BLOG:    2007-2009 Active BLOG



BLOG Archive 2006

BLOG Archives 2000-2005



We've all seen some of those other sites; their 'blog' started about six weeks ago and has maybe 12 posts. 

Well, they've to start somewhere...


Here at the CoinMine, we've been analyzing things in quite a bit of detail for the past nine years; and we've been

spot-on more than a random roll of the dice would indicate.  Browse below through a few hundred pages of

observations, picks, calls, diatribes, rants, and raves and mine your own nuggets.


SPOTLIGHT ON:  The mercury Mewl - The Internet's Favorite Demi-go


  • 12.31.08    2008: The nation turned increasingly divided and intolerant

    Fomented by the propaganda developers one-quarter picks blue and one-quarter pick red and half refuse to play the reindeer games.

    Too bad some folks will close their mind to the point they will only listen to a handful from amongst the chorus.  Some clam up and can only hear the lower vibrations whilst the higher notes call and respond from a full orchestra - swirling around their clouded vision.  Such is the tragedy of our time.

    I’ve learned from everyone I’ve met over the years here.  I surmise the wisdom each has imparted as we’ve passed he hat has aided my endeavors and kept those cold chills blowing in the world from dampening the hearth keeping my world warm.

    Best wishes to all in 2009.

    12.31.08    End Year Performances

    $834.50 Price of Gold on 1.1.08

    $880.80 Price of Gold 12.31.08

    Dow was down 33.8% in the same period. The S&P performed even worse.

    Gold protected against both inflation and deflation, just as it should.

    12.29.08    Back from Christmas holiday

    Breaking News: The 1994 edition of the booklet Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options
    has been amended to reflect changes in the Options Clearing Corporation's rules and those  of certain options markets.

    Source: Etrade


    12.21.08    Time to prepare: Secure Your Water Supply

    You need to secure your water.  There is nothing more important than water - even guns and gold (maybe god, or love).  You NEED water. No water = death in 3-7 days.  Bad water = sickness for 3days-7 months. Maybe you live, maybe not. For most of you, begin to build rain collection barrels which feed off your gutters. Then build simple grey water systems. This will control your quantity, you can worry about quality later (but not too much later).

    You can trade clean water for ANYTHING. Read some first-person stories about survival during the bleak times, especially in cities/suburbs. They all speak to the critical need for water.

    If you have a well, get the boring log NOW. Will be very helpful for you to know the screened interval and type annular/sanitary seal, etc.  When you find the drill log, and the screen interval, you can calculate the power needed to bring water to the surface. That will help you design a hand-powered pump which you can use to surface water when the power goes out. There are some simple yet very effective types of hand pumps. Ingenious types include a bicycle hooked as a pump or even a stair master hooked to a pump.

    For those in the city, find the suppliers for plastic bags which fill the entire contents of the bathtub.

    Better safe and too waste some hours and a few hundred dollars than the alternative.

    You are familiar with the oil, financial, moral, industrial, and economic panics.

    The water panics/wars will catch most the planet completely by surprise.

    Don't think so? Try this exercise: Figure out how much you pay for clean, safe, delivered, easy water. Is that a deal or not! Now imagine the tap goes dry (or more likely feeds giardia, cryptosporidium, etc.).

    Q: What would you pay NOW for clean water.

    A: Anything

    12.21.08    Another Solstice passes by; time to prepare: Multiple Streams of Passive Income

    1. Multi Level Marketing;

    2. Building Royalties;

    3. Internet sales/development/affiliation;

    4. Non-professional part time gigs (speaking, honoraria, buy-high and sell-higher; consulting; piece-work).

    Unless you are already rich, you need to build the Active Stream to supply/feed the downstream (Passive stream).

    How many of those boomers now facing retirement thought they could live on passive streams alone, via yield on bonds etc.

    Most of them I imagine, the ones who actually amasses something approaching critical mass which could sustain their annual monetary needs via passive investments.

    I was chatting with a woman whose portfolio dropped from 4Million to 3million. She was incredibly scared. Can you imagine that? All because her eggs were entirely in one quadrant (passive income). She didn’t even have it on her view horizon that she needed more income streams.

    One trick pony’s are wonderful entertainment, but the shtick wears thin after a while – and they ain’t much good for work.

    12.21.08    Time to Sell Your Business?

    Perhaps no time like the present to sell? Sounds goofy perhaps on first blush, but consider this:

    Many companies now look fine (or at least so-so) on paper. Last quarters and last years metrics are still stable.  However, look at what next quarters sales growth, PEG, PE, Cap Rate, etc. are going to look like. For MANY businesses, it won't be pretty.

    Sure you can sell ONLY if you have a buyer, right? And who will buy now, nobody can get a loan, right?

    Well, there's a whole slew of boomers who are sitting on 3-month T-bills, with perhaps a majority of their life savings RIGHT NOW. They are scared of the RE market; scared of the stock market; to old/tired/stuck in their ways to START a new business; and - most of all - THEY CANT LIVE on THE YIELD that their Life Savings provides. The models had a 4% withdrawal rate based on a 6% yield. Heck, who is making 6% Year over Year right now (Madoff).

    So, LOTS of MONEY, Nowhere to GO. A viable business - ESPECIALLY one that comes with an experienced manager (you, as the former owner).

    Perhaps not so far fetched right now...

    12.20.08    New York Times covers their own, sinking together


    The NYT tries to, giving them the benefit of the doubt, cover the Madoff story:




    The article is neither an opus (read in 8 minutes) nor penetrating, nor illuminating. Rather, it reads as an offshoot of the social pages - trying to drop as many names in the shortest span possible of the 'who's who" rubric of fools that chased greed to deeper and stranger combinations.

    Indeed, the eleven 'authors' seemed eager to line up at the trough, needing to see their name associated with the story, in print - perhaps one last time. As mentioned by a previous commentator, and as evidenced by the sheer shallowness in this article passing as investigative journalism, the NYT is nearing the end. A rotting carcass still moving/lumbering through inertia, if not life on its own.

    Rather than follow through on its mission, the NYT ends where it should have begin - answering some of the open questions. Instead they sign off as:

    "The questions have piled up since then: Could Mr. Madoff have sustained this worldwide fraud for so long by himself? Why didn’t regulators, in Washington and abroad, catch him sooner? And will anything be recovered for investors, some of whom have lost every penny?"

    Yes indeed. How did his daughter marry a previous regulator of the firm? How could so many mine the dark depths of greed to chase unrealistic returns (with no BIG SIX oversight), based only upon reference by their 'golf buddy'. How could his sons (the ones running the firm) and his brother not know anything about the lies and deceit? Yeah right.

    Lets face it, Madoff is a fall guy. The gent is probably suffering from some malady - sees his time on this orb is short, and is obviously taking the fall for others. A very TIMELY and CONVENIENT way to write off billions of dollars in defunct SIVs and underwater tranches held on the books of the 'nine banks who must not fail'.

    This type of story, and the treatment provided by our 'public guardians' - the regulators and there press - will provide text book examples, literally, documenting the failure of our once proud and innovative nation through hubris, distraction and greed.

    The corruption present al all levels of governmental management and regulation will no allow speculative positions to fully deleverage or unwind completely. An organic depression is natural to both the credit and economic cycles. However, the populace have heretofore supported shifting the deleveraging to other pools (TBills), clients (asia) and future generations. This compliant acceptance allows the continuation of such policy - indefinitely (or until public acceptance changes).


    12.19.08    The State of California Cannot sell bonds, any bonds.


    The states’ credit rating is on the steep and slippery slope. This week the Department of Finance and The Legislative Analyst (E. Hill) report the state 44Billion in the hole over a two year period. 


    Earlier the Sac Bee and Fresno B (carrying the AP line) reported just infrastructure bonds were no longer moving.  However the Pooled Investment Board is no longer issuing ANY state Bonds. 


    The complete inability for the press to report anything regarding a factual account of the state’s or nations financed, much less the investigative reporting of such, provides the opaque and sickenly sweet icing on the empty calorie cake, rotting from the inside out.




    Note that the largest financial story of the week has ZERO comments on the column, in one of the states largest demographic areas - Fresno. Ho hum, maybe we can get conversation started on which movies opening this weekend are worse (worse than the headlines).


    12.18.08    Someone else posted, salient point:

    I lifted the post entirely (no link available):

    has'nt anyone learned the lessons of 911 ? -
    the RCA dome was imploded today. thousand pounds of dynamite and thousands of man hours to set up.

    when all they had to do was light a kerosene fireball outside and set some small office furniture on fire inside.

    poof ... building comes straight down

    12.14.08    Why American’s Don’t Understand Finance


    Part 334.2, section A SUB 2.33, Item 7 Paragraph 4:

    Lack of Basic Math Skills.




    “The national price for unleaded gas has dropped more than 125 percent from a year ago. Diesel prices have fallen more than 80 percent.






    Wow, when the value of your one-dollar coin goes down 100% it has no worth to anyone. When it goes down 125%, you are willing to give me the dollar and an additional quarter for my troubles?


    12.14.08    The Private Corporation Federal Reserve states it feels no reason

    To explain to congress or the lowly citizenry – much less the taxpayer –

    Where the billions/trillions of bailout money went.


    "Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- The Federal Reserve refused a request by Bloomberg News to disclose the recipients of more than $2 trillion of emergency loans from U.S. taxpayers and the assets the central bank is accepting as collateral."


    BTW, in case you were really curious –it went directly to the Chinese and some politically connected bankers, politicians and friends in Illinois and New York.




    12.14.08    In Search of an Equities Market Bottom: Indicators

    Only 2% of stocks on the NYSE are above their 50 day EMA.

    Apparently the lowest this indicator has ever been.


    As determined by Chuck Carlson and reported by Gabriel Wisdom


    Hi indicator is that equities are oversold when 40% of stocks are trading below their 50Day EMA and stocks are overbought when 70% are trading above the 50Day EMA.


    12.10.08    28-day Treasury notes now trading at negative interest rates

    A very dire situation, first time that has happened since 1929.


    12.10.08    Just ANOTHER 650 Scientists

    Who are blowing the whistle on the global warming scam:




    12.10.08    Poor California (really poor!)

    Supposedly with a deficit of $11.2, $13.4, $30 Billion dollars. Whatever. The CAFR doesn't agree. What another bogus scam. All out looting in broad daylight. For that matter, if the deficit actually existed, why not follow the simple advice that I personally gave our last treasury secretary:

    1. Overturn proposition 13. That will free up Billions of dollars in short; a sustainable tax base.

    2. Allow the Glamis gold mine and others in Jackson, Rand Mountain and Red Mountain to operate.

    3. With the newly mined gold, mint the California gold specie again.

    4. Issue a new 100-year State of California gold bond - actually backed 10% by physical California gold-coin. The state would have the highest credit rating on the planet of any government entity for the past 150 years.


    Problem over.


    12.10.08    Day Without a Gay

    The Gay-out was a complete bust. Nobody noticed, much less cared. I guess it worked if their goal was to  make a laughing stock out of their cause. Heck, if you don't need the work why not less someone who whines less take the position?


    12.10.08    Oh, poor Obama.

    Not even in office yet and he is already caught up in a payola scandal. Only fitting for the most corrupt individual to ever hold the office, and that's saying something!  How much do you think he paid (souled his sole) for the last job (or the current one?).  How will he pay for his wife's new exotic metal ring now that he will no longer be getting a cut from the bribery offered for his previous job? 


    More on the fools-gold plated affirmative action fraud parading as a statesman:




    And poor 'ol little Jesse Jackson Jr. His daddy has to work overtime making an ass of himself at the Republic Windows and Doors company so his son will have the cashola for the payola. Will cost a little extra now, mr. prospective crooked senator #5.


    12.9.08    Blagojevich - the wretched soul - tried to take on the wrong crown, the bankers. 


    At least he wasn't 'Kennedied'.  But, he did try to cut off the spigot for Bank of America.  A big no-no. Now his life is ruined. Just yesterday he stated the State of Illinois would no longer do business with Bank of America.  Ostensibly b.c. they would no longer to lend to the Republic Windows and Doors company.


    Oh yeah, remember the other guy who tried to expose BAC for predatory lending practices, in collusion with the Bushites.

    His name was former SEC commissioner and NY Governor Elliott Spitzer!

    As documented here:




    Three weeks later he was ruined.


    BAC is one of the 9 chosen ones. They are supported at YOUR expense.


    Thanks to R. Paul for pointing this one out, he knows...


    12.05.08    Haggard Wisdom, or another Merle Pearle

    From – Are the Good Times Really over -:

    First line:

    “I wish the dollar was still silver, it was backed, and the country was still strong…”

    Another gem, the last line of - America First -:

    “Why don’t we liberate these united states, were the ones who need it most. You think I’m blowing smoke, boys it ain’t no joke, I make 20 trips a year coast to coast.”

    Though – kinda hard to swallow anymore after watching him back hillary. Just another show.

    Quite a troubled thought, should the panic of 2008 lead to the roughest patch in US History.

    The panic of 1907 gave us a nasty recession not ended until the Federal Reserve formed to gain us entry into WWI.

    The Panic of 1929 brought that depression which really didn’t ameliorate until the mid 1940’s and didn’t end until the 1950s.

    The Depression of the late 1850s proved especially troubling.  Hard to pin it on one or two event, more like an organic decay. The rot ate so deep that the Civil War couldn’t flush it all away and weren’t on decent footing until re-construction bore fruit in the early 1870s.

    Sobering thought – those 11, 22, or 14 year periods of trouble in the past all contained a very vicious war, not at the end, but in the middle or the depression.

    12.5.08    Question for the Canucks

    Where does the 1.95 come from for every vote, and where does it go?


    12.4.08    On the Cost of Housing

    Mine has been going down!

    Over 12% this year! Got a nice fat check last year from the county and one yesterday, as a point in fact, from my favorite bankrupt mortgage screwer - Countrywide.

    The lower tax rate will allow me to higher a rental agency to rent out and manage this place when I leave. At least that's the plan.

    Read someone else bagging on Vallejo and sent this reply:

    Are you aware of many cities amongst the oldest in western North America with populations over 100k, a major university (and two other college campuses), amusement park (which alone brings in several hundred seasonal workers a year from foreign countries), and major transit hub (recently stolen by the state) that don’t have any ‘bad dudes’?   

    Further, why would those employees leaving the public service sector fear the budget re-negotiation unless they were amongst the lowest performing members of the force?  A public sector RIFF historically clears out the worst performing actors.  Not sure who, exactly, are those individuals are that you indicate are quitting and ‘going’ elsewhere (presumably to other fire/police forces?).  Local fire/police are not hiring to any large degree.  The majority of those who left this year simply retired. Some of the more forward-thinking ones left the state a couple years ago at the height of the housing market to return home to childhood locales in the Midwest as both a financial and family decision.

    (Note: Vallejo-bashing actually supports my personal interests as I am looking to buy additional property in the city.  The residential housing sector has the highest value-to-price ratio compared to the 18 other counties I track in California and Nevada.)

    Interestingly enough, just this morning I received the reimbursement check from my mortgage company.  You see, the county LOWERED our taxes by 55% since I purchased the single family residential last October.

    The city is actually making some very sound, if difficult financial and political decisions. They, as a group, finally let the cat out of the bag earlier this year when they admitted the city could not meet financial obligations made by previous administrations.  The county, along with thousands of other cities, counties and states across our bankrupt nation, simply haven’t grown the courage to admit the situation and begin to work on solutions.  That’s the reason Vallejo receives the press- not that it’s different - only that it moved first.

    I chime in only because your premise is otherwise quite sound and the pejorative statements subtract from such.  The entire topic (mass scale bankruptcy) fascinates me to no end, has been an area of inquiry of mine for years, and thus attracts my attention here.


    12.3.08    The Russian Purge of Lenin continues to fascinate

    Though another one just as fascinating, and rarely mentioned, is the German purge of the late 1840's. The burgeoning democratic revolution failed. Many of the agitators left the country and headed for north and south America. The Germans who settled in the states greatly advanced the nascent technological revolution in the Ohio valley and growing western cities of Cincinnati and Saint Louis and the mining, assaying and metallurgical efforts in California and Nevada. 



    One notable difference in those purges of past totalitarian states and the systemic authoritarianism of today: Back then the intellectuals were purged as enemies of the great state leviathan. Today the intellectuals are tenured tentacles of the propaganda state, espousing voluntary credit slavery to the great beast.


    12.3.08    Another great chart; quite concerning at that:


    Gary Kaltbaum yesterday also pointed out the brewing bubble

    In the 30-yr long government bond.

    T-bills now yielding at a 50 year low.


    12.3.08    Gold behaving just as it should in a deflation!

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic


    12.1.2008    12 days of Christmas cost


    Gold drops over 11% but the laying geese dive over 33%.  Interesting how labor and performing arts are just now rising in price, chasing the price push of the commodities which peaked months ago. Still, a rise in paycheck of 3%, against a backdrop of doubles and triples in the cost of necessities and a drop in assets provides for a Christmas dinner without much fat this year for the working people. 

    As usual, MSNBC butchers the article. Even their attempt at providing a link to the story originator, PNC, was hijacked by a forex scammer.  Typical MSNBC fare/failure.

    Too bad since PNC did a good job with the story this year:


    Though as a point in fact, not as good as my 2006 write-up, which I won't top here either:

    12.17.06 The cost of living in 2006: The 22-year 12 Day's of Christmas Index hits an all time high.


    You've heard of the big mac index, how much it costs to buy a meal at any mcdonalds in the world serves as an indicator of the

    value (purchasing power) of both the host country currency and the value of the currency used to purchase the meal.  The 12

    days of Christmas index is an inflation gauge that measures labor and goods necessary to purchase the 12 categories compared to

    the year previous.  Let's examine:


    http://www.pncchristmaspriceindex.com/    and



    Of course, PNC bank - as party-line establishment as they come toes the federal line and determines that the 12-day index is only

    up year-over-year of 3.1 percent, almost exactly the published fairy-tale number (fittingly) promulgated by feds as the CPI.


    Lets really work the numbers:


    A partridge in a pear tree.

    Making a double top high this year? Perhaps the h5N1 virus has spooked players in the partridge future markets?


    Two Turtle Doves

    Still at a twenty-two year low and flat-lined?  Why hasn't the cost of doves caught up with partridges? Perhaps the whole dove

    industry is selling soft this year because peace doves are certainly not evidently in demand anywhere on this planet given the

    looming and active civil wars afflicting a moderate percentage of the world's recognized political countries. At any rate, soiled

    doves seem to be multiplying around my neighborhood now that wal-mart ain't hiring like they once did.


    Three French Hens

    Given the inelasticity of the market, obviously a product of France's rigged market system.


    Four Calling Birds

    Since these birds actually talk, and give some indication of their state of mind and general maintenance costs required to maintain,

    they have proven a real market - albeit one increasingly expensive and at 22-year highs.


    Five Gold Rings

    Yeah right, those haven't appreciated any in value over the last year either (snicker). Gold is only near multi-year highs and the

    supposed cost of a ring is near the five year low. Guess they keep factoring in more chinese slave labor into the equation. Given

    the shape of things on this side of the globe they could add in the wages of US workers next year for a further decrease...


    Six Geese a Laying.

    Well, if their product - the golden egg isn't widely sought - then the bird flu might keep the ganders' kin near all time highs.


    Seven Swans a Swimming. Not much movement in this market. Maybe the closing of the last US Pink Flamingo producing

    company in Florida this year has something to do with it...


    8 Maids a Milking.

    Man o' Man, I see those Merry Maid cars everywhere, so I don't get why this input has remained so hard over the last few years!?!?!

    And given the imputed labor rate of $41.21 hr. to 'milk' I'm not sure what union the Milking Maids have, but they're doing a fair

    pinch better than the merry maids I've seen.!


    9 Ladies Dancing

    I suppose, naturally, that all depends on weather you go the lap-dance route where you think you are getting off on the cheap by

    using all those one-dollar bills but it all adds up on an hourly basis or wether you go the outcall-route using Craigslist and hire the

    'ladies' on a contract basis.


    10 Lords a Leaping

    Not sure who's looking for that type of action, but they keep paying more every year!


    11 Pipers Piping

    More expensive every year, guess nobody plays the flute anymore. And the casinos sure don't hire much live music anymore, not

    that the Blue Men Group is really into flutes or anything.


    12 Drummers drumming

    Hey, Little Drummer Boy is one of my favorite Christmas tunes for sure! Pah Rum pah rum pum in another bottle of rum,

    everybody's invited!!!


    So much for the twelve daze of merry haze, now, lets take a look at what it costs to just light the Christmas tree:


    Cost of power generally up 10% year over year (this on top of a very large increase in 2005).

    Cost of copper near all time highs (needed to distribute power from production plant to your home).

    Cost of tree: flat

    Cost of permit to chop tree: Up again/still.

    Cost of presents under the tree. Up; see above.


    Sure, if you don't plan on celebrating you could save a few quid.  Pass the rum...


    12.1.08    The Equity Markets are Cratering Again

     I like how the headlines spout out how the markets were down huge today because of reason x or y. However, the financial 'press' failed to note the 'coincidence' that Hilary was nominated Secretary of State today.  the markets tanked for that reason. Looked at how the equities performed (tanked) the first two days after Obama was nominated. Same thing.

    12.1.08    Letter to the Editor - New York Times Company; Dec 1, 2008

    To the Editor:

    Citigroup's troubles should come as no surprise. In 1998, when people like Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin were busy persuading Congress to eliminate New Deal firewalls between financial services sectors, many advocates warned that this would create unaccountable and potentially unstable financial institutions that were too big to fail.

    News of taxpayers' huge bailout of Citigroup ("U.S. Approves Plan to Help Citigroup Weather Losses," front page, Nov. 24) prompted us to dust off a series of comment letters we submitted to federal regulators starting a decade ago.

    In a detailed comment opposing Citigroup's merger with Traveler's Group, filed in July 1998, the Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project and others warned the Federal Reserve that "the size and complexity of the proposed Citigroup would strain the banking industry and the economy," and that failure of one affiliate "could lead to a bailout using either deposit insurance or funds appropriated by Congress."

    Hundreds of billions of dollars in bailout funds later, we would hope that President-elect Barack Obama's economic advisers -- many of whom are Rubin proteges -- take the lessons of recent history to heart. What's needed is a strong new regulatory system that serves the public interest, not one that serves corporate greed.

    Sarah Ludwig
    Josh Zinner New York, Nov. 25, 2008

    The writers are co-directors of the Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project.

    Well, those folks pretty well nailed it. Thing is, future events are very carefully orchestrated and telescoped well in advance. Not that hard to determine future macro-events when one is really paying attention.

    12.1.08    Great article on a Mexican Mining Ghost Town -  Mineral de Pozos


    The SF Gate typically publishes the most puerile content, such as it is. The business and economic pieces are especially juvnile - designed by necessity for a 3rd grade level understanding of economics - the base San Francisco readership.


    However, the rag has produced a number of good travel stories over the years. These decent articles, of course, receive little to no mention via follow-up comments. This particular article has four comment, sand only two further develop the discussion.
    . Naturally a 30 year story about roman polanski receives scores of comments and those most illuminating articles define gays as the 'new negro' are good for about a thousand comments; each one more banal and ridiculous than the one preceding. This passes for public discourse today. 

    11.24.08     From Sorrow and Pain Come Great Art.

    Hemmingway developed many of his themes while serving as an Italian medic-taxi driver in WWI.

    Imagine the opus and masterpiece we shall all witness 10-15 years from now arising from the next few years.

    11.22.08    No way the Rest Of the World will forgive US debt

    Too much hatred of America, especially within our country.

    The people will demand that the very idea and ideals of America fail and whither into disgrace. So, the latter.

    There will be a few steps before we join the NOW of course. In fact, we will be forced to BEG to enter the NOW. First we will default on our T-bill, ditch the dollar, completely operate the NAU with under the banner of the Amero (google hits now up over 1.5 million) or equivalent, etc. Only when the NAU falters will the asian powers listen to our entreaties.  Hope I’m wrong.


    11.21.08    Future trouble in municipal water and waste water operations.

    Indeed, it will get really ugly. Those suburban special irrigation districts we be rolled into the municipal systems by fiat decree. The large city districts will be nationalized. The small special districts will have their water rights stripped (nationalized) and will be held out to dry. The waste districts will likely be left unchanged but their waste produce will become a state commodity (reused waste water is the potable drinking water for our cities over the next century).

    Further, the successful desalination projects will nationalized for 'national security'.

    At the American Water Works conference I attended last month spent some time at the sessions where the industry briefed on the status of desal plants/brine disposal. That and1 re-use of waste water into drinking water were the big topics. FWIW.

    11.19.08    Notice how GLD held 733 again today, closing just over 734?

    The more times is holds there the stronger the support becomes.  Alternately, if the prices plunges through that support, with heavy volume, the downside will be even further (maybe lower than 710, the next minor support or even 650/670, the next major support).  When the price went below 733 a few trading days ago it was on rather light volume, and thus it doesn’t trigger a sell. The move must be more than 3% below the support on intraday basis to cancel the support. Stops should be on a daily close basis.

    Unfortunately, the general market weakened quite a bit further today. The banking index is very technically bearish (see here for more on that:

    The real news today was not the posturing over the big 3 automakers –they’re already bankrupt. Rather, the new crux of the matter is will CitiCorp bring down the federal reserve. Citi is one of the nine banks the Fed must preserve at all costs – and they are in a freefall. Their last big move to open retail deposit windows in California was a huge failure. They are now suffering cash flow problems. If the Fed does save C, there should be a very nice and tradable rally in the BKK (banking index) and market in general.

    11.19.08    Selling Prized Possessions

    Went to the local B&M coin dealer.

    He was in the paper today:


    People are now selling their gold/coins/jewelry just for gas money. He hasn’t seen it this bad since he bought the shop in 1987.

    Buying has dried up. He was disappointed with how little I bought off him today. Hey, I just went to the Santa Clara show four days ago – give a guy a break!

    Told him I’ve been putting more money into ammo, plumbing supplies, water treatment gear, provisions, etc.  He thought it was a good idea, unfortunately.

    Told him I just hoped I was wrong.   I always wish I was wrong more often.

    And maybe I am. The house behind me had been for sale. Not too long really, 3 or 4 months. The new neighbor bought it after getting in a bidding war with someone else. He is immediately dumping money into the place, fixing it up.  The sales in my town are going up. The average price is still declining b.c. the homes in the hood are really sinking. However, home prices in the better neighborhoods seem to have leveled off.

    Folks use to make fun of my city b.c. it declared intention of bankruptcy. I replied: “Your town (county/state/fed) are bankrupt too but you haven’t yet figure it out/admitted it yet – whereas we have. Just a little ahead of the curve –steep as it is.

    Now the neighbors feel the curve:


    indeed they ARE deliberately destroying

    The country. i've been saying so for years. most people used to just roll their eyes. not so much anymore.

    Weight of evidence? Arose from a slumber of denial? Do you think the motive has just recently become deliberate destruction where before it may have been gross incompetence rather than organic malfeasance?

    "A global economy requires a global currency."--Paul Volcker


    11.18.08    Current Democrat Level of Discourse



    11.16.08    Someone asked what I thought of this article,




    So I told 'em:

    Yes I already read this article and I've read Larry's stuff before.

    I do not think gold will go to tens of thousands of dollars an ounce, that’s just something used to sell newsletters. Gold will protect purchasing power when the dollar collapses, but it won't buy 15-20 times as much goods as it currently buys when the currency collapses.

    Instead I see this as the most likely scenario:

    The US politicians are well on their path of destroying the nation through debasement of its currency and destruction of our industry.  Some more of their plan is simply being fleshed out this weekend.

    Very likely excerpts:

    The US will default on the T-Bill in the next 36 months

    The dollar will collapse
    US politicians declare it necessary to destroy the country in order to save it, force North American Union. 

    - The dollar will be destroyed to save it.

    - The Amero, or similar, will trade as the NAU currency.

    - The Amero will have some 'link' to the price of gold. The NAU will fix the price of gold to somewhere between 1,000 -1,500 per oz.

    - GLD, comex, and monex will all default on the gold contracts.

    - Actual gold will trade on the black market for a perhaps 100% premium above this price.  (This scenario is already being rolled out. The official price of gold is 720 and silver at 10. The reality is its extremely difficult to find gold bars/bullion in quantity below 775 and silver rounds below 12.

    - Although gold will not be confiscated, it will be illegal to trade gold for its true value. Those that trade it on the black market will be prosecuted for terrorists acts.

     - US presidential order will cease most gold and silver mining in this country as ‘barbaric’, unnecessary and ‘unsustainable’.  Government will seize the mines and nationalize the industry, just as with the banking industry, the financial industry, the credit industry, and soon the auto industry.

    - As the NAU slips deeper into recession, the amero will give way to electronic currency completely in order to starve the ‘terrorists’ (those that refuse the beast) of cash and food to survive. Folks will clamor for the implantable RFID chip that allows them to stand in line for government bread and cheese.

    - Most americans will continue to vote demopuclican and support –nay embrace – absolute criminals as they implement the worst and most vicious police state ever to grace the planet. We are well on our way.

    Here’s a good summary of the folks currently laundering your tax money to their friends in the banking industry:


    By the way, I went yesterday to the Santa Clara coins show, one of the largest on the west coast.  Although fewer and fewer people have available money, they are still buying gold and silver bullion when they can.  Coin prices are fairly stable, though declining for most series, having peaked in 2006.

    All paper gold is a scam, it has always collapsed. I have hundreds of documents showing just that.  Only physical silver and gold will survive. That is why the banking and credit industries, supported by US government policy, has attacked the gold price ever since the US began in Ernest to devalue the US Dollar.

    As usual, hope I am wrong.  Regrettably I haven’t been wrong enough over the last eight years, as all documented here:

    However, there are actually a number of people waking up – there may be enough in the resistance movement to change the NWO plans that the G20 are currently hatching up this weekend in Wash. DC.  Amazing how many people thought I was full of bunk since I abandoned mainstream political economics in 1987 now start to see the issues for themselves. Too bad it took the collapse of the US economic infrastructure for it to sink in for too many individuals. The majority are blind, but irrelevant anyway.



    11.16.08    Santa Clara Show Report

    Invested about 5 hours at the show yesterday, Saturday, between 12:30 and 5:30.  Show attendance seemed lower than previous years, no doubt due to both economic realties and the gorgeous weather outside. You couldn’t design a better November day.

    I spent some quality time with 6 or 7 dealers.  Most were doing an ok show, one a good show, and one thought they might lose money for the first time ever at this show.

    Much of the chatter I overheard regarded (decreased) expectations for the upcoming Baltimore show; state of the overall market more so than the coin market; and the Bill Weber collection of So Called Dollars. 

    Weber Collection:

    Looks like some mighty fine items from this collection shall be auctioned off December 2nd in Reno.

    Here’s the pic of the auction catalog for the collection:

    The fascination with the oddball So Called Dollars, slugs, tokens and other exonumia resonates with me.  Coinage displays the financial history and mettle of a culture in 3-Dimesnions.  So does those OTHER avenues  which display financial trade, advertisement and documentation of socio-economic events and development: exonumia and ephemera.

    I have been trending away from coinage and more toward the esoteric, banal and just plain earthy exonumia.

    Something Old, Something New:

    Personally, I sold off a couple gold 2.5 dollar coins and bought more financial ephemera.

    Here’s the obverse of the 1839 2.5 dollar coin I sold – pictured here only as the reverse since I now see it only in the rear view mirror (and realize what type of future I can realistically expect in the coin photography arena – har!).

    Over the past few years my focus shifted from coins to tokens, financial paper and documents. These ephemeral financial pieces document our shared economic heritage and financial history.

    Namely, I focus on recreating, via economic archaeology, that web of financial transactions which binds us together.  My specific targets are the various mining and resort towns in Nv and Ca.  For example, I search for a postal cancel of a town long forgotten, a real picture photograph of the town (including the post office if possible), a piece of scrip or a “good-for” token from the local bar, and financial documents (leases, deeds, receipts, bills of goods, checks, and financial corresponsive) which ties together all the mercantile and financial history of the camp.

    As just one example, Byron Hot Springs in Contra Costa County was at one time THE place to play for the rich and elite of the greater San Francisco Bay.  Now just ruins, here is one presentation of her previous gravitas and place in economic society:

    This token is supposedly just one of two known.

    (Hotel AND sanitarium, you have to love that combination).

    Of course there are other ways to preserve and present the same topic, from a different side of the token. Here is but one man’s artistic license at doing so:


    Since the resort has been well photo documented, and I have a sample of the traded exonumia, the last step in my financial forensic triumvirate exercise is to find a piece of financial ephemera remaining from the operation…perhaps a deed of title transfer.

    There is always a remaining thread to track down, perhaps NEXT show!


    11.12.08    Does the Average Joe have Tangible Assets?

    I go to garage sales every Saturday between May and October.

    at most sales I ask: do you have any coins, stamps, old photographs, etc.

    my experience is about 50% say no, and they are telling the truth.

    about 25% say yes, but what they have is usually crap. however 1/3 of that group will have between $100-1,000 on hand in bullion/coins.

    The other 25% does have tangible goods put away. About 2/3rd of them do not want to sell; they might take my card but rarely call. About 1/3 have something, but either lie to me and say no, or simply smile with their eyes.

    Very very few people WANT to sell their tangible assets, they'll hold on as long as possible.


    11.11.08    Another Inventory of the Little People's Economy

    Little People and their Litter: Main Street Economics, Installment Four


    Summary of bank slips I picked up off the ground outside the local bank ATM.


    124.55 (Inquiry) [Do it do it take it all out!]


    334.06 (Inquiry)






    Average: $2,222


    Of course, the biggest indicator was the fact that some guy tried to rob the bank 20 minutes before I got there. He handed the teller with a note saying he had a gun. Guess the tellers were cooperating but he high tailed and ran away - escaping on foot.


    Previous results:

    Average Balance on March 15, 2008: $4,259

    Average Balance from Oct 24 07 $815

    Average Balance from May 07 $100.87



    11.11.08    Big uproar about the 'sad' Tent City in Reno

    (Government-sponsored depression)

    Tent Cities on the Rise Reno Nevada CBS news


    I noticed that Reno Tent city video article mentions that the situation hasn’t been this bad in 23 years. That means 1985-6.  I lived in Reno during those years and had various odd jobs downtown. Those included door-to-door jobs. A few things I noticed:

    The money I made I mostly blew on good times, booze and drugs – but a portion I put into my education, tools and vehicles. The education and tools paid off. Eventually, instead of partying every day I was in m own house sleeping a split-shift so I could attend the classes I needed while working overtime.

    Most those other folks ONLY put their $ into booze and drugs.  I interacted with many of the guys on the streets. Their pay would go to dime bags and a bottle.

    Back then the church helped out those down on their luck.  Now the government is stepping in to fill the roles of the church AND the private sector. This will ensure the recession turns into depression – by design. See the financial sector as EXHIBIT A.

    I competed with some of those baby boomers for jobs. I remember those who last had a job in Oregon, pumping gas, and were now trying for a Reno warehouse job. 23 years later, they are still trying for the same job.  What have they done to better themselves in the past two decades?

    Only difference between those folks and me is I put more and more money (and effort) over time into education and tools (and investments) and less and less into booze and drugs.  Notice those in the tent city watching TV? That’s what it will get you.

    Personal choice, personal responsibility.

    Funny, never heard those lines in the ‘interview’.

    Though I did see plenty of crocodile tears from the losers. Save it for the camera girls.

    11.10.08    Why GLD Should Hold 733

    Here is a good example of basic technical analysis. On the Yahoo 5-day chart you can see why 733 is the number I used in my last post:


    Notice how 733-ish served as the base for Mondays rally, resistance level last wednesday and thursday, and a support level last Tuesday and Today.

    On the two year and five year chart you can see why the 650-670 level will/should provide longer term price support (draw an invisible lines on the bottom prices since 2005), and why I think there is a good probability (40%) that GLD could go to that level medium term (three months)


    The 60% chance is that it goes up from 733, we'll see.



    11.9.08    Live.com Rebate still at 25%

    At the get-go, from the first round, we maxed out the returns. At the beginning you could get $250 back per item but was limited to 3x transactions per account. Then six per account. Currently you can get the rebate 12x per account.

    A few things to keep in mind.
    - There is a 2,500 cap per year
    - If you sell the item before the rebate you may not (depends) get the rebate back (there is a conflict between the ebay and MSN rules)
    - If the seller returns any portion of your initial payment, you may not get the rebate


    11.9.08    Collections and Provenance

    My stance is that once a fine collection is assembled, the current or assembling steward (the 'owner') ought take a picture of such, and document for future enjoyment.

    there have been several very nice collections that I've seen broken up in the last 15 years (including Sy Redd, Bill Harah, Fitzgerald, Liberty Belle, etc). Even when the pieces are given a provenance for future owners (e.g. Redfield, Binion, Fitzgerald etc.) the whole of the collection - the majesty and thematic artistry directed by the original collector, is lost for good.

    Does Texas have many un-patented gold placer claim properties available on the open market?


    11.8.08    AIG Fraud and Failure (Same 'ol Same 'ol)

    Recently I shopped around for a new term life insurance policy.

    thankfully AIG was not on that list due to previous misconduct. 

    Northwestern did make my list. I had a term policy for two years and cancelled. They simply lie at most every point possible.  Just this week I received notice that I am party to a class action lawsuit against them regarding, you guessed it, sales and marketing.

    Ended up getting my term policy through Prudential. Not even sure I'll stick with them.  Term is so cheap, my last policy through Prudential was 20% cheaper than with Northwestern, and that is after I aged another two years.

    What I am looking for now, and what most people do not have even though they need, is disability insurance.

    11.6.08    'Change'

    Ho Hum. Dow down another 440 points.  Worst presidential week stock action ever and worst two-day action since the 87 crash. decades.   El Prez. Barry Obama's first appointment is a petty partisan operative.

    Emmanuel served as a policy group-think enforcer under Clinton.  Like most other dutiful employees, he received a turn of leisure and graft on the board of Freddie Mac.

    And previous Clinton partners in crime Reich, Rubin and Summers are eagerly rubbing their mittens together relishing yet another shot to foist them into the public cookie jar.

    So much for change.


    11.6.08    An Email I would have written to Ray Luccia

    If I thought he wasn't completely beholden to the powers that be:

    From his podcast: Nov 6, 2008 at 50:56

    Caller (Bob in Ct): “Where does the federal reserve system get its money that it can then loan to other banks I guess they do it as ‘overnight’ or ‘discount rates’.

    R.L.- Luccia "They get it from the government (taxpayers)."

    They also get fees (from member banks

    Do they pay anything to get this money

    R.L. - "No"

    Bob: "If they print it they inflate the currency and they if they borrow..." (cut off mid-sentence by R.B.)

    R.B.- Statement One: “You’re worried about stuff you don’t need to worry about”

    Statement Two: There are no shareholders in the federal reserve. Nobody gets a  benefit out of it as a share holder.”

    My editorial:

    Neither of you answered the Bobs’ question.

    The answer that RB provide “general taxing authority” is simply incorrect, very much so.

    So my question to the brain trust, what exactly do you have to lose by actually answering the guys question and stating what the authority is for the federal reserve and how it works/

    Are you worried someone will cancel your show?

    Phil Grande gets away with it. Sure, businesstalkradio dumped his show but bloomberg picked him up.

    What's wrong with integrity?

    11.5.08    Looks like the Market voted on Obama

    Dow down almost 500 points. 


    Ca Prop 8 - requiring the state constitution specify that marriage is between a man and a woman will never happen. The state supreme court will declare it, like most of the will of the people, null and void and anathema to their particular brand of authoritarian rule.


    Obarry's first political appointment: ultimate insider hack job Rahm.  "Change"! Har!Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.


    11.4.08    Sure I vote

    Haven't ever voted for anybody that actually won, but sometimes the proposition votes go my way.


    Today I had the distinct pleasure of voting for someone with integrity (yes, there were actually three individuals on the ballot with integrity. its just that none of them were demopublican).  I cast my vote for the very honorable Alan Keyes.


    A real man, with actual administrative experience, values and vision.


    Most americans took the lazy route, voting for the one party system. Regrettably they'll get the government they deserve.



    10.29.08    Possibly the shortest long term trend:

    Since 1950 worst 25yr period provided invested in the S&P 500 yielded an annualized 7.9% rate of return (included reinvested dividends)

    10.28.08    Looks like that key reversal in GLD last week held.

    Buy one-third position now, one third position if GLD breaks above 753 and another third if gold breaks 775

    Set stops (half) at 733 and 710,

    Sell one third at 808 and on third at 840. Hold the last third and sell if it breaks below 733.

    Bought one-third position in GDX now @18. MUCH looser stops.

    These are short/medium term positions only.


    10.27.08    "gurus"


    Guru’s who got the panic of 2008 more or less right):


    Joe Batattaglia

    Jim Rogers (called for FNM bankruptcy)

    Peter Schiff

    Joe Morales

    Phil Grande

    Mark Faber

    Fred Hickey (Baron’s round table)

    Bill Fleckenstein (though it was through the stopped clock method)

    William O’Neill

    Jim Rorbach

    James Deporre

    Warren Buffet

    Mark Leibovitz (Phoenix)

    Jonax Max Ferris

    Jonathan Hoenig

    Lowries (Power index)



    Losers (Who got the panic of 2008 wrong)

    All the rest

    10.27.08    Pennsylvania Treasure


    When you can’t mine it, you have to find it.

    10.22.08    Possible Key Reversal in GLD.


    10.17.08    Rest in Peace Levi Stubbs

    Saw the Four Tops about four years ago here in town. They still had three of the four original Tops in the band.  Sounded awesome. The Baritone passed away just a few months after we saw them play, as I recall. Now their incredible lead singer has passed on also. A great talent is lost, just about the end of an era.


    10.15.08 The Cult of Corruption

    A former Minerals Management Service employee blows the whistle.


    The Government Inspector General backs his account



    The Interior Department refuses to comment.

    Of course the DOI refuses to comment.  What can they say?  "Well, we tried to drag down every bureau to the decrepit level of Bureau of Indian Affairs, we just need a couple more years during the Obama administration to meet our goal".

    My guess is they overshoot the goal, by a wideshot.

    10.12.08    The Government almost always Stages some Faux ‘Economic Crisis’

    When the political leadership is ready to change allegiances. 

    This allows the next administration to implement the next piece of the draconian plan to remove your control over your money, finances and government.

    2008: Witness the ‘Financial Panic’

    2000: Clinton Gives up the Ghost – Stock Market Crash of March 08

    1992: “It’s the Economy Stupid”. Rigged 1991 recession serves its purpose

    1987-8: Artificial stock market collapse (though administration retains control)

    1978-80: Volcker system shock and Iranian Popcorn Show lift unemployment and inflation

    1976: Political Oil Embargo scam plays through; IMF stages Great Britain sterling crisis

    1972: US completely moves to a fiat monetary system after the French challenge the ability of the US to pay its debts in gold. US repudiates sound money – suspended any gold or silver backing of currency.  The paper financial demise begins in earnest.

    1968: U.S. Congress repeals requirement for gold reserve to back the U.S. currency

    1963-4: Kennedy signs EO 11110 ordering US Treasury to print silver-backed US Notes instead of Federal Reserve Notes.  In kind, Kennedy assassinated and US defaults on silver coinage.  (To repay the favor, the government puts Kennedy on the first debased half dollar).

    an on and on it goes same as it ever was…

    The intervening years show much less socio-economic and fiscal snafus.

    10.12.08    The Current Financial Crisis isn’t a Crisis at All, it’s a Systemic Breakdown

    The Housing Crisis isn’t a crisis at all, it’s a planned meltdown directed by the Clinton Administration,  The Clintons contrived a race relations panel in the 1990’s to hatch scheme to increase home ownership among minorities, mostly blacks.  The reason more blacks didn’t own homes in the first place is because public education system has taught lie after lie for generations, especially regarding finance. As a result, the lower income individual, such as those that rely upon public education entirely, had no sound financial education or background. Hence, they couldn’t master the economic and financial concepts that would allow for home ownership under previous underwriting standards.

    The powers that be forced Fannie Mae to relax underwriting standards for the poor, especially urban poor, to get the minorities into homes they couldn’t afford under mortgages they couldn’t understand.  The architects of this policy were warned of, and knew full well, the ultimate end game their disastrous policy would play out: Housing Crash.

    Steven A Holmes and the New York Times laid it out in 1999:



    10.10.08    Gold and Silver had been Holding up Very Well

    Even with the recent strong rise in the US Dollar, until today.  So, why the smack-down in metal prices today?


    Well, look at Goldman Sachs performance of late, and rumors their health is becoming 'stove-up'.   


    Goldman controls the gold short positions.  Knocking 20% off the price of gold and silver helps settle positions over the weekend.


    10.10.08    Heritage Galleries Issues their Don't Panic Communiqué

    "Collectibles, especially coins, remain extremely liquid. Over the last three months, as Wall Street has been reeling, our auction and private treaty sales have risen steadily. Every day people who are in businesses where capital is no longer readily available turn to us for liquidity.


    Our $35 million September 24-27 Long Beach Expo auction of coins and currency registered more bidders (over 14,000 of them!) than any auction in our history


    *Our number of successful bidders is up by 11.5%.
    *Our number of lots actually sold in each weekly auction is up 39.95%.
    *Our average lot value is up 8.49%.
    *Our total sales volume is up 43.34%


    Rare coin prices, along with many other collectibles, actually rose during the Great Depression, as well as during the recession and accompanying real estate and stock market collapse of 1974. During the oil crisis of 1979, we saw coin prices rise dramatically, rewarding owners at a time when their stocks and many other assets were plummeting."



    10.10.08    Someone Left Me with a nice Bon Mot


    “Just remember, the only people that think gold and silver is a form of payment is Goldbugs, you will have to find a goldbug grocer to get your grocery's.”


    Yes, eventually EVERYONE becomes a goldbug.  Its just that THEY become bugs out of necessity, not foresight.


    10.9.08    Suggestions from someone who really IS losing the Family Farm:


    Couple things you might research:


    1.  Do you know anyone with dough who wants ownership – but not necessarily possession - of the property?  If so, then look into an All-Inclusive Deed of Trust and a wraparound mortgage.


    2. Farmland Conservancy Program.

    Some states have this, some don’t.  Essentially, the family sells part of the land as an easement to the State – the state grants occupation and use of land for some time, often until death of original owner.


