Chances are you have heard of the Hunt Brothers. The infamous band of brothers who supposedly cornered the silver market in 1980, driving it to an astonishing $50 an ounce.
But what I’m betting you didn’t know was that Lamar Hunt (of the infamous family) coined the name Super Bowl.
See the Super Bowl was the championship game between the 2 opposing leagues at the time. The well established National Football League and the upstart American Football League.
Turns out that Lamar Hunt negotiated the merger between the 2 competing leagues to create the NFL you know today.
And he did so as the 34 year old owner of the Kansas City Chiefs, formerly the Dallas Texans.
You see the Hunt brothers grew up under the tutelage of their high stakes poker-playing, oil tycoon father, Haroldson Lafayette Hunt, Jr. (Who at one point, was the richest man in the world.)
H.L. set up trusts for each of his boys which included shares in the family’s crown jewel, the billion dollar behemoth, Placid Oil Company.
And these trusts are what funded the brothers’ business ventures, the Kansas City Chiefs included.
H.L. vehemently distrusted the government and their free floating fiat currencies and taught his boys to do the same. He railed to his sons the importance of owning “real” tangible assets like oil, land, cattle and precious metals.
During the 1960’s Lamar Hunt focused on the Kansas City Chiefs while his older brother Bunker concentrated on oil fields and race horses.
Bunker had managed to strike a deal with Libya’s King Idris, acquiring the drilling rights to Libya. But a young revolutionary had other plans. Muammar Gadaffi, led a successful coup against the monarchy in 1969. Shortly thereafter Gadaffi nationalized Libya’s oil fields.
Bunker was still a billionaire after the recent Libyan debacle but the event polarized his distrust for government even further.
Shortly thereafter the Hunt Brothers began acquiring silver. They felt that excessive government spending in Vietnam and elsewhere would lead to inflation and the erosion of the value of the dollar.
Their initial speculation soon became an obsession. Between 1973 and 1979, Bunker Hunt led his brothers in the accumulation of close to 200 million ounces of silver.
In September of 1979 the Hunt lode was worth around $2 billion… four short months later it reached nearly $10 billion (as silver hit $50).
But that didn’t last long. Within 6 months silver plummeted to $10 an ounce, wiping out the family. Bunker was heavily leveraged in silver and had to put up his shares in Placid Oil as collateral to avoid bankruptcy.
In the aftermath the Hunts were found guilty of cornering the silver market and even conspiring with Saudi sheikhs during their speculative mania.
As recently as 2011 we saw silver come close to breaking the Hunt High of $50 as it touched $48.50.
One thing’s for sure… silver is hands-down one of the best ways to protect yourself from the ravages of inflation.
Take the Lombardi trophy that the Kansas City Chiefs (currently run by Lamar’s son, Clark Hunt) won just a few days ago. The silver content alone (3.2 kg) of the championship statue cost $6,382.
Back in 1966 (when the trophy was conceived on a napkin and later forged by Tiffany’s) its silver content cost only $469.
Just goes to show… the Hunt Brothers were onto something.