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Getting Out of Dodge

by Doug Casey

Doug Caseys

INTERNATIONAL MAN

Doug Caseys
I N T E R N AT I O N A L M A N . C O M
INTERNATIONAL
MAN

Getting Out of Dodge

Getting Out of Dodge

when it comes to such things, its not a question of rights, but of political power. Today
there might be 5,000 whites still hanging on.
But making what they called the chicken
run many years ago was definitely the smart
course. However, few of them had a bolt
hole elsewhere.

By Doug Casey

Since writing The International Man in 1976,


Ive had quite a bit to say about internationalizing yourself. The books subtitle is Making the Most of Your Personal Freedom and
Financial Opportunity Around the World; but
in going over past editions of our newsletters, I find that most of what Ive written in
recent years has been about the financial
aspects of expatriation.

In any event, my book flew off the shelves as


people desperately scrambled for alternatives.
The problem your problem is that any
country can turn into a 1970s Rhodesia... or a
Russia in the 20s, Germany in the 30s, China
in the 40s, Cuba in the 50s, the Congo in the
60s, Vietnam in the 70s, Afghanistan in the
80s, Bosnia in the 90s. These are just examples off the top of my head.

Now seems a good time to confront the rest


of the subject head on the reasons to very
seriously consider leaving your home country,
and to do so now, not next year.
The International Man is long out of print, of
course, and only available through used bookstores and finders (including Amazon. com).
While Im obviously biased, its actually still an
excellent read, although the world is a different place and Ive learned a few things since
1976. The book was directed to Americans,
but found a fairly broad international market
becoming, among other things, the biggestselling book in the history of Rhodesia. That in
and of itself provides a bit of an object lesson
in how things can change, I think.

Only a fool tries to survive by acting like a


vegetable staying rooted to one place when
the political and economic climate changes
for the worse. When the going gets tough, the
mentally tough go elsewhere, the way your
forefathers once did at least if you live in an
immigrant-built country like the US, Canada,
Australia, New Zealand, or Argentina.
I dont know exactly when I became interested
in exploring other lands. Maybe it began with
reading Uncle Scrooge comics when I was a
kid in the 50s. Uncle Scrooge (who is a fantastic character and one of the great heroes of
American literature) was always taking Donald
Duck and his three nephews off to an exotic
clime for a high-adventure treasure hunt.
Maybe it was when I wanted to be a paleontologist and read about Roy Chapman Andrews (a model for Indiana Jones) rooting for
fossils in Mongolia... or when I decided Id like
archaeology better and read about Heinrich
Schliemann discovering Troy. But a couple of
specific things really set the bit in my teeth.

When I first went to Rhodesia in 1978, war


was still raging, but I was able to find an entrepreneurial local publisher, Gordon Graham.
At the time, there were still about 250,000
people of European extraction among the 6
million population. And it was clear most of
them were eyeing the exits and wondering
where to go.
Most of the whites were native Africans,
born to families that had been in the country
for generations, and they felt they had just
as much right to be there as the blacks. But
Doug Caseys

INTERNATIONAL MAN

I N T E R N AT I O N A L M A N . C O M

Getting Out of Dodge


One was when I was in Milan, looking to buy a
Ferrari. The seller was a guy I remember well
Viviano Corradini who was actually an American. I asked him why he was living in Italy.

are places that are good for doing certain


things, and places where it is bad to be.
Who wouldnt have preferred to be in the
USA rather than the USSR from 1920 to 1990?
Ireland was a dismal, depressing place for
decades after WWII; then in the 90s it blossomed. Africa was a very safe, prosperous,
and enjoyable place before about 1960, when
it started to degenerate into a giant hellhole.

You see this? he said, as he veered the car


way into the opposite lane and back again a
couple of times, then slammed on the brakes,
then accelerated a wild little ride. You cant
do this in the States. Theyll throw you in jail.
Here, you can do anything you want!He was
right. After I bought the car, we realized that I
didnt have any plates, so he reached up into a
closet and found some old New Jersey plates.
Here. Use these. I did, no problem, for the
next six months, all over Europe. It gave me
some practical reality about not being controlled by other peoples arbitrary rules.

