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How One Man’s Wealth Upended Markets from Africa to Asia

In the whirlwind of 2021, Elon Musk’s wealth soared to an astonishing $340 billion amidst the Tesla frenzy, surpassing the fortunes of giants like Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and even Warren Buffett.

But even at this zenith of modern wealth, Musk’s fortune falls short when compared to one historical figure who, even centuries later, is known as the richest man in history.

Stay tuned as we reveal the story of an individual whose wealth transcends time and continues to astonish the world to this day…

But first, let’s delve into the latest news that’s shaping the world of gold and finance.

Half of American’s Don’t Think They Can Pay off Their December Credit Card  Only half of American credit card users believe they can fully pay off their December balances, as per the LendingTree Credit Card Confidence Index. This index hit an all-time low of 51% in December, down from 58% in November. Meanwhile, national credit card balances have soared to a record $1.08 trillion.

US Companies Increased Hiring in DecemberAccording to data from ADP, U.S. private-sector employers added 164,000 jobs in December, marking the largest increase since August. The trajectory of the labor market will be an important factor as Federal Reserve officials assess when to begin cutting interest rates in 2024.

The Gold Heist in Die Hard 3 Was So Well Planned, the FBI Came KnockingIn “Die Hard with a Vengeance,” the villains execute a meticulously planned heist, stealing billions in gold from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. This plot was so believable that it caught the attention of the FBI, causing them to interview Screenwriter Jonathan Hensleigh, tightening security procedures at the Federal Reserve in the process.

Kennedy half dollars minted in the United States between 1965 to 1969 contain 40% silver. How much silver did these coins contain before 1965?

A. 50%B. 75%C. 90%D. 99%

Scroll to the bottom of this email for the answer…

The BRICS Nations Double Their Rank

BRICS Flags

The BRICS group of emerging-market nations is set to double its membership effective January 1st.

In August, the BRICS group, consisting of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, extended invitations to six countries to join their coalition, out of the 30 nations that applied.

Saudi Arabia, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Ethiopia, and Egypt officially joined BRICS, while Argentina declined the invitation. This expansion aligns major energy producers with some of the biggest consumers among developing countries.

With Russia and China leading the move away from the dollar in bilateral trade, other nations and regions are also reducing their reliance on the dollar. This “de-dollarization” effort has seen the share of dollars in global central bank reserves fall from roughly 70% 20 years ago to less than 60% today.

If all the BRICS nations stop using the dollar, there could be a significant reduction in global trade conducted in U.S. dollars. Since demand is a key driver of currency value, this could lead to a depreciation of the dollar relative to other currencies.

A weaker dollar could also increase the cost of imported goods and commodities (like oil), which can contribute to domestic inflation. The U.S. might experience higher inflation rates if the dollar’s value significantly drops.

Such a move would signify a major shift in the global economic balance of power, potentially leading to new alliances and economic blocs focused on alternative currencies or trade mechanisms.

However, it’s important to note that a full transition away from the dollar, if it were to occur, wouldn’t happen overnight. Given the dollar’s current entrenched position in the global economy, this shift would likely take many years to fully materialize.  

But it’s certainly something we’re keeping our eye on…

How One Man’s Wealth Shook Egypt’s Economy

In the 14th century, a king embarked on a journey that would showcase wealth on a scale that the world had never seen.

How One Man's Wealth Shook Egypt's Economy

This king was none other than Mansa Musa, the ruler of the Mali Empire. His story is not just about wealth but about how the distribution of it can have unforeseen consequences.

When Mansa Musa ascended to the throne of the Mali Empire in 1312, he took control of a realm that spanned a significant part of West Africa, boasting rich gold and salt mines. The region held some of the wealthiest and most productive gold mines anywhere in the ancient world. At the time, the region controlled by the Mali Empire produced nearly 2/3 of the world’s gold.

As King, Mansa Musa had complete control over these mines which gave him unparalleled financial power.

A Journey Like No OtherAs a devout Muslim, Musa set off to Mecca for his Hajj pilgrimage. However, this pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324 wasn’t just a religious journey – it gave him an opportunity to interact with leaders in nearby nations.

Mansa Musa’s caravan was a display of wealth and power unlike any in history. His caravan stretched as far as the eye can see, with tens of thousands of soldiers, slaves, and heralds, all adorned in luxurious Persian silk and carrying golden staffs. He is believed to have traveled with 60,000 people, 12,000 slaves, and dozens of camels and horses carrying hundreds of pounds of gold.

Musa used the legendary pilgrimage as a chance to flaunt the Mali Empire’s unmatched prosperity. 

And his extravagant display of wealth and generosity eventually came with unintended consequences…

The Economic Ripple EffectMansa Musa’s generosity during his pilgrimage was unprecedented. In cities like Cairo, he gave away so much gold that he inadvertently devalued the precious metal in the region.

Musa’s actions caused a price shock that took years to stabilize, serving as an early illustration of how a sudden influx of wealth into an economy can have unintended consequences.

Wealth Beyond MeasureIn modern terms, Mansa Musa’s fortune is estimated at around $400 billion, though it’s challenging to compare his wealth across different eras accurately. The Mali Empire’s gold mines produced about two-thirds of the world’s gold at the time – which was controlled entirely by Musa.

Beyond his immense wealth, Mansa Musa left a lasting legacy. He put Mali and West Africa on the world map, quite literally. His journey led to the inclusion of this region on European maps, enhancing global awareness. Moreover, he’s credited with establishing educational institutions, like the famed Sankore University in Timbuktu, promoting education and Islam across his empire.

Musa’s story continues to resonate even centuries later, offering insights into the potential unintended consequences of sudden influxes of wealth.

It also shows the vast power that gold can offer you. Be like Mansa and take control of your finances. Become your own bank by owning real gold and silver. No matter where you go, no matter the century, or country, gold will always have value.

Buy Gold or Silver Today

That’s it for this week’s GoldSilver Nuggets. We’ll be back next week with more gold and silver insights and updates!

Best,

Brandon S.  GoldSilver

Gold Quote

Nuggets Trivia of the Week

Kennedy half dollars minted in the United States between 1965 to 1969 contain 40% silver. How much silver did these coins contain before 1965?

A. 50%B. 75%C. 90%D. 99%

Answer – C. 90%

The U.S. Mint stopped using 90% silver in its dimes, quarters, and half dollars in 1965. In 1965, Public Law 88-36 reduced the amount of silver in coins from 90% to 40%. Silver was eliminated from all coins in the United States beginning in 1970.


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