. Even during Woodstock, the Hong Kong Flu had the same death rate as COVID, and nobody shut the entire world economy down.
It is very interesting how the 309.6-year cycle marked when NYC was on the brink of bankruptcy in 1975, which was spot on from when NYC was born in 1665. It is stunning how New York has followed the ECM model rather closely, which does not bode well for what is coming in 2022. The 2007-2009 Financial Crisis marked its epicenter in New York City. The collapse of Lehman Brothers and Bear Sterns accelerated an economic meltdown that became the Great Recession. Before it was over, the nation’s unemployment rate had reached 10%, but the loss of jobs in the financial sector of NYC approached 20%. Nearly 9 million payroll jobs had been lost, housing prices had plummeted, and the stock market had crashed.
Since New York City was the epicenter of the 2008 financial crisis, the federal government’s immediate response was too focused on propping up New York-based financial institutions. They feared that if the Investment Banks failed, then the government would no longer be able to sell its debt into the marketplace. The national economic downturn was officially dated from December 2007 to mid-2009 when Real Gross Domestic Product began to increase again, but non-farm payroll employment didn’t bottom out until the first quarter of 2010.
Thanks to COVID lockdowns, this financial crisis is politically made and has created a cycle inversion. Unlike the Great Financial Crisis of 2007-2009, this time, the source of the crisis is government, and the response is the opposite of what we saw during the 2007-2009 crisis. Where Lehman Brothers marked the collapse in the private sector from reckless financial products, this time it is the government’s incompetence. The result has been over 100,000 wealthy people migrating from NYC to Florida. Worse still, Wall Street itself is quietly leaving, relocating their most profitable positions and trading to Florida. The crisis facing NYC will escalate, and the financial crossing of the Rubicon will arrive in 2022.
Oscar viewing fell below 10 million, a crash mode from last year’s historic low of 23.6 million viewers compared to nearly 30 million in 2019 pre-COVID. The entire entertainment industry, from movies and Oscars to football and sports, indicates that the future is not so bright and sunny.
I warned back in 2016 that football was entering a bear market. Indeed, 2015 was the peak that lined up with our Economic Confidence Model. It appears we are heading into a major low by 2023. However, the final low may not appear until 2027/2028. I have also warned that politics does NOT belong in entertainment, be it Hollywood or on the football field. People turn to entertainment to be entertained — not indoctrinated by their political views.
Interestingly, 2015.75 was the start of the Big Bang, the sovereign debt crisis that will lead to the total collapse of governmental debt on a global scale 17.2 years from that turning point — 2032. The fact that entertainment also peaked with 2015.75 is indicative of the collapse in the public confidence in the government, which is becoming escalated by this COVID manipulation where these morons think they can destroy the economy and build it back better when in fact, they are only fulfilling the forecast of our model.
The two states that are dictating what goes down in Washington are California with Pelosi in the House and New York with Schumer. Now they will reap what they have sown. The 2020 Census report is out and despite the Democrat’s desperate attempt to count illegal aliens, both New York and California are losing seats. Indeed, the seven states where people are fleeing from are the Democratic states that have imposed the Nazi tactics of lockdowns and curfews. Each of the Democratic states will lose a seat in the House – New York, California, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
Indeed, perhaps the most disgusting governor of the lot is really the billionaire James Conley Justice II of West Virginia. He is the richest man in West Virginia but inherited his wealth from his father who had a coal mining business. He is characterized as a deadbeat in business. He is the 36th governor of West Virginia since 2017. In 2015, he announced his candidacy for governor in the 2016 West Virginia gubernatorial election. Despite being a registered Republican before running for governor, he ran as a Democrat and defeated the Republican nominee, Bill Cole.
The seats lost to California and New York are going to Florida and Texas with the former gaining one seat and Texas gains two seats. New York lost around 1.4 million residents to other states between 2010 to 2019, according to a report by the Empire Center released in January 2020, before the coronavirus pandemic arrived in the U.S. This Census does not really take into account the massive exodus from both states thanks to COVID which has picked up steam in 2021. Indications are that over 3 million people have left New york. Even rents in New York City are in crash mode as so many people have just left the high taxes and the extremist lockdowns. Meanwhile, violence in New York City is reaching new records with 46 shootings in a single week. The likelihood of the police ever regaining control is not very promising. Teenage suicides are rising sharply in the Democratic states. The lockdowns have been causing suicides among the youth on a global scale.
