Leeb:  “Yesterday the news came out of Europe that the European Union joined the United States in widening sanctions against Russia over actions in Ukraine.  I keep listening to the news, Eric, and I have no idea what it means to sanction individual people.  What does that mean?....

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“Does that mean they are not allowed to travel to Baltimore?  I don’t think anyone really understands exactly what that means, other than to say it means very little.  The individuals being sanctioned have not lost any power.  They still run their companies or remain in the same positions of power they had before the sanctions.

I think what this has revealed about the situation in Ukraine is that the U.S. doesn’t have a lot of power to do a lot of things.  Russia is an integral part of the world.  It’s a critical link.  As I have said to you before, Eric, Russia controls half of the rails that allow for shipping between Germany and China.  So if Germany is going to grow, they are going to grow using the Russian rail lines to transport their goods, and ditto for China.  Russia also has a massive trade agreement with China that will soon total over $1 trillion in trade.  

The key point right now is that people need to realize that the United States is losing its hold on the world’s economy.  And it really is shaping up as East vs. West.  To me that spells different reserve currencies.  Also, China is coming on like gangbusters, methodically distributing their yuan across the globe. 

Obviously the German mark is the king of euro, like it or not.  And the ruble has been punished recently.  The irony of it is that if Germany and Russia ever wanted to make a go of it together, it would be great for the mark and the ruble to come together as a single currency.  This would allow the Germans the ability to merge with a weaker currency.  

I’m not saying the Germans and the Russians will merge their currencies tomorrow, but maybe in three or four years.  The Germans have been trying to get their gold back from the U.S. Fed -- good luck with that one, Germany -- and the Russians have been net buyers of physical gold for many years.  Either way, gold is going to have an increasing role in the world economy, and eventually this means a radically higher price for gold.”

Leeb added:  “You did a wonderful interview with Jeffrey Saut about the climate and how it is being affected by volcanic ash.  Certainly anyone living in North America knows that most of the states are drought-ridden at this point, and a lot of our hopes for the future rely on fracking.  Well, you can’t frack if you don’t have water.

A lot of studies suggest that the sun, which is not dealt with by a lot of these climatologists, is getting cooler.  In fact, an individual out of the Netherlands who is very well respected and who reviews a lot of these studies that come out of the United Nations is comparing this current period to the little Ice Age.

That little Ice Age was a period between the 1600s to the 1800s in which you had crazy things happening.  The Seine River froze solid.  North America saw terrible winters.  All sorts of crazy things were happening with the weather which we are so ill-prepared for.  The bottom line is that things are totally out of whack in this world, whether you are looking at the situation in Ukraine and sanctions against Russia or the lack of knowledge about meteorology.  

All this is just going to lead to more uncertainty, and as you know, I am a big believer in gold and I think it’s going to have a role, certainly in the reserve currencies of the East and in what will ultimately be the world’s reserve currency.  It’s just a question of when gold becomes a much larger part of the monetary system, not whether.”

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