Glenn talks with Goldline CEO Mark Albarian



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GLENN: I want to start with a, I guess there is a press conference at noon today in Washington with Congressman Weiner. Congressman Weiner who, is it his executive assistant or chief of staff or whoever that used to work for Media Matters? What was — we'll look into it, Tony. But he has launched an investigation now in the most McCarthy sort of way. He is using the power of congress to come after me and a sponsor on my program, Goldline. Mark Albarian is on the phone now. Mark is — go ahead and pick him up, please. Mark is the president of Goldline. Goldline is a sponsor, but I am also a — am I a rather large customer of yours, Mark, or are there —

ALBARIAN: You are a rather large client but there are actually larger.

GLENN: I'm sure there are. You are saying there are crazier people than me?

ALBARIAN: Well, maybe not crazier but there are people that —

GLENN: More committed to their philosophy?

ALBARIAN: That's fair.

GLENN: Yes. Mark, let me just go over a couple of things in our relationship. How long have you been a sponsor in this program?

ALBARIAN: I believe it's been about three years.

GLENN: Do you remember a time when we had a conversation at the beginning where I said if you don't treat our customers — if you don't treat my customers, my listeners with respect, it isn't going to end well for you?

ALBARIAN: Yes.

GLENN: Yes. Do you believe me when I said that to you?

ALBARIAN: Yes.

GLENN: Okay.

ALBARIAN: I take you very seriously.

GLENN: We've had a great relationship, but I have also been a customer of yours and purchased gold. Now let me reverse the roles. Do you remember telling me when I told you what I wanted to buy that I'm buying the most expensive, the hardest to get and I'm paying a real premium for it. Do you remember saying that?

ALBARIAN: I do. You purchased a coin where the round trip costs of buying and selling it are about 36%. So about 18% to buy and about 18% to sell. That's the category that you're in.

GLENN: And the category — and that is the most expensive way to buy it?

ALBARIAN: That's the most expensive product we have.

GLENN: Okay.

ALBARIAN: 36% round trip, both in and out.

GLENN: Okay. And let me ask the listeners. Do you remember me saying on the air that the way I buy gold coins, the way I buy gold is expensive and some people would say it's nuts. Listeners, you'll have to decide for yourself if you remember me saying that.

ALBARIAN: Well, Glenn, I frankly don't think they're nuts. You are buying coins with certain features and benefits. Some of the coins are, as you refer to them, as antique coins. Other coins are small, small in size. Other coins are private meaning that when you sell them back, you won't have to give your home address and your name and Social Security number. There are certain features and benefits to these coins that you are paying these higher premiums for and people make that choice. You could have purchased a one ounce Krugerrand, for example, and the round trip cost would have been, you know, less than 5% in and 5% out. So about 10% round trip. And many, many people who listen to you make that choice. So it's really up to them and it's really up to you.

GLENN: And I think they're crazy, but that's their choice. As I say on every commercial, you've got to — not only do you have to find out if it's right for your family, you have to find out how to buy it, how it's right if it is. It's not right for everybody. Okay. So now, do you have any idea what this investigation is going to be all about, I mean other than another hatchet job by the inside — it's an inside job really with the progressive movement and Anthony Weiner. Do you have any idea what this investigation is?

ALBARIAN: We've gotten some highlights. One of them is I'm telling you and all the people listening that our round trip spread for our most expensive product is 36%. You could look at that like 18% when you buy and 18% when you sell.

GLENN: Okay. Hang on just a second. Let's say you go in to a coin dealer because that's what this one is. It's a very expensive, it's an old coin. You go in to a coin dealer. How much do they charge you to sell it to you?

ALBARIAN: You know, the great thing about America is they can charge whatever they want but my guess is they are going to charge you somewhere between 10 and 20% when you buy and 10 and 20% when you sell.

GLENN: Okay. That's the way they —

ALBARIAN: Some might charge more, some might charge less.

GLENN: That's the way they make a profit and it's up to each individual. Do they disclose it; do you disclose it?

ALBARIAN: We absolutely disclose it and we have a written agreement that every client signs. That puts us probably in the top 1% of all dealers because most dealers do not disclose it and they do not have any type of a written agreement where you can say, hey, this is what the terms are; I'm signing it; I understand it.

GLENN: These are also coins that, because I know I'm not getting American coins from you anymore because that's a really hard coin to find now.

ALBARIAN: These are just, these are generally smaller sized European coins. Some of them are more recently made, some of them are older.

GLENN: Right.

ALBARIAN: And when you buy, it's like buying a big bag of potato chips. It's less expensive to buy the big bag than a bunch of smaller bags but some people like the smaller bags, the smaller coins.

