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After racist note, Marc Faber resigns from Sprott, Ivanhoe, NovaGold

Marc Faber, the markets prognosticator known as "Dr. Doom," has resigned his board seats at Sprott Inc., Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. and NovaGold Resources Inc. on Tuesday after his latest newsletter ignited international outrage, with the publication of a litany of inflammatory and racist comments.

"Thank God white people populated America and not the blacks," wrote Mr. Faber, who is managing director with investment advisory and fund management firm Marc Faber Ltd., in his latest monthly newsletter.

"Otherwise the U.S. would look like Zimbabwe, which it might look like one day anyway, but at least America enjoyed 200 years in the economic and political sun under a white majority."

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In the publication, Mr. Faber was also highly critical of the removal of Confederate statues in the United States – an issue that generated much controversy after white supremacists marched in Charlottesville, Va., in the summer to protest the city's plans to take them down.

"The very same people" he wrote of U.S. liberals "are now disturbed by statues of honourable people whose only crime was to defend what all societies had done for more than 5,000 years: keep a part of the population enslaved."

In the newsletter, the 71-year-old Mr. Faber claimed he is "not a racist" but wrote that the reality, "no matter how politically incorrect," needs to be spelled out.

"If stating some historical facts makes me a racist, then I suppose that I am a racist," Mr. Faber later told Bloomberg news service in an e-mail.

Mr. Faber did not respond to The Globe and Mail's request for comment.

Hours after his newsletter comments were made public, Toronto-based asset manager Sprott asked Mr. Faber to step down from its board of directors, a position he had held since 2010.

"Recent comments by Dr. Faber are deeply disappointing and are completely contradictory with the views of Sprott and its employees," said Peter Grosskopf, CEO of Sprott, the precious metals asset manager, in a release.

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"We pride ourselves on being a diverse organization and comments of this sort will not be tolerated."

Through a spokesperson, Mr. Grosskopf declined further comment.

In a release late Tuesday, Ivanhoe Mines, which had employed Mr. Faber as a director since 2004, said it "disagrees with, and deplores, the personally-held views about race," that Mr. Faber had published. The Vancouver-based international mining company, which was co-founded by mining financier Robert Friedland, said it had requested and accepted Mr. Faber's resignation.

NovaGold also announced in a release on Tuesday that Mr. Faber had resigned as a director. He had served on the board of the Vancouver-based company, which has a gold project in Alaska, since 2010. In a regulatory filing earlier this year, NovaGold said it benefited from Mr. Faber's services because of his "vast knowledge of economics, global market trends, precious metals and commodities."

Mr. Faber was born in Switzerland but is now based in Thailand. He worked as a managing director with the defunct U.S. investment bank Drexel Burnham Lambert from 1978 to 1990. At one time, Drexel Burnham was the junk-bond king of Wall Street.

Mr. Faber's subscription investment newsletter, The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report, is well read in the industry, and he is the author of a number of books, including Tomorrow's Gold – Asia's Age of Discovery. He is perhaps best known for making contrarian and sometimes extremely bearish macro calls. On his website, he claims that he warned his clients to cash out before the great stock market crash of 1987.

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He also says he predicted the late 1990s Asia-Pacific financial crisis. Mr. Faber holds a PhD in economics from the University of Zurich and goes by the nickname "Dr. Doom." He appears regularly on business television, both in Canada and the United States. He also acts as an adviser to a number of private investment funds.

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About the Author
Capital Markets Reporter

Niall McGee joined the Globe and Mail in 2014 as a capital markets reporter. Previously, he spent a decade at Business News Network (BNN) as a reporter and segment producer. In 2016, he won a National Newspaper Award (NNA) in business alongside veteran reporter Jacquie McNish for an investigative series into alleged insider trading at online gambling company Amaya Inc. More

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