Herman Cain, President Donald Trump’s pick for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board, frequently acted as a gold company spokesperson on his radio program. He warned listeners in advertisements that they need to put some of their assets in gold because there’s a recession coming and “even central banks are buying gold every year in astronomical amounts. What do they know that you don’t?”
Cain is a right-wing commentator who was previously the chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and a Republican presidential candidate. Cain dropped out of the race in December 2011 after several women reported him for sexual misconduct. The Washington Post reported that one of those women, Sharon Bialek, has said “she is willing to testify before the Senate Banking Committee if called upon. And she said Cain’s past behavior with women, including three others who have accused him of sexual harassment, should disqualify him from the Fed post.”
Media Matters previously reported that Cain sent dubious medical information to his mailing list and also sent scammy financial emails that touted now-virtually-worthless penny stocks, pushed a “weird trick” that supposedly “adds up to $1,000 a month to Social Security checks,” and boasted of a "moneymaking strategy" that could "turn $1,000 into $800,000." He also sent sponsored emails touting the alleged benefits of investing in precious metals, including a message from a gold company which claimed that a return to the gold standard “could provide the biggest wealth building event of our lifetime.”
In the past, Cain has advocated for the gold standard, which would tie U.S. currency to the value of gold. He recently told The Wall Street Journal: “I just know that no, I am not a beat-the-drum advocate for the gold standard these days because our economy is too complex. Too complex.”
On his now-defunct WSB program, Cain frequently recorded advertisements for ITM Trading, an Arizona-based company that describes itself as a “full service buy/sell precious metals firm. We deal in most forms of physical gold and silver, shipped directly to your door.” Cain’s ads played into his listeners’ economic fears and touted gold as a protection against “economic calamity.” Here are four examples of ads that Cain aired on his show during 2016:
“Have you noticed how fast gas prices are rising lately? Did consumer demand suddenly explode or is this just another Wall Street manipulation? Could this push us into the recession I have been warning about? If so, your investments could go down quite a bit, 10, 20, 30% or more. The good news is there is something you can do to protect yourself. You put some of your assets in gold. Why? When traditional investments are losing value, gold tends to rise in value. It’s a hedge against economic calamity and it’s been considered a safe haven for thousands of years.”
“With the Dow rallying back to recent highs, everything looks good on the surface. But the underlying data is saying something very different. Some analysts are saying another recession may be on the horizon. Have you heeded my advice and gotten some gold from ITM Trading? Well I have, and you should too.”
“It’s almost time for the presidential election and if you are like the majority of Americans, you are praying that your candidate will win and provide some much needed confidence and economic security for the country. But what if the unthinkable happens? Well regardless of the outcome, you can protect yourself now by owning gold and silver.
“Ninety three percent of polled Americans do not trust in our Congress to do what’s best for our country. That is why gold and silver are more important than ever. … Even central banks are buying gold every year in astronomical amounts. What do they know that you don’t?”
During one segment on his radio program, a listener called in and asked Cain questions about whether he should buy gold. He responded that he’s “not an expert” on gold but advised the caller to contact ITM Trading.