About every country on the planet has had its


good times and its bad times; thats one reason the original Baron Rothschild sent his sons
to several different ones. Some countries, like
Russia, have been living at hard times central since day one; others, like the US, have
had good times for a long time.

Another was in SwitA wise man, at least in


zerland, when I was
my view, doesnt allow
hanging around for
himself to be limited
You cant do this in the States.
about a month with
by an accident of birth.
Theyll
throw
you
in
jail.
Here,
an ex-Foreign Legionnaire named Ron
Its most unfortunate
you can do anything you want!
Schneeberger. He
(for them, anyway)
was planning to rob
that most people have
the national bank of
a peasant mentality.
Haiti, figuring that Papa Doc had about $50
Theyre idiotically indoctrinated into thinking
million in negotiables sequestered there. That
that their country is the best place in the world,
was a lot of money in those days. Ron reasimply because thats where they were born.
soned, quite correctly, that if you robbed the
It makes sense in a way; their ancestors rarely
corner liquor store, youd get $50 and likely
ventured more than a days walk from the village
get killed. If you robbed an ordinary bank,
where they were born. After all, there were stoyou might get $5,000. But if you hit a governries of dragons and demons over the hill.
ment who was going to pursue you?
Things havent changed much, except that
Of course the world in general and absopeople have exchanged the mud hut for a Mclutely, positively Europe is a bit more tightly
Mansion. But theyve retained that medieval
wrapped now. And I dont endorse the idea of
serf worldview. And the CNN and BBC newsreckless driving, or of robbing national banks
casts on their widescreens only reinforce the
at least not without the cover of being an
notion that things are dangerous outside their
executive with Goldman Sachs.
borders; theyre probably even more scared
than their primitive ancestors... assuming they
But the point is that, at different times, there
watch anything besides sitcoms and sports.
Doug Caseys

INTERNATIONAL MAN

I N T E R N AT I O N A L M A N . C O M

Getting Out of Dodge


Its certainly possible to be happy living your
whole life in the place you were born and grew
up. But unless you were born a member of the
lucky sperm club, its almost always suboptimal, and sometimes it can be disastrous. I
suspect now is one of those unhappy times.

destruction of the US dollar; I just dont see


any realistic way around that eventuality at this
point. The consequences of that are going to be
disastrous, but its possible to insulate yourself
from many of them. The biggest problem and
also the one most people just dont see is
political. There is almost no way you can effectively insulate yourself if a government and
society as a whole goes crazy.

At Casey Research, were of the opinion that


the world at large and the US in particular
is heading into some seriously turbulent
times. The diminution of personal and finanYou might argue that really tough times in the
cial freedom looks like a hyperbolic curve, at
US are a long shot; the US is different from
first with an almost unnoticeable slope, then
other countries. Its certainly true that the US
one that gets steeper and steeper, at an achas been particularly blessed for most of its
celerating rate. I think an excellent case can
existence, because it actually was different.
be made that the current crisis is an inflection point, beyond which it goes vertical. As
The problem is that what made the US differone of Obamas closest counselors (hes a
ent from every other country a constitution
very scary guy) once
that expressly limited
said, One cant let
the powers of the
a good crisis go to
state, and an explicit

O
ne
cant
let
a
good
crisis
go
waste. A crisis (and
acceptance of propthis will be a very real
erty rights and the
to waste.
one) always draws
free market has
exhortations from
evanesced. Its why I
the authorities to
refer to it as the US,
unite and pull together which usually
which is just another country, rather than Amerboils down to following orders and turning in
ica, which was a unique and excellent concept.
those who dont. People will want, and will
get, strong leadership. This does not bode
In any event, I suggest you at least consider the
well for libertarians, classical liberals, and
possibility of transplanting yourself, or at least
free thinkers in general. As the crisis deepstart by transplanting some assets. Dont look at
ens, its likely to be dangerous for someone
it as a negative thing. The world is your oyster.
who doesnt agree with groupthink.
Make the most of it. This is directed not only
at Americans, but at everybody, everywhere. It
Things are likely to be much mellower if youre
just seems a little more urgent for Americans, as
living somewhere they consider you a tourwell as for Europeans, at this point.
ist, than to stay on your home turf where
questions will be asked if you dont join the
hooting and panting chimpanzees that will
WHEN
surround you. You can absolutely plan on unwelcome social pressure in the years to come,
In many ways, the world seemed to turn over
especially as the wars expand.
a new leaf in the 80s, not just with the election of Reagan and Thatcher, but with the
Coincidental with this is going to be the near
appearance of many more like them, almost
Doug Caseys

