Well it seems this story just keeps getting more and more interesting. Here we have a 13 minute techno tour de force (sorry Bill, I had to!) from Mr. Gray detailing his side of this debacle. Well worth watching and pausing from time to time to read and scan the very interesting internal emails exchanged between Chris Duane and the Mulligan Mint.
In short: Chris and Rob became friends through a fellow “anarcho-capitalist”, and a business relationship soon developed. Gray’s Mulligan Mint originally outsourced the Silver Bullet Silver Shield rounds to The Old Glory mint, which promptly went bankrupt and into receivership. Given the deluge of sales that rolled in thanks to Duane’s marketing (and affiliates like SGTReport.com), the Mulligan Mint decided to roll into production mode a full 9 months ahead of their original schedule and start making the rounds and proofs themselves.
Inevitably they experienced tremendous growing pains but did their best to fulfill orders, and things were looking very cheery (read: a lot of money was being made). Then, sometime around mid-April a very tired Chris Duane fresh off a trip to Disneyland promptly “broke up” with Rob. Rob tried to keep things quiet and sort it all out but Chris took a very vocal stance online and effectively made a pariah out of the Mulligan Mint.
Rob reflects that after Chris began marketing their break-up online, sales began to plummet (by 97%). Unfortunately, the Mulligan Mint had taken on huge overhead expenses and hired a ton of people to keep the coins rolling out and the operation running smoothly, almost entirely for the SBSS collection. Without any sales coming in, the rest is history.
While the 13 minute monologue sure is interesting and clarifies a lot of what happened behind the scenes at the Mint these last few fateful months, many questions still linger. First, what is the deal with the 71,000 ounces of silver owed to Republic Metals? Second, why did Chris decide to promptly break his business relationship with Rob?
And last but not least: how do we as a stacking community respond to the evolution of stacking into a lifestyle, where the “gurus” and “guardians” of the path are making money hand over fist (Chris Duane was paid $184,000 by the Mulligan Mint according to Rob), while reserving the rights to the screenplay for the next rendition of Jersey Shore: Hyperfiat Bonanza edition?
Only time will tell.
Full disclosure: I like Chris Duane’s videos (entertainment factor), but I also think his anathema to Bitcoins is kind of a red-flag. Keep an open mind.