GLENN: Now, they are saying that you are not disclosing that you are a profit making company or what?

ALBARIAN: There's some allegation. I don't know what the final thing will look like but that somehow are markups are much more than that, that we are in some type of an unholy alliance with conservatives where we are scaring people to buy gold meaning that in some ways they are not using their own free will in making these decisions and that through our advertising and through our markups, they are saying that we're nothing but a gold peddler and although I'm not —

GLENN: Hang on just a second. Isn't that what you do?

ALBARIAN: We are a gold peddler, Glenn.

GLENN: Goldline.

ALBARIAN: I mean, there's nothing wrong with that. And in addition to that we don't — I say that we're a financial counselor. We don't sell stocks or bonds. We believe we're the largest. We believe we're the best person to help individual investors own gold. And in some way they are trying to pervert that in that we're doing something wrong by being linked with conservatives, by encouraging people to buy our product.

GLENN: They say that I am fear mongering and then driving up the price of gold. Could you give some handle — do you have any way to explain how utterly ridiculous and impossible that is?

ALBARIAN: Yeah, you are an important person but let's look at Goldline. We sell a million dollars let's say in a day of gold. The gold, paper gold product called an ETF may sell a billion dollars. We're doing a million, they're doing a billion. The gold market is such that Goldline's purchases on any given day doesn't have any effect on the gold market.

GLENN: Okay. But hang on just a second. But they could make the deal that — I mean, talk radio says that the dollar is going to — I mean, there's no evidence that what we're doing is inflating the money, and gold is the hedge against inflation traditionally. They are saying that we're the source of driving the price of gold up may be just because of all the fear that we cause.

ALBARIAN: It's ridiculous because actually the people that listen to conservatives are individuals like you and me. And frankly we don't have enough buying power to truly move this gold market. When you look at the amount of gold that's being sold, it's sold because institutions are buying it and they are buying it because of things like Greece. I mean, Glenn, did you cause Greece to fall?

GLENN: Well, yes, I think I will be blamed for that.

ALBARIAN: Well, then maybe you — then they can blame you for the gold market. If they can blame you for government spending, if they can blame you for Greece, if they can blame you for the Euro falling, then they can blame you for the gold market moving. I mean, these are very large macro economic issues that are pushing gold higher.

GLENN: How much, how much to move gold as much as it has in the last week or two, how many dollars are required to move it up?

ALBARIAN: Billions, with a B.

GLENN: I'm sorry. What?

ALBARIAN: Billions of dollars with a B.

GLENN: Billions of dollars?

ALBARIAN: Billions of dollars. I mean, Goldline's annual sales are less than a billion dollars all year.

GLENN: So I would —

ALBARIAN: You'd need —

GLENN: I would just like to announce here that the reporter working on this story that is going to, you know, do it, I would just like to use this, please. Talk radio has the wealthiest audience ever in the history of planet Earth because we're taking reasonable people that have money in this audience would take 10% of their savings and possibly put it into gold. We — that means talk radio listeners are investing billions of dollars to effect the global price of gold. Wow. Thank you. That's why people should advertise on talk radio, because of the extraordinary wealth of this audience, end quote.

PAT: (Laughing).

GLENN: So Mark, are you enjoying, so far are you enjoying the — are you enjoying the McCarthy like era that we've — that we're now having in Washington?

ALBARIAN: Well, I think that everybody gets their five minutes of fame and I think the situation is that when people really understand that Goldline's been in business since 1960, we've been conducting our business for several years in the way that we conduct it today, that nothing has really changed except in the last couple of years our support and our advertising on talk radio and conservative radio and I think that's why people are looking at us.

GLENN: Why would that be, Mark? Why would you, why would you all of a sudden become talk radio? Why wouldn't you go to Air America other than the fact that they are not on the air anymore?

ALBARIAN: Glenn, if you look at the largest five or six radio shows in the talk radio market, they just happen to be conservative.

GLENN: Do you ever —

ALBARIAN: And although Goldline advertises on CNN and we advertise —

GLENN: Where? What?

ALBARIAN: — on Fox News —

GLENN: Wait. CNN?

PAT: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.

GLENN: Not like the New York Times. You don't ever run an ad in the New York Times, do you?

ALBARIAN: We don't do generally very much print advertising but we don't, you know, we don't exclude the New York Times. But we advertise on the Internet, we advertise in lots of places to build a company, and it just so happens that our advertising on talk radio has been very, very good. It's been a very good business decision. What's come with it, though, is some of this kind of negative political, we've gotten a little bit into the political war. Even though our company isn't really a political company. We're, I guess just a gold peddler.