INTERNATIONAL MAN

I N T E R N AT I O N A L M A N . C O M

Getting Out of Dodge


everywhere. Whether its the hundredth
monkey hypothesis or whether there really
is such a thing as a spirit of the century, the
majority of people tend to hold similar views
at the same time. Its strange.

that would further weaken the local currency.


FX controls, in effect, force people to stay with
a sinking ship. But they are politically popular, for a number of reasons. They allow the
government to do something during a crisis.
They appeal to the average yahoo, partly
because he doesnt travel abroad and tends to
question the patriotism of those who do. Only
the rich (especially the unpatriotic ones)
have assets out of the country, and its now
time to eat the rich.

From about 1980-2000, all over the world,


tax rates went down, regulation was relaxed,
and markets were freed up. The Soviet Union
collapsed, apartheid in South Africa nonviolently disappeared, New Zealand fired twothirds of its government employees, and China
liberalized. Even the constipated continents
of Europe and South America loosened up. It
looked like freedom was in the ascendant. But
it couldnt last.

Were heading into a currency crisis for the


record books, and I think you can plan your
life around some type of FX controls.

Now, certainly since


If you dont get sigSeptember 11, 2001,
nificant assets out of
the tenor of the world
your home country
If you dont get significant assets
has changed again
now, you may soon
out
of
your
home
country
now,
radically. And the negfind it costly and very
you may soon find it costly and
ative new trend has
difficult to do so.
been supercharged
Already, very few forvery difficult to do so.
by the financial crisis
eign banks and brothat began to unfold
kerage firms will take
in 2007. Now practiaccounts from US
cally everywhere, much higher taxes, onerous
persons. Although there are reporting requirenew regulations, border controls, and capital
ments, theres currently no law against Americontrols (to prevent the make-believe crime of
cans having overseas accounts, and no laws
money laundering), among other things, are
against foreign banks and brokerage firms acthe new order.
cepting American business. Many institutions
find that its simply not worth the aggravation
It seems as if the clock has been turned back
and worry to deal with Americans.
to the 1930s, but much worse, in that governments are much more powerful. And I fear
At a bare minimum, you should have a meana redux of the 1940s is in store. The whole
ingful amount of gold in a foreign safe deposit
world acted pretty much the same in the 30s
box. In addition, you should own some forand 40s as well, youll recall.
eign property, preferably in a location where
you would enjoy spending some time. These
One thing that I think you can plan on is
things are currently not reportable, and it
foreign-exchange (FX) controls. A government
would be impractical for the government to
turns to FX controls during a currency crisis,
get you to repatriate that capital.
to prevent its citizens from swapping the local
currency for something foreign transactions
The ideal scenario, of course, is to have your
Doug Caseys

INTERNATIONAL MAN

I N T E R N AT I O N A L M A N . C O M

Getting Out of Dodge


main residence in one country, your assets
in another, your business in a third, and your
citizenship in a fourth.

than 120 days per year in the US, he can be


taxed on his worldwide income and potentially
is subject to estate tax.

That isnt practical for most. But you can certainly get assets abroad. And you may want to
consider acquiring a second citizenship, which
can considerably expand your options.

Its really rather quaint to hear jingoists say, If


you dont like it, leave! Well, fortunately, its
still possible to leave. But it could be costly if
you dont engage a good tax lawyer.

