USAGOLD Gold Discussion Forum Archive

Electronic reproduction sourced from
Dollar Bill.,.#1178683/1/04; 01:52:19

Bereneke gave a speech on the euro. We have it here. SEEMS like he is giving it a high five. But really he is dismissing it as a total lightweight. It is missing too many ingredients he says. It looks like applause for the euro, but it is criticism. However, where it is not criticism but where he trying to entice others to walk the same road, it his support of countries joining together under one currency. I think that is a long term aim of the greenspan fed. To have the world operating as not many currencies, but less and less till we reach just ONE. (fiat)

Greenspan is taking more and more flack for his words and deeds. Even Roach of Morgan Stanley wrote an open letter telling him to raise the interest rates. I can only read greenspan with this in mind......He says one thing and means another, He is trying to make it look like things are like they always were and he is still playing by the same old rules, while really he is restructureing the actual framework of economics towards the only Fiat structure that can support a global one world economy. A structure that
moves us away from local economy and lassae fair economics, to global corporate economy and a govt command economy.
They cannot run a global economy for the long haul without having total control. And that is the truth. (I think!)

Examples of what the global corporate economy will bring us?........ walmart forces manufacturers to go to china and have thier slave labor work in the dark to make things as cheap as humans can do it. An example of which was posted here recently.
Agribusiness is buying up any and all companies that make products using healthy more traditional farming methods that cost more, and changing thier processes and getting the ingredients for those products from 1) overseas where no pesticide or poison concerns exist for either the workers or the ones that eat the products. 2) As they control the media more and more, they just dont tell you things like this huge one; trans fats are great for the global corp guys because the products dont decay, however, your body actually thinks trans fats are fats and puts them in your cell walls but trans fats do not do all the functions that a real fat does. AND, there is no way to gauge HOW MANY of you fat cells are now the malfunctioning trans fats. Got freinds dying young?
Think the global corp boys are like the mom and pop run business that would care?
That is the world we are going to, that is the type of master we are giving our freedoms and our lives to.

To me the gold issue is the biggest issue in the world. Either it is a one world tyranny in many ways, as exampled above, or it is a local economy where balance, while never attained, with all the suffering that comes with it, but gold provides the pole that gives a backbone to limit fiat excess.
I have convinced myself, that god is going to stop this. Since no man can escape personal flaws and troubles no matter what he tries and even by random chance, to me that proves limits that only a god could provide. DNA cant do that. Since we cannot even get a family to live heaven on earth, since we just cannot even do that, I dont think we will be allowed to strive our way into global tyranny and destructive greed based economic behaviours that clamp down on a global scale. OK, we are already doing some of that, but I say the clock is ticking, and big brother will not prevail.

Dollar Bill.,.#1178693/1/04; 02:18:31

It looks like kindness dont it? And, the global fiat excess, dollar, American centric, global economy has done some real good. You cant help a lot of people with a strict gold based system. However, the road while temporarily easing some burdens and improving things for many, leads down a road that we just should not walk. A road that we must detour from, and the big boys will not change thier road. The illusion of unity and UN style "shareing" seems allureing enough and set enough to be unalterable destiny.

Sure, those that want to hug and heal the world all have seemingly good motives, but that one world fiat-based future is a disaster. Greenspan wants to live long enough to pull this off in person, he is driving it. Even Roach of morgan stanley doesnt get it. We arent trying to save our economy, that is not number one. Number one is the global economy.
How it will derail? alkida? bird flu? A depression wont do it, they will just tighten thier grip during a depression.
Only the global corps will survive a retail market wipeout.
Only agribusiness will weather a depression farm product price plunge. America, having vast food resources can dictate to countries that need the food. Or, lets say "entice" those countries to join the global "shareing" for the good of all. This road goes nowhere else.
Whatever it takes, this road must change.

TownCrierCalling Belgian... to lend a hand?#1178703/1/04; 02:32:25

HEADLINE: Russia ready to use reserves to calm rouble

LONDON, March 1 (Reuters) - Russia is prepared to use its foreign-exchange reserves to cushion any upward pressure on the rouble, as it closely watches the U.S. dollar's fall against the euro...

Oleg Vyugin, the Russian central bank's first deputy chairman, told the paper in an interview that the bank was prepared to act to prevent the currency market from "overheating."

"If there is a big flood of portfolio investment into the Russian market, the central bank is ready to use its reserves to sterilise this," Vyugin was quoted as saying.

Russia's gold and foreign-exchange reserves stood at $86.7 billion as of Feb. 20, up $9.8 billion since the start of 2004, thanks largely to high oil and commodities prices, heavy corporate borrowing abroad and more Russians shifting their savings into roubles away from a weak dollar.

That has propelled the rouble to almost three-year highs against the dollar and forced the central bank to contain the rise to help local producers compete with foreign goods.

"If we just followed the dollar rate, we could end up with a jump in inflation," Vyugin added. "At the moment, the dollar/euro exchange rate suits us. But if we move substantially, we may review our forex policy."

-------(more at url)-----

I am posting this with the hope that you might be willing to lend a hand at translating this. Maybe this is merely poor or vague reporting, but I am having difficulty deciphering the implied financial action here.

To me, the primary implication of this phrase -- of a central bank "using its reserves" -- is that of selling off its (forex) reserves.

The problem with that interpretation, however, is that in this case I cannot see how that particular action would provide the relief to the rouble that the central bank seems to desire. In its effort against a stronger rouble, it would seem to me that any such "use" (liquidation) of the bank's foreign reserves would come in the form of a net exchange for domestic assets, which would in turn (at least in my mind) tend to further strengthen the rouble on the basis of supply and demand of the currencies involved. Or is there a more meaningful yet less-direct effect in play in which the domestic currency is weakened by a shift to a lower proportion of foreign reserves as a component of overall reserve assets?

Or, is it merely that the phrase, "Russia is prepared to use its foreign-exchange reserves to cushion any upward pressure on the rouble", is being crudely used to imply that Russia will as necessary ADD further to its forex reserves, in essence, "using" that as the mechanism to absorb the influx of foreign capital while meeting it with an emission of new roubles to ease the pressure upon the exchange rate?

Thanks to anyone who would care to clarify the policy mechanism being implied here.


GoldiloxGlobal Tyranny#1178713/1/04; 02:49:19

@ $ Bill:

You said: "I have convinced myself, that god is going to stop this. Since no man can escape personal flaws and troubles no matter what he tries and even by random chance, to me that proves limits that only a god could provide. DNA cant do that. Since we cannot even get a family to live heaven on earth, since we just cannot even do that, I dont think we will be allowed to strive our way into global tyranny and destructive greed based economic behaviours that clamp down on a global scale."

$ Bill, with all due respect, my concern is that believing "Something or Someone else" is going to stop this madness, amounts to an abdication of our personal responsibilities in the matter. Simply put, it that same abdication which enables its progress. Global fatalism can be globally fatal.

Much of the energy research and related areas such as mind and weather control, high freq, gravity, ESP, etc., have been placed under the lock and key called "national security" since pre-WWII. They're quite ripe for TPTB to pull out the inventory and convince all the miracle believers that divine intervention is occurring, once more using that fatalism to power their conquest.

Are we hastening our destruction by refusing to acknowledge the potential for extinction and instead expecting a miraculous external cure? Where's the accountability in that?

GoldiloxRussian reserves#1178723/1/04; 02:55:18

@ Townie,

I suspect the Russian statement is puposely vague, in that the world is learning Greenspeak, which is nothing more than applying the priciples of "diplomacy" to finance.

A non-statement of intent offers them GS' often mentioned "flexibility".

Dollar Bill.,.#1178733/1/04; 03:04:32

The idle future. Mega Global Corporations hire us part time, the govt provides the limited health care, the govt subsidizes some of the global corp food products, so the increasing number of govt dole users (welfare) can eat foods that will certainly not lengthen thier lives(!)
the govt and mega financial corps end up buying all the assets regular folks cant maintain, like in britain in the sixties where the govt owned a huge amount of property and rented to the citizens. Really, the future is more like command soviet style than we would ever guess. Where else does it lead? I cannot find another outcome.
Hey Aristotle, once the inflation route is taken, well, let me try it this way, you say fiat leads to hyperinflation.
Is there another saying about fiat that reads something leads to tyranny? Certainly the early signs indicate that.

masTownCrier your 117870. From a month ago, Privateer.#1178743/1/04; 03:54:10

The Rouble (And Everything Else) Comes Out Of The Rubble:
It was reported in the first week of February that Russia's foreign currency and gold reserves rose $US
3.6 Billion to a record, the biggest weekly increase since July 1998. The Russian Central Bank has been
buying US Dollars to slow the appreciation of the Rouble, according to traders and economists in
Moscow. Russia's reserves climbed to a record $US 82.7 Billion in the week to January 23, according to
the Russian Central Bank. This is happening right around the world. In South America, even Brazil and
Argentina are printing their own national currencies, some madly, others at more moderate speeds, all to
soak up arriving US Dollars! It is awe inspiring to watch this take place right around the entire globe.
What were once two-bit national currencies and outright confetti currencies, like most of the ones in
Africa, are hammering upwards as the US Dollar falls.

TownCrierHEADLINE: India's gold appetite firm despite price rise#1178753/1/04; 05:04:19

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Demand for gold in India, the world's largest consumer, rose nearly four percent in 2003 despite a 20 percent jump in prices that cut consumption in some Asian countries, an industry official said on Monday.

India bought 568.7 tonnes of gold for jewellery and investment last year, against 547.3 tonnes in 2002 ...... Bullion dealers expected India's consumption to reach 600 tonnes this year.

...Gold consumption in mainland China rose slightly to 207.6 tonnes last year from 203.9 tonnes in 2002. Japan's consumption fell to 94.7 tonnes last year from 141.6 tonnes in 2002.

"Japan's consumption is down but there's nothing unusual. In 2002, consumption was very high because of Japan's withdrawal of a government guarantee on time deposits," said Koh.

Dealers said Japan's buying this year would be fuelled by the planned end of a full state guarantee on bank deposits in April 2005.

Gold buying jumped in the January-March quarter of 2002, just before the government ended state guarantees on term deposits in April of that year.

-----(from url)-----

Take a note from Japan and the transition in savings. With paper holdings it is appropriate to eliminate any implicit or explicit guarantees whenever they are, in fact, mere pretense. Such is the key difference between promises in route and property in hand.


TownCrierOnlooking gold says to platinum, "There's nothing you can do I can't do better." All in good time.#1178763/1/04; 05:29:23,%20Europe%20gold%20firm&type=internazionali&ling=EN

HEADLINE: Platinum hits fresh 24-yr peak, Europe gold firm

LONDON, March 1 (Reuters) - Platinum reached up to levels not seen since March 198O on Monday morning in Europe, led by aggressive Asian investor buying amid bullish fundamentals for the metal, while gold took heart from platinum's rise and a firmer euro.

Spot platinum ... fixed at $894.00 in London, a fresh 24-year high fixing.

Dealers said that platinum, used mainly in jewellery and auto catalysts, was set to cross $900 in coming sessions, but the metal is still some way from the March 1980 high of $1,047.50.

...Gold has moved broadly in tandem with the dollar's movements against other currencies, especially the euro. The metal rose to a 15-year peak of $430.50 an ounce on January 6 when the euro touched a new high against the dollar.

-----(from url)------

Were gold to currently reach a 24-year high like platinum, we would be talking about prices today in the upper $800's. Yet where platinum price is driven primarily by limitations of fabrication demand, gold shows the unique characteristic of being driven inversely proportional to quality and confidence in national currencies. As there is no practical limit to people's desire to accumulate ever more weath and savings, and as there is no practical limit to a political system's ability to depreciate a national currency, there is no practical limit to the price you might see gold reasonably attain.


steadystrong currents.#1178773/1/04; 05:40:36

what, you guys still padeling waiting for over 4 to develope? should have saved your time and gave it a break,

one for one, and all for none. (fiat)
one for all and all for one. (GOLD)

not in a communistic or socoalistic but on an individualistic basis, fairness for everyone gold
subjects kings, queens ,dictator, and bum on the street, equality, fairness, justice, is all it seeks on its arbitration, judging and execution excursion to planet earth, you prepared?
ANT or grasshopper the lifestyle is of your choosing, if nothing done u will be taking a govt sponsord bruising.
dont get caught snoozing will the dollar value is losing. enuff of this musing to many books need purusing!

whose the spotter today? <;=)

knotakare@physicalman#1178783/1/04; 06:06:03

yes, I was hoping you would see my message last night. Because I wrote it in respose, to what you has discussed about the timberlands in Alabama. A very similar situation; no doubt about that. I think American Can owned timberlands in the Southeast, as I know a former boss I had at Kimberly-Clark had worked for them in Georgia.

These timberlands, should be a source of sustainable business, providing ongoing employment. At the timberlands here in Michigan, foriegn buyers from Japan and Scandanavia come to this area in late winter to buy birdseye logs. These logs are highly sought after, and are used in everything from high-end furniture to wood dash boards on luxury auto's.

Why did someone in the U.S. not invest in building a modern veneer mill for birdseye here in the upper midwest? Why ship these logs all the way to finland or Japan?

there seems to be a bigger picture, behind the scenes, that does not make sence.

By the way, I saw a long article on the net, that says that globalism is imploding. that it is unworkable. It gave me some hope, that people will wake up, and realize they must take care of themselves, create their own business', and not rely on these global corporations. It is not an easy thing to do; but if one is aware, they can educate their children of this neccessity.

That article gave me hope, that all is not lost.

Thanks physicalman for your response.


TownCrier"Strong" dollar (wink, wink)#1178793/1/04; 06:09:21

HEADLINE: Not Your Older Brother's Strong Dollar Policy

March 1, 2004, Interim Report by Forex Capital Markets LLC

...Under President Clinton's Treasury Secretary Rubin, the strong dollar policy meant exactly that: support for a relatively high value and steadily appreciating US currency. ... By 1999 a booming stock market had created nearly $5 trillion in wealth in only two years, sending personal consumption, the main engine of American growth, into overdrive. A strong dollar helped satisfy this surging demand by lowering relative costs of imports and increasing the overall quantity of goods and services supplied.

A casualty of much of this excess was the relatively tiny export sector, which suffered under the weight of the appreciating greenback and sluggish foreign demand. Between 1996 and 1999 the trade deficit increased three-fold from $89 billion to an alltime high of $254 billion.

As the bubble burst and the economy stumbled, the strong dollar policy as originally envisioned began to make ever less sense. ... With growth plummeting and unemployment rising, the Federal Reserve's focus turned to reflating the economy -- lowering interest rates and flooding the system with dollars in order to stimulate economic activity.

Not wanting to green light a potentially destabilizing dollar rout, the Bush Treasury Department has retained the "strong dollar policy" in little else but name only. Hence representatives from the Secretary on down maintain their official support for a strong dollar even as the Administration gives its implicit approval for the currency to drop. And drop it has.

...On the heels of the largest monetary and fiscal stimulus measures in recent memory, rising inflation is bound to follow, later if not sooner. As inflation eats into the value of US debt, foreign bondholders, notably Asian central banks, may become less willing to finance insatiable American consumption and seek to diversify into other holdings, causing yields to spike and the bond market to tank.

------(from url)-----

As popular or intuitive as that scenario might seem, before you buy completely into the notion of foreign sales spiking interest rates, be sure to consider the alternate view I presented last week in the following post:

TownCrier (2/24/04; 13:57:54MT - msg#: 117635)
SUBJECT -- Who owns what, affecting what, and how.

In it a case is made that currency exchange rates may trump bond/interest rates as the more reliable compass in pointing the way.


Dollar Bill.,.#1178803/1/04; 06:40:00

Might as well move it here TC
TownCrier (2/24/04; 13:57:54MT - msg#: 117635)
Who owns what, affecting what, and how.
HEADLINE: Central bank buying at US Treasury sales overrated

NEW YORK, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Some bond investors have been overestimating foreign central bank participation in U.S. Treasury auctions, although there is no doubt that they are major purchasers of government debt overall.

Figures on auction allocation for much of last year from the U.S. Office of Debt Management show foreigners, including central banks, took less of U.S. offerings than first thought, particularly for longer-dated debt.

Since May last year the Treasury has released a breakdown of auction results which shows both the share taken by primary dealers bidding for their own house accounts and the share taken by dealers bidding on behalf of their customers, which can be everything from bond funds to wealthy individuals.

The latter group are called indirect bidders and include foreign central banks, which tend to bid through the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

...indirect bidders took 24 percent of a $13 billion sale of 10-year notes in September but according to the ODM only 6 percent went to foreign buyers.

The discrepancy is not so great for short-term debt, the maturity historically favored by risk-averse central banks.

At September's sale of $25 billion of new two-year notes indirect bidders took 37 percent of the offering, while the ODM data show that 28 percent went to foreign accounts, which would include the offshore central banks.

---------(from url)------
It is good to understand how foreign (esp. typified by central banks) preference for the "principal safety" of the shorter dated notes tends to mute or lessen the effective ability of the market mechanisms you might otherwise have expected to come into play in the event of loss of foreign confidence in the dollar.

Were there in fact a more normal distribution of holdings along the bond-term spectrum, any general selloff of bonds would tend to raise the effective yield interest rates which would in turn be normally expected to help curb the severity of the selloff as new buyers are potentially drawn in by the higher yields.

However, with a preponderance of short-dated holdings, a liquidation could occur by foreign holders without generating the normally expected signals to the marketplace, especially when you further consider that through FOMC policy directives and the implementation through open market ops, the Federal Reserve has undisputed power to dictate the short end of the interest rate spectrum.

And beyond that, we mustn't make light of the Fed's ability to intervene in the long end of the spectrum, too.

In other words, running counter to the common perception, in this case where there's fire, it is entirely possible that you might not see any smoke at all!

In such an environment, the "theoretically pure" balancing mechanism you would normally expect from the free rein of market forces is most definitely revealed as a faulty premise that could be dangerous to assumptions of your portfolio's overnight health. This may help you understand that the usually comforting view of a clear sky untroubled by any sign of rising interest rates may in this case not be your most reliable indicator whether there is a fire raging below.

So rather than look at interest rates as the primary indicator to help you figure out how healthy the dollar might be, it is better to see the exchange rate trend for what it is telling you directly. And ultimately, all the statistics in the world are no substitute for simply exercising your own good judgement.

Only one thing is certain. A portfolio diversified with gold is, by that same fraction, as good as gold. Call USAGOLD~Centennial today and tell them Randy sent you.


HenriDid silver just go ballistic?#1178813/1/04; 06:40:30

Good boy spike! kitco chart offscale...probably just another blunder...or is it?
BoilermakerPersonal Income/Consumption Stats for January#1178823/1/04; 06:56:22

The numbers for income came in lower than expected, +0.2% vs +0.5 predicted. Spending hit the target, +0.4%. We work 30 long days and what do we get? Another month older and deeper in debt. St. Peter don't you call us cause we can't go we owe our souls to the government store.
USAGOLD / Centennial Precious Metals, Inc.Your friend in the business, helping you enter the gold market with grace and confidence.#1178833/1/04; 07:07:25">Change paper into gold!
USAGOLD Daily Market ReportPage Update!#1178843/1/04; 07:24:36">
The Daily Gold Market Report has been updated.

If you are considering investments in gold we invite you to">request our free introductory information packet detailing the products and services offered by USAGOLD ~ Centennial Precious Metals. We welcome your inquiry and look forward to working with you.

MKNews & Views#1178853/1/04; 07:25:21

MKNews & Views#1178863/1/04; 07:26:38


Link included.

ZhishengGold this morning.#1178873/1/04; 07:42:46

In past weeks gold, in its rise and fall, has pretty much followed the euro. This morning gold is up about $5 and the euro is close to unchanged.

Perhaps it is influenced by silver, which is up about 21.5 cents. Recently the price of silver has somewhat had a life of its own.

The Invisible HandRussia's reserves#1178883/1/04; 08:16:36

I don't think this answers TownCrier's question to Belgian, but TownCrier's article says that the Russia's gold and foreign-exchange reserves stood at $86.7 billion as of Feb. 20, up $9.8 billion since the start of 2004.
Here's an article for February 13, 2003, that's just 12 months ago, which already spoke of A RECORD amount of $ 50 billion. The reserves seem to have increased by 80 %, in one year.

Die Zentralbank sieht in den jüngsten Änderungen beim Wechselkurs keinen Anlaß, mehr Rubel als üblich zu verkaufen. Die Reserven an ausländischen Währungen und Gold in Rußland sind laut Zentralbank innerhalb der vergangenen sechs Wochen gestiegen und haben in der vergangenen Woche die Rekordmarke von 50,2 Milliarden Dollar erreicht. Diese Woche sind die Reserven um weitere 900 Millionen Dollar gewachsen. Dies bedeutet einen Zuwachs um 2,5 Milliarden Dollar seit Jahresbeginn.

I found also another article reporting on a press conference on February 5 of this year by Serguei Glaziev, former foreign economic relations minister, and presidential candidate, saying that he's in contact with Lyndon LaRouche concerning the establishment of a new international monetary system reducing Russia's dependence vis-a-vis the dollar. The article concludes by saying that China will not take the initiative to set up such a system but that Russia has to and should it. Glaziev would have talked about this with Romano Prodi, chief bureaucrat of the EU, and the Europeans would support such an initiative. The Chinese want it, the Indians want it. Taking such initiative would be the most important thing for Russia to do.

It was bedtime for me several hours ago. I'll send you my e-mail and if you want I'll translate the rest of both articles when I'll wake up. Goodnight.
Le 5 février, Serguei Glaziev, candidat à l'élection présidentielle en Russie, a donné une conférence de presse au siège de RIA Novosti à Moscou. A cette occasion, l'ancien ministre des Relations économiques extérieures (1992-1993) a fait d'importantes propositions politiques concernant le rôle de la Russie dans la crise financière internationale.
RIA Novotsi résuma ainsi les remarques de Glaziev, qui est en contact avec Lyndon LaRouche depuis plusieurs années : « La Russie peut et doit remettre en cause la nouvelle architecture de la structure financière globale, et notamment faire du rouble une monnaie financière et de réserve internationale. Le dollar a englouti toute l'économie mondiale et éliminé l'économie européenne. (…) La Russie devrait mettre fin à sa dépendance excessive envers la devise financière globale - le dollar. (…) Cette mesure devrait accro"tre notre influence sur les marchés internationaux .»
Pour diverses raisons, selon Glaziev, la Chine ne prendra pas l'initiative de créer ce système. Mais « la Russie doit et devrait le faire », car le système financier international ne devrait pas dépendre d'une seule monnaie nationale. Glaziev a déclaré qu'il avait discuté de cette approche avec le président de la Commission de l'UE, Romano Prodi, quand celui-ci était à Moscou; les Européens soutiendraient une telle initiative, les Chinois la veulent, les Indiens la veulent, dit-il. Prendre une telle initiative serait « la chose la plus importante que la Russie puisse faire dans la politique mondiale », concernant les questions économiques et financières.’’’

Federal_ReservesThe banking business is weird.#1178893/1/04; 09:14:47

Here you have all these people come in and willingly hand over their money. As an inducement, you pay out interest to them. You immediately turnaround and at the same lend it out at a higher rate, and live on the margin. Even more weird the guy you lent the money to, goes out and spends it, then another guy comes in and deposits it back in your bank. You repeat this process over and over again manufacuring cash. At the same time you hope the folks don't who lent you money don't come back in and ask for their money back at the same time or the people you lent it to go under. Everything relys on confidence. Panic must be nipped in the bud.
CaradocGold predictions, possible "trigger," veneer wood#1178903/1/04; 09:42:25

Sinclair says gold takes off sometime on or before the Ides of March. Mahendra (never shy) is more specific: gold takes off on Wednesday, the day after tomorrow.

For what it's worth (with silver at multiyear highs), Mahendra has emphasized silver over gold for growth over the last few weeks, having indicated ahead of time that beginning Jan 21st silver would no longer be in lockstep with gold. Not a bad call.... Even more impressive, he called the recent temporary reversal in the slide of the dollar and made specific and deadly accurate recommendations for shortterm trades that would have worked out very well.

Wednesday is okay with me, but I can wait til the 15th.

For those considering possible "triggers," note that the forces of evil have recently been showing Osama smiling at some guy in frogman gear:
while suspicious frogmen are showing up in the Honolulu harbor and waterways of New York and Florida. The one found dead in the icy waters of the Hudson river (can you say "Indian Point Nuclear Reactor"?) wasn't even wearing the dry suit appropriate for the temperatures and so may have learned his diving skills ina warmer part of the world. Connect the dots. Details are available at

It doesn't matter whether the ethanol tanker that recently went down off the coast of North Carolina after leaving New York was just a coincidence. And the explosives used on the 899-passenger Phillipine ferry may have been put there without using frogmen. Even without these, there's an indication of a maritime threat that could be a trigger.

Veneer: planting three black walnut trees in one hole and braiding them as they grow for the first 20 feet will make a solid burl veneer log that one day may be more valuable than gold for your grandchildren. Just keep the side branches pruned off as the years go by.


Clink!Mortgages - now why didn't I think of that ?#1178913/1/04; 10:49:55


Here's my solution to the housing crisis: the no-pay mortgage. As with most great ideas, it is very simple. They simply lend you all the money to buy the house, with no foolishness like down payments or the like, allow the interest to accumulate until you sell the house, and then collect their money. What could be simpler?

Let's look at all the advantages of this plan:

1. Very low administrative costs after the initial loan is made. No one has to keep track of payments, amounts owed, or the like.

2. The loan can never become "nonperforming." Since no payments are due, they cannot possibly be late. Therefore, the lending institution does not have to worry about the soundness of the loan.

3. Removal of all concerns about the price of housing. No matter how much the house costs, you can always afford it. Thus, house prices will never go down.

I'm sure the building industry would love this idea, as it guarantees an infinite demand for housing. It will stimulate the economy by providing jobs in construction, and insure that everyone has a house to live in. And since it guarantees that real estate will never go down, the loans entail no risk to the lending institutions.

steadylike totally awsome dude#1178923/1/04; 11:47:08

whew some stong waves and undercurrents, hope yall had as many good rides as i did today, once again break time, take this opportunity to regain your strength, the waves arent very consistent lately.

Ecoism alive and well.

still waiting for a antithesis to ecoism and i think ill be waiting 3 maybe 4 years before anyone seriously trys to anti ecoism!

Paper AvalancheWhoa! CRB nearing 280 in a hurry...#1178943/1/04; 13:42:23

There's no inflation.

There's no inflation.

There's no inflation.


Federal_ReservesMissing expectations (TAX RETURN MONEY)#1178953/1/04; 13:42:51

Economic data falling from peak levels, and many indicators like today's Construction Spending Number which FELL by .3 rather than Rising as expected are reversing. Over the weekend we discovered that the tax returns are coming in big either. Where is the consumer spending going to come from, even it missed expectations today, and is only being propped up by these tax returns and debt spending. With wage and salary growth so paltry, and with prices rising so quickly (CPI up .5%) the trap door is going to open sooner or later on consumer spending.

Income Tax Refunds Up, But Less Than Expected

By Jonathan Weisman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, February 28, 2004; Page A04

Early tax refunds have climbed an average of $97 over last year's, the Internal Revenue Service said yesterday, a figure far lower than economists had estimated after last year's tax cut.

The early figure has economic as well as political implications. President Bush has counted on large refunds to remind voters of last year's tax cut, and economists figured that the extra cash would prime the economic pump once more.

The IRS reported that through Feb. 20, more than 40 million returns have been filed, a 2.6 percent increase over this time last year. Refunds have totaled $72.8 billion, up from $66.9 billion, while average refunds have climbed $97, to $2,292.

Last week, the Treasury predicted that because of last year's tax cut, average refunds would be $300 higher than they otherwise would have been. Between higher refunds and lower tax payments this filing season, taxpayers should have an added $50 billion, Bush predicted.

Treasury spokeswoman Tara Bradshaw stressed that the $300 estimate was not an attempt to predict average refund levels this year compared with last year. And she said most taxpayers have yet to file returns.

But independent economists have said the levels are markedly off predictions. L. Douglas Lee, who publishes the Economics From Washington newsletter, said last week that refunds in the first six weeks of tax season were up $6.5 billion, "substantially less" than most estimates, which expected increases of $20 billion to $30 billion.

Leonard E. Burman, a tax expert at the Urban Institute, said the refund figures may be depressed because tax returns from affluent filers have been delayed by complications from the tax cut on capital gains and dividends. Companies, mutual funds and stockbrokers have had difficulty calculating taxable capital gains and dividend payments because the rates on such investments dropped in the middle of last year.

R PowellOur daily mantra...Ooommmmmm#1178963/1/04; 15:03:22

Once again, take a deep breath, close your eyes and repeat many times...

Up, into the close...
Buy with both hands...
There is no inflation..
There is no inflation..
there is no inflation

Last week's Consensus newspaper contained a long article, dated Feb 17, 2004, by Leonard Kaplan in which he wrote the following...

"The LBMA just published their recent forecasts from the most noted analysts in the industry. last year, overall,the analysts were entirely too pessimistic with only three out of twenty-eight analysts foreseeing gold achieving its 2003 average of $363.32."

And what does Leonard think?....

"To throw my hat into the ring, dangerous as that may be, I think 2004 is going to be a choppy year, with prices extraordinarily volatile with narrow ranges, but ending up pretty much the same as we are now.."

He goes on to give some numbers..highs and lows for year 2004....
Gold high of $435, low $375.
Silver high of $6.80, low $5.50.

Ah, yes, the old let's take a guess at yearly prices....and silver's high today was what?? Basically, I'm reminded of what Kennedy was reported as having said after the disasterous failure of "The Bay of Pigs" invasion of Cuba...
"That's what I get for listening to the 'experts'".
Myself? Glad you asked, but I don't know any more than the other "experts". But...I don't believe silver can close consistently above $7.00 without gold making new highs. Just a "non-expert" opinion, of course.

R PowellOld superstition#1178973/1/04; 15:14:15

There's an old traders' belief, superstition or much noted coincidence that silver and soybeans often trade higher/lower together. Some claim that the trading pits were close enough together once, so that, soybean exuberence sometimes flowed over into the silver pits. I don't know if there's any truth to any of this, certainly not now with grains trading in Chicago and metals in New York but, looking at recent bean and silver prices...well. I guess if a belief is verified enough, more and more will believe. Or, lacking verification we can just cancel the CPI number and repeat our mantra...
There is no inflation
There is no inflation
That's a fact, Jack....there is nooooo inflation...

Belgian@ T.C. > Russia....#1178983/1/04; 15:34:21

Russia is being guided by Germany (EU). Same (EMU-aligned) management of the "EXCHANGE Reserves". The Gold-Trail, Sir Randy,...the FreeGold one !!!
Watch the $-POO going !!! Remember the caveman's projections,...144$/barril. Russia almost as important as OPEC. Rember the Russia/Saudi, approchements.
At present, Russia tries to organise serious Tax-collection-system as to back the rubble (reschuffle from pooliticians to technocrats with EU assistance).

Oil and (plus) EMU versus emperor dollar. Oil and Gold are going to devalue the dollar.

Ask yourself WHY Dubai is setting up a brand new hyper-modern, Gold refinery...when the old refineries can easely handle the offer.
Belgium had to commit a lote of its Gold Exchange Reserves for being allowed into EMU. Today w're back (discretely) in the Congo ! *Gold*, the EXCHANGE RESERVE in a modern new monetary system.

By the year 2011, all "fiscal tourism" in EMU-25, will be history. Things "are" fundamentally changing, but slow and progressive, though. Same goes for Russia to become incorporated within EU. The $-POO is challenging the dollar's (virtual) strength. This constant rising dollar-inflow, has (systemic) repercussions on Russia because of its oil-(gas)reserves.

Watch the declining volumes on LBMA. Dollar doesn't say a word about the POO and is evidence to me that the dollar supports the POO-rise (oil-inflala), as long as it is priced in dollar !
Russia's hint about possible changes in their Gold exchange reserves is to create "more" gold-selling impression à la ECB/BIS. The dollar (and euro of course) know very well that the euro will profit from the coming rise in $+€, Goldprice ! Already a fait accompli and therefore not a reason to rush into the grand Gold-Revaluation, before the Russian partner is ready to run with it.

It *IS* happening, Randy. No need to speed it up or become impatient.

Unfortunately (or maybe lucky us), no gold-commentators do see the link between oil and Gold ! Nobody really bothers to analyse the fundamentals of the 25 year decline in IRs.
All these things aren't happening in a vacuum or ad random.

BTW : Gold exploration in Russia is dramatically increasing ! So will (is) the exploration for black liquid Gold/gas, be increased.

We don't really need to decode all those daily statements/rumors that are fired away at the www. The Big picture of what kind of "change" that has/is taking place, during the past 35 years is telling the "real" story,... about the world's "dollar". Whatever the printers of this green paper say.

Many simpleton EU politicians, don't understand WHY these ten Balkan states, need to come into EMU !? Watch how Tony is wrapped. The longer the UK waits to join, the less negociation-power will be left. Tic, toc, tac...

My personal view and FWIW !!!

Max Rabbitz(No Subject)#1178993/1/04; 16:51:11

"What its executives are calling a "significant rally" of Eastern coal prices could fuel an upswing in the wholesale market for natural gas-fired electricity beginning next year, according to Calpine Corp. officials responding to questions from financial analysts Thursday."

Max.......Even dirty old coal is going up. Going to China? It's a long ways from Norfolk. Good thing energy prices aren't inflationary.

BoilermakerSteel Problems#11790003/01/04; 17:26:25

The cost of steel rod has increased by more than 60 percent during the past six months.

The material, which cost 17.5 cents per pound in late 2003, now costs Erisco 23.5 cents, plus a recently imposed 5.1-cent surcharge.

"All of the commodities we buy have been changing like that," said Thomas Weber, Erisco's vice president of sales and marketing. "The surcharge is almost a weekly thing for us." Almost every form of steel -- from scrap, to plates to coil -- have seen similar increases in recent months, the result of a sharp increase in demand from China and the recent consolidation of the U.S. steel industry.

To date, those factors have done little more than drive up the cost and slow delivery times.

But the rising prices are now fueling fears of an unprecedented shortage -- as customers attempt to snatch up whatever supplies they can and China increases its appetite for U.S. steel.............

One possible solution would be for the U.S. to limit the export of scrap steel to China, McCain said.

Such a move would make sure U.S. companies get the supplies they need at a reasonable cost.

English, however, said there are some worries that export controls won't solve the problem.

The last time the U.S. attempted to limit the export of steel -- in 1973-74 -- the benefits were marginal, he said.

"The steel market has changed dramatically since then," English said. "It's going to take a detailed policy on the export of scrap that takes into effect all of the avenues of movement."

English said the government will also look at tapping into assets that could be used for scrap, such as the U.S. Navy's ghost fleet -- a fleet of retired vessels that could be recycled for use by U.S. companies.

While melting down decommissioned military ships may sound drastic, English said lawmakers need to investigate every option -- or risk derailing an already shaky economic recovery.

"This is as big a crisis for our manufacturing base as was facing the steel industry two years ago," he said. "The concern here is that this is an unexpected blow to the economy just as there was evidence of an upturn. Having a shortage at a time like this is about the worst-case scenario."

The cost/price of steel depends on the cost of scrap steel, coke and ironmaking capacity. About 50% of US steel comes from mini mills which use steel scrap as their main feedstock. The other 50% comes from integrated mills that use iron ore and coke as their main ingredients. There have been no new integrated steel mills built in the US for 40 years. All the new capacity is mini mills. Mini mills depend on scrap as their main feedstock.

The price of scrap determines the marginal cost of steel from the mini mills and it has increased three fold in one year. The integrated mills that produce their own pig iron (blast furnace product) and convert that pig iron to steel (basic oxygen furnace product) cannot meet the demand so the marginal price of steel will be determined by scrap prices.

Integrated steel mills do not appear overnight. Five years might be a typical lead time with $billions invested. In the meantime the price of scrap will rule steel prices. Expect proposals for export controls on scrap.

Dollar Bill.,.#11790103/01/04; 18:40:46

Clink! That is genius.
I was talking to a guy from the FDA today. Food and Drug Admin. He buys organic. He says he knows too much. He also said this important thing. He said the Japanese are buying a large amount of the US beef and farm industry.
That was news to me. I guess that is the "proof" I was waiting for that the Japanese are being allowed to use thier
money to buy up food assets. I just figured they had been promised food in the future no matter what happens. The big Stop and Shop chain in the northeast is owned by the Dutch I heard today. I guess we are selling America. Global economy and all its attendent ills, here we come.

Max RabbitzPlatinum over $900#11790203/01/04; 18:49:28

Well over $900 today. I guess Platinum is not quite the threat that gold is. But that makes gold the better bargain.
Humble PiePost #117898#11790303/01/04; 18:53:17

Belgian : what a masterful way of stating the situation. Keep it up.
DruidSteel prices soar 66% in a world market 'gone mad'#11790403/01/04; 18:53:45

By Barbara Hagenbaugh, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — Shortage fears are leading to a rapid rise in steel prices, squeezing U.S. manufacturers already reeling from a deep three-year downturn.
The price of a ton of hot-rolled coil steel in the USA hit $482 this month, up 66% from the recent low set in June, steel consulting firm Meps International said Thursday. The price rise comes not long after President Bush ended tariffs on imported steel in December, which was expected to lead to lower prices.

Prices are rising because of a variety of other factors, most notably skyrocketing demand from China's rapidly expanding economy. Last year, China's steel demand rose 38 million tons, the equivalent of the annual steel usage in Mexico and Canada combined, says Peter Fish, managing director at Meps in Sheffield, England. The more China buys, the less steel is on the market.

Supply concerns are so acute that there are reports of some steel-using firms hoarding the metal, compounding the problem. Nearly half of steel users said at least one supplier had canceled an order in January, according to a survey of steel users by the Precision Metalforming Association.

"The world's gone mad. I've never seen anything like this," Meps' Fish says.

Druid: This article is a little dated but still is a great read. The lack of supply in any item to which there is a demand for will always result in higher prices. Throw in unrestrained dollar creation and you have the recipe for runaway inflation. Further compounding the problem is "hoarding" (sound familiar) the stuff which will add even more pricing pressure.

SundeckBanks may sell $41bn of gold#11790503/01/04; 19:08:30


European central banks may agree to sell as much as $US32 billion ($41billion) worth of gold in the next five years when an accord that has helped support prices since 1999 comes up for renewal this year, a survey of analysts and traders shows.

Sundeck: An update on the Washington Agreement...may be renewed "as early as March".

BoilermakerSteel Shortage#11790603/01/04; 19:39:51

Not to belabor the steel issue but it does have an impact similar to energy, it goes into many products especially consumer durables and construction. The link is a concise and current analysis.
BLS will have a hard time trying to cook this one out of the soup.

I would like to see a chart comparing the prices of various metals including gold, silver and platinum. It seems that gold has some catching up to do. I know that many here at the forum including me have seen the connection of oil and gold but now there is another factor at work trying to pull the barbarous metal out of the shadows.

Has this message reached the folks on the stock market promotional TV networks?

GoldendomeHi-Yo Silver...Away!!#11790703/01/04; 19:58:37

Gold/Silver ratio now at 58. Recall, that end of May last, it was over 80 !!! Hi-Yo!!
TownCrierA point to ponder#11790803/01/04; 20:06:08

From Sundeck's article on potential renewal of the central bank gold agreement:

The group of at least 15 banks ... may lift their sales caps on bullion to 2500 tonnes over five years from 2000 tonnes in the current agreement... "The market can absorb a slight increase," said Joe Foster, who manages $US290 million in gold-related investments for the Van Eck International Investors Gold Fund in New York. "We need their sales, or there wouldn't be enough supply."


We might ask ourselves why it is that any gold-oriented financial/investment agent would be concerned with physical supply issues if we were to pause long enough to consider that he should most naturally deem a simple price-rise as the suitable solution to any real shortage problems.


glennh10Re: Banks Sell Gold#11790903/01/04; 20:08:32

In the mainstream news, isn't it odd that central bank gold is always "sold"? Never is the event framed from the perspective that "X,XXX tons of central bank gold were "bought"."
TownCrierThanks#11791003/01/04; 20:28:59

Thanks for the perspective, Belgian.

You're right... no need to decipher everything. Not everything is worth the effort, what with red herrings and all.


GoldiloxSteel shortages#11791103/01/04; 20:29:07

Biolermaker's link


"On top of this there is also a shortage in dry bulk shipping capacity. Especially critical when as much as 500 million tonnes a year of iron ore has to be shipped
around the world - plus another 150/200 million tonnes of coke. With around 500 dry bulk cargo vessels in operation, each carrying on average 1.2 million tonnes per year, that means an annual shipping capacity of 600 million tonnes. Clearly, global trade in ore and coke is already hitting the limits of current shipping capacity."


There's that durn shipping issue AGAIN. Just when $ Bill and I had it all sorted out. How about this. Take the US Navy mothball fleet in Alameda and sail them to the nearest dock to a steel mill, disassemble them and melt them down. That way, there's no empty vessel to return. It probably sounds too much like a "tree hugger" idea. The Navy Recycle? Omagod! I bet they put a stop to making diving reefs out of them right quick! They might even confiscate a few back from the greenies.

GoldiloxGov't gold#11791203/01/04; 20:37:56

@ Glennh10:

Governments do not as often "buy" gold. They have developed much more efficient procurement procedures over the millenia, like war, tribute, taxation, and confiscation. Considering the real cost to citizenry, it just makes the sale doubly reproachful.

But you didn't hear it from me!


