This week on TPN:
On our podcasts this week we talked about how the Berlin Airlift was more of a propaganda win for the US, rather than an actual exercise in humanitarianism; how Poggio Bracciolini hated his four years in England and thought of the Vatican as a “lie factory”; why Iran’s claims to have arrested 17 spies working for the CIA sound credible; and some of the history of golf, especially as it relates to St Andrews in Scotland, as well as the current bull market hype.
Click on the titles below to go to the episode.
As part of their plan to re-build Germany, the USA secretly released a new currency, the Deutsche Mark, printed in New York, to replace the old Reichsmark. Frustrated at how the US, UK and France were re-building their zones of Germany without first reaching an agreement with the USSR, on June 24 1948, Stalin erected a physical blockade (or, as he preferred to call it, “a defensive measure”) around West Berlin to prevent all traffic from Trizonia from entering into the city. The response of the US/UK was a massive airlift – an incredibly bold move, basically threatening Stalin to shoot their planes down and start another war. Luckily he chose not to do that, and instead backed down and ended the blockade. Meanwhile, Truman signed National Security Council document No. 30 (NSC-30) officially known as the “United States Policy on Atomic Warfare” – which made it official that the US would continue to use nuclear weapons as part of their arsenal.
In 1419, a couple of years after he lost his papal secretary job and discovered Lucretius, Poggio did what everyone does when they are shit out luck and scraping the bottom of the barrel. He moved to England. He accepted the post of secretary to Henry Beaufort, bishop of Winchester and uncle of Henry V. Poggio hoped to find some intelligent life in England and maybe a valuable ancient manuscript. He was disappointed on both counts. So in 1422 he returned to work for the Vatican again, or, as he liked to call it, “The Lie Factory”. Meanwhile he kept trying to get Nicky to send him a copy of Lucretius so he could read it. Once back in Rome, he starts to make money – and illegitimate children. LOTS of illegitimate children.
Tony dials in from Ireland this week and brings me up to date on his visits to whisky distilleries in Scotland and his out-of-body experience playing the Old Course at St Andrews. We also talk a little about investing and he how he feels like “I’ve seen this show before”, meaning the current bull run hype. We discuss how our dummy portfolio is going (mostly in the green except for Myer) and for our QAV Club members, we have a discussion about Mortgage Choice (MOC).