Its not necessary and often not even desirable to establish official residency in the
country where youd like to spend time, because that risks getting stuck in its tax system.
Its usually smarter just to leave every 90 days
to renew your tourist visa and not spend more
than six months per year in any one country.
That way youll be treated as a valued tourist who should be courted, rather than as a
citizen who can be milked like a cow.

In the near future, however, even that option


may not be feasible. So lets plan ahead

WHERE

I wrote The International Man as a guide for


those who were looking for a place that could
offer more of what they want. I cant rewrite
the book in this short report, but its worth
making a few observations about the world
in general, then about
Its really rather quaint to hear
some areas and counjingoists say, If you dont like
tries in particular.

Once you do acquire


another passport,
the next question is
whether you should
renounce your US citit, leave!
izenship, which could
give you huge tax and
regulatory benefits.
As everyone knows, the US is one of the few
countries in the world that taxes its citizens
regardless of where they may live although
it must be said that other governments seem
to be moving in this direction.

First, there may not


actually be any one
best place, simply
because youre dealing with the human animal,
whos subject to all manner of fears, hysteria,
vices, and assorted aberrations. I dont know
where Shangri-La is located; therefore, you
want some degree of diversification, so you
always have a Plan B available.

The problem with renouncing your US citizenship is that the US assesses what amounts to
an exit tax on Americans who do so.

Second, there are roughly 225 distinct political entities around the world, and there are
likely to be more as time goes on. There are
advantages to places that are unstable, poor,
repressed, and backward, just as there are
disadvantages to places that are stable, rich,
free, and advanced. A lot depends on who you
are and what you want to do. Try to keep an
open mind.

Since 2004, any high-net-worth individual who


renounces his citizenship is automatically assumed to have done so for tax reasons. And
any individual deemed to have expatriated
for tax reasons is deemed to have sold all his
assets at fair market value on his last day as a
US citizen. And if the expatriate spends more
Doug Caseys

INTERNATIONAL MAN

I N T E R N AT I O N A L M A N . C O M

Getting Out of Dodge


Third, I dont think theres any doubt that the
West meaning North America, Europe,
Australia/New Zealand, and Japan is in relative decline. Meanwhile, places like China,
India, and Vietnam are on their way up.

is also diminishing, as almost every educated


person now has English as a second language.
Most Americans have only English.
Negatives? Many of these places have large
bureaucracies, as a legacy from buying into
various strains of socialism imported from
Europe. There may not be much regulation (of
the type we have in the West), but there are
still plenty of forms that need to be processed
and approved. In order to make things happen, bribes must be paid.

The reasons are simple. In the developing world,


a worker earns between 1/5 and 1/30 what his
counterpart does in the West but hes just as
smart, might be even better educated, is likely to
work twice as hard, and has less of an attitude
of entitlement. It may be true (but less and less)
that the developing country has less infrastructure. But now a number of them have telecoms,
roads, airports, and such that are among the
worlds newest and best, while many of those in
the West are falling apart.

Ive discussed the ethical implications of paying bribes in the past, but suffice it to say that
as developing countries become freer and
wealthier, bribery and general corruption will
likely diminish. At the
same time, as the US
becomes less free and
The days of automatically having
wealthy, bribery and
general corruption
the odds tilted in your favor,
will greatly increase.

At the same time, the


general level of taxes
and regulation tends
to be much lower in
developing countries;
simply because you were born an
thats a big reason
American, are coming to an end.
theyre developing.
I think that its incumPart of the better
bent upon any selfsocial ambiance is
directed free man to
reflected in people
go where he can most
being free of debt; they may not make much,
fully realize himself. But where that is depends
but they save something like 10% to 20% of
on who he is... and sometimes happenstance
what they do make. So, instead of a mountain
plays a part.
of debt that must be paid off, theres a growing pool of savings to be invested.
Im reminded of one of my favorite scenes
in Casablanca. Claude Rains, as Renault the
The days of automatically having the odds
police inspector, asks Bogart:
tilted in your favor simply because you were
born an American are coming to an end. By
Rick, howd a guy like you ever wind up in
the end of this century, wages will be more or
Casablanca?
less normalized the world over.
I came for the water.
Americans also have had a huge advantage in
speaking English, the worlds most commonly
But theres no water in Casablanca this
spoken language its lingua franca and the
place is a desert
language of science, business, aviation, entertainment, and other fields. But that advantage
Yeah, I was misinformed.
Doug Caseys

