This week on TPN: 

On our podcasts this week we talked about the Christianization of America in the 1950s; how shell companies get used by the rich to hide their money; how Tiberius Caesar and Sejanus took down their political rivals; and how one savvy American investor picks companies he thinks will be ten times bigger in the future. 

Click on the titles to go to the episode.

 

 

In 1951, the American Congregational minister James Fifield and his team of geniuses came up with a brilliant idea. To mark the 175th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, they proposed to hold a massive series of events devoted to the theme of “Freedom Under God.” The campaign was supported by everyone with wealth who hated the New Deal: Republicans leaders of industry and politics. The goal was to convince Americans think Christianity, laissez-faire capitalism and America went together like peanut butter and jelly.

And then, in 1954, the Scottish Presbyterian minister George Docherty gave a powerful sermon in his Washington DC church, declaring that, “to omit the words ‘under God’ in the Pledge of Allegiance is to omit the definitive factor in the American way of life.” A few months later, President Eisenhower signed the phrase into law.

How do these shell companies get used? We provide some examples. We also talk about the fallout of the Panama Papers, Operation Car Wash, the murder of Maltese journalist Daphne Galizia, why Americans didn’t show up in the Panama Papers as much as we might have expected, and how some of the world’s largest banks used Mossack Fonseca to profit from “arms dealers, bag men for Third World dictators, traffickers in blood diamonds and other international outlaws”.

Shortly after Livia’s death, Tibbo wrote a letter to the senate attacking both Agrippina and Nero. They were prosecuted by Aulus Avillius Flaccus – the future prefect of Egypt, which leads Cam into a sidenote about Flaccus’ treatment of the Jews in Alexandria – and were both sent into exile. Then in 30, Tibbo finally went after his nemesis – Asinius Gallus – the man who married the love of his life.

This episode contains the second part of our interview with Austin LIeberman, a private investor in Florida, who has been achieving remarkable returns on his portfolio over the last 4-5 years, as we try to understand his methodology. On this episode Austin tells us he tries to only invest in companies he can imagine being ten times bigger than they are today. Our stock of the week is Tony’s old employer, the Coles Group (COL).