DruidCopper Surges to 8-Year High in London as Chinese Demand Grows #11791303/01/04; 20:55:22

March 1 (Bloomberg) -- Copper rose above $3,000 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange for the first time since August 1995, bringing the year's gain to 31 percent, amid forecasts that demand will outpace production as China's economy expands.

Prices for the metal, used in wiring and pipes for manufacturing and construction, have surged as inventories slumped to a 5 1/2-year low. Output in 2004 may fall short of demand by as much as 850,000 tons, or 5 percent, forecast Stephen Briggs, an analyst at Societe Generale in London.

``It's been Chinese buying overnight that's really triggered the latest push,'' said Ingrid Sternby, an analyst at Barclays Bank in London, in an interview. ``The Chinese physical market remains very strong.''

China last year passed the U.S. to become the world's largest user of semi-fabricated copper products such as pipes and foil, said Wang Jun, an analyst at state-run Beijing Antaike Information Development Co. China's demand grew 18 percent a year in the past decade to 4.1 million tons in 2003 as it produced more appliances such as air conditioners as well as power cables and transformers.

Druid: More non-existent inflation data is surfacing around the world. It looks like Chinese demand is definitely being setup to be the culprit. I'm still waiting for the law of supply and demand to somehow pertain to physical Gold and Silver. Oh well, watching them trying to put out all the other fires will be interesting enough.

GoldiloxFireplaces and other appropriate recycling#11791403/01/04; 20:56:12

Do all the CABAL stooges have fireplaces? At market open on all the continents the gold buyers jump in, followed quickly by the CABAL short-shifters. Pretty soon they will all have tons of little green fire starters, but at least they'll save resources by not using their gas-fired log ignitors.

Interestingly enough, we keep hearing that coins will soon be worth more than "face" for their metal value. At what point will dollars be worth more for their paper value?

There's a Weimarism for you!

Hopefully that's the point where all of ours have been exchanged for machshiney!

GoldiloxChina Copper demand#11791503/01/04; 21:03:35

If China sucks up all the copper, there won't be enough left for a proper still! Maybe TPTB will wake up when they run outta moonshine!

We could really scuttle their boat by repricing "shine" in "shiney".

Gandalf the WhiteSir Rich --- Are you here -- or still out pouring "mud" ?#11791603/01/04; 21:33:06$SILVER,PYPA[PA][DA][F!3!1.0!]&pref=G

TODAY is your Double Top BREAKOUT on the P&F chart!!!
New price OBJ is --- Are you sitting down ? ---

DruidOPEC's Production Cuts, Internal Restraints Keep Prices Stable #11791703/01/04; 21:34:15

Feb. 26 (Bloomberg) -- In the early hours of March 20, 2003, Ali al-Naimi, Saudi Arabia's oil minister and the most influential member of OPEC, was in the shower in his Riyadh apartment when his phone rang. On the line was Claude Mandil, executive director of the International Energy Agency, a Paris-based organization of 26 industrialized countries that coordinates the release of Western oil stocks in times of emergency.

A U.S.-led coalition had crossed into Iraq that morning, and Mandil wanted to be sure that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries would stand by its commitment to make up for any shortfall of oil. Mandil says al-Naimi told him OPEC would step in to fill the gap if needed.

OPEC's reaction underlines the extent to which the organization, whose 11 members from Indonesia to Venezuela pump a third of the world's oil, has reestablished its credibility, tempered internal squabbling and reined in its poorly disciplined members.

Druid: It's a good thing the campaign in Iraq is going well. I'd hate to see inflation affect oil prices like it has copper, steel and everything else under the sun with the exception of workers. Their hiring/input price is being deflated down so that they can become more competitive, productive and efficient which will help them acquire those items that are inflating away. It's pretty interesting how China can't control it's demand for copper and steel but can control it for oil.

Gandalf the WhiteSorry, Sir Rich --- I forgot something ! <;-)#11791803/01/04; 21:35:30

Hi-Ho Silver, AWAY !!!

SundeckRecord influx of hedge funds blamed for high oil price#11791903/01/04; 22:33:36


The record levels in crude futures trading have been repeated in other commodities in recent months including gold, silver, platinum, copper and even soybean oil.


Hedge fund money exits from the Dow Jones when they forecast the equities market will go down, and enters in the energy market, whatever oil fundamentals say," said one frustrated European refiner.


The head of a US hedge fund said the dollar was central to the story. He said: "Market participants use cross asset investments, buying gold or oil as a hedge against a fall in the dollar."


Sundeck: Hedging against a fall in the dollar? No...they wouldn't do that, would they? Interesting brief read on the games hedge funds play...

SundeckStrong rand knocked gold output in 2003#11792003/01/04; 22:48:09,3523,1558057-6078-0,00.html


South Africa's gold production decreased by 4.9% to 375.8 tons in the 2003 calendar year, down from the 395.2 tons produced in the previous year, the Chamber of Mines (CoM) said in a statement.


The gold mining sector was forced to counteract the effects of the strong rand by mining at higher average grades, but this did not assist in boosting production to a level closer to that achieved in 2002.

Sundeck: SA production down...yet another reason why central banks will have to "sell more gold to fill the supply/demand gap"??

Never mind, the price is going up nicely as it is.

TownCrierInflation manifest#11792103/01/04; 22:58:06

NEW YORK, March 1 (Reuters) - Platinum eclipsed the $900 an ounce mark for the first time in nearly a quarter century as U.S. stocks and the dollar rose on Monday after manufacturing data indicated a hiring rebound may be on the horizon.

Gold popped over $400 an ounce -- still $30 below the 15-year high it hit in early January.

Oil prices hit post-Iraq war highs on Monday, inflamed by low U.S. inventories and worries about political instability in producer nation Venezuela.

NYMEX April crude settled up 70 cents to $36.86 a barrel, the highest price since shortly before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March last year.

Oil prices have jumped more than $4 since OPEC agreed last month to cut supply quotas by 4 percent starting on April 1 and rein in production over existing limits.

-----(from url)-----

Low interest rates provide poor compensation for purchasing power losses as currency depreciates and prices inflate. Give gold a go. It's still an ace up the sleeve.


Black BladeEnergy futures prices continue to climb #11792203/01/04; 23:24:48


HOUSTON, Mar. 1 -- Energy futures prices climbed Friday as markets continued to react to bullish reports of low US inventories of crude and petroleum products.

With US inventories near record lows, petroleum product prices may be in for a long bullish haul if the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries follows through with its decision to reduce its quota production ceiling by 1 million b/d to 23.5 million b/d of oil, effective Apr. 1, while eliminating previous overproduction of 1.5 million b/d, analysts said.

US gasoline stocks are "dangerously" low just months ahead of peak summer demand, partly because many refineries have shut down for seasonal maintenance. Any disruption could reduce gasoline supplies to the point where the US might have to import more at a higher price, analysts said.

"In the short term, the market is in fine shape on [gas] storage, but there are legitimate concerns about supply and demand over the long term," Enerfax analysts said. "There are questions about whether production will be up or down this year, and if the economy is on the upswing, it means increased demand."

Black Blade: I doubt we will have to think much about increased demand from an "upswing" in the economy. With 5 weeks of "draw season" for NatGas we will certainly fall below the minimum 1200 bcf level and probably the critical 900 bcf level before it's all over. Spring maintenance will crimp gasoline supply as refineries close for the change over to Summer blends (including several new ones added this year through 2010). Fortunately there will be no impact on inflationary pressures thanks to the BLS "core rate" for non-essential items like food, energy, shelter, etc. in spite of the need for industry and feed stock for manufactured goods (besides US manufacturing is moving offshore anyway and not coming back) ;-)

Black BladeMarket Wrap Up - Puplava#11792303/01/04; 23:37:15


Our government's unfunded liabilities have risen to over $44 trillion and are rising by over $2 trillion a year. There is simply no way out and the only option left is to inflate or die. Does anyone reading this really expect their local or national representative to level with the truth that we are broke and don't have the means to pay benefits? All I see and hear is politicians from both parties promising me more cookies and lollipops.

The mindset in Washington is that politicians must continue to spend money. It is the only reason for Washington's existence. Politicians love to hand out cookies and lollipops to the voters. The majority of congressmen are economically illiterate. There is always a well of money somewhere which politicians can tap in order to keep the flow of cookies and new lollipops to voters at election time. This year is no different with politicians in both parties promising more and even bigger entitlements to voters.

As a result of America's twin deficits (trade deficit and budget deficit) the dollar will head lower, much lower. The loss of 28% of its value since 2001 has done very little to address the nation's trade imbalance which is structural. The recent trade deficit figures indicate that we continue to import more capital goods into this country, while our exports of capital goods continue to decline despite a falling dollar. We are also importing more oil and paying a higher price for that oil. The trade deficit is structural and will continue to climb until the dollar loses half of its present value. When that happens, Americans will no longer be able to afford to buy foreign cars and electronics. But we will still be importing capital goods that we no longer manufacturer here and we will still be dependent on foreign oil to run our economy. That dependence will only deepen during the twilight of the oil era.

A falling currency translates into higher prices for the things we import into this country. While higher prices may eventually weaken demand for foreign made goods, it will not get rid of our need for basic necessities. If we burn more oil and natural gas, we will simply have to pay what the market dictates. We are no longer in control of our energy future. In fact we are looking head on at another energy crisis or series of energy crises this decade.

Black Blade: Good article though not much said about the PMs. Mostly has discussion on energy and the falling US dollar. I think Puplava has a good handle on the US economic situation (decidedly poor prospects). Meanwhile if you haven't got your portfolio insurance by now you have my sympathies.

RimhCopper demand#11792403/01/04; 23:45:08

A source of mine told me that copper demand from China is so strong that refineries can't process it fast enough and are competing heavily (lowering there processing costs) for raw ore from miners in order to get enough ore to keep up.
steadyclosed sysytem/ deflections.#11792503/01/04; 23:47:10

everything up but gold, deflect de monies into udder things to deflect the outflow of fiat debt into real thing, greenie even said so basically by saying the run up would be unimpeeded in well basically ebryting sept dat dang barberic metalk. let copper, zinc , cobalt asphalut, the san andreas fault, scrap mettal. rhodium, lithium opps no not thatstuff hahahahh but all other products of the earth that way they can conrtoll gold that much longer as they are able to track the money flows, heck u think those city lights arent timed for a reason, a five min delay may mean less esf everything is connected and watched especially the charge card digits on any given day, watch the p[ulses of traffic, controlled by red and green, speeders get caught in the gaps, :+)
Black BladeStudy: Up to 40% of California firms plan to move jobs out of state #11792603/01/04; 23:49:43


As many as 40 percent of California's companies are planning to move jobs out of state, a study commissioned by a group of top chief executives concluded yesterday. The study, conducted by San Francisco's Bain & Co. on behalf of the California Business Roundtable, also said that 100 percent of the respondents have an unfavorable view of the state's business climate. The study said that half the companies interviewed have decided to stop adding more workers in the state.

Black Blade: After the above the rest of the article is "spin" and "overly optimistic" in my opinion. One might also assume that Silicon Valley is finished to a large degree as "computer sciences" is a dead end career choice as cheaper comparable labor and prices are to be found offshore in SE and Central Asia (notably in India where a US software engineer makes an average $75,000/year and Indian software engineer can be hired for about $12,000/year). That of course does not include cheaper prices for goods and services in that and other industries. With a grossly overvalued US dollar (already having declined 30% in the last two years), a weaker dollar is a must if we are to compete for a piece of the global economic pie as global "competitive currency devaluation" runs amok.

steady1st gold 2nd silver 3rd oil?#11792703/01/04; 23:51:35

Record influx of hedge funds blamed for high oil price

The record levels in crude futures trading have been repeated in other commodities in recent months including gold, silver, platinum, copper and even soybean oil.

uh um do i hear increase the trading margins. uh no echo there . ahaahaha aeheheheheheh. dang i tried.

steadyday ja vue all over again#11792803/01/04; 23:55:16

wow like wherent all u wave raiders out here yesterday bout the same time.
conditions erriely the same eh wave height the same ,depth and frequency of pulses are similar wonder if the set waves tomorrow will be effected by the negative tides, you have looked in the tide book havent you ?

Black BladePimco Buys TIPS Before Inflation on Bush Spending, Fed Inaction #11792903/01/04; 23:58:35


Feb. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Pacific Investment Management Co., the world's largest bond mutual fund group, is making a bet that the Federal Reserve will belatedly acknowledge the threat of accelerating inflation. That's why Pimco, as the firm is known, purchased about $3 billion of U.S. Treasury inflation-linked securities at the government's January auction and may buy more in the months ahead. ``The writing is on the wall,'' said John Brynjolfsson, 39, who oversees more than $10 billion of TIPS as managing director of Pimco's Real Return Bond Fund in Newport Beach, California. ``Disinflation is near the end, and we are in the process of turning the corner and into a reflation environment.''

Black Blade: Nevertheless, the massive creation of USD in accelerating as foreign interests struggle to prop up the US currency (backed by something absurd and meaningless as "faith and credit"). The dam is springing more leaks daily and not enough fingers to plug the holes. Better get a "Golden Lifeboat" as soon as possible.

Black BladeEU opens new front in trade war#11793003/02/04; 00:15:28


The EU and US are the world's largest trading partners
The European Union has imposed escalating tariffs on US companies that will cost American business hundreds of millions of dollars. It is the first time that the EU has hit US firms with sanctions as part of a trade dispute. The EU is imposing a 5% increase in duty on a range of goods, from honey to roller skates to nuclear reactors. The aim is to force the US Congress to change a law that gives an unfair tax advantage to US exporters. The EU sanctions will increase by a further 1% each month until they affect US exports worth $666m (£356m) a year.

Black Blade: Uh huh. Of course the US can counter by announcing a "weak dollar" via a public inflation policy to stimulate US exports. More and more the pressure cooker builds - get precious metals for portfolio insurance to anchor investment portfolios on a solid foundation.

Black BladeChinese Premier, central bank chief warn on inflationary dangers #11793103/02/04; 00:21:59


BEIJING (AFP) - Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan have warned that over-investment and inflationary pressures are putting the country's economy at risk, state press reported Monday. In the latest remarks expressing rising concerns among China's political elite about an inflationary crisis similar to that seen in the mid-1990s, Zhou said that increases in the consumer price index (CPI) suggest that China's economy is facing price pressures. He asserted that "measures would be taken to prevent it" ... China's main economic problems this year are inflation and over-investment, and "power and transportation shortages," he said.

In a separate article, Wen also warned about the impact of over-investment and was quoted as saying that the government will take measures to prevent inflation and work to ease the shortages in raw materials, energy and transportation. China fought its last battle against inflation in 1993 and 1994 after former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping's in his 1992 "southern tour" triggered a major investment boom by saying that "to get rich is glorious".

Black Blade: "Interesting Times" indeed. However, I doubt that the non-convertible yuan will be allowed to float against foreign currencies.

Black BladeCredit cards dangle carrot to pay tax bill with plastic#11793203/02/04; 00:29:46


With tax season under way, credit card companies are rolling out super-sized rewards programs that allow customers with certain cards to charge their tax payments and earn double miles or extra reward points. Some experts, however, warn consumers to be careful because those charges carry a "convenience fee" and, as with any purchase, are subject to interest rate charges until the balance is paid in full.

Last year, 559,566 people paid their taxes by credit card, a 78 percent rise from 2002, according to figures on the IRS Web site. Those taxpayers collectively charged almost $878 million in taxes, according to the IRS. Taxpayers who use their cards are charged a "convenience" fee of roughly 2.49 percent of their tax bill that is set and collected by the payment processor.

Black Blade: Americans are not known for being savers and now are being lured to pay taxes with plastic. Just digging a deeper hole of debt no less.

Black BladeHeading for a fall, by fiat? The trouble with paper money#11793303/02/04; 00:41:14


IS THE problem with the dollar only that it is falling? It has certainly been doing that. This month, it fell to $1.29 against the euro. This is its lowest-ever rate against the euro, and represents a decline of 19% since the beginning of 2003. In trade-weighted terms, the dollar has fallen less over the same period (15%), but mainly because Asian central banks have been intervening heavily to stem their currencies' rise against it. Of late, it has been wobbling around unconvincingly: America needs a weaker dollar to correct its current-account deficit. But given the dollar's role as a currency of last resort, some wonder if its decline heralds not just an economic adjustment by the United States, but a crisis of sorts in the value of paper money itself.

Money in its present form is a relatively new invention. For most of human history money meant either gold or silver, either directly, or indirectly by means of the "gold standard" which meant, at least in theory, that all paper money was backed by gold. Enthusiasm for the gold standard evaporated in the 1930s, when it made dreadful conditions worse. But it was adopted in a watered-down version after the second world war, when only the dollar was backed by gold. This arrangement made some sense, since America held three-quarters of the world's gold stock. But it came to an end in 1971, when inflationary pressures in America caused the country's manufacturers to become uncompetitive and forced the country off the gold standard. Since then the world has relied on "fiat money", so-called because it is created by government fiat and is backed only by the promises of central bankers to protect the value of their currencies. It is the value of those promises that some are now questioning. Certainly, those promises have only been worth much in recent years. In the early years of fiat money, inflation took off, especially in America, in part because of the two oil shocks of the 1970s. This debased the value of the dollar, and the price of gold climbed from $35 an ounce to $850.

Those who doubt the continued worth of paper money as a store of value point to two things. The first is that the price of gold has been rising even though official inflation is low. From $253 an ounce in the late 1990s, gold now fetches just over $400 an ounce, and it rose as high as $430 an ounce earlier this year. It is not just the price of gold that has been rising: so, too, have the prices of precious and base metals. There may, of course, be many other reasons for these rises. China's rapidly expanding economy is gobbling up metals and other commodities for its factories. Moreover, the rise in the price of commodities also reflects the weakness in the dollar: these rises look much less impressive when quoted in euros or yen. But the rise in the price of gold in particular has raised questions.

Black Blade: Interesting take but misses the mark too. However, the important point to read into this is that Gold (and other precious metals) do provide quite a bit of protection in a stumbling economic environment and a wobbly US dollar. It looks to get much worse as the dollar plunges step-wise into oblivion. Of course Alan Greenspan's comments on Social Security did not inspire confidence either as another symptom of reckless government economic policies over the last several decades.

slingshotMidas Crusade#11793403/02/04; 01:14:19

The battle for Hammerton had come to an end for the day and many lay dead. Sir Black Blade had come from the East Gate to the bluff where Sir M.K. and the flag men were positioned.
Shall we attempt to bury the fallen? asked Sir Black Blade.
Sir M.K. thought for a short time, then answered.
Send one under a flag of truce. Let them decide.
As you wish, replied Sir Black Blade.
He summoned a Knight and sent him forth out on the open field to earth works at the West Gate.
As he rode those on the bridge could see him riding with a white flag.
A figure made his way to the battered gate and when it opened disappeared inside.
He reached the town hall doors and after being challenged by the guards was allowed into the hall.
A rider under a flag of truce, My Lord, he said as he entered.
Therroth, having calmed himself became most interested in the news.
Therroth himself would address the rider. He turned to Gandalf.
Your friends call. How nice of them. Too bad you can not greet him. Guards! yelled Therroth. Two come into veiw.
Watch him close as I attend to matters'said Therroth.
Therroth left to go to the town wall, followed by the servant.
When he reached the wall,there was the rider, high in plain site on the earthworks.

What do you want? asked Therroth.

We wish to bury our dead under flag of truce, answered the rider.
The servant drew close to Therroth. As I said, My Lord.
You may do the same, without harm, said the rider.
Use this time to repair the gate and re-enforce your positions. Besides it will bide time as our forces approach, said the servant.
Wise counseling,looking at the servant'said Therroth.

We will honor your truce and send men to bury our own, said Therroth.

I will stay here till it is finished, said the rider.

Dipping his flag, the Goldbugs came unarmed to to perform their task.
The West Gate opened and the barrier on the bridge was withdrawn. Then a large contingent walked out on the bridge and down to the earthworks.
The servant spoke to Therroth suddenly.
Your men will follow you without question now. They have lost friends and to leave them to the elements when a proper
burial could be obtained, would be an insult to their bravery.
Therroth replied harshly, I do it to give me time, as you so well noted, servant!
As the combatants went about their tasks, there were many exchanges. Glances at each other as they recognized the fallen. And they became as one with a job to finish.
In some cases after a battle the dead were thrown in a river to be carried away or burned, never to be honored. Yet to be left on the field to rot or trampled on by the next engagement was a severe insult who served their cause.
Those who watched from the walls of Hammerton stood silent and tall.
Therroth, would notice this action.

At the East Gate all was quiet and Leona had made her way to the earthworks. She was greeted by Ladies White Rose and Waverider. She dismounted and entered the trench. All being happy to see each other they talked for sometime only to become silent.
Is he alive? asked Lady Waverider. Leona cast a sideward look. Why do you ask me? said Leona. I heard you before, said Lady Waverider.
He is and Gandalf is well, said Leona.
How do you know?'said Lady Waverider.
I can feel his lifeforce and it is strong, said Leona.

Sir M.K. withdrew from the bluff with Sir Black Blade and called the Knights together to prepare for the next assualt on Hammerton.
When they gathered, his opening words were heard by all.

My fellow Knights, Truly I wish we were sitting at the Oaken Table Of Yore. We have fought many battles only to fight more with each one we win. I am concerned with the morale of the men for I ask much of them. Do I ask too much?
Sir M.K. looked about into the faces of his most trusted Knights.
We wait for the Knights Of Old, but they are slow in coming.
THEY WILL COME! A voice from outside the group.
Who has spoken? said Sir M.K.
It is I, Bandit!
A large man made his way forward, holding a large axe.
You were the one at the West Gate, said Sir M.K.
Yes, and I come here to fight!'said Bandit.
Tell me Bandit, can Hammerton be taken? asked Sir M.K.
Hammerton has its walls and gates but your army has great strength in unity and I believe this town will not prevail.
Then let us plan its capture, said Sir M.K.
Just then, Cougar rode up and dismounted. He was filled with enthusiasm, for he had a plan to overcome the West Gate and enter Hammerton.


Black Bladeslingshot#11793503/02/04; 01:44:36

"Shall we attempt to bury the fallen? asked Sir Black Blade."

Hey, buzzards gotta eat too. ;-)

- Black Blade

Night all.

Black BladeWill gold reach $500 per ounce by year end?#11793603/02/04; 01:59:04


In December, the monthly average price of gold exceeded $400 per ounce, its highest level since 1996. Investment demand, driven by increasing global geopolitical risk and dollar weakness, helped propel the price of gold higher by over $70 per ounce in 2003. In addition, hedge unwinding by gold producers and limited gold production also underpinned gold prices. In 2004, the price of gold is expected to continue rising, reaching levels comparable to those seen in the early 1980s during the last oil price shock. Factors that pushed gold prices higher in 2003 will again drive gold prices higher in 2004. Most important for gold prices will be the strength of investor demand. Increasing global geopolitical instability, further dollar depreciation and growing risk of dollar devaluation will all strengthen investor demand for gold.

Demand from producer de-hedging will continue at last year's pace. Gold supply is expected to remain nearly stable. Gold production will increase slightly while central bank sales of gold are expected to decline. With investor demand expected to increase and supply to hold roughly stable, the price of gold should approach $500 per ounce by the end of 2004.

Last year the strong dollar policy advocated by the US Treasury since the mid-1990s was subtlely abandoned. It is generally assumed that dollar policy was changed in order to improve the competitiveness of US exports, spurring growth of manufacturing jobs. In addition to abandonment of the strong dollar policy, the economic threat posed by the staggering twin US deficits are likely to push the value of the dollar lower in 2004. Last year, the US current account deficit was estimated to have reached a record 5.1 percent of GDP while the US general government deficit, which includes both the federal and state governments, was likely to have approached six percent of GDP. Nearly $1 trillion of foreign capital is funding the US public sector and current account deficits. About $800 billion of this foreign money is invested in US government, agency and corporate bonds. The size of these deficits and the nature of their funding make the dollar very vulnerable to depreciation, and long-term interest rates exposed to upward pressure.

Black Blade: OK, one more - I am reading another analyst's case for $3,700/oz. Gold. The reasons are fairly consistent on a depreciating US dollar and increasing demand.

slingshotBlack Blade#11793703/02/04; 02:03:26

Just One More

Can't go to bed either, huh! ;0)

Clink!@ Gandalf #1179383/2/04; 06:01:25$SILVER,PYPA[PA][DA][F!3!1.0!]&pref=G

Hmm... Looks like they had second thoughts overnight and revised the silver price objective - UP !! Now at $8.36.


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BoilermakerCongress to the Rescue#1179413/2/04; 07:19:47

Rep. Donald Manzullo (R-Ill.), chairman of the House Small Business Committee, will hold a hearing March 10 in Washington to investigate the dramatic spike in the price of steel. Steel consumers had expected prices to fall in December after President Bush lifted tariffs on imports. Instead, they have risen steadily. Similar price increases have been seen in other commodity metals such as aluminum. Manzullo's office said the hearing will determine the damage those increases causing small manufacturers.

Thank goodness we have alert folks in Washington ready to slay the nasty inflation dragons that are beginning to pop up. Do you suppose they'll figure out that the US is gradually exporting (in the form of scrap)its aging infrastructure and manufacturing facilities so that China can build its own? We are seeing a massive relocation of facilities in the form of a giant recycling process.
No doubt some gold is heading East as well.

steadygurgle gurlge gulp gasp wipe out!#1179423/2/04; 07:23:06

Wipe out!help..... caught inside ... where the helicopter at hurry> what? its been leased out to drop confetti paper dammmmmmmm.
the saga of surfer joe comes to an inglorious end. he caght the big one but let it go!
onward we go in his memory. peace!

Dollar Bill*>*.........+#1179433/2/04; 07:36:04

I read the Russian situation like this, capital is coming into Russia, the Ruble is rising, the Russians, despite anti american political noise, just admitted they will buy dollars to keep the Ruble low. Am I wrong to think that this is the real aim of Greenspan? Get ALL the currencies to buy dollars to keep thier currency lower. The deficeits are there to make that flow happen, and the pressure is on the EU to actively join that dollar recycleing. And havent they been doing that lately? I see no stated evidence, but the euro has not broken through 130 and why else not?

The US is embracing the NATO as the new up and coming global cop enforcement arm. That must mean that despite previous currency war (iraq) where the euro boys tried to make a multipolar world, (and I am surprised but I am now coming around to seeing wisdom in that) however, real bad choice in chooseing saddam as one of the partners! A fatal choice as it turned out. As it seems that the effort has been defeated and the one world group has won out.

Do you know that Putin, crafty and KGB as he is, despite that, he has been wearing a necklace with a cross on it (given to him by his mom) for many years without missing a day? Bush and Putin, just guessing again, have had Christian boy chit chats and I think he has quietly signed on to the global one world. He has to play like he is definately NOT, but this news of dollar recycleing to me is the membership card of the global one world party.

The saudi royal family, which numbers quite a few thousand, consider America part of thier domain in the sense that they get visa free access, and lots of talking to by the American administration. If they feel they are getting consulted with enough, on any decisions that concern them, why would they squawk? Why would they they run to the euro guys that just about succeeded in making mighty, thier enemy saddam? I dont think wearing hats constantly has affected thier ability to think about thier own self interest! The royal family has no problem continueing to dominate thier fellow countryman. Blabber about democracy coming to the Arabs aside.
I am now thinking that god will not stop this global one world effort till it actually manifests much more fully and is not so hidden from the people and covered up by the big boys (soon to have a name change to big brothers!). Then, when the flaws are revealed more fully, and the diminished freedoms enrage enough people, the planet of humans, having once done the global one world thing, will have as experience, the knowledge and reasons to change the course back to local economy and rule. BUT, not without some disaster of some sort providing the route and opportunity to change. We are going the beehive route. I have full faith in human nature to explode out of that in due time. With a little or big assist from god. Who seems to prefer the freedom and happiness of the small guy. Who seems to prefer the chances afforded the regular guy when the system itself has not structured itself to exclude him from managing his own affairs. Did god really spend 14 billion years getting earth and us humans to this point just so we could all be fed by agribusiness, provided products by global corps, and so we could all called "associates"?

Is that the future title of us humans in the one world vision? No longer citizens, but global associates?
Greenspan has the pedal to the metal, and it is one world here we come. His speech in January put us on notice that he has narcissist tendencies. The glorious march enthralls him, and he provides us with his own report on how he has done. It does not stand up to the light of day of course, but he gives HIS fed, wonderful, no, perfect grades.
Politicians love the money flow, and the temporary surge of power, but the regular guy, the one the constitution was created for, and America, the country whose sovereignty the constitution was created to insure, are, (although it is early so it is hard to see) are in the process of losing what so many died to give us.
The day of gold must return.

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TownCrierEurosystem sheds more paper#1179453/2/04; 08:57:42

According to the latest weekly release of the consolidated financial statement of the Eurosystem, the net position in foreign currency was reduced by 0.3 billion to EUR 171.7 billion, a new Stage Three low to my recollection. Meanwhile, the gold and gold-receivable asset portion of international reserves was held firm at EUR 130.34 billion.


GoldiloxReactions to your thoughts#1179463/2/04; 09:28:28

@ $ Bill:

Buddy, two reactions to your last post.

1) Did the Russians say they would buy US$? Not really, although I would agree they have joined in the "jawboning" exercise, probably to extract or remit some favors. The EU leadership has an interesting "good cop - bad cop" play unfolding between pols and bankers.

2) Saddam as a poor choice of EU partner. Perhaps - Iraq and Eu have been redeveloping Iraq's oil structure since his 1991 spanking. Given the amount of creative intelligence data utilized, it's hard for me to believe any other choice of partner would not have been demonized and attacked as well. Perhaps most ego-offending was that Saddam had been placed in power and propped up by the neo-cons and they felt his dealing with EU was a slap in their face. Post-mortem, any choice of partner is poor if your "allies" dismantle the partnership as a world political announcement.

It's amazing that "globalism" has developed such a "godfather" approach to business. But then again, maybe not so much. The US "coup d' gras" was widely announced to the world on Nov. 22, 1963, with a reminder on election day in 2000.

Got gold? The proverbial fan gets ickier by the day.

GoldiloxDX#1179473/2/04; 09:36:38

The DX is screaming up. 88.44
CoBra(too)It's been snowing for days and no end in sight...#1179483/2/04; 09:38:41

... reminding me of the Snow Job the sec trash, uh treas has had to do. Well, with all that shovelling your arms sure grow pretty strong - and that may be why the last G7 meeting was held in a place like Boca Raton. A place pretty safe from blizzards.
Now even being safe from blizzards, some thunderstorms against unilateral precipitation of the reserve currency may have - at least temporarily - shifted to a more "begnign" and accommodating sprinkle. In a way the soggy ground was left to dry off a bit. Only to be followed by renewed downpours - with a vengeance.
... and in the meantime, we're listening in awe as Sir Alan is handing out his treasured words of wisdom.
... and we're still in awe, perplexed and totally confused to hear the maestro's sage words wither government spending, reigning in social security and other measures to curb deficits. Wow, I'm kind'a lost, as I was led to believe to join hands with my neighbors and buy another SUV, another house and pay down less than nothing, after taking out the extra money to spend on other things I don't need, with the cash Freddie and Fannie so amply supplied.

After all, these GSE's are duly hedged for my and any other bankruptcy emerging from their seeming largesse! ... and after all, the only counterparty meeting their derivative hedge positions is - as the name implies - government sponsored. "What me care" - after all (again) the last counterparty standing is at least as broke as the entity it is supposed to sponsor.

Well, now even Sir Alan is alarmed, as he can't print or create enough liquidity from hot air, as the globe is moving towards "Indeflation (TM* Bill Bonner)".

In the next couple of days all listening devices are pointed towards the ECB equivalent of FOMC to see ... if they dare or not to cut their IR to smithereens, as well.

In the final examination it won't make any difference - as the true and blue currency of eons - Gold - will make a superb comeback against all confetti currencies. cb2

PS: @ Belgian - Balkan is more a state of mind, as a geographical area ... otherwise, I would suggest you take a look at Vienna's 2nd. district, where allegedly the Balkans begin... and have been located to the SE., though it also may be that the Balkans have spread in every other direction as well.

steadysurfer joe#1179493/2/04; 09:38:53

"hes satisfyed with winning" ny
buoys reactivated, swells upcoming depth duratiuon and timing are unclear now but the data is streaming in, be prepared>

gold and silver
honest money for
honest people

GoldiloxDX rally to 88.77#1179503/2/04; 09:48:52

Still going. Puplava and Sinclair have both opined that a dollar rally is bad for exporters. Does this suggest that the profit arbitrage last quarter due to currency exchange rates is not as critical for this quarter's numbers?
glennh10Goldilox - a misunderstanding about gov't gold sales#1179513/2/04; 10:37:40

I'm apologize, but what I meant to say was that there are always buyers for the gold that the central banks have been selling. However, the media never report the transactions as gold purchases, but always as gold sales.

My opinion is that they want to "spin" that the central bank gold sale is causing a newly increased supply of gold to come to market, inferring that the demand side of the gold transaction is unchanged. Their objective in this biased reporting is the hope of lowering the dollar value of gold.

Of course, another factor in the more recent central bank sales (and I'm sure this has been pointed out by the more informed members of this great forum) is that the "gold" they are selling is likely already long gone from their vaults, having been leased. So, in many cases, the central bank gold "sales" that are being reported today are likely nothing more than a "balancing" of the books, a settling of the old gold loans.

So, these central banks are trying to "play the same hand" twice. Each time they loaned out the gold (since the early 1980's), it was sold into the market, while the central bank inventory records remained unchanged. The gold ended up in the market, and purchased into the hands of the new buyers, while that same gold also remained on the books of the central banks.

Now, they are reporting the sale of "gold", which in most cases, is in reality only a paper account of the gold they leased out long ago. They report it as a "gold" sale to the media, hoping to accomplish one final hurrah to suppress the price. As has been said, "Interesting times."

Just some thoughts.

Socrates964Thoughts on the Euro#1179523/2/04; 11:49:37

Does anyone share my hunch that the decline in the Euro is being choreographed by an ECB that doesn't want to cut rates but wants to dress up its refusal as a prudent response to market behavior rather than deliberate opposition to politicians.

The evident way to do this is to get inflationary alarm bells ringing. It is thus notable that the Euro did nothing while oil/the CRB was tracking sideways. All of a sudden, when these go into orbit, it begins to weaken, more or less guaranteeing that commodity price inflation will start showing up in Euroland. This must be the best possible excuse for not cutting (or even raising) rates.

The other signal is a rising gold price in Euros. Since the trading range is at E300-50, Gold at E321 still has a lot of upside leeway. Gold has bounced off its low at E315 and now seems to be trudging higher in Euro terms.

Could the ECB be secretly pushing for higher gold???

GoldiloxCB Gold sales#1179533/2/04; 11:56:10

@ Glennh10:

Actually, I was the one who diverged from your point.

Perhaps the reason the sale is reported as such is that sellers are much more amenable to publicity than buyers, especially private buyers.

steadysurfer joes last request.#1179543/2/04; 12:57:42

enoy the reactors wake!
BelgianNew WAG >>> 2,500 tonnes CB-Gold/yr !?#1179553/2/04; 13:24:10

SO WHAT....!?

Today, dollar up (+2%)...Whoooossshhh > position liquidation, immediately followed (not preceding) by convenient, optimistic, sounds from lalaland. But,...look at the POO, NOT declining (yet) with 2% !!!-???

Restudy FOA : 2000 msgs # 7 and 8 and 9 !!! The *** dollar-system *** and the impossibility of a "pure" gold-system, explained. Repeat, the dollar SYSTEM, not the currency.

Today, I met an old yeller (75 yrs), selling some of his precious yellow holdings. Offered him a cup of coffee and wanted to know the psychology behind his goldsale. €-Gold is doing nothing, he firmly stated ! I don't "believe" in Gold, anymore, he complained.

Impossible to suggest to this goldseller, that the €- goldprice containment from trending, was/is on purpose, as to "mobilise" more private Gold (small and big) due to an increasing Gold shortage. This paradox was too much for him to comprehend...and he sold a few coins more. Godmining increased to 2,500 tonnes a year from a steady 1,000 tonnes/yr on top of forward sales of 3,000 tonnes ! Where is all this Gold flowing to !!!-???

Whilst Greenie is having his complicated Forex (unsustainable interventions) talks, Eurolanders are facing rises at the pump. As if oil was saying : Get that euro up against the dollar or face the reverse (€-decline) consequences of the medal with price-inflating, rising €-oilprices ! Remember, that it was (is) EMU + OIL that organized WAG-I. Gold MUST flow,... keep flowing to the right place-places ! Maybe the UK might replace its sold goldreserves with newly mined South African (Aussie) Gold ?

FOA : Wouldn't it not be better to at least not shackle the "money" to "Gold". Indeed, a real Physical FreeGold Market will constantly be devaluing any fiat currency over a long term...while removing the need for CBs to maintain fixed exchange structure through a dirty float against Gold.
And here it comes...The most important aspect is in the *escape-valve-Gold* would provide to developing countries (oilstates,Asia)) with positive trade flows !!!

What would/could a WAG II with 2,500 tonnes, mean ? Provoke another round of goldmine forward sales ? More commitments between underground Gold and underground (Russian) oil ?
Extend the POG-containment (non-trend in €) ? Provide the right $-POG as to make goldmining in the goldstates with strong currencies versus the dollar, profitable as to be able to deliver the Gold for more directed flows ? We ($ + € + yen) keep on agreeing on an orderly deroulement (transition), don't we ? Is a looming (provoked) civil war in Iraq going to permit this "orderly" affair ? Who (what currency-system) can pay himself the luxuary of losing its nervs, prématurally ?

Main question remains, if "oil" is still backing the dollar-system and if yes, to what extend ? Maybe a (probable) WAG II might be put in place as to mobilize some more Gold that could become available when priced relatively low in € ? This, whilst dollar-inflation and devaluation will most probably not create real jobs and hurt the global profitability against rising debts. The very low IRs are making things worse for a wide range of reasons. Maybe we might continue to see low IRs for some time to come,...even up until another currency (gold)system is materialized that might make high IRs superfluous ???

Will see what happens at yearend.

Belgian@Socrates#1179563/2/04; 14:13:02

Most probably you are referring to the "pro forma" visit of Shroeder to the US ?
These little, politico entre-actes, are imo unimportant within the systemic broader perspectives of ECB's policies and targets. Hedging the $-€ decline is eroding profits in an already contracting (stagnant) euro-economy. A problem that is retarding the €-marching up.
Politico's are economy agnosts/incompetents. They only exist as to serve their electorate for their own survival.
The real stratego's are on a much higher level and I wonder if the $-€ competitors still need to play games and mask their rivalry ?

You were indeed the first one to post on the POO's behavior.
POO in euro higher as to put more pressure on the dollar exch.rate and signal the euro faction not to support the dollar in any way (IRs-other intervention)!?

Let us only watch the major trends and not pull hasty conclusion on these ST position liquidations. Stratego's work with LT-trends. Keep posting Socra.

Socrates964Belgian#1179573/2/04; 14:48:54

Actually, I was thinking more generally, but while we're on the subject of Schroeder, I remember that when he lost control of the SPD in early-Feb, die Welt (I think) pointed out that he was basically friendless, and his only hope was an economic recovery. Hence calling on the ECB to cut rates is just begging for charity.

There is a more profound point here:

Is the fixing of POO in Euros a done deal? If so, the ECB has much more latitude in using the Euro as a political weapon domestically, since it knows that its trading partners (mainly those in the Middle East) will not be unduly perturbed if $/E jumps around a bit.

I'll bet that the Euro is still on probation, which explains why Trichet made his remarks about excessive volatility.

A friend of mine nevertheless pointed out that Trichet is a far more complex and political creature than Duisenberg.

If Schroeder had asked Wim for a rate cut, he would just have told him to get stuffed, since Wim had no additional ambitions. Trichet, on the other hand, may want to be a finance minister one day or something like that, so he can't afford to antagonize the politicians and has to play a craftier game of appearing to agree, but being powerless to influence markets.

How does he do this? I can think of 2 ways: a) you cut a deal with the smaller member states who have excessive voting rights, and they blow hot and cold about their economies overheating while you just smile sweetly, or b) you tip off financial markets to give the inflationary warning signals that you need to avoid cutting rates without appearing partisan.

Commodity prices and POO are already doing the heavy lifting by themselves. If POG rises in Euros, I suggest that it shows the hand of the ECB at work behind the scenes.

The only doubt I have here is the stance of the Fed. We have a kind of null hypothesis of the form: Bush needs a weak dollar to get re-elected, so if anything a Euro rate cut goes against this.

Jim Sinclair may have got it right when he said that the dollar must show some ability to rally so that markets feel that yes, it's still overvalued, but it's not a disaster in the making. This is evidently the same line that they've taken with the economy - trying to pretend that, yes, the US may well be in recession, but it's only a periodic cyclical recession and not a generational structural recession. As always, this will work until the day that it doesn't work - probably on account of some banking system disaster.

What does this all add up to? Well, it looks good for gold short-term, for as long as POO doesn't tank.

Let's assume that the ECB needs gold at E350 as an inflationary bogeyman, and also needs Euro 1.29 to offset commodity price inflation, then you have POG at 450. It may nevertheless stay there for a while.

GoldiloxVenezuela oil cut threat#1179583/2/04; 14:56:11,4057,8844185%255E462,00.html


"BELEAGUERED Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has sent a tremor across the international oil market with threats of cutting oil exports to the US.