PAT: But you have advertised on CNN?

ALBARIAN: We actually —

PAT: The conservative

ALBARIAN: do advertise on CNN.

PAT: nut jobs on CNN? Oh, wow. Oh, boy.

ALBARIAN: I'm sorry if that offended anybody.

GLENN: Have you done MSNBC?

ALBARIAN: I believe we actually have.

PAT: Even though — I mean, don't you normally have to have more than 30 viewers?

GLENN: I was just going to say that's a bad investment. I don't know if I trust you now to talk to me about money.

ALBARIAN: We test lots of things, and I don't think you'll see as many of our —

GLENN: Right. Yes, I see that. I see that. And I do have to make sure that I point out that he did say he doesn't give investment advice. So there you go. I guess —

ALBARIAN: The only products we — the only products we sell are gold, silver, platinum, palladium, rare coins and rare currency. We're not a stockbroker, we're not a financial planner and those are the only products that we sell. And we think we do a good job of it.

GLENN: May I —

ALBARIAN: We think we're the larger and we're proud of what we do.

GLENN: May I ask for percentage of — are the other hosts, do they invest in the product as I do?

ALBARIAN: Yeah.

GLENN: You probably can't say.

ALBARIAN: I'd say many, if not close to all of them do. And the way we pick a host is we're much more concerned about their passion for our product than we are for their political views. So — and this may make a lot of people angry, but if a person was more liberal and they had a passion for gold and their listeners were potentially interested in investing in gold, we would consider advertising with them.

GLENN: Okay. Mark Albarian from Goldline, thank you very much. I appreciate it, sir.

ALBARIAN: Thank you, Glenn.

GLENN: And we'll be watching together this McCarthy like hearing that starts at noon today. Thanks a lot.

ALBARIAN: Thank you, Glenn.

I think we can all agree, both on the Left and the Right, that children who have been caught up in illegal immigration is an awful situation. But apparently what no one can agree on is when it matters to them. This past weekend, it suddenly — and even a little magically — began to matter to the Left. Seemingly out of nowhere, they all collectively realized this was a problem and all rushed to blame the Trump administration.

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Here's Rachel Maddow yesterday:

I seem to remember getting mocked by the Left for showing emotion on TV, but I'll give her a pass here. This is an emotional situation. But this is what I can't give her a pass on: where the heck was this outrage and emotion back in 2014? Because the same situation going on today — that stuff Maddow and the rest of the Left have only just now woken up to — was going on back in July 2014! And it was arguably worse back then.

I practically begged and pleaded for people to wake up to what was going on. We had to shed light on how our immigration system was being manipulated by people breaking our laws, and they were using kids as pawns to get it done. But unlike the gusto the Left is using now to report this story, let's take a look at what Rachel Maddow thought was more important back in 2014.

On July 1, 2014, Maddow opened her show with a riveting monologue on how President Obama was hosting a World Cup viewing party. That's hard-hitting stuff right there.

On July 2, 2014, Maddow actually acknowledged kids were at the border, but she referenced Health and Human Services only briefly and completely rushed through what was actually happening to these kids. She made a vague statement about a "policy" stating where kids were being taken after their arrival. She also blamed Congress for not acting.

See any difference in reporting there from today? That "policy" she referenced has suddenly become Trump's "new" policy, and it isn't Congress's fault… it's all on the President.

She goes on throughout the week.

On July 7, 2014, her top story was something on the Koch brothers. Immigration was only briefly mentioned at the end of the show. This trend continued all the way through the week. I went to the border on July 19. Did she cover it? Nope. In fact, she didn't mention kids at the border for the rest of the month. NOT AT ALL.

Do you care about immigrant kids who have been caught in the middle of a broken immigration system or not?

Make up your minds. Is this an important issue or not? Do you care about immigrant kids who have been caught in the middle of a broken immigration system or not? Do you even care to fix it, or is this what it looks like — just another phony, addicted-to-outrage political stunt?

UPDATE: Here's how this discussion went on radio. Watch the video below.

Glenn gives Rachel Maddow the benefit of the doubt

Rachel Maddow broke down in tears live on her MSNBC show over border crisis.

Progressives think the Obamas are a gift to the world. But their gift is apparently more of the metaphorical kind. It doesn't extend to helpful, tangible things like saving taxpayers money. Illinois has approved $224 million to pay for street and transportation upgrades around the planned site of the Obama Presidential Center. The catch is that Illinois taxpayers will have to cover $200 million of that cost. For a presidential museum.