INTERNATIONAL MAN

I N T E R N AT I O N A L M A N . C O M

Getting Out of Dodge


Lets do a brief tour of the world.

evaders; this has given them a lot more capital


than they would have otherwise had, to use
productively. But the rise of the EU, the US/
EU drive for tax harmonization and against
money laundering, and the lust to regulate
coming out of Brussels will quash most of the
continents remaining productivity. The place
is on a very slippery economic slope.
Will the EU last, and will the euro continue to
exist? I would bet against it.

EUROPE
From at least the 1600s, Europe could claim to
be the center of world civilization on all fronts.
The colonies of the Portuguese, Spanish,
English, French, and Russian empires (with the
Dutch, Germans, Italians, and Americans as bit
players) covered almost the entire planet.

A simple free-trade pact (no restrictions on


In its early days, an empire is both fun and
the movement of goods, capital, and labor)
profitable. You get to loot and pillage at will,
in Europe would have been a huge boon to
and an empire provides lots of room to reloeveryone. But no that would have been way
cate the disenchanted, the overly adventurtoo simple. They had to try to make it into a
ous, and the criminals. But the natives pick up
one-size-fits-all burnoose that fits no one.
the imported technology and customs,
Heres what will
and they start to
happen. The EU will
Once an empire starts falling
resent the intrusion
fall apart, with bad
of foreigners on their
feelings all around,
apart, trying to stop it is like
turf. At that point, an
recriminations
trying
to
stop
a
tree
from
falling
empire becomes a
for subsidies and
liability and a gigantic
loans, and a rebirth
once its roots have rotted.
cost, since it needs to
of nationalism. The
be defended.
euro will cease to
exist, with more bad
The Romans discovered that, and their defeelings and a lot of money lost by whats left
scendants are rediscovering it. Once an emof the middle class. And then it will be back to
pire starts falling apart, trying to stop it is like
business as usual, which for Europe tends to
trying to stop a tree from falling once its roots
mean war.
have rotted. It cant be done, and its best not
to be around when it happens.
There are two big, complicating factors here:
Demography and Islam.
The way I see it, Western Europe is living off its
accumulated capital; and it can take a while to
Every country in Europe is in serious demoburn through assets accumulated over hundreds
graphic decline; this is to be expected as any
of years. But theyre doing that quickly, as enamsociety becomes more educated and more urored as the continent has been with socialism.
ban. Its aggravated, I think, by the continents
pervasive socialism.
The other thing thats kept its head above water is black money. The convenience of havWhen the state acts as your parent, you tend
ing lots of other countries nearby has helped
to never grow up, leave home, and have a
make Europeans skilled and successful tax
family. The state wants to take care of your
Doug Caseys

INTERNATIONAL MAN

I N T E R N AT I O N A L M A N . C O M

Getting Out of Dodge


kids, and your kids dont need to take care of
you, so the decline of Europes native population is likely to continue, if not accelerate.

flow? I have to say, regrettably, no. One reason


is that Muslims tend to take their religion much
more seriously than Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, or any other group I can think of.

This relates to Islam. Its well known that, due


to heavy immigration from their old colonies
(North Africa for France, Pakistan and India for
Britain, Indonesia for Holland) and other reasons
in the case of Germany and Switzerland (mostly
Turkish immigration), the population of Europe
has changed radically over the last several years.

Islam is more than a religion; its an all-encompassing worldview, with serious economic,
political, and social implications. Its one thing
being a tourist or a visiting businessman in
one of the 40-something Islamic countries,
but I think its something else entirely to focus
your life there.

Furthermore, the trend is accelerating, because


the Muslims, for whatever reasons, tend to
have large families. So, its said, in the coming
years most of the countries in Europe will have
Muslim majorities or
significant pluralities.