    In some cases when a family cannot access Farmland Conservancy money’s the Nature Conservancy and can access the money and pay it to the family as cash.  However, the Conservancy owns the farm and the family typically can farm the land up until some date and they must then vacate.


    3. If you have no heirs, how about putting the land in a Charitable Remainder Trust? If not actively farming, then lease out the land ( or water rights + fallow land as carbon credits)?


    Just some thoughts…


    10.08.08    Someone Tipped Me Off

    Today is the feast day of St Andronicus - patron saint of silversmiths and argentiers


    10.7.08    Everything Runs on a Cycle,

    Some are better understood than others,


    Many moons ago i lived in a communal situation at college (54 students in four co-joined open-floor houses -14 people per house).


    An alpha female would set the cycle. all the other women in the house would follow her rhythm. this works up until there are five, six at a most, women in the house.


    Above that number and a second alpha female will emerge and set the cycle for own pack. the second pack is typically smaller. one thing that i noted was that the second group seemed a more cohesive bunch than the first group. Even more interesting, the women reported that apparently the alpha female could change within the group, though I cant remember (nor sure they ever told me) how they would figure that out if everyone was on the same cycle.


    There is also a small percentage of women who will not follow an alpha's cycle.  interesting stuff, herd behavior at the base. occasionally we would all discuss such group behavior en masse, so the above aren't just my observations alone.


    The guys rather enjoyed the predictability. When that week onset, we generally wouldn’t hang around and instead would socialize in the other three houses.  I imagine that this particular quirk of human biology helped establish the first hunting parties (now down to just guys weekend out or ‘poker nights’)


     I have never really read or heard much about this phenomena - don't think its very well studied nor have others indicated much familiarity with the topic.  Compare search engine results for menstruation study with ‘cholesterol study’ or ‘smoking study’.  Fascinating. Some hold the position that womens health issues are under studied/funded, I tend to agree.  fwiw.


    Years ago they studied cycles in the nunneries. The nunnery studies may be double blind, but the wrong pool.  No Sex and no testosterone in the environment effects the menstrual cycles.  Additionally, the age bands and their declining estrogen/progesterone levels - especially in the alpha, cannot be discounted.


    10.7.08    Went to a Stamp Show Yesterday

    wow, was that place moribund. actually drove there for the pinball fest next door. best in the nation in just their 2nd year.  their attendance was up perhaps %100 Year-Over-Year.  Kids, families, etc. Interesting to see the pinball resurgence. A real and sensory game, not a video illusion.


    stamps on the other hand, not sure what would bring that back? 18montsh-2years ago I thought the hobby had a chance at resurgence. if not now, in another 20 years will folks really clamor for more govt paper? Perhaps the same with baseball cards. Who cares about the overpaid cheats and criminals? The innocence is gone and now so it goes with the denial. perpaps the little giants (citizenry) is awaking from the slumber, and hungry for the real deal.


    10.05.08    You Ever Seen one of the Early american Card Decks?

    The good citizenry didn't believe in royalty so the decks had no jacks, queens kings. Instead generals, pols and diplomats, etc.


    saw one displayed at this house maintained by the Colonial Daughters, the Octagon House in San Francisco.  Fascinating place. They had an early 7 dollar continental note. Also had a card game I had never seen or heard of before (forget the name right now).  I asked the ladies (both well in years), they replied they had never known anyone who new how to play the game. The layout looked similar to a Faro table, for those of you also familiar with that game of yesteryear.


    They asked me to come back and give a talk on US monetary history.


    10.4.08    From Poverty to Riches and Back Again in Two Generations:


    John Lee Hooker owned a home in Vallejo, Ca , that he subsequently gave to his daughter.  She is about to lose the home to foreclosure.  The house is just a few neighborhoods away from mine.  Frankly, the construction isn’t so hot in his neighborhood. Our house was constructed  MUCH better. For that matter he should have bought a Victorian downtown.


    I saw John Lee play at a small show, maybe 100 of us there, a couple years before he passed away. The guy still had the passion. Wonder how the other kids are doing?  Maybe he should have taught them basic finance in addition to the 12 bar blues format.




    10.3.08    yep, as predicted - they blew the bailout down our throats

    and down our children's throats, and our grandchildren's throats...


    Don't believe the hype. Only reason they passed this monstrosity is b.c. they US Senate and most congressmen are owned by foreign financial interests. These foreign interests are now demanding we pay back the loans.  This was just a starter package. A 'teaser rate' if you will.  You know, deep down, what happens next.


    10.1.08    October is Here! The next three months...

    ...will be unlike any you've ever experienced so far.    



    Damned if they (90% they will), damned if they don't (10% chance of that)

    The original three page abortion proposed by Paulson has now grown to over 150 pages. wOW, how did they write so fast? (har har, these provisions of the Financial Patriot Act {and the provisions of the next bill and the one after that} were written monhs ago).   


    If they do, We are de facto socialist country - in debt to foreign masters (now its just you in debt, after the bill its your children and grandchildren).


    If they don't, The foreign masters will make a house call, on our soil.


    The Triangle Attack:


    In symbol, number, and design - the next hit will cut deeper than initially appears.


    Uncertain Election Results:

    The past two elections were simply dry runs for the


    Of course, and as usual - hope I am wrong.


    9.31.08    Price of Gold vs. Price of Stamps




    Note that the credit squeeze of the 1950's was followed by the inflation (guns AND butter) of the 1960's.


    Will the cycle repeat/spin?


    9.30.08    The Bailout Shall Return

    Just a matter of time, likely days.  The further bailout shall be named Osama.


    The current name of the bailout (thanks to Lew Rockwell):


    [On Concurring in Senate Amendment With An Amendment]
          BILL TITLE: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide earnings assistance and tax relief to members of the uniformed services, volunteer firefighters, and Peace Corps volunteers, and for other purposes




    9.29.08    The Company Turns on its Own

    Former CIA #3 gets ratted and rodded.

    WASHINGTON (Reuters)
    "The CIA's former executive director, Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, admitted steering contracts to friend Brent Wilkes, who already is serving a 12-year sentence for bribing former Republican Congressman Randall "Duke" Cunningham, the department said.

    It said Wilkes, a one-time Republican fundraiser, had made Foggo a standing offer of a high-paying job, and the two hid their relationship from the CIA and used shell companies to conceal Wilkes's interest in the CIA contracts."


    In gangs, like the CIA, the capos lose their jobs AFTER they lose market turf (drug routes and banking accounts).


    CIA is getting outcompeted all over the globe.  I saw them lose drug turf in the 80's and 90s.  Now they're losing their money laundering accounts.  Makes sense, US banks, manufacturing, media, entertainment and currency are all losing market share. Their govt. criminals are also more efficient than our govt. criminals.



    9.29.08    The Bank Runs Continue

    In the US, Iceland, Europe, and now begin in Asia.


    Bank failures are not great, but NOT letting them fail provides an even worse alternative.


    9.29.08    The Bailout

    It ain't about the money, its the principle. Are we a socialist or capitalist country. What's a lousy 700Billion on the installment plan anyway, we just passed 600B for the DOD and another 25 B for the car manufacturers in the past week.


    Ok, maybe it is about the money - like who gets to skiim off the top first...


    9.27.08    Bank Runs Fail due to Stupid Depositors


    This quote made me laugh out loud: "

    "We came to pull (money) out, too.  We have a business, and we have a lot of money in there, but we're safe. She (the bank teller) told me it's guaranteed, and I believe her.  She's a Muslim, I know her and like her, and it's Ramadan, and you're not allowed to lie on the holiday."


    9.26.08    Physical Gold Shortage: US Mint Runs Out of Gold Buffalos



    9.25.08    Chinese Fake New Story About Mission in Space

    Oh no, the chinese propaganda outlets lie too?!?




    9.24.08    Of Course the Bailout will Pass and Succeed

    The intention is to destroy what is left of our capital markets.  In that regard the traitors will succeed. The destroyers on the capitol hill warn that should we not bail out the criminals on wall street, then a recession will ensue.


    All the chest beating and histrionics before the bill is signed simply provides some sound bites that hapless pols can use in their nest election cycle to show 'how they were against the bailout from the beginning" (before the screws got turned).


    A recession is NOT a bad thing, it provides a necessary and beneficial opportunity for the market to wean out excesses and weak hands so that another boom may follow. However, Greenspan had orders to make sure that there was no recession.  by putting off these normal corrections, the excesses build to a point where extreme fluctuations follow, eventually leading to an inevitable crash.


    9.23.08    The US Mail moves Slowest at the US Government Headquarters

    Congress irradiates its mail, slowing up an already slow and cumbersome process. They want to make sure that only US-manufactured anthrax gets through the screen.


    9.23.08    The Financial Patriot Act (700+Billion bailout bill)


    Just like the patriot act, this bill was prepared months ago but was presented to congress at the point of a gun with a full court press by the white house.


    The mainstream press sits idly by, complicit to the crimes.

    "White House Deputy Press Secretary Tony Fratto... insisted that the plan was not slapped together and had been drawn up as a contingency over previous months and weeks by administration officials. He acknowledged lawmakers were getting only days to peruse it, but he said this should be enough. "



    Same old playbook.


    Let's examine some of the proposed lowlights...


    Demands on the Taxpayer:

    - A minimum of $700Billion (will grow to over 1Trillion), enough to saddle every person in this country with $37,000 at the moment of their birth (in a addition to all the other debt and entitlements currently estimated at a mere 48 Trillion).  And no, this does not count interest.


    - Millions of $ in Bonuses to CEO's who oversaw the largest financial failures in written history.


    - Paid welfare to the largest donors to the political campaigns of the current Senate Finance and Banking Committee member.


    Naturally, The plan demands NOTHING from these firms in return. The Treasury Secretary will control over 1Trillion and will be accountable to no one for how he spends it.


    First things first, Paulson will fork over Billions of Dollars, taken from your pocket, and give it to Goldman Sachs. Yes, for those keeping track Paulson the current Treasury Secretary was a former Goldman Sachs CEO.  His main job is to line th epockets of his previous, current an future boss - GS.


    The US senator plan on driving our once proud republic into a socialist oligarchy in one week.


    Yep, I listed to almost two full hours of the tripe this morning. Paulson's wretched opening statement, all 21 senators rushing to say how "obviously, something must be done immediately (meaning they will vote for it this week) aka: but first, time to get some more pork into the pipeline and secure my next job at Treasury/Goldmans Sachs/Morgan/Bear


    One more time, the backgrounder:


    The government creates the problem so that they can propose the solution, and the problems perpetuate whilst ht etax rate crawls skyward.


    Government programs rarely work.


    Johnson's "great society' did not solve poverty in the US. It did, however, draw out 15 trillion from working and solvent us households and bloated bureaucracy to the point we see today.


    Once government intervention enters the market place, the end result: failure, becomes a certainty. The only speculation point is the time it takes to get there.


    The senators today, to a man (if there were any around) all stated "well of course there needs to be more regulations, just not today".


    Government intervention and the resultant regulations worsened the state of markets into we devolved into the sad basket case we are today. The government created a housing mortgage monopoly in FNM and FRE. They both, inevitably, failed.


    The government created the Community Reinvestment Act, which essentially forced debt on urban workers without a sound financial education, much less the down payment on a house they couldn't afford the payments on.  Research how Obama and his ACORN cronies pushed the debt into every nook and cranny they could, creating a great contribution to the current mess.


    Look at how badly the government screwed up this week (and the week before that, and the week before that...).


    The SEC and the Fed conspired to remove the uptick rule, in existence for almost 70 years - installed to prevent market excesses during the great depression. Why did they do that? (A: to wring more money out of the horse they were riding unti it finally gave up the ghost).


    Yes, the same SEC that force fed a fire sale of Bear Stearns to their comrades. They got the assets, your children get the debts.


    But hey, the former SEC chief sure got what he deserved. Can you imagine paying money to a woman for sex. OMG, what a complete shocker, The criminals running our banking system into the ground get million dollar bonuses of your money (they already lost all the shareholders money and need a new host to suck dry).


    You probably didn't even see the 180 degree reversal that the Fed had regarding eliminating short sales against the financials. These same financial companies had been naked short more gold stock shares than ever existed, fore years. they just kept rolling over contracts into future months. But once they got a taste of their own medicine (folks shorting the financial sector) they changed the game in the middle to prevent short selling against their fair skinned babies. Yet, they realized their gross stupidity and reversed the policy within a week.


    The Wall Street Bailout Bill - a Financial patriot Act on Steroids. With the Patriot Act, you just signed away your freedom. With this new act you are signing away your first born. All with a hope that you will draw your pension before your firstborns, justifiably, murders you in green blood.


    One thing is for sure, the people get the government they deserve.


    9.22.08    The Fed Waved Their Wand and Decreed that Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch

    were not longer mere investment banks. Nope, just like that - overnight - on a weekend they became commercial banks. and are now able to accept 'deposits' (more likely emergency funds of taxpayer cash) to shore up their flagging fortunes.


    And to think it takes me 10 business days to clear a check...


    9.22.08    How Come the Senate Never Shored up Fannie and Freddie When they Had a Chance?

    Probably b.c. they were on the payola.


    "Throughout his political career, Obama has gotten more than $125,000 in campaign contributions from employees and political action committees of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, second only to Dodd, the Senate Banking Committee chairman, who received more than $165,000."



    9.20.08     Marshall vs martial law.


    A play on the Marshall plan. Back when we had the strength and temerity to force our currency on the poor colored countries.  The Marshall law will work in the reverse. The poor countries will enforce their standard of living on the formerly united states.

    Remember, the corner office is nice – but only as nice as the view outside…


    9.20.08    Outlawing elements, oh most certainly not dear serf.


    We only intend to ‘draft prudent legislation’, ‘formulate sound fiscal policy’, and ‘promulgate fair regulations’ so that the economy doesn’t crash and you don’t lose your job.  But mostly, we love you and want what is good for you.  After all, if you don’t own Au bullion (as most plebes don’t) then what do you have to fear/hide? Only the gold-selling terrorists will be ‘regulated’.

    Of course, the ag/au elemental regulations are just a trial run for the big one – carbon.


    When the Metals (as bullion) are Again Illegal


    Yes, the Powers That Be (PTB) will again make gold (bullion) illegal to sell (but probably not illegal to hold or use as to allow for industrial applications). 


    That black market will make the metal even more valuable.  In fact, the current disconnect between the paper price and the true physical metal price (not to mention availability) already forecasts that future reality.  When the bullion is made illegal (more specifically, price-fixed to the new currency) there again will be an official rate and a trading price. Those not honoring the 'official price' will be charged as 'criminal terrorist unofficial money launderers'.


    My current supposition is that plat will not be monetized again but silver MAY be (though probably not in the way we expect).  We’ll go forward (not back) to a bi-metal system.  The PTB then play the Au/Ag and commodity/paper arbitrage for the foreseeable future (the 'official criminal money launderers).  Look at how Ag/Au prices have traded out of sync just this week!


    The government will make gold bullion illegal to own, but ‘agree’ to buy everyone's at higher prices.


    That’s a good start, for sure.  The powers that be will continue to short paper gold down to 650. meanwhile physical Au, if you can find it, trades for $1,200.


    Then the gov offers a GREAT buyout at 10% over spot, offers to buy physical gold at $715 and floods the press with bon mots about how everyone made 10% and how happy you should be to receive that level of return in these 'uncertain economic times'.


    everyone who refused to sell goes to prison, or worse.



    9.17.08    Govner Arnie of California grew a pair today. Really.


    Stated he will veto the state budget passed yesterday by the legislature. The budget of one of the worlds largest states. If only the legislature would decrease as fast as the budget.

    My favorite quote of the day, by the semi-honorable and semi-honest (at least today) Nevada Senator (D) Harry Reid (speaker of the house):

    '..there will be no legislation from congress this year on the financial situation since nobody in congress knows what to do..."

    well, that never stopped them before!


    9.17.08    THE PANIC OF 2008


    Today, 9.17.08, the Bond Market crashed as the 13-week T-Bill yield crashed, the largest decline in over a half-century. 




    Here’s the visual:




    Regrettably, as the US and Russian governments panic due to significant declines in their equity markets, they make the same mistakes. International fascists and the nationalist communists are executing (poorly) the same playbook by trying to hyper inflate the crashing state-sponsored enterprises.  Regrettably, the deflating bubble burst seams on all fronts and the populace stateside begins to panic. The large and dumb money crashed the T-bill while the semi-smart flee to the shining shield of precious metals.

    Gold rises the largest amount in recent (250-year) financial history.

    Still, I don't get it. All this talk about difficulty of settling derivative books with each other.

    Why don't Russia and the US trade state banks and get is over with? a fair lose-lose trade for everybody!

    Oh well, wonder what’s on TV tonight…

    9.17.08    Personally, moved no money nor made any trades this week


    completely comfortable with our positions and distribution.

    feels good, like having a wee bit of physical stashed away somewhere...



    9.17.08    A Week of Incomparable Financial and Physical Storms:



    An island of gold amidst a sea of paper panic...

    9.14.08    The Crisis is always announced on a Friday, and Solved on a Monday

    Fascinating how they only need 48 hours to solve all the worlds problems.

    Except this time...

    9.14.08    Nixon’s price controls:

    August 15th, 1971. Sunday Night.


    9.14.08    Back in the good old days (free markets)

    $10,000 gold certificates were issued directly by the US Treasury in 1882, as bearer instruments.  They traded infrequently and mostly to settle accounts between banks. These certificates did require that the Treasury maintain the issued amount of gold bullion as a redemption pool.  At the time, the price of gold was fixed at $20.67 per ounce.  So one note was backed by 483 ounces of gold.

    At tonight's price of gold (777), that 483.8 ounces x 777/oz = $375,907.  Today the banks only considered amounts 100x that size as simple rounding errors in their negotiations with each other.   Naturally, the negotiations were not in good faith either.

    However, Zimbabwe does have a note useful in these negations, a $100,000.000 note.  Yes, that is much more like it, thank you for the sound sense of finance Mr. Mugabe.

    Today the us is much more like the Zimbabwe of today instead of the united states of yesteryear.

    Ho Hum...


    9.13.08    Falling Financial Giants

    Why did the dollar lose over a full percentage point on Friday?


    You could say technical’s. Look at the 20 year USD chart and see 80 as a very critical support/resistance line.


    However, you could also say fundamental reasons rule


    It all comes down to the bond market.  The bond market in the US is almost 10x the size of the metals and equity markets combined.  All Fed actions undertaken are to expressly support the bond market.  Once that fails the real troubles begin.


    Look at how the 30-yr mortgage rate dropped 50-60 basis points this week when the US Treas. Sec. announced the nationalization (read: failure) of FNM/FRE. 


    The Fed CANNOT support a strong dollar here, no mater how many times Bernanke/Paulson and the other mouthpieces state it as policy.  Should they truly support the USD the bond yield rise, and China/Japan stop buying the 10-year USTreatsury Note.  Since the US has run on debt since 1973 (default on Bretton Woods agreement) they powers NEED international financing. Otherwise there is no more foreign infusion which enables serial bubbles and the debt bubble collapses completely.  Of course, to some degree that has already started.


    The short term view is that the lowered 30-yr mortgage is bullish for us housing as expressed by some here in this thread.  However, why would the Japanese/Chinese continue to by collateralized debt obligations, and feed the middleman AND trust the failing CDO market (ala Bear Sterns and Lehman AND their underwriters such as AIG?) when they can lower their risk and continue to buy the 10-yr UST which is complicity supported by the FED.  Answer is, they won’t – they’ll continue to by the 10-yr until they don’t.  And then it gets real interesting…


    In the interim, we’ll have to satisfy ourselves watching financial giants fall on the their neighbors petard. In the last week, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The government nationalized the firms, socialized the debt (to the taxpayers) and will eventually privatize the profit (amongst the good ol’ boys club among the big three banks).


    Beleaguered Bellweathers

    First you read about Bear Stearns sold off at the point of a shotgun.  This weekend the chief criminals are discussing the most expeditious way to carve up Lehman Brothers (what remains) for themselves. Bear Stearns was the country’s fifth largest commercial investment bank and Lehman Brothers is the fourth largest.  So, now two of the five largest banks in the US have failed this year.


    Additionally, two large institutional banks are in trouble. Will be surprised if Merill Lynch and Washington Mutual make it through the elections.


    And even more troubling, AIG, the worlds largest insurer lost almost a Full Third of its market cap Friday. Not good.  


    Have you every wondered who – exactly - was behind, who wrote the insurance policy – for all those credit default swaps that emerged from the collateralized debt obligation market?  Yep, AIG was a big one. Lehman is taking them down.


    That’s the thing about to big to fail. These financial giants all have interlocking root systems.


    When one goes down…


    [i.e. The above ground economy (derivative fiat) is shrinking and the underground economy (trade) is growing].


    9.13.08    Fairly Big Week for Elko County and her Mining Industry


    An Example of How to Ruin Your Name in the Mining Business

    (read the comments too)




    Nevada Mining Exploration to Increase in 2008




    Politicians and Do-Gooders Are Easily Confused when discussing Mining and Water







    And Barrack to return to the town for a third time.  Probably looking for a nice county cabin to lay low for a while after he embarrasses himself in the national sweepstakes.


    9.12.08    Amazing to watch the Dollar Plummet off Resistance

    at 80


    9.11.08    Did we win the war yet?



    9.10.08    how about the worker bees today who bitch and moan


    that the retirement age will be pushed back 5-10 years. how come they don't complain their life expectancy grew by 15-20 years?

    met this guy couple weeks back. he was showing off his new tungsten/carbide knees. the joints move all kinds of directions.

    just 10 years ago the guy would have been in a wheelchair...

    there's someone out there STILL calling for a crash in the DOW.

    so what if he's right tomorrow if the last eight years of yesterdays were mired in despair and dread?


    9.10.08    now, another release of a really wicked-great flu bug

    THAT will lower the housing stock. but so what, if you die you don't have to make rent. if you live, you simply more the family out of the 4/2 on a quarter acre out to the vacant 4/2 house on a farm with an irrigation system already installed. where's the downside?

    maybe your insurance (gold) gets cheaper...


    9.10.08    So, who else read this week about that hack woman pol

    who wants to hand out 30k to every family as a 'living wage'? that's still cheaper than what it costs to house the same family in prison. in fact, the prison guard union in California is so P.O.d that the state isn't building new prisons that they have initiated a recall effort against governor Arnie.

    The banks are doing everything possible to stop taking on new foreclosures in their portfolio. They've really ramped up the short selling and risk management staff. Regarding rents, for every one family booted out of their home there are three mexican/salvadoran/chinese/paki/indian/phillipino families who have saved cash from the last 10 years labor while sharing a three bedroom apartment with two other families. They have happily been taking that savings and putting into homes that are 50-60% cheaper than they were 36 months ago. That won't stop till the illegal and legal immigration stops. Which candidate will do that?

    re: folks losing jobs. so the unemployment rate is officially six. it has to double from here and then double again to match the unemployment rate in the 1930's. The government jobs program (especially the mandatory voluntary public service and draft programs) should take up the slack all the way up.

    Until, china/Russia get together and say enough is enough and stop funding the debt?

    Yet- why haven't they done that yet?

    What, fundamentally, will change that equation?

    and when the chinese stop bankrolling the us consumption, will all the chinese-americans move home? or, will more chinese come over here and simply take over the payments?


    everyone will be provided for.


    but you will have to carefully report your daily carbon credit usage to the proper authorities (less u cant buy any bread)


    9.10.08    Metal sales locally are on volume. So is buying

    My local dealer purchased a 180k coin collection and 330k in gold coin this week. apparently a decently large week. 'twas all bought up this week too! and it ain't happening at the published spot prices either!


    9.10.08    Lots of gold bugs bitching up a storm.


    how, exactly, are y'all down so much cash?

    did everyone buy the last 20% of the 2005 run on margin?

    all the metals and most all the stocks are still up 200-300% in seven years!?! same for coins.

    The math doesn't match the hysteria.

    Hope you didn't buy your real estate in the last 20% of 2005 too...


    9.10.08    Had wondered how long it would take

    before somebody else began typing here about selling their metal/stocks and scaling into real estate.

    around here, prices are still declining - but the slope is stabilizing.

    the rents are up strongly. place i bought last october would just break even then. would definitely cashflow now.

    not sure what the plan is to lower rents when more and more people are losing their homes and still have just enough to pay for a roof over their heads.


    also, its getting more and more difficult to build mutiplex units out here. if the builder aren't in hock or cash-strapped, its the cities holding things up. right now in a little nevada town I track - one project, a small hotel, is on-hold b.c. the city doubled the sewerage hookup fee from 30 to 60K. You would think that the city's would be clamoring for the dough right now.

    But, their finances are so bad they are laying off the fee collectors...


    9.10.08    Some folks want to nationalize the oil industry

    These are the people who currently "oversee" the industry on behalf of the lowly taxpayers: Department of Interior employees.


    Let' see what the government watch dog says about our fine trustees:


    WASHINGTON (Sept. 10) - U.S. government officials handling billions of dollars in oil royalties improperly engaged in sex with employees of energy companies they were dealing with and received numerous gifts from them, federal investigators said Wednesday.


    The investigations reveal a "culture of substance abuse and promiscuity" by a small group of individuals "wholly lacking in acceptance of or adherence to government ethical standards," wrote Inspector General Earl E. Devaney. Devaney's office spent more than two years and $5.3 million on the investigations.


    The reports describe a fraternity house atmosphere inside the Denver Minerals Management Service office responsible for marketing the oil and gas that energy companies barter to the government instead of making cash royalty payments for drilling on federal lands.





    9.10.08    The Monitor Ranch Just Sold

    one of Nevada's larger deeded sites.


    She has two geothermal properties. One, Diana's punchbowl is one of the state's greatest geothermal features. Too bad I didn't have a spare 4million. The old owners sold to keep their construction business upright and tight.

    9.9.08    You know what the drop in silver price means for me?

    instead of tucking in a silver dollar into my nieces/nephews birthday card, i give them two silver half dollars.


    9.9.08    old comrade Ted Butler

    my parents have one of his glossy mailers sitting on their kitchen counter. offering two silver american eagles for the price of one.

    i suggested they go for it. his silver is worth more than his advice.


    9.7.08    Rest in Peace, Ralph Kovels

    His antique newspaper column and books set the standard for thirty years.


    9.4.08    1938 Classic Head $2.5
    Values have risen nicely in this series


    Only 47K minted and u gata figure most of those were melted in the panics of the 1850s and 1860s (one thing I’ve always wondered, never seen in detailed writing, is how much southern gold – especially C and D mints, were sent by the confederacy to England in trade?)



    9.4.08    California budget mess

    The state still doesn't have a budget. The record for going without a budget is Sept. 5th. We'll beat that this year (rah rah go team!)

    Nov 15th is the next constitutional deadline. Nobody knows what that means b.c. the state has never gone that far w/o a budget before. Looking likely this year! Decent chance the state will 'shut down' when 11.15 rolls around. maybe good timing with the 'october surprise' and all that.

    october surprise brings november demise, in more ways than one...


    9.4.08    but hey, san francisco bay just got a new biz radio station


    am 1220. bloomberg. what tripe they spew all day.

    but hey, their timing couldn't be more perfect considering the type of stories they have in their headlines over the next 4 months/4 years...

    9.5.08    Yukon-Nevada sucks the gas pipe


    Lays off hundreds. They couldn't run the Jerritt Canyon Mine (and you thought Queenstake made a mess of it!

    Newmont covers laid-off miner's bounced checks. N. Nevada Co. coffers in decline.


    (Time to blame management)



    9.3.08    You've got to figure that Minn. is losing big$ over this bust

    of a convention.  Maybe their legislature will try to annex/merge with N. Dakota.

    Have a friend who did some work on the gas field in N. Dakota last month. biz is booming, housing is tight, etc.

    I once went to N. Dakota for my vacation. Went to see the geographical center of North America. Not much to see, but I saw it.  And then went home.


    Nice people up there. farmers always offered to let us camp in their fields.

    The badlands are incredibly beautiful

    Lebanon Ks is the geographical center of the lower 48.

    Other faves: southern most point in the US; most eastern point in the US.

    9.3.08    Found a house i Kinda Like


    Called my mortgage borker (just did biz with him last October).

    his phone is disconnected.

    and now that starbuxxx ain't hiring anymore...

    9.3.08    Nevada republican party

    Essentially in a state of collapse. the ron paul organization is better run in that state, by a mile. believe it or don't.

    9.3.08    Poor old Gold Bugs

    Gold is UP 20% Year over Year!

    and yer all pouting and whining....

    and buying government bonds??

    There's financial 'advisor' fools on the radio bragging that their performance is ONLY down 14% this year, whereas the general stock markets are down 18%.


    yep, gold goes down in a deflation.


    Because everything else is going down faster and further.

    Out here - west coast style - people have been pulling their homes off the market. why even bother. prices continue to decline and nobody can qualify for a loan. and after labor day three of the available five buyers stop even looking.

    Just scanned rents last week: very firm, up nicely (10%+) over last year. only thing going up around here!


    9.1.08    Is Collusion Between Buyers at an Auction Ethical?


    Should two or more prospective buyers at an auction collude to keep prices down, is that ethical behavior independent of the legality?


    We know that its illegal activity as established per successful prosecution under the Sherman Act.


    But  Ethical?

    Two possible ways to answer this question:

    A1. No. Societal ethics drive legislation. Hence, the society we operate within is dictated by norms, mores and morals – all of which dictate legislation against price fixing and collusion.

    (I intentionally do not address contention – often factual – that most legislation is not driven my ethics but instead is driven by special interest groups.)

    A2. Yes. Although illegal, price fixing and collusion is indeed quite common at auctions, not just in the numismatic community. Have you ever gone to a regular auction format for homes sold for tax liens or foreclosures? How about auctions for storage rental unit property where rent was not paid and collateral is being auctioned off?

    At both of those regular types of auctions, a community of prospective buyers builds around the process. Those prospective buyers, typically and eventually, build a consensus and resultant working model which regularly distributes property at the lowest cost to the prospective buyers as a group, and thus individually.

    For example, the tax lien buyers may work out a schedule where ‘Joe’ gets the winning bid this month and ‘Sally’ gets the winning bid next month. Same with rental auctions.

    In BOTH cases, when a new prospective buyer arises at auction, the existing network will lock out the newbie by raising their bids artificially, ensuring the newbie does not win the bid and therefore discouraging future participation. The group will then work out a mechanism to reimburse the high bidder amongst them.

    Since this type of activity is common and replicated across bourse floors and item types – this demonstrates that our societal and individual actions, mores, and ETHICS supports the activity.

    Therefore, according to this rubric, the activity is ethical.


    9.1.08    How to Excavate a Privvy

    Think of a privvy as just another type of, err, dump. Use the same excavation techniques. i.e. don't just start slamming the shovel in there b.c. u might break glass or other objects (though the glass probably won't start until 2 feet below ground surface. Bottles will probably be your best target. Use a small punjab or rock bar or some lightweight poker. like those cascading walking poles baby boomer use on their power walks. Stick this in the ground to determine soft spots. Can't say enough about looking for soft spots. Use the standard grid system to hunt and focus on soft earth. Once dug, soil requires hundreds or thousands of years to regain previous structure.

    Use a mesh screen if you can to filter through loose earth. Screen over a tarp so you can just dump the soil back into the pit by lifting one side of the tarp. Remember, broken glass and porcelain rise in a dump/privvy whereas whole pieces sink.

    You might look into renting electromagnetic equipment. EM 61 is a great method to survey large areas for geo-tech abnormalities including voids (not just metal). Use of geophysics can help you pinpoint underground structures, and voids such as privvys and dumps.

    At the US army forts I've been on each battery had its own dump. Remember, those guys couldn't leave for weeks at a time and there was always someone there. The dump is often as far as a 19-yr old man can throw out a leg bone. On an island they likely dumped over the side into open water. Maybe you have a chance to explore the shore at low-low tide? (bring the tide charts).

    Might not be on the map, but look for underground exits that also may have been used as a storehouse. Root cellars and ammunition buildings may have been separate structures built away from the main fortification. Ash indicates an outdoor kitchen (to early an era for burn dump). Look closely for the ash layer. Too thick an ash layer (and one with shells) indicates indian midden layer.

    You probably already are familiar with local vegetation enough to be able to determine what may have been a disturbed area. You are pre-brick so look for stacked rocks that may have provided privvy wall structure. Privvys were often built just a few feet from each other.

    Five point harness, carabineer, top rope, and piton/other protection open up a lot more exploration. Consider a headlamp and dust masks.

    If you are in unconsolidated material, be careful of cave-in. Make sure you are comfortable with the right way to develop excavations and know the signs of weak soil structure or an unstable feature. Water entering the pit from the side or below is not good.

    Death by cave in ain't fun.

    And, think of how the embarrassing obituary would read!


    8.31.08    Guy Rocha spotlighting a talk on Comstock Miners.




    I had the opportunity to attend his presentation in the long past; great stuff!


    8.31.08    Preview of Brian Wilson's new Album is out Today




    The first, second to last, and last songs give a good sample of the albums flavor and sound.


    Not many artists can right three and four part harmony, consistently.  Certainly not his strongest work from one of America's greatest song crafters, but it dwarfs most other offerings out there these days. 



    8.29.08    Palin

    Listened to the usual boobs on talk radio here locally. None of them realizes that nobody in the country cares about what folks in N. California feel about the vice presidential picks.  It comes down to what white males, and older females, in Pa., Mi., and Oh. think. That is all.  And in that respect, McCain's first choice beats Obama's by a mile.  Of course, may they both end up with what they deserve for running our country down the toilet.


    8.26.08    City employees use govt time/equipment


    to blog about the city going bankrupt.


    hmmm... whatever happened to those good ol stories about the government employees surfing kiddie porn during the work day?

    ahh, the good ol daze...


    8.26.08     Just Watched a mini-drama unfold

    Housekeeper assaults her husband of 25 years for cheating with another woman.  Turns out the husband of the housecleaner actually didn't cheat with another woman, he cheated with the 24-yr old thief who dresses like a woman, who looked much more like a woman at 1:15 in the am after 8 cervezas than in the next morning.

    then the 24yr old cross dresser threatens to drop a dime on the husband (who must protect his cultural machismo) unless he ponies up 6-0-0.

    the husband steals from the hair stylist, thus setting up/framing the crossdresser.

    alls well that ends well.

    i luv that episode!

    Too bad it isn't yet up on Utube. Unfortunately. had to pay one of those subscription sites $19.95. Luckily, Hillar can't keep track of her finances very well and hasn't noticed that her credit card has been hacked (nasty trojan virus) so i'm still using her card. hope she doesn't mind (not that she'll ever pay it off with her own funds anyway)

    No worries, the billing statement is very discreet. something like "AMEX Expensive Coins, Botox, and Catalytic Converters"

    8.26.08    Theoretical: Person A is selling a coin for about $950

    some guy B asks mr. A to throw in some junk to put it over $1,000. any case law construes that as tax evasion?

    (over 1k purchase not taxable in ca)

    ok, now this scenario.

    some guy in Nv wants to purchase from Mr. A in Calif. (Nv has a sales tax on coin). he asks mr A, to ship it to another state where he maintains a second residence.


    ok, now the second residence does not qualify this year (per tax return), but will qualify per an amended retrun submitted next year (for this fiscal year)

    same answer?

    what if it isn't a second residence, just a rental - same answer?

    ok, now I am the one asking someone to push the price over 1,000.

    same answer?

    what if there is no additional consideration (more silver) and I am just willing to pay 50 more to save 75 on tax?

    same answer?

    here's the best one:

    ok, now they aren't buying the coin at all, rather they are paying me $50 face value (one american eagle gold coin) legal tender for services rendered. i sell next door for $835 FRN.

    . (yes!)

    extra credit, i buy a service for $50 American Eagle. they then immediately sell for $835 FRM (spot, more or less). now they have short term taxable gains of $785, right?


    now, why would they do that???

    8.24.08    Hey, No longer do I set up my thesis

    on the difference between these past Olympics and the 2004 games (and why the next one won’t precede a boom) than Yahoo lays out the some of the reasons why (sort of).





    8.24.08    Olympic Booms?


    How might the overbuilt speculation, furthermore, in these condo developments (many still half empty bode for Dubai or Bejing?  How will Bejing continue the development vector now that the infrastructure exists; is not the current challenge how to utilize that infrastructure? 


    Look at the debt saddling Greece, where is that boom?  Did not Atlanta and Nagano experience the booms Before the Games?  And what boomlet LA experienced after 84 crashed down back to reality in the 90-91 recession/housing bust.


    Last week I was on the Olympic Peninsula, listening primarily to Canadian Broadcasting.  Vancouverites were discussing how the Chinese games would impact their own upcoming Olympics.  Apparently there are no plans to build a new arena to replace the 25-year old concrete structure.  The city and province realize nothing they can do can top the propaganda/theater-of-the-cult blitz known as the 208 games.


    Where’s the next global boom?


    (I’ve been bullish on Brazil and Vietnam. So far – right on the former and wrong on the latter fwiw).


    Hint: it ain’t Indonesia?


    Why the lack of a Boom in Indonesia?

    Or, another great example of a Can-Do-Attitude in a backwaters

    (i.e. if we can Do-It to you, run your name in the mud and company into the ground with full complicity by the watchdogs, press and environmental corps, we can DO IT to ANYONE.)


    Who’s next (‘Big Oil’)


    Oh yeah, that’s a longshot bet!




    8.24.08    An Acquaintance is Moving to Panama


    Let her know I am interested in any running commentary they might provide.  Would also be interested in your due diligence on why you settled on panama vs. elsewhere. What were the pros and cons of each country you looked at?


    Also, regarding your final sentence that the US had not built anything larger than a strip mall, not sure what context you are considering.  What about the dozens of high rise condo developments, most of them new structures, in California, Nevada, Florida? Notwithstanding an infrastructure boom in North Dakota and housing boomlets in parts Texas, and the Carolinas?).


    Personally, I see the housing ‘crisis’ and high-rise vacancies as an engineered ‘problem’ that requires government ‘solution’ – namely: Subsidized housing for 18 million illegal immigrants.  See – all problems ‘solved’!


    8.23.08    Spent Some Time in Port Angeles, Washington

    Was able to hit the hot springs (Olympic, rustic, 5 miles round-trip hike) and the craps table all within a few hours time. 


    My kind of place...


    8.15.08    Went on Vacation


    Came back to see the metals and mining stocks absolutely cratered.  My guess is that they all end the year up from here.  But long term, not a great forward looking indicator for any outcome resembling health and wealth in the macroeconomic world. 


    Going out of town again next week..


    8.15.08    Today’s bonds pay 4%, backed by nothing but desperate hope

    In 1898, the Rio Grande Western Railway Company advertised bonds BACKED BY GOLD –in the amount of a $5,500,000 first trust mortgage - which paid 4%.(New York Sun, June 3, 1889)


    8.5.08    Not all Counterfeit Trades Equal


    Or: How do Banks Get Rid of Their Counterfeit Currency?


    Well, of course all of their currency is counterfeit since fiat paper contains no gold or silver backing, as required by Article one Section 10 of the u.s. constitution, the highest law of the land. Most of the counterfeit federal reserve notes are clamored for by the common working stiffs.  Over the past couple years I have conducted a small anecdotal exercise. I have a counterfeit $100 bill that I present to folks and ask them to tell me if they would accept as a legitimate transaction. So far, about 5 individuals out of 85 have been able to determine the bill's veracity.  This serves as a great teachable moment and education basis for the fundamentals of honest money.


    The really bad bills - those made at home or by North Korea and and Chinese print shops - won't even make it passed the lowly bank tellers.  In these instances, the bank is SUPPOSED to return counterfeit to the US TREASURY.


    However, I know for a fact, that some medium sized banks offer counterfeit for purchase to Coin Dealers in the San Francisco Bay...


    8.5.08    Bought Stillwater Mining (SWC) around $7.67

    Platinum looks oversold, short term.


    8.5.08    Sometimes it Pays to be the Second Person to buy a Rare Coin




    8.3.08    calcium carbide

    Always thought that if there was such an animal as a dedicated international terrorist, they would use calcium carbide (mining grade), an inconspicuous mottled pellet (easily smuggled) and mix into a few well sealed metal thermos containers [a decent oxidizer could be smuggled into the insulating space of the thermos] to either produce enough acetylene gas to flash or enough pressure to burst through a planes hydraulic lines.

    Alternately, mixing well with methanol could produce a very nasty calcium methoxide cocktail; as would silver nitrate forming silver acetylide  another real ass kicker.]. 

    What am I missing here?

    8.2.08    FDIC takes over two more banks, issues warning on others

    They seem to have hit their stride, nationalize assets on Friday evening, afternoon the people have turned their attention from work to more important things like football camp and filling out forms in triplicate.


    8.2.08    Ivins the Anthrax Boogeyman - Finally gets suicided. 

    Saves the FBI what little face remains. (Surprised they didn't blame Richard Jewell again).


    They simply ran out of ideas on how to spin the simple fact that weaponized anthrax originated at US research facilities.  Amazing he survived this long, considering how many of his fellow microbiologist researchers have befallen untimely accidents leading to their death.


    TERROR: By the government for the government.


    "A top U.S. biodefense researcher apparently committed suicide just as the Justice Department was about to file criminal charges against him in the anthrax mailings that traumatized the nation in the weeks following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, according to a published report. "

    [Who Planted the First Anthrax Propaganda Articles? (Who stood to profit)]

    Or, remember this headline from the last week of September, 2001.


    "Iraq 'behind US anthrax outbreaks'


    Of course you don't remember the propaganda. however bet you do remember the 'soltiuon': the Patriot act, all ready written and staged - just waiting for a cause and rallying point to dry the ink!


    Oh well, at least his untimely death save we the taxpayers a couple thousand dollars of expenses necessary to form a commission to get to the bottom of the matter.


    The New York Times, for her part, points out just some of the numerous, typical and plenty FBI screw-ups, while generally supporting the entire charade.




    These folks make fun of the whitewash job conducted by the NYT; granted - an easy target to make fun of and generally ridicule for their support of the police state apparatchiks.





    The Bottom Penultimate Line:


    The guy is dead = therefore guilty.  No further questions necessary.


    If you do ask one too many questions about the emperors clothes, then they simply shut down your accounts:




    Get used to it...



    7.31.08    Both Exxon and Shell miss profit targets

    So much for windfall profits. And if they can't make a buck off the oil price, what chance do YOU have?


    7.29.08    Today's Rant:

    I've posted this, or similar variations, at a couple well-read if mundane sites.  How should I change my message for maximum effect?


    Argue about the quirks of an over-the-hill millionaire athlete on the internet?


    Get Real...


    Start Now. There are better outlets for your precious time and energy.  Pick something relevant to the fate of yourself and family. Start with your street and neighborhood and consider how your actions today will create your world tomorrow.


    We can turn this ship around.


    Yet, as long as you vote for the demopuplican oligarchy, things will continue down this downward spiral path.  Only once third party and independent legislators have access to bill riders can any motion gain traction to remove - at least in portion -the lobbyists from our pocketbook.  "k' street lobbyists govern only for k street. How many legislators do you imagine had a piece drafting the 700 page housing bill, much less read it?  The worst piece of legislation since the last one, though not nearly as bad as the FDIC bailout bill currently being drafted.


    The hour is late...



    7.29.08    Mervyn's Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy




    Why don't we get this over with and only allow one store - for "everything, everywhere, all the time".


    7.27.08    Dr Edgar Mitchell Confirms that Aliens have visited Earth recently.




    Funny, he was the same guy who defends all the anomalies in NASA footage of the original spacewalk.  Guess he wants to free his conscience on the deathbed while still protecting the pension, just in case!


    7.26.08    National Australia Bank writes down US Assets a full 90%


    The bank said the write-off was based on a worst-case scenario of a "meltdown" of the U.S. mortgage market, but fund managers at a briefing questioned the quality of the rest of the bank's securitized assets.  Reportedly the write down consists of '"AA-rated CDO tranches".


    When our ally bankers tell us our debt is worth 10% on the dollar, you must expect that they are being rather gracious. 



    7.26.08    The Housing Bailout Bill

    Without doubt, the worst and most devastating bill ever passed by the US Congress (since the last time they passed a bill).




    Sen. DeMint R-S.C., delayed the final vote because Democrats refused to allow him a vote on a proposal to ban the companies from lobbying or making political donations to lawmakers. Right, more grandstanding.


    Read some commentary by Denninger, Wish I had those 4 minutes of my life back. Not sure why some folks raise the brou-ha-ha over his tripe.  Hope that excerpt is not representative of the garbage he typically packages/pushes.


    What really scratched my album was his disinformation spiel on the financial tracking mechanism inserted into the bill.  To hear mr. d. tell the tale, this provision is as apple as American pie - a just and pious effort by our keepers to make sure the tax cheats don't get away with it next year. 


    Well, how come mr. d didn't lay out the over 100 years+ of doctrine and supporting court decisions which firmly established that income is not taxable?  Not too hard to raise above the muck when the standard he sets for himself starts out 1,800 meters below reasonable and informed discourse.


    Even should I grant the ridiculous point that that this bill was necessary to clamp down on the real culprit and criminal responsible for our country's economic condition (the stay at home mother trying to make a couple grand on ebay to pay the family's rising food and energy bills) mr. d still did not address this glaring fact (whether error of omission or commission unknown): How does mandatory reporting of every citizen credit card transaction to the great government database support his contention, much less the gist of the legislation?


    Of course, they've been tracking our electronic transactions for years, but now its legal (nay mandatory).


    Oh well, another $880M+ down the drain = just another baby step.


    7.26.08    First National Bank of Nevada Fails

    Taken over by criminals with even more experience.




    Believe it or not this was the first bank where I ever started a checking account, Downtown Reno Branch.  My how far the finances of the Silver State have fallen. Allowed into the Union for her silver mines, the state now faces declining tourism, gaming and housing receipts all at the same time - three bedrock industries of the past 70 years.  Thankfully gold mining remains strong, basically carrying the rural economy at this point.  The cities are importing statist republicans and typical democrats in a stratagem to firmly an finally swing the electorate into the blue column, thus ensuring complete dependence upon government handouts for the next generation.


    Now, the FDIC has already blown their load to a tune of almost 20% of their reserves on takeover of IndyMac Bank. So you need to wonder at this point which dirty lobbyists are already drafting the 900+ page bill to add three or four of your taxpayer-payer funded zeros at the end of the FDIC balance to bail out the other hundreds of banks waiting in the wings for a sugar daddy.  


