Veteran investor Marc Faber agreed to leave the board of money manager Sprott Inc. 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:
Nationalist movements and racist sentiments are gaining traction around the world. After white supremacists marched with torches on the streets of Virginia and were met by protesters, U.S. President Donald Trump said 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 (including on Bloomberg), is known for bearish and what he calls contrarian views.
Sprott, based in Toronto, focuses on precious metals. Faber is also on the board of Ivanhoe Mines Ltd., which unearthed Congo’s largest copper deposit last year. Robert Friedland, Ivanhoe’s chairman and co-founder, said by email that he didn’t want to comment because he hadn’t read Faber’s report. Novagold Resources Inc., another company where Faber is a board member, didn’t immediately respond to a request for 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.”