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 American Railways on a Razor’s Edge

Posted November 23, 2022

Matt Insley

By Matt Insley

American Railways on a Razor’s Edge

On the topic of CBDCs from yesterday’s Rundown, a reader writes: “I certainly don’t disagree that a U.S. CBDC is on its way to implementation. 

“I also fully see the possibility that there will be governmental edicts outlawing cash in favor of such a CBDC (though not an inevitability — this may be hard to pass judicial and legislative muster). 

“I also agree that precious metals, held in physical form, may be part of a way out of the ill effects of this eventuality. What I cannot agree with is that precious metals are the only way out.

“A limited subset of cryptocurrencies are also a viable route forward: Bitcoin, Monero, maybe Zcash and perhaps a few others,” our reader believes. 

“I know Jim’s negative on Bitcoin, but I think he is myopic. From a fundamental analysis, there is really no advantage to gold over Bitcoin as a monetary asset. The only thing gold has going for it in this analysis is tradition.

“Try traveling with your life’s savings in gold. It simply cannot be done. With Bitcoin, it’s a trivial matter,” our contributor concludes. 

Call me crazy, but in the wake of the FTX scandal, I’m a little crypto-shy right now. Although, in general, I’d describe myself as a crypto agnostic. 

Of course, at Paradigm, we have some of the most knowledgeable investors in the crypto space: James Altucher and Chris Campbell. 

On the FTX debacle, Chris says: “The centralized exchanges are complete black boxes. You have no idea what they're doing. Best practices: we always stress getting your crypto off exchanges and onto a wallet.” 

For more crypto best practices, it’s imperative you read what Chris had to say at our sister publication The 5 Min. Forecast early this year. 

Now, onto a brewing crisis involving 19th-century technology… 

Send your opinions to,

Your Rundown for Wednesday, November 23, 2022...

American Railways on a Razor’s Edge

We’ve been monitoring the possibility of a nationwide freight rail strike since mid-July, an event that could utterly rupture America’s snarled supply chains.

About 10 weeks ago, it looked as if the major railroads had come to terms with union leaders, with a little cajoling from Team Biden.

But in late September, one of 12 unions rejected the deal… And in late October, so did a second union, when over 60% of the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen voted against the new contract.

The first union to reject, the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees, could have walked as early as Saturday, Nov. 19. But they’ve gone back to the bargaining table. For now.

“All 12 unions representing roughly 115,000 freight rail workers must ratify the new contract to prevent a nationwide rail shutdown,” notes NPR. “If one strikes, the others all honor the picket lines…

“Should any one of them fail to reach an agreement, a strike or a lockout by the rail companies could come as early as 12:01 a.m. on Dec. 9.” (Emphasis ours.)

“A railway strike would cost the U.S. economy over $2 billion per day,” Jim Rickards said earlier this month. 

“With supply chains already breaking down and the economy already weak, a major rail strike would all but guarantee a serious recession beginning in the fourth quarter of 2022.”

Imagine a railway strike before the holidays… It’s not hard to perceive the economy is on a razor’s edge. 

Market Rundown for Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022

S&P 500 futures are down 0.10% to 4,000. 

Oil is down 3.25% to $78.34 for a barrel of WTI. 

Gold slightly in the red at $1,739 per ounce. 

And Bitcoin’s up 1.60%, still holding the line above $16,000. 

Send your comments and questions to,

No market notes tomorrow as the stock exchange will be closed for the holiday, but we will have another issue for your edification. Take care… and Happy Thanksgiving! 

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