    The AP spins the bank failures as due to a "poor economy".


    Regrettably, the local business writers fell down on the job years ago, now hardly able to dodge, weave, and maneuver around the puppet string attached firm to the top of their head. The puppet strings occasionally move in opposite directions, but the AP feed seems to dominate on Tuesdays, Friday morning, and weekends.




    Of course the locals don't believe the spin-tripe either.  We haven't yet been dumbed-down quite as much as AP and her financiers have targeted.


    Simply yet one more example where the mainstream press has prostrated themselves to the fiat-moneyed interests and can no longer carry out their duties and responsibilities.  I haven't exactly heard many compassionate sighs as newsrooms across the country have been slashing reporter and editorial posts at old-timey newspaper. They've reaped their just desserts.


    The blogs representing all good citizenry actually paying attention have had to pick up the increasing slack. 


    7.25.08    Paper Covers Rock (metal ore)

    Today's conundrum: Would you rather have a single ounce of gold or this $1,000 gold certificate?


    How do you suppose the wanker banker and the common man answered the questions differently in the shadows of the 1907 panic?


    From Heritage Galleries:

    Unique Series 1907 $1000 Gold Certificate to be Offered at Long Beach
    By Dustin Johnston

    1219b Series 1907 $1,000

    1219b Series 1907 $1,000

    In 1990, the sale of the Thompson Collection was the first public offering of the unique Fr. 1219b Series 1907 $1,000 Gold Certificate. Only 12,000 examples of the Series 1907 $1,000 Gold Certificate were issued during the joint tenure of James C. Napier and Lee McClung. They served together as Register of the Treasury and Treasurer for less than two years, between March 1911 and November 1912, making their signature combination on currency scarcer than most joint tenures of the time. The almost exclusive use as carefully accounted for, interbank monetary instruments nearly assured the redemption and subsequent destruction of most high denomination notes.

    The design of this high denomination gold certificate is regal, employing a golden-yellow overprint and back design intended to remind the user of its status as a monetary instrument redeemable in gold coin on demand. Changes to the Federal Reserve Act on December 24, 1919 resulted in a minor design change to the $1000 Gold Certificates, a clause was placed over the bright $1000 overprint on the face. The change called an end to the Series 1907 issues and ushered in the slightly altered and not nearly as beautiful Series 1922 issues.

    While many rarities considered unique among collectors since their kin are permanently impounded in institutional collections at the Smithsonian and Federal Reserve Banks, this note is the only example known in or out of government hands. Collectors now are even more determined to take home a rarity like this than ever before, and its status as a true numismatic rarity will command a price likely to well exceed its 2005 realization of $241,500 in the Taylor Family Collection Auction. The piece is part of the impressive Jupiter Collection being offered in the September 17-19, 2008


    7.25.08    Bought back KGC around $18.50


    We'll see how it works this time.


    Have played KGC well this year. Wish I could say the same about all my other trades (having the worst year trading since 04).



    6.28.08    Sold half my GG @46.70

    Shares disappeared within micro second 

    (sold 50% of position b.c. stock up 50% and now overweighed in my portfolio [and overweight in XAU quite a bit by now as well])

    >12.26.06    Bought KGC @ 11.37

    >Bought MDG @ 27.10

    >Bought AEM @ 30.50

    >Bought back GG @27.5 (had sold on the 7th @ 29.5)

    4.17.08    Another sector arbitrage pair: MRB and KGC


    Caught this one real nice:




    MRB performed 2x as well as KGC.  Wow, how similar they traded throughout most of the period and how differently they traded for a two week period to end march, which made the deal.


     Look to make a decision next week...


    "1.24.08    Traded out of KGC and back into MRB today."



    7.25.08    Another 'Corporate Action'

    SLV splits.


    (I don't like splits)


    7.25.08    Added another Titanium supplier to the links page



    I receive numerous spams every week from folks who want me to add a link to their page.  Occasionally there arrives a worthy seeker.


    The timing proves most cuprous. Not more than a few minutes after I add the link to the titanium supplier, does yahoo push a story on 'blood titanium' and how the evil western child forces poor little Congolese children into the deep evil mines - causing the Rwandan war. Or something most ridiculous.




    7.25.08    The Bad Actors usually wait patiently for the exogenous even (earthquake, flood, etc.) to Act

    For example, the plans to usurp control (various elements of martial law or increased influence/control of the monetary and banking system) are always written well in advance (using your tax money). The administration-regime then awaits patiently (jet sets around the world making grand pronouncements, again - using your tax money).


    THEN, when the big one hits (massive flood, earthquake, assassination et. al.) they spring into action with their Grand Plan to Help!

    Of course, this only transfers more power to them at your expense.


    One can tell when the regime becomes most desperate - they plan or execute the exogenous event (Reichstag Fire, 911) rather than wait for the organic event.


    7.24.08    Kennedy and executive order 11110.
    Read the article yesterday showing how the reason for his demise was that he made the wrong enemies by threatening to move in on the Federal Reserves' monopoly.

    However, I do wish the author would have provided a little more factual context on the panic of 1907, just to demonstrate the articles motives.


    The bankers didn't cause the crash of '07, but they did pile on in an effort to deepen and expand the crisis to support their own nefarious and pre-existing agenda.


    The origins of the 1906 panic formed out of organic reasons. The San Francisco earthquake created a severe liquidity crunch in the fastest growing region of the US - at the time.  The Saint Louis worlds fair marked the beginning of the end for that city's business dominance of the western front. Typically, as  history shows, once the city's fathers begin building  monuments and bestowing honors amongst their selves and cronies symbolizing grandeur of their vision, 'tis time to move west my man. The eastern money influence waned with the burgeoning city of San Francisco.  Her edifices rose from the bay mudflats supported by Nevada Silver (Tonopah) and Gold (Goldfield). Both camps were actually in decline or nearly so as of late 1906 although the city of SF continue to grow; propelled via the ubiquitous inertia of hope.


    The west still grappled with shortages of hard money - a condition present since the beginning of the War Between the States.  Silver and gold managed to carry most capital funding but many day-to-day transactions had been relegated to the arena of 'good for' tokens and scrip. Hard money, already exhibiting shortages, simply became unavailable (through both hoarding and lack of transportation necessary for distribution) following the SF earthquake.  


    Distraught western merchants leaned on eastern bankers who then tapped the insurance agents, many based in Britain.  The British bankers then inserted their own particular brand of malicious mischief into the mix. They smelled blood amongst the eastern bankers and leaned in hard.  The bankers eventually colluded toward the federal reserve we know today, supporting plans already laid in place by nefarious controlling interests.


    On a related aside, those fighting the good fight still carry on - in this case digging the dirt where our intelligence agents buried the corpse.


    Here is an excerpt from a New York Times article earlier this week (subscription content - so no link):


    Lawsuit on F.B.I. Informant Seeks Mobster's Link to 1963 Kennedy Assassination; [Metropolitan Desk]

    Alan Feuer. New York Times. (Late Edition (East Coast)). New York, N.Y.: Jul 22, 2008. pg. B.3

    Copyright New York Times Company Jul 22, 2008

    Abstract (Summary)

    In pursuing the Scarpa file and its potential to flesh out Mr. Marcello's possible role in the Kennedy killing, Ms. Clemente is following a trail blazed in part by G. Robert Blakey, a professor of law at the University of Notre Dame who also served as the chief counsel and staff director to the House Select Committee on Assassinations, which from 1977 to 1979 investigated the killings of President Kennedy and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

    A New Jersey paralegal with a longstanding interest in government corruption filed a lawsuit against the Justice Department and the F.B.I. on Monday, seeking the release of the full case file on a murderous Brooklyn Mafia informant -- papers she believes may shed light on the possible involvement of a dead New Orleans crime boss in the killing of President John F. Kennedy.

    The lawsuit, filed in Federal District Court in Washington by the paralegal, Angela Clemente, asks the Federal Bureau of Investigation to make public any documents it may still hold related to the mobster, Gregory Scarpa Sr., who for nearly 30 years led a stunning double life as a hit man for the Colombo crime family and, in the words of the F.B.I, a "top echelon" informant for the bureau.

    In her suit, Ms. Clemente asked the bureau to release all papers connected to Mr. Scarpa (who died of AIDS in 1994 after receiving a blood transfusion), especially those related to Carlos Marcello, a New Orleans don suspected by some of having played a role in the Kennedy assassination on Nov. 22, 1963.

    Ms. Clemente filed a Freedom of Information Act request for Mr. Scarpa's file in April, and the F.B.I. acknowledged her request in a letter on June 9, saying that bureau officials would search their records for relevant papers. Ms. Clemente's lawyer, James Lesar, said that the F.B.I. had not yet told her if it would release the file or not, but that under federal law, a lawsuit can be filed compelling the release of records 20 working days after such a letter is received.

    John Miller, a spokesman for the F.B.I., did not return phone calls on Monday seeking comment on Ms. Clemente's suit. Dean Boyd, a Justice Department spokesman, said officials would review the suit and respond if needed in court.

    In pursuing the Scarpa file and its potential to flesh out Mr. Marcello's possible role in the Kennedy killing, Ms. Clemente is following a trail blazed in part by G. Robert Blakey, a professor of law at the University of Notre Dame who also served as the chief counsel and staff director to the House Select Committee on Assassinations, which from 1977 to 1979 investigated the killings of President Kennedy and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

    While the Warren Commission said there was no link between Mr. Marcello and the president's death, Mr. Blakey's report to the House was considerably more circumspect, saying the F.B.I.'s "handling of the allegations and information about Marcello was characterized by a less than vigorous effort to investigate its reliability."

    Ms. Clemente is in possession of several heavily redacted papers from the Scarpa file, which suggest, however vaguely, she said, that Mr. Scarpa, who spied on numerous gangsters for the F.B.I., may also have spied on Mr. Marcello.

    Professor Blakey, reached by phone at his office at Notre Dame on Monday, said he had seen the papers, adding that no matter what the unredacted versions might eventually reveal, he was convinced that he should have seen them 30 years ago, while conducting his Congressional investigation.

    "The issue here is not what's in them," Professor Blakey said, "so much as that they seem to have held them back from me. I thought I had the bureau file on Marcello -- now it turns out I didn't, did I? So I'm not a small, I'm a major, supporter of what Angela is trying to do."

    Ms. Clemente, 43, often refers to herself as a "forensic intelligence analyst." She has been researching Mr. Scarpa for nearly a decade as part of a broader project on the improper use of government informants. The Brooklyn district attorney's office has said her work on Mr. Scarpa was instrumental in helping the office file quadruple murder charges against Mr. Scarpa's former F.B.I. handler, Roy Lindley DeVecchio.

    The charges against Mr. DeVecchio were dropped midtrial in October when Tom Robbins, a reporter for The Village Voice, suddenly showed prosecutors taped interviews he made years ago with the main prosecution witness, Mr. Scarpa's mistress, suggesting that she had changed her account and damaged her credibility.

    Faced with the sudden demise of years of investigative work, Ms. Clemente went back, she said, to the redacted papers she already had. She said she was intrigued, after additional study, to discover references to Mr. Scarpa's apparent involvement in F.B.I. projects in New Orleans in the late 1950s and early 1960s -- well before his publicly acknowledged role in helping the Kennedy administration learn the whereabouts of three slain civil rights workers by traveling to Mississippi to threaten a member of the Ku Klux Klan.

    She said the F.B.I. had fought her "tooth and nail" in her efforts to obtain the full Scarpa file for Mr. DeVecchio's trial. The F.B.I. did not return phone calls seeking comment on that allegation as well.

    "And that," she said, "is what really piqued my curiosity."

    7.21.08    Australian Carbon Consultant calls it quits




    Imagine one day you wake up and realize you had been working for a lie over the past seven years.

    Now imagine all those people who haven't yet woken up.


    7.19.08    Etrade Inserted a new Welcome Page

    The page states that my trading account is insured/covered up to $500,000.


    That makes me a little bit nervous.


    7.16.08 Anatomy of a Bank Run


    Folks hoping to play musical chairs, pull the money out of one bank and deposit into another.

    How do they know the next bank won't fail?

    Here is the human emotion quotient revealed:


    Financial Reserve Fiat Banking is nothing more than a confidence game.

    When the confidence is gone...


    7.14.08    Now: Time in the cycle to buy the Means of Production.


    if u cant hold money in the banks
    and the stock markets have a negative return (and housing, and bonds)
    and the govt will steal your gold
    and the coins are fake chinese...

    looking at ranches now.

    AUM is animal units monthly, how grazing contracts are bought and sold in the western US.


    y'all look up AUM , waterrights and carbons contracts. Homework for today.


    7.14.08    Metallica Resources (formerly MRB)

    now trades as NEW GOLD INC CDA COM NGD: AMEX


    Call me a hopeless romantic, but I liked the old name better.


    Hey, but it only took firggin eTrade two trading days to figure out my balance didn't go to zero for that line item.


    Guess they got bigger things to worry about - like solvency.


    7.14.08    Someone pointed out this type of biofuel reactor as a potential solution.

    Read here:  


    They remain rather vague about the process.  One initial concern I note is a problem with their suggested source: feedstock tallow.

    A) Note that tallow is a notorious weed/invasive

    B) C4 vs. C4 plants

    Note that c3 plants will out perform (growth and mass definitely, yield possibly) than c4 plants with a rising C02 environment).  However, c4 plants possess better drought tolerance. Of course, there are actually THREE ways plants fix CO2.

    C) The gentleman in the link haven’t yet figured out use of food stock as fuel for a bioreactor doesn’t solve the problem.  We need to use WASTE stock.

    Not sure about your hemisphere, but we have an incredibly amount of waste here.  As previously described, a city where I previously resided has a biowaste reactor.  Eventually there will sprout ubiquitously over the landscape. 

    Hence, restaurant tallow (wastestock) is a better use

    This guy does a good job laying out some pros and cons of biosources:


    It has been less than two years when most people flat out didn’t believe me when I explained you could run an engine on vegetable oil power.

    Now look how far we’ve come on board.

    For that matter, many folks are now nodding their head rather than staring blankly when I explain that Hemp proves a better biofuel source than almost all alternatives when analyzed across a full spectrum of metrics.
    However, the fact that big pharma/chemical has kept it illegal for 70 years illustrates fully that our problems are political – not technical.

    Once we solve the problem of a corrupt politician…

    7.13.08    Guess we got the government answer on he banking failures:



    well, that didn't take long.




    7.13.08    Someone else noticed all the fake coins and grading slabs produced from China.

    Well, you could keep your money in the bank...


    7.10.08    Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (FNM, FRE)

    In Freefall. FRE lost another HALF in their stock value IN ONE WEEK.

    Now bankrupt and insolvent. Just wondering what to wear to their funeral.

    Former Saint Louis Chairman Federal Reserve Poole declared yesterday that, essentially, the US Govt will be forced to nationalize these two enterprises. Forced nationalization of the bad debt while the bankers skim the cream. Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch now in the crosshairs.

    Your credit is used up. Your US government already pledged you for over $300k per family in debt. The Chinese and Japanese will no longer loan us money (As shown in the Treasury action that I've brought to your attention over the last half-decade).

    What shall we do, sell another Chrysler building to Abu Dubai?

    Our banks need another $200Billion this month to stay afloat. What bid do I hear for Yosemite National Park?

    Can't believe it's been almost five years since I started this bond thread. In the first post I posted how the action in these two stocks (FNM, FRE) portended major upheaval in the bond market. At the time just didn't realize how severe the action would prove, especially on the international scale.

    Have you woken yet? Prepared? You don't have another five years to think about it.

    The hour is getting late...

    7.9.08    Rest in Peace John Templeton

    One of our greatest ex-pat investors - funny ideas and all.


    7.9.08    Someone asked about Stock Indices

    Wit: "Is there a way I could look up a list of all of the stock prices within an exchange online ? Like what they show in the papers ?


    My Answer:


    I've never seen someone offer this product for free before; I have seen it offered via subscription or payment. That was a few years ago when folks were rather hot on the stock markets.

    You can build your own listing on yahoo simply by entering the ticker symbols. For example, the DOW has only 30 stock; the FTSE 100 and Nasdaq 100 are also relatively easy. The stocks which make up these indices are widely available.  I built my own mining stock index a few years ago, with a couple hundred listings. Amazing how often the symbols change and/or the company folds.


    Not sure what your purposes are, but you may consider the difference between price-weighted and capitalization weighted indices if you are doing wide performance comparisons.

    You will either have to manually enter the ticker symbol for each stock on the index into a spreadsheet/database yourself of pay someone a fee for license to the product they've already developed. I've never seen it offered for free.

    More importantly, what is the lesson you hope to learn from the exercise?

    Do you have time to track 3,000 stocks? Very few people do, especially to any degree of usefulness; which is why they developed indices.

    On a capitalization-weighted exchange of 3,000 listings, the bottom half -roughly - only effects the index price a fraction of what the top 100 influence the index. Most traders focused on money flow into/out of the sector leaders, which is why the technical indicators focus on money flow rather than the accumulation/distribution line for any individual stock. A/D is tracked for the broad index whereas WHO is buying (insiders, funds, specs, little guy) is tracked for individual listings.

    So, what is the point of following the price change on the bottom third of the index/exchange?

    7.4.08    The Freedom Index: Annual Status

    Again, down from last year, but not much.  Will depend largely upon the vote net week on the FISA bill.


    7.3.08    What do they know?



    7.3.08    Yukon Nevada plans increase in gold production at Jerritt Canyon


    Will this be the time they make their mark?





    7.3.08    How long do you deserve to live?


    Well – of course - that all depends on who gets to decide how many carbon credits you deserve.  And guess who is going to decide that?




    “Let your tears dry before your heart does”



    7.2.08    Worried that you don’t have a horse in the game regarding forced privatization

    Of Lehman Brothers Commercial Bank?


    Don’t fret: Little people will have a shot at playing in the bank run game at neighborhood banks all over the country. Perhaps one in your neighborhood!  This banking crisis is afterall, and equal opportunity financial panic, not just for the big boyz.




    Meanwhile, in the midst of a continuing yet worsening plunge in the banking index, Fannie Mae (FNM) is coming up on critical technical support (double bottom). Should be good for a bounce – even if ephemeral.


    Citigroup © just broke critical support and must now work out of a nasty head and shoulders formation failure.



    7.1.08    A Book Review: Ben Franklin's Guide to Wealth.


    This compact book produced by Conari press in 2004 originally sold at Border's Book's for $10.50.  CoinMine presents the books here for $1.95.  Ben Franklin would approve of the discount.


    Of course Franklin, projecting his philosophical bequests upon those following the gifts thrift whilst working all his life against the scourge of penury,

    gained the economic nickname Poor Richard.


    This book, written by Erin Barett and Jack Mingo, present and expound upon Benjamin Franklin's financial and economic treatises and witticisms.  They begin with 10 major platforms originally presented in Poor Richards Almanack, produced by Franlklin and one of his earliest commercial success, and build upon Franklins economic bon mots - presenting lessons for the modern age. The lesson is timeless although the application and mechanics may change somewhat with the decades. 


    Erin and Jack originally start out with Franklins wise admonishments against wasting time. Laziness and sloth eat away at your treasures as moths to cloth.  Take a look around you and realize how few of your fellow countrymen simply do not follow this wise and simple advice.   They follow up with lessons on how to mind your daily an financial business utilizing those time-tested methods that have built wealth over the centuries.


    Attention to detail and thrift provide the next tow topics for consideration and illumination. These two qualities kept my head above water when I had been failing in all the other topics. This shows the sheer gravitas behind the idea of living within your means and really knowing what - exactly - those means are in every individual case.


    Barett and Jack Mingo hone in on the joys and beauty of Living Simply and Breaking the Chains of Debt in the next two chapters. This strategy may enable the authors to realize that Franklins wisdom has now become their own. Their study of the master, through osmosis at a minimum, provided them the foresight to predict that the economic period we are currently entering will reward - nay demand! - these qualities. Wiping out the debt and excess from a society keep the people free as throw off the yokes which bind them toward despots.  regrettably, financial and personal paid - individual and collective- form the price we all will pay to some degree for this lesson on how to return to those roots which grew this country fair and strong since the seed- sowing days of the late 1700s.   


    The book won't make you rich quick or provide the bedrock of economic education that few of us seem to learn until the date of our retirement draws nigh. Nevertheless, the concepts never lose weight and Franklin showed such a powerful wordsmith, packing lessons into mere sentences, that any authors following down his path cannot help but suffer the fate of seeming superfluous and fluffly. Still, the majority of


    "Get what you can, and what you get hold; 'tis the stone that will turn all your lead into gold." - Benjamin Franklin.


    Here Poor Richard refers to the Philosophers stone - that elusive piece of earth sought by alchemists for its reported attribute which allowed it to turn lead into gold.  Franklin wisely counsels here that the truest gold you already hold in your hands, and heart, and head.  Keep your attributes humble and pure and wealth will follow. Sage advice.


    6.29.08    More MortMain

    The market has not been able to digest the forced liquidation of Bear Stearns and therefore coughed up a rather large fur ball. 

    The bonds and equities demonstrate that Bernanke and fellow criminals badly executed their special blend of usury, equity stripping, malfeasance and larceny.

    Larger markets realize the outright theft of shareholder value by the Federal Reserve, given to their cronies under cover of a Sunday Night, underwritten by the US taxpayer and investors.

    In turn the banking and finance sectors have gained momentum in their great downward spiral decent.

    Indeed, as predicted here, BAC has ramrodded the poison-pill-laden legislation through the USHouse. This legislation will saddle the US taxpayers (those too dumb/poor to obtain the loopholes) with the debt while BAC strips the equities. = Free houses for the bankers while the poor working folks carry either $100k more than they own on their home, or lug around a bankruptcy for the next 7-10 years.  Just one of the poison pills is the provision inserted by Criminal Senior Dodd which provides the US Government the ‘power’ to track and store in a database every electronic transaction conducted by the US citizenry (electronic payments, debits, ebay and paypal, electronic banking, etc.).

    BAC was able to utilize the best politicians that money can buy (given the selction and sorry state of the money) to hand-carry the legislation off the banker’s shelf through the Peoples House. However, President Bush amazingly enough found what remains of his spine and threatened to veto the mess.

    As such, you can see BAC has lost OVER a full third of its value since I pointed out the fundamental weakness and technical breakdown in the stock on Feb 29, 2008.

    Here’s the performance.


    One thing yields clear to even the most casual observer – more banking failures are on the way.

    The smart money has begun withdrawing their funds out of US banks.

    6.29.08    Circulating Coin Census: US 1930’s

    Interesting read on the relative rarity, wear patterns and 19th century collector interest in circulating coins.


    6.28.08    Never focus on just the dark matter

    You won't be able to find most of it anyway.  More importantly, you'll miss the lighter moments.

    Sure the 2nd amendment ruling left a bitter taste due to the imbedded poison pill (lots of those around) inserted into this Trojan horse by Scalia.

    But it bought us a couple years...

    Bet you never saw this bombshell.  IRS Complex lost a big one to the honest money brigade:

    The IRS versus the People (Represented in this case by Kahre)


    I start out some of my talks the same way as this guy.

    Paper in one hand and silver in the other!

    A great take on the story:


    Karhe has less than 20k google hits. The mainstream press is doing everything to bury this story. Man beats IRS - nah, nobody cares about that, hou COULD it be news. Right...

    6.28.08    Sold half my GG @46.70

    Shares disappeared within micro second 

    (sold 50% of position b.c. stock up 50% and now overweighed in my portfolio [and overweight in XAU quite a bit by now as well])

    >12.26.06    Bought KGC @ 11.37

    >Bought MDG @ 27.10

    >Bought AEM @ 30.50

    >Bought back GG @27.5 (had sold on the 7th @ 29.5)

    There goes our ‘leader’ of the week: GSS


    Etrade shows there has been NO insider buying this year.

    The non-news is out. Put my low ball bids in, getting close to coming through…

    6.28.08    Collapse of Middle Class

    Someone brought my attention to a story regarding some clown moaning because they can’t afford a car payment!  Darn straight, if they don’t have cash in an account as arbitrage against the payment then – by definition – they CAN’T afford it.

    Wipe out the bad credit: That’s exactly what’s needed right now!

    You don’t measure the strength of an organization by the weak hands, indeed you measure the weakness of the organization by the weakest length of the chain. Once identified, the chain is replaced by a stronger one.

    6.27.08    Furthermore...

    You and a friend could buy and sell the same coin x number of times back and forth, not ship (though it looks like it) not pay insurance, and save the shipping/transaction costsOf course, that is EXACTLY why the new mortgage bailout bill has provisions to report every electronic financial transaction to the govt.

    6.27.08    How to get an ounce of gold for *almost* free


    (well, you can buy at 1999 levels anyway - one third of today's value)

    Before reading further: You must already have, or sign up for: EBAY, MSFT and Paypal.

    Here is the deal: MSFT will rebate you btw 15-20% (has been as high as 30% and low as 10%). Today was at 17% and %20.

    If you have bought/sold frequently enough on Ebay of late you may already have a 10% off coupon that expires on the 30th.

    You can use the MSFT deal 3x per account. So, if you buy an OZ of physical AU at $1,030 (about the going rate for BIN auctions) you will get an Ebay discount of $100 and MSFT rebate of $200 (after 60 days). Do it three times (max #times per MSFT per account) and you save 200, 200, 200 and 100 dollars = $700. So, you can buy an ounce of gold for only one third its value. Not too shabby.

    Not sure, but you may be able to exceed 3x in paypal (we have 2 ebay accts).

    Here are the particulars:

    If you use Microsoft's live search you can get as much as a 20% rebate on an eBay item (up to $250). Here's how to take advantage of the offer. First you go to the live search website live.com. In the upper right corner you will see a link that says cashback. Click on that link. Then click on the Your cashback Account link. Then on the left side of the page you will see a choice to either open a cashback account using your existing Windows Live ID or you can sign up for a Windows Live ID then sign up for your cashback account.

    We already had a Windows Live ID and went through the process using that ID, it was pretty simple. Note, if you have a hotmail account, a windows messenger ID, or a Windows passport they are all considered a Windows Live ID. Also if you use Windows Live OneCare for virus protection you set up a Windows Live ID to activate the software. Microsoft will send you an email once you have set up your cashback account. Follow the instructions in the email and you are good to go.

    Then all you have to do is conduct a search using live.com. When you conduct the search look for something generic such as silver coins, silver bullion, silver quarters, etc. You will see a gray box with sponsor links in the top middle of the page. You should see a link to ebay in this box and it will say something like "Buy silver coins. You may get 20% off with Paypal if eligible". Click on that link and it will take you to eBay. Note, I have noticed that the %off amount changes frequently. I have seen it at 10%,15%, and 20%. I discovered that if you refresh your browser a few times you will see different numbers (higher or lower). I would recommend refreshing your browser a few times until you see 20%.

    You will see an icon at the top of the page that says "Microsoft cashback 20%. Buy it now with Paypal and you may get cashback." Once you see this you have 60 minutes to complete a transaction.

    The rebate only applies to purchases made using a buy it now and paid for using paypal. When you find something you want to buy, click buy it now and you will see a message that tells you how much you will get back from Microsoft. Then pay for the item using Paypal. If you still haven't used your 10% off coupon from eBay you will be able to use it at this point. 20% cash rebate from Microsoft + 10% off from eBay= a total of 30% off.

    Once you have paid for the item you will get a message from eBay that says: It pays to shop eBay! You've earned US $xxx.xx cashback. It then provides additional instructions on what to do to get your money. Microsoft will wait 60 days before they give you your money. If you return the item you will not receive your rebate.

    Here is one place where the deal is described and tracked:


    6.26.08    Paper: Ephemera Strength

    "One of the first commercial multipage United States telephone directories, Vol. 1, No. 1 for New Haven, Conn., was printed in 1878, just two years after the phone was invented. It listed 391 subscribers. Estimated at $30,000 to $40,000, it sold last week at Christie's for $170,500. The phone book included instructions on how to use the phone: "Never take the telephone off the hook unless you wish to use it. Commence the conversation by saying 'Hulloa.' When you are done talking, say 'That is all!'"

    Source: Kovels


    6.22.08     Three Ghost Riders of Retirement:


    Market Risk, Inflation, Longevity


    6.20.08    One the Pissing Contest between ECB and FED

    Regarding "monetary policy"


    Hey - I got a solution: War. You guys hosted last seven or eight times, looks like its our turn.




    That way, you can monitor our carbon consumption real-time and we'll all know exactly how to behave.


    6.19.08    More than one way to peel an onion

    Someone opined:

    “In my view, there are about 1.8 tons of compressed sand/gravel in 1 cubic yard of material.”

    To which I reply:
    That could be very well – completely depends upon local soil conditions (down to the pedon).
    I’ve measure ratios (in field) under one and up to 1.8something)

    If the observation if in the field, you could make a case for the bank volume methodology.

    If the observation is out of the field, you might consider the bulk density method.

    Better yet,
    - Time Domain Reflectometry (TDR)
    - ASTM D-1556 (Sand Cone)
    - Drive Tube
    - ASTM D 2922 (Direct Transmission NuKE-U-Lar)

    Someone further opined:

    “The results were accurate but pretty meaningless.”

    To which I further mewled: HOWZABOUT: “Due to reporting and/or methodology anomalies, results were precise but not accurate; hence sampling will be repeated within a larger sampling programme including multiple split and duplicate samples to ensure reporting accuracy and assurance” .

    Random thoughts for a better world...



    6.19.08    Read some folks discussing how a mining firm PR department reports mining results

    If what is presented here is correct regarding what the PR department is telling current/future investors, then there are serious QA/QC issues with the firm.


    so NO, it is NOT ok to assume a 'ton' is 2,000 lbs. Terminology, lexicon and vernacular count outside handgrenades and atom bombs. The difference btw 'short ton', 'ton' and 'tonne' can be over 10%.

    Not sure about you, but at the end of the quarter/year 10% makes a difference on my return.

    Would you rather own a company that pays a 5% divvy every year, or loses 5% every year. That's 10%. Plenty of folks on this fair globe scratching out for 2-5%.


    The PR department should just report the assay amounts.

    There are methods and standards which govern laboratory reporting (and very few - if any that govern PR).

    If the PR want to talk in tonnage - without - mentioning the important topics of waste tonnage and cut-off grades, etc. then they are leading down any number of uneven and unproven paths, mostly circular.

    Furthermore, why not report lab results that have been validated? Adds a second layer of independent analysis.



    6.18.08    Trouble in Water Works

    Washoe County water district taxpayers defrauded by millions. Amazing anybody notices, really, considering the county management essentially admits they have now idea what they own (much less how to manage the resource - but that goes unsaid).




    Few people take a look to see what is really going on in this sector, so allow me to provide some simple guideposts:


    The water and wastewater industries have been, in some fashion, deregulated in the 1980's and 1990s'.  Federal and State government regulations favored establishing 'special districts' of which water and sewer are just two types of these special districts.



    6.17.08    Some of the smart money is now exiting the oil and gas sectors.

    But what about Brigham Exploration? (BEXP). Doesn't look like a triple top or exhaustion gap to me...


    6.17.08    Photobucket Hacked

    The world largest file holder w/ over 5 billion images still losing out to a german outfit.


    6.15.08    John Ensign, R-Nv can't change allegiances at this point in the game.

    Stay's with the oil and gas industry that brought him to the prom.




    What's a trader to do?


    Well, if the credits won't be extended - maybe time to take some of the profits we've made in US Geothermal and NV Geothermal???



    6.13.08    Lithium

    Somebody asked about lithium. Her was my take in  January 05:



    Alternative Energy: Lithium


    Somebody doesn’t want this lithium-based energy developer gaining traction:




    Nevada has very productive lithium mines.

    Remember, the di-lithium crystals powered the starship enterprise…


    Alternative Energy: The difficulty is not the technology

    Rather, the application.


    In 1973 the United States Postal Service began converting its fleet of service vehicles (at the time, the largest non-military fleet in the world) to compressed natural gas.  However, neither Ford nor its vendors nor any other group could develop a suitable converter package with suitable maintenance and operation requirements. The Postal service completely abandoned CNG technology for the entire fleet by the end of the millennium.  Currently, the entire fleet runs on standard fuels; the focus fro the future lies on two technologies: biodiesel and electric (hybrid) vehicles.



    When I looked a little into Whistler at the time, I found this little gem:




    Naked shorting, unauthorized listing on a minor exchange, and resultant Company pulling out of the exchanges.  AFAIK, they went private.


    a firm driven off their course by the naked shorter and market shenanigans.


    And a Lithium/energy in a post a few weeks later: April 05:


    4.4.05 Oil and Energy Plays

    That are currently (or very recently, or will be) in my holdings:


    Vectren: VVC

    Nicor: GAS

    Kerr McGee KMG

    Enerplus resources ERF

    Shaw Group: SGR

    Chevron: CVX

    Idacorp Holding IDA

    Ormat Industries: ORA


    However, a couple of these are looking overextended imo and I have lightened up.  Something that has shaped my outlook is that here in the western US power production is only half the problem. Power transmission is the other half, thus energy services companies are worth considering.  Something else to keep in mind is the large number of firms that now have an energy division. For example, NEM, ABX, and CAG (Conagra foods) all have power interests in nevada.



    They took on a huge amount of debt when they swallowed ICF and their share price took a stutter. I bought in then b.c. I thought it was a good fit and liked the long term outlook for their model. Perhaps now , however, they’re fully valued.


    ORA is an interesting one. I don't own it since the IPO just came out late last year. However, I have been following the company for a couple years now and am familiar with some of their property.  I see them making some very shrewd decisions. Any time the Israelis start to aggressively build a market share in the state I get interested. ORA and CAG actually have experimental research plants next door to each other.  Most ironic, many of the geothermal taps were actually developed in the 1970s when wildcats placed wells throughout the hinterlands looking for oil and gas and instead hit hot water.

    IDA    Run of the mill utility and resource holding company



    Am rotating out of MON into CAG. Mon has done just fine by me, and am looking for a sector rotation to spice things up a bit.

    Date: Tue Jun 25 2002 00:05
    }Only stock I like now, is monsanto ( mon ) at 18.35. absolutely nobody else likes it here...


    Canadian trusts

    consider taking a look at Canadian energy holding trusts and interest pass-throughs.  The Canadian government has within the last year rescinded some of the previous obstacles to foreigners from investing funds in these trusts and IPTs.  For instance, the funds once required no more than 50% foreign capital -which mandated constant rebalancing and inefficiency. Things look much more orderly now for foreign investors.






    (Fun with Canadian Resources law) Lawhttp://www.kitcomm.com/comments/gold/2004q2/2004_06/1040601.204507.mercuryee.htm





    Too bad chemtalle foote doesn’t trade. I am looking for a decent lithium play.



    also see CAG

    ...also on the watch list:

    SU, crystalline quartz piezoelectricity


    Thankfully, I stayed (mostly in the stocks below in the accounts I discuss w/ friends and family). They’ve been happy…


    STOCK           THEN              NOW

    VVC                23.5                 30

    GAS                34.5                 43

    KMG   went higher than was bought out by Andarko (APC);               

    APC                38                    77

    SGR                 20                    63

    CVX                56                    94

    IDA                 28                    32

    ORA                15                    53

    CAG                26                    23        (cant win ‘em all)

    MON               30                    137


    Not too shabby.  As it turns out, you could have gotten these stocks cheaper two weeks after my post in April 05, but then they all (except CAG) went up from there.


    Not so lucky: I never did buy SU at 13 (now almost 70)


    crystal power!


    Lithium summary

    Basically, I gave up on Lithium once I realized the big boys had already sewed up the market. Some of these metal/energy markets are so thin as to be essentially closed systems.  When the presserazzi speak (on behalf of the PTB) about the lousy ‘speculators’ ruining the current world b.c. they’re running up the POO, what they really mean is lets drum out the regular people from the market and save all the profits for ourselves.


    At some point in late 04, do believe, I posted on my trip to Silver Peak and on the lithium mining by ChemtalleFoote.  Regrettably, can no longer find that post nor the notes.  And the more I think about it, around that time I also posted some info from USGS or NBM regarding the rarity of lithium and the difficulty in mining such.  Cant understand why I am no longer able to find the information. The lithium cartel is obviously more advanced than OPEC and removed my posties. Fwiw.


    6.6.08    Interesting Action in Oil Today

    Looks like Israel locked in the date for the attack on Iran once they briefed Obama on his genuflection tour in front of the AIPAC last week.


    6.5.08    Just Browsed the Metallica Resources (MRB) Circular


    Things I like:

    Cut-off number for reserves at the Peak Mines: $525 cost per ounce gold.

    Cut-off number for reserves at the Amapari Mine: $600 cost per ounce gold.

    Cut-off number for reserves at the New Afton Mine:$450 cost per ounce gold.


    Granted, those costs will suffer the standard 12% rate of inflation as with everything else, but looks good from this monitor.


    Also, MRB - like Yamana - (and unlike IAG) seem to have done well incorporating the mergers and acquisitions of Peak Gold and other firms under their umbrella. A dicey proposition, always, but one that can pay-off and apparently is doing so right now. After all, they're currently carrying 13 independent subsidiaries.


    - Expected mine life of Cerro San Pedro.



    Things I am unsure about:

    The number of share options held by senior management.  Need to research the average percent of float held by the senior management team for a mining company in exploration stage (2007) versus one in production stage (2006).


    The Annual Report isn't quite as 'grabbing' as some of her competitors. The 'Sustainability Profile' reads particularly stilting and sophomoric. Then again, for a freshman effort, not too far off the pace.


    Things I don't like:

    At Cerro San Pedro the The Waste to Ore ratio is too high; so is the silver to gold ratio (though I am happy remaining overweight silver for the foreseeable future);


    They dropped their Risk Free interest rate assumptions from the 2006 estimates. This financial forecasting error can ripple through a number of other expectations;


    Career Politicians.



    5.31.08    Just Read the Crystallex (KRY) 2007 Annual Report

    What a disaster, especially compared to Yamana (AUY). 


    It's all to easy to read the The Management Discussion and Analysis - especially the three page section discussing risk factors (those three pages which focus on the Venezuela-specific risks), and pan the company for not realizing that the entire portion of this company's finances and fortunes, both current and future,  rests on this fulcrum.  Other information pertinent to the operation now, largely, proves irrelevant. The three pages, out of 66 total in the report, now undermine every other statement and postulate. 


    Interestingly enough, although the mining operations at La Victoria purportedly suffered because the lag time it took to receive a drill compressor replacement from the US, KRY has kept most the majority of other equipment in Europe, Africa and the States. Perhaps this tidbit should have tipped the reader that management didn't put forth enough trust in the locals to even rent a storage shed adjacent to the property which supposedly would provide the company's future. 


    Note to Management: Don't entirely rely on  the agreements with the government for the source of your livelihood even if the agreement has a fancy title like: Mining Operation Contract.  Smells like Adhesion Contract.  But who can the management appeal to, the shareholders (all 551 one of them)?


    5.28.08    Lucky Ju Ju/Neptune Beach Pinball Museum Grand Opening in Next Friday.

    Looking forward to it! I donated a machine myself, the 1976 Chicago Coin Pinball -Old Chicago. Back glass was a 10 and the Playfield a solid 9.




    With this gallery opening, combined with the Pinball Hal of Fame in Vegas, the WEST coast can now lay claim to pinball capital of the world - stolen fair and square from Chicago, Il.


    5.27.08    Listened to Ben Stein today

    He blamed the increase in price of oil, mostly, on the 'speculators'.  Now for purposes of review, speculators are the little people like you and me who happened to get lucky by placing a bet rightly that the government and their paid economists are destroying the country in every manner possible. This includes of course, artificially driving up the price (through inane policy and regulations and other gross mismanagement) of  the things you need to conduct your life - such as food and energy.  In turn, the government shills such as Ben Stein, are actually calling market action by the commodity traders as 'near treasonous' (his actual words).  Typically one hears this type of language when a guy begins to realize the price he was paid for his soul isn't keeping up with the rate of inflation, and is angling for a re-negotiation. 


    5.27.08    Well, it taken a while..

    but we've begun to put some new inventory on our website.


    5.24.08    Just Read the Yamana Gold (AUY) 2007 Annual Report

    Looks pretty good. Mostly impressed how well spread out - geographically - the asset base is spread out through a number of mining-friendly countries. Furthermore the core production is increasingly spread across a larger base rather than from just a couple key mines. Diversifying production hedges against production interruption risk.


    The mining story over the last two years, above and beyond the rising cost of the asset (which has been offset by increasing costs of production) turns out to be increasing production shutdown due to sheer lack of qualified equipment and operators (worldwide), electricity (S. Africa) or unfortunate turn of political fortunes (S. America - and increasingly, N. America [USA]).


    Random Notes

    Alumbrera - 399 million pounds of copper at current cash production costs of $1.42/lb.


    Page 27 - Too bad neither the photographer nor the employee had the foresight to remove the soap container (or whatever it is) laying atop the open-spoon ore samples - does not comport with sampling handling quality control.


    Acquisitions.  Amazing, really, the company was able to pull off acquisition of so many companies and properties in such a short period of time without major wrinkles throughout the organization. Must be seen as a credit to the management. 


    5.18.07    Sell Your Oil Now


    The future is moving AWAY from your product and TOWARD these commodities: water, DNA, precious metals and fissionable material. 


    The five major reasons the US made the serious (nation altering) decision to erect permanent bases in the middle east:


    1. Drive up the price of oil in the short term so that the Arabia/US axis can realize the most gains in the short term before Arabia is out of oil and the world moves away from sweet crude as the primary power generation source.

    2. When Arabia is out of oil (and thus out of order), we need regional military bases to support the junta against popular uprisings of a justly outraged native population and increasingly strident outside forces.

    3. Use permanent bases in the region to prevent approximately 25 countries within 3,500 miles of Baghdad from erecting nuclear facilities. These nuclear facilities can A) produce weapons (checkmate against future military invasion); B) Produce power and replace dwindling oil supply; and C) Split water molecules to provide hydrogen for additional secondary power  AND drive saline hydrolysis of water/hydration synthesis/membrane reverse-osmosis/electrodialysis/carbon injection-sump storage

    5. Prepare and perfect the system (invasion and establishment of permanent bioregional firebases and internment camps) for export into central Southern America.


    The last 100 years of war were fought over oil, the next 100 over water, everything after that will be disputes governing control of DNA. The world's DNA database currently resides in the Amazon jungle. Whoever is able to exert complete control in the region becomes the next great superpower.  Hence, things have started to get interesting - and will continue to do so in ever increasing degrees - throughout Paraguay, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela and Brazil. (Yep, those countries control the world's freshwater basket too!)


    You read it here first (and only)...


    5.15.08    REAL ID ACT

    Thankfully, a few states are attempting to delay the leviathans forceful entry into our personal identity and rights to assemble and travel.


    Of course, the next democratic administration will nanny us to death:



    5.14.08    More on Northern California Real Estate: A Discussion


    Someone posted this:


    California Foreclosure Stats

    Mortgage resets will peak June '08, dropping to 1/8 volume Dec '08, climbing back up to 1/3 peak volume Dec '10, dwindling to near zero Dec '11

    200k Default notices expected in '08. Currently 70% NOD going to trustee auction. Currently 10 months inventory on market

    Projected that 50% of all sales in '08 will be trustee/reo auction sales.


    Source:  Bruce Norris speaking at a meeting Tuesday night. You won't see that quoted data in the free section. Bruce is on top of the market and has accurately made timely contrarian predictions in the face of top economists and industry leaders. He recommended staying away from Vallejo until the dust settles but did reco some areas in the northern and central valley. (don't recall specifics)

    The subprime washout won't be the final stage. The foreclosure and REO sales are going to push comps down hard enough to make many non default borrowers walk away from their $400k/$500k loan when they see the identical house across the street just sold to J6P for $120k.


    I have independently read/seen/hears much of these numbers.


    This month, for the first time in five years, I've seen out-of-towners doing recon on REO homes in the local neighborhoods (NE SF BAY). Talked to a couple yesterday. Could be a headfake, but the market might turnaround much earlier than the 'experts' are expecting.


    Now, I don't proclaim to know much about RE as the experts pretend to, I simply am beginning to put some of my $ there, after being out of the RE market for many years. Easiest way to learn something is to place some skin in the game.  Lessons follow immediately.

    Perhaps I am just kinda bummed I might not be able to straight trade a bag of silver for a 6/5 Victorian mansion with a water view like I had dreamt/nightmared could happen in a couple years...

    Some point to the Vallejo bankruptcy story as a driver. the early birds have been buying last couple months, so others have seen value already. maybe the headlines are getting the lookie-lous onto the streets.

    At any rate, the civil service unions in Vallejo today offered to cover 2/3rds of the deficit by taking pay hikes and not taking raises.

    They know they have the most to lose should a judge look over the multiple sets of books cooked to varying degrees. city will just institute a city tax anyway, cant see many judges stopping that one.

    I can see any type of receivership just giving up on trying to figure it all out, though. Can you imagine KPMG casting stones on the city accountant practices? mish didn't add much commentary of value, there WAS however, someone who posted in the comments section that DID have an insider view. tasty stuff; spilled some details how to use various contractual mechanisms to loot the public coffers on a local level.

    Vallejo IS an interesting example. land (and water and building) rich and cash poor. extremely tough putting valuations on these properties. some of the most beautiful warehouses, commercial buildings and shops in the state, on the waterfront.

    Problem is 1B+ USD in environmental contamination/unexploded ordnance. that coupled with one of the most historically corrupt city/state politics for 160 years (Vallejo was both the second and fourth state capital).

    I would like to see how the bankruptcy thing plays out first hand. today the school district starts bitching b.c. their vendors stopped sending books, etc afraid the district would bounce a check. doesn't' matter, in the eyes of the vendors, that the school district is a seperate entity, and financially secure.

    You see, the school district was taken over as a ward of the state a few years ago. Now the money flows on a few more sets of books. The state LOVES that action; one reason they pulled eminent domain and stole Vallejo's ferry service (one of the finest, if not THE finest) in the US) couple months ago. Asset sparging at its best playing out around here. fascinating.

    Local folks starting too perk up too, you dont see that everywhere nowadaze...