All these countries were ex-European colonies,


which has left lingering resentment in some
quarters. And practically all of these countries
Iraq, Jordan, Pakistan, Libya, Somalia,
Afghanistan, Fuhged
B
ottom
line:
Europe
is
fine
for
Frankly, I dont care
abouditstan were
where people come
created by fiat in a
vacations...
from, what color they
European boardroom,
are, nor what superwith zero regard to
stitions they may hold
existing ethnic, lin(as long as they dont try to impose them on
guistic, and cultural distinctions. That means
me). But it seems predictable that this demothat theyre all intrinsically unstable, and most
graphic revolution, especially coming at a time
of these countries will fall apart sooner
of rising nationalism, is going to lead to some
rather than later.
serious conflict.
The situation is aggravated by the ongoing and
Could Europe turn into a large-scale Bosnia?
growing War on Islam called by the more
Im not predicting it will, but its not out of
politically correct but ridiculous and dishonest
the question.
moniker the War on Terror. This is really just
a continuation of whats been going on spoBottom line: Europe is fine for vacations (even
radically since the Crusades. I think its going
though its way too constipated and way too
to get much more serious before it goes into
expensive to suit my taste). But for an expat
remission again.
looking for a permanent base, you would be
asking for trouble.
If you want to see the pyramids, rent a villa in
Marrakesh, or speculate on property in Dubai
(or Cairo, as a friend of mine is currently doing),
thats one thing. As a focus, I think its a mistake.
THE ISLAMIC WORLD
Weve been talking about Muslims in Europe.
Does it make any sense to look to reverse the
Doug Caseys

INTERNATIONAL MAN

I N T E R N AT I O N A L M A N . C O M

Getting Out of Dodge

AFRICA

philosophy of Marxism and the alien religion


of Christianity. This guaranteed long-term
conflict with the equally alien religion of Islam.
The poor African, who previously lived in
about the most traditional of all societies, was
uprooted and set adrift in every way possible.

The whole continent is a nearly unmitigated


disaster and tragedy. There are some who say
that Africa would have been forever grateful
to Europe if da Gama had just thrown a wheel
ashore as he was rounding the Cape. But he
would have also had to throw out an instruction book... and nobody on the continent
knew how to read.

As far as Im concerned, Africa (with a few


exceptions Ghana, Namibia, perhaps Mozambique and I would have picked Ivory
Coast, as well, before the place blew up ten
years ago) is going nowhere, until the present
nation-states are restructured or disappear.

My own view is that European colonization


was the worst thing that could have happened
to Africa.

Before 1960, Africa was a safe and mellow


place. Since then its been turbulent and dangerous, but with opportunities mainly for the
daring Uhuru jumper. At this point, the average black in business has some sophistication,
some money, and a good measure of residual
resentment against
the whites.

Its true that the Africans were living in primitive


conditions; but that would have changed organically through trade if Europeans had arrived as
merchants instead of conquerors. What happened is that every country on the continent
(with the exceptions
of Egypt and Ethiopia)
is a totally artificial
Every government on the contifigment of some Eunent is a kleptocracy.
ropean bureaucrats
imagination.

I think South Africa will


continue on its downward trajectory. Zimbabwe, I believe, has
turned the corner and
is going to recover, until it gets another Mugabe
look-alike... which it will. Thats the way postcolonial Africa is structured.

Every government on
the continent is a kleptocracy. If youre an ambitious African who wants to make money, you
try to take control of the state and then cement
your position by filling every important position
with friends and tribal relations. The state can
then serve as your personal piggy bank.

I dont see Africa as anything but a prospect


for the occasional speculation. I dont see
long-term investment as an even remotely
realistic possibility, except for perhaps the
Chinese, who might recolonize the place in an
even less mellow way than the Europeans.

Pre-conquest Africa was no model of libertarian equity, but the thousands of tribes at least
had societies and economies that had worked
over many generations. Military conquest
allowed the overnight infusion of advanced
technologies and a political structure that submerged the natives and their cultures.