Eight years of multiplying the national debt wasn't enough for Barack Obama. Old fleecing habits die hard. What's another $200 million here and there, especially for something as important as an Obama tribute center?

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That's all well and good except Illinois can't even fund its pension system. The state has a $137 billion funding shortfall. That means every person in Illinois owes $11,000 for pensions, and there is no plan to fix the mess. Unless Illinois progressives have discovered a new kind of math, this doesn't really add up. You can't fund pensions, but you're going to figure out a way to milk the public for another $200 million to help cover the cost of a library?

It's hard to imagine who in their right mind would think this will be money well spent. Well, except for maybe Chicago Mayor and former Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel who said, "The state's… investment in infrastructure improvements near the Obama Center on the South Side of Chicago is money well spent."

Some presidential overreach lasts longer than others.

The spending has already been signed into law, even though the Obama library has not received construction approval yet. Part of the holdup is that the proposed site is on public land in historic Jackson Park. That doesn't seem very progressive of the Obamas, but, you know, for certain presidents, you go above and beyond. It's just what you do. Some presidential overreach lasts longer than others.

Here's the thing about taxing the peasants so the king can build a fancy monument to himself – it's wrong. And completely unnecessary. The Obamas have the richest friends on the planet who could fund this project in their sleep. If the world simply must have a tricked-out Obama museum, then let private citizens take out their wallets voluntarily.

As the Mercury Museum proved this weekend, it is possible to build an exhibit with amazing artifacts that attracts a ton of visitors – and it cost taxpayers approximately zero dollars.

'The fool builds walls': China blasts Trump over tariffs

NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images

I can picture it now: Thousands of years ago, Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China, standing before hordes of his followers, in the Qin Dynasty, with a bright red bamboo hat on, and chanting, "Build that wall!"

It took a couple centuries to build the thing, but it got built. And it has been carefully maintained over the last 2,000 years, but, today, the Great Wall of China is so massive that astronauts can see it during good weather conditions from the lower part of low Earth orbit. The wall boasts over 3,000 miles of towers and brick embankments, with over 1,200 miles of natural defensive barriers. It's worth mentioning that the Chinese government is also exceptionally good at imposing digital walls, so much so that China ranks worst in the world for internet freedom.

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So it's a little strange to hear an editorial run by a major news network in China criticized President Trump for his proposal to build a large wall along the southern border of America.

"Following the path of expanding and opening up is China's best response to the trade dispute between China and the United States, and is also the responsibility that major countries should have to the world," the author wrote. "The wise man builds bridges, the fool builds walls."

Similarly, the Pope told reporters in 2016, "A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not the gospel."

Don't throw stones at people who want to build walls when you live in place surrounded by walls.

If you've been to the Vatican, you know that it is surrounded by enormous walls. The same goes for all the celebrities who live in heavily walled compounds—a safety measure—but who have also vehemently criticized President Trump's plans to build a wall.

You know the adage: "People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones at other people's glass houses." Perhaps the phrase needs an update: Don't throw stones at people who want to build walls when you live in place surrounded by walls.

An immaculate Nazi doctor hovers over newborn. He probes and sneers at it. "Take it away," he says. This is the very real process that Nazi doctors undertook during the era of Nazi Germany: Nazi eugenics, the studious, sterile search to find children who would define a pure breed for the German lineage. The Übermensch.

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During a speech to a delegation of Italy's Family Association in Rome on Saturday, Pope Francis referred to this cruel Nazi practice, which he used as a comparison to the increasingly popular process throughout Europe of "ending" birth defects, by offering abortions to women who have babies with chromosomal defects.

Here are two passages from the Pope's remarks:

I have heard that it's fashionable, or at least usual, that when in the first months of pregnancy they do studies to see if the child is healthy or has something, the first offer is: let's send it away.

And:

I say this with pain. In the last century the whole world was scandalized about what the Nazis did to purify the race. Today we do the same, but now with white gloves.

When CNN got the quote, and it shocked them so much that they had to verify the quote with the Vatican—in other words, it didn't fit the usual narrative.

It didn't fit the usual narrative.

The Pope also addressed claims that he has dedicated himself to LGBTQ causes:

Today, it is hard to say this, we speak of "diversified" families: different types of families. It is true that the word "family" is an analogical word, because we speak of the "family" of stars, family" of trees, "family" of animals ... it is an analogical word. But the human family in the image of God, man and woman, is the only one. It is the only one. A man and woman can be non-believers: but if they love each other and unite in marriage, they are in the image of God even if they don't believe.

The media have largely seen Pope Francis as the cool Pope, as the Obama of Catholicism. It'll be interesting to see how abruptly and severely that perspective changes.