    Now, Folks suggest staying away from Vallejo and suggest looking at Benicia as a nearby substitute; here is a good example of the position:


    As a long-time real estate investor and student of that market, I remember during the last serious and very prolonged downturn that, in the disastrous Texas and Arizona real estate markets, there were two waves of bottom-fishers (scalpers / speculators) which were also foreclosed upon, before the third wave succeeded, mostly because of the timing, in hanging on long enough to make good money.

    I think there is no rush to invest fresh money now, especially if you would have a negative cash flow. I would also recommend having significant added resources to support the project in case you have difficulty in collecting rent every month.

    There are good reasons that more and more rentals will come onstream, with also many more renters than in the recent past. But there are no solid reasons why rents will increase or why the purchase price of residential units will rise. In difficult times both will trend downward. I do think that very careful and in-depth study of specific regional markets will be necessary. Anything else will be "learning by your own school of hard knocks," which is akin to having the test before attending the lecture. It could be financially very painful. It's tough enough even if you do all the due diligence you can imagine.

    I stayed in Vallejo night before last, and picked up a load of empty wine bottles in American Canyon. I drove thoughout the area. Benicia is the only nearby area in which I'd be interested, and I doubt that home prices there have fallen enough yet, to make this the time to buy. I see reasons that jobs could be lost, and I don't know of any reasons that jobs are likely to be added. Without further information, I would bide my time. There is not yet blood running in the streets.


    Well, Benicia is fine; just a few minutes away. But the weather isn't as nice (more constant wind through the Carquinez strait). where's the upside? Downtown has already been renovated with full occupancy. We have acquaintances who own a store downtown - where is the room for growth? (and residential cashflow - doubtful!). Looks set for a fall from this vantage. Vallejo has room to re-habilitate, especially commercial (residential will just now begin to barely cashflow again; after a steep 40% decline in 15 months) but it will take generations; if ever.

    The entire East (jobs and crime) and North Bays (solve the traffic and water issues in Marin/Sonoma/Lake Cos.?) are in decline IMO. San Francisco proper even more so. 


    A vulture capitalist could simply flight on in and buy out others' mistakes.  My take and persuasion guides sight on value where others see only problems.  Someone's mistake provides the next man's opportunity.  

    The Southern Peninsula, i.e. Cupertino, is a ripe cat's meow, I do opine, especially after the tunnel through Devils Slide hardens.  But just a matter of time until the San Andreas pounds everything HARD.  At THAT time we'll see just how many contractors cut corners meeting seismic standards/upgraded.  Furthermore, visual inspections miss most structural fatigue cracks in a foundation.


    Yesterday and Today I've been perusing those Chinese Earthquake photos. Sobering. And my family and friends in Northern Nevada are just now finding it difficult (just starting to look) to get earthquake insurance given the 'apparent' increase in odd tremor behavior over the last few months.

    Which is more challenging, RE or PM? Over 5, 10, 25, 40 year horizons?

    No doubt this: much more blood to come whether through toil or trouble...

    5.9.08    A Cooling Planet - Record Temperature Drop Last Year by Record Amounts


    Hadley, NASA GISS, UAH have released updated data. All show that in the past year that the surface of the earth has DROPPED in temperature, with the steepest drop in temperature EVER recorded and the steepest change in temperature - either up or down - EVER recorded!


    Reported record drops in surface temperature all over the Earth.


    Record cold temperatures recorded in China, Colorado, Minnesota, Texas, Florida, Chile, Iran, Mexico, Australia, Greenland and Antarctica

    Snow cover increases to record levels, not recorded since 1966, in many places of Siberia and North America.


    Ice in the Antarctic grows to RECORD levels; over 1-20 cm thicker in one year over much of the ice coverage. (Source: Canadian Ice Service, Ottawa.)


    China has worst winter in a century.  In Bali the weather was been so severe many towns went days without power due to record levels of ice and snow.


    OF course, we 600 Million dollar think-tank.


    5.9.08    Ending the run-up in Food Prices

    Of course the main stream press (Ministry of Truth) is blaming the 'runup' (eventually 'crisis') on the speculators - those folks like us who believe in, and participate, in a free market - commodity or otherwise. Eventually the oligarchy will fill the yearnings of the great unwashed/uneducated international socialists by convincing them that 'central pricing' is the solution. Implemented by the world governmental organizations, naturally.


    5.9.08    Energy Prices Impact on Food Prices

    Right now there is approximately 6 cents of wheat in a box of wheaties. The rest of the price is essentially the price of fuel (packaging and transportation), which have massive current inflationary pressures.  Other costs in a box of wheaties (advertising and marketing) are in deflationary environments.

    What food groups can we expect will experience the next round of price increases based upon cost increases to production inputs?  First thing to look at is the return ratio between the energy required to produce the food unit versus the energy returned by the final food product.

    For example, chicken has almost a 1:1 protein ratio. Eggs have a lesser percentage but have higher handling and transport costs.

    Meat has almost a 10:1 ratio. That is for 10 units of protein put into a cow, the yield is only one unit of protein. Hence there should be no surprise that

    Pepperoni rose 20% in the last 30 days.  Increase in water, feed and transportation costs will push on cattle pricing. So, the cost of cattle, one of the tow underperforming sectors of the commodity industry (along with timber) should now begin to rise, right?

    Not necessarily.  When fuel prices rise significantly, folks stop eating out as much to save money - or more likely - to continue to fill the gas tank and otherwise absorb increasing personal expenditures.  In turn, the folks don't walk down the street to browse retail stores/window shop/go to a movie before of after a dinner out. In turn, the lack of business at restaurants, especially walk in business, pinches the revenue stream while at the same time these businesses are also absorbing higher fuel and commodity prices. Hence the retail stores and restaurants begin laying folks off, further reducing the pool of individuals who can afford a night out at the shops.  Therefore demand for meals, especially beef, will fall commensurately as beef prices rise and producers have more elasticity in poultry pricing.

    In the final analysis,

    1)  Industry: Look for restaurant retailers to fall as a sector while those serving vegetable entree's outperform.  Look for pricing elasticity to support poultry industry over beef industry.

    2)  Sector: Poultry producers have felt the crunch of feed and absorbed those costs, resulting in a first quarter loss for Tyson Foods (TSN).  Although TSN has outperformed Dean Foods, they have lagged behind Smithfield (SFD).  So let's look more closely at the two sector leaders.

    3)  Technical: Smithfield has already had a nice run-up in price during the past 30 days and is now trading at the upper end of its range.  TSN, however, looks more like a short term potential buy as the price has declined on dwindling volume and is closer to Moving Average support than Smithfield.  Medium term the TSN stock price has formed a nice cup and handle over the last year and may head higher from here.  That possibility, of course, depends upon larger market action which has been indecisive over the past 12 weeks. 

    4)  Intangible: Bird Flu vs Mad Cow Disease are a wash on the hysteria scale. "Korea worried about US beef imports" is the latest (this week) I've read about either. 

    Action: Bought a small position in TSN @17.30.

    5.9.08    More on solar research

    Another angle to conducting due diligence: look for miners with access to silver-tellurium - a requirement for solar panels. Mexivada is one miner holding the resource.


    5.8.08    Central Sun Mining Target Raised To C$3.10 From C$2.85

    By Blackmont.  Alas, I bought higher than that...

    5.8.08    UBS to launch platinum exchange-traded notes


    5.8.08    So far so good on the CDE trade for HL

    HL up less than 1% today but CDE up over 5%!

    5.7.08    Sold Hecla (HL)

    Basically I rotated out of HL and into CDE (bought a couple days ago).

    Didn't like the news regarding the union's supposed choice for socialization of the Venezuela mine. There is a good chance (but under 50%) IMO that the news is disguised to shake out weak hands (like me since I bought short term, as a trade) before the stock shoots up for the insiders. However, GRZ and KRY (which I still have half of the original an decent trading position) both in Venezuela, have been massacred in the last couple weeks. Don't want to take the chance with a profitable (20%) trade in HL made in just a month. 

    5.6.08    Getchell Mine, ABX/NEM JV has third fatality in under a year.

    Fatality clusters suggest management problems.

    5.5.08    General Molybdenum releases pre-feasibility study for Hall-Tonopah-Liberty Project


    5.5.08    Went to the Vallejo Coin Show Yesterday

    A smaller affair than the Sacramento soiree. The Vallejo Numismatic Society does a great job with this show IMO. 

    5.3.08    Went to the Sacramento Coin Club Show Yesterday

    Dealers set up about 40 tables.  The hosting coin club put on a Great display, thanks for that.  Traffic was slow, possibly reflecting a couple facts (IMO).  For one, the retail coin market has been slowing down. Folks don't feel as rich as they did a couple years ago, discretionary income has disappeared - if not in their 'home value' than certainly in their monthly cash flow as costs have substantially risen, hence the discretionary income necessary for coin collecting isn't there as it had been for the last seven years.

    Additionally, this show was just a few days after another Sacramento Show, put on by John McIntosh.  Don't know the politics behind the situation that presents two similar size/type shows within a fortnight of each other, but can't help imagining that it dilutes buyer traffic/interest. First time I've attended a show at this particular venue, the Dante Club on Fair Oaks Blvd. Other Sacramento venues I've been to, such as the Red Lion at Arden, Cal Expo or the Convention Center at least had the possibility of capturing some walk-by or drive-by traffic. Can't see how this current venue has that possibility, however. Also, I understand that Sunday is actually a better day for traffic at a Sac coin show than Friday (I was there @12-3).

    Had some trouble finding what I look for, though did chat and buy from a dealer whom I never met previously, Virgel Nickell out of Santa Ana (great name for a dealer).  He makes a market in National Bank Notes (surprisingly, not nickels).  I told him I saw a Lovelock National note go through Ebay last week or two (he doesn't have a computer).  Apparently only Tonopah Bank Notes are more rare.  Didn't buy any notes (the prices have gone crazy in just the last three years), but he did have a number of casino chips that I was interested in (prices have also gotten up there).  I picked up nice set of Tonopah Club casino chips from him. Otherwise, purchased a few 'good for' tokens and a couple of erotic tokens from one dealer and a few pieces of ephemera from John Heleva.  Bruce Braga (nice guy) spent some time teaching me and another gent a bit about watches; both of us had just received older pocket watches in the last week.

    Hope they all had more traffic yesterday. Off now to the Vallejo Show...

    5.1.08    Bought CDE

    About 2.99. Haven't owned this stock since 2006. It outperformed in 2003 and has just been a drag on the gold indices ever since. Hoping it turns around, but am willing to place rather close stops on this trade - close as compared to most my trades, that is.   

    4.30.08    Just read an article

    About families selling their junk on-line to pay bills.

    Never used LiveDeal.com and AuctionPal.com before.  I'm looking into auction pay right now - seems a little buggy on first blush.

    4.30.08    KRY - down 45%

    Wow, Talk about getting lucky - selling half of KRY before it gets slammed on news Venezuela will nationalize the mines!  Should have sold all of it...

    4.28.08    Ugh, gold stocks gettin hit again

    Sold half my KRY, one of the more most recent purchases. Keeping the silver index ETF: SLV

    4.27.08    Nevada Republican Ends in disaster/recess.

    Mostly b.c. there wasn't enough show of hand for transparency and wit to moral compass.




    Only fitting, look at the state's republican 'leader': JimmyBoyGibbons. Sure, I've been reporting on his slime for years; but now the mainlining press is finally willing to give the devil his 15 minutes and report on investigations into his morass by the FBI; reports of sexual battery; gross mismanagement of the state budget/dereliction of duty; general incompetence; and this weekend, the fact his wife is leaving him.  Luckily NV is a no-fault divorce state...


    4.26.08    Coverage of Solar Sector




    The solar sector Exchange Traded Fund, TAN, started trading this month.


    Generally I am only a fan of ETFs for other folks (especially in their defined contribution plans) moreso than myself.  About the only time I want to hold an ETF is for a short term trade. For example I use SLV and GLD to capitalize on expected short term moves in the market rather then schlepp ounces of physical into the brick and mortar store. One exception is PHO, simply because I am a little overweight (or trying to be) in the water sector and want the underlying fund in addition to cherry picking out individual companies.


    The reason I prefer to buy stakes in individual companies is I believe the real value of the stock market is its inefficiency:  The ability to arbitrage value by picking out stocks that are, for whatever reason, trading at a discount to their true current value. Secondarily the benefit is catching a cyclical or secular trend early.  In this case, TAN meets the latter consideration, but not the first. since TAN is only in 6 countries, and especially since the market performance isn't established, I am unconvinced of the value therein.  Moreover, how will you determine a buy price given the scant technical indicators. Also, no dividend?  Would be remiss if I didn't state my general distrust of ETFs. We have dissected SLV/GLD to death on this board. While I am willing to take the risk of holding the ETF short term, in the final analysis I find the vehicles are just another paper scam and hope I am not on the merry-go-round when the music stops.


    Regarding the fundamental: I am a big believer in passive solar thought not so impressed with where we are currently at with active solar technology and am completely underwhelmed in the advances made in the sector over the past 25 years. Although advances in the last three years, especially in the fabric, look compelling - at least on the surface.


    On the plus side, I see you are diversifying out of bullion from a very overweight position to a less overweight position. I can see US equities generally out-performing bullion for the rest of the year, but at what cost? And, ICBW.  Surely we would have to assign TAN a higher beta, right. In such case what can we assign the alpha? Not sure the expected return at this point is worthy of entry. However, the low daily volume, especially on the down side, looks attractive. One could argue that folks just haven't found the fund yet, but when they do...


    As far as I can tell, here are my previous posts herein on sector members.  Note my picks haven't been stellar, though neither buys were a long term trade.


    12.13.07    ESLR - Evergreen Solar

    This stock has been on a huge run.  Haven't held it since I bought 3.1.06 and sold about a week later for a lousy 8%.  Thing is, it went up just a tad after that and has been down ever since until this last week.  In the last 12 weeks it's up from $9 to over 15 today. Up 14% in after hours trading today alone to now over $17.5.  Maybe let it sell off and then buy in again when the dust settles for another trade.


    3.1.06    Just Trading

    Hope you lightened up in GPXM today around .40?  Another double courtesy o' yours truly (in just 10 weeks).  Sell half on the two bagger; you'll often get a chance to re-enter later. And if not, your shares are free anyway so quit yer bitchin and find another stock to buy.  what, all the other eight stox in the little index are yukky? boo hoo, go find another acorn.


    Potential nice entry points in LRCZ, ESLR, ENER, CSTR.  All short term. Watch 'em close. This choppy volatile action in the major market may be marking a medium term top. Caught a reeel nice entry in NT lately, but didn't have time to mention here.  Doesn't matter where the sources or your profit derive if they all buy the same piece of gold.


    The sector has generally shown lackluster in the past 104 weeks, after a nice two year run-up.  I had also held a couple stocks through the nice run-up of 04 into 05, but sold a little early (mid05) rather than waiting until the blow off top later in the year. [Can't find if/where I posted those trades]. Oh well. At that time in 04 I took a good look at renewable/alternative energy sector/projects, especially in Ca/Nv and especially vis a vis the mining sector:


    9.10.04    Navy emergency oil reserves

    The Navy had another very large reserve in Hawaii. Red ( Hawk? ) Hill, I believe. Never was on the books.
    How else would they power the Pacific fleet come crunch time?


    9.10.04    The majority of US Mercury pollution

    is via aeolian deposition from coal power plants. Could this possibly be related to pushing back the mercury air quality credit requirements until 2018?


    9.10.04    Coal vs. renewable in the west US

    Coal vs. renewable Ca energy?

    The fact is, Nevada will lead the way in determining what the energy sources used in Ca. are. Ca. is not building many new power plants, but Nv. is.

    For an example of the fight between coal vs. renewable, look at the struggle in the Gerlach desert. Right now, there is a Major Fight over what the black rock/smoke creek will look like and how it will be used for the next 50 years, based upon the power generation picture ( amongst other land use issues ) .

    There are two competing projects: One will produce via wind and thermal and supply Nv. The other is a coal project that will supply S. Ca. will be interesting to see which one prevails. There are seven decent articles about the subject at this link ( look under -home page- ) :



    Then, compare growth rates of population, business, and gdp in Nv. vs. Ca. to see why the current leader in these categories, and the infrastructure components that serve as support ( water power ) , and the leading-edge discussions around these issues, are centered in the Great Basin.


    9.10.04    Clean coal technology

    is a misnomer. really, it's 20% technology and 80% operation and maintenance.
    guess where the failures appear. Then watch how they try to legislate efficiency; commensurate with past attempts to legislate morality...


    9.10.04    Nv Power

    Let me bottom line it for all y'all. Saving 250 million in power use is better than building 250 million worth of power plants.
    Naturally, the Ca. energy, ahem, crisis provided great visibility for the Nv power issues.
    ( Ca "deregulation" {ya [Scottish] rite}- removed market balance between suppliers and transmitters )
    Additionally, in 2001 the legislature mandated Sierra Pacific to obtain 5% of its power through renewable resources by 2004, with bi-annual increases from this baseline ending in 2013 with a 13% share. Solar, wind, and geothermal were the primary areas of emphasis.

    Personally, I think many have not given proper weighting to the possible use of micro ( water ) turbines that have greatly benefited from better technology in just the last 5-7 years. Microturbines are perfect as small batch plants and match Nv. geography of isolated water sources within parameters of steep gradient relief and seasonal supply.

    Ormat has some interesting projects going on related to geothermal; not quite sure yet how the Israelis decided to buy a stake in the Nv. power game?  Geothermal is a major spec. at this point, as I have hinted here b4. course, it is just another switch-and-bait technique. Nothing about geothermal is ?renewable?. The real deal is the mineral, access, and water rights ? but I?ll right/write that up another day.

    Desert Research Institute is, of course, an intellectual powerhouse vis a vis solar.
    Nevada has more sunshine than any other state: )

    I would be most remiss had I left out the choice the US Air Force made to screw Nv ONCE AGAIN via reneging on the MNS wind project ( 85 meg ) at the test site.

    Bottom line: nobody wants to provide up-front financing for 'green' energy. Too much risk, too many examples of major fed land managers screwing the public for the umpteemph time; too much uncertainty in the major supplier/transmitter financial picture. 

    Hence, the focus must remain on conserving, not producing, power. Again, better to save 250 million in power than building 250 million in power plants. Maybe it isn't too late to get the homebuilders on board?


    9.10.04    Nv. Power and Miners

    chairman, president and CEO of Coeur d'Alene Mines Corp just recently served on the board of directors of the largest power generator in Nv.


    9.10.04    Wind power isn't happening in Nv.

    too many false starts. calif. pulled out price supports ( major reduction ) this last ( past ) fiscal year in the form of rebates for solar purchases.


    9.10.04    Is Barrick building a power plant in Nv

    b.c. they think it will lower their price/oz au production, or because they think they can build AND supply under 9cents/kwh?

    Where they bought the land should be your first clue...

    Other miners have sought to build power plants adjacent to their mines and mills. Usually cheaper to build their own power plant than to build new transmission lines to import power only to lose a fair percentage of the energy from transmission.

    For example, GRZ operations in Nv.

    My question is will the government of Venezuela allow GRZ to retail the power?

    When researching the power numbers, remember to differentiate between the retail gross and wholesale cost. In other words, we should look for the  GRZ cash on cash net for the power stream?

    Two big issues: 1 ) How each derive the wholesale costs and 2 ) What the margin on re-sale is.

    My hunch is that GRZ will have a whole lot less demand in their neighborhood than what ABx is drooling over...

    OR, could ABX only be in it for the gold? (he he he)


    9.10.04    Gold miners are the single largest user of power in Northern Nevada

    Another fact. Where will they get their power from?

    Look to Barrick plans for development of a power company in the Rainbow area for a clue...


    You can see that I was at that time unconvinced save one fact: the sector has almost as many charlatans as the gold sector, but not quite as many as the financial industry. For that matter, I put more of my bets on water - especially geothermal (Ormat/USGeo; NvGEo) as described and previously written. I remain more bullish on the water/geo and nuclear plays over the biofuel/solar/wind plays; but perhaps it's time for another look.  The past year Ca. and Nv. were the 1 and 2, respectively, largest developers of new solar projects.


    Do believe the federal tax credits end this year...although there are congressional movements (currently three different bills) to extend the credits. Not that congressional movements are generally a good thing...


    Well, there you go: one half-baked flake take on the make for your sake and fwiw...


    Other folks suggested the following solar plays: CSIQ, TEL and AKNS


    4.23.08    Nevada Mining Association Opposes proposed reform to 1872 Mining Act




    Doesn't matter, the politicians know best.  After all, look at what a great job CONgress did by mandating the nations corn supply go toward ethanol. Now we have a food crisis brewing on top of the energy crisis. Everybody wins!


    4.23.08    The Reno Gazette Journal ran this piece at the very nadir

    of the metal markets in 1999. Perfect timing on the bottom. Nobody could sell their house in the small mining towns, nobody could find a job, the mines were all shut down or mothballed. An interesting read, now that the metals have tripled-sextupled in 9 years and the mining firms cannot fill the jobs.


    In 1999 both the RGJ and the Elko News Daily had writers on the mining beat. Now neither of them do, just run whatever dreck the newswire feeds.

    The papers would've been better served focusing on the coming destruction of the entire newspaper industry. Maybe then they would've re-schooled themselves and obtained some marketable skills like water treatment, welding, plumbing, or heavy equipment mechanics. Nah, they probably moonlighted for a realtor license...


    4.23.08    Just a FEW of those Devising a New and Improved Water Crisis

    from amongst the many:


    and you thought the oncoming food crisis is scary!


    4.23.08    US metal mine restoration projects

    some good stuff here:



    4.23.08    Worth Its Weight In Gold

    When the load becomes to heavy, leaning on the fiat-denominated world, they tinker with the scales...


    4.23.08    James C. Russo English and Russian Collection up for Auction

    Some nice pieces there:




    Tried to figure out if he was related to Aaron Russo, and therefore receiving some wonderful advice along the way. Was not able to make the connection. There is James C. Russo with an acting career, but not sure if its the same guy with the Princeton economic heritage. Anybody know?


    4.23.08    Australian Mining Research Collaboration


    The mining sector appears grossly undercapitalized.  Not sure I see a fundamental vision how the industry will meet the energy, transportation, social and environmental problems roiling beneath the surface.  At least a few are posing inquiries into strategies and approaches for the next few decades:



    Then again, maybe we just stop mining for 20-30 years or so, and see what happens...

    4.22.08    Greywolf (GW on the Amex)

    May be setting up a buy. Look for support where the 100 day moving average touches the 200 day moving average (which has just begun to turn up.) Probably between 6.40 and 6.88. Anybody research fundamentals on this one? Thoughts?


    4.21.08    Titanium Supplier




    4.20.08    Which is the Role Model for the US: Zimbabwe or Weimar Germany?


    I think the US equivalent will run more along the Zimbabwe lines. Weimer was still Germany. Zimbabwe had been Rhodesia until US state department and kin installed Mugabe; things are unfolding as planned.

    The producers in Rhodesia didn't have a chance after the regime change. Same thing coming down the pike for the US: class and race warfare, producers emigrate or forced out, despot and supporters finish off what's left.


    4.20.08    Circulating coinage - on the way out...

    Just got back from South Lake Tahoe.  Out of the five casino's there, only one has slot machines that payout change. And there's only about 20 of those machines.  The industry is perfecting the automation of paper-accepting machines.  Technology is very close now to replicating in other sectors (vending, etc.).

    4.17.08    Another sector arbitrage pair: MRB and KGC


    Caught this one real nice:




    MRB performed 2x as well as KGC.  Wow, how similar they traded throughout most of the period and how differently they traded for a two week period to end march, which made the deal.


     Look to make a decision next week...


    "1.24.08    Traded out of KGC and back into MRB today."


    4.17.08.    The Mackay School of Mining, one of the Finest in North America

    Is celebrating 100 years of excellence.



    Note the new name change based on the 'global-warming-green-sustainability' tax breaks expected down the road...

    4.17.08    Can we trade/arbitrage the pick-a-pair strategy based on weighting in a given index?

    For example, XAU?  The percentage that any one company comprises of the XAU changes as the price of that stock increases/decreases.  So right now if GG is about 16% of the XAU and NEM is about 9%, can we make an informed bet -based upon historical weightings - that one firm has a higher probability to increase its position weighting in the XAU over the short/medium term as it reverts back towards the mean weighting?

    Something to look into...

    4.17.08    Looking over a Five Week Trading Period

    Update: Time to check in on the trades posted on March 8th:

    "AGT. This stock should run to 0.98. You might consider this pullback here as a buy opportunity. Disclaimer, I am in at 51 and 28 cents."


    Still looks good.

    b. Copper Stock. Plenty of people been calling for copper to drop in the last three years. Every one of them wrong. The fundamentals are still there and copper has just now looked bullish again technically. Loot at Qua.to and PCU. Disclaimer, I own Quat (in at 4.15), but just sold PCU. You might get it cheaper than current.


    Right, this serves as example of my 'pick a pair' strategy. Choose two decent (fundamentally sound companies) in a strong industry/sector (mining/copper) and play the strength arbitrage between the two.  That is, one of the pair will exhibit stronger prices action over any given period of time (I am using 5 -weeks currently).   Buy the firm that indicates a higher probability to out-perform the other stock in the pair. Re-evaluate and re-position (if necessary) after five weeks. In this case, we did well with Qua.to and, indeed, PCU is much cheaper than 5 weeks ago. Even today, as of now PCU is down 2% whereas Quat.to is up. Hence, today is the time to switch out of Qua.to and go into PCU.  Amazing how well copper has performed, definitely stunning the field of analysts trying to sweat the pipe the wrong way!

    If you can’t buy those stocks in your accounts, here’s another couple freebies:

    c. AT&T has posted 80% sales growth with earnings growth 12% + for the past four quarters.  Paying a 4.5 dividend yield.


    Update: Ok, up 10% in five weeks. Had been up more last week, looks iffy and uncertain here, with a bias lower. Time to sell for short term horizon, or hold for long term (and dividend).

    d. Pfizer. Discredited by analysts due to competition from generic drug makers. Thing is, the generics don’t have the same quality lobbyists.


    Update: Ouch, bad day and bad month. Down over 6% in the period.   Of course, they don't provide quite the same level of anaylsis on the generic firms. Of course, that is roughly the dividend the company still pays. Since the buy is long term horizon (based on politics), the stock is still a hold in our portfolio, though the stop loss is close.

    5. Of course, the best place to put money right now is in real estate.

    Update: Enough said. Maybe wait and see if the next round of 'housing reform legislation' does include the 7k tax incentive for purchase of foreclosed properties. IF so, that is an additional 3-5% off the purchase price on some of the places I've been looking at recently.

    The next five week trading period will end just before Memorial Day. This is a common time to re-evaluate and potentially pull back/scale out on some positions.  "Sell in May and go away" matches sometimes, but not always, long term seasonals. So the five week period lines up nicely on the seasonal evaluation epoch; that makes the next evaluation more heavily weighted, and likely more difficult to read as a result.

    4.17.08    Right Now, a Roth IRA account (US) Cannot Have Margin Rights

    However, there is legislation introduced in the US which would allow the little folks a plastic card where they can make revolving withdrawals from their IRA!  If that passes, there must be some tangent to allow margin (you've got to figure that some folks will find a way to get 'overdrawn).

    Just another ploy to prop up the markets a little bit longer...by keeping the folks in debt and buying a little bit longer.

    Indeed, there are numerous 'gurus' who have been making the 'investment seminar circuit' pitching how to buy real estate within your Roth IRA.  Just another notch on the stick beating the little people into submission on the way to completely withdrawing/margining the last financial bastion left, their retirement funds.

    4.16.08    Symbol Change: UGTH now HTM and now trades on AMEX

    We're in at 0.90.  Long term I still like this play, US Geothermal.



    4.16.08    Hecla takes 100% interest in Greens Creek Mine

    Rio Tinto has enough larger fry to fish.


    per PR Newswire - April 16, 2008 3:41 PM ET


    4.16.08    Discipline

    How can those who trade, watch multiple screens on various accounts across multiple platforms, track news and issues across the globe real-time from numerous feeds, determine alpha beta positioning timing trending and analysis for more than one individual, bucking the grain, providing valuable insight and wisdom, making money where others have failed, consistently...

    not have the simple ability to scroll those posts lacking flavor to their particular predilection?


    4.16.08    Yamana Gold (AUY) Keeping its Name in Play

    Announces news to announce its news




    Seems to be working, up strongly today.


    4.16.08    EBay to end 'eBay Live Auctions'

    The firm is quitting that portion that allows real-time auctions hosted by various auction houses after seven years.


    LiveAuctioneers will now venture out as a separate concern.


    Per Kovels.com


    4.15.08    No Coverage No Press, No Notice

    The balance of power changed last week in the Mexican Parliament.


    4.11.08    Been a Little Busy

    Birth of a Son! Both he and I have eyes wide open and mom doing well...


    4.7.08    Nevada State Legislators Act to Block Senators from Locking up More Rural Land


    There are certainly some beautiful areas in this area.  No reason for wilderness designation though.  Water will limit development; the minerals are already leased and will be grandfathered in anyway, and ranching would also be grandfathered in. Only reason for wilderness designation is to eliminate vehicle (especially motorcycle and ATV access). Same thing has happened all over the state in the last twenty years. Best to keep the little people penned up in the cities where we can keep a camera on 'em.




    4.4.08    Pan Am Exposition Coins to be displayed at Santa Clara coin show next weekend.


    Believe this was the same set displayed two years ago. Awesome!


    4.4.08    Was just looking at an Illinois Offering from about 100 years ago

    Real Estate Gold Bond paying 6%

    That one pretty much covered all the bases; especially compared to the 'Asset Backed Securities' (read: 'Subprime') of today!


    4.3.08    The New Gold Rush

    The Sacramento Bee had a story today which led off with this beauty:

    "The Sierra Nevada is littered with gold, the celebrity element that rocked financial institutions last month at a record $1,000 an ounce in futures trading. Suddenly, gold panning has become a hot recreational activity..."


    Oh yeah. It was gold which caused the panic in the financial markets last week.  Surely the panic had nothing to do with:

    -  The assets of Bear Stearns forced at the point of the gun into JPMorgan by the Fed wheras the US taxpayer took on teh debts, over 30Billion worth.

    - The Fed trampling all over what little financial jurisdiction Congress previously wielded

    - A spooked press claiming 'Recession'. Mostly b.c. they're getting laid off since nobody wants to place an add in their irrelevant little rag anymore, and they have no real marketable skills in the larger job market.

    - Poor financials and technical pictures in most US bond markets


    Yep, it was the little nuggets and pieces of rock in the ground to blame for it all. And at the same time, the only thing its good for is to waste the time of some folks with a pan down at the American River because they have no other way to met that mortgage this month.


    4.1.08    Happy April

    Bought AUY and SLV today, nice entry points IMO (hopefully): 100-day EMA on SLV.  AUY shows nice support on Fibonacci targets and declining sell volume. 


    3.26.08    Mining Law of 1872 - Reform Efforts


    Very little discussion on this topic.  When Senators Domenici and Reid leave, the bill ALREADY passed by the house will pass the senate IMO.  AT that time all mining valuations in the US will change overnight.  The current round of hearings in Nv. are to determine just how much reform the Nevada population with a stake in the mining community will currently accept.  



    3.17.08    Today the US Definitively Crosses the Threshold into Fascism

    Treasury Secretary, formerly the head of major Bear Stearns Competitor Goldman Sachs, and his buddies at JP Morgan signed a deal with the devil (the Federal Reserve). The Fed, in turn, forced Bear Stearns into insolvency. They took over the assets and the US taxpayer, through your wage taxes, absorbed the bad debt.  A government appointed receiver, Bernanke, now handpicks which banks will receive your money, and which banks must surrender their assets to his friends.


    3.16.08    Little People and their Litter: Main Street Economics, Installment Three


    Picked up a bunch of deposit receipts strewn on the ground, draped across the ATM bench, and lingering around the trash receptacle outside the ATM at my nearest Bank of America Branch. (Had they any decency, they would offer the services of a shredder, or at least a recycle bin).  Slips were from a Saturday morning and early afternoon.


    C) 3264.38 wdl 60

    S) 108.38 (inquiry only)

    C) 1660.20    wdl 80

    C) 2454.08    wdl 60

    C) 414.19    wdl 40

    C) 99.13    wdl 300

    C) 6210.23    wdl 200

    C) 3129.67    wdl 60

    C) 26,315.50    wdl 500

    C) 912.75    dep 850.58

    C) 3553.59    wdl 40

    C) 2564.58 wdl 200

    S) 15995.83     wdl 100.

    C) 7407.98     wdl 60

    343 (credit card balance?)

    C) 460.00 inquiry only

    C) 21.37    dep 5.00

    C) 1760.06    dep 573.08


    Wow, that is a LOT more in the average balance from the first two times I conducted this exercise.  So, I went back and looked at the types of account the slips represented, either checking (C) or savings (S), and put the types in parenthesis in front of the amount.  Also, my sense is that these balances also reflect paycheck deposits from yesterday (Friday) and those checks deposited which arrive at the middle of the month.  I then went to each line and described the type of activity with each account: Deposit (dep), Balance Inquiry, or Withdrawal (wdl).  To further standardize this exercise, I should probably select two or three dates a month. Once on a Thursday at the end of the month (suspected balance low), then the first Thursday of the month (to capture the first of the month deposits) and the first Saturday of the month (to see what was withdrawn/spent from the fist of the month and first Friday of the month).  Over time sample size and bias errors can be corrected.


    Average Balance on March 15, 2008: $4,259

    Average Balance from Oct 24 07 $815

    Average Balance from May 07 $100.87


    3.14.08    Bank Collapse Chronicles: Bear Stearns


    Today Bear Stearn's competitors and the federal government prevented a complete collapse into insolvency only through emergency infusions of cash not seen since the great US depression in the 1930's.  Without this action, the nations fifth-largest investment bank would have seen the bank runs of yesterday and earlier today completely freeze up any shred of liquidity left to these criminals, err bankers. 




    Only reason the commercial banks haven't had runs yet is due to the unlimited piles of fiat poured from your taxpaying pocket into their coffers in the last few weeks.  Even that hasn't prevented the necessity for these top US banks to also seek bailouts from foreign countries.


    What a stunning turn of events, Bernanke was wrong (or - could he/it be -lying; nah!); it wasn't the small local banks with Real Estate portfolios that would fail first.  Nope, straight to the top. The bedrock of American Finance for the last 80 years is quivering/shaking like the shanties of Manhattan built on the fill, not the bedrock. Ho Hum. (hey, those that agreed with the Breakdown of BAC as I posted 2.29 have a quick 15% in a fortnight. Take it when you can, turn the paper into something worthwhile).


    If you've read this thread this long, you might listen to that inner voice: Time to sell your GLD and SLV (which had been outperforming physical metal) and buy physical gold and silver. 


    Just don't tell anybody...


    If you really would like a great study in the fall of financial empires, look at the timing of when the corporation builds a monument to themselves.  Rabbi Daniel Lapin provided a great overview of this phenomena in his Tower of Babel series.  Pan Am built their Manhattan Monolith at the height of their power. The firm is now erased from the business world.  Sears built their tower, tallest in the world at on point. The tower opened the same year the price of Sears hit their all time high; all downhill since. Same with a number of other firms; amazing concept.


    Bear Stearns built their headquarters in New York, in (do believe) 2001. Great timing. They've lost approximately 80% of their value in the last 52 weeks.  Most likely will be around in name only (taken over by another entity) another 52 weeks from now.


    3.13.08    Hey Look, the new Enemy of the State

    Defenseless mothers with small children and puppies.



    Police respond to scene


    3.8.08    Market Thoughts

    1. Time to dump Mutual Fund Equivalents in favor of T-bills. Just in the last couple days the equivalents have run into liquidity troubles.

    2. Dump non-traded REITS. The commercial construction numbers have definitely topped out.

    3. Sell GLD before April 10th

    4.  Stocks on Buy Signals

    a. AGT

    Announced really good resource results for the Timmins Black Fox property. The news was leaked, of course, as the stock broke out of a one year basing pattern through trendline resistance. This came right after the stock was taken off the Reg-Sho list, after being on the list for the maximum 13 day period.

    This stock should run to 0.98. You might consider this pullback here as a buy opportunity.

    Disclaimer, I am in at 51 and 28 cents.

    b. Copper Stock. Plenty of people been calling for copper to drop in the last three years. Every one of them wrong. The fundamentals are still there and copper has just now looked bullish again technically. Loot at Qua.to and PCU. Disclaimer, I own Quat (in at 4.15), but just sold PCU. You might get it cheaper than current.

    If you can’t buy those stocks in your accounts, here’s another couple freebies:

    c. AT&T has posted 80% sales growth with earnings growth 12% + for the past four quarters.  Paying a 4.5 dividend yield.

    d. Pfizer. Discredited by analysts due to competition from generic drug makers. Thing is, the generics don’t have the same quality lobbyists.

    5. Of course, the best place to put money right now is in real estate.

      Still some more downside to go, but the house I bought was at a foreclosure auction for 60% less than it was originally listed at in October 2005. This place will cashflow right now, barely.  As I said, I plan to buy another rental within three years, maybe sooner.  SFH rent should triple net 12% in this city by then.  Even though the long bond has just begun to move up, the short term yields won’t be anywhere near that in three years. The US fed is falling into exactly the same trap that vexed Japan for 20 years. How many times have you herd folks on the radio over the past3-4 years say the interest rates were at a low and could only go up. Wrong, Japan lowered all the down to 01% and aren’t much higher than that right now.  Some try to rationalize and make statements to the effect; "But the demographics in Japan were different" or "We have more transparency in the banking system which will help prevent the financial industry from dragging down the country for years" or other half-baked cakes.  Nope. Fact is the BOJ reached the incompetence level just before becoming irrelevant, much like our Federal Reserve bank is doing right now. 

    Exactly nobody is recommending buying SFH right now. There are even some better real estate plays right now, but I won’t go into those just yet.

    3.7.08    What a Quandary.

    should we sell physical metals that have increased 400-900%?

    We could:

    - buy an asset declining in price

    - buy an asset we hope has stopped declining, and will rise

    - purchase a toy or liability just for giggles,


    and the crux of the matter: buy or sell debt?


    In some cases I can see that the decision to pay off our own (or family's) debt might be a forced decision.  Telling a loved one to just sell the house because this will be the third month the can't meet mortgage isn't all that easy to say, nor that easy to make happen.


    Buffet characterized it well last week, the financial markets are currently "de-leveraging".


    Now, if everybody ELSE is deleveraging, why would WE want to do the same?  When everybody was throwing fiat and margin at NasDuffy/QQQ in 2000, WE we accumulating physical. Now that the slag has a quadruple, the same everybody (or a small percentage therein, actually) wants to buy the slag FROM us. I can appreciate the sensibility in taking profit of the table (certainly those buys in GLD/SLV made last year), but why deleverage? Especially now that everyone else is deleveraging. Isn't that the exact time to start to build your own personal leverage, both in capacity and fact?



    3.7.08    Washington Mutual on the Ropes

    largest U.S. savings-and-loan institution stakes out a street corner to wave the tin cup, hailing for alms and charity:



    3.6.08    Buying a House with a Bag of Silver or a Few Coins in Precious Metal

    There are numerous houses in Detroit where you can purchase a house for less than a bag of silver, way less in many cases.


    In fact, Detroit has a program where they will give you a house if you can show enough income/moxie to keep the house up, pay taxes, and beat back the looters. makes sense to give 'em away, keep the tax base up. otherwise the houses end up crack dens>eyesores>shells>arson practice ranges. arson HAS to be an up-n-coming crime. all the businesses that need to be torched to hide massive losses need to be lit BEFORE the insurance companies go broke (and that might be next week).

    Cleveland is next...

    The city program where they offer up free houses got me to thinking, that's another reason to begin dipping ones toes into real estate right now - SFH and small apartment units.

    there may well come that day when the city is willing to give away a block, if you can show cause and the ability to successfully rent out, maintain, and landlord the place. Cities have created both more ridiculous and wise programs than that.

    Besides, who wants to buy into commercial RE pools right now, anyway?



    3.4.08    northern nevada snowpack down to average


    There was a time it took about five below-average water years for folks to begin mentioning 'the drought'.

    now it just takes one below-average year (that was last year). so we all get a one year reprieve...



    3.4.08    Rest in Peace Gary Gygax

    the archetype architect of the inner matrix finally teleported to the ethereal plane.


    3.2.08    And to Think there Was a Day

    when a man would spend days and weeks
    toiling in the hills and rivers
    go gather a grain or a gram
    and forge
    and pound with iron
    and stamp further, pressing his mark
    and fashion with all the artistic embellishments his mind could devise in times much simpler than these,

    and sayeth:

    "yes, that is worthy of One Dollar"


    today is not that yesterday.

    2.29.08    Head of the US Federal Reserve Confirms Bank Failures Forthcoming

    Did you hear Bernanke’s testimony yesterday (2.28.08) in front of Congress?

    When asked about the possibility of US bank failures, he essentially said the event is not just a possibility, but likely. Have not seen this discussed very widely the financial press, for the obvious reasons.

    “I expect there will be some (bank) failures”. He later went on to explain position Bernanke Panke, that he expects the large banks will come out alright but that small regional banks carrying real estate portfolios will go bankrupt.

    Uhmm, Yeah.

    The only reason the large banks won’t go out is because the little people (that’s you and I) will continue to subsidize the large banks. The fed has already injected over $50 US Billion into the banking system just to keep it afloat. That hasn’t been near enough to prevent he banks from selling part control to Middle Eastern governments.

    Furthermore, the large banks have well-funded lobbyists already working on legislation they will ram through the puppet congress. This legislation, which will be called “Preservation of Homeowner Rights Act” or something equally vapid will, of course, have the exact opposite effect.

    Spoke with a gentleman at length yesterday; he worked for Bank of America (BAC) for 17 years.  He completely agreed with my supposition that BAC took over the failing country wide for this expressed reasons:

    BAC buys the debts and assets together at rock-bottom prices.


    BAC will pass the legislation that underwrites their debts, while they re-sell the assets.  Socialize the losses and privatize the gains. Same as it ever was.

    Start to watch you local bank very carefully…

    Anybody think Visa (V) is going public, to raise the dough, to buy out some failing bank real estate portfolios, to ride the coattails of the BAC legislation?

    BAC broke support today, entered bearish trend. Need more volume for confirmation, but looks ugly anyway.  Perhaps the market movers haven’t noticed the BAC lobbyists wining/dining/paying off the right politicians. Or mayhaps there has been a public rebuke noted on high; the crooked pols will not longer accept BAC ‘money’, and require gold bullion only. har!

    2.29.08    Now, the gentleman rancher had just given up

    On his efforts to run 40 cattle and some other crops on a rural Missouri farm.

    The drought and the cost of feed two of the primary reasons.

    Another interesting discussion.  Beef prices have been in the cellar, cheap product from .s America, Aus., And Canada.  I figure the market must turn given the strength of the Aud and Can dollar.  But I don’t know cattle operations.  I do know a few folks who do know, thankfully.  One friend trying to make a go at it up north california.  Another deal, one of the largest Nevada ranches, sold over 3$million in studs recently at Fallon, Nv.  They had been paying 60K A MONTH in feed: mostly corn and silage. 

    Naturally corn has been artificially/politically (like there is a difference) by the legislation pushing ethanol.  So too silage has a substitution driver: anaerobic biofuel feedstock.

    Lovely choice the engineered energy crisis has presented on our silver platter:

    “Food or Fuel today, ‘maam?”.

    Just as many can afford both as neither…

    2.28.08    The guy responsible for Elko County’s response

    to last week’s earthquake in Wells.

    Was at his first day on the job.


    Welcome to work!


    2.24.08    Effort by the Powers that Be to Stem the Growing Foreclosure Avalanche

    If neither a legal technicality nor an obstructionist judicial branch, What – if anything - CAN stop the rising tide of foreclosures?

    A few clumsy attempts so far:

    Project Lifeline

    This program contains very little substance. What provisions there are mainly serve as a framework to drape over a glossy public relations campaign designed by the major lenders. Lets face it, freeing foreclosures for 30 days won’t allow enough time to even complete the paperwork.  Had you ever worked with a major lender, tried to reach a knowledgeable staff person at country wide who speaks your language, or dealt with HUD knows, just getting the process started takes weeks. Getting someone to reply, in any meaningful fashion, could take months.. Some are lucky they can confirm receipt of a simple fax in five working days.

    And of course in California, the program is essentially meaningless since the homeowner can postpone a trustee sale with proper notice.

    Nevertheless, if you’d like to read the press release and look at the corporate memos again, here ya go:


    The reality is that the foreclosure problem is only growing, and that this self-imposed measure by the banking companies is just a stop gap on their part to buy some time. They are the last folks who want your house. They couldn’t even keep their risk mitigation and books straight, they fully well know they have no ability to sell a house or do any other useful task, that’s why they’re bankers!

    So many folks won’t ever get their affairs in order due to systemic problems. This bandaid wont’ stop the bleeding, but will buy some time before the infection sets in.

    Of course, the government felt compelled to continually make the situation worse.  Not sure if you’ve had the distinct pleasure of working with HUD, but the joy isn’t on my top 5,000 list. Sure, there are a few worse government agencies, I try to avoid them also.

    Man, not only does the plan bite, but the website holds itself to even lower quality standards.


    Never have I hoped for this foreclosure epidemic to sweep the nation.  Given the ridiculous stop-gap measures shown to date; I’m just one of the few who have actually prepared for the inevitability.

    2.24.08    Bond Market Financing in Never-Seen Freefall


    From the article: “386 auctions of publicly offered bonds resulted in 258 failures, or 67 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg… Just 44 failures were recorded between 1984, when the market was created, and the end of last year…”.

    Between 1984 (assume June) and January 2008 there have been 282 months.  In this period there have been 44 bond failures. This equates to 0.15 per month.

    However, there have been 258 bond financing failures in THE LAST TWO WEEKS. This equates to 516 per month. This figure, in turn, means bond financing failures are up 3440% this year. 

    Is that cool or what?!?! (not)

    The Bond market affects us all, in ways you would have never imagined…


    2.22.08    Bought KRY

    @ 1.61


    2.20.08    Australian Miners and the US Press

    Read a story about Newcrest today, one of Australia's largest mining concerns.  Australian miners rarely receive positive press in the general financial outlets here in the western US, when they receive any coverage at all. Do believe NEM/ABX buy most the press and the advertisers/outlets bleeding revenue just as soon would rather keep their largest accounts happy.

