Category Archives: Michael McGowan

Dec. 19, 2017 Final Tuesday After Lunch Money Memo

By the Financial Foghorn’s younger brother John

“In the long run, we are all dead…”

John Maynard KeynesGold: Around $1250 – rigged!   Silver: Around $17 – rigged!
Good Health: Priceless…


Dear Readers,

        It is my sad duty to share the news that Michael McGowan, aka The Financial Foghorn, passed away over Thanksgiving weekend from complications related to his treatment for a particularly aggressive cancer that he has been fighting for a couple years.

        Regular readers know that Mike had his own methods of pursuing wellness, and like many of the aspects of his life, he was pretty sure he was right.  This was most frequently demonstrated in his repeated warnings of the fragility of financial markets and institutions, and the enduring values of gold and silver. You may all rest assured that he lived that belief to the max, having amassed a fascinating collection of various gold and silver coins.

        One of my favorite features of his newsletters was the inclusion of pretty-much unreadable charts and graphs, intended to buttress (I just enjoy finding ways to use that in a sentence…) his viewpoints on fake financial news, rigged markets, and impending upside explosions of metals and mining company process.  I’ve included one unreadable chart just as a tribute to Mike, which looks appropriately worrisome…  There are lots more charts out there, and you should feel free to study as many as you can stomach.

        Mike would also generally include a cartoon to lighten the mood, and I am including one of those as well. As angry as he would get at a rigged system, he managed to find and share the humor under the surface. His general approach was sarcasm, tempered by disbelief and outrage, which made for good reading and usually a combination of a little anger and a smile… He subscribed to the daily Dilbert cartoon e-mail service, and scoured dozens of website, newsletters and magazines looking for good cartoons. 
        Finally, the most consistent element through all of the TAL Newsletters over the years has been the Foghorn’s unshakable belief that he was on to something that others had either missed or were ignoring at their peril.  His certainty that banks and Wall St. were corrupt, guilty of evading regulation and enriching themselves at the expense of ordinary citizens was his bedrock, and traces back to the founding of the Federal Reserve at Jekyll Island in 1912.  He kept a copy of that book describing the secret train car rides to Georgia and secret meetings at the Jekyll Island Club Billiards room orchestrated by J.P. Morgan front and center in his large library of financial books.  He was comfortable in his belief about superior knowledge because he spent so much time reading, doing research and studying history and financial markets.

        Whether traveling to visit gold miners and producers at mineral shows, investor conferences, or even annual meetings of Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway Corp., Mike devoted an enormous percentage of his time on earth over the past 20 years studying the markets and institutions he wrote about. While he might be wrong about some of his conclusions  (I’d occasionally send him a TAL newsletter from 4 or 5 years ago just to bug him about a prediction that went wrong), he was rarely wrong about his facts and data. A number of the financial publications he subscribed to and read regularly have been running for more than 20 years, and I suspect they’ll miss Mike as well as we will.

        Finally, I offer sincere thanks to Mike’s “Chief Executive Pixie” Lyn Adelstein, who for years has “wrangled” his writing into publishable form, handled distribution lists and subscriptions, and generally made his letters look polished.  I hope she can do the same for this one.  In addition, as Michael fought the prostate cancer that was spreading rapidly, and fought back against the side effects of the medications being offered to fight the cancer, Lyn became his “Angel Pixie” doing incredible deeds to help him deal with hospitals, family, landlords and other challenges. Her efforts were truly heroic!

Two final thoughts as the series comes to a close… Got gold?  Got a PSA Test?

J. M. McGowan
Pasadena, California


P.S.   And from The Financial Foghorn himself . . .