My name is Bill Buckler. I'm the Captain of The Privateer.
The first issue of The Privateer was published on October 14, 1984. That's nineteen eighty-four, not ninety-four. When we started, it was typewriter and photocopier. Now, everything is done on computers and we are 100% internet based. All of our long time subscribers have switched to email.
I started to teach myself HTML and all the other bits and pieces necessary to run a website in early 1995. The website was first "uploaded" in July 1995. I write all the commentary and do all the design work myself. The first Privateer was delivered electronically (via email) in October 1995. That was issue #284, published on October 15, 1995, eleven years almost to the day after the first issue came off the typewriter.
You are not going to read a resume or a CV here, because there is not much about me that would fit into such a thing. I have been self-employed for most of my adult life. I certainly have a formal education, but because I am a man who likes to learn, my informal education has been much more valuable to me.
One of the best things that ever happened to me was that I was not forced to wait until I started school before learning to read. My father taught me how to read when I was not quite three years old. I have literally been reading for as long as I can remember.
And for almost as long, I have been interested in IDEAS. I have a great respect for the power of ideas, and the more I learn, the greater it gets. This attitude has paid big dividends to me. It has allowed me to gain the facility to evaluate ideas well. More, it has given me the facility, after decades of practice, to be able to present quite complex ideas in a form that can easily be grasped.
I am almost entirely self-taught. If I want to learn something, I know where to find the knowledge. If I find work which I admire, I read the sources upon which the author built his or her particular structure. This process is inexhaustible - and endlessly rewarding.
The beauty and power of ideas rests on this. If a hurricane demolishes a physical structure resting on a sound foundation, the structure can be rebuilt on that same foundation. About 250 BC, Eratosthenes, Chief Librarian of the great library at the city of Alexandria, measured the circumference of the earth - using sound basic principles. The knowledge was lost, and for the next 1500 years, most thought that the earth was "flat".
But while the knowledge was lost, the principles underlying the knowledge remained. When they were rediscovered, the knowledge was regained, having been built upon the same foundation. On September 8, 1522, the last surviving ship of Ferdinand Magellan's expedition returned to Cadiz, Spain, having circumnavigated the world. It cost Magellan his life and the life of almost all his crew to "empirically" prove that the earth was round.
Eratosthenes, using nothing more than his mind, a well, and the angle of the sun, had proved it more than 1750 years earlier.
In economics and in the world of finance and financial markets, all the basic principles have been discovered, most of them more than 100 years ago. The foundation is there, awaiting rediscovery, by anyone who takes the trouble to examine it.
It is our misfortune to live in a "Dark Age" when it comes to the knowledge of the principles upon which economics in general and monetary theory in particular are built. It may seem paradoxical, but it is true, that the easiest way to understand any basic principle of human interaction is to start from the aspect of one man or woman in nature.
You're one, I'm another. Forget senior citizens, baby boomers, or the X generation. Forget about age, class, race, sex, demographic, size, or shape. What matters is what goes on inside your head. And that's absolutely unique. It has never been duplicated and never will be.
There is a phrase I have often used in the past in my newsletter: "We are dealing with the most 'endangered species' on the face of the earth - the individual human being". In fact, of course, you and I cannot deal with anyone else. You are the one who is reading what I have written. You are the one that will decide whether to investigate this website further.
What I've done is simply to make it as easy for you as I can, and to provide you with some food for thought. You can read as much or as little of it as you choose.
The Privateer - in context will set before you the fundamental ideas upon which we have built both this website, and The Privateer market letter.
Born: London, England
When: December 10, 1949
Moved: Vancouver, Canada September 1956
Lived: England, Canada, U.S., Zimbabwe, South Africa, Australia
Worked As: Fisherman, Beachcomber, Hand Logger, Lumberjack, Prospector, Driller, Publican (Bartender), Salesman, Proofreader, Speech writer, Writer, Financial Analyst, Publisher, Webmaster
Married: To Cathy
Located: Queensland, Australia
Citizen Of: Australia