    Took me a while, but I figured out Toyota motors bought much of their favorable ratings the same way.

    Mining reporting has absolutely gone down the toilet out here. Nevada press lost her last dedicated mining reporter about six months ago to the budget cuts. And this was in the largest mining county in the US.


    2.19.08    The Next 'Terrorist' event in 'da Homeland

    Here's my call: Backback bomb on the El in Chicago, or Bart in SF, or the NYC subway.  A good shock wave against the commuters, driving more folks into their cars, bad for the economy in a number of fashions. This week the train system Amtrak - government run (such as it is) declares their security plan. Either Amtrak is seven years late (they're usually only 1.5 hours late) or they're just a bit early for the next terrorism ho-down.


    The PERP: Women and men, western educated, or at least fluent English-speakers. Trained for a couple weeks in Pakistan or Afghanistan mini-camps. The training grounds in Afghanistan are now more well funded than before the US entry. Our goal - to get the opium production back up to pre-taliban levels - is now complete. US forces have precious little control over ground..


    Now that the situation has been destabilized beyond control, time to de-stabilize Pakistan. What's in store there will make Armenia in the 1920's look like a picnic.


    2.19.08    Vallejo, California: On the brink of bankruptcy.

    One of few cities in the state of California to publically consider bankruptcy.




    I live in Vallejo.  Bought a house and everything. (but I picked my timing and location after careful consideration).


    veerrrry interesting place, to say the least.  Best weather of any place I've ever been, with the possible exception of the lee side of Molokai. This town is the fourth or fifth oldest in California. Had its share of history. Home to the oldest permanent naval base on the North American west coast.  It  closed down in 1995, and you can see the effects still flowing into the economy.  The police force, ostensibly blamed for the 'funding shortfall', is actually the best in San Francisco Bay, IMO.

    Was out good part of yesterday, looking at more houses - with the intent of buying another in the not to far future. The house I bought last October, as described here (foreclosure auction), will already cash flow should I choose to rent it out.  I actually just found out yesterday that the back room I was worried about had 10K worth of work done only two years ago - they replaced the floor and poured a new one  I found this out because I tracked down the contractor who did the work. He did the work for Countywide.  Two years ago Countrywide was still putting money into houses they foreclosed.  Now they wont put a dime into their portfolio. In fact, Countrywide made this contractor sign a waiver declaring he would not file a mechanics lien if he didn't get paid for the job (how about that for a hint of things to come!). The Contractor had never heard about it, so he went to his lawyer for advice. Layer said sign, so the guy did. Yep, contractor had to wait several months to get paid.  This house had over 60k, EASY, put into it in the last three years. I got it for 198k at the foreclosure auction. Was originally listed in Oct 2005 at about 489K after four realtors and two owners could not sell.  The local realtor I worker with (borker) the only one with brains I've run into around here had been through the 1990-91, 80-82, and 73-75 downsides. He said this was worst buy far and that this quarter would be the worst in the town's history, down 8%.


    Like I said, was out good part of yesterday, looking at more houses - with the intent of buying another in the not to far future.  I plan being able to buy a house for a bag of silver; now looking just like a matter of several months away, maybe a couple years. After that I'll head back to Reno and begin buying up there and farmland in a special spot.


     Of course, plenty of folks told me I was crazy buying property right now.  Then again, when I first appeared at Kitco in Feb 2000 I blabbed my head off and said it was a great time to sell the Nazdaq and buy gold stocks. The kitco folks that replied, every one of them, said I was early.  These folks, as I've found out in the last 8 years, are some of the better financial minds (minds.period) I've had the pleasure to meet and converse.  Better early than late in some games.

    Now remember, there have been plenty of towns in our fair country that went out of business. Just not so extraordinarily so. Many places simply unincorporate and drop the bag on the county.  I've got a lot of respect for the two council members actually willing to call it like it is, city on the verge of bankruptcy due to decades of political fraud and mismanagement. The public meeting on the bankruptcy proposal is this Thursday. What should I say?


    Oh, and here's the kicker: Just two days ago I received a surprise letter in the mail from the county. They unilaterally decided to LOWER my taxes by 10%.  Go figure...


    This city IS on the LEADING EDGE of something. Exactly what that something is remains to be seen. Coming to a town near yours...


    2.17.08    Take a Cruise, learn enough to make your money back in the markets:




    2.16.08    What Big Fun!


    The banking holidays have begun.




    First they start with those who have enough money, and enough still at risk/able to lose, that they won't make an issue in public.


    Hey, at least the big banks have a heart, right?



    Maybe we should show the big banks some mercy....


    ...taxpayer bailout of the banking industry, anybody?


    2.16.08    Six dead in Illinois shooting because some loser says so


    The usual outlets push the gun control stories, already written and just waiting for the green light opportunity.


    Eight dead from a street drag race:




    What a time to talk about car control, eh?


    2.16.08    The People's Business

    Wow, Congress sure has been busy tackling some important issues that drive right to the heart of your average American.  First on the list is the congressional investigation of steroids and "bloody sock" clemens before the august halls of the capital dome. The congress people were angry, simply infuriated, that they had right in front of them men that could tell more lies per sentence than any elected paid-and-bought for -shill on the committee. Not to be outdone, Senator Arlen Spectator promised to mine right to the bottom of the 'spygate' dilemma so frustrating the country. No, not the illegal immigrant serving as the bulk of CIA information analysts.  No, not the fools within military intelligence who were outfoxed by al qaeda shepherds on sabbatical; As a point in fact, Arlen strove to shine light on the abscessed sore over American politics and culture that is or was, the new England Patriots stealing of signs from opposing teams. Now THAT is getting down with the peoples business (the asswipe must have lost badly on his last bet).  Of course the longer they waste their time means the less they are wasting my money. Have at it boys. Personally, I'd subpoena the Venus sisters and Sharipova to appear before my peering glaze. But that just shows the inherent predilections of your elected officials. (btw, that last men's Australian Open match was one of the best competitive games I've ever seen).


    2.15.08    Counterfeit goods more acceptable to US consumers

    Har! Like they have a choice anymore. How many of them can afford the real thing. For that matter, how many viable manufacturing concerns are left in their country that even produce some product resembling authenticity?  Precious few. The fact is that as the citizenry dumbed down into consumers, they stopped demanding honest currency. Now they'll accept the most base, crass, counterfeit product they can beg, borrow or...


    2.14.08  Pentagon to Shoot Down Spy Satellite headed toward earth

    Kinda makes you wonder why they couldn’t shoot down a plane headed toward their own building on 911.

    Oh right, that wouldn't help the cause for an unending war in the third world and wouldn't increase their budget either. And besides, somebody gave orders to the USAF to stand down rather than actually defend their country, as they had pledged.


    2.12.08    Whole lotta important 'news' this week, actually

    Today's la-la story that the market went up b.c. Berkshire-Hathaway offered 800 to shore up the bond markets is more hooey.  Over 7 trillion has been taken off the books in the last 8 months. 800 million is just one percent.  Also, Buffet only offered for the crem-de-la-creme municipal and utility bonds. Those almost always do well and rarely default anyway. The truer story was that the market prices of the largest bond insurers tanked again/still.


    The main story about the failing power complex in South Africa and how lack of power is taking down the SA economy mentions nary a bit in the evening news. This is a very big deal, and foreshadows coming events in the states. Large sectors of the African Economy, especially the important mining sector, are shutting down and losing productivity because the state-run power corporation, ESKOM,



    2.11.08    First changes in the Dow 30 in four years.


    Altria and Honeywell were removed and Chevron and Bank of America were put in the index. This represents a nod by the DOW that industry is no longer representative of the US economy, yet financial snookery and derivatives are the US economy.


    These changes are scheduled for effect on February 19.


    2.11.08    The Writer's Strike Apparently Ends

    Well, the two sides came to an agreement which needs a vote by the union.  Way I see it, the union took the short end. The main deal was a cut of the 'new media' (internet) pie - how residuals are divvied up. They writers only received 2%. Heck, they got 4% of VHS sales. Their purchase power has halved in just one generation.


    But ask yourself, truthfully. Does it matter? In the last eight weeks, was it really that difficult to find anything else to do with your life than watch some garbage television show? Hopefully not. If so, I doubt you're reading this blog, anyway.


    2.9.08    Oh yes, chant after the masses:

    President Hussein!


    Sure, it's great to watch hillary unravel just as fast as britney, she gets her deserved comeuppance. They had the brand name recognition, and now realize nobody really likes their name. Glad they'll get their legacy shoved in front of their face while they are both alive to relish the realization. 


    But the cult of personality over this unknown loser - obama - will usher in a very painful chapter in america's brief history. The guy is a trojan horse. The poor plebes beg for a dictator.


    Hope is a dangerous drug and this pushers has been dealing out overdose-level prescriptions on the trail of fears.


    Either way, this election will have either the firs (and last) black man or women in the white house. One term served (at most). The Bush klan will be back in by 2012.


    2.8.08    Increasing demand for domestic and international antiques and collectibles

    Sotheby's and Christie's expect 2008 sales to increase 20% over 2007 figures, based upon their large London auctions this February.

    In sum this represents almost an 80 percent increase over 2006.  TIAS reports online business is up 19 percent over December 2006.  However, they report as volume; we suspect pinched margins haven't resulted in the same increase of profit.


    2.6.08    Houses Cheaper than Cars in Detroit


    And neither are selling very well.




    The auction company mentioned in this article is holding a large auction of homes in Northern and Southern California next week.  Will be a great indicator on the current market IMO.


    2.6.08    The Dow Jones is Down 500 points in Three Days (most of the fall on election day)

    Some fools chalk it up to any number of inane reasons. The reality the market looks ahead, sees the current crop of politicians, and doesn't like what it sees.


    2.6.08    Massive Vote Fraud

    Sure I voted. Every chance I get. Someone has to vote against all the garbage bonds saddling our children and their children with increasing piles of unsustainable debt.  Supposedly the polls in California were wrong again. Numbers had shows Romney and Obama ahead by a few percentage points. Of course the results come in  and once again they were way out of whack with the previous polling indications. Either the pollsters have suddenly lost any semblance of ability in 2008, or the fraud is getting even worse.  Just when you thought the hanging chad fiasco in Florida and the vote fraud in Ohio in 2004 (where Kerry was paid-off/blackmailed/threatened to not fight for his obvious victory in that state) could not get any worse - watch out for the great 2008 swindle.


    Seriously, do you or anybody you know actually support McCain and Hillary? Obama has pulled absolutely huge crowds over the past couple months. I've seen probably a total of four signs AND bumper stickers for McCain.  Who exactly checked his name down, weren't the people in Northern California.  I would suppose he has a pocket of die-hard supporters in military towns perhaps, such as outside the Navy and Marine bases down south.  Then again, Ron Paul has constantly polled much more popular with military families, for the obvious reason that he actually supports the troops.  Moreover, my parents-in-law, who are diehard NeoCons, never mentioned any love for McMaim when I was down there just a couple weeks ago.


     McCain has a number of veterans gunning for him; the guy is a confirmed charade and cheat. "Remember the Keating Five" - the Savings and Loan Debacle in the 1980's?  Yep,  McCain was one of the five. Guess the powers that be need him in office to engineer the next and largest financial fraud every parlayed against the people of a nation. YOU are the target.


    And although I've found few folks that even understand what a delegate is, nobody has been able to explain to me how a 'superdelegate' and your vote can co-exist.


    Oh well. Whatever the delegate system can't fix before the real election DieBiold, Inc. will be sure to fix after the election.


    2.4.08    Kissing Kousins

    King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia held hands with president bush on a friendly stroll through the gardens in Crawford, Texas.  How come the Premier of Canada never had the same date, they have oil too!


    2.3.08    San Jose Coin Show

    The San Jose Coin Club put on another great show.  Personally, I don't like the location or the room near as much, especially the fact I now have to pay parking. Otherwise, the show was fairly similar to previous years. Had a few good buys on Nevada Tokens and one piece of great Rhyolite ephemeral - a real beauty.  Was good to run into a few old connections, especially Vince Peraino (a great guy, taught me a lot). Was even better to hit it off with Salvatore Falcone, another fine paisano. A few of the dealers complained about the spike in the price of gold recently.  Then again they always have something to complain about. Frankly, I didn't think the traffic was very heavy, similar to last year but not nearly as crowded as 04 and 05.  Still, most vendors reported having a good show.


    2.2.08    Tent Cities Starting to Pop-up In Our Prosperous Land



    (Scroll toward the bottom of the blog)


    This one is even better:





    2.1.08    San Jose Coin Show Tomorrow

    44 TULLY Road, San Jose, CA, 95111


    2.1.08    Amazing really, how well the Gold Stocks have been holding up

    Whilst the larger markets have entered a downtrend.  Remember that Nevada bill, now out of house and into the Senate (conference?) that will completely re-do the way mining royalties are collected and paid in Nevada, the largest mining state in the union. Alaska, the state with historically very favorable mining regulations has also increased royalty payments (read: taxes).


    2.1.08    My trade out of KGC into MRB

    (from 1.24.08) So far, so good...


    2.1.08    Google Takes the Hit

    Stock down overnight and over another 8% today (on increasing volume).


    Down over 20% in a few weeks. Chart looks atrocious- simple, log, comparative or otherwise.


    Folks begin to realize that Google's economic model has two forks: The first is to monetize traffic at social networking sites. Of course, the majority of folks visiting those sites are basically lonely and/or wasting time while at work. Neither of these predilections typically convert into commercial or retail sales of mutual funds, televisions, cars or anything else.


    ``There is no evidence to date of an economic slowdown,'' Google Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt said in an interview yesterday.


    Like I wrote on January 7th, there is no evidence of economic slowdown because all the metrics used to measure slow-down have been so cooked and booked that the official numbers are essentially useless drivel. The CPI, GDP or whatever metric that was originally formulate dot represent some measure of economic activity is now nothing more than some pedantic predilection of otherwise unemployable government double-speakers.


    2.1.08    Yahoo Woes

    Two months ago they released they're 'new and improved' email browser.  The new email interface sucks, barely works.  Likewise, they tweaked their business model until it no longer works, and the larger - more liquid - company [MSFT] buys the remains at a garage sale. Of course MSFT is now too just a shell of its former self.  A monopoly replaced the engine of innovation which produced years of organic growth.  The monopoly model has now started to morph, as is invariably/inevitably/always the case, from market monopoly into simple ward of the state - dependent upon installation into the ever growing number of government worker cubes. The rest of the world is abandoning the product - that which still works. The bombs, Vista et. al. (not to mention the junk that never made it past beta tests) show that ever increasing reliance on government 'business' must continue, since the open market no longer cares for the 'product'.


    The larger irony is that many of the best and brightest computer and electrical engineers that I went to school with in the 1990's moved away from the MSFT behemoth into the more comforting arms of the hip and growing AAPL and GOOG.  


    Naturally, both those companies are now poised on the precipice, staring over the edge into an abyss that spells years of decline. The kids are just now learning the maxim that old age and treachery (MSFT) bests out youth and ability (AAPL and GOOG) every time.


    The fun part, naturally, is playing the arbitrage between youth/ability and age/treachery.  One of the few niches not yet crowded out and into a population awaiting collapse. And speaking of populations awaiting collapse...


    2.1.08    Consumer Confidence Numbers


    The Consumer Confidence Numbers released this week by the Conference Board - a measure of US consumer confidence - fell from 90.6 in December to 87.9 in January.  Short term, what this means is, exactly: nothing.  Longer term, we get a  different picture.  The economic numbers have been so massaged into nothingness that they are no longer relevant in either the short term or medium term. However, a population that no longer believes the numbers, no longer believes the government. The rigged statistics fool some of the folks, but - increasingly - not all the folks (especially the younger ones). More accurately, very few people believe - deep down - in  the chicanery but they absolutely cannot face the underlying reality that they are completely dependent upon the government subsides and handouts to feed themselves  (to the point of obesity) and clothe themselves (cheap crap made in china) in the manner they so deserve.


    Again, read the tripe pushed by just another bought and paid for economic trollop:

    ``There is no evidence to date of an economic slowdown,'' Google Chief Executive Officer - Eric Schmidt


    Another freefall in the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index paints the more accurate picture, once the folks on the street see and thus believe - the local economy is weak and getting worse.


    Repeat, with vigor: `There is no evidence to date of an economic slowdown''


    There are those, however, with differing opinions.  For example,


    As Chad Dreier, the Ryland (Housing company) CEO stated in November: "The California housing market is in a freefall".

    Last week, Dreier noted that housing prices were still "very high" in both Northern and Southern California.  This was the bad news, along with the pesky fact he announced his firm lost over $330 million last year. The good new is, he can build -and sell - homes for much less than what the average joe and jane California can realize for their home. In other words, future asset depreciation.


    How long will joe and jane put up with that?


    What does Chalmers Johnson have to say?


    Johnson, author of the Blowback Trilogy and including 'Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic' states:

    "The United States will within a very short time face financial or even political collapse.”


    Harpers Magazine - January 2007

    Calente goes even further:


    “In 2008, Americans will wake up to the worst economic times that anyone alive has ever seen...


    ...failing banks, busted brokerages, toppled corporate giants, bankrupt cities, states in default, foreign creditors cashing out of US securities…the stage is set, the big one is on its way.”


            Gerald Calente, Trends Reports; 12.17.08


    The US financial watchdog had rung the bell last year as Comptroller general David Walker with the US Accountability Office specifically warned congress that US policy and resultant debt levels was unsustainable.  His warning wasn't too long after President George Bush publicly ridiculed the expected future value of US Treasury Bills. 


    Of course the majority of people are still asleep, the portion of our populace that are now realizing the pinch have only just begun catching on.  How can this same group, who are still willing to consider either McCain OR Hillary for president, truly allow the veil to lift over their eyes. 'Twas just a scant five years ago when almost half of these same us consumers believed the 935 documented lies their President Bush spewed from the podium, including the 'fact' that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.


    Too bad too few noticed the one bit of truth bush threw in to the milieu - the US debt was truly laughable.


    Cliff Droke had been warning from the bleachers:

    "Consumers are way too optimistic over the economic prospects of the next 12-18 months ahead and have shown this optimism by buying second homes, buying extravagant luxury items, and in other ways when they may well come to regret these investment decisions in the months ahead."


        - Cliff Droke, Gold Digest; March 26, 2005

    In the end, the folks in Florida only gave Ron Paul a few percentage points of the vote because the majority are completely tied to the system of paper promises.  However, the younger folks are increasingly waking up and looking into the future - their future -with a greater even horizon. This is the growing group now starting to understand, verily, APPRECIATE the message Ron Paul is bringing out into the open.


    Ultimately, you need to get out of the station and onto the train.  Choose the train wisely - we aren't all destined for the same route.


    Like everything else, consumer confidence comes down to not what you believe, not who you believe to tell it, but how confident you are about the ability to make decisions of your own accord.


    Most would rather let the authorities make the decision for them.


    One picture says it all, the People's Republic lead the  way: The new paradigm of confident consumer: Staged, Controlled, Captive and completely at the mercy of the 'authorities'.


    Stranded train passengers wait to enter the Guangzhou Railway ...


    [January 31.2008: Thousands of Chinese stuck - huddled - massed like cattle - in a railway station. Not moving, nowhere to move forward nor room to regress backward. Pressed against each other simply becasue the system can no longer function. Apparently due to a 'snowstorm'.]


    1.28.08    My old next-door neighbor makes the cut:



    Haven't seen her since I moved away; she must have been 7 or 8 years old at the time.


    WOW, maybe I should've stuck around another decade and change.


    (Or, at least visited the 'ol hood a little more often)


    1.28.08    Goldman Sachs buying their first casino




     like they don't have a big enough cut of the action as it is...


    I figure GS, benefiting from their man the Treasury Secretary who has obviously been passing inside information this whole time, has simply declared victory over their previous sparring mates: Merill Lynch, Bear Stearns, et. al. who've had their lunch money stolen before the first recess. Since GS has nobody left to play with in the dirty money game in NYC anymore, now they've put some marbles into Vegas. Just another great venue to legitimately launder some money stolen fair and square form the poor fools strolling the strip hoping for a fair deal, or at least a million-to-ones shot.  After GS trumps the vanilla bread executives running the corporate casinos (the glory days of our lovely mob have faded), GS packs up the show, takes it on the road, and starts to compete with the chinese gangsters/pols in Macao via a friendly tete-a-tete. Give it 4 or 5 years IMO.


    1.24.08    Traded out of KGC and back into MRB today.


    1.21.08    A Parade Just Passed by Near my House

    Everybody was hooting and hollering and walking and driving an honking for the MLK legacy.  None of them waved any banner nor waved any flag for the engulfing bear market in all financial markets. 


    Perhaps the currently failing derivative markets across the world shows that global reality trumps the local cult of personality?




    Just a crying shame the public will wave the banner on the prescribed date and time for the mythological caricature of a man and his ideals yet won't spend the time to read the fine (6 point font) print at the bottom of their mortgage document to know what's really going on in their own financial house; much less the larger world out there. Oh well, got some cheap beads and candy from the spectacle.  Apparently the much vaunted promise Breads and Circus has been down-graded as well. They get the politician they deserve.


    1.20.08    Opening the Mail

    - Countrywide offered me a home equity line of credit.  Thing is, they offered $10k less than last month.  Not sure if they think my position has deteriorate or theirs has?  Even less sure why they would continue to offer loans on this secured collateral when they have already determined that the market value of such is decreasing.   Too bad for them it took between October 2005 and January 2008 to realize the property value was in decline. They held the house from October 05  - I bought it from them just recently after they loss over 150K. 


    Perhaps their 'new-and-improved' business model?


    - BOL and Warburg Pincus agreed to a price on the class action suit. Just more garden variety fraud typically associated with mergers and acquisitions.  Pure gravy for me. The class settlement suit dates covered just a fifteen month period. I was only in as a swing trader during that time.  In and out with a profit. The fraud pays as a dividend, more or less. You can always count of the fraud part, just cant' always expect to be on the 'right' part of the 'fraud' trade'. Though it does seem to get easier with experience.  

    6.11.07    Sold BOL @$ 69.70

    bought around 48 last year.  Bausch and Lomb = bread and butter.


    Crazy chart!  Look at those islands (tops?)



    - MRB receives Feasibility Study.

    Really hard to get a picture on the market's take here. How much impact in price is from the results vs. how much results from the overall market carnage?




    Sure, I can get in cheaper here, but can I get in REALLY cheaper next week?  The Shadow used to know. Now nobody does.  Not that its a bad thing, mind you.

    1.11.08    Sold MRB @ 5.58

        >9.28.05    Bought MRB @ 1.46


    That was the core position. hoping to average back in a little cheaper.


    1.19.08    Can't believe Ron Paul polled 14% in Nv.

    When I waived his flag in '88 (I actually canvassed northern Nv. door to door) we could only convince in 2.5% of the electorate.  Not sure what it means.  Sure, the candidates are 500% worse - believe it or not - but either folks are waking up or the election process has devolved into such a parody that now money and hacking the results are on even par footing.


    We stood a chance had 15% of the folks believed in the cause 20 years ago.


    But at this point in the game...


    At any rate the fact that the young educated folks are running and funding and supporting the RP campaign provides great hope.


    Ron's message is getting out there and serves in great juxtaposition versus the other crap just recently vomited through the publicly (previously) held airwaves.

    When you first heard RP was going to run again for president; how did you think Ron's campaign would be faring at this juncture?

    I see it MUCH more successful than my initial estimation on the state of our union provided...

    Sometimes nice to be wrong.


    1.14.08    Partook of some kangaroo at the BBQ joint in 29 Palms  


    Nice place to chow.  The cut was sirloin and the meat looked, felt and tasted like steak- just a little bit gamier. Really good, actually. The menu also had crocodile but I didn’t’ try any.  Thought I would hold out until I make it to Florida again.


    1.12.08    Driving from Palm Springs through the Inland Empire

    One sees large signs sponsoring 'auctions' for the thousands of homes functioning as 'excess inventory' (read: dead money = gross misallocation of resources).   Most haven't yet figured out the real auctions versus the typically huck and jive marketing ploy. They will. Only a generation ago the midwest pawned off the family farm for the MO/CON/ADM megaplex.  Same chapter, different verse.


    Yucca Valley is still developing.  The town actually had two storefronts advertising coins. One was closed, the other a waste of time. Good luck out there.  And another piece of advice: Stay out of Desert Hot Springs - the town.


    1.12.08    Status of The Little People's Street Economy: The Mall

    Palm Springs mall: Dead. Has about %40 vacancy rates. Haven't seen a commercial indoor mall with that type of vacancy since I visited the Whittier (LA basin) mall in early 2000.  They later bulldozed that mall and put up an outside strip mall.  The newer strip mall is doing fine since the Whittier demographics have actually remained rather favorable. The generation raised there when homes were built in the early 1950's have also raised their progeny in the same locale.  Most the institutions developed 50 years ago still function.


    In Reno, Nv they bulldozed and paved the covered mall - first one in town, originally opened as an outdoor trip mall in very late 1969.  I watched the place deteriorate all through the 1980s.  The developer has not publically stated their intention for the property. Likely their default plan is too let it remain a useless plot of asphalt until they eventually give up on obtaining commercial credit in today's market and default themselves.  At one point the architectural wonder and previous financial hub called the Mapes Casino rose above the skyscape shining light across the scene and spilling people out along the waterfront.  Now the spot houses barren splotches of grass and cement except for three months of the year when a skating rink pops up from the ashes like the frozen phoenix archetype.   Instead of preserving and redeveloping the city core, the local powers that be overdeveloped the desert. now large tracts of increasingly bankrupt/empty boxes formerly known as homes provide entertainment for those more interested in watching the lawns dry, brown and eventually blow away rather than catching a show downtown.  


    Heck, why pay for dinner and a show downtown when you can watch the locals tear out the copper, fixtures and plumbing in the abandoned house across the street. Now THAT'S entertainment!


    1.12.08    California Indian Casinos

    After ditching the ditch known as Palm Springs I drove out about 20 minutes west on I-10 to the Morongo Valley casino.  Had hoped to catch the playoff football game on SUPERSIZE BLUE RAY PLASMA TVs. Alas, they didn’t have any, just a few large TVs at the bar.  So, caught some action on the craps table. They call it diceless craps. They use two 20 deck shoes (aces through sixes) instead of dice. The boxman draws one card each from the shoe to replicate a die throw. Although I actually won about 50$, I am not impressed with the dieless game. Likely rigged. What really bothered me was that the payoffs on the proposition bets were way off.  They shorted payoffs on the field and on the horn.  No reason to ever go there again.  I did keep a couple souvenir chips.  Good luck to them. Thankfully there lies a pool of increasingly financially desperate and despondent suckers in the LA basin just 1.5 hours away (or less in the vaunted 'inland empire') who need to blow their wad immediately rather than wait another 3 hours until they hit the Nevada state line. At one point believed I read that dice game were not legal in California, Indian Casino or not.  That has changed, since the Pala Tribe's casino outside Fallbrook (San Diego County) has two dice craps tables - with the standard odds/payoffs.


    I used to think the average american sucker had better odds on Wall Street. No longer the case...


    1.11.08    Museum of American Finance Reopens Today On Wall Street.


    This Smithsonian Institution affiliate reopens for public visitation at 48 Wall Street, NY NY.


    1.11.08    Given the Free Fall in the Financial, Equity, and Derivative Markets

    The mid-level government operatives are stirring the Hormuz for maximum coverage. Bush in Israel to oversee Mossad operations (such as the faked 'Iranian ship' footage).  


    Obviously they are long oil at $200/barrel in the futures market...


    1.11.08    Sold MRB @ 5.58

        >9.28.05    Bought MRB @ 1.46


    That was the core position. hoping to average back in a little cheaper.


    1.8.08    Just sent off an email to my Uncle

    Plan on visiting him next week.


    He has stage 4 liver cancer, now in Chemo. Diagnosed just a few weeks ago.  Doctors give him a few months to live.


    Going to visit my aunt too, other side of the family.  Matriarch.  Just out of the hospital.  Not doing well. Could be the last visit with her, also.


    Had a great conversation with her a few weeks ago, she was very lucid. We chatted for quite some time. She was very grateful I made the call. In retrospect so am I.


    Previously I had given her a writing tablet. She never took to it.  After that I got wise and brought down a tape recorder.  She would go for that and talk at length about the olden days.  Suggested I bring down a video recorder. Said I would, someday. Though just recently acquired one and its now too late.  Someday got canceled.


    Write down your story now. 

    Better to live on in the blog/web/journal/scribbled piece of parchment...then to wither with the vine.


    Everyone here has something to share for those who don't find the fortune to read today's posts.  Your current progeny may show no interest, but their kids just might!


    I've talked to thousands of folks; asked them about their history.  Vast majority have trouble going back 100 years on their family tree with any breadth of context, detail and meaning on one side alone, much less both sides of families.


    For those that never had the inclination to understand their background, the road that got them here; what's the odds they'll successfully endeavor to understand their current place in today's system of pulleys and levers, grinding the clueless one turn over another?


    Not bloody likely = Cannon Fodder.


    1.8.08    Interesting thing about change in market sentiment

    Mutual Fund managers have historically not been allowed/refrained from shorting shares.


    Now they can BUY ETFs, which are short (or double short) the market.


    Whereas volatile moves in a market may have marked a turning point in traders legend of yore,

    today it could simply be an artifact of trading mechanisms.


    1.7.07    Read that in Ireland during the 1980's gold mining

    They had to drill the entire lode.  Explosives not allowed!


    1.7.08    They'll Always told you that a Rising Tide Lifts all Boats


    Yet seldom mention that the over-pumped aquifer dries all wells...


    Unless you delve deep down through the aquicludes of disinformation, acquiescence and paralysis.


    1.7.08   ' Recession'

    Ain't gonna happen.  Now, the whole mess could gravitate down the sewer but it still won't be a 'recession'.  The keepers and runners union of the official government numbers racket will cook the books so that there are not two quarters in a row with shrinking output. Just as the number keepers fool with the CPI inputs, the unemployment figures, the jobs reports, ad nauseum.  And if the number cookers fail their jobs, well then the doublespeak ministry will just have to work that much harder to abuse and confuse the language so that 'recession' is rescinded from the vernacular.


    1.6.08    The Storm that Caused the Levee to Break in Fernley, Nv

    Same spot where it burst in 1996.


    They don't build 'em (or repair) like they used to.  And Ca and NV have a whole mess 'o levies protecting/allowing the agricultural infrastructure to flourish in the desert.


    1.5.08    Whole Lotta Folks saying Inflation will get worse

    That'll be the least of our worries.  The resulting nasty deflation spooks everybody.  The governments have always enjoyed inflation. They can print their way through promises and out of trouble.  Problems with deflation cannot be papered over. Once it sets in, you can't deflate your way out.


    The REAL bummer:  No new business can establish itself except at the expense of an existing business.

    Hence, capital flow dries up and entrepreneurship goes wanting for lack of credit.


    There are many places on this planet that were once much more crowded than they are today. Entire cities now nothing more than ruins. In some cases the environment was the larger factor. In some cases, just simple economics and demographics. Once deflation reaches a certain nadir, the prime is lost and no amount of pumping the well brings water back to the spigot. 


    Folks see too many holes in the plan, too much salt in the field, and simply walk away to greener pastures.


    1.3.08    A few tidbits from the love-letter ETrade sent today:

    The Katrina Emergency Tax Relief Act of 2005 & Gulf Opportunity Zone Act of 2005 provides qualified IRA holders affected by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, or Wilma certain favorable tax treatments on distributions from their IRAs.

    The Pension Protection Act of 2006 presents non-spouse beneficiaries of qualified retirement plans an opportunity to roll over assets to an inherited (beneficiary) IRA, allows for tax free charitable distributions for 2007, and provides an early distribution penalty exception for qualified reservists.

    The Economic Growth and Tax Relief and Reconciliation Act provides that plan participants with designated Roth contributions in a 401(k) or 403(b) plan may be eligible to roll over these assets to Roth IRAs after terminating employment or under other special circumstances.

    The Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act eliminates the modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) restriction in 2010 (currently $100,000) for Roth IRA conversion eligibility.

    The Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 allows IRA holders to make a one-time direct rollover to an HSA.

    1.1.08    A Billion to One: Federal Reserve Notes against You


    A small sampler plate of the databases built on US (us) dupes.


    (at least that 0.0004% they chose to publish so far)




    If the databases weren't built by govt. contractors on govt. specs. with govt oversight, I might get a little worried.


    1.1.08    Year Eight of This Blog Now Commences!


    12.31.07    Closing Price of Gold for 2007

    $833.30; up %31 for the year!


    Nasdaq composite rose 9.8 percent

    S&P 500 up %3.5 percent

    Dow Jones Industrial Average rose %6.4



    12.30.07    Land...Gold...Timing

    Today folks are getting swindled out of their cash, bonds and houses.  100 years ago it was mining and oil scams (and still is today).  Some things don't change much.


    "Poor Women Left Penniless"


    What a great read:


    "How investors were baited"




    "John Emerson, a bricklayer...had put $2,000 of hard-earned money in the Burr's Nevada Mining Stock.  On one of the shares of mining stock was a picture of Gov. Sparks of Nevada, as President of the company.  Emerson said he wrote to the Governor, and in a short time received a letter, apparently from Governor Sparks, saying the stock was all right.  Subsequently, Emerson declared, he learned that the Governor was dead at the time."


    "Money kept pouring in"


    Here is a picture of the stock in question - Goldfield Mining Milling and Smelting Company:




    No pictures of the governor, maybe his vignette was added in later shelf offerings. 

    And 'they' said Dead Men Don't Lie. 

    Well, at least not near as much as the current Governor.

    12.30.07    More Land...Gold...Timing

    Is it time right now to trade physical au/ag for foodstuffs?

    Or, trade physical au/ag for land?

    But the 64,000,000K (inflation) question is this:

    Should we calculate land for income potential or land calculated as means of production?

    A very salient question at this juncture IMO.

    12.28.07    2008 Trends in Equity Dealer Markets

    Same as the old trends: Less market transparency every year


    Financial Industry Regulatory Authority eliminates another disclosure rule:




    12.27.07    Found Another Northern Nevada Casino that will Pay Silver

    Clarion, S. Reno, S. Virginia Street.  They'll pay out numismatic coin, GSA Carson City Dollars, etc., for certain Keno jackpots.  Of course, I don't play keno.

    While, in the neighborhood, visited the Peppermills' $400 Million upgrade/new hotel tower.  Looks nice, I'm sure they'll get their investment back.  They've continued with the Tuscany theme, started with their makeover tow years ago.  The outside part of the casino remodeled two years ago was done really poorly, looks like the exterior of a warehouse. The new wing has the exterior appearing in the Tuscany mold. So, I imagine the 'mill will next remodel the outside of the older ware-house-looking area to match the newest addition.


    Further on down the street in the same general neighborhood, Station Casino will enter the market by building a brand new casino; first major new development in Northern Nevada since the silver legacy in 1995.  I think they'll do well. Station (STN) had out-performed in the last few years. And I've traded them well, as shown on this here blog...


    btw, the owners of the peppermill bet big on Wendover NV in 2002, bought out two bankrupt properties and injected cash in their own properties. They've done we'll, expect it to continue.

    Vegas has been losing market share to Asia for about three years now. Look at Wynn's et. al. investments in china autonomous areas.

    Right now STN business plan with new property in N. Nevada is to capture the locals market. same MO as Pepermill plan in Wendover [capture all the new population moving to SLC who are not Mormon (or jack) and will travel 2hrs to drink and gamble and dabble in other adult pre-occupations.]

    12.18.07    So the President of OlLIGARCHY NAU, INC.

    (Formerly the Republic of the united states of America)


    Decided (or was told) the need to abuse the microphone and the English language and spin some more disinformation. A few things he forgot to mention:


    - The FEDERAL RESERVE has been forced to pump 500Billion USD monopoly debt into the banking system to keep major US banking concerns firm collapsing.  This is on top of major infusions from nations holding our debt such as China, Abu Dhabi, and Saudi Arabia. Not pretty.

    - ACA Financial Guaranty Corporation, one of the largest Bond Insurers in the US had their credit rating severely downgraded this week. Hence, major cutnerparties such as Meril Lynch and Bear Stearsn are propping up ASA.  Amongst that poor environment, these backers are crumbling apart:


    - Bear Stearns Announces their first quarterly loss EVER

            That's right, since the beginning of the company in the 1920's they've never lost money. All through the great depression, the 1950's market crash, the1973-1974 market correction, the 1980's inflation they always turned a dime.

            Until now.


    - MBI, the country's largest bond insurer: Down @ -25% today alone.


    - The Lakota renounce 150 years of negotiations with the US.




    (and you think the government will keep its promises to you?)


    12.17.07    Ben Stein now Recommends 10% portfolio in Gold

    He had been bearish and wrong for some time; now just changing his tune. When he recommends the percentage go up to 20% I'll take that as a major sell signal.


    12.14.07    Poor day IN the Markets

    What a doozey of a day.

    Lost on pretty near everything except the dollar; and that still won't buy a cup of coffee most places.

    Except from my friends at starbucks. Norma cup of joe l is 1.60 but a 'refill' is only 0.50. and since I bring my own cup, another 10 cents [what a cup actually used to cost just a few decades ago] taken off of that. so i pay 0.40.  In other words, when they pay me full price they don't get a tip. When they charge what they could, 0.4, they make more than corporate [0.6]. don't matter to me, I hold the stock to hedge my daily trades/tirades...



    12.14.07    Minnesota Bans Mercury in Cosmetics

    (gettin' under your skin),


    Most folks don’t even realize it was added; or have any idea of what’s in that junk.


    In the US products used at the workplace are required to have both a label and Material Safety Data Sheets available. Cosmetics are exempt (covered by an even worse law).

    Then again, fecal material is regularly added to crops.


    Anybody working on that little issue?

    12.14.07    Bond Market on Steroids

    As in baseball, the trust and honor are gone but the spectacle continues to draw crowds functioning as the circumsizus maximsus- biggest fraud show on earth.

    The carnies bark bon-mots to the crowds passing by, looking for the next entertainment vehicle, unsuspecting all the while that THEY are the entertainment, the rube, the financial backers.

    The money man and the promoter are trading little worthless scrip tickets fast as they can for the real money – gold- with an eye on the train leaving the station for the next stop down the line.

    “Saint Louis, Chicago, Denver, Washo, Spokane, main street, living room computer holding the 401K - ALL ABOARD”


    12.14.07    Every Wonder what was the oldest Stock Exchange in the Western US?

    No, me neither. But the answer is Washoe City, Nv.


    Here were some guesses:


    Carson City

    Good One - Only off by 10 miles!

    (though they didn't have a bourse, unless you count the capital or craps tables down the street)

    I have a sell order on paper, dated 1879, from Genoa Nv (the oldest whitey town, even closer to Washoe City) to a brokerage in Carson.

    People mistakenly believe that innovation and production begins in cities. Nope, usually the good idea is hatched and incubated and borne in the mountain town. Then the city slicker kidnaps the kid, brings it to the city, sticks in the chip/slaps on the barcode and markets said product as original. “The San Francisco Treat”.

    This guy sums it up:


    West of the Continental Divide is background noise designed to confuse.

    BOS was just educating us on that ruse, the tricklings of a test-designer, the other night. Too bad folks would rather focus on the banal and perceived slights rather than spend the time trying to really understand what somebody else made the effort to communicate, no matter how poor or corse.

    The Washoe Exchange was actually the first exchange west of Missouri (not Chicago as many other mistakenly propose).


    Denver isn’t a very good guess. Think of when the Cripple Creek District hit, pretty late in the game (between Yukon and Tonopah/Goldfield strikes).

    Somewhere in Alaska, like Sitka, would have been a good guess; service the Yukon strike in late 1896 (which bailed out the ‘panic of 1896’). Couer de alene would’ve been another good guess.

    The Willie Nelson exchange, not a good guess.
    He hangs out in Pa’ia, Maui. Shows off his biodiesel bus, plays a few tunes in town, an occasional dinner at Mama’s two miles outside town.

    If you were a small player trading on the Washo Exchange, you were either wiped out during the consolidation in 1862 or the nasty depression of 1864.

    Of course, from the viewpoint of an Easterner with money, as summed up by Harpers in 1865, the entire territory was one large and wooly bourse:

    “From October, 1862, until March, 1864, speculation ran riot, and the Territory of Nevada was converted into one vast swindling stock exchange."

    St. Louis is actually a Very Good guess (1836, more or less),


    Washo bourse


    Although the exchange was formerly established in Virginia City in 1862, stocks were bought and sold out of a private residence, and possibly a mercantile store, in Washoe City in 1860.

    Remember, that the City of San Francisco was a sleepy little port/army post at the time - still mostly scrub dune. (The Navy was in Vallejo). The Presidio of San Francisco (army) was growing, thanks to an infusion of northern scrip as a result of the civil war in an effort to maintain California firmly in allegiance to the federales.

    This money was building brick structures on the Presidio (the largest one, the mortar Fort Point was obsolete by the time it was completed, as is the case with most federal projects). Soldiers then spent their pay in the Market District after walking down lovers lane between the Presidio and the Market District.

    The city of SF wouldn't really catch a bid until the eastern financiers made a money on the Comstock and then moved to SF. Virginia silver built SF and their stock exchange. When the city quaked/burned in 06, it was near its peak. Actual peak was the city rebuilding itself in time for the PanPac Expo. City has been in decline ever since, getting much worse lately.

    This pikers at financialhistory.org missed at least two mining exchanges that existed before S.F.

    Just one more reason on top the high pile of BS to doubt the wanna-be official holders of financial history.

    One reason I’ve become enamored with collecting ephemera. Back up the facts with missives written by individuals who signed their name and date on a piece of paper.

    The miners on the Sierra Placer in California were still too honest, trying to make a living, actually coining gold. Way to industrious to start an exchange for paper pictures. The first western exchange needed con artist eastern banker money. Things haven’t changed much on that front.

    Oldest Stock Exchange in the Western US: Washoe Stock Exchange:

    Washoe City, Nevada in 1860 (formalized at Virginia City in 1862)

    Washoe City - Washoe County - Washo Indian Tribe.

    (washoe bar)

    By early 1900 Washoe City was already a ghost town.
    Check it out. Nice pic:


    Driving down Highway 395 today you can still see part of one wall standing from this original building.

    The post office was only open (per memory since I cannot locate my Nv postal history book right now) between 1859 and 1874).

    Last night two pieces of ephemera, canceled letters with the Washoe City cancel, sold for 70$. And these were damaged (stamps torn off).

    Some of us, such as myself, collect canceled letters from each former post office in the state. Washoe City is one of the harder ones to find a nice sample.

    There are several times I have seen or held a piece of ephemera, scripophily, or exonumia that reference – tangibly- exchange of goods or services from some firm, partner, bar, or company that doesn’t exist in the history books or on the web. Truly amazing how little finance and trade from just 130 years ago has failed to make history. And of that surviving on some web page, or in some book, how little is accurate when compared to the actual tangible remnants of such trade. Not too mention how much information has purposely been changed to influence the minds (sic) of today.

    Washoe City was built in the middle of a Beautiful Valley, plenty of water, plenty of forage, good alfalfa, easy railroad territory. But, Virginia City was the most exciting place in the US for five years, so the town withered. Very difficult to live in VC. Cold, steep, little sun, access is difficult, no water, only junipers.

    Great place to visit though!

    Funny thing is, Washoe County right now (well, until 18 months ago) was in the middle of one of the best land speculation runs anywhere since the 1860s. Small lot next to a friend’s I could’ve had for 17,500 in 1999 sold for 100k in 2005. Oh well. Frankly, was easier to do with my gold stocks...

    By 1861 Virginia City was bustling with activity

    Here is a great intro:


    Couple of my favorite quotes:

    During his tour of the great silver mines of Virginia City, Nevada in 1876, journalist and geologist Eliot Lord was both impressed and horrified by the "cool" detachment of Cornish miners as they risked their lives underground in pursuit of hard currency. Lord was particularly fascinated by the daring of one Cornishman who fell into a shaft 1,300 feet deep only to emerge unscathed minutes later "by an astonishing combination of coolness, strength, and luck."

    This line really captures the gist of the grist:

    “But middle-class reformers such as Lord were hardly alone in struggling to create a moral economy of acceptable and above all rational risks.(5) Miners on the Comstock grappled with their own notions of acceptable risk, but they grounded their definitions of it in the daily challenges of wage work. While all classes of men and women in Virginia City and nearby Gold Hill took chances, the substance and meaning of risks varied tremendously along occupational, gender, and racial lines. The experience of risk and the cost of failure depended a great deal on what was at stake in the gamble--a day's wages, a person's reputation, the well-being of one's family, a percentage of company profits, an arm, or a life itself.”

    Compare that to the modern family today who will sell their soul should it result in government taking on acceptable and rational risks so that the family can absolve itself of any financial risk, much less a sense of civic or personal responsibility

    12.14.07    Once the Press Stopped Being Free, It Stopped Being Much Good

    N. Nevada press no longer carries any business news stories related to mining or commodities or manufacturing.

    I’ve previously sent two emails to the Reno Gazette Journal business editor each after they removed the mining section in business news and after they removed the utilities section. To no avail. However, they do make sure the population is educated on the important legal matters of the day such as this one:


    RGJ was never that good a rag, fell to even lower depths down the adit when Gannet (USA Today) purchased. Now just another cog in the disinformation wheel.

    Here is one example hitpiece:

    Other big stories today are running R. Clemens name through the mud, again with no analytical testing evidence. Famous people using meth is good cover for the real story: The state and federal politicians have been running powder through Nv to other points in the US since the early 1980’s to fund various covert operations against the citizens and to fund campaign fundraising.

    You’d think that elkodaily.com might have a blur on McEwen, since that county is still right in the middle of gold mining, but no.


    Again, what headlines are they running. Hmmm, Let’ see:

    1. Meth is bad so we must control all aspects of commercial product availability to ensure the local manufactures are outcompeted by the large international drug running operations.
    2. Roger Clemens is a bad bad man.
    3. County buys yet more private buildings and land.
    4. John Edwards will knock on your door Saturday. Get used to govt. operations knocking on your door (see item one)

    As far as the obligatory mining piece, here it is:


    Brief, bland and wrong.