The population of California stopped peaking several years before the coronavirus pandemic thanks to taxes. Newsom’s insane lockdown saw 2020 mark California losing more residents to outmigration than it gained. Residents have migrated to Texas primarily as well as to neighboring states such as Arizona, Nevada, and Oregon. The northern Democratic states have a net migration to Florida. The Republican states gained and the Democratic states lost. The more extreme the state response to COVID, the higher the probability of their seat loss. Based upon the new Census, the House can easily flip as the Democrats, who really have only a 2 seat voting majority, can find themselves out the door.
In our Election Report last year, we warned that in addition to the likelihood of New York losing a seat, there would be a consolidation in New York City and that may result in losing our best Congressional entertainment – AOC who has singled handily terminated jokes about dumb blonds providing hair color has no real significance.
COMMENT: I find it interesting how two people the general consensus has said were scoundrels, John Law and Julius Caesar, you have shown were actually people against the establishment. I read your Anatomy of a Debt Crisis and you have put together the contemporary historians where everyone else just seems to rely on the fake news of the day.
Thank you for digging up the facts.
REPLY: When I was in high school, I had to read Galbraith’s “Great Crash.” Nowhere in his book did he ever mention defaults on national debts by any country. When I came across Herbert Hoover’s memoirs in an old book store in London, this was probably the second thing that changed my life, with the first being the movie “The Toast of New York” about the Panic of 1869 when gold hit $162.50, which I had to watch in history class. I learned not to trust the history books, and the best way to find out the truth was always to return to the contemporary reports of history and/or the newspapers of the time.
The coinage has been a major factor in identifying the history and accurately dating events. Here is an extremely rare coin of Julius Caesar. Note that there is no portrait of him. He is announcing his victory in Gaul. His Gallic campaign was initially a piecemeal affair, but within six years, he had expanded Roman rule over the whole of Gaul. Following years of relative success, mainly thanks to the disconnected nature of the tribes allowing him to take them on separately (divide and conquer), Caesar was faced with the chief of the Arverni tribe, Vercingetorix, who too late had built a confederation to stand against Caesar. In 52 BC, despite formidable resistance, Caesar finally defeated Vercingetorix at the Battle (or Siege) of Alesia. This illegal war which by Caesar’s own account had left a million dead, was instrumental in elevating him to a position of supreme power among the statesmen of the late Republic, making him incredibly wealthy through war booty and also making him dangerously popular with the plebs — the common people.
This coin was struck in the course of Caesar’s war against the Senatorial faction led by Pompey and later Metellus Scipio. Caesar’s triumphant coinage trumpets his military achievements and conquest in Gaul while reminding the bearer also of his claimed descent from Venus through Aeneas. Interestingly, behind the bust is how old he is IIL or 48 years old. The reverse figure tied below the trophy of arms is popularly believed to depict the defeated Vercingetorix. The figure is carefully rendered in detail of how the Gauls appeared unshaven often with tattoos in blue to frighten their opponents.
In order to consolidate his power when he returned, Caesar produced triumphant coinage to spread the news of his military capability. The reverse of this coin is popularly believed to depict Vercingetorix himself. In 48-47 BC, the defeated Gallic chieftain still languished in the Tullianum, the underground prison beneath the Comitium. He would be hauled out for Caesar’s triumph in 46 BC, then returned to his cell and strangled.
This example of Julius Caesar AR Denarius was struck by a military mint moving with Caesar to pay the troops on a regular basis between 48-47 BC.
This is a Roman silver denarius struck by Brutus announcing he killed Caesar on the Ides of March 15, 44 BC (EID MAR). As you can see, the coinage can actually be used to confirm history to the year and sometimes to even the very day.
Many people have asked, “Why is 2032 going to be such a major change in the world’s political economy and society as a whole?”
We are confronted by the end of the Sixth Wave come 2032, which will be a profound economic and political change. It appears these world leaders are pushing us toward fulfilling the vision of Kalus Schwab and his distorted view of how society functions. While the first wave marked the collapse of Rome, 794 marked the collapse of the Nara period in Japan as the capital then moved to Kyoto. That would last until 1185 AD when government was overthrown, marking the birth of the Shogun Period (military general authority). The Great Seljuk Turkish Empire had its origins, with its first capital in 1037. By 1092, the Seljuk Empire was at its greatest upon Malik Shah I’s death and had captured most of the Byzantine Empire, creating the Great Monetary Crisis of 1092 in Constantinople. Alexius I (1081-1118AD) of Byzantium saw his empire carved up.
