I understand that calling Marin Katusa’s new book a work of genius puts my credibility at stake, since we are like family here at Casey Research. So let me start with a fact: I started reading The Colder War intending to skim it, as I did not actually expect to enjoy it. I wasn’t even sure I’d like it.
I’m being blunt here because, while Marin is a very street-smart math genius who has taken to investing in the resource sector like a fish to water, he’s never been the strongest writer in our group.
This goes all the way back to the very beginning of our association. Marin came to one of our first Casey summits and kept pestering me to look at some research he’d done on mineral exploration in Ecuador. He was like a kid pulling on the pant leg of a circus performer. I was busy, but he wouldn’t go away, so I had a look… and the data was astonishingly deep and compelling. The writing, however, was nothing to brag about.
I decided to try Marin out as an assistant anyway, based on his manifest analytical abilities—and the rest is history.
Flash forward almost a decade, and my “inner editor” still winces from time to time when I read Marin’s reports. So when I picked up The Colder War, I knew the data would be good, but I was frankly afraid the writing would be flawed, making it hard to say nice things about the book and still look myself in the mirror.
The content did not disappoint, of course—but I’m delighted to report that the writing astounded me. In fact, it was hard to put the book down. I was on deadline, but the story kept me wanting to know what came next… In the end, I had to force myself to put it down and finish writing the dispatch I had to publish the next day.
I should have known better than to underestimate Marin Katusa—won’t make that mistake again.
The Colder War covers the latest developments in the global struggle among nations and leaders for advantage and dominance. This is an important topic that will impact everyone on our planet and obviously has important implications for investors.
Unfortunately, this is a subject everyone has opinions about but few really understand. The average person is drowning in an ocean of disinformation, ill-informed pontification, and outright bullshytt—propaganda emitted by one side or another in the conflict.
It’s vital to think clearly about the renewed conflict between East and West, and Marin’s analysis cuts through all the nonsense and biased coverage like a laser through fog.
But here’s what was, for me, the reason I’m willing to call The Colder War a work of genius. Marin and I have both traveled extensively and spent a lot of time in former Soviet republics and China. We see many things the same way but have interpreted others differently. I am particularly sensitive to people who’ve never been to Ukraine trying to outdo each other in sensational interpretations of the facts on the ground. I disagree with some of Marin’s take on the Ukrainian situation. But… He made a good case, based on documented facts, forcing me to reconsider my own position.
I’m human, and as fallible as any other, but it’s very, very rare that anyone can make me rethink a position like this, especially on one that I know I know more about than most people (outside of Ukraine).
And—joy, oh joy!—the writing itself really is great. I started out noting a few clever turns of phrase and cutting insights, glad to have a few gems to quote, but quickly gave up. They came so fast and furious, I’d have ended up quoting most of the book.
Another thing that struck me about this was how much history Marin managed to weave into his political and economic analysis. Many people try this, but the result is usually distracting, if not outright boring. Not The Colder War, which is a fascinating read.
Here’s another shocker about Marin’s book, for an arrogant guy like me. I don’t often bother with more than skimming of many books, because they have nothing new to teach me. I’m usually quite happy and impressed if a book can contribute one or two genuinely new ideas, hopefully along with supporting facts and other useful information. But I can honestly say that I learned a lot reading Marin’s book. I found myself pausing more than once in almost every chapter, thinking: “Hm. I didn’t know that!”
If the history books foisted upon me in school had been half as engaging as The Colder War, I might well have ended up being a historian.
That’s how good this book is.
I just wish it hadn’t ended where it did—there’s so much more to say, directions to go with the ideas. Fortunately, I get to read Marin’s work in his energy publications, so I know where to go to get more.
I’ll let readers decide for themselves if that’s an option they want to pursue. For now, I’ll leave it with my recommendation to read The Colder War. I’m confident it will be time and money well spent—and enjoyed.