    Elko daily had a great mining reporter in Adelia. Now the disinformation comes straight from govt. news. Central in Carson City.

    The report does state the POG has risen due to declining USD, folks buy gold in that env. The report. However, fails to mentions these two salient facts:
    1. Production number in USD are up b.c. the dollar aint’ worth so much anymore; and
    2. In terms of ounces gold mined, the production is down, again. In fact this year China replace the US (i.e. Nv) as the world’s third largest producer.

    Of course the elkoonline also doesn’t show any mention of Ron Paul in town TONIGHT:

    Meeting with Elko County Republicans
    Red Lion Hotel and Casino, 2065 Idaho Street, Elko, NV 89801
    7:00 PM - 8:30 PM


    In sum,

    What once were independent press reporting on what actually was happening on the ground has been completely taken over by centralized ‘news’ produced, scrubbed, and timed from one source through multiple outlets.


    12.13.07    ESLR - Evergreen Solar

    This stock has been on a huge run.  Haven't held it since I bought 3.1.06 and sold about a week later for a lousy 8%.  Thing is, it went up just a tad after that and has been down ever since until this last week.  In the last 12 weeks it's up from $9 to over 15 today. Up 14% in after hours trading today alone to now over $17.5.  Maybe let it sell off and then buy in again when the dust settles for another trade.


    12.13.07    E*Trade Love Letter


    I pulled some dough out of my ROTH IRA last month.  Don't want too many eggs in that basket.


    Here is the email they sent today:


    As you know, the past few months have been challenging for the financial services industry.

    However, there is some good news. E*TRADE FINANCIAL Corp. has recently received a
    $2.5 billion capital infusion from one of the world's leading investment firms. This is a clear vote of confidence, solidifying the ability to deliver the value you have come to enjoy—today and into the future.

    To celebrate this strategic transaction and thank you for your continuing loyalty, we are declaring Wednesday, December 19, 2007, as E*TRADE Customer Appreciation Day.

    For a full 24 hours eligible stock, options and futures trades entered at E*TRADE Securities will not be charged a commission.¹ We hope this gives you a convenient chance to evaluate your investments, balance your taxable gains and losses, or capitalize on trading opportunities prior to year end.

    12.6.07    BONDS

    NAU Zone

    How about the recent runs on state funds in Fl and Mt?


    Spreading to Ct


     Things getting so bad in Florida they won’t even value mark-to-market anymore:


     Of course, the money is already gone and now they’re just trying to hold the line on “full faith and credit”.

     Do you suppose the collapse of structured investment vehicles coincides with wild divergence between yield spread last week?  

     Of course Bill Gross had to throw in a misdirection curveball on that one:


     I like this graph showing how last months SPIKE is even worse than the 87/88 debacle:


     [overlaying that chart on the USD volatility shows rather interesting.]

     ‘Yes sir, we can lock in that coupon rate for the next THREE HOURS!’

    Meanwhile, Canada can’t quite make up its mind on whether or not liquidity injections are legal, much less the right call:


    European Zone

    Of course, the european interbank funding rates are nearing 10 year highs:


    Hence, the carry trade is “Borrow as EUR and sell as Pound”.  Even easier (and much larger) than the USD/YEN carry trade providing the hot air for the US equity market boom since 2003.

    Been a while since we had a good ‘ol bank run in the US.  The interim between the last one is, unfortunately, looking much longer then the interim between the next one.

    Is the enveloping panic engineered to support replacement of the USDollar (wink, wink) with the Amero? 

    Or would the amero see the same problems plaguing the euro, namely that without a commensurate political union, the monetary union will not functioned as designed.  Is that why Vincente Fox was on Larry King last month pushing for expansion of NAFTA into the tri-partite political parliament?

    How about Paulson’s ‘speech’ (GS agenda) calling for the STATES (via muni-bonds) to bail out the sub-prime mess as part of his ‘three point plan’?!?! INCREDIBLE. (man, the desperation in his voice scares yesterday scared even me). Everybody raise their hand for socialized single-family housing  across the land to bail out GS, WM, MER, BAC, C and the rest. Of course, all that was cover for the real goal: Lock in the poor mortgage holders at high rates as the Fed continues to lower (har!).

    Heck, only thing keeping C and WM solvent right now are exorbitant fees on their usury service and what does congress hold hearings on yesterday: usury fees! (err, ‘credit card charges’).

    Push on one end of the string and pull on the other simultaneously?

    Middle East Zone

    Continuing strength in middle east market despite last years major stock market problems.

    Of course, last week abu dubai bailed out Citibank, the “largest US bank”. (not really but that’s a different post).  Two of the three largest stakeholder in C are now in the Mideast.  So now C is paying an 11% yield to the emirate after just selling $4 USD B in 10-year USTs  (Nov. 14) which were paying %6.125 percent, all the while continuing to pay %6.5 dividend on common stock! Oh yeah, now that’s sustainable.

    Australasia Zone

    The Australian dollar as priced in Yen had been in backwardation most of 2006 since the aussie bonds have been, and continue to pay so much more interest. This is true at every point in the yield curve and contango is nowhere in sight as the AUD continues to strength (as have all commodity rich nations [except US] in the last 24 months).

    Of course, any high-yield currency contract exhibits backwardation in pricing against the Yen.

    Will it continue?

    On Monday the RBA left the cash rate unchanged at 6.75 per cent.  AUD remains strong, as does the economy. RBA maintains that largest worry is inflation.  Although bond market problems are not as pronounced in Australia, it expects 2008 growth to suffer nonetheless (back to trend line).

    Well, that wraps the mid-week rap…

    The Play

    SO: given that bond action, and other data, where would you put in a short term (3-9mo) trade?


    What stops?

    What expectancy?

    What % of trading portfolio?

    What vig?

    What hedge?


    12.5.07    Troubles in Spookville

    How did the intelligence estimates screw up both Iraq and Iran?


    Same reasons as 911 failures, or just bigger errors commensurate with bigger budgets?

    Ala DHS where they have to get rid of Mike Brown to make way for someone with even less ability, skill and effectiveness, can the DCI be much farther from that model?

    My favorite quote in that SFgate blurbetter was from Jay Rockefeller commending the ‘source scrub’.

    Like the field agents ever get away from the internet anymore:


    (Somebody pointed that article to my attention, thanks.)

    Always enjoy reading low level analysis documents developed by junior security agency personnel who simply cut and paste from Wikipedia and planted links (paid search) from google.  At the same time, other government agency analysts (from a couple cube farms away, no doubt) are salting those same articles from Wikipedia and planted links  Hence the analysis documents basically contain critiques of what other spooks produced through their own disinformation campaigns.  Nothing like our tax funded spook building cases of circular logic for the circle file. Hey, why not depend on them to protect our country’s security?

    12.4.07    Apollo Gold [AGT]

    Listened to an interview with David Russell, CEO of Apollo Gold on the Money Rap show.


    Here is a summary of the numbers he presented:


    Montana Tunnels

    The silver lead and zinc credits offset cash costs of gold production to the point Au production is actually negative $200 per ounce.

    Effective margins are $1,000/oz Margin


    Black Fox property, Timmins Ontario

    Bankable feasibility by March 08; production expected in 2008 at 150,000 oz per year

    Cash Cost of 250 per oz (just gold) projection with $550 Margin

    80 Million free cash over project. 

    Net Present Value is expected as $600 USD M. Return on investment expected over 200%.


    Russell states NPV of AGT current is $2/share (has been trading at 50 cents for a couple years).

    This is the production mine that looks exciting. Hope they can pull it off. Am surprised they were able to make money off the Montana Tunnels project the first quarter they brought it out of mothballs.


    Here is the latest 10Q:




    The increase in base metals have really helped out their cashflow and profitability.


    I've had a couple of trades on this one and did ok. What I have left - as core holdings - has basically stagnated, traded in a very narrow range.

    Though it's been too long, and I've lost on opportunity costs, might be time to up the position a bit.  One of those companies that can rely on increasing production income to offset increased costs of exploration and new project startups. Many junior mining companies are too heavily weighted in exploration - reserves in the ground- which are getting increasingly more expensive to get out of the ground every single day.


    11.28.07    The Great Barrick Gold Swindle

    (who's zooming who)


    looks like we know the labor pool from which ABX selects their board.


    here is where i speculated the problem of gold theft by mine employees and their neighbors was set to expand. i erred in estimating how soon the problem would come to nevada.

    5.12.06 Both GSS and GBN and a whole lotta other companies will find most their problems over the next few years will result from labor and personnel issues.

    11.26.07    The Cost of Twelve Days of Christmas

    Up another 4% this year. According to PNC, the rate of increase is 25% over last year.




    Of course, nobody buys a partridge or nine milking maids on a regular basis. We do, however, all buy food and meals. The price of that luxury has gone up well over 10% year over year:




    What I had to say last year on the topic was more pithy, your loss...


    11.25.07    Do you Understand the Extant Currents, Undertows and Eddys in Today's Water Rights Market?

    If so that makes 1.5 of us.


    This guy makes points sharp and parlayed. Worth the read:




    11.25.07    Will the Foreclosure Frenzy end on a Technicality?


    "Deutsche Bank got a hard shock a few days ago when a judge in the state of Ohio in the USA made a ruling that the bank had no legal right to foreclose on 14 homes whose owners had failed to keep current in their monthly mortgage payments."




    Everybody and their brother and their cousin's bookie say how bad the housing market is going to be over the next few years since all these sub-prime mortgages will reset in 2008 and it'll be the be-all-end-all foreclosure mess the world has ever seen and all the peoples will be living on the street and how all this excess inventory of houses needs to be worked off before the market can turn back up.  And then they pile on a little bit more explaining how the baby boomers will then sell their homes in an exercise to downsize into more accommodating living quarters and this will further push inventories up, prevent new housing developments, and prop up the housing depression as the worst monster to ever chew up entire communities with one large gulp.


    One problem with that theory, every body can't be right about this prediction. The largest contrarian position one can take in today's financial markets is that housing is a buy, (or at least a nearby near-buy-) RIGHT NOW.  


    How can the current environment provide a good buy point, if the conventional wisdom states that home prices will decline for another couple to several years?


    The fly in the ointment:


    "The Judge asked DB to show documents proving legal title to the 14 homes. DB could not. All DB attorneys could show was a document showing only an “intent to convey the rights in the mortgages.” They could not produce the actual mortgage, the heart of Western property rights since the Magna Charta of not longer."


    Now, when I entered the high bid two months ago on a foreclosure auction brokered by Williams and Williams (one of America's largest property auction house) the Contract for Sale hit a brief, yet interesting, pause on this play: Did the 'bank' have the right to sell me this house.  I certainly hoped so but, in fact, could not see how the 'Real Estate Owned' property was actually owned by anybody.  Nobody proffered a true title. The lender equivocated for a moment on just this issue.


    The title company serves as party passing judgment on ownership: Title Fee, Marketable and Perfect.  Certainly the title company would notice that the seller could not produce a mortgage in fact and in person, right? Well, the title company - First American Title (one of the largest in the US) isn't exactly pure as the driven snow.  




    " New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo filed a complaint Nov. 1 against First American Corp. (NYSE: FAF) and its real estate appraisal subsidiary eAppraiseIT, charging them with wrongful conduct that the complaint says constitutes, "a deceptive, fraudulent, and illegal business practice."


    So, the title company has abdicated her position as moderator over title transfer as she has succumbed to the gluttony served as the layer of cream off the top of every deal ladled out.  The title company simply provided assurances to the lender that the bank held power of attorney to transfer interest to title!  The Preliminary Title Report showed so weak to my review (two paragraphs speaking to perfection and 14 pages of caveats and disclaimers and other reasons why the company can't grow a pair of nuts), and yet this bastard title review didn't raise any hackles on the barrister I paid to review. 


    (In fact, the layer wouldn't even put his Opinion on Title in writing without another helping of grease).


    The title company, basically, blindly took everybody's money and for the paycheck showed all parties which pages to sign.

    In reality the only thing they did was state the transfer of interest conformed to ALTA/CLTA Homeowner's (EAGLE) Policy statements and conditions.

    Whatever. They paid the title insurance.


    This is the entity that supposedly held title:




    Seriously though, does that sound right to you? Think that boogie-man shadow-entity has standing in anybody's court of law?


    Probably not in the court of that Judge in Ohio.


    So, how could this housing depression turn on a dime?  If the banks can't prove ownership, they can't foreclose. If they can't foreclose, why would anybody pay their mortgage, much less get kicked out of the property?


    The lender loses all, the flood of housing inventory coming to market immediately dries up like the Colorado Plataea in year eight of the drought, and the credit markets shiver so badly that every bank catches the flu.  At that point the 'price' of the home denominated in fiat credit value becomes irrelevant, as the property will only sell to the truly qualified buyer - once with cash (or better yet, hard and honest money - the antidote to what started this whole mess in the first place.)


    And here is another angle on the play. We are currently collecting comparable values of what other houses in our neighborhood sold for recently (just on the low end). Reason being, we are preparing to request the county lower our assessed value, and the resulting county property taxes, per California Proposition 8 which states the county must lower taxes upon fall in housing value. We paid about 40% of the original asking price on this house and about only 60% of previously assessed value.


    Do you really believe every county in California is willing to lower her tax rolls by a full 40%?


    Methinks there is already a likely movement behind the curtain in legislature-ville to amend the regulations and decision rules that the counties use to promulgate Prop 8.  Of course these rules will change such that you must pay the higher assessed tax value on any property you purchase.  In effect, only those who buy the houses now - and in the short term (whatever that turns out to be) before the rules of the game get changed mid-inning ( as they always do) will be able to lower the monthly payment by hundreds of dollars (which just may be the difference on whether the property cash-flows or not).


    Just two reasons why right now might be the time to buy cheap property from stressed owners. We did. The blood IS running down the street.


    Now, this might not come to pass.  Things very well could get much worse for everybody. Nevertheless where else are you getting this type of analysis?  Did any of them tell you to buy a house at foreclosure this fall? (Much less suggest selling the Nasdaq in Feb. 00 and buying gold stocks and bullion at the same time [yes, I was a wee bit early then also).


    And what if I'm wrong?  I'll buy more later.


    Haven't owned property - or thought it time to do so- since 1990...


    11.23.07    Ron Paul in Nevada

    He received some very favorable local press during his stops in Las Vegas and then Reno


    11.20.07    Will E*Trade stay Afloat

    I pulled some dough out of my ROTH IRA last month.  Don't want too many eggs in that basket.


    11.18.07    One of the Real Reasons We are IN Iragistan:

    Saddam dumped the US dollar in favor of the euro.  Turns out Iran and Venezuela have already voiced that preference at only the 3rd ever OPEC summit. 

    Saudi Arabia can only hold the line for so long. Even if just one of these countries re-pegs it's value in dollars, it will start another downleg in the US sawbuck.




    11.16.07    Pretty nice Ca/Nv ghost town site they're building here:




    11.11.07    How Will America Treat her Veteran's When They Return Home?

    If the returning soldier suicide rate is any indication...


    11.14.07    Now that Pakistan is Approaching Chaos

    and almost 2/3rds of war materiel supporting the US Afghanistan expedition flows through Pakistan, what is the back-up plan?  A caravan through Persia, perhaps?


    11.9.07    We Closed on the House Yesterday.

    Unfortunately, not much time to update the blog lately.  The house inspection came back very favorable! Things look great, came out ahead on this one for sure. Learned a few things too along the way. Tomorrow we move households. I also am buying out a small tool collection (small garage full) from a Mare Island machinist who recently passed away. I fugure the best way to buy tools is all at oncd. This IS the time to buy the tools of production.


    11.7.07    California Real Estate

    Ryland (Housing company) CEO: "California housing market is in a freefall".


    When this punk opens his mouth, you know the bottom is closer than the top.


    11.5.07    Signed the Papers and Documents on the House Purchase Yesterday

    Provident lending says there is only a 50% chance the loan will be sold into MERS. I say 99% chance.


    11.2.07    Once again the democrats in the house attempt to destroy one of the last remaining industries left in our county, mining.

    House passed a royalty bill - basically the same one that failed in the senate last time - meant to funnel more $$ through their NGO/political back offices. And once again Senator Harry Reid promises to squash in the senate Why not, no progress on any other fronts in the US senate this year.


    10.31.07    SP500. Looks good.

    The plunge group is dumping billions into the equities markets. Probably bounces of 1492, or head fakes down to 1420, makes a low and heads up until the first week next year.


    10.25.07   If you've followed my Blog for any length of time, you've made good money.

    Why not donate some to those victims of the San Diego fire?


    For those interested in making a donation for victims of the San Diego fire, I recommend the Salvation Army. Many of the other charity organizations, even the legitimate ones, hold too much money back for administrative fees or wait to long to disburse donations to those really in need.


    Send a check payable to Salvation Army. In the memo line of the check, write "San Diego Fire Victims".


    Salvation Army

    180 East Ocean Blvd.
    Long Beach, California
    United States

    tel: (562) 436-7000
    fax: (562) 491 8699

    The San Diego contact is Don Reed.

    (619) 446.0262


    10.24.07    More MainStreet Economics


    Here is a random sample of receipts that I picked up off in the ground in front of my neighborhood ATM. Just a slice of life representing the checking account status of the guys and gals in my fair town:


    Checking Account Balance:












    Average: $814.57

    Quite an improvement from my last compilation in May when the average was just over $100.



    A couple gentlemen responded to this one. One theorized that my results might change per time of day or location of the ATM. Another put forth a theory that as times got tougher folks would either change their ATM habits correspondingly (i.e. keep better account and not throw slips on the ground) or stop using the ATM altogether b.c. there was no money left in the account.


    Both theories seem plausible to me.


    However, he further posited that the penny-on-the ground theory showed him folks were tightening up since he had been finding less pennies on the ground.  Now, the gent claimed to have only found eight pennies in the last week, which of course makes him an amateur. On my last walk, I picked up 14 cents (nine pennies, one nickel) and five cans (in Ca. a can is worth 5cents).  Keep in mind that I power walk/push my daughter's stroller between 30-minutes to an hour a day and about 2 hours each weekend day.  My ground rules (ahem) are that I only will go 5 steps out of my way to pick something up. the goal is exercise, not scavenging. (I used to pick up trash with a litter picker, have been doing that for many years. Haven't had time last few months). then again, I have somewhat tried to position myself as one who can se value where others can't. 


    Where I do disagree is regarding the reason folks don't pick up pennies from the street.  Namely, they don't think the coin has any value. Couple months back there was a guy panhandling in front of a liquor store I passed by. He asked me for a dollar. I pointed out a dime on the ground no more than 10 feet from him.  The guy couldn't be bothered. I left it there for him to ponder.  When the people walk by their coinage in the gutter, it indicates not all is well with the financial system. 


    10.20.07    Went to a Home and Garden Show Today

    Place was, as expected (and why I went) pretty slow. Those folks trying to sell housing renovations and upgrades were doing basically zero business. Those selling items or services that would help our current owner to save money on bills were doing ALL the business.


    10.18.07    TSA Screeners Fail Most of The Time


    "Most fake bombs missed by screeners . 75% not detected at LAX; 60% at O'Hare"


    By Thomas Frank USA TODAY.




    Wow, raise your hand if surprised. I’m not.  In fact If you go back to my posts over the years you ‘ll find I have consistently railed against this hostile contractor-for-hire juggernaut working for the State against the Citizen. Not the way our fair country was set up, but reflects the way YOU voted for it. 


    Last time I walked through a TSA line they found a louse extra 5 ounces of sunscreen and 6 extra ounces of water. Rather than be human, or efficient, or professional and simply dumps the stuff there and then, they made me go back to the end of the line and go through again. This slowed down the line for EVERYBODY. Obviously they aren’t paid for efficiently or success. Now, the line next to me had NOBODY in it, reserved for airport employees. Walked right through they did. Now I can’t imagine that wann-be terrursts would ever figure out how to craft a blue and white sweater necessary to walk right past TSA screeners.


    The time before that TSA stole a book I purchased in Molokai. Hard book to get, and I had it stamped on-site. Very few people get that stamp so I can’t just buy the book back off the net.  To add insult to injury the little pricks at TSA left their calling card in my luggage bragging that they had been in there.


    Police state without controls or a method of redress by the citizens with hones grievance = today’s tax burden.  You wanted it, you got it.


    They can’t find a bomb, but they can ruin YOUR day.


    And yes, I actually do have a solution to this welfare programming parading as necessity.  Dismantle the TSA , prosecute those who built and funded it, take the money and hire approximately %1,300 more air marshals who can ACTUALLY spot perpetrators before they execute the deed. Threr really are professionals out there (as opposed to the nepotist-hired droupouts  who couldn’t land that Taco Bell Job).  A skilled marshal actually has quite a high success rate of sniffing out those up to no good by noting behavioral quirks, patterns, and physiological clues.


    Alas, the great unwashed would rather vote for the same criminals who are more willing to destroy our country and several others at the same tim with this isdirected war against the Mideast populations. They could’ve saved a few countries and trillion dollars by simply utilizing letters of marquee and reprisal against Sadam (had that actually ben the goal ha ha ha!).


    Oh well, too bad Tom Frank and the rest of the paid programmers at USATODAY forgot to mention/couldn't afford to pick up the phone and find out (like I did) that the privately-run screening operation at SFO actually stopped 80% of fake bomb tests. Of course, that too is a grade about C-, worth scrapping in it's own right.  Hey, did anybody ever tell you just how many of the newspapers in this country are owned by three major corporations? 


    USA Today is owned by Gannet out of McClean, Va. They just happen to be located less than two miles away from those who write the headlines at CIA headquarters in Langley Va.


    Now isn’t that a  coincidence!?!?)


    10.14.07    Nevada Real Estate

    Reno: Prices down about a third over past two years.  Although local builders are sitting on large supply, and forecloses are

    very high, the prices have not fallen nearly as much as neighboring California. 


    Las Vegas: Local 'experts' believe the residential slump will continue for another 18-24 months. The commercial market remain


    Here are some commercial comparables:

    Strip: 11-22 sq. ft.

    Downtown: 5-7 sq. ft.

    E. Tropicana (3000 blk) 1.50 sq. ft.


    Another comp - Downtown Sacramento: 1.50 - 2.0 sq. ft.


    10.10.07    Back from the River

    Ran a kayak down the Colorado River, Glenn Canyon. PRetty INtense.


    Side trips to Grand Canyon, Death Valley and Zion. 



    9.28.07    The beauty of our own financial blog.

    The model proves worthy. Over the last 8 years the goldbugz and us hashed out what's really been goin' on in the world. In

    the meanwhile, the internet was born and forum technology allows every one of us to put up a website that - by and large - will

    compete directly with whatever NYTIMES or MSNBC puts on their site. Just an opinion the masses can read.

    Thing is, the playing field has leveled. They used to have the advantage of a printing press that spammed 300k newspapers

    a day on our front porch. Now we all have the same platform.

    And our analysis is better.

    The little people know...


    9.28.07  Kovel's notes that the major auction houses have all raised their take


    An excerpt from their article "Buyers' Premium on the Rise".


    Several bits of news this week. Sotheby's is raising the buyer's premium for "low-end" bids again, see

    Kovels Komments 2/22/2007.  It was 20% tacked on to the bid on anything under $500,000, and 12%

    for anything over that. Now it is 25% on the first $20,000, 20% for $20,000 to $500,000 and 12% on

    anything more expensive. Christie's also has a 25%, 20%, 12% buyer's premium. Why should we care?

    Because each time Christies and Sotheby's raises the buyer's premium the other smaller, regional auction

    houses follow

    Another artifact of the decline in the dollar (things 'cost' more), moreso than the underlying market (tangible asset sectors relative

    to each other).


    9.28.07    Are Classic Cars a Good Investment


    Well, they have been since the mid 1980's. The market actually peaked about 3 years ago. Have a family member that just

    unloaded their 1960's corvette, but it took several months to sell and they basically received their minimum {well, at least that's

    slightly better than the current housing market!).. When you see articles like this one pushed by MSN, you know that they are

    providing a smoke screen for all those in-the-know types who are unloading their collectible cars:




    Note the following quote from that article:


    "Just a couple of years ago, you could buy a 1969 Z-28 Camaro in really nice condition for $40,000; now that same

    car is probably $60,000," says John DiPietro, the road-test editor for auto Web site Edmunds.com."


    Yeah, the car went up by a third and the dollar has lost a third of its value in the exact same timeframe. What a coincidence!


    Exact same thing that happened to all those people who thought they were rich because their house value went up, so they went

    in debt commensurately, and are now getting creamed.


    Why are folks dumping heir collectible 1950's and 1960's cars? These reasons: Price of storage, price of gas, lack of parts and

    mechanics, and mostly - demographics.


    Who are the buyers today of these 1950's and 1960's cars? The boomers hold the cars, the gen x has their money in the market

    and the house, and the gen y want new japanese 'rice-rockets' not classic US cars.


    IF you want to examine this trend in more detail, simply look at the trends of the largest hotrod show in the United States - Hot

    August Nights in Reno/Sparks Nv.


    It's peaked. When we went to the first show at the A&W drive in in 1986 there were a couple dozen cars and a few dozen



    This year 700 thousand came into town along with about 5,500 registered - not counting the non-registered cars.


    It won't grow from here. Again, we can verify through demographics. In 1980s you could still hire band made famous in the

    1950's and 1960's. Sure, they were a little over their prime, but still some outstanding Motown Acts. Now, they're all dead or

    otherwise not able to perform. This years entertainment was Tony Orlando.


    It's played out. Sell the car now. If you can...


    9.27.07    GooRoos


    Those financial podcasters bullish on gold right now:

    Phil Grande, Gary Kaltbaum, Jack DeAngelis



    Ray Lucia, Ben Stein


    9.25.07    Well, thanks for the good wishes (first foreclosure auction).

    I put in the high bid and have contract for sale to buy the house (yes, I've been in and under the house more than once. I

    figured if nobody I ask knows more about the house than I already do, that qualified me to bid.)


    Now I have to wait to see if the lender (US Bank) accepts my low-ball offer.


    This house was originally listed in Oct 2005 at 432k (the owner had paid $469 - 19,000 over asking price) just a few months previou.


    My offer was - considerably -less.


    How much less?


    Let's put it this way.  US Bank will lose at least $150 grand if they do accept my offer, and lose even more if they don't. The second position has

    already been closed out for a loss of about 55k.


    Yep, I still think the market still has quite a bit lower to go. I can take a hit of another 20% over the net two year because

     I expect it.


    Not everybody is quite prepared for California housing to lose 50% on paper in 4 years.


    House I'm researching now is two stories, separate in-law entrance, gated, mature fruit trees, great shape, has water views...


    House was 'at' $490; now 'listed' 320k. Reason I like it is b.c. the agents won't even respond to a voice mail. Looks like the

    family was rounded up in the recent immigration raids. Children's toys still in the yard, and nobody has been in the house for

    weeks.  And Dept. of Homeland Security is now ready to send out another round of many thousand letters to employers with

    illegal immigrant on their payroll [Do Not Match letters].


    Things on the ground are gettin' weird. Time for the experience weird with time in the trench to put up a shingle and turn pro.

    (Hey, can I answer the phones for you and birddog on my lunch breakette?)


    And these houses I look at are the ones built by US craftsmen in the 1940's and 1950s. The house I live in was BUILT with

    a REDWOOD frame and drywalled garage. Solid. 


    The last 1,000 homes built in this town (which sold for $750k+ between 2002 and 2005) are built with transient labor out of

    the cheapest crap that china wouldn't claim. I've seen it.


    Some of these tracts how have over 70% of their 'owners' underwater. And many of their rates reset again next month.


    I've gotta admit, at one point I actually didn't believe those stories out of Weimar Germany about how few ounces of gold

    would buy a house.


    Now I believe it. Although glad I listened when the story was told, wished it was nothing more than just a Grimm Fair Tale;

    not a notice posted on the front door of every third neighbor...



    and just for grins 'n giggles. In the middle of one of the most cheaply made/expensively sold 'planned communities' Walmart just

    opened up a Superstore. Doors opened last week. The people fought for years to keep it away. Wal-Mart opens their doors

    while most people in the surrounding neighborhoods are losing their homes.


    eGad, I wish I could write fiction that sublimey horrific...


    The most important part of TIME is ME.


    8.25.07    Going to my first (private) foreclosure auction today

    Wish me luck.


    Planned on going to one last month (county) but the folks redeemed 5 years in back taxes the day before the auction. And yet

    they haven't maintained or inhabited the house in five years either. Go figure.


    8.25.07    The beautiful thing about discrediting yesterday's news

    (and last generations' history)


    is that it makes today news unnecessary, so we can concentrate on more important things...


    9.25.07    Given that some Finance Forums

    Have absolutely nailed cold the demographic and financial acts which have unfolded over the past few years, one must wonder

    how the NIC got things so terribly wrong in their 1997 forecast of 2007.




    Generally they recognized their blunders in the update, yet repeated the same conditions which led to their originally errant analysis.




    Ho hum. Why do the Ivy-leaguers [in-bred/in-thought] continue to shamelessly pimp, pump and dump their yemming-hemming

    and hawing? What bragging rights do they want in 2016?


    "Lookie, our gross generalities were not only general, but really gross too!  Please renew our contract".


    Put it simple folks: What should my investment portfolio be today, next year, and 2014 to best reward from your current

    prognostications for 2015?


    oh yeah, that's what we do...


    9.24.07    Sold SLV today

    Nice little trade - up a few percent in just five weeks.

    Hoping to buy back lower (for yet another nice little trade).



    9.22.07    Communication - the Final Human Frontier


    Why have there been so many attempts to break down interpersonal human communication?  Perhaps there are economic

    reasons? Indeed there are. During the last depression in the US and many other countries during the 1930's people were able to

    get by and get through via bartering. My grandparents told me they survived well because they were able to trade their labors for

    that of the local butcher.


    If we are going to make it through the next depression (one day closer than yesterday) we will again need to barter. This depends

    on communication and agreement of value. Few areas of our psyche have been so programmed as these. Will get interesting; not a

    bad time to learn some evaluation and negotiation techniques.


    9.16.07    Existing Home ask Prices in Solano County

    In Solano County (San Francisco Bay Area) SFH prices are accelerating to the downside - based upon 5years of comps I have

    compiled. My analysis shows that when price decrease levels off, it will plateau for a couple years and then begin to rise again.

    Note: Even though many house prices in our county had almost doubled (about 80% increase) in the last 5 years, they are now

    coming off these highs. Existing home sale ask prices per sq. ft. in some cases are off over 50% from their highs in Sept 05.

    More Important Note: In the same time period the dollar has lost one third of its value. In this state houses are priced in dollars.


    9.15.07    Alan Greenspan Claims the war on Iraq was really about oil

    Of course, he is lying about this too, as he generally has lied about everything else (at least what was stated in public).

    In other words, the oil wasn't meant for you and I.


    Too bad he won't come out a exclaim that US Currency (which has lost 1/3 of its value in six years) will lose another half in the

    coming years. On its way to becoming valueless, which is its intrinsic value.

    Oh, yeah. He already stated as much, and more, such as Gold is money of last resort within his published thesis back in the 60's. 




    Nobody listened to him then, too bad.  Now the guy is so deep into the system, he couldn't tell the truth - even if he recognized it



    Basically, the guy put out everything he had for his masters, got screwed, and is now trying to regain/salvage whatever is left of his



    Too bad for him, someone like me will be spreading his true legacy for the next 50 years...


    9.13.07    Let the Bank Runs Begin

    Northern Rock - Britain.


    Just some pensioners life savings. Oh well.





    Coming to a neighborhood near you. Time and Place not to be announced.


    9.2.07    Labor Day 2007 - The US Labor Movement in Tatters

    Think of their loss in earning power and share of the American Workforce.  In 1938 at the height of the unions strength, almost

    one in three workers were in a union. Now it's one in 12.  In the 1950s and 1960s most families were making it on once income.

    Now in most families both parents work (if the family even has two parents) and the household may still be falling behind;

    foreclosure and bankruptcy rates in 2007 haven't been this high since the 1930s.


    9.2.07    No sense mis-spending any part of my  labor day pondering the meaning of gold and money.

    So, I will let others do the work for me:


    Though- reading the important thoughts is no small task on any holiday.


    “What is overlooked is that the barometer is part of the event it’s supposed to forecast.”


    - Harry Browne,

    New Profits from the Monetary Crisis. William Morrow and Co., 1978.


    “The Role played by money is society depends on the structure of society. In a certain sense the reserves is also true; when we

    see how money functions is a certain society, we can judge the nature, the types of property, the character of economic relations

    between people”


     -A Anikin

    Gold - The Yellow Devil.  Translated and Printed in U.S.S.R International Publishers. 1983.


    “When we are victorious on a world scale I think we shall use gold for the purpose of building public lavatories in the streets of

    some of the largest cities of the world. This would be the most ‘just’ and most educational way of utilizing gold…”


    Vladimir Lenin.

    The Importance of Gold Now and After the Complete Victory of Socialism. 1921.


    "Gold Fever is a disease...a happy mixture of matter and an idea."

    - Lois De Lorenzo.


    Gold Fever and the Art of Panning and Sluicing. Lois De Lorenzo.  ATR Enterprises. Los Angeles, Ca. 1970.


    But, none of them post here of help keep my blog efforts fruitful.


    So Screw 'em!


    funny thing about gold - everybody is wrong...


    9.1.07    Somebody was kind enough to send their list of financial reference books.

    Now I've always believed a good library was a great start. I enjoy perusing the used book stores for these and similar titles.

    Many of their titles were not on my radar screen – now they are.


    Here is my current reference library.




    I’ve already lightened up quite a bit (a couple hundred) and still have way too many that could be added. Still, my current

    recommended list/inventory is over 350 (granted – my subject list wanders quite afield – not nearly as focused as I should be



    And NO, haven’t read all of them. However I’ve perused parts of them all.  A few read fantastic cover-to-cover. Yet that quality

    of authorship is fairly rare in financial writing, so I’ve found, and mostly these serve for reference purposes.


    Nowadays I no longer want the books to just sit around gathering dust. Consider theme fungible commodities. Buy and trade; gift

    and give. Once one flies out the mail I buy another one or two at an estate sale. My favorite is buying from garage sales and estate

    sales. The things people use as bookmarks prove fascinating..


    Eventually I’d like to only have three or four books on hand at any one time. Not exactly sure how to get there from here, but do

    believe part of the solution requires getting rid of some I currently shelve…

    8.31.07    What Country's people would you describe as inherently honest?

    I'd like to go there.


    Bhutan comes to mind for me. measuring Gross National Happiness instead of GDP. Thing is, they got a line to visit. and the only

    people i know who went said its pretty boring.


    Sure, everybody claims to desire happy and boring.


    et once they get there, they leave after about 5 minutes...

    8.31.07    The Wyoming State Quarter is coming out next

    Looks pretty goofy to me.



    When you think of Wyoming, did a bucking bronco come to your mind first?


    For me, I harken the icons - Devils Tower, Tetons, Old Faithful, two guys in a pickup truck, guns in a rack, with their dogs in the

    back - the iconic Wyoming double date...


    8.22.07    Vallejo Real Estate

    According to a real estate agent I spoke with yesterday, the MLS reports the average day's on market in supposedly only 90 days.

    However, do believe they calculate that only with the final listing agent and don't count all the months listed with other agents

    before the listings reset with new agents.



    8.16.07    Utah Miners (you think your week was bad?)

    from a cold fundamental analysis, too hard to calculate the price risk that underground miner sector places on the

    collapse/rescue operation. action obscured by larger market forces/selloff.


    RIP sunshine miners and all their brethren b4 and after...bbl...


    8.16.07    Days Like Today - Awesome Liquidity, actually

    Got my fills in both SLV and GLD.


    Not sure why anyone would call this a panic (yet).

    Last time i bought SLV - earlier this year - was at 10.95.


    Last time i bought GLD - last month, maybe june? (no time to lookee, gata post and run right now) was below here.


    Should anybody who can't stomach a 10% change in their net worth over a fortnight even be trading?


    8.14.07    Ancient Recent History

    Most Roman coins that have been sleeping with the fishes require too much thirourea et. al. to be worth dickering over

    Come to think of it, my next most recent potential favorite topic:

    Using oxidized thiourea as a lixiviant...


    8.14.07    For those short homebuilders and banks right now...

    Short Bear Stearns, TMA and Lennar look good.  Centex, Reno office laid off 80% of their staff last month. 

    I haven't looked at Lennar's financials, but they've bitten off an incredible amount of expensive land here in Ca in the last nine years.

    they just started running commercial radio spots to unload some inventory.

    8.14.07    red head fred bled the dead at club med

    i was in the SF FED bank today. just happened to be walking by, actually. they didn't seem that sentimental. really, the security

    guards seemed a little bored so I started asking a couple innocent questions. then they suggested i take the tour. friday at noon. I

    asked how long it was. they replied it depends on who is on the tour and how many questions they ask.


    i think they know...


    hopefully i can find where i stashed that FED comic book a couple years back. I may ask for autographs.


    8.13.07    The Classic Car Market

    peaked two summers ago. now in a steady decline.


    Comes down to this: demographics.


    When was the last time you saw a twentysomething buying bullion?



    8.10.07    Listened to Sirius (satellite) radio while driving around the hinterlands of Oregon all Week

    Two stations spent most time on - the Gratelful Dead 'sneak peak' channel and Bloomberg financial news

    12 years ago I wouldn't have even listened to bloomberg. Now I found it more enjoyable, actually (especially the worry-worts

    crying about the financial panic)



    8.4.07    Panic in the International Credit Market


    The bond market forecast trouble, as we’ve documented both timely and well herein.  Since then, the USDollar has lost a full third

    of its value, the housing market in many areas of the US have turned south, the flippers left the ranks, the pre-foreclosure activist

    are sniffing the air both mightily and anxiously, and the equities market have shown what it really means to say the bond market is

    10x as large as the equities market.


    Those paying attention had the shield of precious metals to protect against the damage of the last year.


    Alas, there is nowhere to hide this time.


    Previously, the precious metal and commodity markets offered a safe haven even while investing in those asset classes provided

    ridicule by the talking heads, and especially those with something to lost. 

    Who can now no longer deny a situation presenting itself on the living room couch with its intentions to stay a bit longer, too much

    longer for a houseguest.


    The madmen on tv screams out for US Fed intervention - rate cuts. However, the Fed has tied hands. They’ve been printing

    money at 13% per year (the M3) while lying all the while that inflation is only 2.3 percent.  Of course the 13% and the commodity

     run only represents monetary inflation. In the main we’ve been in a very damaging deflationary environment.  Should the Fed

    lower rates, the foreign central banks will become even greater strangers than they have been in the past 24 month. 


    ‘Tis a fact: Caribbean banks have been buying US T-bills to prop up the flagging long rates while at the same time Asian Central

    Bank purchases have declined.


    But the easy money stopped flowing, and now Bear Stearns CEO tells his tale of woe.


    "These times are pretty significant in the fixed income market.  It's as been as bad as I've seen it in 22 years. The fixed income

     market environment we've seen in the last eight weeks has been pretty extreme."   Chief Financial Officer Sam Molinaro Aug 3

    (Reuters NY)


    And In europa, earlier today the German mutual funds group Union Investment said it had frozen withdrawals from a fund

    investing in asset-backed securities, including U.S. subprime mortgages.


    Also form the father land, (Reuters Frankfurt) – According to Financial Times Deutchland, HSBC Investments Deutschland has

    temporarily frozen its 200 million euro Asset-Backed-Securities fund to protect investors amid a crisis in the U.S. subprime

    market according to HSBC Trinkhaus' company lawyer Norbert Stabenow”.


    Remember when Collateralized Debt Obligations were called Collateralized Mortgage Obligations? He he he, (snicker)


    The US consumer has bought more than s/he could afford, and more than s/he saved for several years running. The Merry Go

    Round has ground to an abrupt stop, paper holders thrown under the wheels did the trick.


    For a couple years now the U.S. capital markets (both equities and bonds, actually) have been losing market share to

    overseas – especially European – competitors. Saudi Arabia and China and Japan only have so much willingness to invest in a

    declining asset – US paper promises.


    Previously a slowdown in US mortgage market did not cause financial turmoil in europe. Ain’t globalization grand!


    So, where’s the safe haven now?



    7.29.07    I understand that Alberta, Canada just passed some new groundwater regulations

    Since Canada in general, and Alberta in particular, has very few water protection laws, I'm guessing they've updated either the

    drilling regulations or the potable water regulations.


    Anybody have the details?


    7.29.07    The Coming Water Wars:

    Chapter 101 - Walker River Basin:


    When the talks break down, start legislation.  Legislation provides the pretext for violence. Violence begets the transfer of




    Eventually this will bleed into the Colorado Compact, and then spread to contaminate the High Plains Aquifer (nee/and Ogallala),

    and the rest of the world's largest underground water bodies.


    7.29.07    Water Mining

    [Where: Δp = λ (l / dh) (ρ v2 / 2) (1)] 


    (Major loss in a pipe)


    The smart miners are focusing on how to dewater their ore bodies.


    The brilliant miners are focusing on how to mine water:


    1. Use of injection wells to send surface water into an aquifer for storage.

    2. Draw upon the aquifer storage during the dry (or developing) years.

    3. Skim off the top to pay off the pols and lawyers.

    4. Rinse and repeat...


    7.29.07    More on Mine Dewatering

    Many underground metal ores that have been uneconomical due to flooding of shafts, or saturation of the ore, are now becoming

    economic deposits as the prices of metals rises in this long term commodity bull market.  The mine water issue has plagued mining

    engineers for as along as the industry has existed.  Today's hydro geologists and engineers benefit from groundwater models, albeit

    complicated and always wrong (though often helpful) that assist dewatering plans before spending money in the field. There are

    great ore bodies in S. Africa and N. America just waiting for competent mine shaft to penetrate the submerged fortress and yield

    the goodies though its waters' specific yield. Adolphus Sutro made a fortune as a promising young engineer by dewatering the

    Comstock lode 120 years ago. His predecessors now have their min-sights on Canada and S. Africa. Just need somebody new to

    step up to the plate. Too bad our universities graduate more lawyers than engineers.


    7.25.07    Talked With a Groundwater Engineer Today

    He works with Environmental Resources Management - South Africa supporting large groundwater dewatering project for some

    of the majors south African mining: Angloplats, Harmony, Goldfields etc.

    Tried to ask him about the GBN Burnstone Property on the Kimberly reef, which he didn't know anything about.  However, he

    did tell me some interesting things about another project, and the BEE.  Thing about the BEE, as far as he related (and as far as

    my cursory looks have divulged) is that the law is rather specific and complicate, yet not so transparent.  One issue some of the

    large multi national vendors have been having is regarding the  requirement to have 50% black (SA) owned business. No, how

     exactly, is a large multi-national corporation going to be half owned by the locals in their particular country.  Doesn't happen So,

    they've been issuing these 'exemptions'.  And these exemptions, apparently, have something to do with who you known in the

    government.  Ahhhh. political pols and their pals. Same as it ever was.  Here there and under there.


    7.20.07    Market Timers. Let's look at one (one with a huge ego and emphasis on disinformation):


    Bobby Brinker. Specifically, what was his call during the beginning of the last stock market bear.


    Well, in January 2000, Bob - via his subscription newsletter MarketTimer, urged his subscribers to take out 60% of money

    invested in equity accounts and put into cash. He took another 5% out in August for a total 65% position in cash.  Now, had he

    stayed there and actually waited until 2003 to buy back in (as Bubby repeatedly crows that he did on his radio show at an interval

    of about every seventeen minutes) his call would have been brilliant. Alas, that isn't how the story goes.  Instead, he notified his

    subscribers to await further direction. Well the direction that came, although not via his newsletter, but through a special alert

    mailed via the good 'ol US Postal Service.


    On October 16 of 2000 that mailer urged "Act Immediately" and buy QQQ (Nazdaq).  His guidance was that he felt comfortable

    buying QQQ at 86 (after coming down from a recent high of about 120) for a suspected countertrend rally of between 20-40%

    over the next two to four months.  It actually went back up to almost 100, before dropping like a knife for the next two years all

    the way to 20!


    If any of Bubby Brinker's loyal denizens had took his advice at the time, what would have happened? Would they have stopped?

    Likely many of them did not. Few people actually use tight trading stops. Many of them had made, at least on paper, good money

    in the 1990s market and were willing to stick it out.  Those unwitting followers would have watched the QQQ drop from 100 to

    20, losing a cool 80% of their account had they sold at the low (which so many people do - market psychology of the masses and

    all that).


    (The Q's, as they are called, right now are still only trading at about a third of their 2000 high.)


    One bad call, combined with a little stubbornness is all it takes.


    However, in 2000 he was badmouthing gold in a big way (as well documented here at the time).


    Meanwhile, we were urging people to buy gold in 2000 - going against the grain.


    Gold is up over 250% since then...


    Just, trying to keep the light from the ubiquitous dark matter.


    Listened to most the show in 00 and 01 as back then bubby had a few good zingers against greenspan since even the

    disinformation artists on the payroll were beginning to drown in the bullscheist they were paid to peddle.  Nowadaze I only need

    to catch the 9 minute monologue which serves as the party line direct from Pualson/Kudlow/Goebels.  The rest of the three hours

    just re-heats the same old hash dutifully served and designed to keep the pebes in government debt and mutual funds (one of the

    worlds most profitable businesses), lining he and his cronies plagued pockets.


    7.20.07    I've have been (sort of) reading The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman.

    Found the book in new condition (without dust jacket) on the street, actually. Hadn’t’ heard of it before and thought it might have

    been a relation of the Milton Friedmans clan. 


    Read about three chapters so far and haven’t picked it up in about a month. Its ok, not a great read – mostly a study of the

    obvious (to erudite kitco converts)- but the guy does point out some perceptions and relations in the tech industry over the last 20

    years that I’ve never really pondered much before.  Tom drops too many names to be taken as a serious economic student.

    Hopefully the book gets better after the third chapter?



    7.19.07    Nice Long Term gold charts




    7.19.07    Option contracts relative to shares outstanding in an issue


    Here's something I've been looking into.

    Are there any benchmarks on how many contracts should be trading for an issue given shares available/outstanding/float? 

    Moreover, how would those ratios change at 3, 6,9 months out?

    How would those ratios change in secular bear, secular bull, and cyclical action.                                    

    Trending vs. basing.