Predictions the oil price could soar above $US40 a barrel if Venezuelan oil stopped being shipped to the US come as the rapid resurgence in the US economy is forcing a realisation high crude oil prices are here to stay in the medium term, at least.

The left-wing Venezuelan leader made the warning in a fiery speech to supporters in which he accused US President George W. Bush's administration of backing opposition attempts to oust him from the presidency of the world's No.5 oil exporter.

"Mr Bush must know that if he gets the mad idea of trying to blockade Venezuela, or, even worse, of invading Venezuela, if that happened, the people of the United States should know that not a drop of oil would reach them from Venezuela, not a drop more," Mr Chavez told tens of thousands of cheering supporters."


The thot plickens! So far, Chavez has used a tactic of publicly addressing covert US intervention. Not too sure of the wisdom of his tactics, but he's lacking cojones.

Goldiloxoops - #1179593/2/04; 14:57:17

"not lacking"
BoilermakerDeja vu#1179603/2/04; 15:01:24

NEW YORK, March 2 (Reuters) - U.S. home prices increased
8.4 percent last year, aided by historically low mortgage rates
and confidence in an improving U.S. economy, mortgage finance
company Freddie Mac said on Tuesday.
Prices rose 17.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2003, the
fastest pace in 26 years, Freddie Mac (NYSE:FRE - News), the Number 2
buyer of mortgages in the United States said in a statement.
"The 17.8 percent gain is the largest quarterly growth rate
since 1977, when it was 21 percent," said Amy Crews Cutts,
deputy chief economist at Freddie Mac. This year, she added,
home values should rise between 6 percent and 8 percent.
That gain is "huge when you think that inflation is 1.5
percent. So, the real growth is tremendous in those home
values," Crews Cutts told Reuters

Hmmm... "The 17.8 percent gain is the largest quarterly growth rate since 1977"
Gee, I remember 1977. That was a great year for real things but not so hot for stocks. LT interest rates were near 8%Short term interest rates were about 6% bonds were headed down. Inflation and unemployment were both at 6%. Gold went from $130 to $165 and silver was going from $4.30 to $5.00.
I also remember haggling with the National Park Service over my 100 acre farm they had condemned and taken for a new park. Thankfully I invested a lot of the $ in oil and gas stocks that were streaking. So I made out ok from the forced conversion.

Anyway, what's my point? 1977 was prelude to the biggest commodity run in my memory. Have you noticed some similarities with today? The only thing that's not the same is inflation. Thank God we've corralled that demon.

BoilermakerSharks Circling Bush#1179613/2/04; 15:18:21

I think GWB is already seen as a lame duck by those chaffing to get out from under his judgemental disapproval. As the year wears on and the Dems get their act together (if that's not an oxymoron) the polls will diminish what little goodwill that "W" may have with friendly nations and reduce the fear factor with the likes of Chevez and others not so friendly.

GoldiloxVenezuela Analysis#1179623/2/04; 15:24:15

@ Boilermaker:

Thanks for the interesting take. I haven't been too impressed the protectionism talk coming from the demo front-runners, but improved foreign relations is sorely needed.

On another subject, notice how GS mentions "inflation" three times as soon as the $ rises. At least he's not missing that inevitability.

BoilermakerGreenspan Hints of Rate Hike#1179633/2/04; 16:46:57

Mr. Greenspan seldom sends significant new signals on monetary policy in unscripted settings such as Tuesday's. Still, his remarks in the past month have played down the risks of inflation falling further. For example, he noted in his prepared remarks Tuesday that import prices have risen by far less than implied by the dollar's fall, in part because European exporters have hedged their exposure to the dollar's decline against the euro. As those hedges expire, "dollar prices of imports will surely rise."

Is this what you're referring to in your msg 117962? I think he's seeing the liklihood of a new administration and starting to respond to that outcome. Here's a scenario: No more Mr. Nice Guy. Screw the retiree's and the big spenders. Look for a rate hike sooner than later to nail the wayward admin and send a Paul Volcker message to the markets. Help the $ commit suicide and recommend a Euro-like currency.
Not likely but possible?

GoldiloxGS reference#11796403/02/04; 17:33:50

Actually, I was referring to his triple reminder that the FED discount rate could not remain "accomodative" forever. I think he said it in terms like, "I have stated, my collegues have stated, WE have stated . . ."

in an obvious apologetic appeal.

Jacob MarleyBelgian - death and taxes.#11796503/02/04; 17:41:14

Mr. B - first thank you as always for your illuminating perspective. You mention to TC yesterday: "At present, Russia tries to organise serious Tax-collection-system..."

Curious the selection by Putin, no? (forgive, if this has already been noted here, but I am only able to glance the forum of late) -- from article:

President Vladimir Putin's surprise nomination of a low-profile bureaucrat as his new prime minister is intended to strengthen his already nearly absolute power, newspapers said Tuesday.

"The president's message is quite clear -- he is assuming even more powers and is going to decide things by himself," Vedomosti wrote about the nomination of former Tax Police chief Mikhail Fradkov.

"The first reaction to his name was shock. Many participants initially thought it was a joke," Izvestia said.

specie-manVenezuela's Revenge#11796703/02/04; 19:16:18

Venezuela could do this:

1. Borrow large quantites of US Dollars.

2. Exchange those dollars for Euros (or whatever).

3. Stop (or reduce) shipments of oil to the US. The US Dollar would then surely decline in value.

4. Exchange the Euros (or whatever) for Dollars (and make a profit).

5. Pay back the loan with those devalued Dollars.

Not to mention that this would drive the price of oil higher.

Hmm... looking at the recent history of the Dollar (DX), maybe somebody in OPEC just did that !

BoilermakerGreenspan/Fedspeak#11796803/02/04; 19:26:49

Bill Murphy posted a letter from Dan Norcini at his Le Metropole site today that analyzes Alan's recent barrage of commentary (in part):
"One has got to hand it Sir Alan - he has become amazingly adept at speaking in such a manner that anyone listening can hear exactly what he or she wants to hear. I think he has "outpoliticianed" the politicians!"

The shear quantity and frequency of Fedspeak is giving me the impression of near panic. A confident Fed would not need to advertise its every thought or express that past decisions were correct and all is well. I prefer the T Roosevelt approach, speak softly and carry a big stick. The Fed is way out of bounds and Alan knows it.


Ag Mountainspecie-man, why all the extra complexity?#11796903/02/04; 20:18:52

If we keep our eyes on the real value everything else drops away like unnecessary balls in a mathematical juggling act.

Step 1. Venezuala has oil.

Step 2. Make sure it is sold at a market that provides something of equal value in return.

The End.

It's hard to accept the objective of your elaborate steps is to have a bigger pile of weaker dollars if there's no real end gain in total value. There'd have to be a deeper political objective going on.

goldquestMoney, Gold, and the Great Depression#11797003/02/04; 20:28:55

Gee, it sounds like Bernanke doesn't like gold!
steadypeace!#11797103/02/04; 22:19:17

That triumph of realpolitik over intellectual abstraction is worth remembering today.

Liberty HeadDarkness!#11797203/02/04; 22:36:52

Unbridled government spending begets unbridled taxation.
Inflation is but another word for tax. Many folks are fooled by the inflation ruse, so accountability remains homeless, fights remain unfought. The enemy remains unseen.

Because we have a democratic government, we do have a choice.
Our choice for the next presidential election is between the party of high taxes with higher inflation, and the party of high inflation with higher taxes.
Sadly, the will and the way to contain government spending lack critical mass.
Within this type of situation, self-preservation is all-important.
Thankfully, gold can help us offset our losses. It may be a zero sum game, but these days zero is a relatively high number. Zero puts us ahead of lots of other folks.
With gold, one may not outrun the bear, but one can outrun the herd.

Best Wishes

TopazEuro/Gold#11797303/02/04; 22:41:10

...and for those whose interest in the "price" of Gold is purely academic, the Euro has once again found it's equilibrium @ 320 and a move upward could be fact $ could well outshine E AND Au in the short-term.
DruidMoney, Gold, and the Great Depression#11797403/02/04; 22:57:50

Thanks goldquest for the link.

"If the present monetary structure were producing
satisfactory results, we would be well advised to leave
it alone. Tactics would then be the only topic. Howev-
er, the present monetary structure is not producing
satisfactory results. Indeed, in my opinion, no major
institution in the United States has so poor a record of
performance over so long a period yet so high a public
reputation as the Federal Reserve."
Druid: Psst, hey Ben "never know when to stop myth making" Bernanke, you omitted one of Milty's most recent salient discussions reference the torture chamber you hold so dear. At least, at a minimum, when developing and putting forth more myths, try to stay abreast of the most recent writings and interviews.

Jacob MarleyBelgian - more oil/dollars/gold/euro #11797503/02/04; 23:15:07

Further kind Sir, you mentioned to TC: "Dollar doesn't say a word about the POO and is evidence to me that the dollar supports the POO-rise (oil-inflala), as long as it is priced in dollar !" --- Would you mind commenting what you think about what looks like a strategy of military and armtwisting diplomacy by US to have a greater say in oil pricing as we go forward? I mean the multi-pronged efforts: a) strong persuasion to bring Libya into their influence, b) carrot diplomacy in Central Asia (Kazakhstan, particularly), c) the discrete presence/involvement not only as you mention: Congo -> gold, but also in oil rich areas of Africa, d) military takeover of Iraq, e) cheerleading (and who knows what else) the protests in Venezuala to oust Chavez, f) continued pressure on Saud to toe the line in the name of fighting terrorism, g) etc.

If (IF) Iraq can be tamed (no "provoked" civil war as you posit), and if (IF) Venezuala falls in their favor (oust Chavez, and successfully (also big if) see a replacement be anti-OPEC, and pro-US), then with pressure still brought to bear on Saud -could they break the back of OPEC (???) So, where really is purely opportunistic Russia in all this? They historically play the Anglo axis against the continent since Peter.

What is your take on the (China-upsetting) probable decision to route a major pipeline in Siberia to the coast (good for Japan, and by extension US), instead of heartland China (see link)? I personally think that Russia wants its economic future tied to Euroland (at least short term, as we'll look at below), but will take advantage of the knowledge that E-land covets this notion, too, so they have the luxury of acting capriciously (as they always do). This amounts basically to Russia seeing that Europe needs Russia more than Russia needs Europe. Hence, a pipeline to the coast has as its Russian benefits: diversification (not only China as sole consumer), and as the article indicates, Japan "offered big financial incentives, and the prospect of energy cooperation with Russia." (Note also the pieces falling into place as to why Khodorkovsky (Yukos) is in jail.) But the disadvantages are tensions with China, as not only is this a business-wise disappointment to them, but also a public thumb the nose embarrassment to them, which is not good manners, surely.

In the end, it is another plus for sustaining an environment that supports dollar-oil pricing, by securing another decent daily quantity for US consumption (so long as the pricing is in dollars, who do we think will be able to outbid other market agents for this oil?). This aggravates the issue you discuss, whereby ME oil may be saying "As if oil was saying : Get that euro up against the dollar or face the reverse."

Is Russia playing both ends against the middle? On the one hand cooperating with beneficial US dollar strategy, on the other cooperating with Euroland just enough to get support from there, until the necessary portfolio adjustments are made. Does this self-serving activity, if carried too far, risk breaking the euro plan by helping prolong economic stagnation there to the point where politically the ECB (even though heretofore behaving very independently, and according to charter), is forced to take politically driven measures, and destroy the foundation it has built, causing it to behave just like another dollar extension currency, and relegating it to second-tier status? Even though the major structural difference of marking reserves to market would still be in place, this big break with the past in terms of currency credibility forces it to be a purely abstract mechanism, whose support is 100% based on faith in the issuing institution to be responsible with its currency, and not driven by parochial political motives.

In the current paradigm, this is allowable, so long as something else provides assurance of the currency's acceptability via something enforcing even a nominal semblance of an over-issuance restraint. In other words, how does it fare in terms of important things like gold and oil pricing. Since the mark2market mechanism risks visible and possibly volatile changes in the currency's value, a 100% abstract basis for credibility requires 100% unwavering years of trial and proof to demonstrate adherence to charter (principally price stability vis-a-vis HICP) -- even in the face of much temptation and pressure to accommodate local micro-economic needs. The goal of the US, who knows this, is to cause ECB to yield to pressure, since it makes the currency out to be politically prone just like any other, and would make global big players say, "the euro is acting just like the others, so why should I leave the devil I know? Also, this mark-to-market stuff is scary now cause it leaves too much uncertainty."

Is this perhaps, what hegemonic Russia REALLY wants? Since this would weaken Europe, and extend a dollar timeline and its economy further into the abyss of an overconsumption with no more productive growth blackhole - whereby the $ remains a "reserve" currency still, but only retains its strength on the basis of pure overwhelming derivative use requirements, which allows the US to hyperinflate, and overspend without any benchmark to reality, all the way into oblivion, but still without visible consequence (mega price increases) for a little bit longer?

If it is, then this explains a tendency to sow the seeds to disgrace China, as it would need them politically weaker. And Russia sidling up to Japan benefits both parties, as Japan also needs a contingency for a fall in US strength and status. Japan is unloved by China, we all know, but is currently exporting much bigger big time to them, and not only for goods to turn around and sell to the US, but for goods consumed in China. These numbers are impressive when compared to its exports to the US now, and indicates a diversification from reliance on the US consumer, but this is not the ideal trading partner for J for political reasons. So, they need a Russia to play off against them. Europe is too far away, historically not participant with Japan, and likely to favor its historic senses toward China, if a choice had to be made. So again, can/will J kiss and make up over those stupid islands, and deal in pure strategic cooperation with Russia? I think it's possible.

So, personally, I think Russia is in a pretty good seat. They need time to get their house in order. They can get Europe support for oil/gold price dynamics for quite a while yet, all the time getting favors from the US, if they at least give the apperance they are being team players. Russia must secure Japanese strategic alliance, and forget its past differences. Russia must try to weaken Chinese global leadership ascendancy. And. If Russia's intent is to be a peer in the European vision, then it must not spurn too long European good will, lest it risk destabilizing euro-monetary foundations. Or. If Russia really wants to rise ultimately to overall leadership in the region (more typical of its centuries old tendencies), it will try to cause this destabilization, and ultimately reduce European intentions, by forcing changes in the monetary nature of the euro, that take a lot of the steam out of their zone-expansion initiatives.

Just a few ramblings from my end. If you think it worthwhile, what do you see from your perspective? TIA.

Ag Mountaingoldquest: "Gee, it sounds like Bernanke doesn't like gold!"#11797603/03/04; 00:40:57

Well, there you have it. Proof that 4 eyes provide 2 views. I came away from it with a completely different conclusion. To me he sounded a lot like FOA, Aristotle and Belgian. I can't say he sounds like he doesn't like gold. Far from it. More like he's openly recognizing once and for all the insurmountable problems of using fixed gold convertibility as a stardard basis of the monetary system.

Maybe this is a good official sign of the U.S. turning around its wrong-headedness. Maybe it will help the world inch us a bit closer to real free-gold.

specie-manVenezuela's Revenge - @ Ag Mountain#11797703/03/04; 01:17:00

Suppose you are an oil-producing country like Venezuela. You need a constant flow of money coming into the country from outside. If you shut off the oil spigot, the money flow stops. But you want to shut off the spigot (at least part way for a while) to drive up the price of oil. What do you do ?

You could borrow the Dollars you need to tide you over. Then you exchange the Dollars for Euros or whatever goods you'll need. Next, you start to restrict the oil flow to the US. You are now essentially short the US Dollar and long oil. But by taking these actions, you drastically improve your odds of making a big profit - because it is likely to cause the Dollar to go down and oil to go up.

Ag Mountainspecie-man, ok now I see more of the gist of it#11797803/03/04; 02:02:01

Now I see why you said to borrow dollars to begin with, to tide the country over during the period of no oil-sale revenue.

It's true that everyone who ever borrows a money is basically shorting that money, but also playing against the house which is factored in the form of the interest rate on the different moneys like the various odds handicapping different horses running in a same race.

I'm saying the value is in the oil and everything else is just math, unless it's pursuing a politcal agenda, too. So are you simply saying it's better to get a payoff stack in the end that's twice as big, even if only because the notes are worth half as much?

It would be a big gamble to play in isolation because what's to say another oil producer like swing-capacity Saudi Arabia wouldn't step into the market breach during the brief time that Venezuela manages to stop selling oil northward to the U.S.?

There's no easy game to get rich unless you're able to tap into one of the rare moments that a longterm creeping systemic dislocation is about to come undone. Like gold will one of these days. Other than that, getting rich (better said, building wealth) is basically a long grinding process of consuming less than you produce while toiling at extracting natural value and manufacturing or refining added value as a speciality, and then exchanging your excess with other people for the excess of their specialties.

If you have oil to begin with, the markets in the middle can't really make you substantially richer than you are to begin with unless you're talking about pursuing and added profession as an arbitrageur of its inefficiencies. Basically, there's a substantial difference between 1) grabbing what you're calling "a big profit" measured in dollars and 2) actually becoming more wealthy.

Belgian@Socrates - @ Jacob Marley#11797903/03/04; 02:31:40

Wawww, Bravo with your EU-insights (again). Thought you were our man in Brasil ?
Trichet/Duisenberg : correct !
"Petro-euro" or/and "euro on probation" ??? : Of course we keep those question marks, up until we have the "facts". That's why I emphasized FOA's vision on the "dollar-system", again, yesterday. The global oil-matters are increasingly included (embedded) in the dollar-system since 1971 and therefore overlap with Jacob's thoughts.

TA (TI)on €/$/POO/POG/IRs, presently suggest that it is still "business as usual" around the dollar-system. On the surface of things, there is no reason to suspect that the dollar-system is being challenged. But,...
I'll add a recent event to Marley's oil-geopolitico survey : The Macedonian President was killed in a plane crash, when his prime minister went to Ireland for presenting the candidature for EMU-entry (remember Anna Lindh-Sweden). Question : Is there enough evidence for the dollar-system, being challenged !? Yes, there is.

Is the Petro-euro a given ? Arabian oil "is" linking with Venezuela as it is with Russia !

Expect everything imaginable as to further "discredit" the whole euro-system and the building oil-alliances.

That's why we will see financials moving in a "technical" behavior mode for small intervals of time, up until the underlying fundamentals take over and crash the technical price-logics once again in moving countertrend. That's a tricky situation, isn't it Sirs ?

Dollar up, euro down, POG down (370$-support), IRs heading up, Dow down,...and $-€-POO = the great unknown, for the time being !?

@Jacob : more about your thoughts/insights, later. Thanks

NedLooks like the same old, same old...........#11798003/03/04; 04:10:13

Am I correct in noticing that the markets are sensing a drop in global economic activity?

If this is the case, the market is once again fleeing to the 'safe haven' of choice, the US dollar. Why is this happening again?

Belgian@Jacob M.#1179813/3/04; 05:11:05

You are summing up the many different, self-serving stratego's, that are being played, worldwide. A complicated business, isn't it Sir ? But more (most) important is : WHO (wich oil-alliance) is is going to price the remaining oil-reserves in WHAT (currency)!!!-??? On this fundamental (oil-pricing), the further evolving, global stratego-plays are based.

Oilprice-oilflow-oil availabilities-oil compensations-oil consumption,...oelala, what an amount of parameters are having their say in this gigantic equation(s). I can only sit and watch the events happening and "guess" in what direction(s) the balance will tilt. Most probably, further away from the dollar-system and closer to the euro-Gold-system !?

Then I refer to Ag-mountain's excellent post and Bernanke's lecture (03/'04). Note how Bernanke stipulates 1980 (Gold's ATH) as a pivotal date ! Why is he talking (thinking) again about that old gold-standard ? Understandably, he is not saying (suggesting) a word about the US-$'s global oil-offensive. Bernanke (and Greenspan) are expressing that they are thinking about the dollar-system, rather than about the dollar-currency.

So are the EU, Russia, China, India, Middle East...thinking about that same global dollar-system and asking themselves WHY they can't share in the globe's prosperity, under that dollar-system. We have the Gold-Oil-working ants,...and the US($) has the prosperity !!!-??? How come ?

In other words,...what is so "super" on the superpower US and its dollar-management ? Is this super-status sustainable (still workable) for the good of all ?

It is against this background that the global maneuvering is happening.

We keep on watching this all together, Sir. And we regulary
polish our respective, biased crystal ball. Thanks for posting.

Belgian@Ned#1179823/3/04; 05:23:52

Where do you see "safe-haven"-dollar flight ? Is there a change - reverse, in dollar exchange rate trend ?

I only see position liquidation in the short term dollar-decline hedges. Because long term dollar hedges do have a high price and eat into the already meager profitability.

Dollar decline will most probably resume, 1,15...1,08 (€/$ exch.rate) ?

Socrates964Belgian/JM#1179833/3/04; 05:55:30

A number of points:

Looks to me that the dollar is behaving like the Nasdaq in 2000-01. A bear trend punctuated by vicious countertrends.

Why should the $ appreciate. As a follower of William of Ockham, I don't want to get sidetracked into conspiracy theory mindgames about the Fed engineering markets to help Bush/hinder Bush, when there is a simpler explanation: lots of fast money was in a dollar carry trade in the belief it was a free lunch and is now getting shaken out of its positions, hence the apparent freefall of the Euro. How far does the dollar rise? There are supports at 1.2060, 1.1910 and so on down to 1.1565. I'd bet that the euro will bounce off the higher ones of these rather than the lower ones, since with every decline the number of old trades hitting stop losses falls and the number of new trades betting on the rebound rises.

Belgian - I'm not as pessimistic as you on gold. I see strong support in the 380s, mainly because 380 was the old .786 retracement on the 415 to 255 downtrend - remember? In addition, gold stocks are diverging bullishly from POG, most of them are higher at POG 393 than they were at the January low of POG 405. Then we have the strange case of silver....

JM - the mark to market of the Euro turning from asset to liability? Frankly, I think you're 2 steps ahead of the game (and from my experience, it's only financially rewarding to be one step ahead). With this kind of geopolitical analysis, it's usually very easy to identify the factors at work and excruciatingly difficult to determine their timing.

Two points here:

-first, the MtoM is serving increasingly effectively as a currency hedge as Euroland reduces its foreign currency reserves, so this reduces rather than increases volatility.

-second, if you look at the portfolios of Asian/LatAm central banks, you'll no doubt find that the dollar is massively overweighted relative to its importance as trading partner for the relevant country. Hence, while your point could become a live issue, I think that there are still lots of Euros to be bought before it does.

Hence, I think that right now, the trade balance/inflation issues arising from a weak euro dwarf the MtoM issue.

Socrates964Venezuela-Ag#1179843/3/04; 06:36:42

A Brazilian friend of mine once described Venezuelan politics as:

'Two groups of completely useless xxxholes fighting over who gets to run the state oil company'.

In these kinds of countries, it is very hard to get a united front for the kind of action you describe. Imaginary scenario: Chavez stops the oil flowing and all the food disappears from the shops because the supermarket chains claim they can't get any gas to power their truck fleet. He then claims that the supermarket owners are deliberately witholding supplies in order to bring down the government and sends out his supporters to picket them. Looting breaks out and someone in the army decides that he might manage to seize the crown from Chavez as the restorer of law and order. These kind of things soon spiral out of control.

I don't have a high regard for Chavez, but I think he's smart enough to know that he's only in power because the opposition screwed up their coup attempt. Hence, what's his strategy? To make hostile noises but do nothing, and whenever people demand results, he declares 'I am full of plans for the Bolivarian Republic but all my energies are consumed hunting down imperialist conspiracies, etc., etc.'

On the other side, it seems to me that Bush has given the Cuban-Americans a great deal of influence over LatAm affairs, and yet there seems to have been no attempt to push for military intervention in the Caribbean/LatAm à la pro-Israel lobby in the Middle East. I hence conclude that the only issue in Venezuela is who gets to keep the oil revenue. From the buyer's perspective this is not particularly important, since either way, you get your oil, and from the seller's perspective, it's very simple: No oil revenue, no power!

knotakareSafe haven#1179853/3/04; 07:42:18

I think in the short term the yen and Euro are safe haven currencies. But in the long run, the only safe haven property, will be gold.

This is due to the massive wars, most likely directly ahead of us. The fight for global resources will only get nastier. Any debt obligation, is subject to massive devaluation. The Chess pieces keep moving, and there will be surprises.

The dollar was in a free fall, so even the EU had to be cautious. Greenspan is like a bank teller, he smiles and takes the public's money. The attention paid to him by the business press, is a smokescreen. He is not keeping the US afloat, he is just managing the distribution out of financial assets. This distribution is for his private shareholders; of the Rothschild Banking dynasty.

DruidThe Curious Greenspan and the GSEs#1179863/3/04; 08:56:58

"The GSEs ended 1998 with outstanding debt approaching $1.3 Trillion, so it is not credible to argue that they until recently "weren't large enough and they didn't create a potential significant problem." The GSEs have played such prominent roles in a series of Fed-orchestrated "reliquefications" that they have operated as virtual central banking partners. For years, the Greenspan Fed has acquiesced to risky GSE expansion, and, for years, GSE and Fed interests have been in harmony. Perhaps Dr. Greenspan's newfound resolve is related to ECB and foreign central bank demure. It would, after all, be reasonable that some might appreciate that the GSEs are the fountainhead for much of the destabilizing dollar liquidity inundating the global financial system. I can imagine the ECB's Dr. Issing protesting that the explosion in GSE borrowings was a leading source of unsound money and Credit – fostering financial and economic imbalances.

I will further conjecture that the true scope of the GSE problem became apparent to the Fed (and others) this past summer and fall. A strengthening economy set the stage for what would typically be an imminent tightening by the Federal Reserve. Between July and August, 10-year interest rate futures yields surged 120 basis points, while measures of bond market volatility exploded. The MBS market was being pummeled, the cost of hedging was skyrocketing, interest-rate markets were rapidly moving toward dislocation and the fledgling reflation/recovery was in serious jeopardy. The GSEs had relied on interest rate derivatives to hedge their ballooning balance sheets, but they had effectively become too large to hedge (the market can't hedge itself!). And much complicating matters, the leveraged speculator community was heavily exposed, also seeking to reduce exposure to rising rates."

Druid: He's (Greesnspan) is penned in between the ECB and the GSE's. He needs!!!the ECB to lower rates to absorb the continuous inflation that is being created. If he raises rates the GSE's implode. INCREDIBLE.

DruidCorrection#1179873/3/04; 08:58:56

Druid: That is "(Greenspan)".
Socrates964Euro#1179883/3/04; 10:02:17

Can anyone remind me what the high was on Euro spot.

I think it was around 1.2885. On this basis, if we draw the Fib numbers from the 1.0780 low, we get:

.382 @ 120.80
.486 @ 118.62
.618 @ 115.84

Normally, a bounce off the .382 is considered as very bullish, and would indicate a 2nd leg equal in length to the first leg, i.e. 1.2080 + (1.2885-1.0780) = 1.42.

Let's see. Predictably, the usual shills have crawled out of the woodwork and are announcing the end of the dollar's decline. As if.

mikal@Socrates#1179893/3/04; 11:26:43

The Fibonacci numbers can certainly be a part of an objective look at relative currency strength. Asian purchases of dollar proxies in waves of export-oriented political maneuvering are only temporary policies.
Other market fundamentals, including the use of modern derivatives and market manipulation produce unprecedented complexity. Add to this the youth of the euro with it's inexperienced traders and shallow history. It's a formula for instability, predisposed to volatility and exploitation. Exacerbated by instant hyper-linked cell phones, laptops, PDA's etc.

USAGOLD / Centennial Precious Metals, Inc.Wading through fact and fiction, separating illusion from reality#1179903/3/04; 11:51:35">Change paper into gold!
Federal_ReservesA good jobs report with rising wages#11799103/03/04; 12:13:10

will now force the FED to raise rates in some increment. The dollar, bonds, gold all acting like something is coming.

If not 25bps maybe 5,10,or 15bps.





TownCrierRevisiting the recent topic of interest rates vs. blunted market forces#11799203/03/04; 13:08:00

Yesterday, in a speech to the New York Economic Club, Fed Chairman Greenspan reiterated this point that currency market exchange rates are informing us more reliably than their interest rates:

"Some have argued that purchases of U.S. Treasuries by Asian officials are holding down interest rates on these instruments, and therefore U.S. interest rates are likely to rise as intervention by Asian monetary authorities slows, ceases, or even turns to net sales. While there are obvious reasons to be concerned about such an outcome, the effect of a reduction in the scale of intervention, or even net sales, on U.S. financial markets would likely be small. The reason is that central bank reserves are heavily concentrated in short-term maturities; moreover, the overall market in short-term dollar assets, combining both public and private instruments, is huge relative to the size of asset holdings of Asian monetary authorities. And because these issues are short-term and hence capable of only limited price change, realized capital losses, if any, would be small. Accordingly, any incentive for monetary authorities to sell dollars, in order to preserve market value, would be muted."

Left here unsaid, but not to be ignored, is the Federal Reserve's power through open market operations in the implementation of monetary policy (target rate of 1% for fed funds) to influence the short end of the spectrum on interest rates. And because the Fed also has the power to buy longer-dated notes, the official influence on far-end market rates should not be entirely dismissed.

For example, today the Federal Reserve intervened in both areas, despited the fact that the market rate on overnight fed funds was trading nicely at the Fed's target rate. In the short-end operation the Federal Reserve effectively added $7.75 billion in overnight money to the banking system through repurchase agreements.

No real issue there as they do it all the time. However, we seem to be seeing with greater frequency these days the Fed engaged in outright buying of longer dated Treasuries for its own account, thus adding "permanent" reserves to the nation's banking system while incrementally absorbing some market supply of the Treasuries in question. In today's coupon pass, the Fed intervened to the tune of $779.2 million, a bit larger than the coupon pass last week in which the Fed bought $660 million in Treasuries dated from 2012 to 2026.


Camel Knotakare- Rothschilds#11799303/03/04; 13:14:20

It is my understanding that the Rockefeller banking group (Chase- Manhattan )is the primary owner of the FED with 53% and the Rothschilds and some of the other European Banks own a much smaller percentage.

Maybe when it was first founded, the FED was more heavily controlled by the Roths, but you have to remember that the Rothschild empire and power was greatly diminished by the destruction of WW I and II.

My view is that they are on the other side of the issue. It is the Rothschilds , among others , who are behind the Euro and the increase in the price of gold, and that they are the Giants to which Another always referred.

Socrates964Mikal#11799403/03/04; 13:41:23

Sounds far too complex for me. The Fib numbers should give you the net effect of all these different factors - as they represent lowest potential energy levels and thus quantize price - i.e. a price tends to a certain level, and may or may not jump to the next level. As with all TA, however, it becomes a black art - the key skill lying in determining when a level has been broken. I just use a rule of thumb of about 1.5% for a short-term level and 5% for a long-term level. In the case of Euro, I'd thus take 1.5c, and decide that a genuine bounce had occurred off 1.2080 if it traded over 1.2230, and that the level had broken for a trade under 1.1930.

Some day I'll sit down and work out the underlying theory. Or if someone can tell me of anyone who's already done it, I'd be most grateful, since I'm very lazy about this kind of thing!

TownCrier'Cenral Bank Insider' -- an Update!#11799503/03/04; 14:03:24 Once again, we are pleased to be able to provide you with this intimate look at central banking events, policies, and staff; dealing, in the words of this publication, "with aspects of central banking that are frequently neglected." The source commentary is reprinted at USAGOLD with permission and by the courtesy of Central Banking Publications Ltd.
knotakare@Camel#11799603/03/04; 15:29:41

Camel, it is difficult to state real facts, when dealing with central banking authorities. But I can assure you, that Sir Allan works primarily for internationalist, socialist bankers. And their primary centers are in the EU, especially the BIS.

I have read a detailed report, that the Rochschild empire could actuaully approach 50 trillion dollars. They were not diminished by WW2, they were enriched by it, and the subsequent Marshall Plan.

The Rockefellers are the poor cousins to their european counterparts. I believe Chase Manhatten has been bankrupt for many years. But their true owners, have very deep pockets. And so the franchise still generates profits.

America has been essentially bankrupted by foriegn influences. The people in this country just don't know it yet. If it were not so, we would see very diferent policies out of our government. That's why a person must save in silver and gold.

No use aiding and abetting tyranny against the American people.

steadySTUFF#11799703/03/04; 18:00:46

if we could break that 6 dollar ruel , which will happen within these 40 days, the pressure is to great and regardless of attempting to de steam the double bubbling golden caldera by letting other commodities run up in order to soak up the excess fiat, gold is no longer a commodity so that trick aint working, sorry charluie , the worlds populace is to smart for that ponzia saving desperado move tried to be executed while being suave and triplle talking out his mouth to misdirect everyone buut those who has there eye firmly glued to the bouncing golden ball, which has now dribbled itself into the currency area pronouncing intonely, i am king, all who want to follow me, jump on this bandwagon i can carry all of you on this planet, you others.... step over there and lets have it out in the pits one session in a time, one after another consecutivly, 24/7 365 if u want , one after another , all of you at once if u dare, i take on all comers big orr small,as steady would add, yall will fall london , austrailia, newy york, argentian, russia, canada, and any other exchange you want to battle it out on, i take on all paper commers, and have no fear as silver has my back and i its, an indubious dignifyed dynamic superhero duo that will be the hit of o4. take a few min and think deep about your choice as im not going away not now, not a for a while, the way things are being percieved now. Paper is not god, i am not god but i am the king the king of currency on this blue planet.
honest money
honest people!

R PowellSocrates 964#11799803/03/04; 18:04:22

Perhaps those Fib numbers work (when they do) simply because enough people believe they will. Especially in markets like currencies which are almost exclusively traded on technical considerations, as opposed to markets like grains which are closely watching exports, domestic use and the upcoming South American harvest, all fundamental factors which are reported daily (weather) or weekly (sales, domestic disappearance and exports).

If enough long side traders have been stopped out of a long euro position and are looking for a place to re-enter long, they'll place buy orders at Fib. number points. If enough buy at one of these the market turns. Then, with this positive evidence that the "system" works, the belief is strengthened, no? But hey, if it works, it works. If not, well, we know there are no foolproof systems. The e-wavers simply recount their 1s, 2s, 3s, 4s and 5s and the smaller a-b-c waves to refit whatever the price chart gives them. And when it does work.. more reinforcement of belief, no?

But, I believe you've increased the probabilities as the currencies respond well to technicals. Not so markets like soybeans this year, which have blown through resistence levels and been "overbought" for months. The fundamentals have overwhelmed the technical boys. And silver? She confounds the best fundamental and technical analysts so much that few analysts even have the nerve to suggest any positions! Quite a lady, that silver! Not quite responding with gold, nor opposite the dollar, nor moving on any supply/demand reports or speculations, nor any technicals (that I can discern) other than resistence levels only seen in hindsight, nor.... So what moves the lady?? Any thoughts??

Socrates964RP#11799903/03/04; 19:00:00

I think that the whole point about Fib numbers is that they represent the limit of an additive process (i.e. if you take any 2 numbers, say a and b, and add them to get a + b, and then add that to the previous term, to get 2a + b, and so on, you'll find that ratios of successive terms converge to the golden mean regardless of your starting numbers. In financial markets this process of summation corresponds to the net outcome of everyone second guessing everyone else. This may be a real process of summing second guesses, or may be a simulated process (i.e. charts are painted), but the fact remains that certain prices do act as attractors, because expectations are built in to them.

I haven't researched it in detail, but it seems that this behavior has been 'learned' over time, since I couldn't find Fib patterns in 18th century stock data (but I digress...)


-I agree that good MMs are usually very good at TA, since they have to know where the market expects a turn.

-I don't use EW since I don't believe in torturing price data on a procrustean bed until it fits a preconceived pattern of wave counts. I just project Fib levels and look for a few high probability patterns and the data either fits or it doesn't. It's really as simple as that.

-P&F, which is another related measure of 'potential energy', has given good price predictions, particularly on the upside - it usually tells you how far a stock can go. E.g. the model called the top on gold at $430 when it was at $390.

Socrates964P&F#11800003/03/04; 19:08:34

Actually, need to update model projections.

Downside: Normally 2 or 3 x horiz count.

We should have bottomed around 388-92, although today's close below 388.00 does make it possible that we make an ultimate low in the 372.00-76.00 range, although this tends not to happen.

Upside: 3 box reversal will be signalled by spot trading above 404.00. This then sets up possible rally to target in the 448.00-451.99 range.

Support at 376. Resistance at 404 and 412. A trade over 416 is very bullish.

Chris PowellMore admissions that central banks rig the gold market#11800103/03/04; 19:14:07

Latest GATA dispatch.

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BizkitBernanke's Speech#11800203/03/04; 20:13:33

I'm currently translating Rothbard's "America's Great Depression" to my mother language. After reading Bernanke's speech I've just had another confirmation that this man is totally clueless.

His deliberate attack to the Gold Standard is just pathetic since it comes (no, it's no coincidence, I'd bet) with the aim to stop the gold bull that's just awakening out there.

In summary The Alchimist (#2) of the Printing Press has clearly shown us, one more time, that the current establishment still misunderstands the causes of the Great Depression and will bring again the the US economy to another collapse which will be even bigger-than-the-last-great-depression.

Reading suggestions to better understand all Bernanke's fallacies:

The case for 100% gold dollar
What has government has done to our money
and of course America's Great Depression.
all by Rothbard

Toolie(No Subject)#11800303/03/04; 20:38:15

My dog ate it.
It blew out the window.
I left my homework in the locker over the weekend, it's jammed.
My sister took it ‘cause she hates my guts.
My brother colored dirty pictures on it.
My house caught on fire, then the firemen drenched it.
I was busy helpin’ old ladies cross the street.
My mom put it in the bottom of the birdcage by accident.
Robbers took it.


Toolie(No Subject)#11800403/03/04; 20:38:51

My dog ate it.
It blew out the window.
I left my homework in the locker over the weekend, it's jammed.
My sister took it ‘cause she hates my guts.
My brother colored dirty pictures on it.
My house caught on fire, then the firemen drenched it.
I was busy helpin’ old ladies cross the street.
My mom put it in the bottom of the birdcage by accident.
Robbers took it.

1340ccBar Jokes#11800503/03/04; 20:57:04

Sic'em Boss Man. "No Subject" didn't have anything to do with Gold or the economy. But then some of us can do that.
Black BladeMarket Wrap Up - Hartman#11800603/03/04; 22:28:13


The constant mantra from our top officials says there is no inflation, or very little at best. I'm not sure how they can believe we are all so stupid. It is so very obvious the statistics are manipulated to imply low inflation. Additionally, they continue to refer to consumer inflation that is hedonically adjusted lower and doesn't include the things we need and use every day. First of all, the inflation has already taken place with the government inflating the supply of money. It's already in the pipeline. The next place it shows up should be in raw materials and finally to consumer goods.

Two weeks ago the Labor Department failed to release the Producer Price Index. Why? To put it bluntly, they didn't like the number, so they have to "adjust it" before they publish the number to prove there is no inflation. Check your grocery bill, your monthly utility bill, medical expenses, and what you pay at the gas pumps…we're not as dumb as they think! One very telling statistic that proves there is big inflation at the producer level came in the ISM Manufacturing Report on Monday. These are the "things" manufacturers need before they can produce their products. In the report, the Prices Paid Index rose from 75.5 to 81.5, a nine-year high for the index and an increase of 8% from just one month earlier. Add to that the obvious increases in commodity prices, and you can quickly see why the dollar is getting a big bounce this week. The bond market should be reacting violently to the downside, but interest rates remain at rock bottom levels. I think the confusion for the bond traders has to do with the conflict between inflation (should push rates higher) vs. what they know is a weak economy and weak labor market (would keep money in bonds holding interest rates down). Those two market forces also have to deal with intervention in the currency and bond arena. Normal market relationships are distorted when Asian central banks dump their currency to support a failing dollar.

Black Blade: Pretty much hits the nail on the head although I think that most Americans are that "stupid" when it comes to economic issues. Unfortunately they do tend to believe just about anything government agencies and Wall Street says(hope over hype?). The truth is that the US dollar is fundamentally weak (as are most major currencies) and will inevitably crumble further. It doesn't look very promising. The dollar must weaken because the US budget and current account deficits are clearly unsustainable and the printing presses are running flat out. On the bright side the current lower Gold and Silver prices are buying opportunities.

On a side note, the new Indian Gold scam (as pointed out by Townie in an earlier post) will likely be doomed to failure. It has been tried before and the tepid response led the Indian banks to throw up their hands and admit defeat. The last such scam fell apart a couple of years ago. Getting a "tradable note" for Gold on deposit defeats the whole purpose of why most Indian Gold owners buy it in the first place. - "Possession is nine-tenths of the law".

Black BladeDollar Higher But Pulling Back#11800703/03/04; 22:54:44


NEW YORK (Reuters) - The dollar hit a new peak for this year against the euro, yen and Swiss franc on Wednesday, with gains triggered by rising optimism over U.S. job growth and expectations this could mean higher U.S. interest rates. But the U.S. currency pared gains in the wake of the Federal Reserve's beige book summary of economic conditions across the nation, because the Fed report said employment grew slowly in most areas of the country. The U.S. labor market remains a major consideration for currency traders as they place their bets on the strength and durability of the economy's growth.

"People are taking profits" as caution takes hold in advance of Friday's widely watched U.S. employment report, said Brian Taylor, managing director of forex trading at Manufacturers and Traders Bank in Buffalo, New York. "I think they are cautious and the move (the dollar's rally) might have been overplayed," Taylor said.

