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UPDATE: Meeting Vivek, My Takeaway

In the past several months, I have written extensive articles in the monthly newsletter on the 2024 presidential race and its possible outcomes. Getting a read on a candidate’s policy positions is essential as a citizen as well as an investor. Today, I provide an update on one candidate’s views from a personal discussion.

Before I share his views, here’s some exciting news to share…

Have you heard the news yet?

Over the past few weeks, a special team here in the Paradigm offices has been hard at work on an important project…

And now, that project has been revealed.

Introducing: The Paradigm Press YouTube Channel!

On this channel, our very own Sean Ring, editor of the Rude Awakening, will be sitting down for exclusive interviews with some of the brightest minds in finance.

You won’t want to miss these videos, click here to check out the channel and be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss a second of the action!

Now for my quick take on a candidate for president in 2024…

UPDATE – October 24, 2023

I met Vivek Ramaswamy in Exeter, New Hampshire on October 14. The great thing about living in New Hampshire is you actually get to meet most of the presidential candidates in advance of the New Hampshire primary.

Politics is entirely local here. Not much attention is paid to polls and TV commercials. Instead, the candidates show up in bars, country clubs, town halls and other local venues, meet the voters, take questions, shake hands and pose for photos. You break through the digital filters and meet the actual individuals.

Our venue in Exeter was the historic Town Hall where Abraham Lincoln spoke in March 1860 just before launching his presidential campaign. Exeter Town Hall has some claim to being the birthplace of the Republican Party, so it was the perfect venue for today's Republican candidates.

I asked Vivek a technical question about the international monetary system. I knew he was smart in the IQ sense, but I wanted to see how deep he could go in the policy sense. I noted that the U.S. has frozen Russian assets after the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Now, some Republican congressmen want to go further and actually confiscate those assets to be used either to repay U.S. contributions to Ukraine or to rebuild Ukraine.

I asked Vivek what his position was on crossing the line from freezing assets to confiscating them. I kept the question brief, but an expanded version would include the implications for the U.S. dollar if the U.S. abuses its financial sanctions powers much further.

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Vivek hit the ball out of the park with his answer. To paraphrase, he said the real enemy was China, not Russia. He said that taking Chinese assets as reparations for the harm done by creating the COVID virus in their Wuhan lab and leaking it to the rest of the world would be justified. But confiscating Russian assets would be a mistake.

We're in a three-handed poker game with Russia and China. The only way to win in those situations is to go two against one. Nixon understood this when he reached out to Mao Zedong as a way to isolate Russia (then the Soviet Union). Today, the smart play is to reach out to Russia as a way to isolate China.

I agree with all of those views. Still my agreement or disagreement is secondary. What matters most is that he showed a sophisticated and historically grounded understanding of a complex international monetary issue. Joe Biden barely knows his own name anymore, let alone how the monetary system works. Vivek passed my monetary IQ test with flying colors. He should be on the short list of those considering whom to support in the presidential race.

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