Veteran investor Marc Faber left the boards of money manager Sprott Inc. and mining companies Novagold Resources Inc. and Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. after he claimed in his newsletter this month that “the U.S. would look like Zimbabwe” if it had been settled by black people instead of whites.
“The recent comments by Dr. Faber are deeply disappointing and are completely contradictory with the views of Sprott and its employees,” Sprott Chief Executive Officer Peter Grosskopf said in announcing Faber’s departure from the board. “We pride ourselves on being a diverse organization and comments of this sort will not be tolerated."
In a 15-page edition of his investor letter, "The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report," Faber argued against the removal of confederate statues, saying the “only crime” of the men those monuments honored was to defend slavery and that the controversy distracts from more important debates. In between quotes from George Orwell and historian Edward Gibbon and his opinions on universal basic income, he wrote the following:
Far-right movements are gaining traction across Europe and the U.S. On Sunday, Austrian voters paved the way for a nationalist party to enter government in an election upset. Last month, Alternative for Germany won enough seats in parliament to become the legislature’s third-largest party. After protesters met white supremacists with torches at a march in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August, President Donald Trump faced criticism for saying there were “very fine people on both sides.”
Faber, who was a managing director at Drexel Burnham Lambert until 1990 and has been a frequent commentator on markets for decades, is known for bearish and what he calls contrarian views. He told investors to bail out of U.S. stocks a week before the 1987 Black Monday crash.
A CNBC spokesperson said Tuesday the cable channel doesn’t plan to invite Faber back for appearances. Ty Trippet, a spokesman for Bloomberg Television, said “he hasn’t been on our air since June 2016, and we don’t intend to book him in the future.”
Sprott, based in Toronto, focuses on precious metals. Novagold announced Faber’s resignation in a news release, but didn’t provide any comment.
“If stating some historical facts makes me a racist, then I suppose that I am a racist,” Faber wrote in an email to Bloomberg. “For years, Japanese were condemned because they denied the Nanking massacre.”
It’s unclear what Faber was suggesting. The Imperial Japanese army is estimated to have killed hundreds of thousands in the Chinese city during the Sino-Japanese War in the late 1930s, according to Encyclopedia Britannica.
Ivanhoe, which unearthed Congo’s largest copper deposit last year, said late Tuesday that it had requested and accepted Faber’s resignation from the board.
“Respect and dignity for all people are a fundamental underpinning of the company’s enterprise and the conduct of every aspect of its business,” Ivanhoe said in a statement. “There is zero tolerance for racism.”
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