In February's U.S. employment report for release on Friday, economists' median forecast is for a rise of 125,000 non-farm jobs and a jobless rate holding unchanged at 5.6 percent. "There has been a lot of talk about how more jobs had been added. But the number would have to come in a very big surprise on the upside ... for the dollar to rally right now," said Taylor, of Manufacturers and Traders Bank.

The dollar's surge this week is partly the result of Monday's Institute for Supply Management manufacturing report that showed a bigger-than-expected rise in the employment component. The dollar effectively shrugged off an ISM service sector report on Wednesday that showed expansion but at a slower-than-expected pace. The employment component of that survey also showed a decline in the pace of expansion.

Black Blade: Probably explains why the PPI was not released last month. The boyz and girlz at the BLS must be burning the midnight oil devising more "filters" to "massage" the data and come up with some spin on the numbers to explain some mysterious "anomoly". Then again they might just not release the data at all - it would be like pulling back the curtain exposing the "Wizard" pushing buttons and creating slight of hand trickery. As far as the unemployment data is concerned - we must see an addition of between 210,000 and 230,000 new jobs added last month just to keep up appearances of job growth. I just don't see it happening without a little help from the Labor Dept. data massagers (that includes the supposed new younder entrants into the labor market who are usually the lower paid employees).

slingshotStupid#11800803/03/04; 23:11:28

I can handle most instances whereby people are ignorant of the fact and especialy on the subject of economics. Being no expert, I only cast small stones. That is pointing out inconsistantcies in the government proclamations and laying all the cards on the table.
At this time I see no major turn to the purchase of Gold by the average person, only a small increase by those who have been doing all along. Exceptions being large purchases jumping in on pullbacks. What I look for for is the increase in small purchases to confirm STINTS entering the market.
But as far as STUPID goes.

If your going to be STUPID, You gotta be Tough!

slingshotInsight into the mind of a bullion dealer.#11800903/03/04; 23:43:06

If all the indications are that gold is going higher, why do I see dealers out of gold or very little left in their displays? In one discussion I was asked, If your think gold is going so high, why don't you take out a loan on your house? Being very conservative, I found it repulsive to mortage something I had worked hard to pay off.
But it had a sombering effect on my conviction. I have often said, Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gain.
But how does the business man calculate the risks?

Black BladeGold bull has hardly started - Lassonde #11801003/04/04; 01:24:22


NEW YORK ( -- Newmont president, Pierre Lassonde, is certain that the gold bull market remains in its infancy, and points investors to the 1970s to understand how events might unfold in gold's favour in an era of a "manic depressive dollar". "We haven't even started to correct the US financial imbalance of the last three years. Don't tell me that the gold bull market is over. It has hardly even started," Lassonde told the audience at the 2004 BMO Nesbitt Burns Global Resources Conference in Tampa, Florida.

He predicted that gold will outperform other assets for some time to come. "As long as they don't cure the financial imbalances, the dollar will continue to go down and be very volatile. I don't know how long it will take, but it will take quite a few years [to work through] and that is the gold story in a nutshell."

Citing a strong correlation with the dollar and euro, Lassonde says: "Over the past two and half years gold has been a currency, not a commodity. That's because the dollar, as currency of last reserve, is not acting that way thanks to the US financial imbalances that are enormous, unresolved and growing." America is currently funded through foreign largesse with Asian central banks especially active in soaking up dollars to avoid US consumers from losing purchasing power that would dent their appetite for imports. "There is not one central bank that needs to accumulate as many dollars as the [Asians] have just to keep the cycle going. . . It's the biggest vendor financing take-back you've ever seen in the history of the world," quipped Lassonde.

Lassonde also noted that gold production is inelastic, with a lag of about 7-12 years between output and the gold price. "Back in the 1980s we had new technology that came in – heap leaching, roasting, auto-claving – none of that is on the horizon today."

Black Blade: Ditto that!

Black BladeBanks may sell $41bn of gold#11801103/04/04; 01:38:40


European central banks may agree to sell as much as $US32 billion ($41billion) worth of gold in the next five years when an accord that has helped support prices since 1999 comes up for renewal this year, a survey of analysts and traders shows. The group of at least 15 banks, including the European Central Bank and the Bank of England, may lift their sales caps on bullion to 2500 tonnes over five years from 2000 tonnes in the current agreement, according to the median estimate of 13 analysts and traders surveyed by Bloomberg News.

"The market can absorb a slight increase," said Joe Foster, who manages $US290 million in gold-related investments for the Van Eck International Investors Gold Fund in New York. "We need their sales, or there wouldn't be enough supply."

Black Blade: No one seems interested in discussion that the gold sales are generally to other central banks and cash recieved for loaned gold still "on the books". Very little if any of this gold actually makes it to the market place except for that which was loaned out and already sold. It would be nice if the central banks sold off all their gold so it could be liberated by the people who would rather own it as the global "competitive currency devaluation" ravages national currencies over the next several years.

BelgianThe world of Finances.....#11801203/04/04; 02:58:33

The International (better Internationalist) dollar-financiers have been (still are/will) testing that euro-thing ! Mr. Trichet and your ECB, good (or bad) are you really ? What is your managing-power and range of maneuvering ? In other words, are you managing (using) your two exchange reserves, dollar and Gold ? When and how is this mark-2-market thing, coming into play ?

Those Internationalist financiers are to be considered as the (unfree) *market*. They are betting on two horses ($ and €) and organise the race (competition), they will always win, with either of their two horses.

The I-$-financiers are playing a cat and mouse game with the non dollar, CBankers ! The reason why the ECB can remain relatively "neutral" has to do with the Golden stick behind the door. The low IR-hysteria only serves the nature of the debtbergs and not the economy as such. Refinance and add more (un-serviceable) state+private, debt is the only motto possible. A deadlock, imo.

The relentless maneuvering with IRs and exchange rates is not resulting in genuine job-creation on the Western half of the globe. We simply go on inflating what is possibly there to inflate with causing as less shocking visible damage as possible.

Will listen to Trichet (ECB) this afternoon and see what pressures will be put upon the ECB, with what result(s).
Who (hysterically) wants the euro-IR (2%) down and Why ?
This is nowhere being discussed !

SundeckSaudi monetary reserves hit $24.5bn #11801303/04/04; 02:59:03


Saudi Arabia's monetary reserves, minus gold, have returned to the levels last seen in the 1980s, reaching the equivalent of $24.46 billion last November, ...


Gold reserves also increased from $219 million in 2002 to $233 million by the end of November 2003.

Sundeck: Huh? Only a few million in gold? Please explain?

NedBelgium#11801403/04/04; 03:44:18

The DX shows a triple bottoming of 84.5/84.8 between mid-Jan and mid-Feb. Since then the DX has reversed and is presently slightly over 89. This is clearly a reverse in trend. The pertinent question is , " this short-term of permanent?"

My question in my previous post was why is this happening, the change of direction of course. My choice of wording (the perceived 'safe-haven status of the USD' apparently struck a nerve....sorry)


NedSundeck#11801503/04/04; 03:54:45

Saudi's reserves

I understand what you mean.........wouldn't it have been better if 23.8 billion of the reserves were bullion? Logically thinking though if Saudi has the reserves of oil beneath them does it not constitute 'reserves' in of itself?

We ask ourselves (often) what backs up the USD? This is a hazy question. The common answer is America's economic might. In case of Saudi is more clear.

The second thing I find interesting (in the fact that there is so little gold) is the fable of every barrel of oil going out is followed with a pinch of gold coming in. The reserve numbers, if they are indeed correct, proves the 'gold for oil' theory dubious.

Now wouldn't it be a kicker if the $24 billion was in dollars!!


Ned JohnstonII

NedCorrection#11801603/04/04; 03:58:45

"...wouldn't it be a kicker if the $24 billion (worth of reserves) were in actually US dollars (equivalent)..."
USAGOLD / Centennial Precious Metals, Inc.Put a gleam in their eye, or yours!#11801703/04/04; 04:12:11

Anniversary - Birthday - Holiday - Any day!

 usagold gold jewelry

Show your good style and show how much you care.
Give the Gift that Keeps Giving Year after Year!

Always GOLD. Always.

Socrates964Ned#1180183/4/04; 05:04:54

1. If I can quote in Euros (the Euro + related currencies - GBP, CHF, SKR account for 85% of DX), the move down from 1.29 to 1.2050 or thereabouts is a normal countertrend, which can be a Fib submultiple (.382, .618 or .786) of the main trend (currently from 1.0780 to 1.29). A 38.2% retracement is really no big deal, although it feels that way to traders who don't look at the big picture.

2. You assume that any putative oil for gold sales would go into Saudi's national accounts. I would have thought that everyone involved would go to enormous lengths to conceal the fact, so official stats showing the Kingdom's official gold position rising month after month is about the last thing I'd expect to see.

Socrates964Euro again#1180193/4/04; 05:06:39

As I said yesterday, a 1.5c bounce off support is a trend reversal in my book. We're getting very close to the 1.2230 level on the Euro.
VanRipBank of England Keeping rates on hold at 4%#1180203/4/04; 06:23:59


Reacting to the MPC's decision to leave rates alone, David Frost, Director General of the British Chamber of Commerce, said: "This is the best decision for business.

Belgian@Ned#1180213/4/04; 09:46:47

I agree with Socrates' answer : dollar-decline is major trend, zigzagged by little countertrends. From un-safe dollar-paper to safe Gold-haven.

Saudi Gold-statistics : Imagine, Arabia would officially show that their total (hidden) Gold holdings are much more than those of the dollar superpower !? Remember the captured (?) Iraqi gold-trucks...Iranian Gold, etc.
Always take official gold-statistics with a lot of salt. China's (Russia) gold included ! Idem dito for many gold-commitments of many different natures. Plenty of examples in history to evidence that Gold-Possession is often hidden and secret. Because there is not enough Gold for all those who want to hide in it.

We might soon see 40$ (unsafe dollars) per barril ! Smile Ned.

GoldiloxAg#1180223/4/04; 10:21:56

Is something strange going on with Ag? It has flatlined for the last hour and a half of NY trading. No trades? or bad chart?
SundeckGoldilox - Ag#1180233/4/04; 10:33:11

Take a look at Comdirect - silver still doing its thing...the flatline at Kitco is just some site-specific issue


steadynumbers#1180243/4/04; 10:42:08

u cant change the order but u can combine digits to make for a 2-digit number. u must observe the order of operations
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 =90

GoldiloxAg quote - thanks#1180253/4/04; 10:43:52

@ Sundeck:

Thanks for the link. My main computer is in the shop for a display issue, so I am struggling through with an old backup. The backstep in technology isn't so bad, but all of my favorite charting links are on the other computer.

goldenpeaceSilver#1180263/4/04; 10:49:22

For what it' s worth, Murphy just reported that Goldman just bot 1300 March silver, sold 1300 May silver and bot 2-3000 April 750 silver calls expiring 3/25

Truthcasterabnormal silver day#1180273/4/04; 11:32:47

Abnormal silver day with huge up's and down's on the
chart and right at the close a 10 cent drop, I smell a rat
this time around. Pulled gold down with it a little.
can't the feds come up with a new game?

Federal_ReservesUS Worker more productive#1180283/4/04; 12:40:47

IN retrospect, however, Rocci now attributes most of the gains to improved product sales. "There were productivity issues over there (in India)," he recalls. "Here, one guy might do the work of five or six in India." And there were cultural issues that presented major hurdles. "It was difficult to get one guy to run one project. They work in teams and it takes a minimum of two people to do anything. I remember I was over there once and I was walking by a metal-stamping press, and there were two people sitting shoulder-to-shoulder -- the whole mindset was to create jobs." Even so, Rocci notes that some administrative jobs couldn't be handled in India and were sent back to the home office.

Walt Wilszewski, vice-president of sales and marketing at AM, had the same feeling. "I felt we needed one-and-a-half times the Indian programmers to do the same amount of work as U.S. programmers," he says.

US labor in all categories is number one! US workers work. I'm proud of US workers. They bust their asses!
IMHO the CEO's aided an abetted by our paid off congress are using the poor quality foreign worker to keep the wage demands of the high quality US worker in check. Its an on-going backstabbing and rape.

GoldiloxUS Mint rleases new "nickel"#1180293/4/04; 12:53:05

With all the discussion of coin-metal values in this commodities bull, it's interesting that the US Mint released a new "nickel" today. I couldn't find any information on changes in metal composition, but I included a link to the metals composition for all circulating coins (Eagles excluded).
J-BullionSilver#1180303/4/04; 13:30:54

It looks like Silver just popped back up .10 that it lost at the close. What is going on there?
GoldiloxAg charts#1180313/4/04; 13:49:04

@ J-Bullion

Be careful. Kitco and Comdirect chats for Ag show almost no correlation to each other today.

TownCrierBelgian's reminder#11803203/04/04; 15:24:13

Thanks for inspiring the trip down memory when two day's ago you suggested that people take a fresh look at FOA's messages #7, #8, and #9 at the earliest 'Trail Head' portion of 'The Gold Trail'.

I took some extra time while there and cleaned up the fonts (size and typestyle) to finally match the forum. (The pages with ANOTHER's "Thoughts!" had already gotten their own facelift a few days earlier, over the weekend.) Hopefully this improves the general readability of the lengthy text.

Coming finally to my point, while there I was reminded of the seminal "break-through" posts FOA created when he took us on an intimate trip to life in the "ancient" world. These posts are a "must read" for any gold advocate, and can be found at the link above, specifically posts #56, #58, and #64.

Happy Trails!


CoBra(too)GSE's - Where's Smoke there may be Fire#11803303/04/04; 16:29:18

Interesting that the main mortgage suppliers are only "sponsored" to borrow up to 2.5 Billion dollars in an emergency. A far cry from the Trillions they have added to their books over the last few years. The last pillars of collateral for the burgeoning debt seem somewhat fragile. Got real collateral? cb2
StevensOn trade imbalances, the value of the dollar, and gold.#11803403/04/04; 17:36:26

During the gold standard, trade imbalances were corrected by the flows of gold between nations. as goods were demanded in other nations, gold would flow out of the importing nation and seek exports. the price level of the exporting nation would rise as money increased in that nation, while the price level in the importing nation would decrease as the money supply contracted.

Today,we live under a floating exchange rate system, and while we still have money flowing between borders, the automatic price increases and decreases of national price levels, have been muted. the currencies of nations take most of the brunt of price changes. we still see prices go up and down, but this is achieved through currency revaluation's and devaluation's.

I don't think most people realize how long trade cycles take to correct imbalances. It is not a matter of years, it is a matter of decades, and indeed, can take more than a century to swing from an overextended deficit to an overextended surplus.

In this context, I believe, that even though we have seen a marked devluation of the dollar, we are at only the beginning of the process. But I reject the notion that we are in the midst of a dollar crisis, we are in the midst of a process towards the elimination of our trade deficit. Now, I know of no market solution to eliminate the deficit other than allowing the dollar to fall to a point where it is a disincentive to buy the now, high priced exports, and an incentive to buy cheap American goods. However, this can take a very long time.

The dollar has bounced off support at the 85 level, basis the dollar index, and could stay around the 90 level for some time, but this would not prevent the inexorable fall to lower levels. There are two things that we can be sure of: one, is that we are in a long term bear market in the dollar, and the other is that we are in a long term bull market in gold. Thus, long term patience is a virtue, and short term market reversals must be kept in context.

NedBelgium#11803503/04/04; 17:43:43

USD is definitely in a downtrend....120>>>>84. Now a bounce to 89, is this a new trend? Maybe. Should the DX go lower than 84........80.........70? Less? Let me ask the final definitive question. When the DX has completed the long-tern downtrend what is the final number? My guess is 60, half the original 'value'.

The Saudi reserves of $24 billion. Is this abnormal? Suppose they said they had a third in each dollar, euro and gold. Should we not believe them? Suppose they said half euro and half gold. Would we believe them? So they say 95% is in dollar and 5% in gold. Is this good, bad, believable, "fabrication and lies"? Maybe we shouldn't believe the opening statement of $24 billion. Maybe it's next to nothing? If I was Saudi I'd have ZERO reserves, all my reserves are beneath my feet, man!! Collateralize that!!.

Let me ask an honest question. Why would you need to call my assumption that Saudi if not holding gold? The article said Saudi is not holding alot of gold in reserve, Sundeck asked why? I offered an opinion that Saudi need not hold gold. FOA always said "gold and oil never move in the same direction", recall?

Saudi doesn't need oil AND gold !

As FOA, Ari and you often Belgium!

A bientot.

Socrates964From tonight's MIDAS#11803603/04/04; 17:54:16

Posted at the GE Forum and ECU Silver forum:
"I think this is important and nobody has noticed (texasgold) Mar 04, 11:41

Good Folks:

I have been a lurker, but a situation is setting up that I want to draw everybodys attention to.

When the heavy currency interventions started in the fall, I noticed that the bonds would rally every time the dollar got hammered. This inverted the normal relationship where US bonds should sell off when the dollar sells off. Heck, even Sinclair himself ( I think around Sept) was buying bond puts figuring the dollar fall would start the collapse of the US debt bubble. But it didn't happen, and bonds pulled off a completely unexpected rally in the face of an improving economy.

Well, we all now know why. The Japanese, Chinese, et. al. were issuing debt (bonds) in their own currency, taking the cash proceeds, selling the proceeds (their own currency), buying dollars, and with those dollars buying US treasuries, Agency bonds, and who knows what else (could they be buying up the stock market too).

Well come December of 2003 and the news stories started hitting about size of the monthly BOJ currency operations and the Japanese Ministry of Finance increasing their own foreign currency holding limits to some unbelievably huge number of trillions of Yen for 2004 to further facilitate the USD currency operations(with the requisite Japanese Gov Bond issuance to finance the whole thing).

I had to say to myself "what idiots would buy Japanese Government bonds (JGB's) at almost zero yield", and thus give the BOJ the ammo to fight with. I pulled up the JGB chart fully expecting to see the bond selling off in the face of such huge additional issuance (300+ Billion USD worth of additional JGB's issued that the market was not expecting) .... and what I saw totally confounded me. The JGB bonds were not selling off, but were in fact rallying to new intermediate term highs!

As I researched the JGB market I found that almost all advisors (Dawa Securities, Mizho Securities, etc.)were calling for increased demand for JGB's, which totally confounded me. I couldn't understand why with such huge issuance, with such a risky and nontraditional Central bank ploy, junk-bond status, why would Japanese citizens, banks, corporations, and foreign investors buy this junk paper yielding almost nothing. (Japanese government debt was downgraded to below junk status in Spring of 2003 by Moodys and Fitch.)

I was totally confounded why the JGB continued to rally, and in fact broke out to the upside while the massive currency interventions were going on. Japan had to issue over 200 Billion USD worth of JGB's in 2003 and well over 100 Billion USD worth so far this year just for currency intervention alone.

Well, I finally arrived at the answer. It seems the reason that Japanese buy the JGB is that their banks are insolvent, and with greatly reduced government deposit insurance, large holders of cash have nowhere else to go for safety.

So I have been monitoring the JGB chart to see if/when it breaks out to the downside. This would put a huge crimp in the Japanese Ministry of Finance currency operation (very similar to the carry trade sell JGB's yielding almost zero and buy US treasuries yielding 2% - 5% depending on maturity).

As you can see from the chart the JGB has broken out to the downside. Five days in a row down which is unprecidented in recent times.

Well, yesterday I also looked at long term government bonds of most of the other economically important nations like Britain, Euroland, Germany, United States, etc. (Bund, Shaatz, EuroBond, US Treasury, etc.).

... and guess what?

Thhey are all sitting on their lower uptrend line and are one down day away from also breaking out to the downside.

So it looks like in spite of what anybody is saying about lowering rates anywhere in the world, the bond markets are smelling the rat, and rates may be ready to rise on a world wide basis.

You could just about overlay the bond charts of any major currency nation on top of each other and they would match. It is uncanny but makes sense all of the world's bond markets are linked together, where the carry trade of borrowing where rates are low and lending where rates are high (could this be the reason for the huge amount of financial derivatives at JPM, Citibank, hooligans, et. al.) Rates are gonna rise, but it looks like they are going to rise for all countries simultaneously. Looks like the end game in rates/currency is about to start.

The holders of debt worldwide are fixing to be in a world of hurt if the US, British, German, Euro, etc bonds confirm the Japanese JGB breakout to the downside.


Socrates964Ned#11803703/04/04; 18:01:59

1. Jim Sinclair has final dollar low in the low 60s.

2. The point I wasing to make was that regardless of how much gold the Saudis have, they won't show their hand, a) because the princes who rule it aren't accountable to the general public, and b) because it would be counterproductive to show their hand. I.e. imagine that there really is an oil for gold swap going on. If the market saw large and ongoing accumulation of gold, it would immediately work out that gold was a petrocurrency, and would price it accordingly, probably sabotaging the whole operation.

GoldiloxMemory Lane#11803803/04/04; 18:08:46


I, too, took Belgian and Randy's suggested trip down "Memory Lane" today. It brought the positions of the Oil states into much more clarity. Gold is not a religion. Nor is it a particularly predictable trading commodity currently. I think I better understand why traditional money mangers have opted for the "conservative" approach of 10% vestment in hard currencies. Given the unfolding major currency upheavals, I can see increasing that number, but not to the point of illiquidity in "daily" fiat requirements. This is a secular bull, with many trendy pitfalls along the way. We may lose some lesser committed friends as the story unfolds, and we should gain some new ones, as well. Some of the more "irrationally exhuberant" may be tempted to "play" this market and find out the rigged game can bankrupt them in bull accoutrements, as well.

Physical holdings equal wealth stored, above and beyond transactional needs. Everything else is truly visiting TPTB's honky-tonk to purchase their hospitality and ride their mechanical bull.

Tic toc . . .Got gold?

Ag MountainRE: Saudi gold @Ned, gold is like an emotion#11803903/04/04; 18:37:05

You can have a lot of it but that doesn't mean you have to wear it openly on your sleeve.

There's lots of ways it doesn't have to show up on the official books. Just look at the U.S. government. Think about trillions of revenue the government has received and rolled into hard assets like bridges, Pentagons, NORADs, and other things that aren't tallied on the central bank books as reserve assets.

Why do you say gold and oil never move in the same direction and then conclude that Saudis don't need oil AND gold? Think about how much oil has left the sands. Right, they don't need oil AND gold, but one day there will be no oil, so you might guess they will have BOTH in the transition time as the original oil is pumped away.

You can look at Norway as a different public example of an oil rich country that as it pumps away its oil it is trying to preserve that wealth in another form. In the case of Norway it is very publicly wearing it on its sleeve in the shape of the Government Petroleum Fund which you probably shouldn't see double listed formally as a monetary reserve in the central bank. For reasons that are knowable only to Norway they have decided to shape this fund with external claims of stocks and bonds, meaning on top of everthing else they have to worry about counterparty risk when their oil runs out. Won't the Saudis seem smarter when they draw on their own fund someday and everyone can see it's been as risk-free as the original oil?

Fortunately with lots of oil Norway still has lots of time to learn a hard lesson and lots of time to shift the makeup of their fund to solid gold. Maybe they already see the light and have ideas for ANOTHER fund. Don't take my word for it. Here is an article, maybe it will make you think all this for yourself. It's probably too far over my head to say anything.

UPDATE - Norway's oil fund up 39 pct in 2003 to NOK 845 bln
Wednesday March 3, 4:17 am ET

OSLO, March 3 (Reuters) - Norway's oil fund, saving wealth for future generations, grew by 39 percent last year to 845 billion crowns ($121 billion) at the end of 2003, helped by firm equity markets, the central bank said on Wednesday.

The Government Petroleum Fund, invested in foreign stocks and bonds to save cash for when vast oil and gas resources run out, was worth 609 billion crowns at the end of 2002.

"The return on the government petroleum fund in 2003 was 12.6 percent measured in international currency. This is the fund's highest return ever," the central bank, which managed the fund, said in a statement.

The fund, which has ballooned since it was set up in 1996, was worth 803 billion at the end of the third quarter last year.

Norway pumps about three million barrels per day and is the world's third biggest oil exporter after Saudi Arabia and Russia.

Of the 236 billion crown increase in 2003, 104 billion was new capital transferred from the Finance Ministry, while the return on investment, measured in a basket of international currencies, corresponded to 91 billion.

WaveriderGreenspan Eyes Irrational Exuberance in Asia#11804003/04/04; 21:02:51

"If you want to make central bankers squirm, ask about the currency markets. They'll shift in their chairs, look at the ground, and invariably say: ``No comment.'' It makes you wonder what Alan Greenspan, the world's most influential central banker, was thinking this week when he said Asian central banks may soon reduce their ``extraordinary'' U.S. dollar purchases. Even more baffling is why the Federal Reserve chairman seems to be trying to jumpstart the process. The general sense here in Asia is that in his speech on Tuesday to the Economic Club of New York, Greenspan was signaling that Japan and China should curb their dollar binge. In the last two years, Asian central banks hoarded $240 billion of dollar assets. Japan and China alone hold more than $1 trillion in dollars.

Greenspan seems to have two risks in mind. One, how Asia's Treasury buying binge is affecting the Fed's policies. Two, Asian central banks may be introducing a degree of irrational exuberance into global debt markets.

Waverider: A good read from Bloomberg (of all places).

goldquestFlow of Funds Accounts of the U.S.#11804103/04/04; 21:08:39

Under F200, Gold and Official Foreign Exchange Holdings, Total U S Reserves, they have -8.3 billion. This seems like a lot of negative reserves if I am reading this right.
Is there anyone who would care to decipher this?
Go to the Flow Table and then scroll down to F200 to read the information.

Black BladeNew nickels are on their way #11804203/04/04; 21:50:18


The first redesign in 66 years of America's five-cent coin becomes a reality this month. Last April, the U.S. Treasury announced that the nation's five-cent coin would be redesigned. In November, when the government unveiled that new pattern, it added a twist: There would be two new nickels issued in 2004, instead of just one.

This week, the U.S. Mint announced that the first of those two editions is ready to go. The change marks the first alteration to the nickel since the most recent version was introduced in 1938. That familiar piece depicts Thomas Jefferson on its front, with an image of his Monticello estate on the back. The backside of the nickels now entering circulation features the Jefferson Peace Medal. This was a ceremonial medallion presented to Native American chiefs during treaty signings and other big pow-wows. It displays clasped hands and a peace pipe overlapping a hatchet. The second nickel will be released in the fall, and will be engraved with an image of the keelboat used by Lewis and Clark in exploring the American West. President Jefferson was that expedition's chief patron.

Black Blade: No mention of a change in metallic composition but it has been discussed over the last couple of years. Base metal prices have risen higher putting pressure on the Mint to find cheaper substitutes. Aside from the nickel, pennies use to be copper and now are primarily zinc. The price of zinc has risen higher to the point that some law makers have proposed eliminating the penny altogether.

specie-manNew Nickels#11804303/04/04; 23:01:15

Nickels are actually 25% nickel and 75% copper (by weight).
As of a month or so ago, the melt value of a US nickel was two and a half cents. That is approaching the pain threshold for the government.

The composition of the US "nickel" coin has not changed since 1866 when the nickel 5-cent coin was first introduced.

That is, except for a brief period during WWII. Nickel was needed for the war effort so it was removed from the coins. For a few years, the composition of the 5-cent coin was actually 56% copper, 35% silver, and 9% manganese.

The silver-containing nickels can easily be identified by a large mint mark letter ("P", "D", or "S") above Monticello.
Some of the 1942-dated nickels have silver, and all of the 1943, '44, and '45 dated nickels are silver.

All this brings up an interesting question. Canadian nickels dated 1955-1981 (and some earlier years) are pure nickel. With the current high nickel prices (and advantageous exchange rate) I wonder if it would be economically viable to start "harvesting" those Candadian nickels from circulation ?

Those of you in Canada, do you see 1981 & older nickels in circulation very often ?

Liberty HeadThe Honest Nickel#11804403/04/04; 23:37:41

I think we should have a new nickel that tells it like it is.
It would have Kerry's head on one side and Bush's head on the other side.
The inscription would read "Heads, You Lose"

Best Wishes

Great Albino BatBlack Blade: " Base metal prices have risen higher putting pressure on the Mint to find cheaper substitutes." #11804503/04/04; 23:46:31

That's the accepted way of putting it, but actually,
it's not that the metal prices are higher, but rather that the value (purchasing power) of the dollar is lower.

This necessary change in the composition of common base metal coinage, becomes more and more frequent as inflation accelerates.

It's a very typical third-world phenomenon. We'll be seeing a lot more of these changes from here on.

Next, the penny is going to disappear completely. Nothing cheap enough to make a penny out of! (Plastic, maybe?) It will be interesting to see how this problem is handled.


Great Albino BatAgMountain: about Norway's Petroleum Fund...#11804603/05/04; 00:04:01

The human bean has a hard time (extremely) seeing things as they are. The vast majority of human beans accept as fact what everyone else accepts as fact. The Norwegian Muckey-Mucks are no exception.

NPTB-"Yes, we have to save. What do we save? Why, bonds of the best sort, of course; what else? Ours is a portfolio of outstanding quality!"

The GAB- "But a bond is only a promise, and the promise is fulfilled when you get another promise instead of the original promise. What about something tangible?"

NPTB-"Are you some kind of nut? Obviously you are mentally retarded, a goldbug...please, do not waste our valuable time with your outdated dreams!"

The GAB-"OK, wise guy. Have it your way. The Norwegians will be had. But by then, you will be out of office, maybe even dead, if you are lucky."

A curious thing is the human bean!


WaveriderOil Prices Edge Nearer to One-Year Highs#11804703/05/04; 00:04:29

"Oil prices edged nearer to one-year highs on Friday on concerns political strife in Venezuela could spin out of control and signs that OPEC (News - Websites) would keep its vow to cut output next month. U.S refiners made plans for possible supply disruptions in Venezuela despite assurances from OPEC's third-biggest producer this would not happen. The Bush administration said it was "extremely concerned" about surging gasoline prices. In a surprise announcement on Thursday, Venezuela's ambassador to the United Nations, Milos Alcalay, said he was resigning in protest over the policies of President Hugo Chavez, lending his weight to demands that the left-wing leader yield to a recall vote. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) also warned that with gasoline stocks below normal levels, any problems at a refinery or pipeline might trigger supply disruptions and push up prices."

Waverider: I see that oil is almost $37.00 tonight. The P&F chart I posted in December gave a price objective of $42.00. Black Blade - what's your take on this? Could Bush find justification for invading Venezuela?

BTW - I notice that we didn't have the Daily News 'n Views or DMR posted the past few days - hope that all is well at the Castle!

Specie-man - I don't often check the year on coinage, but I believe most in circulation are minted within the past 5-10 years - just a guess (of course next time I'm given a nickel in change I'll think of you and check the date!)

Great Albino BatSocrates964: You sound Texan: "fixin to be in a world of hurt"!#11804803/05/04; 00:20:10

I love that "fixin to be"!

Indeed, all bonds go up in yield (and down in value) all over the world...sounds quite plausible - everything is so interlinked in this day and age. No refuge left for huge, multi-trillions of paper! What a glorious mess!

What we are now living in, is "world inflation". Never been experienced in human history. No precedents! This is going to be interesting to watch - until the lava from the volcano gets too close to us, which it must.

"Managers" are running the world of money and finance. Career men who never had an independent thought in their lives. The mental midgets are in control. Sauve qui peut!
Laurel and Hardy, and Charlie Chase are running the mega banks..."Another fine mess you've got us into!"


Great Albino BatSocrates964: You sound Texan: "fixin to be in a world of hurt"!#11804903/05/04; 00:20:57

I love that "fixin to be"!

Indeed, all bonds go up in yield (and down in value) all over the world...sounds quite plausible - everything is so interlinked in this day and age. No refuge left for huge, multi-trillions of paper! What a glorious mess!

What we are now living in, is "world inflation". Never been experienced in human history. No precedents! This is going to be interesting to watch - until the lava from the volcano gets too close to us, which it must.

"Managers" are running the world of money and finance. Career men who never had an independent thought in their lives. The mental midgets are in control. Sauve qui peut!
Laurel and Hardy, and Charlie Chase are running the mega banks..."Another fine mess you've got us into!"


Black BladeWaverider#11805003/05/04; 00:26:30

I don't see a US invasion of Ven anytime. Hugo Chavez is a Marxist but not a threat. However, I would not be surprised if the "old guard" in the Ven military and National Guard take matters in their own hands again.

On North Sea oil - "peak oil" production was reached ywo years ago and several majors have sold off their leases to smaller players. The UK had raised taxes that also contributed to some producers bailing out of the North Sea play.

On a side note, US energy officials are predicting record breaking gasoline prices by Memorial Day. Of course consumer advocates and some Congressmen are blaming "Big Oil" of price gouging, however, the market determines prices and not producers. This is an election year so we will hear more "price gouging" myths for political mileage (always a convenient scape-goat). The simple fact is that production of economically viable oil and NatGas is reaching its limits (at current prices) while global demand is rising.

On the "bright side" higher energy prices are not a problem as far as the "core rate" of the CPI and PPI (whenever it's released) are concerned. ;-)

- Black Blade

Nite all.

Great Albino BatThis is on topic, because what happens to OIL affects GOLD.#11805103/05/04; 00:32:06

Lot's of agitation in Venezuela. It stinks of a CIA régime change operation via destabilization. Too many pics of protesters with signs saying the "right" (i.e. from the US administration point of view) things about "democracy", etc. Of course, we see the young woman protester battered and later showing up with a neck brace and a Venezuelan flag, saying she will go on protesting...Same old same old.

NOBODY in this world protests unless there is a paid agitator moving things. Who is doing the paying? Obvious.

Chavez is no doubt a nut, but, who is to cast the first stone? Another nut?

The next thing would be to have the Marines land in Venezuela, but alas, are there enough left over to deal with Venezuela, after Irag needs are taken into account?

Imperial overstretch?


TownCriergoldquest: Fed "flow of funds" summary stats#11805203/05/04; 01:05:41

In case you are still puzzling over what appears to you to be a negative (-)8.3 billion dollar position for Total U.S. Reserves, I might be able to lend a hand.

It looks to me like you were probably reviewing the data tracking FLOW, which is a measurement of change in holdings from a previous time period. If you would look instead at outstanding levels rather than flow, you will very likely see that our total reserves are more on the order of (+)86 billion dollars. I hope this helps.


GoldiloxPennies disappear #118045#11805303/05/04; 01:15:40

So many retailers keep a penny cup near the cash register to physically "round off" the total for customers, that removing the penny from circulation makes perfect sence. There is also a precedent since the IRS has allowed rounding off to the nearest $1 calculation on its forms for a number of years now.

Given enough hyperinflafla and more complete distribution of the technology for $paper and credit/debit card reading machines, all coins could easily be discontinued in the not too distant future.

Even casinos have long ago discontinued using legal tender $1 coins and substituted proprietary $1 tokens.
any have discontinued using coins in current gambling machines, simulating the sounds and issuing a payoff slip.

BelgianA smile for cher ami Ned.....#11805403/05/04; 01:16:18

Saudi Arabia is a BIS member and,...there are special BIS-accounts held for "certain" nations !

ECB-BIS alliance = New euro-political power ! Note how Trichet "re-confirmed" the ECB's "Independance", yesterday !

Note that there is nothing left from that OPEC-promess of being accomodative as to keep the $-POO in the 22$-28$ range !!! Remember, that they were going to open the spigots when the POO went above 28$ for more than 20 days ?
"WHAT" made them change their mind ? Has it something to do with ....1 barril = (must be) 1 gram og Gold !?

Ned, have a look at the COT Gold Futures - Open Interest !!!
Yep, record high since...1986 !!!

How urgent is a "regime-change" in Venezuela ??? WO(more independant)O (and maturing euro, of course).

The new German President is an IMF-guy. What a coincidence ?

Ned,...what I'm trying to say is,...oil is coming closer to the euro, because the dollar is losing its "credibility" in the same proportion as the euro is gaining. A EURO STRONG IN GOLD !!!!

TownCrierInstant replay for B.#11805503/05/04; 03:49:51

"Note how Trichet "re-confirmed" the ECB's "Independance", yesterday !"
Done as follows -- from the Q&A portion of the press conference following the meeting of the Governing Council of the ECB.

Press Questions:
"...over the last few weeks there has been a lot of noise from finance ministers and Heads of State. Schröder was in Washington and talked to Bush about the euro – does this bother you in any way as Mr Euro?"

"I have a second question about all the advice you have received over the last few weeks from politicians. How helpful is this advice, or was it, at your meeting today?"

Trichet Answer:
I would say that we hear and we listen – or I hear and I listen - and I know the Treaty. The general feeling in Europe, taking into account public opinion, is that we have to take our decision in full independence, meaning that we should not do something because we are told to do something. And that we should not do something because we are told to do the contrary. Namely, we should not be influenced in either direction. Frankly speaking, it is not that easy. But it is the strong belief of the entire Governing Council that we should not be influenced in any direction. So you can trust us to have looked at today's case on the basis of the situation today, as I have explained, as thoroughly as possible. And we will examine the situation next month in exactly the same frame of mind. Whatever is said, we are not to be influenced – either positively or negatively.

[New topic]

I have a question on a statement of Mr Greenspan. He recently commented on the Japanese intervention policy as an unsustainable one. Do you share his opinion? And what do you think about the recent development after the Boca Raton statement in this context?

Well, I'll let the Japanese central bank be responsible for its policy and I would only say that Alan produced a very interesting speech recently, very interesting.


I have a simple question on your strategy. Last May you had a re-launch of the strategy aimed at better communications. But now I see some problems. If the inflation rate is closer to 1.5% than to 2%, and the potential rate is not covered by the real growth rate, one has the impression of a neglect of the money supply, of excessive liquidity. How can you make better communications with the new, re-launched strategy?

I am sorry, are you concluding that we should increase rates or decrease rates?

Question: That is your business.

Trichet: That is kind of you, sir.
[...pause for laughter... then fast forward to his concluding comments on this topic...]
We have to make a judgement on what is the real situation and not be the prisoner of a day-to-day evolution, which is necessarily erratic. We have a low level of inflation, according to the last statistics. We know in advance that for statistical reasons it will go up again, and then perhaps you will say: today you should do this, and tomorrow you should do that. So we have to take everything into consideration and not only the early indicators that are related to, for instance, the economic cycle and the last indication we have of domestic demand, but also all indicators of inflation and what could happen as far as inflation is concerned. We have the cross-checking – you have been mentioning it – with the monetary development, and I said that it is important in a long-term perspective.

We take all that, we make our judgement. I explained in four pages what our judgement was.

There is no other central bank, we are the only one -- I draw your attention to that -- which immediately after having considered the situation, and under the observation of the full body of European and global observers and journalists, produces its own assessment of the situation and asks the Vice-President and the President to appear in front of you and to respond as candidly as possible to the questions on the decision which has just been taken. I do not mean that we should be particularly proud, but that is transparency.

TownCrierWhere's Waldo? See if you can spot all things "interesting"#11805603/05/04; 03:58:08

This is the url to the speech by Fed Chairman Greenspan that ECB President Trichet referred to thusly: "Alan produced a very interesting speech recently, very interesting."


NedBelgium, ag mountain#11805703/05/04; 04:20:10

I believe you raise excellent points. Saudi does not need to hold reserves of both oil and gold but as oil depletes or is 'encumbered' or is 'threatened' oil is out and gold is in.


Here is a quip from Another:

"Gold is cornered. Plain and simple. No complicated theories, no options problems. The commodity value of gold was forced so low in paper currency terms that all of the new mined gold, going out some 10 years is spoken for. Between the third world buying physical gold and the jewelry industry ( same people buying ) there is none left for the oil states! They do value oil in terms of gold, but not IN the paper currency price of gold! How much is gold worth in terms of oil value? Just stop supplying gold to them in ultra cheep US$ terms and you will find out by watching the currency price of oil! In any event, LBMA has traded so much paper/oil/gold that any rise in the currency price of gold will implode them. The CBs must become the full primary suppliers of gold or the system as we know it is done.

One last note: No form of paper wealth will survive the financial crush once the CBs stop selling!


Here's the kicker, "...stop supplying gold to them in ultra cheep US$ terms and you will find out by watching the currency price of oil!"

Yikes! Has oil gone through the roof solely because the DX has fallen from 120 to 89? Or is gold transacted for oil in diminishing amounts? Too early to tell perhaps.

We watch for the wheels to fall off. Perhaps time is near to make one last physical purchase.


P.S. The JGB story last night is indeed interesting, do you get the feeling the END is near?

steadyTHE TRUTH!#1180583/5/04; 05:39:45

gld and silver are money!

the end isnt near.
rather the begining is just begining,
ones perspective is everything.

AWAKEN THE RECOGNITION AMONG THE PLANETS POPULACE THAT GOLD IS MONEY.... silver will tag along just to provide stability and balance.

got love?

GoldiloxPOG/POO#1180593/5/04; 05:55:44

@ Belgian:

You said: ""WHAT" made them change their mind ? Has it something to do with ....1 barril = (must be) 1 gram og Gold !?"

$400 /32.2 = $12.42/g
E320 /32.2 = E9.9/g

Where does this calculation fit in your statement?

Are you assuming a gold transfer takes place and assigning a "partial" gold value within the POO structure?

Socrates964GAB#1180603/5/04; 06:00:06

'fixin' to be in a world of hurt' - I was merely posting a most interesting comment that had appeared in last night's Midas -Since he occasionally quotes me, I thought he wouldn't mind if I occasionally quote him.

I can't remember the source, but I also remember seeing something about the Bank of China dumping yen for dollars. Hard to tell whether we're just seeing some year-end window dressing, but the Yen is behaving strangely.