    These are not strategies based upon chart action (ie. buying backspreads during chart breakouts etc.), but rather a fundamental

    analysis based on the relation of the derivative (option) relative to the underlying asset (share).  Just looking for simple ratios.


    Haven’t had much luck finding research on this, looking for further references.


    I do know many traders look at option settlement date maximum pain price as the primary piece of information they take from

    options market and apply to buying/selling the underlying shares?


    Why is this ratio king?


    7.19.07    At this point, might be wise

    to cycle holdings from GLD to GDX


    7.19.07    Viking treasure Find WOW!




    All of us metal detectorists dream of something like that.

    Now, per a cursory look it seems that in the UK not only is ownership of detector finds subject to land property, but to the

    Treasure Act of 1996.  Soooo, these guys can only keep the loot if the Coroner says so, and then if the museum says so, and

    then if the ‘independent board of antiquities dealers’ says the price is right. (As if any of them are independent of existing

    government regs?).




    that said, kudos to them for keeping the lot together. Cultural resources lose their value when parsed out of context.


    In the US, detectoring is governed by similar laws.  Finders keepers on private land, but the govt. can confiscated finds like that

    on federally managed lands (without re-imbursement).


    At any rate, a once in a lifetime find, for sure!


    7.20.07    Everton Mining Sample Results


    Question for Canadians: how many months of the year is this property not accessible via road?


    Mining properties with long and quiet winters make for a time to research and buy shares, not hold and hope...


    7.10.07    Aging US infrastructure: a problem going systemic

    at this point, the water and waste water industries (as with mining) are having a difficult time just hiring and marinating people to

    run the system. finding talent to rebuild and re-engineer critical infrastructure is another layer of sticky wickets.

    NEM and ABX have funded a chair at the NV university to train mining engineers and geologist b.c. the labor issue is already so

    acute. now, those firms have been doing relatively well.

    How is the US manufacturing industry going to support university chairs and endowments when the majority of the sector has

    already been dismantled and sold off in bulk lots?


    7.16.07    Dynatec

    Even though they were acquired by Sherritt last month, they are still hiring under the Dynatec banner (and as SRA).  In fact,

    they're currently advertising positions for three operations in Tennessee scheduled to open later this year.  The three mines,

    Elmwood, Gordonsville, and Cumberland are underground zinc mines about an hour outside of Nashville.  I find it amazing some

    of the Cumberland base metal mines are opening up.  Makes me wonder who right now is running the numbers on re-opening

    some of the copper mines in the Huron district, N. Minnesota and Michigan. The Ambatovy in Madagascar provides someplace

    I would love to visit...


    7.15.07    Oakland Coin Exchange

    Walked into their store this week last.  Asked about a couple coins they had in the displays.  The lady kindly informed me that

    neither of the two coin guys' showed up that day and therefore I couldn't buy any coins.  Nice enough folks, they just weren't

    equipped to sell any of their wares. Kinda makes me scratch my head and wonder how they've stayed in business there for 30



    7.14.07    Got my trading sights on EGO

    The stock plummeted last two days on news the Turkish Government shut down one of their mines.  Environmental issue. Labor

    problems present a pricing anomaly.


    Sooner or later somebody will take the gold out of the ground. Just might be a somebody with better political contacts.


    Price-wise, downside is perhaps 4.30 on the price channel and then 3.50.  Upside about 6.25$.  Never owned it before. This

    would be a longer term hold, not a swing trade because the reason for buy is social, not technical.


    7.13.07    Sold GLD, just below 66.

    Could still have upside, perhaps considerable so.

    Yet - since I bought at about 63.5 on June 27th, that's about 5%. Not a kings ransom, but when put into a per annum rate

    considering GLD was up about 10 of the last 12 sessions over the last six days: cha ching!


    7.6.07    More on Mining Costs

    Somebody asked a great question today: Which has higher costs, strip mining or underground?  Here is my answer:


    Construction, material, fuel, permit, and labor costs have all gone up. however, labor follows the other costs. since labor is more

    essential to underground mining and fuel a larger input to open pit, the costs have risen faster for above ground. Nevertheless, the

    open pit mine is generally cheaper. However, underground reserves more amenable to underground 'hardrock' mining seem to be

    driving hihger vs. above ground 'open pit' reserves.

    Rising labor costs - especially as the production companies scramble for geologists with actual experience in minesight, permitting,

    etc. may begin to drive underground production prices higher, comparably, to above ground.


    Labor, power, construction, water, permits. generally the order of costs; variable per geography, country, socioeconomic

    conditions, ore, etc.


    Look at CAU. they would be making bank, but can't get a permit. So, the socio-economic costs are highest, no?


    Methinks the costs of water, historically cheap, will slingshot to moon very soon...


    Costs vary per geography, ore, and society (and society trumps)


    In Nv you can hire a security guard for $14-18/hr and an operator for $17-25/hr.


    How much in Venezuela?


    Yet - the socio-economic (environmental/political) costs in Nv are very known constants. a permit will generally cost x. and

    take y months.


    Now, as with CAU foibles with political obstacles in Mt, that cost is UNKNOWN. Today a total deal killer - 2 years from now

    perhaps a non-factor.


    Mining and markets abhor uncertainty.


    So, is the political factor in Venezuela known or unknown.


    Given Bolivia nationalization of the mines last year, and Chavez histrionics earlier and especially the proof in that pudding- GRZ

    price volatility - I'd venture scale tipped more toward the unknown. At least from these eyes.

    One great social unknown that had loomed in NV. was Jimboy Gibbons attempts to re-structure Mining Act of 1872. However,

    H. Reid blocked him. And, given Jimboys legal problems (ooh, big surprise there), he ain't doing nothing on the action front for

    quite a while. A good thin!


    in other words, lets discuss ALL the costs...


    Even then, Societal costs trump all other mining costs.


    Another rising socio-economic cost: safety


    After the latest series of W. Virginia coal mining fiascos, MSHA promulgated new regs regarding amounts and types of O2

    required underground. these regs just kicked in. Keeping SBA apparatus not cheap.


    Underground operations are inherently more dangerous.


    Though, as a tragic twist of fate, the last NV mining death (just a few days ago) happened when an above ground operator

    collapsed an underground structure. They didn't find him. RIP miner.


    NEM, ABX, MSHA and state all sent rescue teams. What's the cost maintaining those teams on ready status?


    How much you think they spend on safety in chinese mines?


    Socio-economic costs trump.


    Even though Socio-economic costs are qualitative and not quantitative, in the end result they are all that matter.


    You do not have a mine without a permit, or permission from the local chief (and his henchmen on the payroll).


    The miner could have estimated probable and proven reserves to within a 10th of a gram. But, no permit = no mine, just a whole

    lot of sunk costs in the ore estimation.


    Even worse, 90% or the permit = No permit.


    Let's quickly run through just a few of the environmental steps necessary to begin operation of a mine in Nv:


    Primary Laws and Regulations Governing Mining


    • Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.)


    • Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.),


    • Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (90 Stat. 2743,


    • 43 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.), part of which redefines claim recording procedures and provides for abandonment if the
      procedures are not followed.


    • Forestry Act of 1897


    • The Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 (which made certain nonmetallic minerals not open to claim staking)


    • The Mineral Materials Act of 1947, which provides for the sale or public giveaway of certain minerals, such as sand or


    • The Multiple Mineral Use Act of 1954, which provided for the development of multiple minerals on the same tracts of
       public land;


    • The Multiple Surface Use Mining Act of 1955, which withdrew common varieties from mineral entry; and


    • Mining and Mineral Policy Act of 1970.

                (Promulgated per DOI Mining and Minerals Policy, 1973)


    • Mining Law of 1872 May 10, 1872 (17 Stat. 91, 30 U.S.C. 22 -54).


    • USC Title 12 Chapter 2 Subchapter 1V


    • National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4332(2)(C))


    • Public land authority in 43 U.S.C,.2, 1201 and 1457


    • Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (42 U.S.C. 6901 et seq.), as required under 43 CFR part 3800.
      Rural Abandoned Mine Program 7 CFR


    • Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act


    • Surface Resources Act of 1955 (69 Stat. 367, 30 U.S.C. 601-615),


    • Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1975


    • Gold Confiscation Act of May 21, 1933 (U.S. Treasury Act 416F)


    • Unlawful Occupancy and Inclosures of Public Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1061 et seq.)


    • Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act [aka 'Superfund']

    • Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act

    • Solid Waste Disposal Act

    • Safe Drinking Water Act

    • Migratory Bird Treaty Act

    • Toxic Substances Control Act

    • Endangered Species Act

    • National Historic Preservation Act

    • Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act

    • Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act)


    Abandoned mine reclamation funds 30 CFR Part 872



    Interior Department Regulations

    Title 43; Chapter II - Department of Interior


    Bureau of Land Managements (BLM's) 1980 Regulations 43 CFR part 3800,


    Restrictions on Patented Land Use



    Yes, that is only a portion the federal laws and just a minute fraction of the federal regulations.


    Let's not even go into the Nevada Administrative Code, and federal and state safety code and regs.; and state and federal land

    provisions; and Nevada business practices, and building codes; yet.


    Well, maybe for just a little side trip. What type of permitted activities might your Nevada miner need to acquire?


    In sum - I't ain't your reserves in the ground - it's only what the big and little chiefs say it ok to take out of the ground.


    And of course, the big socio-economic reality: It ain't what you take out of the ground - its what you can make for it at the market.


    then finally, it aint what you make, or what you keep, its what you can spend without drawing undue attention.



    go back to square one.



    7.5.07    A Raphael painting sells for record amount this week.

    Last week Bill Gross sold over $8M in stamps at record amounts.


    Is the tangible/collectible market tearing into two tiers: the uber-wealthy get more and the commoner loses more ground?


    Could be...


    Here is an interesting write up by Kovels (one with skin in the game):


    The 500-pound gorilla called eBay is a problem that is having problems. Auction volume is down by 3.8% this year.

    We have heard prices are down by about 30%. EBay has antagonized dealers by changing rules about feedback so

    they seem to favor buyer complaints. Higher fees have cut into profits. It is almost as if eBay has decided the

    collectibles market is no longer important. Profit is in electronics and cars. They want collectors to stop by, but

    primarily because they might buy a car or a phone. We have been told it doesn’t pay to sell anything on eBay for

    less than $100. Too many fees and hidden costs. The big news this week is that Sotheby’s decided the same thing

    in a much bigger way. It costs the same to sell a $1,000 painting or a $100,000 painting. So to bolster profits, they

    will no longer take consignments worth less than $5,000. That means there should be more merchandise for smaller

    auction houses and online sites and sales. But eBay has angered the sellers and some are looking for other online

    auction sites. And the other online sites are working to attract more business


    EBay has another problem not in the collectibles area. The Supreme Court just ruled to overturn the antitrust law

    that prohibits retail price fixing. (The law came from a 1911 case about Dr. Miles and his patent medicine, a name

    well known to today’s bottle collectors.) The selling price of watches, computers, phones and more will be

    controlled by the manufacturers. There are already companies that will not furnish product to online sellers who

    cut prices. And it will be much harder, even illegal, to offer a name brand car or TV or even furniture polish or

    Hummel figurines at less than the manufacturer’s suggested price used by all other sellers. We suspect the

    eBay merchants will find a way, just as the antiques dealers did. When it became illegal to sell a zebra rug because

    of the endangered species laws, we saw offers of an inexpensive table priced $1,000 sold with a free zebra rug.

    Of course, it is perhaps unethical, but it rarely ended in a court case. Will the gift idea get into this ruling?

    Other outlets have run recent pieces on the decline in the mall/mom&pop antique shops.  There certainly don't seem to be many

    opening up new venues.  Of course, there are numerous reasons for the phenomena.  Whether the trend is cyclical or secular

    won't show clearly for a while, potentially years. (The gold, bond, and equity markets have all had 20 year production/fallow



    Who's playing it smarter, the guy who sold the Raphael painting or the guy who bought it?  Bill Gross fared well indeed on his

    stamp sale, even though the sale was for charity.  Was Bill Gross even selling for financial gain, or to curry favor and good press?

    Personally, looks like he might be angling for a run at politics. Not out of question - a financier running for office. Look at how

    many of the US Secretary of Treasury's are ex-Goldman Sachs.


    What about the burgeoning and rapidly excessive Chinese art market.


    Could it really be that the wealth buying and selling million dollar pieces of heavy paper are clueless and that the regular Jack and

    Jill trying to make a living peddling baubles and trinkets are the ones with the right finger on the market?




    The poor, and their agents (wit: Bank of England) sold gold at the low. All the while the press eagerly cheering them on.  Only, lo

    and behold, they sold at generational lows.  Whilst the rich and connected took it off their hand, no doubt dourly suppressing

    giddiness all the while.


    Indeed, the reason the working man must now part with his stuff/tangibles/jewels/inheritance and HOUSE is that he simply cannot

    make it anymore simply selling his crops. He and she must now sell the seed corn just to eat this season.


    Somebody is eagerly trading rapidly depreciating fiat for their lifelong accumulations.


    Is it you???


    7.4.07    Went to a BBQ today.

    Received a nice invite: 5 days canoe camping in the Powell Canyon. We'll see...


    Fourth of July. Not as depressed this year as in previous regarding are continually eroding personal rights.  Perhaps the defeat of

    the immigration bill gives pause to think we dodged the BIG bullet for another 12 months.  Or, the beer hasn't yet wore off...


    7.3/07    Spent a few days camping with family

    THAT happens to be one of the important things in life.  Though, did note in passing that the head of Beazer homes (BZH) got

    caught destroying documents and is now no longer with the company. Oops, there goes the Christmas bonus.  So, apparently the

    documents going through the shredder documented how the homeowner instructed the rubes how to lie on loan documents , to

    qualify for large debt packages, so they could buy homes they couldn't afford (in retrospect, hah!).



    6.28.07    Think I just solved that whole fiat/gold currency thing!

    some say not enough gold to trade for goods on a daily basis. some say too much FRN for same. so, why don't we just use

    casino chips?

    (don't see $20 checks [more proper terminology than chip] often)



    6.28.07    Sold MDG @28.40

    Nice 17% spike today on a buyout rumor. I don't follow the potential suitor (Yamaha - AUY) so I'll sit out while the dust settles.


    6.28.07    Sold FRO

    should have sold 10 days ago.


    6.27.07    Bought GLD

    hoping for a nice quick trade...


    6.25.07    Don MacDonald had an interesting show yesterday.

    For the first time ever, actually.  Mostly b.c. he let somebody else speak:

    John Bogele, founder of Vanguard funds.


    Looks like John has some conscience creeping into his old age.  Spills the beans. You know that figure always bandied about that the

    stock market total return is 'around 10% per annym'?  Turns out a few percentage points lower, in reality. Surprise!




    6.25.07    Disappearing water sources

    fill your tanks while you can!


    w/o a doubt a large percentage of the world's surface fresh water source will no longer be available 20 years from now. The real

    environmental problem drowned by all the blather and disinformation.

    hey, why not invest in the scam.

    go long PHO and PHI (powerhares)


    6.25.07    Just a Few Rules to Follow

    When you are trying manage cleanup of a former/current/future mining site, and trying to remove some of the equipment therein.




    6.22.07    The Banking Index

    Looks like its about to tank!


    6.21.07    Summer Solstice

    So much sunshine and so little light...


    6.17.07    Quadra reaches 1 Million hours without a lost time safety accident

    at the Robinson Mine. Pretty impressive. A strong safety record indicator is one indicator that the mine operations are properly run.




    Nice stock price action (all time highs) confirms:




    6.17.07    Newmont Executive strikes back, and sues the NY Times.

    Will be interesting to see how this one turns out.  Pretty rare that anybody goes up against the anti-production bulwark.  The amount of

    money and political pull behind the anti-production sector boggles the mind.





    6.13.07    RIO flashed another buy last week.

    nice relative strength


    6.13.07    An acquaintance just had a granddaughter born and wondered what the best 30 year investment would be -

    with the plan being to give to the child when they turned 30.


    i agree w/ those who said go long producing land.
    look to lock up water rights. look at locking up mineral rights. look into mining claims is you are in the western US. in the deciduous, look

    for regenerating hardwood forests. buy a fishing hole, or some acreage on the river - where you can recreate.

    here's the deal. you can buy the baddest ass stock or T-bill or handful or gold or REIT or IPO or coin collection or whatever your flavor.  When the time comes to inherit, the kid will sell the security and buy what they think they need at that time.


    However, let's say you buy 160 on which you can camp; and fish; and campfire; and lay in the dew-laden-grass together and see silly

    shapes in the sky with your granddaughter.  Now, you're building memories. And when time comes for that child to inherit their land, they

    won't think how to shelter the tax or figure out the step up in basis or the like.  They will look at the land, and think of how wise grandpa

    was to invest in that piece of land; how wise to invest the most previous commodity of all - time - into the family.  And the land becomes

    a home and family and provenance and inheritance and ancestry.


    6.11.07    Sold BOL @$ 69.70

    bought around 48 last year.  Bausch and Lomb = bread and butter.


    Crazy chart!  Look at those islands (tops?)



    6.8.07    Old Widow Spain spends her last few gold coins, and for what?

    At least when the Bank Of England sold the little peeples gold, ‘twas for a reason – to mark the generational low in gold price.


    What shall benefit Spain’s fire sale?


    Sell for reason or sell for treason!


    I remember that John Travolta movie – A Civil Action. He played a trial lawyer going after Grace (the asbestos empire). Now, he had not

    been getting far and was pretty much broke as a joke. Naturally everybody had abandoned him, 'cept his good buddy. The good buddy

    fronted John every penny he had, even the five gold krueggerands saved for a rainy day! The dude sold the gold for an ideal, a reason, a

    plan of action (in the movies, anyway).


    The good Queen of Spain sells her gold gaming she can steal it (or something else) cheaper when the lights go out…


    6.8.07    Ruminations of an Old Man: Charlie Munger (Warren Buffet's sidekick)

    let it load and then scroll to his speech. some thoughts to mull over, for sure.




    did charley sell his soul? did warren? what is their legacy, or will it be written by their successor (of billy bob gates?)


    Charlie Munger’s Universal Rules


    To get what you want, deserve what you want.


    The highest love is admiration based love.


    Appeal to interest instead of reason, as Ben Franklin encouraged. Simply do so from a perched loft full of high motivations.


    Wisdom acquisition is a moral duty. (i.e. learn all your life)

    Avoid sloth and unreliability.


    Avoid zealotry; don’t become an ideologue.


    “You don’t need to hope to persevere” Ferdinand the Great.


    Avoid perverse associations and motivations. Don’t work under those we don’t admire or like.


    Maintain objectivity


    Use checklist maintenance.


    The highest order: A full and seamless network web of deserved trust.




    6.7.07    The Great Bond Bear -Awake!


    After a 25 year slumber, the bond bear climbs out from his lair – licking his chops- sniffing the wind – and hungry for what he smells:

    burning and twisting wisps of the US securities market.


    Today the 5% yield level on the 10 year UST is breached (closed at 5.11) with conviction and volume. Major houses (and foreign

    governments) are dumping the US debt – thus strongly pushing yields up.


    Like the little quote – purportedly from Mr. Gross – from business week.




    “Late in the trading day, Bill Gross, head of PIMCO, which controls several of the world's largest bond and commodity funds, reversed

    his 25-year bullish stance on bonds and predicted the yield on the 10-year Treasury note could rise as high as 6.5% over the next three to

    five years.”  Another source quotes him saying that he is now a “bear market manager”; purpotedly because of strong worldwide growth.


    Of course, much of this blather is just smoke and mirrors.


    On the chart, the 30yr bond now has a gap in below 108 and is at 18 month support…


    No doubt B. Gross will have some smoothing words to provide flak cover when alan Greenyspin speaks on the 12th and Bernanke once

    again speaks the party line on the 15th.


    He’ll lie again, say inflation is contained, and leave rates (short term – discount rate) same ol’ same ol’. He can rely on the 30-yr to drag

    up the 3 month yield, eventually. If the fed raises rates, that serves as open admission that the annual inflation rate is not the 3.1% sold in

    the paper, but the actual 9% sold in the supermarkets, gas stations, pharmacies, and schools. (The European Central Bank raised their

    bank by 0.25 this last week.)


    At least, he and his backers (establishment) hope so. They know that against the backdrop of “All time highs” in the ‘Dow’, (only 30

    stocks easily manipulated by purchase of futures) that the Transport and Utility indices have recently tanked (indicating recession; and

    previously indicated by the inverted yield curve). Well, last fall the transports tanked and ‘miraculously’ recovered before this re-inflation

    of the stock indices.


    Will be interesting to see what rabbit hops out of the hat this month. Since the money is now simultaneously coming out of the housing,

    transport, utility and bond markets; our current assignment is:


    Where the money is going now?


    6.2.07    Commemorative Coins

    Might be a good point to begin buying the older commemoratives right now.  Soft price shouldn't last if the overall market stays right.

    also, at some point the folks who were drawn in by modern commem junk might start to look at the older beauties...


    6.1.07    gemini explorations GMXP

    setting up a potential speculative short term trade (buy)


    6.1.07    sold AEM today @37.6

    bought dec 26th at @30.50

    nice week for her, she gets a fortnight off!


    5.28.07    Fahrenheit 2007


    When the bookseller can't sell a book, and can't find anyone to take it for free, what's left for a bibliophile to do?






    This marks a bottom (but not the final one) of the 550 year paper market.


    Time to buy!


    (and when the sociological response is to fine the guy for burning without a permit, time to short the society)


    5.28.07    Hey, I received a response back from Stu Taylor:



    Thanks for your comments.

    There is no relationship between the Eurasian Minerals interview and Don Paul's business perspective,

    Eurasian Minerals appeared to talk about the company. I don't have an opinion on Eurasian Minerals.

    I have opinions on politics, entertainment facilities, restaurants, etc.

    It is my opinion, to put it politely, that Paul belongs in the same category with Kucinich- TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY OUT OF

    TOUCH. CLUELESS!! Paul will disappear, and few people will remember who he is.

    I don't care what the polls show (there are a million polls). Paul is "deader than a doornail".

    I appreciate your opinion, and thanks for listening.


    Stu Taylor



    5.28.07    I listen(ed) to maybe 100 financial radio shows


    about 25 on a regular basis.


    maybe 5 or 6 actually represent facts on the ground...


    5.28.07    Read a Review by a Miner who Attended the Vegas Money Show Last Week

    like one point made: fer shure the miners need to branch out of their normal cliques and market their product a little bit.


    everyone in the shopping mall's heard about blood diamonds/dirty gold/cyanide killing all the poor fishies and destroying the native



    How many know what metals are essential to their car, their ipod, their computer?



    5.27.07    The Game of Life Pushes the Usurers


    The Life board game, a family favorite, replaces cash with the brand-name debt card.




    Get 'em used to providing the ubiquitous ID card before making any life decision.  Early programming for the whole family!


    5.27.07    Letter I sent to Stu Talor


    Hello Mr. Taylor:


    As a regular listener to your show (podcast vis businesstalkradio) I found it ironic that directly after your highlight of Urasia

    Minerals you went into your short review of the 2008 political field and slammed Ron Paul, the only Republican candidate to hold

    gold stock in his portfolio as divulged via required public disclosure.


    Instead of glossing over him as a 'Characterture of the Republican party' akin to Dennis K., why not instead explore why he came

    in first amongst many polls following the first Republican debate, and why the national press (including your show), absolutely

    buried this fact under a heap of ad hominem attacks? 


    Fox Poll shows Paul came in second beat McCain, Gulliani



    ABC Poll



    MSNBC Poll

    Paul won that one, as prominently displayed on Drudgereport for a few hours (until he took it down and then refused comment on

    the subject).


    His performance on the first debate was in the Top-10 showings on YouTube for the entire week after the debate.


    Why not go through his platform (along with the other candidates), One by One, and show how any other candidate reflects the

    actual Republican Platform better than Dr. Paul.


    I'd be interested in a factual discourse on your show.


    As is, your hit piece in passing greatly diminished your credibility on this, and hence other, subject(s). 


    One who take the time to write often represent another 100 who don't make the time...


    5.26.06    The Little People's Economy

    Listened to a talk show, not a financial one - just a talk format - on the way to work a couple days ago. The callers did not have

    much positive to say about the state of their, and their acquaintances, finances nor business revenue.  This echoed some of the

    comments I've heard at the coin show, coin store, paper show, and other financial venues in the last month.  Now, I don't want to

    necessarily continue to assume a negative bias here - even though that has been my inclination since the formation of this blog in

    2000 (and generally correct, by the way).


    So, I chose to conduct some independent research.  Data gathering on the frontlines, so to speak. What 'convenience' do all we

    little people rely on - as popular as credit cards - to finance our own personal economic machine?  Why, namely, the ATM

    machine.  So, in a calculated if somewhat unscientific experiment, I went to my nearest ATM and picked up all of the receipts just

    lying on the ground. (Sure, this type of recordkeeping could - in fact - bias my studies to the particular type of folk on the

    economic scale who keeps their affairs in such manner, but so go the vagaries of economic research.).  Here are my findings:



    39.61 (ooh! only another 39cents to go and I can withdraw another 20! thinks the grateful bankee)


    -45.97 (!!!)





    4.14 (just an inquiry, they didn't even withdraw a 20$).


    Average: $100.87


    Granted, I don't live in a high falutin area - just working class US.  Still, not sure how anyone could positively spin the above...


    5.22.07    Dumping the dollar – big time goes pro.


    Several months ago, China noted pretexts that it would stop buying USTreasury Notes and begin divesting of its USdollar hoard.

    A few months ago, they officially noted a less aggressive position buying USTreasuries. However, they never publicly stated what

    they would do with their dollar hoard, until today:




    Meanwhile, the oil-producing states are beginning to reset their currency against the relative US dollar value. Kuwait jumps first:




    5.19.07    Acetylene/Oxygen Welding

    Went to welding class, forth of five. I’ve really enjoyed – more than I though I would. Of course, my artistic skills are practically

    nil; but sure is fun to destroy metal!  Even bought a welders’s shoulder jacket and a hood at a garage sale last weekend.  The guy

    had a ton of interesting stuff in his yard. Reminds me that I need to stop by his house and drop off my card. Told him I would be

    back later in the day but then went to the paper show; and then the A’s ballgame…(was great to see Barry Bonds strike out to

    the cheers/jeers of the fans. Amazing anybody has the low class to wear a giants cap! Truly an abomination amongst the sport!).

    5.18.07    Plunge in Short Term Rates

    Take a look and see the action here:




    Why is This Happening


    The Chinese government, a major backer of the US dollar - they’ve been the largest buyer of US Treasury Bills (USTs) - have

    seen the US dollar lose one-third of its value in the last 5 years.


    They are now selling US Treasuries and putting their money into their stock market, the US stock market and US government

    corporation bundled derivatives.


    What Does it Matter ?

    The banking and other financial institutions rely on the short-duration (3 month) yields. This action will put pressure on the

    banking/financial index. A strong stock market requires firm action in the banking/financial index; no long-term market rallies

    continue without participation from this index.


    The financials and, especially, the insurance companies have relied even more heavily upon the short-duration yields ever since the

    yield curve flattened to the point you could make just about as much return on a 3month bill as you could a 30 year bond. Hence,

    nobody wanted to take the risk in a 30 year position.


    National banks only effect the action of the short duration yields via setting their prime rate. The market sets the long term yields.


    The Chinese Govt. bought billions in USTreasuries over the last several years and yet the 10-year benchmark rate never rose

    much higher than 5.1%.


    The Quandary

    What happens when the US baby boomers, currently holding most their assets in the US housing and stock markets begin to plow

    money into T-Bills for income? The prices should go up and the yields should go down.


    However, in the last few months, the net flows have been out of USTs and yet the short term rates have led lower.




    5.15.07    Went to my first paper show in Concord.


    Postcards, advertisements, financial documents, autographs, pictures, etc.


    Pretty similar to a coin show.  Some notable differences: no coins; no children; no presence from a national society; nothing

    'professionally graded'. 


    Apparently the show was pretty slow, slowest one since the show started at that particular location in 10 years.


    Was interesting talking to two dealers (who I later found out were father and son). They filled me in quite a bit about some

    backstories of the Nevada paper market over the last 15 years or so. A valuable education in itself.  Plan on visiting with/buying

    from those guys more often.  Also, learned about some upcoming shows, the state of the market, things like that.  They thought

    paper was a pretty good buy at this particular time (since the market is down over the last few years, having reached a high about

    10 years ago). Of course, they could very well just be talking their book – to me – a buyer of their wares.


    My summary comes down to a similar point. When folks don't want it (and are burning it in the street) buy it.


    (You can sell notgeld nowadays).


    5.13.07    Was in a Coin Shop the Other Day...


    This guy walks in with a few 1980's 'vintage' US mint proof sets.  Worthless to begin with, some einstein buried them in the

    backyard for a few years. For unreason's untold , this dude had dug them up. Of course, there was some dirt around the

    cellophane so he thought he'd 'clean 'em up a little bit'.   Soooo, the guy grabbed a squirt bottle, filled it with pine-sol, and sprayed

    away to his hearts content - to the point the inside of the cellophane and the coins themselves have spots of pinesol all over them.

    Yeah, that's gonna help the sale price. Go figure, the dealer passed on the 'deal'.  However, give the coins a few years and you

    never know- perhaps a bonus for the toning...


    5.13.07    Strong Mining Employment Picture


    Not only have the mining companies been flooding the boards with ads for open positions, now they're seeing headhunters. This

    plainly shows a strong mining sector.




    5.12.07    As Bullish as I am on Stamps...

    Can't help but determine that every time the USPostal Service raises the price of postage, all those collections with large

    percentages of stamps from the 1950's and onward (mostly only worth face amount) take a commensurate percentage hit - decline

    in price.  Interestingly enough, this move by the post office to offer first class postage stamps which are always good for first class

    postage (forever stamps), no matter how many times the first class postage rate goes up, may represent a return to the time of last

    century (and before) where stamps traded as currency.


    In the 1850's and 1860's stamps traded freely as currency.  Not only was coinage in rare supply, but so was paper. However,

    the metals were even more in demand. Hence the Confederate government and the southern states scramble for whatever paper

    was available to print their currency.  In some instances southern currency, especially in the latter days of the Civil War, was

    printed over newspaper or other print media.  In fact, during those decades 'twas a common practice to reuse letters.  One

    person would write on a virgin piece of paper. The correspondent would reply by turning the letter upside down and writing their

    message in the spaces between the sentences, or even in the margins.


    5.12.07    Another Sign of the Silver Boom

    The Cal Neva Casino (downtown Reno) added another slot machine that pays in silver dollars! That brings the grand total of

    these machines up to two!


    5.6.07    China overtakes US on Gold Production

    Nevada now bumped to fourth place - behind China, Australia, Canada.


    But would the Las Vegas Sun report it?


    Nope, not a chance. Only willing to donate space and type and generate a hit piece square on Nevada's corporate shelters and

    business-friendly climate.  Namely - the below piece maligns gold mining at every chance possible.  Forget about reporting actual

    declining production numbers, and the reasons for such (vegas sucking the state's lifeblood of water and energy whilest blowing it

    out her fountains) while focusing on neon babylon's current paradigm - glossing over the real estate bust by enfranchising the most

    number of illegals-cum-voters/sun readers possible in the shortest period of time.  The touts tell of economic 'diversifying' by

    adding banking and marketing onto the existing cash-laundry mechanisms/loan writeoff-havens/FRN-velocity generator.


    Her famous 90 day handshake gives way to the 20 minute snow job:





    5.5.07    Read a Few More Gold-Miner Annual Reports

    The Apollo comic book looked terrible - all around.  Metallica did a good job with the report. Their production and numbers look

    decent given where they are in the growth cycle and considering their assets/reserves. Glencairn takes the cake for their front page

    graphic.  Balance sheet ok but the cashflows ain't pretty. 


    Though without a doubt my "Next tour of gold properties" looks like it should ride on the Glencairn Train - a quick and steamy

    jaunt through Nicaragua/Costa Rica/Panama.  Oughta provide a couple nice pictures and places to chase a plantain with the cold

    brew.  KGC looks like they outsourced their circular to a pakistani grammar school finals project. Should of laid out a couple

    $Gs for graphics, boyz.  The production pipeline sure does look tasty.  All those notes to the consolidated statement provides

    pause to wonder. 


    A golden shadow scene to behold - the struggle these companies wrestle with currently regarding reporting. Obviously they aren't

    sure how to commit to future US Sarbanes Oxley reporting while simultaneously figuring out the best way to present new option

    reporting requirements.  Really, neither petty nor pretty.


    5.4.07    Quaterra buys the Old Anaconda Copper Properties

    Nice strategy.  Let the taxpaying fools pay for the environmental cleanup while letting the corporation grab the goodies. Same as

    it ever was.  Nevada screwed up this one. They could have cashflowed the cleanup.  Instead, turned it over to the feds on the 35

    year plan...




    5.4.07    Barrick trying to expand Nv Bald Mountain operations

    Project now in the compliance phase. Major federal actions in the US, including mining/milling operations, require environmental

    analysis under various federal regulations.




    5.3.07    Ron Paul Wins the Initial Republican Debate

    And Golden State Warriors win the series over Dallas. There's today's double parlay long shot payoff!


    4.29.07    Politician Foibles in Nevada


    Per the Reno Gazzette Journal on 4.29:


    "Gov. Jim Gibbons, under an FBI investigation for his relationship to a defense contractor while he was a congressman, has a 30

    percent job approval rating after his first four months in office, according to a poll published Sunday.  The statewide poll

    conducted for the Reno Gazette-Journal found that 47 percent disapproved of his performance and 23 percent were unsure."


    Heck, if only the guy was a crook things wouldn't be too bad, just similar to others of his ilk.  Regrettably, he has even deeper

    skeletons and issues, as chronicled here for years. Wait untilth epublic begins to learn of some of these.


    And then, in the other corner of the state John McCain continues to soot himself in the foot (anytime mouth is open) campaigning

    in Elko.


    4.28.07    The Walker Lake Compact Fragments as Fractals


    Walker Lake serves as a freshwater terminal lake, one of only six worldwide. Two are located in Nevada.  Because the Great

    Basin serves as the terminal, or endpoint, of all water that falls in the watershed the two lakes (Walker and Pyramid) serve as

    collection ponds filtering all seepage into groundwater basins. 


    Since Walker lake serves as a sump, all solids enter the lake but cannot escape.  Whereas dry lake beds are essentially saltbeds

    when dry and evaporation ponds during the rainy season, Walker lake simply fills with higher level of solids (salts).  Walker Lake

    has a Total Dissolved Solid (TDS) level of 16,000 milligrams per liter (For comparison, the average ocean TDS level is 32,000).


    Although the lake is far less salty than another lake with extremely low inflows —the Salton Sea in southern California (over

    45,000 milligrams per liter TDS) at the surface, the Salton Sea is dead.  Nobody wants Walker Lake to die, but that is exactly

    what is happening.  The death of cooperating on the compact will only further enable the death of the lake.


    Walker Lake provides a home to two endangered species: both the tui-chub and the Lahontan cutthroat trout. The lake

    additionally serves as an important waterfowl stopover point along the migrational flyover routes.


    The story of Walker Lake water diversion is inherently tied to the larger region including Lakes Pyramid and Tahoe and the rivers

    of Nevada and eastern California.  The end result for Walker lakes is that diversion for irrigation, farming, and growth, within a

    rather dry period over the last century, has dropped the lake approximately 150 feet below since its level during the time of early

    Nevada Pioneers.


    Las Vegas’ unending quench, especially in light of continued severe drought of the Colorado Plateau (the source of most of

    Southern Nevada’s waster) led Vegas to lay claims on what water lies in the northern and lesser populated areas of the state.


    The history and blood spilled over the western water wars plainly provides dry facts under the cover of good copy and a story.




    The future is uncertain, and divided.


    That this year was the worse precipitation year in two decades doesn’t help matters…


    Once upon a time, Sen. Harry Reid

    would have steered the process

    Now his fingers are in larger pies.


    The State Water Modelers

    Build their own reality of Walker Lake's future




    Two of my favorite suppositions arising in their assumptions:

    1. The State buys 20% of existing water rights; and

    2. Cloud seeding will increase inflows by 8%


    Yep. And my next rip into the casino will produce two royal flushes; in a row...


    Miners need Ore, Power and WATER.



    Look at the financial results (poor) NEM released this week.  Blamed much of it on higher energy costs and, most ironically,

    production of a power plant dedicated to one of their Nevada mining operations (and further, they might need to build a power

    plant in Ghana). What do power plants need?  Fuel and WATER.



    4.27.07    Received two Annual Reports from Kinross

    (since they bought out Bema Gold which I had owned).

    Too bad they don't keep track of who they send out reports; would save money by not mailing circulars twice.  And beyond that,

    you've got to wonder about their record-keeping in other areas of business.


    4.26.07    Just Read the Golden Star Annual Report


    Two things that stuck with me:

    1. They've held Wassa dragging on their performance for far too long.

    2. The estimated price of gold in future years used in their impairment analysis:

    2007 - $650

    2008 - $638

    2009 - $592

    2010/11 - $562


    Otherwise, looks pretty gold. I'll still hold.


    4.24.07    Two areas of Coin Collecting/Exonumia under fire


    Medals and Foreign coins.


    US Congress passed just one more b.s. law preventing sale of certain military medals.  As far as Foreign/International coins,

    Cyprus has joined a growing list that wants their coins 'repatriated'.  Can't see where that will help the hobby, but sure to help

    move the prices on those pieces up.  Maybe the governments that worry about repatriation could instead worry more about not

    losing so many wars and prevent their wares from walking away with the victorious army.


    4.22.07    Just because you buy a slabbed coin

    Doesn't mean it hasn't been cleaned.


    Its just more likely it was cleaned (or conserved) by a 'professional'.


    4.22.07    IDAHO MINING: Silver Bells Ring True


    Center of the Universe: Wallace Idaho


    1.  Background and History


    Wallace, and her sister city Kellogg, Idaho, centrally reside smack in the middle of the worlds richest silver deposit.


    Wallace proper overlies the Couer d’ Alene District. Neighboring districts include the Morning, Compressor and Golconda



    The map below shows the mining claims on the Couer d’ Alene District.




    2.  Sunshine Scarred


    Wallace and the Sunshine Mine still bear the stigma associated with the worst mining disaster in US history.




    Of course, the mining history grades much finer than that and the deep dwell stopes offer quite a worthy bit or two for those

    willing to spend the time. 


    This place provides a nice introductory write-up on Wallace:




    3.  Idaho Mining: Politics and Society


    The Silver Valley Mining Association provides great benefit to the rest of the mining sector and industry vie their

    world-class idea – establishing the Natural Resource Education Center. 




    Their mission statement is providing education and awareness to local communities and beyond regarding the importance of mining

    to the fabric of our daily economy.  “If it isn’t grown, it must be mined”.  (Reminds me of a bumper sticker I saw in Nevada

    once (or maybe a few more times).  The NREO works with teachers to reach youngsters and explain how the world works based

    on metals and mining.  It takes an ever increasing outreach just to fall behind the environmental radical fringe that equates

    mining=earth rape.


    One contingent fighting the slanted media message that mining=faunal and floral desecration is the Idaho legislative faction. For

    instance, Sen Crapo has recently introduced the “Fair Treatment for Precious Metals Act.’


    This act is intended to increase investor holdings of precious metals by evening the tax treatment of Precious Metals compared to

    other ‘investment’ classes.


    Not the first time similar legislation has been introduced.


    From the Vegas Sun (?unsure on original citation – ed.)- June 11, 2001.


    On Friday, June 8, Senator Harry Reid (D-Nevada), now the Assistant Majority Leader, and Senators' Wayne Allard (R-Colorado)

    and John Ensign (R- Nevada), introduced S.1007, the Fair Treatment for Precious Metals Investors Act.


    This act never passed due to the ‘events’ that happened ten days later.  Originally introduced by Senator Harry Reid, the bill

    regrettably faded into a more tragic national psyche.


    Though, as a point in fact, time has treated Sen. Reid well.  Son of a Nevada Miner, he is now the ranking Senator in the US

    Senate.  If congress doesn’t finally level the playing field by reducing the capital gains on precious metal investment now, will it



    In 1997 the US congress did further recognize precious metals as an investment, despite decades-long efforts to suppress the

    price, by changing the tax code to allow Americans to individually hold metals in IRAs.


    Allow the good senator to see you off with a warm and fuzzy thought:


    “An industry (mining) with well over a century of experience in Idaho is well suited to work toward anther century of

    innovation, financial success, and conservation.

    Mike Crapo, R-Idaho. June, 2006


    4. A Random Walk Down Bank Street - Wallace, Idaho


    One benefit derived from enjoying a town during the succulent period of time after two generations of folks wrote the place off

    but before the masses rush in once again per the predictable and never ending cycle of boom and bust is that, in the interim, one

    can still find a parking space.


    Started my tour of Bank Street at Northwest Mining Supply.  Nice folks with a great display of old mining equipment and pictures.  Drat the luck, none was available for sale or trade during my brief lunch-greak-stop-and-say-hello-visit.  But, we can always look at their display:




    Moving down a block, passed the Sterling Mines headquarters:




    Couldn't figure out what they did inside (closed for lunch). 


    Moseying across the street, always pays to stop in and chat with the local used-wares (antique) purveyor.  You never know what

    they might have, if you only ask:





    5. Penaluna


    The Broker Historian sells stories forward - rewarding the select searcher for their inquiries and investments of time and monies

    (trading up copper pennies for silver stocks).


    Rambling round the corner, saw some more beautful history draped lavishly in the display window box.  Not quite like Amsterdam,

    but Wallace Style:




    Moreover, I’ll move over (stope talking) and let one of the local historians Jerome Bunde show you some history and the map





    Jerome talks about the history of Penaluna, the sign (not the firm - would take too long!)





    6.  Find Your Center




    7.  Wallace Mining and Mineral Museum


    Had the pleasure meeting and talking with Norm Radford; friendly and extremely knowledgeable.  His mining museum shows

    superlatively, definitely one of the finest in our great Republic.  I like the Tonopah Mining Museum, was smitten with the tiny yet

    lovely Gold Bug Museum in Placerville and have spent many a fine hour at the Mariposa (Ca State) Mining and Mineral Museum

    (nice work Dave!); but Norm has put together quite a collection.  One scintillating difference - his museum is for sale! Piece by



    Let's here Norm provide a little bit of history for you in his own words:




    The store/museum current name proper, Silver Capital Arts, on the corner of 6th and Bank, doesn't provide this treasure trove

    with the full glimmer of its contents.  Both the the mining collection and the mineral collection are, by definition, museum quality. 

    Several of the mineral specimens grace either the contents or the cover of the Idaho State mineral publications.  In fact, about the

    only thing Norm wouldn't let me photograph was some of the mineral specimens.  Here's a buthchered avi showing off some of the

    goods (look fast!).




    Give Norm a call if you're looking for hard to find mining reference material; he's probably got it.

    Silver Capital Arts

    Sixth and Bank Streets

    Wallace Id, 83783

    (208) 556-7081. 


    I found a few things for my own personal interest (but will probably end up offering them here anyway at some point after my

    voracious perusal and/or cPen).  Here's the live action shot of Norm returning from the secret library stash with Just What

    Mercury Wanted!




    Norm also echoes the story relayed by Jerome that much of the mining manuals and documents are being re-purchased by the

    engineers and geologists in the field, who need to check up a bit on some of the historical documentation produced for any one

    particular district, target or ore.


    (Turns out video blogging isn't as easy as it looks.  Thanks especially to Jerome and his lovely wife and Norm!)


    8.  Mines, Men (including female men) and Silver


    One of the NREO (see above under Politics and Society) educational advisors hails from the Farmin family, one of the premier

    N. Idaho settler clans from years back.  The Farmin family, for instance, essentially established the town of Sandpoint Idaho.


    Farmin Family of Sandpoint Id.:




    This article rang home for two reasons, the matriarch - Ella Mae - provides a similar source namesake for my daughter. Secondly,

    this article quotes and interview one Tammy Farmin, fourth generation Sandpointer with whom I had the very good fortune of

    meeting when she graciously hosted a dinner party and slideshow at her wonderful home.  Tammy is a very impressive artist and

    woman, and I told her so!


    More on Jerome Bunde, the gracious Wallace host (and careful promoter).  Jerome has worked at Penaluna Mining Exchange,

    among other Idaho mining ventures, for almost 50 years now. Forever, young – he just took another bride!  He had quite a bit of

    fair wisdom gladfully and gleefully imparted to yours truly.  One little nugget I’ll pass on was his observation on the younger miners

    of today. 


    Essentially, Jerome stated that those working the mines back in the late 80’s and early-mid 90’s would blow their hard earned

    money on cocaine and booze (not that money earned via mining was ever easy, but the miners toiled deep and dark for several

    years before this recent boom just to keep their employees off the streets, much less eek out a meager profit or open new areas

    for exploration or productions.).   Now, rather than party away their wages, these miners have been putting their sweat equity back into the firm (as shares or employee owned businesses) and their equipment and their knowledge and their libraries (competing with me for mining books), all betting that this mining boom has

    actually just begun. 


    Today the modern mining family has choices galore.  Back in the daze, miners would often need to eat from the company store,

    get well or die at the company pharmacy, and drink at the company bar:




    I'll leave you with a picture of the Spokane Mining Exchange, Wallace Branch, large stock board.  (I still need to visit the former

    Spokane Exchange, simply didn't have the time last pass through town).




    The blow up of one corner is especially telling: Jerome left the price mark of gold and silver spot and the price of CDE and HL on

    the board as he wrote it on September 10, 2007.  You may know remember (but probably not really know) what happened the

    next day.  Note that the price of silver and gold were within just a couple percentage points of generational lows.




    All Wars are Gold Wars.


    9. The Good Miners, Mssrs. Russell and Hopper:


    Now, previously I had mentioned Mr. Russell regarding a molybdenum play in northern Nevada. To wit:


    “But Moly is a strategic play still developing.


    I’ve bet on both Golden Phoenix and Idaho General [GMO] and the bet bought new baby shoes and a couple headaches

    to go with them.


    The Mount Hope moly property activates the metallic salivary glands.


    Although I sold half on the latest run-up when it broke through on major volume, now I am not so sure I pulled the trigger

    at the right time.




    (Just a few minutes ago could have sworn a read a press release that Azteca sold half of today’s volume into the market,

    but now the release seems to have disappeared.)


