Racist remarks: 'Dr Doom' faces more backlash

The organisers of a wealth conference in Singapore next month have removed Mr Marc Faber as keynote speaker.
The organisers of a wealth conference in Singapore next month have removed Mr Marc Faber as keynote speaker.

NEW YORK • Investment guru Marc Faber won't be a keynote speaker at a wealth conference in Singapore next month after organisers reversed an earlier decision to keep the veteran investor on the programme despite his racist comments in a newsletter.

"To make clear our position, we decided to remove Marc Faber as a speaker," the event's founder, hedge fund manager Mikk Talpsepp, said in an e-mail last Friday, adding that the move expresses "the values of our conference". He also said the event will add a clause to its contracts to make it easier to remove speakers who make "inappropriate or racist" remarks.

Mr Faber, the markets prognosticator known as "Dr Doom", has been dismissed from three more company boards after comments in his latest newsletter suggested the United States had only prospered because it was settled by white people.

US-based Sunshine Silver Mining Corp; Vietnam Growth Fund managed by Dragon Capital; and Indochina Capital Corporation had all dismissed him, Mr Faber told Reuters last Friday.

Mr Faber has now been fired from six boards with Canadian fund manager Sprott, NovaGold Resources and Ivanhoe Mines letting him go last Tuesday after his remarks went viral on Twitter.

In the October edition of his newsletter, The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report, Mr Faber criticised the move to tear down monuments commemorating the US Civil War military leaders of the Confederacy.

"Thank God white people populated America, not the blacks," Mr Faber wrote in his newsletter. "Otherwise, the US 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."

He continued: "I am not a racist, but the reality - no matter how politically incorrect - needs to be spelt out as well."

Mr Faber, a Swiss investor based in Thailand, who oversees US$300 million (S$408 million) in assets, said he has not lost any client money, and still stands by his comments and will keep publishing his newsletter.

"My clients all know me for more than 30 years. They know that to call me a racist is inappropriate," he stressed.

He said he has not seen a significant number of subscribers cancel their subscriptions to his newsletter as a result of the controversy.

"No, I think most people actually agree with me and certainly defend freedom of expression even if it does not coincide with their views."

On his board dismissals, Mr Faber said: "If saying what I said leads to these consequences, I prefer not to be on these boards. I think the corporate world is now run by compliance people. In this context, I understand their firing me."

Business television networks such as CNBC and Fox Business said they would remove Mr Faber from booking lists for their shows.

REUTERS, BLOOMBERG

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 24, 2017, with the headline 'Racist remarks: 'Dr Doom' faces more backlash'. Print Edition | Subscribe