BelgianTobin Tax on Forex ?#1180613/5/04; 06:37:32

Euroland might (!!!) agree on a Tax (0,1% initially) on "speculative" Forex moves, wich are huuuuge . I see this against the contrasting background of (unfree)Gold, NOT being taxed (for the time being) ! Taxes on moving (arbitering) your confetti-units, but NOT on your Gold-Wealth in Possession !? Strange evolution !

Mr. Lassonde (Newmont mining-BB's post) seems to understand that his mine's Gold is NOT a commodity anymore, but..."money". Wrong Sir ! You are not mining money but "WEALTH" , that soon will be re-considered as wealth and not what you think is money ! Here we have a boss of the second biggest goldmine (reserve) who doesn't know, in what business he's "really" in !!! Commodity ? ?...Wealth ? Certainly to be continued...

China (1,2 Billion folks) is recognizing the right of "property"...and that includes GOLD IN POSSESSION !!!
Yes, Sir Alan...we heard what you were saying about those dollars slushing around, yesterday !

The US-$ keeps devaluing against everything that is expressed in dollar and its derivatives ! The one and only reason for this irreversable process to continue, is past and present, "dollar-deluge", for already much too long. This is also the one and only explanation for the stockmarket overvaluations since more than a decade.

Jacob MarleyBelgian 118054 / Socrates -- Dollar/Euro/Oil/Gold#1180623/5/04; 06:40:10

"Saudi Arabia is a BIS member" ... "ECB-BIS alliance = New euro-political power" ... "Trichet 're-confirmed' the ECB's 'Independance', yesterday !" ... "Nothing left from that OPEC-promess of being accomodative as to keep the $-POO in the 22$-28$ range !!!" ... "oil is coming closer to the euro, because the dollar is losing its 'credibility'..." ..."A EURO STRONG IN GOLD !!!"

These, dear Soc/B, are precisely at the hear of the point I tried to make the other day -- that being the struggle on the part of the US to discredit the euro TO THE END that the ECB should blink and cease to behave purely according to charter, and instead "just like" another dollar -- i.e., driven by internal ("parochial") political concerns over the pure macro-economic banking concerns of a currency issuer. And that if this occurs, the game is over for the Euro -- those are the stakes in this life/death economic struggle behind the scenes. Allow me a moment to clarify.

The chief concern in this battle is the attribute of euro credibility. This is the foremost attribute for any currency issuer. Credibility is maintained through providing adequate liquidity, solvency, and instituting monetary policies that promote the most favorable investment climate for its users. The most favorable monetary climate is price stability, as this indicator signals the ideal environment for planning and forecasting: a reasonable predictability that is essential to a stable world. Maintaining price stability is the single chartered objective of the ECB.

The dollar (and other fiat currencies in the world today), derive their tether (on which their credibility is based) by orienting around being stable in terms of something. Some currencies "tether" by benchmarking relative to some other currency(ies). Most used to benchmark directly to gold, and did this by promising convertibility at a guaranteed rate. (Productive potential is another way to benchmark, but practically does not operate exclusively as any banks' barometer, but is more a "public consumption" thing, and won't be discussed further here.) The single common characteristic of all primary benchmarks in today's setting is that they also compose significantly the reserve base of the currency's issuers. This determines the architecture and function of today's operating fiat currency regime.

Today the USD is tethered via a quasi-gold (also quasi-oil) order. It does the former out of the pure evolution of its previous gold-backing framework from the Bretton Woods arrangement. The latter is not anything formally stated, but can be conceived by viewing OPEC as an external authority that controls indirectly dollar monetary policy to a degree, by how much it will charge to convert dollars for oil. It came about in some opinions because of the very failure of the gold backing, and is sustained because of the subsequent failure of the quasi-gold tethering.

The fact is that today all of our floating currencies have a tether to put restraint on just how high and far abreast they float, and it is chiefly some single important commodity's exchange price that is the benchmark. The historical evolution of this has it that this important commodity is also the main (or only) reserve holding of the bank. (Oil viewed here as a tether is the "reserve" holding of its "issuer" as defined by the most important supply bloc - OPEC.)

In any event, this is why the world's current pre-eminent reserve currency is able to get away with being driven by domestic political (parochial navel-gazing) forces -- because the established order measures the dollar in large part on the basis of the gold price -- which with contract gold, and derivatives sophistication -- can be masked considerably. And since oil is priced and sold in dollars, stable oil prices also signal stable dollars.

Other reserve dynamics (dollar debt, export competition for dollar-spending consumers, etc.) also keep support for enormous dollar float, and allow the US to run enormous trade deficits that keep in balance through subsequent capital inflows (themselves driven by these reserve dynamics). This allows sustained and grossly disproportionate internal spending relative to real output. But since these dynamics also allow for dollar denominated price stability, the US indirectly provides to the world's investors the "ideal" investment climate for users of its currency -- price stability -- but at the great expense of other nations' economies (and ultimately well-being).

The euro -- by design -- decouples itself from benchmarking its reserves as an indicator of the currency's value. In practice this the markets still evaluate it in terms of its reserves (dollars and gold), as the euro is not yet fully established in the global mindset as an entity that can stand alone. But the target of the ECB is architecturally removed from demonstrating the euro's worth in terms of how strong it is relative to reserves (the entente that the dollar must perpetually struggle with). It chooses instead to compare itself with an external basket of goods, as measured by an indicator, as you know, called the Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices (HICP). This benchmarking to some external thing that is not either an unencumbered reserve (like gold), or the issue of someone else that somehow ties to its own unencumbered reserve (dollars: quasi-gold, OPEC: oil-in-the-ground), is something very significant.

The dollar gets away with whatever it wants, so long as the benchmarks are stable, and markets can feel secure in this. IF the euro tries to play this game, i.e., succumbs to political pressure and makes policy on that basis, it yields its one designated "asset" to uphold credibility -- faithful adherence to its word. It has nothing else to tether against ideally because of its reserve marking structure. It did this by design, because in order to promote the best environment for the users of the currency (liquidity, solvency, predictability), it needed the greatest degree of flexibility. The dollar, and its forerunners always had to deal with artificial constraints that had nothing to do with the economy they served. The economy may have demanded expansion, but physical gold limitations prevented it. Asia screams to expand, but they are like inflating a tire with a slow leak, the harder they pump the more air escapes through THEIR self-imposed but inescapable constraint of competitive devaluation of THEIR primary reserve holding: dollars.

The euro chose to be as abstract an entity as possible -- and it is hard to get more abstract in this physical world of ours other than to have nothing standing behind your issue except your word. That is why years of true trial and tribulation were needed to mature the currency issue. And years are needed to convince potential users in all cultures and walks of life that the currency WILL be supported by its issuers according to their word (charter), AND that the issuers (through proving) have the means (power) to support their currency. THIS is its only tether. Not gold, not forex. These, in a market-marking framework, provide no secure anchor. IF the euro becomes an untethered entity, it will have great trouble -- architecturally -- providing an environment of price stability. It would be relegated to second tier status. It would effectively become "just another currency" -- a regional currency for the EU, used chiefly for convenience and by law -- not the primary global currency for reserves and settlement. It would hence forego all the prestige and power that go with this "exorbitant privilege."

That is the caveat that I must not have made clear the other day, as to why the mark-to-market attribute of the ECB is potentially a liability. It becomes a liability, if the ECB blinks, and capitulates. What was leverage for strength, by providing a natural hedge in its reserve base through a cooperative relationship, then gets turned on its head. Now the mark-to-market property would leverage weakness, by forcing the reintroduction of a competitive relationship to the reserves. Since in capitulation they would have let go of their chief supporting "asset" -- to promote credibility in the currency -- the credibility of their word.

Without a benchmarking non-reserve commodity (real OR abstract), the untethered euro would have its reserve assets then forced upon it for support, and this would make it no different than other fiat issues. By placating political pressure, they would lose their independence to act solely for the benefit of the currency, and would introduce European economic activity far more greatly into the mix than is wanted by design. Today, while conceptually mark-to-market is an "asset" (i.e., beneficial) for the euro, functionally and practically the euro is still treated and measured much like other fiats. This is because it lacks yet the full maturity that will bring it prominence and acceptance. In this setting the mark-to-market property is also still largely obscured (can you name one other person who is cognizant of this?). When its day arrives, it will have been because of the fruition of its abstract non-reserve "asset" -- that of established, unwavering credibility. Once more THIS is what matters in a currency -- not its reserves as such, but its ability to promote a stable macro-economic environment. Build THAT and they will come... Reserve asset values are only a part of the picture, and sole reliance upon them as the support for the issue, is the mark of a lesser evolved currency paradigm.

Because the euro today has not reached full stature, and the old-guy still sits on the throne, it will still be judged largely on its performance vis-a-vis its reserves -- competitive relationship. Its tether is not a beneficial tether, but more a chain by which it may be pulled against its will. Whereas a gold/dollar reserve mix should also be a natural hedge, one against the other, in practice this is not fully the case today since dollar priced gold can be managed through paper inflation/deflation of the supply, thus controlling prices almost to perfection, and allowing dollar reserve dynamics to operate unbridled. As the dollar loses credibility, its grip on this relationship will also weaken, and this natural hedge will become very obvious, beneficial, and ultimately break apart. At that time, the dollar will decline in reserve use, gold will rise in price greatly in euro terms. In this the euro will become weak in gold. But in relation to other currencies, due to its construction to not compete with gold, it will become strong in gold. In weakness it becomes strong...

I won't go on about my earlier thoughts on Russia and the US oil strategy here other than to tie it in to the above. Russia - playing both sides, might really be seeking a hegemonic policy in the region by forcing delays in the fruition of the European strategy. The hope would be to force, through economic stagnation, a capitulation of the ECB's euro strategy as detailed above. This will weaken the region, and allow Russia a chance to fill the void -- their centuries old dream.

The US, while seeing this Russian dream as more a nightmare, strategically wishes to benefit from such activity in the short term, since they also wish to topple the euro (and subsequent European ascendancy). They wish to develop a contingency of secure oil flow through various channels, and would like to defuse OPEC (need to tame Iraq, and get pro-US/anti-OPEC leadership in Venezuala). This is not only to remove the oil restraint on their own economy, but also to take out one of the stool legs supporting euro maturity and power (alluded to in Belgians mention of the Saudi/BIS/ECB associations in his post).

True, Belgian & Socrates, it is not an easy task to piece all these power plays and strategies together. And who knows the day or the hour? We see only what we are permitted to see, and that from a distance. But, it is a fascinating complexity that I personally enjoy examining. So, we sit back and we shall watch this show together, no...? (I will be gone for a couple days, so won't see any response -- should you choose to make any -- until Monday).

Max RabbitzPayrolls disappointing again #1180633/5/04; 06:42:21

"Gain of 21,000 falls far short of Wall St. forecasts"

Max......They said earlier this week that the big dollar surge was due to expected huge gains in employment numbers this Friday, more than the 125,000 consensus. If the dollar doesn't fall back it must be due to the phase of the moon

Socrates964Job figures#1180643/5/04; 06:46:07

Poor job creation figures - intended to keep the lid on interest rates, perhaps?

JM - let me digest your post.

J-BullionJobs Report#1180653/5/04; 06:52:28

Why is the Labor Department reporting the jobs report anymore? They better switch that over to the BLS. That way they can hedonically adjust the # of jobs to any number they want. 21,000 jobs can soon become 210,000 jobs because of the productivity miracle 1 worker is now the equivalent of 10 jobs. This better happen quickly, or else the the big party is going to end real soon. If the figures don't tell us what the economists want to hear, change the figures.
Belgian1 BARRIL = 1 GRAM GOLD#1180663/5/04; 06:56:22

Arabian oil values 1 barril equal to one gram gold. One (1) barril (brent) is now priced 33,24$ by the oil-reserve-holders (and by nobody alse). Arabian oil "VALUES" (not pricing) Gold now at 33,24 x 31,1 (grams in an ounce) = 1,034 dollar per ounce...against the visible gold-paper-price of 398,3$/Oz.

That's WHY the CB's Gold-Wealth (Gold-exchange-reserve) is VALUED, inter-bancair, much, much higher than the paper-price at wich we the tiny group of small shrimps can accumulate Physical. This explains what is meant by : THERE IS NOT ENOUGH GOLD !!!

$-POG, whoesssshhhhh + 6$...friday bluesssssss.
Nymex crude : > 37$
€/$ : 1,2320 : Are you happy Socrates ?

Hang TuffGold has hit $400.00 plus on Kitco.HOORAY!!!#1180673/5/04; 07:04:59

Hang Tuff : Mahendra predicted a huge up day on Mar 3 and it obviously did not happen. But today looks VERY Exciting. I am like the people who watch sports except I watch precious metals for fun and excitement. I have high hopes for today. I am FULLY invested.
Socrates964Belgian#1180683/5/04; 07:09:06

Must confess I definitely feel better, although because of POG rather than Euro.

Gold still has to clear 404 for a 3-box reversal.

EndofderainbowJ Marley#1180693/5/04; 07:17:56

A ghost from the past to warn Mr Scrooge that opportunities for good deeds on the trail never die?...Yes?
White RoseMexico's Fox visits Bush (are we begging for more silver?)#1180703/5/04; 07:21:03

They seem to be straining to explain why we need to meet with Mexico. My guess is that it is all about getting some silver quick to New York.
goldquest@TownCrier #118052#1180713/5/04; 07:22:50

Thanks for the help Randy!
GoldiloxHeckle's squirming#1180723/5/04; 07:56:29


Anticipating the jobs report, CNBC called in their "economist", Larry Krudlow, to explain away the number. He is dancing the "productivity" dance, and sugggesting that the ISM and revenue numbers show that the jobs number must be flawwed, as businesses are possibly "not reporting" new jobs. Oh, Oh, call the IRS!

Squirm Larry! It so fits your pugnacious profile!

Mark just said, "Coming up! Final thoughts from Larry Kudlow, if you can stand them!"

No kidding! A good start to a glorious day!

Got gold?

ZhishengChallange#1180733/5/04; 08:08:29

The market is challanging the $6 rule: that gold is not permitted to rise more than $6 in any one trading day. As I write gold is up about $7.40.
GoldiloxJobs Report#1180743/5/04; 08:36:02

Wasn't it Walter Reuther who asked Henry Ford, "Just who's going to buy all those cars, Mr. Ford?"
BoilermakerAs Producer Price Index Skyrockets, Fears of Inflation Mount #1180753/5/04; 09:25:36

Producer prices skyrocketed in February due to a rise in the raw materials prices, fanning worries over growing inflationary pressures and worsening corporate profits. The Bank of Korea (BOK) announced Friday that the producer price index (PPI) jumped 4.5 percent year-on-year in February, the highest monthly rise since November 1998 when it hit 11.0 percent growth. The figure also marks the eighth consecutive months of gains.

Korean number crunchers are now two months ahead of US BLS. Here's the way I interpret their numbers into a US equivalent (month on month):
Jan. up 1.4%, Feb up 1.2% and the SK Won up about 2% vis-a-vis US$ over the two months. Adding percentages (close estimate) gives 4.6% PPI increase in 2 months. Annualized we get 31%. No wonder BLS is constipated.

BTW the PPI for February is due out a week from today. I wonder how they'll spin the probable non-release of that one. Perhaps the recent dollar boost and gold attack has been a rearguard action in anticipation of these awful inflation and employment numbers. I would think the bond guys would smell a rat by now but I suppose most of them are playing with OPM.

Get your gold now. This may be the last visit below $400.

BoilermakerBoilermaker Screw Up#1180763/5/04; 09:27:31

This is the link that went with my last post
Paper Avalanche@ Boilermaker - PPI for January#1180773/5/04; 09:51:19

I think that the BLS will simply cancel the PPI reading going forward. It is outdated and no longer reliable. (Just kidding)

I too am eagerly awaiting the spin that will accompany the non-release of the Feb number if that should happen as well.

Push is about to turn to shove. This is almost surreal. It is as if the BLS is a fourth grader not wanting to show dad his report card and is looking for a way to use white out to turn D's into B's.

Something big is definitely brewing.

Have a great weekend!


GoldiloxIt's all in the spin#1180783/5/04; 10:32:24

CNBC is presenting a special spot on English "accent" classes offered by Wipro and other Indian call center providers. The classes, which have long waiting lists, teach British, California, East Coast, and Midwestern accents so the caller believes they are speaking to a local representative.

Now when you make your call, ask a favorite question of G.I.'s in WWII. "Who won the '03 World Series?"

Clink!Accent improvement ?#1180793/5/04; 10:54:34

Are they fixin' to get some good ol' Texan in there too ?!
GoldiloxAccent improvement#1180803/5/04; 11:08:15

@ Clink!

Mahatma Coat, y'all.

Maybe that's why Dell brought their service back home to Round Rock. They couldn't afford to hire that Korean comedian from Kaintuck to teach the proper nuances of Suthen speech.

Clink!Up into the close !#1180813/5/04; 11:46:19

And, interestingly a $7.4 up day - someone must be slipping. Talking of slipping, take a look at the USDX chart. What I find most scary is that the value of the biggest monetary float in the world can vary by 1.5% in the space of 90 minutes. The number of $s sloshing about to do that is truly awe inspiring.
R PowellQuestioning Kudlow..?#1180823/5/04; 12:17:26

Goldilox: Thanks for relaying the comment from Mark of the peoples' stock picking television channel...

Mark just said, "Coming up! Final thoughts from Larry Kudlow, if you can stand them!"

I think Mark has begun to question some of the Bull S___t that analysts and guests of CNBC pass off daily to those who care to believe it. Sometimes his body language and facial expressions belie the proper reaction he is supposed to convey. It would not surprise me to see Mark replaced (retired...fired). Maybe Abbey is available??

Socrates ...nice call on the currency reversal !! Mr. Fibonacci was right...or enough people thought he was going to be right.(g) Now, if we can get enough investors to believe that silver is heading straight for $14.55 while gold advances to $1012.91. I know...patience rich, patience.

Gandalf the WhiteNICE Work today SPIKE and SPOT !!!#1180833/5/04; 12:38:01

Federal_ReservesThe jobs bottom line#1180843/5/04; 12:50:05

The number of folks employed dropped from 138,566,000 to 138,301,000 a loss of 265,000 jobs! They keep the rate from rising by lowering the number of people in the labor force which also suffered a huge decline of 392,000!

There is no job's recovery at all. In fact, we are losing jobs, and its signalling the recovery is failing to produce the next upleg. The rich have not felt the recession that is trickling upward, but they soon will. The rich man's indexes has begun to decline, NAS down 6 week straight, and the SnP and DOW look like walking dead man ZOMBIE's, making up and down moves while going nowhere.

steadynot very often do i say this but i told ya!#1180853/5/04; 12:50:48

6 dollar rule broken in memory of surfer joe! he caught hte big one but let it go! hes satifsfyed with wining>.
huh? oh the answer to yestedays numbers, naw not yet think it over a lil longer.

GoldiloxSix dollar rule#1180863/5/04; 13:12:45

I'm not too excited about the six dollar rule violation, as it was only $8, and that after two brutal $13 down days in the last couple weeks. It is nice to be back over $400, however.

I'm actually more encouraged by Sinclair's decision to take his predictions offline into private meetings so the whole world isn't reading his support and resistance points.

I think the markets are very stressed, based on the numbers and the hype, and we are in for some srious volatility ahead - in SM, $, gold, bonds, etc.

I have also noticed that miners have been reluctant to drop very far on those down days, and seem poised to react to serious upside action.

Buckle up! It's gonna be a wild ride.

GoldiloxUnderutilized numbers#1180873/5/04; 13:21:42


Thanks - that's one of the best enumerations of the real employment problem I have seen. Just how can tax and benefit cuts help millions who earn no taxable income, anyway?

Snow got hammered by Lizzie today, and afterwards the preponderance of email asked why he didn't answer any of her very reasonable questions!

Speaking of CNBC, they also mentioned that GE is one of the compaanies training Indians in Amer-english for their call center in New Delhi, y'all.

Hooverville, Reaganville, and Bushburg. Buy stock in REI, as many more tents, stoves, and lanterns will be needed.

Cavan ManWhy I bought gold in May of 1999......#1180883/5/04; 14:09:50

....and why I still buy it today.....

"The way of the successful investor is normally to do nothing?not until you see money lying there, somewhere over in the corner, and all that is left for you to do is go over and pick it up. That is how you invest. You wait until you see, or find, or stumble upon, or dig up by way of research something you think is a sure thing; something without much risk. You do not buy unless it is cheap and unless you see positive change coming. In other words, you do not buy except on rare occasions and there are not going to be many in life where the money is just lying there because there are not many great opportunities that are ever going to come along.
But you do not need many if you do not make many mistakes."

Jim Rogers

steadybroken trend#1180893/5/04; 14:12:26

goldie sorry to burst your bubblwe but breaking hte 6 dollar bat is significant , reasons 1) if it can be done once it will be done again , this will allow gold to rise in one two and trhee percetn spurts and removing the impedsiments to a free market is important, so im sorry you do not see the long term implications thois breaking of the 6 dollar rules has for gold,
like i said a while back gold dribbled right into the thick of the currency market and said come one come all one at a time or all at once, gold showed the currency traders who is king, there may be a few lost battles along the way but the 6 dollar rule will become a thing of ht epast going forward in time which sets the plate for a 10% move on day. kabing 40-50 federal reserve notes moves will take place . hope u see the light!
gold and silver
honest money for
honest people!

Federal_ReservesPPI delayed again#1180903/5/04; 14:32:48

Two reports now embargoed from public review. Still no idea when they will be out.
GoldiloxSee the light#1180913/5/04; 14:56:55

@ steady:

I'm one of the most vehement gold bugs on this site. I see the light. I just don't consider the $6/day "rule" a very reliable indicator. However, I hope as much as any one here that this sets a new trend.


steadygoldbugs#1180923/5/04; 15:24:43

true goldbugs dont have to profess they just are and dont have to try!
Great Albino BatIs gold "wealth", or is it "money"? or both?#1180933/5/04; 15:25:53

For some reason, asking these questions provokes a good deal of emotional response from some quarters.

To the GAB, these are simply questions which it is convenient to answer, although the answer will in any case come around to the same conclusion: Get some gold!

Let's start by making clear what we mean by wealth. The Concise OED says wealth is "riches, possessions, opulence; being rich; abundance…."

Without wishing to provoke the wrath of others who think differently, here is my assessment of the question.

Gold is wealth, because it is money.

Why do goldbugs want to accumulate a stock of gold? Because gold is universally desired. In today's economic conditions, many (most) people still do not wish to accumulate gold; however, this is because they are unaware of where present trends are going to end up inevitably, and not because they despise gold.

Even the most ignorant banker in the world, the most cynical stockbroker in the world, will acquire gold in the form of his cufflinks, or in the form of a bracelet for his girlfriend. These anti-gold people certainly like gold, they admire jewelry in the store windows, they buy gold watches. It just so happens that their livelihood is endangered if buying gold catches on. So, they waste no opportunity to cast dirt on gold as an investment or a protection against monetary debauchery.

Then again, holding gold as an investment, as a protection against future monetary inflation is something that few people can afford to do. Most people have trouble keeping body and soul together for the present day, week or month. They cannot squirrel away much gold, and besides, the fact is, that accumulating gold is a speculation, and people with slim incomes, usually don't want to speculate. If they speculate, they feel more comfortable if they speculate by putting their money where other people – presumably more well informed – are recommending they do so. Such is human nature.

But getting back to my statement: "gold is wealth because it is money".

A stash of gold bullion is a relatively useless thing! What can you do with it? The standard slap: "You can't eat gold!". Quite true, but then, you can't eat a bank account either, or a bond, or a $100 dollar bill.

Another standard slap is that "you can't go into a market and buy groceries with a gold coin." That's also true, but so is saying: "You can't go into a Walmart store and pay for groceries with Yen or Yuan or even Euros."

Why do we say gold is wealth? Simply because ALL humankind will recognize gold and respect it, whether they want to own a piece of it by sacrificing their income for it, or not. Making that sacrifice is incidental. The great fact is that gold is universally recognized at sight, and respected. This universal respect for gold, translates into making the owner of a quantity of gold, a more or less wealthy individual. The gold owner has, what all humanity would like to have!

There are many ways of being wealthy. The owner of a fleet of fishing vessels, the owner of a fleet of oil tankers, the owner of thousands of rental properties, is undoubtedly wealthy. And so is the owner of a hefty amount of gold. Each way of being wealthy has its advantages and its purposes, as well as its risks.

Because it is so universally respected, gold is an excellent way to "park savings". We own gold, in order to be able to do something with it, in the future, or perhaps so our heirs will be able to do something with it. We do not intend to eat the gold, certainly!

Why is gold an excellent way to park savings? Because it is so universally recognized and respected – more easily recognized and respected all over the world, than a wad of Euro bills, of Dollar bills, or Yen or Yuan. And what is the word that is used to designate something tangible, universally most recognized and most respected? Why, "money" of course.

Gold is wealth because it is money – real money. The fact that you can't buy groceries with it, does not nullify the fact that it is money. It merely tells you, that the banking system or the exchange system in place in society, does not wish to deal with gold. Gold is shut out from your local bank – but, gold is still money! If your local bank will not exchange Yen or Yuan bills for Dollars, does that mean that the Yen or the Yuan are not money?

If gold were not money, it could not be wealth, which it certainly is.
How could the owner of gold think himself wealthy, if what he owned was NOT so universally recognized and respected: in other words, the world's best money?

Under present banking conditions and under the present international monetary order, gold is not useful as money, because it is being shut out of the system. That certainly does not mean that gold is not money; only that the banking systems of the world are endangered by the recognition and respect that gold elicits universally, and they want to pretend it does not exist as a threat to their increasingly unrealistic operations, by ignoring it and making it difficult for people to turn to gold as a refuge.

The world's banking systems make things difficult for gold owners. Goldbugs know this and decide to defy the system. Each one makes his calculations and decides for himself: stand, or go with the flow. Each person has his priorities which only he can sort out.

Gold is wealth because it is the universal money; it has its enemies who want to make it hard for you, to own gold. But still, gold is money. And because it is REAL money, it is wealth.

The GAB hopes that reading this was not a waste of your time!

spotlightCPI#1180943/5/04; 15:39:08

Can anyone tell me weather the core rate of inflation in the CPI excludes anything?
BoilermakerIf I were a bond owner#1180953/5/04; 16:00:54

Today LT bonds went up 2% almost instantaneously after the lousy jobs report. They should have declined by at least as much when the BLS announced the "delay" of another month's PPI. Question; does bond trading close at 15:00EST? The BlS announcement came at about 15:45EST.
Bond traders are supposed to be smart. I'm not so sure.

Great weekend all and extra thanks for the excellent post of JMarley. He's got to be FOA.


Federal_ReservesDOBBS trap doors CLINTOON on outsourcing!#1180963/5/04; 16:20:27

LOU nails CLINTOON! After mouthing support for US workers, LOU NAILS her, revealing the two faced nature of our congress! NICE JOB LOU DOBBS! Watch Lou "no jobs" Dobbs on CNN each night. We need to rid the congress of double dealing politicians backstabbing US WORKERS! Demo's, Repubs, the whole lot of them! Fire the SOB's.

CLINTON: Well, Lou, I think your cautionary note is exactly right. We need a little more humility too. We don't have all the answers, but one thing we can be sure of, if we do nothing, we're going to continue to export American jobs. And that's not only bad for America, that's bad for the entire global economy.

You know, I think of the global economy as an inverted triangle, resting on the shoulders of the American consumer. And if the American consumer cannot have enough disposable income in order to maintain a standard of living that creates more opportunities generation after generation, that's bad for everybody. So it is in our interest to create this bipartisan consensus.

DOBBS: I think we're all with you on that part. I would just like to point out, however, that free trade didn't begin with this administration. Your husband's administration was a leading proponent and a rather effective advocate of that, including the onset of NAFTA, of course.

Amongst the number of things, when we said you were going to be our guest here, Senator, a number of people pointed out to us, e- mailing us and calling us, saying, ask the senator about her helping Tata Consulting, a well-known outsourcer, open jobs -- and office in Buffalo, New York. I'm asking you, did you really understand the degree to which they were involved in outsourcing jobs when you were there?

CLINTON: Well, of course I know that they outsource jobs, that they've actually brought jobs to Buffalo. They've created 10 jobs in Buffalo and have told me and the Buffalo community that they intend to be a source of new jobs in the area, because, you know, outsourcing does work both ways. You know, we cannot close our borders. We have to be smarter about competing. We have, more enforceable trade agreements. But we also have to attract jobs from around the world. And you know, we are still the biggest market with the greatest potential for growth for businesses from literally every corner of the world.

BoilermakerDow Jones Index#1180973/5/04; 16:21:32

With most markets in the throes of volatility the good ole Dow just keeps on rollin'. I think I'll cash in my gold and get me some blue chips. Must be a sure thang.
Solomon Weavera 9 page .pdf file describing core inflation#1180983/5/04; 16:31:02

CPI excludes food and energy, because they are volatile.

It also excludes gold bullion (smile) and uses a hedonic deflator for silver based electronic components.

Poor old Solomon

TownCrierspotlight -- "core inflation" exclusions#1180993/5/04; 16:34:52

In an apparent abuse of the vernacular, "core inflation" is the term used to describe what's left after the food and energy indices are excluded from consideration among the other price indices of housing, apparel, transportation, medical, recreation, education, etc.


Paper Avalanche@ Federal Reserves#1181003/5/04; 16:52:09

WOWSERS! I wonder what Bill Gross at Pimco is telling his clients about the delay of the PPI.

Have a great weekend! And remember, there is NO inflation.


melda laure(No Subject)#1181013/5/04; 17:12:23

I think MArtha's Hubby just got kinda freaked out... Must've tried to fill up the closet too fast. wink!

Is gold wealth GAB, well.... Is it an investment? Hmmm... I invest in stocks. I SAVE in gold. Quite frankly, while I could compute an "equivalent yield" for gold, I dont think that it is particularly helpful. Of course you can invest in lots of things. Anything that produces wealth is a potential invstment. Gold produces nothing. At best it is a savings.

But at least it's real.

Psst, I've got a couple of old numenorean series EE ten talent gold payable in SA3318. It has the seal of Sauron and The king of Gold on it. Bring a diving bell if you want to collect on it...

GoldiloxHedonic - Websters definition#1181023/5/04; 17:19:01

he·don·ic ( P ) Pronunciation Key (h-dnk)
1) Of, relating to, or marked by pleasure.
2) Of or relating to hedonism or hedonists.

he·don·ism ( P ) Pronunciation Key (hdn-zm)
Pursuit of or devotion to pleasure, especially to the pleasures of the senses.
Philosophy. The ethical doctrine holding that only what is pleasant or has pleasant consequences is intrinsically good.
Psychology. The doctrine holding that behavior is motivated by the desire for pleasure and the avoidance of pain.


Does this mean they adjust the numbers "for their pleasure"?

RAPmelda laure @ Gold products#1181033/5/04; 18:45:30

Gold produces the most valuable thing I have:
peace of mind!

USAGOLD / Centennial Precious Metals, Inc.Your friend in the business, helping you enter the gold market with grace and confidence.#1181043/5/04; 20:03:13">Change paper into gold!
TomJIlPPI MIA#1181053/5/04; 20:20:36

A while ago, I tried educating myself a little about what a 'derivative' is. As best I can determine it seems to be a somewhat free-form bet on just about anything. Can anyone tell me if some derivatives may be a bet on, say, the BLS's 1/2004 PPI reading?

On a totally different subject related to India and outsourcing as per a post of a few days ago, it is a subject which I have some experiance with. I had the distinct pleasure of assisting Indian engineers in taking over my software engineering job, and even got to take a trip over there (as a now contractor) to see how they were getting on.

I would say that it is probably true that it takes more Indian engineers to do the same work as we did. I think that it is an artifact of a society that is used to cronic underemployment. I saw a back-hoe sitting idle on a construction site while women moved dirt in baskets on their heads. The whole society needs underemployment to be 'healthy' in a way. I don't expect that this sentiment would last forever in the software engineering world for several reasons. One is that a number of Indian engineers who are used to the American style of work are going home. Another is that the engineers are very smart and on an individual level, have shown the ability to be competative (note that only one in a million or so can get into school in the first place.)

WaveriderCommodities Bull Breakout!#1181063/5/04; 21:02:17

"Believe it or not, one of the most amazing market developments in decades has just transpired! The venerable CRB Commodities Index, a basket of 17 key commodities, has gloriously broken free from its nearly two-decade-old overhead resistance and is now ready to target its all-time highs of the early 1980s!

It is hard to believe, but right now today the venerable CRB Commodities Index is at its third highest peak in its entire half-century history! The index is within a couple percent of its 283.0 reading from March 1984, 20 years ago, and after that level falls only the stunning 334.8 CRB all-time-high from November 1980 will remain. The highest commodity price levels in modern history are only 20% or so away now, a truly breathtaking achievement in an era where paper investments are universally thought to reign supreme."

Waverider: Adam Hamilton is hot - a great read on historical price trends of the CRB, inflation, and PM's - don't miss the charts!

Solomon WeaverHedonic#1181073/5/04; 21:03:00


Interesting that word.....funny how people coin new uses of old words......imagine that you are a Japanese person who takes a nightly visit to the "sento" (public hot bath) pay a small fee of 50 yen....then one day the owner of the sento buys an energy efficient furnace to heat the he raises the temperature of the water at no additional cost to you (and none to him either). Now, your water is just that much warmer that you now derive pleasure from the bath. Since you are benefiting in only a "hedonic fashion" and there is no increase to the GDP, the government decides they must find a way to measure the improvement in your standard of living.

I believe that one of the pitfalls society has made is that we (and our elected governments) are too dependant on statistical measurements.....numbers in some fashion. I have learned several foreign languages as an adult, and it has made me aware of how much modern man uses numbers in his/her speech. Try observing peoples conversations and notice this.

I have noticed an interesting element of this......every morning on my way to work I notice that the radio announcer says how many points up or down the Dow and NASDAC telling me the weather.

At the same time, we are not usually giving numbers to virtures such as honesty, prudence, saving, generosity, a fool may lose his numeric fortune, but a prudent person is not measured in one event. A thief makes the news and the amount he takes is published, but an honest person quietly takes home his paycheck. We brag about the outlay for an SUV or a HDTV, but the saver quietly donates his worth to a fund for a rainy day.

Do you tell your wife/husband ...."tonight I love you 17 units"? Does a man tell the woman he holds a door for "let me help you for 3.6 seconds"?

Hedonic adjustments to GDP are just the symptom of the need to measure all, and believe only in the measureable.

Poor old Solomon

Solomon WeaverTom J....what a derivative is.#1181083/5/04; 21:30:54

Tom J

Please pardon me from stepping in on your comment about derivatives being simply a "bet" on something.

I believe that at the outset, and in general, derivatives were meant to remove the "bet", the "gamble". For example, a corn farmer planting in the spring can lock in the price of his harvest (or part of it) by "selling" in the futures market.

An exporter, having contractually agreed to ship goods in coming months, accepting payment in local currency of the country he exports to, may use a derivative trade in his own currency vs. the client currency, to assure that he would not suffer from a loss in the value of the payment currency (at the same time, he hands the upside to the person at the other end of the trade).

The gravest danger in derivatives is not that they are "bets" but rather that many sophisticated and large entities trust and rely on them...just like one trusts in traffic that if you have a green light in your direction, the signal shows red in the other direction.

Poor old Solomon

RemarxGold Dinars#1181093/5/04; 21:55:18

Can one purchase Islamic gold dinars? Forgive me if this is old territory already traveled, but I think they now exist and was wondering why I haven't seen them available here.
RemarxOops#1181103/5/04; 21:56:22

By "here", I meant "here in the USA" in the previous message.
TomJIlSol W: derivatives#1181113/5/04; 22:11:45

Poor old Solomon wrote:

: Please pardon me from stepping in on your comment
: about derivatives being simply a "bet" on something.

Not at all. I appreciate it.

: I believe that at the outset, and in general,
: derivatives were meant to remove the "bet", the
: "gamble". For example, a corn farmer planting in
: the spring can lock in the price of his harvest
: (or part of it) by "selling" in the futures market.

It seems to me that in both this case and the others which you've noted or that I am otherwise aware of, a derivative is indeed a 'bet' that a certain thing will or will not happen. It's simply that it is used to counter against another 'bet' (which you may have as a side effect of doing business) that would rather not have risk associated with.

Again, my main question is could the PPI be a factor in derivatives. I ask because it seems to make more sense to simply bet on interest rates rather than a factor which could influence them if that is what one wishes to hedge against (and it is obviously a big one for the GSE's at least.) Of course, I'm mainly seeking a plausible reason for the extreame delay of the PPI since I'm dubious that simple embarrasment would cause such an event.

: The gravest danger in derivatives is not that they
: are "bets" but rather that many sophisticated and large
: entities trust and rely on them...just like one trusts
: in traffic that if you have a green light in your
: direction, the signal shows red in the other direction.

It seems to me that the greatest danger is that they have the potential to tie huge amounts of money into a very complex web of relationships and dependencies.

I envision a fence that they place against a crumbly rock cliff along side the road. Normally it keeps little rock-slides from being a problem, but if the installation is not correct, a falling rock could dislodge it and it could take cause grief along the whole face of the cliff.

When I did road construction work, we had inspectors making sure we did our job right since left to our own devices we would cheat to save money. It seems to me that everyone wants very badly to keep any oversight away from derivatives, and it's making me wonder why?

TownCrierSolomon -- red light, green light#1181123/5/04; 22:12:36

And more to the point, even if the system works perfectly such that the other light DOES show red while yours shows green, there's still the unaccountable occurance of counterparty risk... the player who doesn't own up to his obligation. Saying, "My light was green!" as you're carted off in a meatwagon doen't go very far in getting your legs back, does it?


By the way... USAGOLD~Centennial has just launched the March "Buyers' Group" Special. Actually, the email notices won't be sent until Monday, but anyone passing through here is more than welcome to get a jump on the limited supply of 200 coins. Danish Mermaids they are.

GoldiloxHedonics#1181133/6/04; 00:08:51

@ Solomon:

I like your explanation of hedonics. I used to argue similarly as a Professional Quality Engineer that we often spent too much effort on "quantity engineering" and too little on "quality engineering".

Metrics have overtaken creative energy in almost every field from engineering to medicine to psychology. No one wants to admit that a major component of "quality" is often a subjective, unmeasurable entity, as it fogs up their simplified measurement of success. Instead, they invent "new" terms like "human interface engineer", or "ergonomics engineer" and quantize them to death, as well.

It's all part of the "Let's digitize the universe" malarky, which endeavors to leave behind the human touch as completely as possible.

GoldiloxMore hedonics#1181143/6/04; 00:20:47

Expanding the previous thought leads me to FOA's path - the divergence of the "price" of gold from the "value" of gold as wealth.

POG in $ (or any currency) is essentially a hedonic snapshot (very temporary) measurement of its value, completely disregarding the bigger picture!

Got gold!

Great Albino BatJacob Marley: About your recent post...#1181153/6/04; 00:41:56

You speak as an authority, and no doubt you are a perceptive and highly trained observer in the politico-economic field. However, I can also detect from your words and the thinking they express, that you are a "macro-economist" of the type produced by, say, the London School of Economics, or any of the Ivy League Colleges in the U.S., or Stanford in California, or other prestigious schools around the world.

You are ignoring, Sir, the central problem of our age: how politicians can handle increasing numbers of individuals, who expect from their governments, progressively better economic conditions, by "managing their currencies" and their interest rates to produce "growth" and employment.

You wrote: "Once more THIS is what matters in a currency -- not its reserves as such, but its ability to promote a stable macro-economic environment."

In this statement there is some truth, and some error. The truth is, that for all currencies in the world, at present, reserves matter not one bit. I have pointed this out to Belgian, some time ago. The dollar reserves do not matter, except as a window dressing to inspire credibility, because if credibility vanishes or threatens to vanish, the currency will inevitably fall in value, brought to its knees by speculators. (e.g. Britain in 1982.) The gold reserves also do not matter, because the ECB is certainly never going to redeem the Euros it issues, for gold upon demand. They too, are window-dressing and nothing more.

Where there is error in your statement is "the ability (of the currency) to promote a stable macro-economic environment"

No country in the world, as it is today, has, or can possibly have, "a stable macro-economic environment" as you call it, for the simple reason that ALL policy around the world, is oriented to policies that will placate the voting masses, through credit expansion, which produces as night follows day, the tendency in the markets (markets DO exist) to correct the malinvestment produced by credit expansion beyond real savings, by means of collapse of bad credit and liquidation of malinvestment. And when I say "no country in the world", I include in that statement, the European Union as a whole with their ECB and Euro.

So what this all comes down to, is, what country (or bloc of countries, as the E.Union) is the most clever liar and deceiver with a policy that is inevitably bound to break down eventually through its own internal malinvestment.

Perhaps that is the way the world has to work: the cleverest liar wins. That may be so, but here at this Forum, we should be very clear about it.

Nothing lasting, nothing that will protect the ignorant and trusting individual - the mass of humanity - is in place and working. There can be no REAL stability, only an imagined stability that is bound to come to grief and shatter the lives of numberless millions.

The fact and the truth: money is money and must be a tangible thing, and all human experience tells us, it must be gold, the king of metals, or silver, the queen of metals. Money cannot be "managed", the dear illusion taught to thousands upon thousands of graduates, post-graduates and doctors in Economics courses the world over. "Managed money" is a contradiction in terms. Money is a means of exchange, and "managing money" means, in the final analysis, fraud for the benefit of politicians who promise the Moon - or Mars.

