Fake news wars and the case for an old-fashioned capitalism

by Mar 20, 2020Thinking outside the bottle0 comments

The Spider-Man meme is an opportune way to depict how many are trying to explain the coronavirus pandemic, isn’t it?

The Spider-Man meme is an opportune way to depict how many are trying to explain the coronavirus pandemic, isn’t it?

Hi, it’s Breno here! Once again, still in Lisbon, under state of emergency.

I hope you’re holding on fine. I am okay too, trading wine as usual, even though in Portugal we’re expecting to have the worst of the situation in about two weeks. Let’s hope we can contain the covid-19 pandemic curve.

tic tac.jpgtic tac.jpg


Moving on: as a journalist, I’m amazed with the huge amount of fake news, conspiracy theories and false and irrelevant information that has been circulating during the last few weeks.

Prepare your breath, here it comes:

Just the last couple of days, I’ve seen presidents accusing China of being deliberately responsible for the pandemic. Some say “They’ve done this to control the financial markets!”. Others claimed a Chernobyl-like mistake in a biological plant went terrible wrong. One blames racist supremacists and the far-right, claiming they are very interested in creating panic to make it obvious that governments and politicians are not doing their jobs. Another one stated that the Russians clearly concluded an amazing plan to destroy the West. Others believed Islamic terrorist groups spread the virus with the purpose of canceling Easter festivities and all church gatherings. One claimed it was Israel being upset because of support given by Europeans to Arab countries (what?) and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Another person is sure that pharma groups are responsible “because they will make billions in the process”…

You see my point. We could go on and on and on. It’s pure misinformation and disinformation, deliberate or not.

These overwhelming fake news wars only make us more anxious. Much more than we already should, in these times of uncertainty. We keep on “hanging on in quiet desperation”, as Pink Floyd’s Rick Wright sang in the one of my favorite songs, Time (although I must say in the current case this is not exclusive to the “English way”).


With all this, the past few days were rollercoaster days in the markets, with everybody wondering what is coming next.

Our founding member Paulo Pinto, whom I always talk to regarding investments and the financial system, suggests the need for a new monetary system and the end of Central Banks as they are — having them replaced by Central Banks of Social Security, as a way to regain an “old-fashioned school moral capitalism”.

The goal — Paulo argued in a phone call we (both quarantined) had — would be to stop saving banks, stop saving automakers, airlines, casinos, and instead just keep the creation of money to guarantee resources for social security. Banks, in his model, would go back to 100% reserve systems, and interest rates would be market rates. No more insure deposits because there is no such thing as a deposit: effectively, you lend money to the bank and take a risk.


I’m not nearly an expert like he is, and am not sure if this has a chance or not. But I’m more and more sure that issues with money will change… because they are already changing.

We have established digital currencies; we have Central Banks printing like there is no tomorrow; we have interest rates at zero; we have Alti Wine Exchange and its groundbreaking blockchain platform as well!

Among all these changes I’ve mentioned, no doubt the only thing I really understand is Alti Wine Exchange. Why? Because it is much easier to understand from only a very quick experience. Check what our Chief Wine Officer, Julien Miquel, has to say:


PS.: Last week, we’ve explained further how investing in fine wine can help protecting your portfolio. If you, reader, are already one of our buyers/sellers, be sure to spread the message and help friends and family to secure some very good fine wines as assets for the future.

Despite the logistics disruptions, thankfully our operations can go on remotely! So… start trading!


Explore More from Our Blog

The Beginning and The End.

Alas, the sun has crossed the celestial equator from north to south. Summer is now quite uneasy, shifting into fall in the north, while life is springing into action down south. What a beautiful time of the year! When grapes are cut from the vine to create new wine,...

Ever heard of a wine cocktail?

DEAR READER, I hope some of you learned from the reader letter last week [hyperlink to Week Ten post] and checked your attics! You never know how much wine sits above you, waiting to be uncorked and decanted—on someone else’s dime! Dear Sommelier Ferdinand, I have a...

The Future of Wine

We humans are bold if nothing else. Unlike any other species (that we know of), only we have chosen time and again to go boldly where no other has gone before. This holds especially true to the modern European, the first to really “discover” ignorance. Though they...

What on earth is a ‘Wine Decanter’?

DEAR READER, It’s come to my attention that many of you are ill-informed, misinformed, and frankly, uninformed about how wine is to be consumed. Were I only a wine enthusiast, it would be wholly dispiriting. But—wine is my profession, and I’m obligated to recognize...

“What’s My Next Question?” – Benjamin Kaplan

What’s My Next Question? On a random day like today 11 years ago, a legendary Harvard Law professor and lawyer, Benjamin Kaplan, died at 99 years of age. A rich, marked life that left an impact long after his last breathe. Apart from influencing the likes of Ruth...

Wine that Makes You Look Up

Wines that Make You Look Up Can you imagine having a device that magnifies your view and never thinking to look up, never pointing it toward the sky? Until August 25, 1609, nobody had. Enter Galileo Galilee, the man who changed the way we see and interpret all that is...

Should you be swirling your wine before consumption?

DEAR READER, Through all the melodrama of the past few weeks, I’ve neglected to educate the newcomers about the art of winetasting. So, I dug deep into my inbox for this query: Sommelier Ferdinand, I went to a ball last night and wasn’t aware of the proper pre-drink...

Sommelier Ferdinand answers “What’s the point of drinking wine from a hundred years ago?”.

DEAR READER, I’ve heard what you’ve all had to say, and I’ve decided to reach out to Jerry, once again, to bury the hatchet. Who’s to say if he would be open to making amends… but I made the effort, on behalf of all you insightful readers! I’ll keep you all updated on...


DEAR READER, Something unprecedented has happened. My assistant has received an additional letter from Jerry. Remember him—from last week [READ HERE] Well, our beloved wine purist wrote back after reading yesterweek’s column: Sommelier Ferdinand, I don’t care about...

Transcending Time through Wine

On August 11, 1888, The Scientific American published its 658th issue, replete with exciting findings. From “A Study on Whirlwinds,” to “The Distillation of Peppermint" and thoughts on the human conscious, this popular science magazine had already been around since...

Boxed Wine and an angry recipient.

What an experience, to receive all your criticisms. That would shake any normal individual. But I’ve spent years having my judgments under a microscope, so I’ve learned to shut my doors to it. You are all welcome to try—but I won’t be changing any time soon! Speaking...

Sommelier Ferdinand answers “What it takes to become a Sommelier”.

DEAR READER, As the grapes grow richer, so do the bottler and buyer! Wine is an investment, my dear readers. Never forget the long game! Now, for some advice you folks have solicited: Sommelier Ferdinand, I want to be a sommelier, like yourself. I have the respect for...