Stories by Brad Schaeffer

Brad Schaeffer is co-founder and CEO of INFA Energy Brokers, LLC, an interdealer broker of complex energy derivatives, as well as founder and principal of Occam Capital Management, LLC, a private asset management firm. He is a veteran of the commodities markets since 1990 and is a frequent guest on CNBC and Fox Business News. He is also the author of the World War II novel Hummel's Cross, the story of a decorated Luftwaffe fighter pilot who risks his life to save a family of Jews from the Nazis during the height of the air war over Europe. A Chicago native, he lives in New Jersey.

Ron Paul Hates Government, Loves Pork

December 22nd, 2011 at 12:49 pm 45 Comments

For many in the militant libertarian wing within the GOP (and outside of it), Ron Paul has emerged as Moses come to lead the American people out of the land of big spending liberal statists and hair-trigger Neocon Pharaohs. They see Paul as an outsider on the inside, despite having first entered politics when I was nine years old. To his loyal cadre he has remained steadfast in his libertarian belief that can be boiled down to two central notions.

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Steve Jobs Leaves Behind a World He Made

October 9th, 2011 at 8:30 am 15 Comments

“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me.… Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful—that’s what matters to me.”

R.I.P Steve Jobs. He was the patron saint of entrepreneurs. Newton once reflected that if his vision extended farther than others’ it was because he stood upon the shoulders of giants. One of the giants has left this iWorld a much more interesting place.

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Cain Was Not Playing A ‘Race Card’

October 4th, 2011 at 2:03 pm 111 Comments

There is a difference between being post-racial and racially blind. Herman Cain’s resume is as long as my driveway. He is highly intelligent and energetic, a mathematician and Navy man who exudes positivism and confidence and has accomplished much. He will tell anyone who listens that he owes much of his success to the opportunities afforded him by the USA. This is a someone who has expressed no residual anger against the USA for the stains of the racist past, ones which Mr. Cain, as a Black man growing up in Jim Crow Georgia, surely experienced first hand. Instead he has chosen to base his message on America’s best todays rather than its worst yesterdays.

Now, he has been reluctantly pulled into a controversy over an offensive word that was reportedly etched on a rock outside of a hunting ranch leased by Governor Rick Perry. Apparently the word “Niggerhead” was what it read, until painted over after some time in the early 1980s by Perry. Still, Cain has been repeatedly asked, what does it say about his opponent for the nomination?

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Gold’s Value? It’s What We Give it.

September 28th, 2011 at 11:04 am 47 Comments

Eli Lehrer misrepresents my intentions in his most recent piece. To be clear, my article was not making a case for buying gold going forward per se. Trading in commodities is a volatile and highly leveraged activity, and I would not presume to advise the general public on it. As I said in my previous article, I disapprove of celebrities offering investment advice for a fee.

However, the fact remains that Glenn Beck and other conservative commentators’ past recommendations of gold as an investment were the correct call at the time they were made. That is just an empirical fact. The charts don’t lie.

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Numbers Don’t Lie, Gold Has Done Well

September 27th, 2011 at 1:49 pm 89 Comments


Kenneth Silber recently called out Glenn Beck and others for their perpetual bullishness on gold. However, even a cursory glance at a gold chart shows that one would have been handsomely rewarded for following Mr. Beck’s advice.

From the time the Fed began its cheap money campaign back in 2001, the price of gold has increased from $265/ounce to a whopping $1650/ounce. In other words the dollar’s value has plummeted from 1/265th of an ounce of gold to 1/1650th. Even with the recent correction from it’s latest market high of $1,825/ounce , this represents a roughly 18% annual return on your investment in a decade that saw equities, real estate and other asset classes in turmoil and eventual decline.

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Here’s “My Share”

September 23rd, 2011 at 12:01 pm 201 Comments

A friend of mine has a sister who has been broke for years. Ten years ago he got heartsick over watching her struggle while his own career took off, so he began supporting her by supplementing her small income with his own money. He makes $300,000 a year and gives her $30,000 a year to help her out. This comes to roughly 20% of his take-home income after all of his taxes (federal, state, local) are taken out of his paycheck.

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I’m Already Paying “My Share” Ms. Warren-And More

September 22nd, 2011 at 5:29 pm 113 Comments

A video from Elizabeth Warren’s campaign tour in Massachusetts, has been circulating online. In it she justifies on moral grounds the need to raise taxes on “the rich”.

As her thin platform from which to launch a tax-the-rich clarion call, she refers to a hypothetical factory owner who must use roads ”the rest of us paid for” utilizing workers educated in schools “the rest of us paid for” and whose workplaces are protected by police “the rest of us paid for.”

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Commemorating Antietam

September 17th, 2011 at 12:21 am 133 Comments

If you ask most Americans what was the bloodiest day in our history, you would probably get either 9/11 or Pearl Harbor, depending on the age of the responder. Neither would be correct.

In Western Maryland is a sluggish creek called the Antietam.

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Open Up Canada’s Oil Lifeline

August 31st, 2011 at 1:19 pm 51 Comments

I was on Fox Business last night discussing TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline. The pipeline was proposed in 2008 as a 1,600 mile extension to an existing network. Its would tap into oil currently being extracted from Alberta’s controversial tar sands and ship it south to a storage facility at Cushing, Oklahoma and again to the Gulf Coast for distribution.

Because it enters the US from a foreign country, in order for the project to proceed, the White House must first approve its construction. As such the State Department must deem it to be in the national interest. A cursory Environmental Impact Statement has met the State Department’s satisfaction so a potentially favorable ruling for TransCanada could be imminent.

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Why I’m Done With Sarah Palin

August 16th, 2011 at 10:56 am 182 Comments

I used to be a fan of Sarah Palin, but even I can see that the best thing for her to do now is to step aside.

When Sarah Palin first exploded on the scene at the 2008 Republican convention as John McCain’s running-mate, I was enthralled.  Yes, I admit, I thought she was terrific.  Here was this attractive, confident governor from a state as far away from the Washington D.C. beltway as one could hope for.

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