That gold or silver are not regarded as money, or allowed to be money in our age, does not tell us something about gold and silver; it does tell us about the illusions of our age, and shows us that our time is built upon the greatest fraud ever perpetrated upon the human race. From which our civilization will not escape unscathed, as Reality turns upon us to destroy our current myth of prosperity for all, through lies.


Great Albino BatGoldilox: you are touching a basic problem of our civilization#1181163/6/04; 00:48:43

Quantity as more significant that Quality.

Do get yourself a copy of "The Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times" by René Guenon.

A difficult book, but extremely rewarding.


DruidMetrics and Quality....#1181173/6/04; 01:00:23

Druid: The book that dispelled a lot of myths for yours truly concerning quality and quantity was Robert Pirsig's "Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance."
CaradocGAB: A compromise with Marley?#1181183/6/04; 01:17:13

GAB: Could be there's a sliver of common ground between your position and Marley's which could be arrived at by taking "what matters in a currency..." to mean "what would be nice about a currency...." In short, it would indeed be a good thing if managing a currency could arrive at worthy goals and "a stable macro-economic environment" does qualify a a disideratum.
AndúrilAlbino Bat "money is money and must be a tangible thing"#1181193/6/04; 01:27:28

No sun reaches the depth of your dark cave. The burden is on you to seek it out the light of day.
DruidJacob Marley (3/5/04; 06:40:10MT - msg#: 118062)#1181203/6/04; 01:41:55

"The dollar gets away with whatever it wants, so long as the benchmarks are stable, and markets can feel secure in this. IF the euro tries to play this game, i.e., succumbs to political pressure and makes policy on that basis, it yields its one designated "asset" to uphold credibility -- faithful adherence to its word. It has nothing else to tether against ideally because of its reserve marking structure. It did this by design, because in order to promote the best environment for the users of the currency (liquidity, solvency, predictability), it needed the greatest degree of flexibility. The dollar, and its forerunners always had to deal with artificial constraints that had nothing to do with the economy they served. The economy may have demanded expansion, but physical gold limitations prevented it. Asia screams to expand, but they are like inflating a tire with a slow leak, the harder they pump the more air escapes through THEIR self-imposed but inescapable constraint of competitive devaluation of THEIR primary reserve holding: dollars.

The euro chose to be as abstract an entity as possible -- and it is hard to get more abstract in this physical world of ours other than to have nothing standing behind your issue except your word. That is why years of true trial and tribulation were needed to mature the currency issue. And years are needed to convince potential users in all cultures and walks of life that the currency WILL be supported by its issuers according to their word (charter), AND that the issuers (through proving) have the means (power) to support their currency. THIS is its only tether. Not gold, not forex. These, in a market-marking framework, provide no secure anchor. IF the euro becomes an untethered entity, it will have great trouble -- architecturally -- providing an environment of price stability. It would be relegated to second tier status. It would effectively become "just another currency" -- a regional currency for the EU, used chiefly for convenience and by law -- not the primary global currency for reserves and settlement. It would hence forego all the prestige and power that go with this "exorbitant privilege."

Druid: This is an extremely tall order. I would have difficulty taking the "word" of a central banker because by design central banks are political institutions operating under the illusion of economic entities. To date, it appears that the ECB is maintaining its "arms length" distance from the politicians but this game is heating up and it will be interesting to see how much pain the Euro and all fiat currencies can stand. The entire concept of managing a currency is fraught with peril as there are just to many variables in play that can degrade it. De-centralize banking and let the real markets work to create and destroy.

JavaManDruid and GAB,#1181213/6/04; 07:11:57

Some excellent insights from both of you! It's no secret that the Federal Government, or any Central Government for that matter, can do little, if anything, as good as or better than private industry. Why should banking be considered any different?

I find it interesting that given the history of fiat currency as one of eventual devaluation to zero, we are expected to accept that "this time it's different". Actually, the success of the dollar over the years is quite remarkable given the US confiscation of gold money in 1933 making it illegal to own followed by the immediate revaluation from $20 to $35 per ounce and then the US reneging on redeemability of the dollar for gold in 1971 to the rest of the world. The expression "full faith and credit of the US of America" just kinda’ rings a little hollow to me.

GAB, your msg#: 118115 is "Hall of Fame" material because it clearly conveys the reality of the situation.

In matters of money, faith just doesn't get it.


BoilermakerShell-Money#1181223/6/04; 08:35:20

In north Australia different shells were used, one tribes shell being often absolutely valueless in the eyes of another tribe. In the islands north of New Guinea the shells are broken into flakes. Holes are bored through these flakes, which are then valued by length, as in the case of the American tuskshell, the measuring, however, being done between the nipples of the breasts instead of by the finger-joints. Two shells are used by these Pacific islanders, one a cowry found on the New Guinea coast, and the other the common pearl shell broken into flakes. As late as 1882 local trade in the Solomon Islands was carried on by means of a coinage of shell beads, small shells laboriously ground down to the required size by the women. No more than were actually needed were made, and as the process was difficult, the value of the coinage was satisfactorily maintained. The custom of breaking or flaking shells was common among some of the American Indian tribes, but the shells so manipulated were of the ponderous Pachyderma crassatelloides species, while in the South Pacific Islands the Oliva carneola was used.

Very interesting. "No more than were actually needed were made, and as the process was difficult, the value of the coinage was satisfactorily maintained." Poor devils didn't have a printing press to revolutionize the making of money.

CometoseCLAY FEET#1181233/6/04; 09:05:09

Houston ! WE HAVE A PROBLEM !!!!!



SEE all of this and more in Financial NEWS HOUR today .....BILL MURPHY THERE DISCUSSING DEEP POCKET / HEDGE FUNDS looking for a place to buy silver in QUANTITY? It's not anywhere to be found....CHINA LOCKED up 75% of 2005 SILVER PRODUCTION....

Daniel 2:31

Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was wxcellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible.

V32 This image's head was of fine gold , his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and hi thighs of brass,

v33 His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.

v34 Thou sawest till that a stone was cut our without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay , and brake them to pieces.

v 40 And the fourth kingdom shall be stron as iron; forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things; and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.

v41 And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes , part of potter's clay, and prt of iron, the kindom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron , forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay .

v42 And as th toes of the feet wre par of iron , and par of clay, so the kindom whall be parly stron and partly broken.

v45 Froasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that i brake in peieces the iron, the brass , the calay , the silver , and the gold; the great God hath make known to the king what shall come to pass herafter; and the dream is certain, and the interpretation therof sure.

AndúrilThe dance#1181243/6/04; 09:05:58

This waltz we all do.

Work, earn, spend /
Earn, lend. Expect /
Borrow, spend. Owe /
Work, earn, pay /
Work, earn, spend /
Borrow or lend /
Owe or expect /
Trading always /
Now for then /
Then for now /
I O U /
You owe me /
Trust. Trust. Trust /
Trust. Trip. Trust /
Trip. Trip. Trip.

How well do you know this partner with whom you dance? You sit to take rest, she dances on, always on with others. Alone you must go to your bed, while still she dances with many strange men through the night. Money is her name. She may be your dancing mistress, she cannot be your wife. Money is dancing always. You cannot tame her; you choose only by tune when to whirl with her in the ballroom. If you choose well she may let you think you are leading! Soon your legs grow weary and your head spins, your belly turns and your wallet floats away, leave and you may find comfort through the night; it is gold that awaits you at home with forgiveness.

USAGOLD / Centennial Precious Metals, Inc.Peace of mind, 24/seven. (Check out the latest Buyers' Group Special offer!)#1181253/6/04; 10:22:14">gold -- a global calling card
Mr GreshamAnduril!#1181263/6/04; 10:41:24

That is a KEEPER. You have really pulled one up from the depths of what we all try to express here.


DruidJacob Marley (3/5/04; 06:40:10MT - msg#: 118062)#1181273/6/04; 10:54:22

"That is the caveat that I must not have made clear the other day, as to why the mark-to-market attribute of the ECB is potentially a liability. It becomes a liability, if the ECB blinks, and capitulates. What was leverage for strength, by providing a natural hedge in its reserve base through a cooperative relationship, then gets turned on its head. Now the mark-to-market property would leverage weakness, by forcing the reintroduction of a competitive relationship to the reserves. Since in capitulation they would have let go of their chief supporting "asset" -- to promote credibility in the currency -- the credibility of their word."
Druid: This is an interesting part of the sword on which to walk on. I view this mark-to-market as an "ace in the hole or club if you will" that will help foster cooperation during this delicate transition period and keep our "words" for what their worth intact. In the interim, trade deals and everything else under the sun that can create havoc on a managed currency will move forward and affect the "word" of said currencies as this absurdity plays out. Jacob Marley, you have put out much to contemplate and I thank you very much for your very provacative reasoning.

Mr GreshamDerivatives Counterparty Located!#1181283/6/04; 11:14:18


[Rooters: March 6, 2004] NEW YORK: Investigators searching for evidence in the Martha Stewart insider trading case have located a sealed closet hidden within Ms. Stewart's home containing commodities futures and options contracts on the Comex and other exchanges.

The contracts are largely on gold and silver futures and all of the contracts seem to be holding "short" positions against an increase of the metals' prices.

Although curiosity has ranged among the speculating community and in Internet chatrooms for many years as to what large institutions could possibly be placing their shareholders' capital at risk in such large and increasing derivative holdings, the mystery appears now to be near solution. No one quite expected this outcome, however.

When asked by reporters how one individual could be permitted to take up tens of thousands of speculative contracts, representing millions of ounces of metal valued at over $10 billion, Comex officials declined to respond. CFTC officials could not be reached for comment.

Ms. Stewart's attorneys also declined to answer specific questions, except to mention a "carry trade" apparently recommended by an investment broker named "Gibson", as yet to be reached.

With Ms. Stewart's conviction yesterday, investors are abuzz about the likely fate of her large derivative positions, and her ability to make good the obligations to her counterparties, should gold and silver prices remain at decade-high levels as the settlement dates of these contracts approach.

"She won't be offering them one-year extensions to their 'Martha Stewart Home' subscriptions as compensation for their losses," opined one unidentified floor trader.

"Maybe live telethons from her cell could score a few bucks, but that's about it," offered a broker with HBSC Securities.

Martha Stewart (NYSE:MSO) tumbled from an all-time high of $17 to $10.86 in record trading on Friday. The once high-flying stock still boasts a market cap of more than a half-billion dollars, twice annual revenues, and losses in the last quarter and fiscal year.

Mr GreshamHumility#1181293/6/04; 11:30:39

In other words, people are idiots.

And there's enough overlap between them and my behavior that I know I'm in the thick of it, too. Anduril really nailed it earlier -- that one's going up on my wall, seeing as how I've been taken for quite a few "dances".

That old saying about people using only about 5% of their brain capacity. (Or is it down to about 3 or 4% these days?)

I feel like, on a good day, with a cup of coffee and some good company (like here), and a touch of inspiration from that spark of the divine within us all (can we still drink Negra Modelo on St. Patty's Day?), I may get up to 6 or 7%.

Now we all know about outrunning the bear, and how unlikely that is. It's outrunning the other guy we've been about most of our time here. (But what if that bear has an eye for you, and you alone? Ooooops!)

What if it's not a bear, but a tidal wave? Then it's not about outrunning anyone, but about getting to higher ground.

People keep on learnin’
Soldiers keep on warrin’
World keep on turnin’
Cause it won't be too long

Powers keep on lyin’
While your people keep on dyin’
World keep on turnin’
Cause it won't be too long

I'm so darn glad he let me try it again
Cause my last time on earth I lived a whole world of sin
I'm so glad that I know more than I knew then
Gonna keep on tryin’
Till I reach the highest ground
Don't you let nobody bring you down (they'll sho ’nuff try)
God is gonna show you higher ground
He's the only friend you have around.

--- Stevie Wonder

(The blind see more? when they speak, I listen.)

GeneMr. Resham--#118128#1181303/6/04; 12:12:49

Are you being serious or was that just tongue in cheek?
Gene(No Subject)#1181313/6/04; 12:14:33

Sorry, make that Gresham.
Mr GreshamGene#1181323/6/04; 12:21:50

Both tongues, planted firmly, in both cheeks...

(Something my friend, Ten Bears, always envied my Wasichu ability to do.)

MKThe Denmark 20 kronor -- 'Golden Mermaids'#1181333/6/04; 13:15:41

Just a short note to draw your attention to the new Historic Gold Coin offer at the link above.

These are the Denmark Mermaid coins so popular both here and in Europe. They don't come along very often in high grade, and we were lucky enough to find about 200 of the item in choice uncirculated -- something special. I think you will find the offer interesting to read if nothing else, and the booklet offer at the bottom of the page is well-worth exploring. It is a good introduction to collecting this sort of thing for fun and profit over the long run. Our 'Golden Mermaids' will go fast, like the Friederick Longbeard coins did a few weeks ago. (We sold out in less than a week.)'

Internet buyers will have a leg up. We won't be sending an e-mail out on the item until Monday sometime.

Also you have to wonder if the price of gold isn't about to go into one of its upturns as well. I was asked the other day what I thought might fuel the next move up in gold. I'm going to say the pervasive move in metals, oil, farm commodities, et al - making a big push on the inflation rate, and all related to overproduction of the dollar at the core. I also think that the mining companies and hedge funds short gold are de-hedging whenever gold drops putting a floor under this market - and a rising floor if you understand what I mean by that. Also, the hedge funds have discovered gold and hence the volatility we are seeing - volatility that shouldn't scare us as physical owners. The overall trend is up though I think the volatility will put a scare in us every once in a while. Hold what you've got, and buy more if you haven't reached your max. We are witnessing a 1970s deja vu.........

P.S. I also found AG's warnings to be an attempt at building some kind of legacy. I don't think he ever left his roots. Those who have a hard time with AG fail to realize that he has two sides: one the central bank bureacrat tasked with making the monetary system work, the other the economic philosopher who feels compelled to address the nation's economic disarray.
It is an interesting conflict of Shakespearean proportions.........We had a dose of the latter over the last several weeks and its induced some interesting commentary.

Have a good weekend, all, but do visit the link above if you have a moment, and scroll down for the March Buyers' Group.

As we used to say around here.......

Go Gold!!

Shapur@MK, re: Greenspan and a Shakespearean twist#11813403/06/04; 16:19:04

You said, "It is an interesting conflict of Shakespearean proportions.........We had a dose of the latter over the last several weeks and its induced some interesting commentary."

If Greenspan would throw himself in front of a subway car or jump from an office window, then and only then, could I begin to believe that this character was in an internal struggle within himself over some scrap of principle or code. However, I think it would be more ironic if he was run over by a federal reserve armored car chock full of peach 20's as he ran across the street with his black briefcase--then I could appreciate the true tragedy of fate in his demise.

I would ponder over it for a brief instant and change the channel back to Emeril Live.

SmoochieSILVER DEMAND IN CHINA#11813503/06/04; 17:09:17

Official figures would have us believe that China's annual silver demand is currently increasing at 20 million ounces per annum .
Thus we are expected to believe that 1.3 billion Chinese who are currently having the biggest industrial
boom of all time,who are mass- producing electrical gadgets and other silver using products (e.g. batteries,
jewelry etc.)for the whole world, who have exploding demand for traditional silver photography -- are now using an extra piddling 20 million ounces per annum !!!!!
And then what about silver investment demand in China ? The truth is that just 100 of China's newly rich
multi-millionaires could snap up 20 million ounces of silver in a few seconds without blinking.
And then what about the build up of silver inventories due to worries about a rising silver price.
And then is your average Chinese going to buy a platinum ring or a silver ring (130 silver rings for the
price of one platinum ring).
And then you realize that there is no real pension system in China and so everybody whether old or young would love to have a small hoard of gold and silver.
And then you learn that the Chinese banking system is corrupt and technically bankrupt...............!!!
The point is this : in view of the above it is almost certain that Chinese silver demand is increasing by at least 100 million ounces per annum or 18% of world supply. Give me proof I hear you say. Well, look at the
price of silver in spite of an enormous Crimex short position.And Bill Murphy is telling us that 70% of 2005
silver production has already been booked in advance.Can you guess by who?
In Europe its almost impossible to find any decent quantity of physical silver(I know because I tried recently).

Next point: the arrival of digital photography is inceasing the use of silver in photography. That's right
INCREASING!! And not one single silver investor has realized this obvious fact.Not even one!!!
Let me explain: since the arrival of digital the amount
of silver in traditional silver -halide photography has fallen only very slightly.This is because a large increase
in third-world use of traditional photography (they can't afford digital) has nearly offset the reduction in use in the developed economies. At the same time the introduction of digital has lead to a large total increase
in the number of prints made on silver paper (non recyclable).And on top of this they are now producing hundreds of million of digital cameras and associated equipment all of which contain a small amount of silver.
Digital cameras eat up a vast quantity of batteries (contain silver),far more than traditional silver cameras.So now we have two uses for silver whereas before there was only one where most of the silver used was recycled.It appears that practically none of silver used in digital can be recycled.
The point is this: digital photography creates a substantial increase in industrial silver use which more than offsets the small reduction in traditional photography use.

Conclusion: the current price of silver in no way integrates the above two pieces of information which
are extremely bullish for silver.Rather shockingly the price of silver should never have fallen to 4USD on
misinformation about the effect of digital.The misinformation about Chinese demand for silver
is so ridiculous that its not even funny.I think that we can all guess where it came from.
For these reasons and the other reasons which are more widely known I believe that the price of silver is
going rapidly to 20 USD and then slowly much higher.
Kindly spread this information all over the net.

R PowellSmoochie // silver#11813703/06/04; 18:05:03

Thanks for the silver opinions. But, may I ask for a source of the "Official figures" you refer to in reference to silver use in China?? In fact, please post any sources that you can. TIA

You also mentioned Bill Murphy's statement that 70% of 2005's silver production has already been "booked in advance". Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe he is refering to futures contracts, is he not? There are now and have been futures "liens" or derivative contracts totaling more silver than is apparently available for a good long time. Although I'm most likely in the minority for thinking so, I see nothing illegal or wrong with this situation. But, be that as it may, it should be pointed out that Murphy is refering to futures contracts...not orders more likely to result in delivery. If he were refering to definitive deliveries, the price of silver would be skyrocketing upward to find some supply/demand equilibrium, much as the price of copper and soybeans are now.

I, myself, hold derivatives in silver on both the long and short side, streaching out beyond this calendar year and totalling many, many thousands of ounces. I could NOT financially take delivery on even the smallest percentage of this holding at the present prices. I hold these positions on margin. My goal is outrageous fiat profit. Real physical removal and use of silver will be the catalyst that drives the future price of silver...probably not the casino derivatives game (unless speculation preceeds physical shortage). But, imho, physical needs will be reflected in the casino pricing process! Again, I believe Murphy was refering to futures derivatives, not physical takeoff. In this regard, he was somewhat vague.

The last figure I have seen for photographic silver use is from the 2003 Silver Survey which refers to calander year 2002. In that, photographic use was down year over year by 4%. This was attributed to a slower global economy (less tourism). With recycling of old silver back into supply for film use, only 60 million additional ounces were used for film. Again, this number comes from the Silver Survey and my questionable memory. Have you any other sources!!!! I'll certainly agree that film using cameras will probably increase in number in spite of the growing numbers of digital cameras. Also, film using camera use will probably grow much faster than digital use. Silver paper is still needed for lasting, good quality prints, even from digitals. The digital question has been vastly overblow.
Can you give any sources for these or any infomation on silver? How about that "official figure"? However, please observe forum decorum. I'm already familar with Morgan and Butler.
Thanks !

The Invisible HandBanking crisis, you said#11813803/06/04; 18:14:14,6903,1163599,00.html

Conflicts at the heart of the EIB
Brussels is trying to spike a damaging report on the world's biggest bank, says Giles Tremlett
Sunday March 7, 2004
The Observer
The European Investment Bank is the world's biggest international public lending institution. But, in the post-Enron world, it still fails to observe basic rules of corporate governance and transparency, according to a controversial report by a member of the European Parliament.

MKShapur#11813903/06/04; 18:25:26

Let me ask you a couple of questions:
1. Do you believe Alan Greenspan created the paper money system and, as a result, is therefore responsible for it? Is that why you would like to see him throw himself in front of an armored truck carrying peach-colored $20 bills?
2. What is Emeril Live? Sorry I don't watch much television.
Scottish historian, Alexander Tyler:
"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasure. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most money from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's great civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through the following sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith, from spiritual faith to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependency, from dependency back to bondage."
Or to put it another way:
"We have met the enemy and he is us."
Blame Greenspan if you wish.........It won't get us out of the mess we created for ourselves in this country. Admittedly I have always had a soft spot for AG ever since he used to speak at our conferences and extol the virtues of the gold standard and gold ownership. He has been one of the most eloquent spokesmen for gold that we have had in this country over the past 20 or 30 years, if you actually go back and look at the record. I believe that Greenspan sees himself as a Randian figure, thrown to Fate - if we can't have a gold standard, he will through his force of will attempt to do what the gold standard would have done if given the opportunity. By and large, I believe the attempt failed, and that is the tragedy, not just for Greenspan but for the nation. I believe that even he could not stop the tide consequent of policies begun a long while ago, and politics he cannot influence - as pointed out by Alexander Tyler above - who by the way was talking about Ancient Athens. I pity the task of the next Fed chairman, who will likely be in the Bernanke mold (which is akin to the Arthur F. Burns mold) , if not Bernanke himself. Greenspan is telling people things they don't want to hear, but he's talking about processes, not policies, and trying to give us a glimpse what history has in store. . . . . . .

R PowellAlan Greenspan's current view on gold??#11814003/06/04; 18:26:58

Bill Bonner's book, "Financial Reckoning Day" (page 159) gives an account of a meeting between Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and Greenspan...

...."Handing him a copy of 'Gold and Economic Freedom', an essay Greenspan had written for Rand's "Objectivist" in 1966, the gist of which was that money not backed by gold was a sort of fraud on the public, Paul posed the question:

'Would you like to add a disclaimer?'

'No,' said the man who had created more unbacked paper money than any man in history, 'I reread this article recently---and I wouldn't change a single word.'"

MKRPowell#11814103/06/04; 18:45:26

Thanks for that. Another example of the Shakespearian dimension Greenspan embodies.

The great figures of tragedy in literature are bound to a terrible fate over which they have no control. Greenspan attempted to control a situation he knew was out of control and when you look at the record, and the final history is written, it will be said that he attempted to hold it together, but the attempt failed. He'll be criticized for it, and even held responsible, but he is no more responsible for this than any one of the 12 Caesars singly were responsible for the fall of Rome. They, and he, were [are] part of an inevitable historical process. Yes, "he created more unbacked paper money than any man in history" but that could be said of every post 1945 Fed chairman from William McChesney Martin forward (at any stop along the way). The choice is to stop the process and let the country sink back into the Great Depression.

ShapurGreenspan redux#11814203/06/04; 18:49:47

a 2. Emeril Live is a cooking show--watch him when you get a chance, he is one of the best chefs in the world right now. Its shown on the food network.

a 1. To be candide you have to ask yourself what has Greenspan done for the U.S.A.? I know Greenspan's 1966 piece on Gold and I know his Randian root. I also know that he was a director for J.P. Morgan and Co. To be blunt, Alan Greenspan is a Banker who is paid to command the fiat money monster that is destroying this country. I read about this everyday at USA Gold. He knows exactly what he is doing.

The Federal Reserve Cartel run with Government sanction is a system that does not serve the people of the United States, but robs the citizens of their wealth. Read Ron Paul, one of the few in congress who actually challenges Greenspan. Read Bill Fleckenstein or James Grant or Richard Russell. Alan Greenspan has been fed chief since 1987---and now our Country is on the verge of the biggest finacial breakdowns in history. Should he not be blamed for his complicity? Or do you want to see him as a hero who's hands are tied; a financial Pontious Pilate, who washed his hands and let the politicians run up the debts?

Alan Greenspan has pumped the money beyond belief. That coupled with the political spending has been a potent poison to our financial future. I blame Greenspan for creating the bubbles and then papering over the mess that is left on the rug. Greenspan helped repeal Glass/Steagle which helped the bubble grow, he gets our eyes off the ball with the productivity number spin, and then opposes congress when they want to consider the regulation of derivatives. I could go on and on. I do not think the "meastro" has lived up the
stated objectives of the Federal Reserve. Our currency is not stable--it was purposefully managed up in a strong dollar -- weak gold policy and then taken down as the fiat monster swallows the wealth of this nation.

You may know the man to be some sort of gold friendly chap, and that may be true. But I see his hand on the tiller of the-good-ship-usa-its-not-my-fault-we-are-going-down-protect

TownCrierSpeaking of Chairman Greenspan, young Alan turned 78 today!#11814303/06/04; 18:50:34

A week ago I provided coverage of the Fed Chairman's remarkable outpouring, specifically of his stint of three speeches in three days, not one of which was the standard grist from the Fed mill. Early this past week MK and I spoke about this prolific output of unusually candid remarks, both of use musing over the likely cause.

It seems we were not the only ones so taken with the Chairman's behavior, because on Wednesday the fine folks at Central Banking Publications Ltd included that topic as a portion of the latest report, and frankly, as I sifted through the text for republication at our 'Central Bank Insider' page, I was pleasantly surprised to discover my thoughts on the matter were fairly well represented in their article.

If you overlooked the update announcement and excerpts March 3rd, you can access the 'CB Insider' through the url above. Scroll to the third heading, "Happy Birthday Alan!"


GoldendomePuplava's 2nd hour#11814403/06/04; 19:01:38

I'm somewhat surprised, that before now, no one has raised our attention to (particularily) the 2nd. hour of the Puplava discussion today with Bill Murphy and Eric King.

Smootchy: Murphey states that China has already spoken for 100 % of World silver production for 2005. Your points on Chineese demand for all of these metals, not only Silver, is well placed. Also, the fact that perhaps the Chineese will look for Gold and Silver to assure their dotage where they have no SSI. Both Murphey and King say that the game is running out on control of the Silver market faster than control is running out on Gold control.
This is true, say they, because the physical Silver market is GONE. You can not control a market that has real demand when there is no physical supply when you want it in quantity. Say they, look for dollar a day jumps in spot silver in the not to distant future!!! Hyperbole? I don't know. But, they also feel that the Silver market may now begin to drive the Gold market, as the Gold shorts see the writing on the silver wall, and relate that to their eventual fate in the Gold control market, as demand there also picks up more, and they are again unable to control the price.

R PowellPayment of debt#11814503/06/04; 19:15:08

Attention Adam Hamilton

Two weeks ago the weekly offering by Hamilton was titled "Stalling Monetary Growth". In it, he states that the growth of the money supply has been declining, actually turning negative for a brief period last year, but mostly just declining for a while...the rate of growth that is, not the money supply.

Hamilton says...

"...this stalling monetary growth inevitably spawns discussions on the Fed. Since the Fed is responsible for growing the US money supplies, many people including me wonder if the Fed has purposely engineered this monetary disinflation of if forces beyond its control are dragging money-supply growth rates lower contrary to its will."

He continues on to wonder ..."what could be causing the rapid reduction in US monetary growth rates?"

I'm not an expert on monetary matters but do believe that if debt creation increases the monetary (credit) supply then the reduction of debt should decrease the same, no? If this assumption has merit then perhaps Bonner has provided an answer in "Financial Reckoning Day" when he talks of demographics and the aging of the baby boomers....

"Older people downscale their lives, cut back on their spending, pay down their debts and add to their savings."

Being part of that generation I can add that I've felt the same urge in recent years to get out of debt, simplify life, divorce myself from complex situations requiring time and effort to resolve or control and, once and for good, get rid of never used (but still usable) possessions. I'm too old to ever need that tree climbing gear hanging in the cellar. I'll soon be too old to carry credit card debt. I'm tired of it all and will make one final effort (physical work) to rid myself of it. I've started paying it off already. Have I been decreasing the growth of the monetary supply by terminating debt? If so, and given that my generation is still a sizeable percentage of the population, might this be part of the answer to Adam Hamilton's question?? After all, what has Black Blade been advocating about debt for so long? How will decreased spending and cancelation of large amounts of debt effect the monetary supply??

R PowellMK...Greenspan's choice#11814603/06/04; 19:28:16

You said...

"The choice is to stop the process and let the country sink back into the Great Depression."

Expediency, especially to avoid disaster, always supercedes long term objectives, no matter how noble. The poor man is no more in complete control of the situation than I am controling the sun's rising and setting. We both just observe and do what we can.

R PowellGoldendome#11814703/06/04; 19:50:06

Thanks for the Puplava summary. Please keep them coming! My computer does not talk and I've failed to find written texts of his interviews.

What you reported them talking about on silver has been the basis of my seven year belief that the price of silver must go up ...bigtime, to find a supply/demand equilibrium. I've never been able to disprove Butler's early contentions that supply was growing critical in an environment that consumes more (yearly) than is produced. It's that simple. That huge supply, built up over centuries is gone. Now add to the puzzle technical traders, who determine price, who have never even considered that silver supply is unlimited...they've never questioned that there even COULD be a shortage... and why should they, there never has been!!! Copper storage numbers have been declining at an alarming rate, same with soybeans but ...where are the silver storage numbers? There are none for industrial useage which does not flow through Comex!

Hey, halalua!! Maybe it's time at last. $10.00/ounce silver will pay ALL my debts and leave me free to study economics for the rest of my days. If so, I promise I'll try not to be a nuisance. $30.00/ounce silver and maybe I'll be able to financially back some good in this world. Summer camp for poor innercity kids and a warmer winter-time climate for the misses' bad back and my cold old bones! Thanks for the report!!

MKRich#11814803/06/04; 19:58:58

That is precisely the point.

If someone were to tell me tomorrow we were back on the gold standard, I, and I am sure, many others could produce, if they wanted to, a dozen reasons why it might usher in a complete and total economic collapse. Those who believe that the gold standard would introduce a golden age are living in a dream world. We live in an imperfect world. The economy cycles no matter how we define our money. And those screaming for restraint now might be screaming for excess instead. No system works without flaw or concern, and that's why every individual should be a gold owner. On one side you have failing banks and equity markets in the extreme and on the other you have hyperinflation and the destruction of purchasing power. And the extreme, as history shows us, is only a blind away.

Shapur, as Rich just illustrated, there are as many commentators out there who believe that Greenspan has restricted the flow of money as those who believe he's tromped on the accelerator. Which is it? If it were proven to you that the money supply was contracting would you credit Greenspan for it? Or would you still want him to step in front of armored car carrying peach colored $20 bills?

Randy, you were right on the money, I believe, with respect to AG. I believe he wants to go out as he came in -- warning of what's to come. No one, that I've seen, can fill his shoes. There's no doubt a Democrat would attempt to appoint Rubin, but Kerry is so far left that he would be happier subduing the Clinton element. Who would the Republicans pull out of the hat? I think if the Repubicans win they'll try to get AG to stay. Age is not an obstacle. He's been a good Republican even with his warnings. The big point is that he hasn't tried to raise interest rates.

R PowellHey Smoochie !!!#11814903/06/04; 20:01:24

If you haven't any sources to give for the silver opinions, fine, but say as much. Or is the whole idea to spread some propaganda on internet forums, and nothing more?
I read an opinion yesterday on another forum. It said, "Soybeans are going to $13.00." That was it, no ifs, whys, hows or whens. Many of us asked for some rational or more information. It was not forthcoming. Opinions are like....and are often given backed by "official figures". Okay, which official? Imnsho, Pump and dump posting is even lower on the list than spam. How about some "short squeeze" rumors too, or are they for next week?

Shapurgreenspan thrice#11815003/06/04; 20:27:35

MK, look at any money supply chart--its out of control. The fiat fires roar. Sir Dr. Greenspan admitted in front of congress that he couldn't define the money supply and that he didn't know how to really control it.

I simply do not share your opinion of Greenspan as some impotent tragic hero, and when you cast the Shakespearian royal coat upon his frail body I felt compelled to resist that effort. Judge him by his actions.

As Cool Hand Luke said to the boss before he was locked up in the box, "calling it your job, boss, still don't make it right". Greenspan is doing a great job of locking this country into a fiat prison, only this time after the door is locked, gasoline is going to be poured on and lit!

R PowellMK and all#11815103/06/04; 20:37:17

I don't know if Greenspan has restricted the monetary growth. I think he'll restrict and/or expand as he deems fit. I believe he understood, before he took on his job, that all fiat monies must expand as they are essentially born from debt. He may also know that the limitations (mostly on those who need it most..government largesse) of an honest monetary system are too long gone from this economy to be re-instated and may only be born again from the aftermath of a financial choas. Even if disaster if unavoidable but not immediately imminent, men will strive to delay it for as long as possible. Do all governments and financial systems have within them, at their creation, the seeds of their own demise? I know I'm mortal but I have tried and will continue to try to stay healthy and live for as long as I reasonably can even though I was born into a body that contains the genetics of decay. Hey, whoever said life is fair?

Viewed in this ironic perspective, I do not see it improbable that Greenspan is trying to prolong the present monetary situation. He even greatly inflates the supply when he thinks it prudent to do so. Why not? What are the alternatives? Is not inflation (and price inflation of goods) inherent in this system? Can he not be proficient at this while still believing that all fiat systems are doomed? And, having seen the danger, why should we not defend ourselves? Procure fiat to offset fiat debt and needs, and store extra wealth safely against future needs. Being a poor boy, I store mine in silver coins and bars. More weight for the buck!

ShapurOk, MK --I will bend your way on this#11815203/06/04; 20:48:46

Instead of Greenspan meeting his ironic tragic death under the wheels of a Federal Reserve money wagon in a freak accident--lets change it to a Brinks truck loaded with USA Gold inventory headed to the wise investors of this great nation.
R PowellPuplava interview...more reports??#11815303/06/04; 20:57:29

Goldendome, from your report on Puplava's interview....

"This is true, say they, because the physical Silver market is GONE. You can not control a market that has real demand when there is no physical supply when you want it in quantity. Say they, look for dollar a day jumps in spot silver in the not to distant future!!! Hyperbole? I don't know"

Not so very long ago I remember seeing silver trade between 604 on the low side to a 649 high in a day. Soybeans have been the same. The volatility or price range will only get wilder especially if the market is truely driven by a physical shortage. It may eventually approach a mania stage. There may well be days when silver trades both up and down a dollar or more from its opening price. The bull market does not like to give rides to too many. It will shake off as many as possible so hang on tight!
Thanks again for the report. I knew they were talking but I could not hear. Let us know if more of interest is said!

TownCrierHow's THIS for a finger in the wind? HEADLINE: Buffett's Berkshire bets $12 blN against dollar#11815403/06/04; 21:09:33

NEW YORK, March 6 (Reuters) - Warren Buffett, the world's second-richest person, has a $12 billion bet against the United States.

Buffett said on Saturday in an annual letter to shareholders of his Berkshire Hathaway Inc. holding company that he began investing in foreign currency for the first time in 2002 and expanded his positions in 2003.

By the end of 2003, Buffett's Berkshire held foreign exchange contracts valued at $12 billion that were spread among five unspecified currencies....

"As an American, I hope there is a benign ending to this problem," Buffett wrote, referring of the trade deficit and weaker dollar. He said, however, the impact could reach "well beyond currency markets."

One Berkshire shareholder said the move was an about-face for Buffett.

"I've attended the annual meeting for well over the past 15 years and every year until this year when asked about the dollar or foreign currency, Berkshire's basically said, 'You don't make money betting against the United States of America,'" said Tom Russo, a partner at Gardner, Russo & Gardner, which owns about 1,000 Berkshire shares. "Something must have really scared him."

------(from url)----

"Something must have really scared him."

Why be scared? There's nothing quite like a solid holding in physical gold to help you sleep well at night while folks beyond your control are on the prowl speculating against your government's largesse.


R PowellShapur // excellent#11815503/06/04; 21:09:50

Headline reads...Tragic accident..

"Fed. chairman run down by truck loaded with gold."

Perhaps when the time comes, Sir Alan might think that a fitting way to exit this world. Maybe, also, reported struck while bending over to retrive a dropped $100.00 greenback while on his way home after a congressional meeting on Capital Hill in which he assured our leaders that the monetary system will be cared for as long as he lives.
It's late here. Good night all. Happy weekend!

R PowellTownie...thanks for the report#11815603/06/04; 21:23:54

"By the end of 2003, Buffett's Berkshire held foreign exchange contracts valued at $12 billion that were spread among five unspecified currencies...."

What do you suppose Buffett's definition of a currency is? We know he bought silver in 1997-8. Do you suppose he thinks of a world currency or, for his stated purpose here, of a world equivalent of a currency that will retain value against a dollar decline?
I just wish he'd finish buying silver first. Rumors are that there's not too much left. It probably wouldn't cost Berkshire too much. Warren isn't one to leave things half done, is he?

GoldiloxBerkshire#11815703/06/04; 21:55:30

The most interesting thing to me is that Buffett is dealing in currencies at all. His history has been to prefer "brick and mortar" companies for his investments.

I guess it really shows that except for his play on the Alaska gas pipeline and gas-fired electric plants, he really doesn't see much of interest in corporate "opportunities".

GoldiloxBenanke S- H. Parker Willis Lecture Mar. 2, 2004#11815803/06/04; 22:46:37


"By allowing persistent declines in the money supply and in the price level, the Federal Reserve of the late 1920s and 1930s greatly destabilized the U.S. economy and, through the workings of the gold standard, the economies of many other nations as well." -Bernanke


George Ure copies and annotates Bernanke's speech for the H. Parker Willis lecture at Washington and Lee University on Mar 2, 2004.

Well worth the read, as "Chopper Ben" blames the gold standard and monetary restraints for the Great Depression of the 1930's. George's comments make an interesting rebuttal.

GoldiloxTotal borrowing in U.S. skyrockets#11815903/06/04; 22:59:58


"The Federal Reserve reported Thursday that the nation's debt, including both household and government borrowing, grew last year at a pace not seen since the late 1980s.

According to the quarterly federal funds report, the total national debt, excluding the obligations of banks and other financial institutions, grew by 8.1 percent last year, its fastest pace since 1988.

Households threw caution to the wind, mortgaging and re-mortgaging their homes and expanding their debt by 10.4 percent, the biggest percentage gain since 1987.

Federal government borrowing expanded by 10.9 percent, the fastest rate since 1992.

Only businesses pulled back. Still hobbled by credit overhangs from the investment boom of the late 1990s, corporate borrowing inched ahead by 3 percent.

Overall, the nation's debt grew by some $1.7 trillion last year to $22.4 trillion, the Fed said. The federal government accounted for about 18 percent of the total, local governments for roughly 7 percent, households for 42 percent and businesses for 33 percent.

Creditors abroad financed about a third of the year's borrowing, equivalent to 5 percent of the nation's total output of products and services."


More detail of a subject toched on in Puplava's FSN.

Liberty HeadRe: Warren Buffett #11816003/07/04; 00:15:24

Doesn't it seem odd that Mr. Buffett pontificates on increased corporate taxes, instead of reduced government spending?
Guess what side his bread his buttered on. Mmmm
Guess whose pies he has his fingers in. Mmmm
All right, enough with the corny cliché's.

I think he is correct about people's values generally being out of balance these days.

The U.S. Constitution used to be widely valued.
Gold used to be widely valued.
Honesty used to be widely valued.

Well, the man in the mirror is the best person I know to start getting value systems back in order.
He says, Sell your house, buy gold and move out of the country before the window of opportunity slams shut.
He's a pretty gloomy guy these days.

Best wishes

steadyINTENT/ INTENTIONS.#11816103/07/04; 03:53:34

those with clear INTENTIONS are buying gold and silver as steadily as they can! make sure you use your intentions for the benifit of the most with destruction to the least!
TopazHuge future Dollar investment to stem Cash Dollar rise.#11816203/07/04; 09:22:33

Reversing a persistent upward DX trend of late took it's toll on Bond Yields Friday and makes for an interesting week ahead. Will the new trading range be enough?

Deflation deciples vindication.

BoilermakerBeware the Ides of March#11816303/07/04; 10:34:24

MK's reference to Sir Alan's Shakesearean dilemma between prolonging an unsound system vs. reaching back to his golden roots reminds me of a Shakespeare character who fell afoul of conspirators in a corrupt system. Perhaps this will be played out not with Alan being knifed by an ambitious pretender to Fed Chairmanship or squashed like an overripe banana under the wheels of a speeding gold truck but with a great crashing of markets that will herald the New Depression.

Anyway, keep your eyes open Monday, March 15.

GoldiloxIdes of March#11816403/07/04; 10:37:50

@ Boilermaker:

Interesting that Sinclair targets the Ides as an important watch point, as well.

Waverider***** Happy Birthday Sir MK *****#11816503/07/04; 11:32:50


Sound the TRUMPETS, break open a barrel of Negra, it's not a's a BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION....

Yes Sir MK - I do know that today is YOUR special day so I wish you HEALTH, PEACE and PROSPERITY and again thank you for the privilege to participate on this august forum. Have a Golden Happy Birthday!


GoldiloxAg#11816603/07/04; 12:02:04

From LeMetropoleCafe:


"Silver's surprising week's end strength and resilience
may be more fully explained should a rumored 8-million-ounce offtake of physical metal from the Comex become reality in Toronto."


Congrats to MK on his birth anniversary. "May your days be many and happy as you approach the "golden" years and "silver" hairline!

BoilermakerThe end is near : buy gold#11816703/07/04; 12:16:43

GLox, Over the past several years I've proclaimed to my friends my opinion that for the economy "the end is near". Like that scruffy old guy portayed in "The New Yorker" cartoons with a sandwich board with "REPENT" The End is Near (on the front side) and some pragmatically witty advice on how to prepare on the back side.