It was 1075 when the Investiture Dispute began, where the Pope opposed kings appointing bishops to control. He had to threaten the ex-communication of kings, which only concluded in 1103. This was the start of the separation of church and state. In 1084, Emperor Henry IV deposed Pope Gregory VII and installed the first Anti-Pope Clement III who then crowned Henry Holy Roman Emperor. A revolution in 1094 resulted in Pope Urban II overthrowing the Anti-Pope and Henry lost power over Italy. But by 1111, Henry V captured the Pope, forced his settlement, and then crowned Henry V as Holy Roman Emperor. By 1112, the Church splits between Papal and Imperial supporters.
The Balkans had been overrun by the Patzinaks who were a nomadic people of the Turkic family. Their original home is unknown, but during the 8th and 9th centuries, they inhabited the region between the lower Volga and the Urals. They then laid siege to Constantinople itself in 1090 AD. They led Alexius to ask for help from Venice, which began the First Crusade (1096–1099) where they took Jerusalem. But the Venetians were more interested in plundering Constantinople. Thus, 1104 marked the peak in the Byzantine Empire and by the Latin rulers who seized Byzantium taking control 1204-1261 AD. It wasn’t until 1298 when the reign of Osman I, founder of the Ottoman Empire, began.
The financial crisis in France led to the default on loans to Italian bankers and the seizure of the Papacy itself moving it to Avignon in France known as the Avignon Papacy, also known as the Babylonian Captivity, which was period from 1309 to 1376. The French Anti-Pope seized the Knights Templars on Friday, October 13, 1307, to confiscate all their wealth and that of their clients. The Knights Templars had become the first real international banking system as they evolved following their founding around 1117/1118 AD, lasting for 22 waves of 8.6 years. This next wave also saw the Black Plague (1347-1351) wipe out 50% of the population, which then changed the economy by shifting it from serfdom in Europe to capitalism as wages began to take place because of the shortage of labor.
The next peak in the cycle 1413.75 marked the start of the religious revolution. In England, the Oldcastle Revolt was a Lollard uprising against both the Catholic Church and the English King Henry V. Oldcastle was influenced by Lollard cleric William Swynderby, who preached in Almeley during his youth. Lollardy was a politico-religious movement initiated by prominent theologian John Wycliffe during the 1370s. The Lollard beliefs dealt with their opposition to capital punishment, rejection of religious celibacy, and belief that members of the Clergy should be held accountable to civil laws. In addition, it was the rise of the iconoclasty, which took place in the Byzantine Empire, where they rejected ornamentation of churches, religious images, and pilgrimages. They objected to war, violence, and abortion. John Oldcastle led the revolt, and it took place on the night of 9/10 January 1414. The rebellion was absolutely crushed at the battle on St. Giles’s Fields. There was rising discontent in religion that manifested on October 31, 1517, when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Wittenberg Castle church in Germany.
This next wave peaked in 1723.35, not merely saw the Protestant Reformation impact region, but with the fall of Constantinople in 1453, scholars fled to Europe and Russia, taking the wealth of knowledge with them. By 1492, Christopher Columbus convinced others that the world was round and not flat based upon maps that came from Constantinople. While it would slowly expand the knowledge in Europe, the Age of Enlightenment is formally classified as being between 1715-1789, which really became the foundation for the next wave into 2032.
But this wave was the beginning of the crisis with a monarchy. Columbus was backed by Spain, which then became the new financial capital of Europe. But the mismanagement by the monarchy led to Spain becoming a serial defaulter beginning in 1557, followed by 1570, 1575, 1596, 1607, and 1647, ending in a third world status by the end of this wave. King Philip V of Spain abdicated the throne in 1724 to go to a monastery.
In England, on October 17, 1722, the Habeas Corpus Act was suspended because of a Jacobite plot to take the thrown by a Catholic James III they called the Old Pretender, and Parliament prohibited journalists from reporting on political debates. From here on out, the tone for the next wave was set in motion. The rise against the monarchy. This was the wave of human rights and it moves into its culmination come 2032 with the rise against human rights and the attempt once more to suppress the people with the rise of authoritarianism. This is once more a major turning point, and we will face a dramatic change both economically and politically on a global scale.
The forthcoming “The Discovery of the Business Cycle” goes into the details of these waves throughout history with not merely political facts but also the rise and fall of the world’s monetary system.
QUESTION: First I want to thank you for your guidance. You have helped me understand markets where I can see I was clueless before. You seem to be a contrarian. I take it that is why you say the majority must always be wrong. Have you learned this to be the best way to look at the world?
Thank you for shining a light in these dark times.