THE ORIENT
This is where the future lies. Im a longtime
fan of the Orient, including as a place to live.
True, the whole area was colonized by the

Worse, the ones who got a Western education were indoctrinated with the totally alien
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Getting Out of Dodge


Europeans (with the prominent exceptions
of Thailand and Japan), but the culture of the
region is so old and deep and the population
so large that its retained its character.

doesnt collapse almost as badly as the current situation in the US.

NORTH AMERICA

But how is it for expatriation?

Canada presents an excellent and nearby opportunity for Americans. Its America light. It has
less in the way of financial problems than the US
and, with numerous new taxes on the way in the
US, it will be a lower-tax jurisdiction, as well. But
since Canadians (like almost everybody in the
world except Americans) arent subject to tax if
they dont live in Canada, its a mystery to me
why anyone with capital doesnt expatriate.

My second most-favorite country on the


planet is Thailand, for many reasons I wont
even attempt to touch on here. Singapore has
replaced Hong Kong as the hub for entrepreneurs and rich expats in the region.

The Philippines, the perennial poor man


which should have become rich, is worth
a serious look; the
400 years of SpanThe answer, of course,
ish influence, with
is that serf mentality,
Burma is the country Id most
an American overkeeping you close to
lay, gives it a nice
what you know. Canalikely spend serious time in if I
ambiance from my
dians suffer from it to
really
wanted
to
make
a
huge
viewpoint. Burma is
a greater degree than
amount of money - given a
the country Id most
Americans; its generlikely spend serially a more socially
long-term view.
ous time in if I really
conservative country.
wanted to make a
Its a good time to
huge amount of
leave Canada, though,
money given a long-term view.
since its property is quite overpriced by almost
any standard especially in Vancouver.
A key thing to remember in the Orient is that
although its a fantastic place to live, if youre
But Im fond of Canada, as are Asians. They are,
not a native, youll never really become part
for instance, now more than 50% of the British
of the local culture. This is a double-edged
Columbian population.
sword, though. It can be a huge advantage to
always be viewed as a tourist, a foreign ghost.
The US, even though its perhaps the major
It can allow significant freedoms and leeway.
epicenter of the Greater Depression, still may
be the best place for an immigrant to come to
The big question is China. My view is that
make his fortune. This will change, of course, as
although the 21st will be Chinas century, its in
the general standard of living in the US drops. As
for some very serious problems. The business
recently as a generation ago, the US would have
cycle runs there, too. And its been immensely
gotten the nod as the best country for someone
aggravated by the giant influx of US dollars
to make the most of his personal freedom and
and the building of a manufacturing infrafinancial opportunity; but thats definitely no
structure catering to overextended Americans.
longer the case.
Ill be really surprised if the property market
Doug Caseys

INTERNATIONAL MAN

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Getting Out of Dodge

OCEANIA

(obviously), unsophisticated, viciously expensive, and racially charged.

Youve got to like Australia and New Zealand.


Consider them being like Canada, but with
good weather.

Mxico is heading for trouble, in that almost


half the governments revenue comes from
the Cantarell oilfield, which is well into terminal decline. That means that not only will the
government be madly scrambling for cash, but
the place will shortly go from a major oil exporter (mainly to the US) to a major importer.

My choice is New Zealand, perhaps the most


benign place on the globe, where nothing will
hurt you except perhaps a visiting Australian
stock promoter. The problem is that its quiet
and insular, with as many cattle and 20 times
as many sheep as people. But it has some
good universities, and I consider Christchurch
one of the worlds nicest cities (although Im in
Auckland a couple months of the year, for reasons of convenience
and polo).
When people ask me
what Im doing in
New Zealand, I usually
answer, I came for
the kangaroos.

The drug wars along the border were long


overdue and arent going away unless drugs are
legalized in the US which isnt likely to happen for any number of reasons, not the least of
which is that the entrenched bureaucracy
in the DEA would
Most interesting in Central
never permit it.

America, by far, is Panama; I think


you should put it on your list.