    Russell, with Azteca, holds warrants with GMA and was previously with GMO, so maybe he’s onto something. Dumping

    the Hansa name to look in Mexico… hmm. Wonder what he found down there. At any rate, firm has a funny marketing



    At any rate, somebody(ies) else will catch on to the firm/property.


    So what else has Mr. Russell been interested in?  Matt Russell, (a Wallace, Id. Native) is apparently ready to take over the

    Bunker Hill Mine from Bob Hopper.




    (great article, three weeks old).



    10.  What has Bob Hopper done lately?

    Well, in mining, just about everything.

    What’s on his mind now?


    “ My greatest concern is that we are losing the mining philosophy, the mining mentality.. Kids nowadays are told not get their

    hands dirty…Don’t go to the mine, make something of yourself”.


    From: “Mining the Future: Bob Hopper the Passion of the Silver Valley.  Liz White. Drill and Pick, Fall 2006. Silver Valley Mining



    [This has got to be the best mining rag not yet online: Drill and Pick – Silver Valley Mining Association. Only on it’s third edition,

    this official publication of the Silver Valley Mining Association proves sturdy and assays fine, providing numerous nuggets of

    information for your consideration and reading enjoyment.]




    Now Mr. Hoppers concern sets well herein.  That sentiment, exactly, permeates the anti-miner consortium, whose ranks swell

    everyday engorged by press from the environmental one-world movement banked by the international banking cartel and

    produced by the Los Angles media complex.


    Not an easy group to confront.  All that fiat working against you, 24/7/365/


    About the only thing effective to combat that juggernaut, indeed the only thing, is the work and wisdom and patience of an honest



    Though, if you are patient enough and listen to the earth guiding you down the shaft to that nugget of enlightenment, the light will

    eventually again reach the surface:


    National Academy of Sciences Report on Superfund and Mining Megasites: Lessons from the Coeur d’Alene River Basin; Final

    Publication. December 2005.




    Pretty much rips the EPA a new one as the report exposes how EPA oversight of mining cleanup, always political, borders on

    fitfully fanciful as *science*, that elusive barfly, is nowhere to be seen sidling up at the watering hole along her ever present

    compatriots: bad press, inside deals, environmental schmoozing, and the old-timer bureaucratic incompetence.


    The Silver Valley Mining Association, another good silver mining information source, close to the source - as it were:





    11.  Metal Mines Minute


    Quiz: What is the second highest producing (primary) silver mine in the world?

    A: Galena Mine.


    Currently owned by US SilverCorp (Privately held)


    Thompson Creek mine produced 6% of world Moly in 2006


    A few more mines and mining firms with Idaho links or background.


    Avino Silver

    Nice property, poor planning.

    Did they or did they not shut down their mine just right about the bottom of the precious metal market?


    Avino [Avino.com (ASM.T)] has the Avino silver mine. 


    Orko silver has the Santa Monica and La Preciosa properties directly adjacent to the Avino property, on the Durango Silver




    The price action in these two issues over the last two months reflects this reality:




    Based on something or another, I've taken some positions - either both financially or philosophically, on the following issues:

    GMO (formerly IGMI.pk). Described previously, currently a hold. (I'm still in).


    Titan Resources (TNRI.pk).  Personally, this 18% rally should be sold.  I am no longer in.




    Just in Time: Will it work for metals?


    One thing I found quite interesting:  In May 2006 our fair planet had a 10-day above-ground supply of zinc.


    Silver Summit - September 2007

    Again held in Couer D' Alene this year, with other festivities in Wallace.


    Read all about it:




    12.  Hecla Mining

    Once a primary Idaho venture, Hecla today maintains the Lucky Friday silver mine in Idaho, currently in production, along with

    other producing silver and gold mines in Alaska, Mexico and South America.  The primary property I’ve been following is the

    Hollister property in Nevada.  My bets have been placed on their partner in that operation, Great Basin (GBN). As a point in fact,

    however, Hecla’s share price has outperformed Great Basins.  Hecla is currently the oldest precious metal production firm in

    North America (Hecla, 2006).  As such, Hecla’s fortunes, along with the former Homestake, has been used as proxy for

    analyzing gold company performance over the years.  Homestake, however, had been traded for a longer period of time since

    Hecla has been trading on the NYSE as HL since 1942.

    Hecla's CEO, Phil Baker, will speak at the Silver Summit Conference.


    I did have the good fortune of picking up few reference books from Norm Bradford, purveyor of the Wallace Mining Museum. 

    Apparently all of these books came from the Hecla library:


    Mineral Resources of Douglas, Ormsby and Washoe Counties. Theodore D. Overton. Nevada Bureau of Mines Bulletin

    46. 1947. Ex New Mexico Library; Ex: Ranchers Exploration and Development Corp; Ex: Hecla Library; Ex: Wallace, Idaho

    Mining Museum.


    Antimony Deposits of Nevada. Edmond F. Lawrence. Nevada Bureau of Mines. Mackay School of Mines, University of

    Nevada. Bulletin 61. 1963. Ex New Mexico Library; Ex: Ranchers Exploration and Development Corp; Ex: Hecla Library;

    Ex: Wallace, Idaho Mining Museum.


    Quicksilver Deposits in Nevada. Edgar H. Bailey and David A. Phoenix. USGS. University of Nevada Bulletin. XXXVIII.

    December 1944. Geology and Mining Series No. 41. Nevada State Bureau of Mines and USGS. Ex: Hecla Library;

    Ex: Wallace Mining Museum.


    Geothermal Exploration and Development in Nevada Through 1973. Larry J Garside. Nevada Bureau of Mines and

    Geology. Mackay School of Mines, University of Nevada. Report 21. 1974. Ex New Mexico Library; Ex: Ranchers Exploration

    and Development Corp; Ex: Hecla Library; Ex: Wallace, Idaho Mining Museum.


    Thermal Waters of Nevada.  Larry J Garside and John H. Schilling. Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology. Mackay School of

    Mines, University of Nevada. Bulletin 91. 1979. Ex New Mexico Library; Ex: Ranchers Exploration and Development Corp;

    Ex: Hecla Library; Ex: Wallace, Idaho Mining Museum.


    The Wild Horse Quicksilver District, Lander County Nevada. Carle H. Dane and Clyde P. Ross. USGS Bulletin 931-K. 1942.


    13. Mining Document Control

    Norm stated that Hecla still maintains quite an impressive library, but they are all working documents.  That is, the current

    collection is entire focused on currently resource extraction/production, not historical documents. I did pick up this a nice historical

    Hecla document:




    Dated 1921, the letter shows a simpler day when the secretary of the company would actually write a letter to the customer.  I

    seek out this type of correspondence for multiple reasons.


    Firstly, not much of it exists anymore. Hecla decided to keep her working library, but not the assorted other paper archives.  This

    type of institutional knowledge – the written tome of American business transactions over the past two hundred years has been

    disappearing at an incredible rate. Secondly, few people have been collecting historical US financial documents.  The scripophily

    market (collecting old stock certificates) is little more than 20 years old.  Third; The market is thin, but GROWING.  Why

    growing?  Other’s have just begun to realize how important, how interesting, how rare, how informative and how difficult it really

    is to build a cogent/graceful/meaningful financial paper collection that tales a tell while providing exposure to an infant art market

    and asset class with a growing devotee base.  Fourth; education.  “They” don’t teach finance in school. “They” don’t want you to

    learn and “They” don’t want you to find out what’s really going on.  You want a real education on how the financial markets have

    worked, and who worked whom over the years? Then go to the first-hand historical record: the financial documents. Financial

    forensics and monetary archeology provide glimpse into the underbelly few ever imagined existed.  Fifth: Paper records, especially

    financial documents, were typically thrown out and/or destroyed.  There was never much saved – much less curated - for

    purposes of posterity; not to mention a future secondary market. Moreover, the market is expanding.


    Need some more convincing?  Here's a quote from a major US paper dealer, Vern Potter, regarding the last few major shows

    from his latest newsletter (Second Quarter, 2007):


    "...a continued or an increased demand for a broad variety of collectibles was deserved...a significant increase in the

    demand for Postal and Express History, Stocks and Bonds, and Checks was found."




    14.  Lewiston Idaho

    Stopped in and had a great chat with Leroy Huminsky, proprietor of:


    Idaho Coins and Precious Metals.

    822 21st Street

    Lewiston Idaho.



    He's had his shop in Lewiston Idaho for almost 25 years.  I came in just for a look around and asked about the usual - Nevada

    mining scripophily, cards, cancels, tokens etc.  (Having decided a couple years ago that coins were expensive and I'd better

    gather up all the mining paper that was still left before anyone else discovered its undervalued worth).  Although remaining Nevada

    specific, I inquired about mining and financial paper that may have come in from the Montana Copper/Gold fields and the Idaho

    Silver District.


    Leroy mentioned that in all his time running that store, not one piece of what I'd been looking for had walked in. So, I ended up

    just picking up a couple Buffalo Nickels.


    We chatted for a while about market conditions, and the future of running brick and mortar coin/metal/collectible shops. He was

    particularly interested in the fate and conditions of northern Ca and N, Nevada stores, with which I am familiar.  Basically, let him

    know about several places that have shut down in the last four or five years. Mostly not because of market conditions, nor because

    the internet was putting them out of business - but primarily because there was nobody else to run the store after the original

    proprietor retired.  A fair number of these stories repeating themselves out with rising frequency. Let's face it, hard enough to find

    help in a coin store. Just who will you trust to run the counter? Some recent unknown graduate of the local social-engineering cum

    high school diploma factor. Right!


    Now, if the store owner can't trust someone to watch the store while s/he takes a lunch break, who will be able to learn the

    store/market/customers/inventory/business etc. to take ovre the place once the coin geezer reaches retirement age?


    Extremely few people available, as it turns out.


    Leroy is lucky enough to have a trustworthy nephew who is not only able but willing to take over the business.


    Very few other coin store owners have this luxury.  The one I frequent most often in my burgh will shut down his store in a couple

    years, having been open for over 25.  Nobody will be able to take over the operation, so the place will close forever.


    The locals told me not to judge Idaho based upon Lewiston.  I thought it ok, if on its waning legs of the boom curve. How many

    more years does Potlach  have left, anyway.  Hard to figure really since they are privately held and don't release their figures. This

    point, in fact, is a sticking point with the locals since Potlach has just started charging  access fees for its thousand of acres in the

    surrounding counties that had been open, gratis, for  hunting and fishing for the past century. Now the firm is pleading poverty and

    beginning to insist on recovering a service charge from the local user population.  Hey, who can blame them?!?  They took a page

    directly out of the USForest Service book! (See the story of the Padre National (hah!) forests unfold over the last five or six years.)


    On the way out of town, drove ID12 between Lewiston and Missoula, Mt.


    15. On the Way to Wallace…Caught a Conversation or two in Missoula, Montana.

    Stopped into Missoula Montana for the evening college coffee café hangout, shot of lattte, hot meal and a cot.  Early in the

    morning scoped out the pawn shop next door to the coffee café.  They didn’t have what I was looking for, but provided the hot

    tip to visit Bruce at Treasure Coins.  Turns out Bruce Anderson, the owner of Treasure Coins in Missoula Montana (141 Main

    Street, can’t miss it; south of the big ‘M’ on the mountain!). tends quite a nice store.  I beat the crowd, early in the morning as it

    was and claimed about half of the tokens he held in stock. 



    So, that’s what the store looks like from the outside (I generally don’t ask to take pictures of a coin store’s inside – considered

    poor form b.c. ).  Here’s how to find the place:




    Now, Bruce’s partner (forgot the guy’s name and lost his card, but shouldn’t be too hard to find since he sits about 10 feet away)

    had the type of paper ephemera that I was looking for. Picked up a couple pieces of scripophily and a few bank checques from

    the days when Montana was still a Territory.


    Here is one example of what I purchased:




    The partner states that this type of stuff doesn’t show up often, and when it does it gets snapped up pretty quickly. 


    Learned a few interesting things in my short Montana stay. One tidbit is thus: When venture capitalists conduct a capital analysis

    on private prisons, they use the figure of $100k per year as the dollar figure to represent the profit that a prisoner in a private

    prisoner can produce for the holding corporation in any given year.


    Stop by and chat with Bruce Anderson and friends when you get the chance.

    141 W. Main Street

    Missoula, Mt 59802



    16. The Lincoln, Montana Silver Dollar Collection


    Lincoln Mt. resides off HWY 90 near the Idaho border.  Thought I’d stop in and take a look at their silver dollar collection. 

    Heck, it was worth it~!  Maybe you should too:




    17. More Side Trips: Past, Present and Future


    Too bad I didn't have another couple weeks. One place I would've loved to spend some time is on the Gospel Hump District.


    The discovery of gold in 1898 forged the last gold rush in Idaho, at the base of Buffalo Hump.  The Gospel Hump Wilderness

    Area is one of the few USFS wilderness districts where prospecting and mining has been grandfathered into enabling legislation. 


    This place has a nice write up:




    Could've visited another gold mining (placer) district.




    Would've loved to take a 5-day 60-mile into the Sawtooth or Frank Church or Selway/Bitterroot Wilderness; or hand-fish the

    side creeks flowing into Lochsa River; or cross-country ski for a few days from Lolo pass; or just hole up in Lolo, Montana or

    Kooskia or Camas Prarie or especially Orofino. No doubt indeed, I could see spending a piece of time on a piece of property in

    that neck of the woods.  Though, of course the weather pretty much sucks which is why I'm not there anymore! 




    Now - to my credit and as a simple point in fact - I did get the chance to hit the Johnson/Warm Creek Hotsprings just right!


    Well, as right as one can do these things without my usual entourage...


    18.  CODA


    So, you've had the (partial) report/hotwash from a one week trip up in the great Northwest.


    Spent another three weeks in Hawai’i and the Upper Idaho Panhandle but won’t bore you with the details. (too late. LOL)

    Though, more to the heart of the matter, I was in the company of those whose shall not appear here.

    You get too see some lowlights from three days, I'll keep the highlights from the other three weeks for myself.

    ...or for subscribers if this was one of those type of websites.


    4.22.07    An(other?) Honest Dealer

    IMO, at least.

    Carter Collins

    Collectible Coins and Jewelry

    226 Shoreline Hwy, Mill Valley, Ca 94941



    Too bad they all aren't as upstanding as Carter.


    4.21.2007    Went to the Santa Clara Coin Show. 


    Over a hundred dealers. A fair amount of currency, more than I had previously remembered at this show. Of course, I’d only

    started looking for it lately. Also seemed to be a fair number of stamp dealers at this show.


    Picked up just one coin, one token and five postcards.


    Here's one of 'em:




    Wow, I love that shot.  Haven't seen much come out of Weaverville, period.  Hard to get there even now - nasty road (299) with

    nothing much on it.  If you got some time, take 299 east instead along the Pit River.       


    Kagin-Holabird provided a fine display of rare silver ingots and an incredible collection of Nevada Brothel Tokens. Thanks for

    putting the time into setting that one up gents.  (And good luck with things).


    The place was dead, really. Sure, the local basketball team made the playoffs but can’t see what any other reason there was for

    this lackluster a turnout. My suspicion is that big coin and currency shows are becoming a thing of the past.  Too bad.


    Is this show, the largest in N. California, just one more victim of the internet market? Poor timing or marketing? Other?


    Is the model dead?


    Is Coinmine destined to own and offer the entire planet's inventory at some point?


    4.20.07    Johnson/Warm Springs Idaho.


    Nice hot springs!  I'll let the pictures do the talking, since we're all way to removed from the water at this point!


    The Start of the Trail:




    Pileated Woodpecker:





    River Bank Hot Water Source and Pool in the River.2:




    The pool and surrounding hydrogeology (for the layperson!)




    Now you go get yourself some!


    4.17.07    Yes, metal bars will sink in sandy soil.


    The depth/time depends on many factors. Metal flakes, however will rise (as do glass and porcelain).  Before digging to find your

    bars, please consider some electromagnetic work such as a plain old metal detector with the right coils and discrimination.  Should

    that fail, consider a more robust version, EM61 (time domain).  Failing those, ground penetrating radar could provide some help,

    depending on several factors. Given the shallow groundwater, refraction is probably out of bounds.


    4.14.07    Foreclosures Sale Mess in California

    Things have definitely started to turn south here (north. cal., north SF bay).  We are looking at a few places that will hit

    bidforassets.com next month (the county lists tax defaults with this website).  For two of these properties, this will be their fifths

    and sixth auction listings, having received no minimum bids initially (and one of these went to auction initially for tax arrears of just

    91$!!).  The one we’ll actually bid on had the heirs simply walk away from the property. 


    Two homes in our area that will be auctioned at the courthouse steps this month have loans at least 15% over what the house will

    bid.  Zero of the auctions sold last month either.  In the main, the banks are still trying to sell rather than auction.  Looks like they

    are willing to reset the listing three times before punting to auction foreclosure.


    Homes still listed by the dreamer home owners with RE agents are, on average, at least %30 too high. 


    In the nicer neighborhoods, the banks are now beginning to have auctions at the front door of the house.  Haven’t seen this before

    around our parts.  Can’t help but think even the neighbors are beginning to take note of this.


    4.14.06    CDE was a buy this last quarter, first time I’ve had it in years…


    But, some PM stox  are getting a little bit ahead of themselves


    Inter-Sector rotation b4 the earnings a warranted strategy right now imo.


    Predicted Point and Figure Divergences for Gold Indices


    Somebody provided some speculation that performance predictions provided by point and figure charts showed a divergence

    between the expected action of the tow major gold indices, the XAU and HUI.   divergence prediction per PF charts


    My speculation, nothing more than that, is perhaps one of the mojo majors in the XAU is about to get ugly-whacked…


    4.14.06    Beauty and Pain


    Hiked into the leper colony on Molokai last month.  Such incredible beauty, overshadowed only by the forlorn yet not forgone

    layers of pain and suffering that descend from the cloud-hidden cliffs and cover the fields which formerly supported other



    The pain will find you.  So, instead spend your energy looking for the beauty.


     3.30.07    MolyB.Denum


    Now, don’t know much about ‘Intermoly’…

    But molybdenum (moly) is a strategic play still developing.


    I’ve bet on both Golden Phoenix and Idaho General [GMO] and the bet bought new baby shoes and a couple headaches to go

    with them. The Mount Hope moly property activates the metallic salivary glands.


    Although I sold half on the latest run-up when it broke through on major volume, now I am not so sure I pulled the trigger at the

    right time. (Just a few minutes ago could have sworn a read a press release that Azteca sold half of today’s volume into the market,

    but now the release seems to have disappeared.)  Russell, with Azteca, holds warrants with GMA and was previously with GMO,

    so maybe he’s onto something. Dumping the Hansa name to look in Mexico… hmm. Wonder what he found down there. At any

    rate, firm has a funny marketing angle…


    At any rate, somebody(ies) else will catch on to the firm/property.

     [Check the management team!]


     3.30.07    Quadra Makes Offer on International Molybdenum






    Broke through the 100 and 200simpleDMA today.  So, I sold (sold when the 100SMA broke below the 200DMA and bought

    back fairly well last month.


    See my last write up on the firm was from 12.17.06 titled:    Nevada Copper. The concept, the realities, the companies...



    3.28.07    Yes, war metals/materiel

    Are in a major bull.

    Happy Days!



    3.29.07    Sierra Nevada Snowpack is well below average

    According to the CA Department of Water Resources (Frank Gherke), the snowpack currently only measures at 46 percent of

    normal. Thankfully, last March was wet enough (snowed every cay but three) that the reservoirs are still near capacity.  Snowmelt

    from the Sierra Nevada provides one third of California's drinking and irrigation water.


    3.28.07    Going to war with Iran

    Is already priced into the market.

    Getting out of the war is not…


    3.28.07    Today’s Oxymoron:

    Safe harbor 401k


    3.28.07    Back in Action (Almost/sort of).

    Spent the last month in Hawaii and Idaho. Nice. REEEAAAALLLLYYY Nice.


    2.22.07    Didn't really expect that almost 4% rise in Gold yesterday

    Neither did anybody else.  Doesn't bode well, actually...


    Oh well, not that I really care much. Headed off to Hawaii for three weeks...


    2.21.07    Australia Bans Incandescent Light Bulbs


    This bodes quite well for GE (and some waste disposal firms).


    Note the mention of their firm at the bottom of this article.




    The big boys write the environmental regulations, making sure their competition has no chance at compliance.


    By 'saving us from global warming' the useful idiots will develop additional thousands of tons of hazardous waste and release tons

    more mercury into our environment, a priority pollutant under both the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air.  Regrettably, only at

    that point will the massive arguments against their foibles begin to ring overwhelmingly true - even to their arrested development

    level of understanding. At which point it becomes time to remove the mercury from our food chain, they will walk away to 'save'

    somebody else.



    2.21.07    Went to Traffic Court Today.

    I beat the last rap so figured I might as well fight this one too. Unfortunately, I opened my mouth when I first received the ticket

    and this has proven troublesome.  In court I made two motions, both denied.  However, my motion for continuance via Stipulation

    of Trial by Correspondence was approved.  Although I fully expect to lose this case, forcing the prosecution to spend $4,000 to

    collect $185 is a victory much more than pyrrhic. 


    2.16.07    Went Long GE

    Like their position right now both technically and fundamentally.  Also, looking for an entry point on QI


    2.16.07    Mining and Environment: Las Vegas sun article on Nevada Mining Emissions




    For the life of me can't figure out why she didn't' mention the recent work done by the Nevada Department of

    Environmental Protection, or the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality regarding trans-state air media

    deposition.  Unless, somehow, the usual anti-mining sources weren't feeding that type of information to our

    journalistic brothers and sisters.


    oops, looks like the reporter forgot to mention one of the most recent and exhaustive US studies on mercury

    sources and deposition, the Center for Science and Public Policy (CSPP) conducted in January 05.


    Here's a summary:



    Apparently, the reporter also missed these little tidbits:


    Nevada is Home to the Strategic Mercury Stockpile!


    and, Nevada is receiving mercury wastes form the rest of the states who forgot to plan ahead and are otherwise

    generally a drain on the production states and getting the weather they deserve:


    To wit (Nv accepting Hg waste from Hillsborough's Defense Logistics Agency depot; New Haven, In; Binghamton,

    N.Y and multiple others states:




    Guess what, when the military or DOE or any other government agency hauls hazwaste, some of it ends up where it shouldn't. I've

    seen it, first hand, more than once.


    Just wait 'til they start shipping the nuke waste!


    I think the 100Billion dollar Yucca Mountain study recommended this transport for getting the nu-ku-laer waste from three mile

    island to Mercury, Nv (after stopping at the mercury pickup and maybe at the Tastee Freeze outside Indianapolis en-route). 

    Another no-bid contract, for sure!




    Certainly hope the sun isn't sinking like Hg through the media to the level of the review-journals 'news' standards...



    2.16.07    Another anti-Hg anti mining, anti anything 'cept more taxes and regulations bundle of love:


    You ever hear about the NGO and Nambla the Clown?




    2.16.07    Mining and Politics: Ooops, poor jimboy – Governor of Nevada - in trouble again/still.

    what an incredible surprise. Just a few weeks after he beat the sexual assault charges against him, poor jimboy now has an FBI

    investigation to tend with.  Bet it makes him pine for his glories of yesteryear, such as failed legislation attempts (ditched and

    ridiculed overhaul of 1872 Mining Act just one recent example of mockery and tomfoolery).  Guess the luck never changes, eh

    govner?  Maybe your luck doesn’t change because, um, you make your own luck?


    That’s the thing, you were never willing to change your course of action when you had a chance, and now the stripes have set firm

    and permanent.



    2.16.07    mining>power>environment>more power.  Sierra Pacific Doing Well

    The parent company of Reno-based Sierra Pacific Power Co., said its October-December profit jumped 21 percent from the

    same period in 2005, to $26.1 million, or 11 cents per share.


    They passed through almost another $300k to the methane digester at the Truckee Meadows waste water plant. Turning waste

    into energy.


    "Headquartered in Nevada, Sierra Pacific Resources is a holding company whose principal subsidiaries are Nevada Power

    Company, the electric utility for most of southern Nevada, and Sierra Pacific Power Company, the electric utility for most of

    northern Nevada and the Lake Tahoe area of California. Sierra Pacific Power Company also distributes natural gas in the

    Reno-Sparks area of northern Nevada. Other subsidiaries include the Tuscarora Gas Pipeline Company, which owns 50 percent

    interest in an interstate natural gas transmission partnership and several unregulated energy services companies."



    2.15.07   Former Meridian Gold Chief now on Sierra Pacific Board


    LAS VEGAS, NV, Feb 14, 2007 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX) -- Sierra Pacific Resources (SRP, Trade ) today

    announced that Brian J. Kennedy, former president and chief executive officer of Reno-based Meridian Gold Inc., has been

    elected to Sierra Pacific's board of directors, effective immediately. Kennedy, 63, served as president and CEO of Meridian

    Gold, a mining company, from 1996 until his retirement in 2006.


    2.12.06    Went Long GFI

    Around $17.5


    2.11.07    Mining and Labor: Barrick (ABX) is certainly looking for a number of people in their Nevada operations:





    Teck.Cominco and Dumas are also heavily recruiting for Nevada miners in Elko.  Poaching off ABX and NEM partnership

    establishing a mining chair at University of Nevada Elko community college campus.


    Mining: Water, Power, Rocks, Environment, Society and Labor.


    2.9.07    Northern Nevada and California finally getting some rain

    Glad for it!


    2.5.07    Comparing two Charts

    I've been watching these two dance together for few years and find it interesting. fco leads and fan follows. fan is more droopy

    and sad wheras fco is more buoyant. together they form what looks like a very tradable SAR band. fco touches fan below which

    consistently serves as support. etc.

    anybody seen a library of these types of chart pairings elsewhere?

    (5yr chart)




    2.5.07   Macmillan Gold (MMEEF)

    down on big volume (comparatively)


    Kinross sure has been getting a lot of press of late.


    Most of it good. Maybe that's why their hirin' shysters.



    2.5.07    The value of a thing

    Once in a while I like to get someone thinking about metals.


    And I stop and pick up a nice washer off the sidewalk or out of the gutter. 


    And I explain how the washer is 'worth' more than the penny in their pocket.


    And how the penny made in 1981 is 'worth' more than a penny.


    And I throw the penny in the gutter and put the washer in my pocket...


    2.5.07    Sometimes Mining as Part of the Economy

    and Sometimes Mining IS the economy.




    Think of the kids three ridges over in Vegas, and the issues they're dealing with on a day to day basis.


    Extracting metal from the ground is a slow, grinding, laborious process.


    And it builds character, and towns and society. Not to mention anything you use for transportation or communications.


    2.4.06    Book Scanning

    Saw a website that had antique books scanned in as PDF.s for sale.  Turns out a good book scanner cost a few thousand dollars.

    I've struggled with the issue how to scan without screwing up the book binding


    Did some research and figured the technology was ready for purchase of a pen-scanner.  Here is the firm I bought from:


    Got the C-pen 20 for Christmas, but haven't tried it out yet myself. (other reviews were generally favorable, which is why I went

    with this product).




    Will try to post my experience, review, and scan excerpts when i get to it...



    2.4.06    Kinross is hiring senior legal counsel for the Reno Office


    Maybe those takeovers still, or will, have issues...


    2.3.06    Hoarding and Dishoarding


    For those that are selling off their collections, I always ask the following:

     Why sell off assets to get more fiat dollars which are continuously falling in value?


    Nice gun collection being parceled out via auction:


    Good western antique book source:




    2.2.06    Western Water annual precipitation is way below average.

    The January results are in.  We need a good March, as February is typically dry.



    2.1.07    Reno/Sparks/Carson Coin Shops

    Gaming and coin collecting have a long and gloried history

    Some of the fabulous coin collections built in Nevada:

    Reno/Sparks/Carson/Tahoe/Virginia is a great coin/money/collectible type of place. 


    There is both old and new money in town.  Fast money and slow money.  Silver and Gold are mined in Northern Nevada and

    find their way into the cities and ranches and mints and stores.   Additionally, there are many cases over the years of folks who

    came to town and left lighter than they arrived.  More than one soul has sold valuable to catch a train/car/cab/plane/Nighthorse

    out of town. 


    There are some awesome coin/collectible hoards that have come out of the town.

    For instance, the Redfield Collection.




    Also, the Fitzgerald hoard was pretty incredible.


    I’ve been in a couple warehouses myself in Northern Nevada that blew me away.  One of them was owned by Si Redd, founder

    of International Gaming Technology.  Full of antique slot machines and other assorted goodies.


    Unfortunately, much of the towns silver/coin hoards/collections have been parceled out and sold off (a good thing if you’re buying,

    just unfortunate if you like to view awesome collections intact).  For instance, breaking up the Harrah’s car collection and the

    Liberty Belle’s antique collection was just a crying shame.  The Station Casino in Tonopah had one of the finest antique slot

    machine collections in the state. Alas, sold off to pay some bills no more than 7 or 8 years ago. 


    There have been a few nice collections of antique gaining/coin operated machines put together-broken up over the years.  There

    have been some rich coin collectors too, Harold ‘Pappy’ Smith for instance curried fine gold coins.


    Ahhh, but onto the remaining venues:




    Southgate Coin at S Virginia and Mc Carran (Rusty Goe – owner) has put together a fine selection and is worth visiting.  And, ff

    you are looking for rare vinyl records, ask for Paul (the owner) at Recycled Records – in the same strip mall.


    Grand Gold Coin



    Located in the former MGM/Hilton now Grand Sierra Resort. I’ve gotten some nice coins there.  It all depends on what type of

    mood they're in that day, basically.


    Silver State, at the corner of 1st and Virginia (the main drag) has a great selection.  However, their prices are high and if you can’t

    get past the women at the counter – the service is poor.  Retail type of place.


    Second Street

    In the 1980’s I could buy bullion/coin at five separate places in a 1.5 block stretch.  One of them was a walk-up bullion desk. 

    Now, you can only get jewelry or go into Reno Coin.  Reno Coin is the oldest in Town, since 1964.  Frank Rosa retired about

    four years ago, this time for good and took most of his inventory with him to Hawaii.  However, his old partner bought back in

    about a year ago (the folks that tried to run the store last time sold back out). I have done much of my local buying in this store

    and have always been treated very well. However, the coin inventory is now somewhat depleted. He is actively buying casino

    chips; and has 100% ebay feedback. 


    The place across the street has gold.silver.coins on their marquee, but they only sell coin in jewelry.  However, it is worth

    stopping in to see the gold advertisement sign on the east wall.  (I tried to buy it but they refused).


    Wade’s Silver

    This is a great store.  Much of their coin inventory came from Reno Coin when Frank liquidated out. Really they are more of a

    western antique place and have some outstanding items, especially in silver.  Friendly guys.  On S. Virginia (east side of the street)

    two blocks north of Second St./Cal-Neva.


    Pawn Shops

    If you know what you are doing, really doing, you can make some deals/cherry picks.  But there are sharks that swim these

    waters for a living.  They will try to take you.  I was burned a few times in my young days, but have turned the tables since I can

    now afford to be much more of a specialist than they can and have gotten ahead in the game.


    Antique Stores

    Many of these in town. Generally full of overpriced junk, but there are hidden treasures every blue moon.



    Downtown (Victorian Square) east and on the same side of Victorian (‘C’) Street of the Silver Club is a pawn/jewelry shop.  He

    rarely sells his coins, but often has a nice display in a central showcase - calls it his retirement fund, kinda funny.  


    There is a place in the Iron Horse Shopping Center, McCarran at Prater.  They used to be located across the street about two

    years ago.  I’ve only been in once; seem to remember they specialized in moderns and hosted newer collectors.


    Carson City



    Nice website. I have never dealt with them.



    Joel is nice guy.  Buy enough or tell some good stories and maybe he’ll offer you a homebrew.


    Also note, if you are in Carson there are two other numismatic places worth a visit.  Next door to oldmint coin is the Carson

    Nugget. They have a dollar craps table but more importantly have a very nice display of gold nuggets in a showcase just inside the

    front door (off 395). 


    Yes, the old Carson City Mint is worth the tour.


    The great state of NV was admitted to the union, in large part, to the silver reserves of virginia and silver cities about 20 miles

    from the former mint.


    Once the stalwart of western coin production; the CC mint now provides those interested few a glimpse into what formerly

    provided for a once-great monetary foundation ( and to pay off union scrip, of course ) . her building edifice once the grand dame

    of the State of Nevada's Capitol, relegated to obscurity and occasionally called in to bunt or even sacrifice hit during pre-season,

    now overshadowed by the many warehouses of bureaucracy on all sides. the full splendor of grand pronunciation of ounces

    produced and witty documentaries by Mark Twain now just echoes in a building empty save for relics of the past collecting dust,

    and trumped by the living men of state calling for higher taxes to pave the way into the new glory days...



    Additionally, the bar across from the capital is worth a stop, one of the oldest bars in the state.  A cigar bar 2 blocks south along

    395 is also worth a stop, drink and smoke.  Don’t bother with the hot spring in town, or the maximum security prison. 



    Tahoe Coin and Collectibles sometimes has some good stuff too.


    Virginia City

    The Silver Dollar Saloon has a mural where the big woman (30 foot tall) wears a dress made of silver dollars.


    And I've previously mentioned that the Marshall Mint and Museum in Virginia City is worth a visit...



    1.26.06    The Day is Getting Closer

    When those who hold and trade gold for goods and services will be declared enemy combatants or some other similar denigrating

    term by the US and her bloc.  Meanwhile, only trade using the FRN, and then only cyber digits floating as the Amero, will be

    allowed the 'privileges of freedom' whereas those in gold shall fell well the reprisals and retributions of the US police mechanisms.

    The police mechanism, international wing, shall ensure the denouement of those holding Gold - Our Constitutional Republic's

    original and only legal currency - Dollar - is complete and devastating. 


    Meanwhile, countries all over the world are selling US debt and setting up mechanisms where gold can trade.  Be sure they have

    already, or will soon, receive the label as "Axis of Evil", "Axes of the Weevil", "Really green meanies", "Sponsors of Reason or

    Otherwise Against Us and Hence Fully Deserving of Economic Blockade and/or Bunker Busting Carpet Bombing".


    1.22.07    Don't Mind the Cold, Just the Fire Dying Out

    Boo Hoo Hoo, nobody wants our debt no mo.


    OPEC sells massive amounts of US treasury bills every time the price of oil drops another 10 dollar level.  Really, though they're

    not too worried as the specialists love velocity and volatility in a market.




    Sure they've got money to invest and drive up the interest rates, doesn't everybody?  Look at all the money in the housing ATM?

    (...oops).  Oh well, easy come easy go.


    (But really, when you factor in all the cash that corporate america is sitting on, just another reason for the rise in interest rates - so

    the theory goes.  But then, you've got to figure if the best thing they can think of is to hold cash during this recent nasty dollar

    decline, they've obviously used up all their good ideas - except backdating options of course).


    The beauty of looking at the past (like charts) is clarity that shines through the obviously opaque; like - what does diversify mean?




    For the speechwriter, diversity means whatever you need it to mean.  For China, it means she's dumped almost 2% of her UST

    reserves in the last 12 months.  OF course, I've sold more - but I have better choices.


    And now, the great thinker - the one and only GW will give a speech on all kinds of nonsense tomorrow, including global warming.

    Hence, is not the entire Uranium sector is a sell as 'Twas a buy several months back when Goldman Sachs began publishing $100

    oil.   So, now you know what to buy after the speech tomorrow, right?


    Then again, within that context - this story gets a little scary:



    1.20.07    Went and Saw a Fire Opera the Other Day


    Nice way to spend an evening.  The Crucible, in Oakland California put on the show.




    Professional ballet dancers, fireartists, acrobats, breakdancers, and similar merriment.  The fire displays were extremely well

    placed, artistic, and well executed. Some of the better fire dancing I've seen indoors.  Some of the stunts the women perform

    without a net are pretty spectacular.  The performance was a little over one and a half hours.  This was the first night of the run,

    and the only one that wasn't sold out days in advance. All last week were trial performances. One of those performances had the

    fire sprinkler go off in the middle of the show, requiring service by the fire marshal and 1.5 hour delay!


    All in all a hot rollicking time, but not quite on the extravaganza scale of burning man.  Though - much tighter choreography, of



    The Crucible provides classes in many of the metalbug arts favored here at Coinmine including the following:


    • Blacksmithing

    • Fire Performance

    • Foundry and Moldmaking

    • Glass

    • Jewelry

    • Kinetics

    • Machine Shop

    • Neon an Light

    • Stonecarving

    • Paper Works

    • Welding

    • Woodworking


    (This years burning man theme: The Green Man)


    1.19.07  Interesting story: escl.pk

    Calculating book value on PM/collectible company requires some artistic license for sure.  Thoughts roam to Amark and how

    much they must be worth along, at this point in the great precious metal bull market...


    1.19.07    The Little Power Plant Under the Radar

    Good read.




    Q: what's the lesson?

    A: given enough time, distraction and political attempts - there is a way around everything.


    Lassen County is one of the most geothermally active regions of the state, and they get the coal plant!

    kinda like iran/jordan and a nuk-u-leor plant...



    1.19.07            Who owns options on nv minelands --


    look at the ratio (bottom section of the page) between claims/mines/plans/notices.




    1.19.07    What does 'Is' mean?

    Much less "perennial yield", "vadose zone" and "surface-to-groundwater recharge


    1.17.07    The Fidelity Trust of Character

    Takes a very long time to build up that account, and is all too easy to over-draw.  Character shows under pressure. Some tips for

    crisis management:

    Tell it All.

    Tell it Early

    Tell it Yourself.


    1.15.07    Resetting the Plunging Real Estate Market

    We've noticed this around our neighborhood.  Three houses, each within a few blocks of each other and each having about 200

    days on market, have shiny new signs in the front yard to accompany the shiny new realtors.  Once you find out about their dirty

    trick, should be good for another 5% off the retail price as you coyly imply their dishonesty in marketing likely permeates all other

    aspects of their dealings and divulgences.  Why trust how long ago they said they replaced piping, roof, or wiring. These

    documents can also be altered.




    1.15.07    The waterpack this year in Ca and Nv. is quite poor to date.


    Since the Walker Lake discussions finally fell apart (parties stopped talking) after three years all eyes now turn to tow locations in

    the State: Lake Mead and Churchill County.


    Here is a good little write up about how the agricultural, development, and military forces are developing the framework for the

    steady and eventual transfer of water, both rights and incarnate, from the ranchers to the box stores, suburban subdivisions, and

    expanding military.




    1.14.06    Read the Bema/Kinross Transaction Circular over the Weekend

    Well, at least most the consonants.  Looks pretty good too me. I've held on to BGO since 0.66US, despite the harpies and sirens.  One interesting 'material fact' is the establishment of B2 gold, operated by current BGO management.  Since they will hold %50 of Bema's Kupol east and west projects, does that mean certain KGC

    consillierges also mirrored the harpies concern about nationalization in Russia?  At what point does greed get the best of them?


    On another note, since this is not just a stock transfer, but includes a (very small) cash payout, is the cash payout a taxable event?

    Even in a non-taxable account?  I realize that receipt of KGC shares for BGO will not recognize a taxable capital gain.


    The KGC sheet took a major turn up over the last year.  Revenues between 05 and 06 were virtually unchanged between 12

    months of 05 and first 9 months of 06, but look at the difference in earnings.  Thank the price of precious metals.  Though, no

    doubt management claims a victory by nicely incorporating TVX and the other minions bought just couple years ago.  Looks like

    Kinross would rather stay in debt and have more properties and potential production than maintain their recently received

    (relatively) clean balance sheet.


    Personally, I'm all for it.  The combined firm will have nice properties in US, Canada, Russia, Chile and Brazil.  All my favorite

    sport scars! 


    Now, as long as the squeaky-clean Federal Anti-Monopoly Service of the Russian Federation shows no quarrel we're good to go,



    1.14.07    Heard Steve Forbes on a Couple Radio Shows over the Weekend

    Still prattling on about reducing the size of the IRS and reducing the size of the federal reserve (not federal and not a reserve). 

    He thinks we could all send in our taxed on a postcard once his flat tax is implementing and the fed could be reduced in size if they

    only printed dollars in reaction to market moves made by gold.  Until he actually begins calling for eliminating these functions, his

    red herrings continue to pile up and stink a little more every year.  Just another contrived distraction.


    1.13.07    Went to the San Jose Coin Show Today.


    Apparently it’s the last time the show will be in the Parkside Hall on Park Avenue.  Next year the show will be at the Fairgrounds.

    Currently the show is in a great location, IMO – right next to the Technology Museum.  Some complain about lack of parking but

    I've never had a problem. The fairgrounds might be a little easier to get to, at least.


    Word was the show was pretty slow yesterday, though today had a larger crowd and more business from the public.  Actually I

    only bought one coin, (blew all my dough on the entrance fee) but would have bought several tokens and Nevada paper – stuff

    I’ve been more into lately.  The weather was clear but cold and windy.  Last year was quite rainy. I guess the wind is why they

    didn't put up the sandwich board signs as they did previously stating "Coin Show Here".  IMO that helps bring in retail traffic. The

    hall is hard to find from the street - basically you have know idea that a coin show is even going on.  Improving potential customer

    access, and comfort once there, should always be a priority.  For example, they closed the snack bar at 2 whereas the show ran

    until 6.  Those folks who get hungry after two had to leave the bourse to sate their hunger.  Some percentage of them won't come

    back to the show, once they leave. 


    There were only 5 or 6 or so dealer tables empty, so the floor had a good dealer show of hands, mostly N. Ca but a few from far

    a field.  I remember thinking that the host coin club put on a nice display, though truth be told I can't remember much of it as I

    write today.  (On the other hand, I definitely remember the Panama Exposition display at last yea's Santa Clara show!)


    One thing I noticed is that several of the dealers had very minimal wares on display.  Do believe part of the reason is the highly

    publicized robbery at the FUN show in Florida last week. That hit made the major news media.  Perhaps a few people stayed

    home to watch the New Orleans playoff game. Something they did different this year is that they attempted to make small dealers,

    those without paid floor space, pay for a temporary display identification. Personally, don't believe it was very effective.  Noticed

    some folks believe the coin market has softened significantly, but I didn't see too much evidence of that in the prices; but naturally

    that is a small slice of observation.  One thing I did see more of this time was folks bringing in some nicer pieces from home for sell.

    Per my notes at this same show last year the strengths of Morgan VAMs and Toned coins showed noticeable weakness; this

    proved the harbinger for the rest of the year.  Didn't really notice any trends yesterday to speak of - perhaps public selling into

    these still-health prices remains my major observation.


    Two blocks east  was a group of forty or so folks protesting in front of the federal building. They were waving flags and showing

    the message that they were against illegal immigration.  Should have tried to sell them raffle tickets for the gold piece...


    1.11.07    Discovery of the exotic Zebra Mussel in Lake Mead

    Could force the compact in ways previously not imagined.


    1.10.07    Get it in Writing

    Someone sent me a very good piece of prose the other day, an economic treatise and historic reflection of youth rolled-up-in-one.


    I suggested they consider keeping everything they wrote in a format that you can pass on to others, or just leave hanging

    somewhere as testimony to your observations.  Much great stuff is now lost to the aether, never to come back - just as they had

    written about. And that isn’t just a shame, its potentially preventable. 


    1.8.07    Tahoe Fun

    My buddy from grade school got a week at Tahoe Seasons Resort for $400/week on auctionbid.  The place had a little

    kitchenette and sauna tub and was literally across the street from the lift/gondola on the western property of Heavenly ski resort. I

    recommend the place, for sure. Was going to be $125 a night at any hotel for sat or sun.  The old Caesers Tahoe is now

    Monteblue. We saw a show there. Every other table had 2 or 3 empty drinks in front of them, my buddy and I had 10 or 11. 

    Which might explain why my buddy jumped on stage near the end of the show and tried to kiss the (female) guitarist – just before

    the two beefy security guards jumped his sorry butt and threw him out of the show.   As I left to retrieve him he was talking

    enough $hit to get 86d from the casino, but I dragged him out of the place just in time. 


    Last time I saw a show at Ceasers was in 1987, Jerry Garcia Band.  The deadheads brought in their pets and were throwing

    Frisbees on the gambling bourse and smoking copious amounts of something (at the time any measurable amount in Nv. was a

    felony) in the showroom.


    So, guess I usually have a good time at that place.  But, Tahoe needs snow – in a bad way.


    1.3.07    Why all the predictions for a terrorist attack in 2007


    Maybe because they’re in the advanced planning stages right now and this is a call for volunteer labor.  Not too many folks

    focused on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speech at the end of last year (the current President of Iran for those with political

    awareness deficiencies) but his call for the apaocalypse sounds and feels eerily familiar:





    Why does his version of the coming apocalypse sound so similar to President Bush’s and Pat Robertson’s fears/predictions/hopes

    and plans?  Well, because all those folks are on the same team, cooperatively working toward their shared goal.  In this case, it

    truly is them vs. us. 


    The gameplan here in the US is another ‘terrorist’ attack, pretty much planned and funded by the same government agencies as

    the last one (US/Israel/Arabia) but with a few more ‘partners’ this time. The target is a mass casualty event that crosses the

    border (either US/Canada or Mexico/US).  The goal is to show that the borders are truly indefensible, and that Canada/US/Mexico

    must ‘partner up’ to assure North America borders as one unit. Naturally, this is simply the next phase following NAFTA/CAFTA

    to eradicate national sovereignty in each of those countries. The first step is removal of trade hegemony, the next step is removal of

    borders, the third step is removal of currency and trade decisions. This will be done by implementation of the Amero – the

    currency which will trade within USMEXICAN.


    Look for it coming soon at a boxstore near you.


    1.2.07    Today the nation celebrated the life of former President Gerald Ford.


    Frankly, I don’t think may people cared, much less though of, his life much in the last 30 years. He was the only president I ever

    saw live. I still remember the event today, the boredom stuck with me all these years.  Curiously enough the speech was at the

    Cherrywood Mall in Rockford,. Ca  - the same place that supposedly some loon tried to blow up a couple weeks ago. Both the

    mall and the man were somewhat forgettable, and I imagine that will be both their fate, like most everything else, in due time.



    May every name

    Who’ve carved the same

    Enter a lighter shaft


    may the golden haze

    cure darker hues, and

    softly brighten those family days




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