ANSWER: The greatest traders of all time have always been contrarians. They can see the patterns within patterns and how history repeats right before their eyes. Jesse Livermore (1877 – 1940) turned bullish in 1923. He could see the bull market coming. The Wall Street Journal accused him of turning bullish to influence the presidential elections. When they were proven wrong, they simply refused ever to quote Jesse ever again. Many have pointed out that Barrons had reported that our model was calling for new highs back in 2010 more as a joke. They have never reported ever again how it was correct. It appears that the media does not like it when they are wrong and will retaliate.
Hetty Green (1834-1916) was a woman in a man’s world. She became not just one of the wealthiest and most astute investors in American history, but she became the richest woman perhaps in the world. Hetty’ was known for her extreme frugality, which was exploited by her adversaries and made for good copy in the press. They dubbed her the “Witch of Wall Street” because she was such a good trader her wealth could outdo even the top ten Wall Street bankers in her day. She was in reality a woman in a man’s world, during the era of robber barons when deals were done in dark oak wooden rooms filled with cigar smoke clouds that you would think it was going to rain.
Her reputation as the “Witch of Wall Street” was undeserved and today they would call it sexist. Hetty was the first female billionaire in modern terms who would be worth $10 billion+ in 2021. When she died in 1916, she was worth between $100-$125 million when a dollar was really worth something. She actually despised many of the titans of industry and finance of the day for their predatory ways and profligate spending. She actually sympathized more with the average hardworking citizen, yet she followed in her father’s Quaker footsteps.
Hetty Green was the woman of the Gilded Age. Few men could compete with her mentally. Hetty was abandoned at birth by her mother and she was viewed as a female by her father. Against this backdrop, Hetty set out as a child to prove she was of substance and had value. She followed the simple rules of her wealthy Quaker father, and always was extremely frugal. She would accompany him to the counting houses, storehouses, commodity, and stockbrokers. She observed trading from an early age and clearly saw the patterns within patterns.
While she inherited money, she understood trading. Perhaps her greatest trade was buying greenback bonds during the Civil War and into the panic of 1869. Some painted it as she never lost faith in America’s potential, but from a practical standpoint, she could see that the North was the industrial hub against the South which was agricultural. Others claim she just ignored the herd mentality and took advantage of financial panics and crises.
Indeed, during the civil war, Hatty bought federal bonds when the greenback would collapse against gold. In 1862, the greenback declined against gold until the end of the year when gold was trading at a 29% premium to the paper greenbacks. The following year, by spring of 1863, the greenback collapsed to $152 against $100 in gold. After the Gettysburg victory, the greenback bounced back to $131 to $100 in gold. Then came 1864 when General Grant was making very little headway against General Lee. When it looked bleak in 1864, that is when the Greenback collapsed to its lowest point reaching during July 1864 briefly to $258 greenbacks to $100 in gold.
The Greenback began to recover, dropping back to the $1509 level. Congress limited the total issue of greenbacks to $450 million, which helped to support their value. Then the Panic of 1869 hit, and Greenbacks fell again to $162.50. Hetty made a fortune buying the Greenbacks at the lows. Then in December 1878, Congress made the Greenbacks on par with gold. What bonds in Greenbacks she was buying, she gained not just the interest but also about doubled her money on this trade alone.
Therefore, Hetty bought railroads, real estate, and bonds. She could smell blood in the streets, as they say in financial markets, and she was there to buy it up. Men mocked her, and women scoffed at her frugal ways. Nevertheless, she had thick skin, and because she would buy in the panics and win, they called her the “Witch of Wall Street.” Yet, she even supplied the loans that kept the city of New York itself from going bankrupt. Even when the markets panicked, Hetty looked at the trend and had a nose for seeing the market. She would be there lending money at 25%.
Hetty is said to have relished a challenge. When her aunt died and did not leave Hetty the fortune she expected, she filed a groundbreaking lawsuit that still resonates in law schools and courts. When her husband defied her and sank her money on his own risky interests, she threw him out and, marching down to Wall Street, quickly making up the loss. Her independence, outspokenness, and disdain for the upper crust earned her a reputation for harshness that endured for decades. Yet, those who knew her admired her warmth, her wisdom, and her wit.
When Hetty died, she did leave a fortune.
Her son, Edward Howland Robinson Green (1868-1936), was not so frugal. He was an avid collector and bought the famous sheet of 100 inverted air mail stamps in 1918, paying $20,000. The last example sold after a few years and brought in $1.3 million. He also had bought all five of the known 1913 Liberty Head nickels and as many as seven of the rare 1838-O half dollars. He also held dozens of high-grade 1796 quarters.