In Central America,
Nicaragua is cheap.
Costa Rica is overbuilt, discovered, and
expensive. Guatemala is sophisticated, but I
suspect the long guerrilla war which in some
ways was a war between the rich European
immigrants and the poor Indian natives
could be a simmering problem. Forget overpopulated El Salvador.

Australia is (surprisingly) perhaps the most


urbanized country in the world, Crocodile
Dundee myths notwithstanding. Maybe thats
because in the Outback everything will kill
you, from the heat to the snakes. Sydney and
Melbourne are great cities.

Most interesting in Central America, by far, is


Panam; I think you should put it on your list
and Belize, which is demographically more
part of the Caribbean. The problem with Central America is that it just lacks class; the place
has always attracted expats who are down
on their luck, looking for a place with warm
weather, cheap beer, and available young girls.
Forget Venezuela. Its not just Chvez; its that
the oil has completely corrupted the society
for a long time to come. Colombia is getting
much better, especially around Cartagena,
which is almost a different country. Ecuador,
like Bolivia and Per, suffers from a divide

This country is uniquely blessed in a lot of


ways. Nothing wrong with it but the government, which seems consistently dominated by
people with a peculiarly British lower-middleclass view of the world. Property is in a debtdriven bubble here that will be ugly when it
bursts the country has always imitated but
been a bit behind the US.

LATIN AMERICA
Id forget the Caribbean countries. Too insular
Doug Caseys

INTERNATIONAL MAN

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I N T E R N AT I O N A L M A N . C O M

Getting Out of Dodge


between the Indians and the immigrants.
The eastern part of Bolivia could be nice if the
country breaks in two, which is not unlikely.
They say that Brazil has always been the
country of tomorrow and always will be.
That may be changing. Even the real, its latest
currency (its destroyed more currencies than
Argentina), has been quite strong. This may be
giving the citizens delusions of grandeur or
not. But the place is now too expensive to get
my attention.

but without most of that continents risks and


aggravations. If the government simply stops
being actively stupid, the place should regain
its previous place as one of the worlds richest countries. If it does, it will present a great
speculative opportunity, which is the way I
see it. If it doesnt, it will remain a great place
to be. In the meantime, its pretty much out
of harms way, relative to most of the worlds
serious problems, so thats where Im placing a few bets personally, since you cant be
everywhere at the same time.

Chile is the Latin country where everything


works; the average Chilean has a higher net
worth now than the average American. And
Santiago is one of the safest large cities in
the world. Uruguay is basically a quiet, sleepy
province of Argentina, but with serious fiscal
advantages; it has an excellent future.

I dont, incidentally, view expatriation as a


panacea of any type. Notwithstanding the
fact that you dont ever want to get caught in
a place like Germany in the 30s or Rwanda
in the 80s, most peoples problems begin in
their own heads. A counselor often provides a
better solution than a travel agent.

Which brings us to Argentina, my personal


favorite. Its a rich country down on its luck
because of decades of destructive government mismanagement. I like it because of
Buenos Aires class and style; its low population and wide-open spaces; and its low costs.
At this point its more European than Europe,

In conclusion, I think time is growing short,


as the economy emerges from the eye of the
current hurricane... after which it will encounter several more even bigger ones. There you
have it. But dont look at this as idle information. I suggest you allocate some time, call
your travel agent, and get going.

A Word on Internationalizing Your Savings


When you are dealing with a desperate government, it is always better
to be proactive than reactive. International diversification is your ultimate
insurance policy. Whether its with a second passport, physical gold
held abroad, an offshore bank account, or other measures, its critically
important that you dilute the amount of control the bureaucrats in your
home country wield over you by diversifying your political risk.
You can find specific guidance on these critically important strategies
so that you can take action before its too latein our Going Global
publication by clicking here.

Doug Caseys

INTERNATIONAL MAN

13

I N T E R N AT I O N A L M A N . C O M

Getting Out of Dodge

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Doug Caseys

INTERNATIONAL MAN

14

I N T E R N AT I O N A L M A N . C O M