My advice to friends has been to sell stocks, get/stay out of debt, convert fiat to gold and silver and generally prepare for hard times. Like many of us here at the forum the reaction I get is predictable; Where's this wacko coming from? Anyway, Alan Greenspan and his orchestra of Western bankers has kept the wolf from the door for so long that I have lost nearly all credibility with my message.

So now I'm going to keep my mouth shut until TSHTF, then get a sandwich board with "REJOICE" The end has come! Reap what ye have sown! As much as I hate to see the system crash it's better that it come now so the recovery and healing can begin. I like the Ides of March, or perhaps St Patrick's Day the 17th (my birthday as well). Wasn't it St. Patrick who drove the snakes from Ireland? Perhaps his spirit can drive the bankers from their vaults and into the sea of debt.

BoilermakerMK's Birthday #11816803/07/04; 12:22:52

Happy Birthday wishes to Sir Michael!! I don't recall how many years he has taken but judging from his wisdom he must be very old. :0)
GoldiloxMK is very YOUNG at heart - not OLD#11816903/07/04; 12:25:48


I thought I was sarcastic. Your gold buy price just went up 5%.

Gandalf the WhiteHAPPY BIRTHDAY SIR M. K. !!!!! <;-)#11817003/07/04; 12:29:17

You have assisted so many with your words and efforts !
I am so proud to have known you.
The Hobbits are now singing your SONG.
Happy Birthday to YOU !

GoldendomeMore from Puplava#11817103/07/04; 13:51:06

Hi Rich: As you request... A little more from the Puplava interview with Murphy and King yesterday.

First off: I was wrong on Murphey stating that China had 100% of 2005 Silver production "locked up" or spoken for. He actually said 75%, on my relistening to the show, so maybe that's where Smoothy had gotten his number the other day. Murphey, though, goes on to say in the next sentence or so, that many huge money investors have been trying to buy physical silver in quantity--some huge hedge funds included (I don't know if that's good or bad). They have found it impossible to find, if looking to invest (or speculate)by buying large quantities; now they are going to to the futures market to lock it up, and Murphy thinks eventually take delivery. He and King, think the big money sees the supply gone and they are coming in to get whats left... Murphy- looking for 30 to $40 silver within two years (Can it be true?-Only time will tell.)

On Gold: They all feel that the financial, monetary, and political situations around the world will only worsen (as we also believe). This will drive the Gold demand and eventually the same run will occur at the short positions in the Gold manipulation market -- that is occuring now, in the Silver market. --The shorts (Gold) are being squeezed-it will intensify- and the flood or breakout will eventually happen in gold as physical price is unable to be controlled as the physical supply available declines.

All see inflation worsening-- and of course-- inflation in necessary comodities the U.S. cannot control (gasoline, metals, etc.) --- and deflation possibly in credit driven markets- like real estate, autos, luxuries, etc.

Rich: Hope this added information is soothing with your afternoon tea.. Best regards, Gdome

BoilermakerCurmudgeonly Compliments, not Sarcasm#11817203/07/04; 14:09:24

GLox, I guess I'm just a proud old curmudgeon, happy to wear my age openly (sometimes shading it to the high side) and hoping others will give me some latitude because of it. Perhaps I've crossed that line where one begins to say I'm a contented but crotchety old geezer. But I'm sure Gandy thinks as I do that to be young at heart is a matter of attitude and may we never grow old in that category.
Our sermon today was about communication and the need to be truthful and also mindful of the effect that your words have on others. The Lord knows I am often in need of maintaining silence when the sarcasm devil wags my tongue. I do try but often fail. I wish to be forgiven and humbly apologise for any mean remarks.

If next week brings the beginning of the crash it will not be too soon for me. I suspect we are among a tiny fraction, akin to "The Remnant", who are prepared. I just hope to live long enough and be lucky enough to see a rebirth of this Nation that I love to its free and strong heritage.

Mr GreshamPUT-ting it all together#11817303/07/04; 14:23:04

Part II of Steve Heller's epistle on the No-Pay mortgage, the "ultimate innovation" in home finance. Curioser and curioser. Or, no wonder Alan Greenspan loves derivatives so much: they allow you to dream any dream you like -- until it's time to wake up. Economists On Acid.

"The basic idea is simplicity itself. You purchase what amounts to a "put option" against the average value of home prices in a particular ZIP code. If that average value goes down, you are paid the difference when you sell your house, even if you actually sell your house for more than the "covered amount." But what makes this really special is two features that one might not expect to find in such a program: first, you can buy the put option to cover more than the current price of the house, and second, you can finance the premium on the option. So what does this mean to us?

"It suggests the possibility that you could buy a put option on the price of your house multiplied by whatever factor was necessary to cover all the interest on the "no pay" mortgage, and finance the price of the option itself. Thus, you would have absolutely no outlay of money, and the lenders would be certain of getting their money back at the end of the loan term.

"To make this work, we would have to change the existing plan slightly, in addition to expanding it to a nationwide program. The only changes needed would be to allow the "covered amount" to be whatever was
necessary to pay off the mortgage at the end, and to guarantee payment of that amount, regardless of what happened to house prices in the meantime. Then the lenders could be absolutely certain to get their money back, no matter what happened in the interim period."

Happy Birthday MK! Yes, we've got some catching up to do, bro...

Mr GreshamMadness of King George#11817403/07/04; 14:39:13

And here is the offending entry into the Land of the Lotus-Eaters:

"House price insurance.
Real Liquidity's house price insurance product provides protection to homeowners that live in declining markets. For a single, up-front premium a homeowner can purchase protection against future declines in the value of their residential real estate market.

"Real Liquidity has partnered with Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation, Freddie Mac and others to introduce the Home Equity Protection Program (HEPP) in Syracuse. ...

"Real estate futures.
By selling a long dated futures contract on their local market homeowners can hedge the local house price risk they take on when buying a home. Purchasing a corresponding long futures contract in the aggregate housing index will enable a homeowner to retain exposure to the residential real estate asset class, but with much reduced volatility."

G: I mean, is this a SPOOF site? IMAGINE the craziness of creating a separate derivative "product" to sell based on each housing zip code? And you don't even have to have this as a hedge against a home you own.

You could be selling just because you think prices will go down, having already sold your house and moved into a rental. Or it could be buying in to local prices (selling the put?), because you can't afford to buy now, but want to make some money if they go up.

Why, it could even BACKFIRE on them! Suppose eventually people stopped buying as many houses, satisfied with the holding of "paper houses", really the paper contract representing an average house value?

You could even end up with a 25-year bear market in houses with such an "innovation" substituting for actual house buying. Kind of like something else we know of very well?

Good thing gold doesn't cost a different price in every zip code. ;) All I can think of when I read s**t like this is that TOO MANY PEOPLE inhabit this shrinking Turtle Island, and they're having trouble finding USEFUL jobs to do, and some of them just need to go away.

I was going to say "TOO MANY (brainless) PEOPLE", but I realize some of them may be quite clever, and just looking for a way to survive in any situation, as humans will cleverly do. So it must be their parents who were stupid to have so many of them, and put them into this situation?

Rev. Malthus was over again for dinner last night. Mentioned that Hobbes would be in town soon. No one can remember his face.

No TV in my house. DIE-OFF a comin'?

Mr GreshamAm I being uncharitable?#11817503/07/04; 15:01:12

I think not ;)

Look at the "deal" they're offering to "investors".

I would have to call this page "The Triumph of The Jargon". It is written in near-perfect financialese. And that is enough to impress most of the Bobos managing OPM.

It takes someone who's been around awhile, like a Buffett, or Goldheart, to stand against this folly.

"Real Liquidity offers institutional investors the opportunity to gain access to the residential real estate asset class through a variety of vehicles.

"Historically, residential real estate has exhibited little correlation with stocks or bonds. Indeed, for the period 1964-2000 the correlation was actually negative. The beta for residential real estate has been estimated to be close to zero. The attractive risk and return features of residential real estate securities mean that their presence in a portfolio expands the efficient frontier. This offers all investors the opportunity to increase their expected returns while maintaining the same level of risk.

"We view our benchmark as being the OFHEO index +5% (representing the implicit rent on housing). Our actively managed fund will seek to exceed this benchmark by exploiting the predictability of housing returns across markets and through the appropriate use of leverage.

"For managers of defined benefit pension plans residential real estate securities should prove to be even more attractive. ..."

And blah and blah and blah-blah-blah-blah.

Scum. I gotta stop reading this stuff. Let me outa here...

Cavan ManHi MK#11817603/07/04; 15:14:07

My birthday is next week. I have always liked and admired (and gotten along famously with) people born in March. You Sir are no exception. Kind regards...CM
CometoseBirthday Wishes#11817703/07/04; 15:18:25

Happy birthday , Mike .....
May you be Blessed beyond you wildest imaginations in every area of your life...
THANK YOU !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
On behalf of my Children.....
THANK YOU !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
On behalf of my (future) GRANDCHILDREN ...
THANK YOU !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

USAGOLD / Centennial Precious Metals, Inc.Peace of mind, 24/seven . . . . . . .(plus, check out the new special!)#11817803/07/04; 15:24:49">gold -- a global calling card
Mr GreshamOur friend Farfel, remembered#11817903/07/04; 15:31:58

Did I miss his passing two springs ago? It seems like just recently he returned to see us here, and we were greeting his return...

"Senior Lecturer David Cohen died on May 21 after a long battle with leukemia. He was 59. He received his B.A. in mathematics from UCLA in 1965 and, following two years of teaching for the Peace Corps in Nigeria, received a master's degree from San Francisco State University in 1971. He continued graduate work in mathematics at the University of Hawaii during 1972-73 and joined UCLA's Mathematics Department in January 1974 as a lecturer in charge of the department's remedial program. Cohen quickly earned a reputation as an excellent and effective teacher and soon became director of the precalculus program and a summer program for incoming students, as well as providing advice on other courses at the freshman level. The problems and notes that he prepared for his precalculus course eventually became the basis for several successful textbooks. As an instructor, Cohen maintained very high standards for his students, yet developed an outstanding rapport with them. In 1986, Cohen received the UCLA non-Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award. In 1993, the Southern California Section of the Mathematical Association of America nominated Cohen for the association's national teaching award. His precalculus textbooks won high praise from reviewers nationwide for their problem-oriented approach. He was promoted to senior lecturer at UCLA in 1999."

GoldiloxThe crash and aftermath#11818003/07/04; 15:36:53

@ Boilermaker:

You said: "If next week brings the beginning of the crash it will not be too soon for me. I suspect we are among a tiny fraction, akin to "The Remnant", who are prepared. I just hope to live long enough and be lucky enough to see a rebirth of this Nation that I love to its free and strong heritage."

Probably what the Romans told themselves as their empire collapsed under the weight of similar pressures. A number of wise analysts have expressed great hope in major global adjustments as opposed to a great crash. With 99.9% of billions of people totally unprepared, the horror in the streets will be like nothing we've ever seen.

Rome never reemerged anything like the grand republic founded by Remus and Romulus. The "Holy Roman Empire" (500 years later) wasn't even close.

"History doesn't repeat itself, it just rhymes." - Mark Twain

LeighMr. Gresham#11818103/07/04; 15:37:39

Mr. G, I think (I HOPE) Farfel graduated from Yale and was a businessman. I believe he did lecture at UCLA before at the business school (wasn't one lecture posted on G-E?). However, I think he was associated somehow with the entertainment industry, and I also think he is to this day an occasional poster at a neighboring forum.

I don't know him personally at all, but this is information I've sort of gleaned from reading the three forums all these years.

The CoinGuyAnother March Birthday here....the 11th#11818203/07/04; 15:52:19

Best of wishes to you on your Birthday Michael, I'll second CM's sentiment about Birthday's in March.

Best to all as well,

The CoinGuy

CoBra(too)After the Credit Flood - Inflation#11818303/07/04; 17:06:19

Titles Bill Buckler in his latest issue of the Privateer and he concludes, the credit induced "business cycle" is taking its economic revenge. Credit has been pumped to the max and the currency has fallen. Now comes the the inevitable "third stage". Physical import costs are surging upwards. To stay viable, US business will have to pass these higher costs on to US consumers.

Is this the reason behind the problems of not reporting the PPI for weeks? Prices rising faster than the BLS can massage its statistics in order to disguise the fact?

Hedonic reporting caught in its own fallacy? Or just as simple as, you just can't get away forever with seasonal adjustments, exclusion of volatile prices and other hedonic accounting, when the true facts are massively impacting the average cost of living in the US.

Buckler also argues that the EU - of course amidst political food fights a.k.a. Schroeder -, in particular the ECB was not taking part in beggaring your neighbour ploys by trying to stem the Dollar tidal wave. Their main imports of energy and most resources have therefor stabilized and even lowered their input costs ... May it be they have learned something since the days of the Weimar Republic, a fact the SE Asians may be awakened to in the not too distant future.


MK - Best to you and many happy returns of the day from another (late) March kid. ... and BTW our favorite one ski guy has won the GS in Kitfjel in a sensational race.

BoilermakerThe crash and aftermath#11818403/07/04; 18:09:58

GLox- I'd rather look to the recent past, The Great Depression of 1929-1940, as the history that may repeat for Americans. My take is that while today we may have only a very few who understand what the future holds and why, the vast majority of Americans when challenged and confronted with the truth about their corrupt system, will deal with it within the framework of the Constitution. Only if the right to vote and the Constitution are repealed will I lose my optimism. The revelations of corruption that we chatter about every day will become public knowledge after the crash. No President, Congress or Court will dare to propose, enact or defend laws that have abetted the process of corruption that we are experiencing.
mikalHappy Birthday MK!#11818503/07/04; 18:49:34

What are the bloody bastards up to now? Er, sorry...what could be the reason for all this "risk" and "bubble" talk out of officialdom these days? Go ahead, I'm listening, don't pull any punches, talk to me...

G10 Central Bankers to Examine Recovery
Sun Mar 7, 2004 04:53 PM ET
By Thomas Atkins and Natsuko Waki BASEL, Switzerland Reuters Business News -Excerpts:
"Top central bankers will put the global economic recovery under a microscope on Monday amid some concerns that risk-hungry investors were driving markets higher than fundamentals might justify."

"Equity prices have outpaced earnings improvements for about a year, pushing some valuations beyond historical averages, said the BIS, whose views are seen to reflect a consensus among monetary authorities.
'While improvements in global growth prospects and corporate finances would have justified some increase in the prices of equities, corporate bonds and sovereign debt, the size of the increases suggested further support from a robust appetite for risk,' said the BIS in its quarterly global economic report."

"The subtle BIS warning about overvaluations came as leading monetary authorities ponder what role central banks should play vis-a-vis rising markets, either through bursting market bubbles, deflating them gently, or standing by idly."

R PowellSo...what's up??#11818603/07/04; 18:50:16

I just checked mrci's night quotes. Gold and silver are down as are all the currencies. Treasuries too are down. Every single currency listed was down. I thought these were relative strength index type numbers but they were all down. Hey, what do I know, maybe they're all down against corn. Corn was up about a quarter of a penny.
Happy birthday Michael. 56 ?

knotakareIMF Gold : Statement #11818703/07/04; 19:43:41

"As an undervalued asset held by the IMF, gold provides fundamental strength to its balance sheet. Any mobilization of IMF gold should avoid weakening its overall financial position."

I think this is an interesting statement; it is right on their website. I think most bankers recognize the true leverage of gold, especially in a fiat meltdown. If the IMF sold its gold, the bankers and politicians could close them down.

I need to start digging around on the BIS website; I think much of the gold sold in the last last 10 years has headed for the BIS. This is just my speculation.

got gold and silver? got beans and barely? get you some!

Goldiloxpublic knowledge vs. public acceptance#11818803/07/04; 19:54:52

@ Boilermaker:

I admire your optimism, but do not share it, especially in the area of public dissemination of information. When I examine the evidence of FED and government complicity in the debauchery of the US$ (over decades, not just recently) and its role in the Great Depression, and the strong evidence of historical revisionism and profiteering during WWI and WWII and their successive sub-plots, I see no reason to believe that any current or future administration will suddenly blow the whistle and start a "time-out" for truth. Notice the Elliot Spitzers of the world "carefully" pick their targets, and ignore GATA requests for attention to serious large scale corruption.

Scapegoats will be publicly paraded, but it will be no different than watching hours of the Martha Stewart trial (all about "lying" to her persecutors, not her $40,000 gain from insider trading). The really big hulabaloos, like ENRON $BILLIONs being funneled offshore to some PPT-type account while the perps were the biggest contributors to the White House will never make any headlines outside the "radical internet sites". Yeah, a few ENRON boyz will take a fall, but the $BILLIONs have long ago performed a Houdini to the Cayman Banks. NO wonder one of the Senators asked Greenspam why there was recently such a huge growth in US-T securities from "unkown" sources in the Caribbean banking islands. All these investigations will take widely divergent turns as did the Whitewater investigation and the Warren Commission. All "modified" for reasons of "National Security". Well, "Homelund Security" makes the old "National Security" exercise look like child's play.

War is never fought for the reasons publicly promoted, and financial crises are never resolved to anyone's benefit except the banksters who screwed things up in the first place. Clueless governments are propped up by the banksters, and they carefully "control" the media, as we have witnessed in the last century. The "stories" will have their heroes and goats, all manufactured for both entertainment and containment value. The "Show must go on" as must "Business as Usual". Jessica Lynch and Johnny Walker Lindh - give some witless pawns the headlines, as the lumps can relate to them!

The lumps MUST be fleeced, as finance is a "zero-sum" game, and the banksters MUST win. "Truthful" accounts would foment revolution, so the stories will be fabricated once again to make the perps out to be "heroes of the people". Maybe GS will get his image on the $Billion dollar bill, as he so powerfully assisted the process in requiring one.

Got Gold? The interesting times are already here, and have been throughout recorded "history".

slingshot Sir M.K.#11818903/07/04; 19:59:52

Happy Birthday, Sir M.K.


mikal@Goldilox, knotakare#11819003/07/04; 20:17:19

Well said. Goldilox- Time will tell who the next scapegoat will be; they're going to need a lot of them.
Knotakare- IMF gold is one of the largest hoards in the world. Maybe you're right about the BIS, except perhaps the IMF, not the ECB, will be their prey- "Jost ah leetle clozer now...SSLLUURRRPPP!"
Here's a little story that seems to be repeating itself lately. So much in fact, that it may be a tidy little collection of some new household cliche's in coming months:

Sunday, March 07, 2004
Small-cap manager cautions investors that valuations are pretty high
By Chet Currier -Excerpts:
"Whenever a skilled tradesman points out flaws in his own wares, it's time to pay attention. Candor of that kind is something you don't see every day. So any investor caught up in the boom in small-company stocks might listen with both ears to what the manager of a prominent small-stock fund says. "Small-caps have outperformed large-caps now for almost five years, and such cycles rarely last for more than six years," says Jack Laporte, in his 17th year at the helm of the $5.2 billion T. Rowe Price New Horizons Fund.
"We are clearly in the latter stages of this cycle," Laporte writes in the fund's annual report."

"Even on investor sentiment in general, though, Laporte acknowledges some misgivings. "The outlook for the economy and the stock market in 2004 is quite positive," he says. "Perhaps the biggest concern is that this upbeat outlook is shared by almost all investors and market prognosticators. The consensus view is rarely right for an extended period.""

GoldiloxIMF gold#11819103/07/04; 20:25:28

@ Mikal

Isn't one of the requirements that the IMF puts on third-world CBs to sell there gold reserves and replace them with currency reserves? Sounds like a protection racket to me.

Druid(No Subject)#11819203/07/04; 20:25:29

Druid: Happy Birthday Sir MK from another March kid and many thanks for providing this great venue.

For those of you who might be interested in some intrigue at the lowest(highest) levels, this info. is a bit dated and covers many areas so parse with care. Here's a little snip to peak your interest:
The July 12 article on the Pravda front page was the most sensational warning, and certainly the most public, of all. It spelled out who, what, where, when and why. Only the "when" was, by some accounts, deliberately misleading by a matter of only a few weeks.
The Pravda article (and a later follow-up) were preceded by some events that should have certainly grabbed the US’ riveted attention.
In January 1999, maverick economist Artur Sazonov floated a plan for a "gold-backed ruble," linked to the European Monetary Union currency, the euro.
Komsomolskaya Pravda wrote it up at that time, under the headline, "Why Not a Gold Ruble, Gentlemen? Introduction of New European Currency Makes You Wonder Whether Russia Should Be Going Along With the Dollar."
Sazonov proposed linking the new currency to the euro, not just for the sake of exploiting a putative "euro vs. dollar" rivalry, but to replicate some of the credit and development features of the 1920s arrangements. He proposed that circulation of the dollar inside Russia be banned, and that payment for Russian oil, gas, and other raw materials sold to Europe be accepted only in gold rubles. Komsomolskaya commented at that time, "If the 'golden ruble' idea is adopted, we could print as many ordinary rubles as we like without fear of inflation.... The initial task of the 'gold ruble' would be to squeeze the dollar out of the country, but gradually it would also replace the 'ordinary' ruble." (Executive Intelligence Review, "Russians Anticipate Dollar and Bush Crash" by Dr. Edwin Viera, 27 July 2001)
Outspoken Russian economist Tatyana Koryagina, who has close and free access to Russian President Vladimir Putin, suggested in her testimony to Sergei Glazyev's State Duma hearings on June 29 (Executive Intelligence Review, July 6 and 20, 2001) that holders of dollars will soon be able to use them for nothing but wallpapering their toilet stalls.
On July 4, Pavel Bykov wrote in the financial weekly Ekspert, "The gold chervonets is back in Russia. The Bank of Russia could not have picked better timing for its comeback.... Withdrawing some amount of rubles from circulation and replacing it with chervontsy [plural], minted in the former Soviet Union but unsuitable for any other use since then, is not a bad combination.
All the better, if the chervonets manages to crowd out the U.S. dollar and Russians start using it as an alternative savings currency." The Central Bank's action, according to Ekspert, "shows that the bank is seriously interested in creating a liquid market for the gold coins. After all, a dollar is just a piece of paper, while Russia has always preferred more valuable things...."
The Bank of Russia (Central Bank) acted on July 10, making the gold chervonets legal tender. The coins were minted as prospective souvenirs in 1980, at the time of the Moscow Olympics in the Soviet Union, but the more interesting historical reference point is the 1920s coin, of which the modern chervonets is a replica. That currency was introduced at the initiative of Soviet Foreign Minister Chicherin in connection with the Soviet-German Rapallo agreements, acting at odds with the Versailles Treaty powers. That chervonets was used exclusively for foreign settlements. The revived chervonets is being discussed in the Russian press, as related to the coming crash of the U.S. dollar. Kommersant wrote that the chervonets, taken out of mothballs in the Bank of Russia's depository, may become "a full-blown circulating currency, which the Russians may soon choose as an equivalent for personal savings instead of the U.S dollar."
Clearly, the Russian government was making concrete plans based on its knowledge of "a devastating attack" on the US financial center of New York. These were not just secretive government plans, but were quite public, urging the Russian people to get rid of their dollars now. The refusal of US intelligence to even make inquiries strongly suggests that what the Russians were saying about a "power elite" was true, and US powers preferred to simply ignore it rather than draw attention to it.
Two days later, the July 12th Pravda interview exploded across the front page with all the subtlety of an atomic bomb. The Japanese could not have heralded the Pearl Harbor attack any better had they taken out a full-page ad on Page One of the New York Times.
Tatyana Koryagina made a statement at the end of hearings - as a Russian expert in the shadow economy, shadow politics and conspirology. She is a senior research fellow in the Institute of Macroeconomic Researches subordinated to Russian Ministry of Economic Development (Minekonom). The main theme of the Duma hearings was the rapidly approaching economic crash of the U.S. The hearings focused on preparing recommendations for President Putin as to what Russia should to do to soften the consequences of this coming catastrophe.
Here is an excerpt (emphasis added):
Question. All the participants at the hearings stated that America is a huge financial pyramid, which will crash soon. Still, it is hard to understand how this could happen in the first and richest country of the world - without a war, without missile or bomb strikes?
Koryagina: Besides bombs and missiles, there are other kinds of weaponry, much more destructive ones. . . .
Question: Well, economic theory. But how it is possible for you to give an exact date (for the U.S. crash) - August 19?
Koryagina: The U.S. is engaged in a mortal economic game. The known history of civilization is merely the visible part of the iceberg. There is a shadow economy, shadow politics and also a shadow history, known to conspirologists. There are (unseen) forces acting in the world, unstoppable for (most powerful) countries and even continents.
Question: Just these forces intend to smash America on August 19?
Koryagina: 'There are international, "super-state" and "super-government" groups. In accordance with tradition, the mystical and religious components play extremely important roles in human history' One must take into account the shadow economy, shadow politics and the religious component, while predicting the development of the present financial situation.
Question. Still I don't understand what could be done to this giant country [i.e., the U.S.], whose budget is calculated in the trillions of dollars.
Koryagina: It is possible to do anything to the U.S. . . .whose total debt has reached $26 trillion. Generally, the Western economy is at the boiling point now. Shadow financial actives of $300 trillion are hanging over the planet. At any moment, they could fall on any stock exchange and cause panic and crash. The recent crisis in Southeast Asia, which touched Russia, was a rehearsal.
Question: . . .What is the sense of smashing just America?
Koryagina: The U.S. has been chosen as the object of financial attack because the financial center of the planet is located there. The effect will be maximal. The strike waves of economic crisis will spread over the planet instantly, and will remind us of the blast of a huge nuclear bomb.
Question: Did Russia's crisis of 1998 have this religious-mystical component?
Koryagina: . . .The Russian crisis of 1998 was preconditioned by internal factors. Yeltsin's policy enlarged its consequences. Now we have President Putin, and this is a good choice.
Question: What do we have to do now?
Koryagina: Recommendations, compiled by the Duma Commission of Economic Politics after the recent Duma hearings, offer instruction on what should be done to escape the consequences of a world crisis inspired by a financial catastrophe in the U.S. This document will be sent - or has already been sent - to President Putin.
Question: What should Russian citizens do?
Koryagina: They should start changing their dollars for rubles. President Putin and the Russian Central Bank are already taking the necessary healthy measures. There are high chances that after 19 August the ruble will become a very good currency.
Question: Why 19 August and, say, not the 21st?
Koryagina: Some fluctuation in this date is possible. Serious forces are acting against THOSE WHO ARE NOW PREPARING THE ATTACK ON THE UNITED STATES. August, with very high probability, will bring the financial catastrophe to the U.S. . . .The last 10 days of August have especial importance from a religious-sensible point of view. (Pravda, 12 July 2001)

DruidDruid (03/07/04; 20:25:29MT - msg#: 118192)#11819303/07/04; 20:28:04

Reference previous post.

Druid: Woops. Enjoy.

Dollar Bill.,.#11819403/07/04; 21:01:41

Hyperinflation Blues.
"High prices of crude oil and raw materials are posing a serious threat to the resources-deficient South Korean economy, with growing concerns that surging import prices will build up inflationary pressure and undermine experts and domestic consumption. Local manufacturers are striving to secure raw materials and the government has made ‘all-out’ efforts to ease scarcity of industrial resources, but analysts warn troubles would prolong, putting a heavy burden on the nation's mainstay industrial sectors. Some experts predicted an industry-wide crisis in the coming months due to the price hike as **** most manufacturers are expected to run out of their current stocks of raw materials in March." egad. What a year this will be!

MKBest wishes. . .#11819503/07/04; 21:15:55

I want to thank all of you for the kind birthday wishes. It's nice to know you've got friends.

So what do we have here? Our own version of March Madness?? (Smile)

Must be something about the Muse and the month of March..........At any rate, Happy Birthday to all of you as well. . . .

GoldiloxMarch Madness#11819603/07/04; 21:16:45

Go Stanford! Undefeated so far!
DruidOil prices keep climbing as tensions rise in Venezuela#11819703/07/04; 21:21:57


"New York's benchmark crude oil contract broke above US$37 a barrel Friday for the first time since the Iraq war, kicked higher by tensions in major producer Venezuela.

Light sweet crude for delivery in April leapt US$0.62 to US$37.26 a barrel at the close. Brent North Sea crude for April rose US$0.46 to finish at US$33.35.

Traders feared a repeat of last year's interruption to supplies from violence-torn Venezuela, where at least eight people have been killed and dozens injured in recent days in unrest over an official refusal to hold a referendum to recall President Hugo Chavez.

"People remember very well what happened when Venezuela went on strike," said Refco analyst Jim Still. "They are very nervous.""

Druid: Can you imagine sitting there with your trillions of dollars just waiting to spend them on a finite set of physical goods that aren't available? Let's see now, gold/oil/lattes from Starbucks, what shall I buy???

mikalWithout doubt, on balance, at the present juncture...#11819803/07/04; 21:28:47

we would argue most strenuously, that in hindsight, the remediating influence of our easy credit and diligent monetary stimulation, certainly, have granted considerable leverage to our most important sectors, without which, truly we would have taken considerable risk that a small correction in spending, indeed as our projections showed, would have taken us to unknown levels of indefinable money supply, delaying the sort of productivity that our standard of living depends upon, and which thrives on the balance of risk factors leaning heavily in favor of continued recovery, as our models have repeatedly shown, and assuredly the committee endorses that view..."
Chairman Magoo, Master of Orificial Obfuscatory Oration

GoldiloxMr Magooo#11819903/07/04; 21:49:49

@ Mikal:

Make that "Master of Ambiguous, Gratuitous Orificial Obfuscatory Oration - MAGOOO

Smeagolsss... late to the party, but...#11820003/07/04; 21:55:21

...we wishes you, Sir MK, a very ssatisfactory Birthday, and many more to come! But if you get any rings for birthday presents, we don't wants to know !!!


GoldiloxSilver Anthem#11820103/07/04; 22:01:25

OK, as long as we're getting a bit tipsy for MK's birthday, I found this over at Puplava's site.

"To be sung with John Denver's 'Thank God I'm a Country Boy'
by Jonathon Carlson
March 6, 2004

Well tradin’ in Silver is not laid back
Better than tech stocks that ain't comin’ back
All metals goin’ rise Comex goin’ crack
Thank God I'm in Silver boy!

Well hoarding bars and coins never did me no harm
Burying it with the family all over the farm
The dollar's last days will not be a charm
Thank God I'm in Silver boy!


Well I bought a Silver mine never had to dicker
When suns comin’ up got Kitco in the ticker
Shortin’ ain't nothin’ but a funny funny kicker
Thank God I'm in Silver boy!

Well life will be fun Silver to the moon
Spitzer on the case Crimex gone by June
Looking to be driving that red Ferrari soon
Thank God I'm in Silver boy!

When the tradin's all done and dollars sinkin’ low
Print out Butler's latest and take it nice and slow
Days of the cartel are getting mighty low
Thank God I'm in Silver boy!


I'd trade Silver contracts night and day if I could
But my wife and the doctor wouldn't take it very good
Tradin’ when I can taking profit when I should
Thank God I'm in Silver boy!

The cartels on the run and the crooks are in jail
Manipulations gone and Silver's not for sale
Don't tell the feds it's stashed under a bale
Thank God I'm in Silver boy!


Well I wouldn't trade my wife for gold or jewels
Don't put it past me cuz I'm a precious metal fool
Never sell short is the golden rule
Thank God I'm in Silver boy!

© 2004 Jonathon Carlson
Calgary, Canada"

Dollar Bill.,.#11820203/07/04; 22:13:44

In discussing the 30's depression...
"As Friedman and Schwartz noted in their book, countries such as China--which used a silver standard rather than a gold standard--avoided the Depression almost entirely."
This was all I could find on it. Anyone have further info?

SundeckMotorists Chafing Under a Steady Rise in Gas Prices#11820303/07/04; 22:30:00

Some light reading in the NYT on the effect on typical motorists of (automobile) gas price increases...inflationary and a large brake on the


...and a Very Happy Birthday to Sir MK from Oz

SundeckThe Bulls Are Back. The Brokers Are Wary.#11820403/07/04; 22:32:41

...and the lemmings appear to be assembling for the next run at the spite of warnings from Mr Buffett et al.


DruidDollar Bill (03/07/04; 22:13:44MT - msg#: 118202)#11820503/07/04; 22:57:18


"In discussing the 30's depression...
"As Friedman and Schwartz noted in their book, countries such as China--which used a silver standard rather than a gold standard--avoided the Depression almost entirely."
This was all I could find on it. Anyone have further info?"

Druid: DB, enjoy the read, it's a 24 page downloadable PDF file on your question.

Gandalf the WhiteSorry Sir Goldie ! NOW the Cardinal is 26-1 !!!!!#11820603/07/04; 23:25:43

Goldilox (03/07/04; 21:16:45MT - msg#: 118196)
March Madness
Go Stanford! Undefeated so far!
You must not have been in Seattle last night !

GoldiloxOvernight Ag#11820703/07/04; 23:30:23

Ag has dropped and regrouped $0.20 already this evening. Both Comdirect and Kitco confirm. Get ready for a wild ride!

Too bad about the Card! There's always next year.

Mr GreshamLeigh#11820803/08/04; 02:48:08

This googled link ties Farfel (his letter to Barrick in our archives) to the name given, though indeed he appears to be in a different career field. I hope I have exaggerated the rumors of...may he speak up to refute me, and if not, then some small immortality is assured in our memory. It did seem so recent to me he last appeared among us.
TownCrier"On the road..."#11820903/08/04; 02:55:39

Remarks, to a seminar on the EU accession process, by ECB President Trichet.


Colleagues, fellow central bankers, ladies and gentlemen,

I speak to you on the eve of an inspiring moment in the history of Europe. In less than two months from now, the European Union will complete its largest ever expansion. What was originally a Community of six countries in western Europe will become a Union of 25 countries. A Union of some 450 million people.

This enlargement will be the EU's greatest: not just in terms of size, but also because of its historical significance. Tomorrow it will be 58 years to the day that Winston Churchill gave a speech in Fulton, Missouri, in which he spoke of an iron curtain descending across Europe. Today, not only has that curtain been torn down; the edifice that had been painstakingly built on one side is being expanded to house those who once lived on the other side. The members of the East will finally join the members of the West as members of the same European Union.

As European central bankers, our destiny is intertwined with the destiny of our continent. As Europe is being rebuilt and reunited, so we are reinforcing and uniting its monetary foundations. We have already created a single European currency and a European System of Central Banks (ESCB). And with it we are providing the monetary stability that eluded Europe for much of the last century. But we still face the task of eventually fully integrating new Member States into our common monetary area. This is indeed a challenging task. Challenging because we must ensure that the process runs smoothly, without jeopardising the monetary stability that is our ultimate duty to European citizens. Challenging, also, because of the logistics involved.

Enlargement of the euro area is, first and foremost, a challenge for the new Member States seeking to join. If I may address directly those of us who come from the acceding countries, I would say that you face the challenge of preparing your economies for life in Economic and Monetary Union (EMU).

In this respect, let us not forget that a great deal has already been achieved, especially in those countries that have had to undertake a transition from planned to market-based economies. The fact that this major round of EU enlargement is taking place in less than two months' time bears witness to your achievements. You have fulfilled the "Copenhagen criteria". You have stable democracies. You have functioning market economies. You have adopted the acquis communautaire.

But this is no time to rest on one's laurels. Having travelled the road set out in "Copenhagen", it is time to drive on; time to travel along the road mapped out in "Maastricht". Along this road the watchword will be stability. For central banks, this means maintaining price stability and preserving financial stability. For governments, it means pursuing stability-oriented economic policies and, in particular, sound fiscal policies.

...We all know that this will be no easy task. The road to the euro will be long and demanding. But at least it is a road that has been travelled along before. And you can benefit from the experience of those who have already travelled along it. We, the Eurosystem, can also help this process by making sure that the right signposts are there along the way....

Guiding this process is, of course, not all we must do. For our part, we must also make sure that everything is ready and in place for you when you arrive. The operational framework, the IT infrastructure... It all needs to be ready in time for you to "move in".

....Things are well on track. Indeed they have been for some time. For years now cooperation between the central banks of the Eurosystem and the central banks of the accession countries has been intense. There have been regular meetings, visits and exchanges. These have covered the policy and technical aspects of all central banking activities. I am told that there have been more than 1,000 such "central bank cooperation activities" in the last four years.

...Since the outset, the Eurosystem has been very committed to supporting the enlargement process and to ensuring its success. This is why we decided back in 1999 to organise a seminar bringing together the governors and senior officials of the ESCB and the central banks of accession countries. And we have met on an annual basis since then. Over the years, these seminars have proved to be a very useful forum for policy dialogue on the monetary, exchange rate and financial aspects of enlargement. They have also helped the ECB and the Eurosystem to develop and present their views and so, as I mentioned earlier, to steer the process in the right direction.

...for 10 of the 12 accession countries the process of EU accession is now effectively complete. From 1 May this year, the ten central banks of the acceding countries will become part of the ESCB. Part of the same monetary team. Since May last year, the governors of the acceding country central banks have already participated, as observers, in meetings of the General Council. The relevant experts from acceding countries have participated in meetings of ESCB committees. You are already effectively part of our team.

----(full address at url)----

I have a distinct feeling that more than a few friends of gold are generally heartened by these portents. And, certainly, some people will not be.


Mr GreshamDon't miss...#11821003/08/04; 03:55:24

Dave Barry vs. The Deficit
USAGOLD Daily Market ReportPage Update!#1182113/8/04; 05:17:53">
The Daily Gold Market Report has been updated.

If you are considering investments in gold we invite you to">request our free introductory information packet detailing the products and services offered by USAGOLD ~ Centennial Precious Metals. We welcome your inquiry and look forward to working with you.

MKNews & Views #1182123/8/04; 05:20:15


Breaking News!


Central Bankers Sign New Accord on Gold (w/ link to joint statement)


You are invited to visit now, often. Updated regularly. Stay abreast the gold market via News & Views, this forum and the Daily Gold Market Report.

This is the website where serious gold investors congregate and keep in touch with the market. Please bookmark this page.

Federal_ReservesUK has no plans to sell gold reserves#1182133/8/04; 07:07:40

UK has no plans to sell gold reserves
Monday March 8, 5:53 am ET

LONDON, March 8 (Reuters) - Britain has no plans to sell its holding of gold reserves and is therefore not participating in the renewal of the European central banks' Agreement on Gold, the Treasury said on Monday.
The European Central Bank and 14 national central banks agreed to a new five-year gold deal starting September 2004 on Monday, which would limit annual gold sales to 500 tons.

Britain had been a signatory to an earlier agreement in 1999 which was due to expire in September.

KnallgoldWA2#1182143/8/04; 07:25:32

Another 5 years of managed Goldprices.Did I ever believe in FreeGold?

There was always an excuse to manipulate "just one more time".The EU eastern expansion is the most recent one(if I interpreted Aristotle right).No,I don't confuse high Goldprices with freely traded Gold.

How can there be FreeGold'starting with a Goldcorner?(pandagold told us of the corner,he was very specific about that).So its just the usual pump and dump.

If there can be an honest fiat (Aristotle),why can't there be a similar honest Goldstandard?It all depends on the integrity of its operators!And if I get the impression its the same decadent british(?) $-aristocracy setting up the euro,the fight just a show-the argument of its (euro)infancy falls apart rapidly.Or are THEY excluded from the lifetime argument??Like with the abandoning of the stability pact,a sure sign of later-stages loosening discipline !?

I promised to myself in 1999 that I will reevaluate my Gold investment in 2004,after the expiry of WA1.There is some time left for that,but I'm making my thoughts on FreeGold now.We know the Rotschild phrase of "they will be so dependent from this will remove any opposition from this side".Now how will you remove any opposition from the last true opposition,the Goldbugs?With superhigh Goldprices!

There is not the slightest FreeGold prove besides some "internet whacko theories" as I already have been ridiculed.With every day passing by it loses credibility.

Sorry to sound sinister today,but the things around me doesen't point to a sound euro economy either.Or does it matter if you owe 7trillion$ (US) or 1 trillion Mark (like Germany alone)?
The bear is hungry for the 2 wanderers,think about that!

MKThe New Gold Accord#1182163/8/04; 08:02:18

A short note on the gold pact renewal:

I see this as a positive for the gold market. Here's why:

When you look a the supply demand tables, the one thing that stands out clearly is that mine production is static in the 2200 to 2600 tonne range and has been for almost a decade. Given the statements of industry stalwarts, it doesn't appear that the production is going to improve anytime soon. Exploration budgets were cut to the bone during the quiet years, and it takes upwards of seven years to bring a known to deposit to production. Scrap is another constant in the 600 range.

Meanwhile gold usage is on a steady growth curve from 3400 tonnes in 1994 to 4000 tonnes now. That gap between mine + scrap production and usage must be filled. But how? In years past most of that gap has been made up through mine company forward sales programs, central bank sales and net disinvestment. Now, forward sales programs have gone to the other side of the ledger with the advent of dehedging. In 1997 for example, hedgers were responsible for bringing an extra 470 tonnes "supply" to the table. In 2002 they bought back 420 tonnes and showed up on the "demand" side of the ledger. That's a 890 tonne turnaround! I disagree with the analysts who are saying that producer buy-backs will slow down or even disappear - this doesn't square with the hefty hedge books some of these mining companies will be burdened with as the price rises. If anything I see even more de-hedging in the offing - and the tonnages, I believe, will come as a surprise.

Today's announcement is important from another perspective. Let's keep in mind that all this started many years with a plea from NM Rothschild for more "transparency" in the gold business. The representative of NMR might well have used the word "predicablility" because that's what they were after. We now know that 500 tonnes will be coming on the market annually over the next five years and the lease pool emanating from these central banks and NO MORE. CB gold sales will remain the same as they were 5 years ago, for the next 5 years.

With investment demand, the big X factor heating up globally in the face of a dollar problem appearing increasing intractable, this cap on the supply side of the chart will figure mightily in the thinking of both long term hedgers as well as speculators in the hedge funds and big bank trading departments. One London trader was quoted a few days ago as saying that he wasn't concerned about the rise in sales from 400 tonnes per year to 500 because the market needed the supply. I concur. In fact I believe the market could have withstood 700-800 tonnes per year without a blink in the current environment, and there is a possibility that the market will come up woefully short under these circumstances - a prospect likely to be reflected in the price.

Watch out for a delayed positive reaction, or a protracted upturn in the gold price as a direct result from today's announcement. The losing position will continue to be on the short side of this market and I think the players know it. The next phase of this secular bull market will display an strong and incessant undercurrent of physical demand with some nation states seeking to bolster their official sector holdings and some of the smaller central banks pressuring the bullion banks to have their gold deposits returned.

knotakareMK#1182173/8/04; 08:05:10

Mk, thanks for your excellent analysis. Your conclusions make a lot of sence. I think one reason they have to keep selling is also to try to prevent a dollar implosion. At first blush, this doesn't sound logical. But think about it. With the gap in gold market supply and demand widening, this would put additional pressure on the dollar.

The sales into the market , possibly delay for now, a major-overnight devaluation of the dollar. And allow the wise to protect themselves, by building further gold holdings.

Thanks again to MK, on a very dificult subject.

White RoseJP Morgan and Deutch Bank -- rumors of merger denied#1182183/8/04; 08:50:07

This is a hot one. JP Morgan is the biggest player in the "gold cartel". They are rumored to be wanting to buy Deutche Bank, which are another member of the cartel.

Perhaps Deutche bank was just about to jump ship from the cartel. The merger "attempt" may be just a warning.

Any thought on this one?

NedWAII#11821903/08/04; 09:09:08

"The UK said it would not take part in the new programme because Britain did not intend to sell any gold during the period covered by the deal, while Greece became a new signatory."

Questions and comments:

1)Leave it to the British CB to send a mixed message. If they are not selling any gold what's the harm in signing? I don't trust them as far as I could throw them.

2) Greece is a new signatory, any others new to this agreement or missing from previous other than stated Britain/Greece?

3) I assume IMF gold & US gold is not part of this agreement. Is there anything implied or suggested?

4) Why is this agreement called "Washington Agreement" if it has little or nothing to do with Washington?

5) The article states " European Cental Banks"; it this the ECB and others outside of the EU or are they implying the ECB alone? (ie: is Greece part of EU?) (Does somebody have a list of existing EU members and the new 10 (or 12?) to join in May?)

6) Is there a possibility of Western CB's taking any sort of cue from this to form a Western "WA" agreement?


GoldiloxPOx Ceilings?#11822003/08/04; 09:29:06

OK you prognosticators (can we say that here?) - which is gonna happen first? POG closing above 400 or POS closing above 7?

They both look like very heated battles.

Either is certainly ready for a visit from our buddy Spike.

SundeckDeveloping gold business in Dubai#11822103/08/04; 09:34:29


According to DMCC statistics, Dubai the ‘City of Gold’ is clearly strengthening its already powerful position as one of the leading international hubs for the gold industry. With the extremely high consumption levels of gold products, these figures are expected to substantially increase over the next few years. This is the first occasion that official industry-specific data has been made available to the gold sector.

Sundeck: Some recent statistics on the gold industry in Dubai

Paper AvalancheTPTB demonstrating their control today....#11822203/08/04; 10:08:48

Having learned their lesson following the first WA announcment, TPTB are telegraphing to the financial world that they are in firm control of POG and no spikes in the price will result from today's announcement. Trading has been between $399 and $400 all day.

Gold has been and continues to be very activley managed.


CoBra(too)SPIKE - First Time in a long Time - 7.03!#11822303/08/04; 11:17:07

Rich will be a happy bugger today! So will I and SPOT will follow anyhoo! cb2
mikal MK, great job on WA#11822403/08/04; 11:23:18

I couldn't agree more regarding the renewal of the Washington agreement. You covered all the bases as far as I can tell, except for minor points like the timing of their announcement.
In part due to the continent's ambition for the euro, the pressure has been building to announce early. Though some global observers have been prepared to hear a renewal announcement as early as January, most will be surprised at this and be alerted to the gold-friendly implications.
Also, the expansion of the membership to eastern states is naturally bringing more gold to sales-eligble status, and we have seen how most of this gold is exchanged for swapped and quickly absorbed by designated official parties without ever coming to an open market.

Federal_ReservesBuffett Says Bush Tax Cuts Favor Wealthy#11822503/08/04; 11:30:55

Buffett Says Bush Tax Cuts Favor Wealthy
Sunday March 7, 7:02 pm ET
By Joe Ruff, Associated Press Writer
Billionaire Investor Warren Buffett Says Bush Tax Cuts Favor Large Corporations, Wealthy

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- Billionaire investor Warren Buffett accused the Bush administration Saturday of pursuing tax cuts that favor large corporations and wealthy individuals.
"If class warfare is being waged in America, my class is clearly winning," Buffett said in Berkshire Hathaway Inc.'s annual report.

An honest man! Truly to be admired. Both sides of the political bacon (democrat and republican) favor the rich. The congress is filled with millionaries who mouth support for the low and middle income class and stab them in the back with unfair trade and tax practices that benefit their paymaster contributors. The Federal Reserve boss recommends no taxes on dividends, 15% capital gains taxes, big reductions in income taxes, while at the same time recommending cuts in social security benefits on a fund that is in surplus. Nobody, at present, represents the interests of the lower and middle income wage and salary workers.

Great Albino BatLet's face it....#11822603/08/04; 12:16:03

Warren has $30 bil in cash and doesn't know what to do with the stuff. Like a lot of Central Banks that don't know what to do with their swollen (and swelling) reserves.

I guess he knows what he would LIKE to do, but

"Prudence is the better part of valour" or something like that.

If Warren buys gold in any important amount, he is DEAD MEAT, count on it. Such things can be "arranged". He is no spring chicken and he could just have a "heart attack"...

Such are today's conditions. Incredible mess.

Load up while you can!


USAGOLD / Centennial Precious Metals, Inc.March Buyers' Group Special Offer -- order online or by phone, (800) 869-5115 Ext. 100#11822703/08/04; 13:10:25

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TownCrierI guess we should call this one the "Basel Agreement"#11822803/08/04; 13:36:58

Here is the precise text of the central bank agreement on gold which was announced by the participants at the latest meeting of the G10 central bankers hosted by the BIS in Basel, Switzerland.

--8 March 2004--

In the interest of clarifying their intentions with respect to their gold holdings, the undersigned institutions make the following statement:

1.Gold will remain an important element of global monetary reserves.

2.The gold sales already decided and to be decided by the undersigned institutions will be achieved through a concerted programme of sales over a period of five years, starting on 27 September 2004, just after the end of the previous agreement. Annual sales will not exceed 500 tons and total sales over this period will not exceed 2,500 tons.

3.Over this period, the signatories to this agreement have agreed that the total amount of their gold leasings and the total amount of their use of gold futures and options will not exceed the amounts prevailing at the date of the signature of the previous agreement.

4.This agreement will be reviewed after five years.

European Central Bank
Banca d'Italia
Banco de Espa--a
Banco de Portugal
Bank of Greece
Banque Centrale du Luxembourg
Banque de France
Banque Nationale de Belgique
Central Bank & Financial Services Authority of Ireland
De Nederlandsche Bank
Deutsche Bundesbank
Oesterreichische Nationalbank
Suomen Pankki
Schweizerische Nationalbank
Sveriges Riksbank


TownCrierNote to self#11822903/08/04; 13:53:23

For future refence at this memorable time/location. Of those signatories, thus far Germany has acknowledged 600 tonnes at a rate of 120 per year, while Switzerland will sell 130 tonnes in the first year, concluding its previously announced program of 1,300 tonnes which began May 2000, during the time of the original agreement.


Socrates964GAB/Ned#11823003/08/04; 14:11:54

Gentlemen, I wonder about your view of Mr. Buffett as an ivory tower investor. OF late, he's been doing some overtly political things like chaperoning Arnie the Bodybuilder around the world's economic watering holes. Why is his protegé now governor of California, if not to swing the state for Dubya?

We all know that the 'weak dollar' is pretty much US government policy. Even if the government doesn't like to admit it in public, you only have to read websites like the Heritage Foundation to realize that the Republican Right regards the weak dollar as a weapon to be used in bludgeoning the Euroeconomy to death in the export markets.

Hence, putting 2 and 2 together, going short of the $ and shouting about it is is exactly what you'd expect a fully paid-up Dubyaphile to do.

Socrates964GAB/Ned#11823103/08/04; 14:14:58

In addition, he's already got his silver corner in place.
Cavan ManTowne Crier#11823203/08/04; 14:28:47

Japan and US signatures are missing. I believe they signed in 1999
SurvivorBritan and WAII#11823303/08/04; 15:14:46

Given Sir Ned's comment: "1) Leave it to the British CB to send a mixed message. If they are not selling any gold what's the harm in signing?"

Along with this announcement: "LONDON, March 8 (Reuters) - Britain has no plans to sell its holding of gold reserves and is therefore not participating in the renewal of the European central banks' Agreement on Gold, the Treasury said on Monday."

I guess we can assume that either the political announcement above is absolutely true (chuckle/smirk), or that Britan will sell as much gold as it wants, whenever it wants.

Boilermaker1999 WAG#11823403/08/04; 15:16:34

Cavan Man,
The 1999 Agreement did not include the US or Japan. The only change in 2004 is adding Greece, dropping the UK.

Federal_ReservesBOE still stinging #11823503/08/04; 15:26:10

from the embarrassment of selling at the bottom?

From 99 to 01 they sold, and what an idiot move that was.

If they start buying, sell.

An agreement not to sell more than a certain amount is not the same as an agreement TO ACTUALLY SELL ANYTHING.

Boilermaker1999 WAG/ 2004 BAG#11823603/08/04; 15:28:02

I should say that the US and Japan expressed their "intent" to follow the 1999 WAG but were not signatories. Perhaps like the UK in the 2004 Agreement they wanted to offer the illusion they were not in the gold market.
TownCrierCavan Man, the following is the precise text of the 1999 join statement on gold and its signatories#11823703/08/04; 16:01:57

--26 September 1999--

In the interest of clarifying their intentions with respect to their gold holdings, the undersigned institutions make the following statement:

1.Gold will remain an important element of global monetary reserves.

2.The undersigned institutions will not enter the market as sellers, with the exception of already decided sales.

3.The gold sales already decided will be achieved through a concerted programme of sales over the next five years. Annual sales will not exceed approximately 400 tons and total sales over this period will not exceed 2,000 tons.

4.The signatories to this agreement have agreed not to expand their gold leasings and their use of gold futures and options over this period.

5.This agreement will be reviewed after five years.

European Central Bank
Oesterreichische Nationalbank
Banque Nationale de Belgique
Suomen Pankki
Banque de France
Deutsche Bundesbank
Central Bank of Ireland
Banca d´Italia
Banque centrale du Luxembourg
De Nederlandsche Bank
Banco de Portugal
Banco de Espa--a
Sveriges Riksbank
Schweizerische Nationalbank
Bank of England

-------- ~fin~ --------

Randy's note on it all: My _personal_ belief as to the reason the UK did not join ranks this time is that they are doing a delicate balancing act, riding the fence between their old alliances with the mighty yet aging dollar regime and their practical interests in the up-and-coming euro regime.

At this stage I think the UK does not want to unnecessarily give appearances to their old dollar allies of being too cozy with Euroland, which signing this time around would do. In that same regard, the UK's signing of the first agreement could be soft-pedalled as more-or-less a superficial act on behalf of Team Euroland because, if you'll remember, the UK had already -- prior to the agreement -- publically committed itself to a bloc of gold sales.

Further, it is my opinion that, as the quasi-parent figure of the LBMA, the UK and Bank of England is currently wanting to maintain a footing of extreme flexibility with regard to gold at this time -- in the event that lifeboat operations and commitments of gold are needed should the LBMA face a bullion run crisis with growing likelihood sometime in the next five years. I think item #3 in the latest agreement, as a continuation of item #4 listed above, has become the primary source of consternation for the bullion bankers.

To that end I note, especially, that Andy Smith is out huffing and puffing again, but I also note, he's doing so without daring to say anything of real substance. Like any good bullion banker, he wouldn't dare overstep and precipitate a crisis of confidence.


SundeckSocates964 #118230 - Buffett#11823803/08/04; 17:01:49


"Why is his protegé now governor of California, if not to swing the state for Dubya?"

You may be correct, but I doubt if "swinging the state for Dubya" is Buffett's main interest in supporting Arnie.

Buffett, in the past, has described himself as a Republican on the (wealth) production side and a Democrat on the distribution side. I doubt if he has changed. I suspect Buffett has a genuine concern about the state of CA's finances and wants to help out by supporting a high-profile Republican in whome he has faith. But that is not to say that he necessarily wants to see Dubya returned. His comments re tax cuts for the rich could be seen as an attack on the Dubya regime, although probably not as direct as Soros' overt opinions.

As an aside, there is little doubt that Arnie is preparing the ground for a tilt at the White House down the track, and that is more likely to be what Buffett is keen on; although at least four years away, and more probably eight. Buffett will indeed be an old man by then (82 or 86, with little to gain personally one way or tother), but not one (I believe) who would happily wish for a further decline in American values and economic and social prosperity.

With regard to shorting the $US, I am sure that Buffett is as happy as anyone to take money off the table whenever he has the opportunity; but not at any consequence. Besides, it is not only Dubya who wants to see a weaker dollar...the structural problems confronting the US make it imperative for ALL future presidents (and the people at large), Rep or Dem, good or bad, to covet a fall in the dollar...




Cavan ManDear Randy#11823903/08/04; 17:14:36

Regarding UK gold: My take is they shot their load already. Why didn't the CBs maintian the same quota? If gold were to be "freegold" then NOT increasing the allocations would indeed set "freegold" free. The European CBs are ACTIVE managers of the gold price.

The Another/FOA monologues are bewitching but fast losing their allure in Missouri.

GoldiloxGovernator in the White House#11824003/08/04; 17:30:10

@ Sundeck:

according to the CURRENT U.S> constitution, the Governator is not eligible for White House duty (at least, as the boss) since he was born in Austria. I have heard rumors (no substantiation) that Senator Hatch is heading the charge to change the native born requirement for him. Maybe that's the "rider" that GWB wants to attach to the heterosexual union amendment.

SundeckWAII - Gandalf and the Roo meat#11824103/08/04; 18:03:25

Spot gold at $402...Silver "Knock, knock, knockin' on Seven's door!" (sorry Bob).

MK says: "Watch out for a delayed positive reaction, or a protracted upturn in the gold price as a direct result from today's announcement."

Suspect that statement will turn out to be prophetic.

Oh BTW, Gandalf. I am trialling a new preservative in that roo meat ... Oxide of Strombolium ... suggest you use moderation in feeding the hounds.



TownCrierUK gold, whys and why nots#11824203/08/04; 18:14:15

Sorry, but I can't quite follow your leap -- "Why didn't the CBs maintian the same quota? If gold were to be 'freegold' then NOT increasing the allocations would indeed set 'freegold' free."

Maybe you could narrow the gap for me or give me a little smoother groundwork in the run-up to the jumping off point.

Further, I don't see how the size (whether big OR small) of the announced sales matters at all.

I think the key distinction that needs to be grasped of a "free gold" market is that price-discovery is based on the supply and demand of the physical, not the supply and demand of the derivatives trading predominately in its stead.

To be sure, a "freegold" market environment is not conditional upon those with metal refraining from selling it as you seem to have implied to some degree.

I have heard it argued convincingly that, absent the vast supply of derivative surrogates rerouting demand away from the existing metal, under a "freegold" market regime the central banks could as an exercise sell their entire stock of metal and it would be snapped up immediately at many multiples of the current price. But obviously, that valuation regime (sans surrogates) is not currently in place. Such is the gradual nature of the dollar/euro transition.

So while the dollar-friendly UK did NOT sign the latest agreement, even as it hastens to add they do not intend to sell any gold during the period of this agreement, I encourage you to join me in noting that the UK has thereby effectively reclaimed its prerogative to intervene as heavily as it deems fitting in the gold derivatives market. A stance uniquely befitting such a dollar-ally, and befitting them also as an organization with some degree of responsibility for the potential misfortunes of the LBMA offspring, all of which represent so many loose cannons.

Sorry I didn't provide this elaboration in my earlier comments.


TownCrierOoops!#11824303/08/04; 18:16:04

I should have been clearer. My previous message was a reply to Cavan Man, msg#118239.


Socrates964Sundeck/UK#11824403/08/04; 18:36:02

Sundeck - wrt Buffett - I suppose I'm just an old cynic. I just don't remember Buffett getting so involved with the political process in the past and in support of such an ideologically charged government.

UK Gold - I can't remember if we ever got to the bottom of this, but there was a story doing the rounds a few months ago that the UK would actually have to repurchase all its sold gold in order to comply with EU reserve requirements.

If this is the case, then one could make the alternative reading that they now have to flash signals to the EU that they will at least maintain their reserves at current levels. Don't know! Frankly, the whole thing is smoke and mirrors.

Paper AvalancheSilver is breaching the $7.00 barrier tonight#11824503/08/04; 19:05:06

When I was a neophyte on this forum (in many ways I still am), I advanced the idea that silver will lead gold. My hunch may have been well founded based on the unfolding POG / POS relationship.

Methinks that Sir Soros sees silver as the achilles heel of the whole financial house of cards.

I may be wrong. I often am.

Take care.


Jacob MarleyDruid - 118120 - thoughts on your thoughts...#11824603/08/04; 19:08:03

Good evening, Sir Druid. Read through your comments. If I may… where you say:

"I would have difficulty taking the 'word' of a central banker..." – Would you consider that to the degree you and I choose to use the currency issue of a central bank, implicitly demonstrates the degree to which we take their word. It does not matter that law, or simply the result of where we were born imposes the currency upon us. We opt to use it, because it works. If it did not work or work well, we would not use it (except minimally, like day-to-day sundries or to pay taxes -- and if bad enough even the day-to-day usages would vanish).

Why does a currency not work, or work less well than others? Its users harbor enough doubt about the issue's ability to fulfill monetary functions that they choose some other means to carry them out. Briefly, these functions can be defined at the highest level as serving a standard of value and means of payment. I.e., when presenting to another to buy or pay down debt, or to deploy it for a season elsewhere by lending or investing, or simply to not use it, we place into it a notion of worth. That worth is a sense of value that we individually calculate (mostly unconsciously). We do this largely on the basis of our impression of how others in the currency-using sphere evaluate the currency.

Having a collective sense of value and its ability to sustain a practical equilibrium, it can then serve as a means to pay. When presented the debt is settled in full. The fact that when we hand over cash, we no longer harbor the slightest guilt of debt, or fear further demands from the payee, demonstrates our confidence that THAT transaction served its monetary purpose. And the fact that we each day both can pay with and do receive as payment -- quite unconsciously -- the un-backed, irredeemable note of some central bank, proves our confidence in their word (and by extension their means) to satisfactorily sustain the economic environment for an acceptable future timeframe.

A sign that a currency is losing its monetary capacity is to observe an overall societal portfolio restructuring, if you will, where cash holdings and securities denominated in the currency begin to shift to other currencies, securities denominated therewith, and/or commodities. This is done because of a confidence problem being perceived in the currency's ability to retain that sense of value – within a societally acceptable band.

In my opinion, it is healthy to hold a portion of our wealth in unencumbered property. And certain types of property bear certain advantages over others. And at certain times (when intolerable volatility is looming, for instance), it is wiser to hold more of one's holdings in unencumbered property, as it is less subject to unfavorable behavior beyond our control. And, if the property type selection is chosen wisely, one may even reap bountifully in these episodes. Banks do not like instability as their entire foundation and ultimately existence rests upon a society's confidence in the future. In an economic sense this is expressed in its faith in the monetary unit. There is no other rationale for exchanging the fruit of our labors, or encumbering our property as collateral, for a note that is not guaranteed by anything except the belief that others will also accept it for payment down the line at some acceptable exchange rate.

Thank you for your thoughtful reading of what I wrote earlier.

Also – erratum… where I said, "the harder they pump the more air escapes through THEIR self-imposed but inescapable constraint of competitive devaluation of THEIR primary reserve holding: dollars." I should have proof read before posting. I thot my goughts wackbard. Should read more like: "…self-imposed but inescapable constraint of competitive devaluation of their home currencies against their primary reserve holding: dollars."

Jacob MarleyMr. GAB. - 118115 - A few comments on comments...#11824703/08/04; 19:09:16

-- You: "the central problem of our age: how politicians can handle increasing numbers of individuals, who expect from their governments, progressively better economic conditions, by "managing their currencies" and their interest rates to produce "growth" and employment."
-- Me: Yes, people ask a lot. This is exactly the test for the euro. Will the ECB succumb to the politics of short term remedies to provide short term G & E, or will they adhere to a chartered objective of providing favorable investment conditions for the currency INSOFAR as central banks can effect this -- i.e., by not trying to manage the incalculable variables of micro-economic factors, but by maintaining integrity in the currency. They endeavor to do this, among other things, by remaining detached from domestic affairs. Their hope is that the forces that do have the duty of either regulating micro-economic factors (and preferably just getting out of the way) -- the governments -- will act prudently, with the result being capital inflows for real investment's sake -- and not simply the whim of speculation.

-- You: "...that for all currencies in the world, at present, reserves matter not one bit."
-- Me: What is the purpose of having reserves, then? You are correct that they are not there in any sense to guarantee redemption. No one is pretending that. Even when the bank notes were convertible, no one really believed that a run en masse upon them would satisfy all claims. If reserves don't matter, why do banks have them? Window dressing? That is a VERY expensive and grossly inefficient use of available capital. In a sense you are correct though in that their presence is part of the overall demonstration of the banks' power (means) to support their objectives (their charter).

Why do you or I keep "reserves" on our own account? We keep reserves for emergencies. When unexpected demands stress our personal financial world, we use our reserves until stability is achieved. A bank's view of its reserves is no different. It isn't about convertibility today, since convertibility is not part of the program, and not expected.

-- You say this is impossible: "No country in the world, as it is today, has, or can possibly have, 'a stable macro-economic environment'..." You say it is for the "simple reason that ALL policy around the world, is oriented to policies that will placate the voting masses, through credit expansion, which produces as night follows day, the tendency in the markets (markets DO exist) to correct the malinvestment produced by credit expansion beyond real savings, by means of collapse of bad credit and liquidation of malinvestment."
-- Me: Did this same cycle not occur under the gold standard? Did gold backing the currency prevent reckless credit expansion?

-- You: "The fact and the truth: money is money and must be a tangible thing..."
-- Me: Why?

-- You: "[a]nd all human experience tells us, it must be gold..."
-- Me: That's a pretty stout claim. Can you really substantiate that "all" part?

-- You: "'Managed money' is a contradiction in terms."
-- Me: Why?

For all the imperfections of the currently evolving system, I don't think I find much more success to be had in a gold money system. I wish to state that it is not my purpose to be contrary or in any sense ill-intentioned in these responses. I spend a fair bit of time contemplating these things, and truly, if I am blinded by something, I hope I'm being honest with myself to say that I am teachable enough to alter my position. I have sat on the other side and been a precious metals money advocate. I am still ardently a precious metals advocate (gold especially) as a means of private wealth -- but divorced from its monetary role.

Dollar Bill.,.#11824803/08/04; 19:15:26

True fact: Just recently, Iowa Sen. Charles ''Chuck'' Grassley got the government to toss in $50 million for a project to build a tropical rainforest under a giant dome in Coralville, Iowa.
Well, I guess it is peanuts compared to the big dig in boston which came in at about 10+ billion. By the way, they "lost" a billion! Vanished!

SundeckSocrates964 Buffett#11824903/08/04; 19:17:37

Agree, Buffett appears to be taking a more open role in politics in the last few years, whereas in the past my impression was that he tended to focus on "growing Berkshire" and treating the political landscape as just another part of the environment in which "one has to conduct ones affairs".

Why the change? One could speculate quite a bit, but I don't necessarily find it strange or directly linked one way or another with the present administration...

Only my opinion...


adminMermaid - 50 coins left#11825003/08/04; 19:33:05

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The management

steadythats it!#11825103/08/04; 19:33:12

want sptzer to reply to you r silver enquires. send him an silver eagle , he cant accept it as he as ny attrny genral cnt accepts gifts , he retunnn mrphs so he will send it back thspanking you , reciept of letter proved, uh um your move! psssst mate soon! heheheheh
Cavan ManTown Crier#11825203/08/04; 19:43:11

Sorry. I am too immersed in coaching kids and oiling the wheels of commerce down here in the trenches with the barbed wire and mustard gas to provide a smoother runway for takeoff. I'll refrain from further comment on "freegold". The proof is in the pudding and I am ready (after six years) for dessert.
Chris PowellWhy didn't the Bank of England sign the new central bank gold sales agreement?#11825303/08/04; 20:48:11

John Brimelow speculated today in his part of Bill Murphy's "Midas" commentary at that the Bank of England didn't join the new central bank gold sales agreement because the bank is ALREADY committed, if the gold price rises, to selling a lot more gold than the new agreement would allow. That is, Brimelow wrote, the Bank of England may already have sold a lot of gold calls above the market. Does this mean that the central banks have got gold under control -- or that they are desperate to get it under control?
Goldiloxthspanking#11825403/08/04; 20:49:30

@ steady:

I don want no atturney genral th_spanking me!

(:^) -G

mikal@Chris Powell#11825503/08/04; 20:53:22

Nice work you're doing at Gata and Gata Groups. The following message I'd like to share with everyone:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject: [GATA] Fundamental and technical analysis by Jim Puplava and Eric King
10:30p ET Monday, March 8, 2004
Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:
Jim Puplava and Eric King provide wonderful fundamental
analysis and technical analysis of the precious metals
markets tonight at here:
Excellent commentary and charts. Hang on and don't
be bluffed out by the central banks and their
investment house agents.
CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.

Buena Feboe and wa2 spec#11825603/08/04; 21:00:14

boe didn't sign on because they weren't invited to ...


SundeckThe Unrecognizable Recovery - Jobless Gloom#11825703/08/04; 21:09:38

Bob Herbert at the NYT discusses the job prob...worth a read if you don't mind gloomy a word "grim" (now where have I heard that before ....mmmm?)


mikal@MK#11825803/08/04; 21:16:05

Thanks for the excellent overview and analysis.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject: [GATA] Why the new central bank agreement is bullish for gold
The New Gold Accord
By Michael Kosares
Centennial Precious Metals, Denver
Monday, March 8, 2004
I see the renewal of the European central banks' gold sales agreement as a positive for the gold market. Here's why.
When you look a the supply demand tables, the one thing that stands out clearly is that mine production is static in the 2,200-2,600-tonne range and has been for almost a decade. Given the statements of industry stalwarts, it doesn't appear that the production is going to improve any time soon.
Exploration budgets were cut to the bone during the quiet
years, and it takes upwards of seven years to bring a known deposit to production. Scrap is another constant in the
600-tonnes-per-year range.
Meanwhile gold usage is on a steady growth curve from
3,400 tonnes in 1994 to 4,000 tonnes per year now. That
gap between mine-plus-scrap production and usage must be
filled. But how?
In years past most of that gap has been made up through
mining company forward sales programs, central bank sales,
and net disinvestment. Now forward sales programs have
gone to the other side of the ledger with the advent of
For example, in 1997 hedgers were responsible for bringing
an extra 470 tonnes "supply" to the table. In 2002 they
bought back 420 tonnes and showed up on the "demand"
side of the ledger. That's a 890-tonne turnaround!
I disagree with the analysts who are saying that producer
buy-backs will slow down or even disappear. This doesn't
square with the hefty hedge books some of these mining
companies will be burdened with as the price rises.
If anything, I see even more de-hedging in the offing -- and
the tonnages, I believe, will come as a surprise.
Today's announcement is important from another perspective. Let's keep in mind that all this started many years with a plea from N.M. Rothschild for more "transparency" in the gold business. The representative of Rothschild might well have used the word "predicablility" because that's what they were after. We now know that 500 tonnes will be coming on the market annually over the next five years and from the lease pool emanating from these central banks and NO MORE.
Central bank gold sales will remain the same as they were
five years ago for the next five years.
With investment demand -- the big X factor heating up globally in the face of a dollar problem -- appearing increasing intractable, this cap on the supply side of the chart will figure mightily in the thinking of both long-term hedgers as well as
speculators in the hedge funds and big bank trading
departments. One London trader was quoted a few days ago
as saying that he wasn't concerned about the rise in sales
from 400 tonnes per year to 500 because the market needed
the supply.
I concur. In fact, I believe the market could have withstood 700-800 tonnes per year without a blink in the current environment, and there is a possibility that the market will come up woefully short under these circumstances -- a prospect likely to be reflected in the price.
Watch out for a delayed positive reaction or a protracted
upturn in the gold price as a direct result from today's
The losing position will continue to be on the short side of this
market and I think the players know it. The next phase of this
secular bull market will display a strong and incessant
undercurrent of physical demand with some nations seeking
to bolster their official-sector holdings and some of the smaller
central banks pressuring the bullion banks to have their gold
deposits returned.

TruthcasterSeven Dollar Silver!!#11825903/08/04; 21:19:37

Well it's been a long wait and yet here we are March 8th
2004 and we have 7.00 dollar silver across the board. Rejoice!
It's be a ride now on to 10 bucks!!

Gandalf the WhiteThe US$ chart looks like it has returned to the REAL WORLD !#11826003/08/04; 21:32:03

The GOLDEN Rocket's breach of the $404. level is getting VERY CLOSE and then --- IT's TO THE MOON, Alice !!!
Thanks for the warning Sir Sundeck --
---Oxide of Strombolium--- WOWSERS !

mikal@Gandalf#11826103/08/04; 21:45:17

Speaking of words ending in -ium, rhodium must be getting some spotted dog's attention again tonight.
Do you think there's a dog out there capable of digging up the REAL PPI numbers? Better yet, one willing to bury the bloated bureau of laboriously stilted statistics?
Wouldn't we have it made if we could all work for the government? What did I just say? ;)

U.S. Department of Labor
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Delay of Release of PPI for January 2004 and February 2004
As announced on February 17, the release of the Producer Price Index (PPI) for January 2004 has been delayed from the originally scheduled date of February 19, 2004. The length of that delay now means that the release of February data originally scheduled for Friday, March 12, must also be postponed.
The delays have been caused by unexpected difficulties in the conversion of PPI data from the Standard Industrial Classification system to the North American Industry Classification System. These difficulties have taken far longer to resolve than we originally expected.
We will continue to work diligently to resolve the remaining issues holding up the calculation of the PPI. When revised release dates for the January and for the February 2004 Producer Price Indexes have been determined, we plan to announce them at least one day ahead of time on this web page and through news advisories.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics expresses its sincere apologies to those who have experienced any problems as a result of this delay.

SundeckSDG Haiku#11826203/08/04; 22:00:42

Silver at seven.
Debt-laden dollar descends...
Gold dreams "To da Moon".


GoldendomePresure building#11826303/08/04; 22:01:12

Gold also putting on a nice little steady application of upward presure into the night at 402. Some have noted silver now at 7.01; the silver/gold ratio is now down to 57.4; last May it was over 80!

Some have noted here and else where that Silver may now be the weak point in the precious metals short games and being attacked accordingly. All we know for sure is that Silver has quickly become a lot more precious in the past few months. Big players are said by Murphey, Puplava, and King to be heading for the long side as they can sense a good short squeeze when they see one developing.

Great Albino BatMr. Jacob Marley: thanks for your balanced comments!#11826403/08/04; 22:22:53

I thank you for your courteous reply! In some things we agree, in others we don't. At least, we can have a civilized discourse on the subject, avoiding as much as possible the involvement of emotions - which do tend to invade monetary discussions.

You are right, the use of gold did not prevent gross monetary expansion. I don't have a textbook handy, but I think I am probably correct in saying that this expansion of credit (and of and money substitutes (bills)) began well before WWI.

But that does not prove a case against the monetary use of gold (which was never perfectly applied) but only shows that Modern Civilization wants to be lied to, wants to be deceived by Governments, and Governments - since "Democracy" became the fashion (or let us say, the ostensible purpose of Governments became to "improve" the lot of the people under their rule)- are more than happy to apply "Managing Money" i.e. debauching the currency, beginning by little and going on with ever greater increments, to obtain votes and stay in power as long as possible.

Gold stood in the way of lying as a means of retaining power, and so gold was banished - insulted as a "barbarous relic" in fact. That is certainly not a defect of gold as a monetary metal!

The problem is not really Governments, but the whole attitude of our times, where humanity is under the delusion that Governments can "improve" their lot by all sorts of plans, schemes and programs. To fund these projects which people expect, or should I say, DEMAND, well - credit MUST be expanded, the value of money (what we call money, at any rate) must go down and down until it reaches zero value.

Under these circumstances, the monetary use of gold is totally impossible. All that we can do - we who see where things must end up, inevitably - is set aside some gold as a refuge against the certainty that all this distortion of the markets, all the world malinvestment, is getting worse and worse the longer it goes on, and all will end badly, to put it mildly.

When will the world economy crash? We don't know exactly, of course, but I think we at this Forum sense that things have gotten out of hand, terribly, and the "denouement" cannot be too far off.

I say, "money is money", and by that I try to convey the idea that it must not be toyed with or made to carry out functions which are not proper to it. In a word, it must NOT be managed. You can't "manage" gold, and that is why it is banned from the monetary system of the world. You either have gold, or you don't; it cannot be "managed" that is to say, it can't be printed up.

Of course, governments are diddling with schemes to keep the gold market off balance as much as possible, because finally, gold will have its way and show up the all the fraudulent schemes of our Governments, drawn up to deceive the willing voters. Government dread this nemesis.

I cannot imagine a world where people will be willing to once again, work and wait a generation to have the money to build a house, or pay for a car, or slave so that their chldren can be clothed and go to school. Unfortunately, Mr. Marley, that is the way a STABLE WORLD would function. It would be a world of monetary stability, where money (gold) is respected and not, one might say, "prostituted" to serve aims that cannot be borne by money, because - it is what it is, and cannot be forced into other functions by means of "management". Obviously, the world's masses will not stand for such a return to realism, at all, at all!

On the other hand, such a world of monetary stability would be a world where prices are continually declining, as additional production, enabled by savings (capitalization) would be available for purchase by a monetary medium which grows only very, very slowly, as gold does - 2% per annum?

Who can, today, visualize declining prices as associated with growing prosperity? Perhaps one person in 100,000!
Today, declining prices are anathema! Our world is truly upside down! Declining prices - why that's almost as bad as the end of the world itself!

Enough for this evening! Thanks for reading!


Black BladeMarket Wrap Up - Puplava and King#11826503/08/04; 22:23:17

Open The Checkbook and Buy the Ounces


The bull market in gold and silver has barely begun. It is still in its infancy as gold and silver move into their rightful role as real money. Unlike the last bull market of the 1970s where gold and silver were plentiful, this bull market is being driven by scarcity and the debasement of currencies around the globe.

Gold and silver have been running supply deficits for well over a decade. According to the work done by GATA the gold vaults at central banks are now half empty. Over the last decade, through gold sales, gold loans and gold swaps, gold has flowed steadily out of the vaults of central banks reducing large stockpiles of gold.

In the case of silver, supply is now at critical levels. Just as central banks have dishoarded over half of their gold inventory, aboveground stockpiles of silver have been eroded to critical levels as a result of 14 years of supply deficits. Those 14 years of supply deficits are now starting to impact the markets as the price of silver goes parabolic.

Black Blade: A good rundown on te PM markets. Both authors cover the FA and TA side and present a case for PMs. Two major developments occurred this last couple of weeks but were not even noticed or given coverage by the financial media. 1) the new WA accord renewel; 2) 10 out of the top 12 employment gains are in low wage service sectors (the top two higher education employment sectors are in medical assistance and education); and 3) acknowledgement that Saudi oil reserves have "peaked". We are entering new and uncharted waters and the financial media didn't even bat an eye. As always, get outta debt and stay outta debt, stash enough emergency cash for several months expenses, accumulate Gold and Silver for portfolio insurance, and start a storage program of nonperishable food and basic necessities.

Black BladeLong-Term Joblessness at 20-Year High #11826603/08/04; 22:31:50


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The average spell of joblessness was more than five months in February, the highest in two decades, raising the prospect it may be a factor in driving workers from the U.S. labor force. The February jobs report from the Labor Department was a disappointment for markets, which had expected much greater payroll growth than the 21,000 jobs created. The unemployment rate, however, held steady, at 5.6 percent. The details of the report, however, again showed that once a worker loses his job, it takes some time to get a new one. In February, the average length of joblessness rose to 20.3 weeks, the longest since January 1984, when it was 20.4 weeks. According to Labor Department data going back to 1948, the longest spell was 20.8 weeks in 1983.

The number of workers out of a job for 27 or more weeks fell slightly but was still high, at 1.871 million in February. Lawrence Mishel, president of the liberal-leaning Economic Policy Institute, said the length of unemployment showed the labor market is still tough. The last time it was so high, he said, joblessness was close to 8 percent. Mishel said the difficulty in finding jobs has likely led some long-time job seekers to simply "bail out," and become discouraged. Individuals who don't seek work because they are discouraged about the prospects of finding a job are not counted as part of work force. "I think there is a connection," he said.

Black Blade: No kidding! Of course we have discussed this before and only now some are beginning to take notice. It's not going to get any better either.

Black BladeWhy a growing economy refuses to create new jobs#11826703/08/04; 22:39:36

Large inventories, high productivity, and 'outsourcing' mean businesses have added only 118,000 new positions since January. Over the past two months, the economy has added only 118,000 new positions - hardly enough to provide the growth that will keep the country on a roll in 2004. This is not what economists - from the White House to Wall Street - expected. Is it the weather? Employees working smarter and more productively? Or perhaps it has more to with some fundamental change, such as jobs drifting overseas. The culprit isn't clear.

Unless the missing jobs turn up soon, there are serious ramifications - from the presidential race to the economic prospects for later in the year. The consumer, still buoyant, could become more timid. And, business, which has put off hiring new workers to date, could continue to keep a tight lid on spending. "We've had six months in a row of piddling increases, there's not any joy," says Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., in Pittsburgh.

Black Blade: The "Bone Pile" remains very high and the US economy is stagnant - stuck in the doldrums. Part of this is the higher costs of energy and another is the decline of the US dollar in a never ending "global competitive currency devaluation". It's cheaper to "outsource" jobs offshore or simpler yet - move industries offshore. No time like the present to preserve wealth with hard assets like PMs while prices are low.

Black BladeWarren Buffett keeps out of the depreciating dollar #11826803/08/04; 22:50:46,3604,1164319,00.html


Warren Buffett, the second wealthiest man in the world, continued to bet against the dollar last year, increasing his company's ownership of foreign currencies to $12bn.
The figure was disclosed in the eagerly anticipated annual letter from the "Oracle of Omaha" to shareholders in his Berkshire Hathaway company, in which he routinely delivers nuggets of his own peculiar brand of homespun wisdom.

"As an American, I hope there is a benign ending to this problem," he said, though he warned that the situation was unlikely to improve. "Whether foreign investors like it or not, they will continue to be flooded with dollars. The consequences of this are anybody's guess. They could, however, be troublesome - and reach, in fact, well beyond currency markets."

Mr Buffett has taken to buying businesses outright as it became more difficult to find undervalued stocks. Equity holdings are now down to 50% of Berkshire Hathaway's net worth. Last year, the company again stayed away from the equities market. Mr Buffett said Berkshire had bought some shares in the bank Wells Fargo but otherwise had not changed its position in its top six holdings. "Brokers don't love us," he said. "We own pieces of excellent businesses but their current prices reflect their value."

Black Blade: I am not a fan of Buffett's or Soros's politics, but they are right about the US dollar. I don't know about Buffett's currency (or possible PM) holdings, but Soros and other high net worth individuals have "taken a shine" to PMs lately. The dollar is toast and with soaring budget and current account deficits it won't change anytime soon regardless of who is in the White House, controls Congress, or who runs the Fed. We are well beyond that now (have been for several years actually). Sort of "caught between a rock and a hard place". Yep - in a word - "grim".

Black BladeHouseholds rack up debt at fastest pace since 1987#11826903/08/04; 22:59:20

Americans, it seems, are feeling optimistic, or maybe fatalistic, about their financial future. The Federal Reserve's latest reading of the nation's debt, including both household and government borrowing, grew last year at a pace not seen since the late 1980s. According to the quarterly federal funds report, the total national debt, excluding the obligations of banks and other financial institutions, grew by 8.1 percent last year, its fastest pace since 1988.

Households threw caution to the wind, mortgaging and remortgaging their homes and expanding their debt by 10.4 percent, the biggest percentage gain since 1987. Federal government borrowing expanded by 10.9 percent, the fastest rate since 1992. Only businesses pulled back. Still hobbled by credit overhangs from the late 1990s, corporate borrowing inched ahead by 3 percent.

Black Blade: Living on plastic and putting the family abode in hock to the banks. It has an eery similarity to the 1930's depression. Should get "interesting" to say the least. One reason I keep saying to "get outta debt and stay outta debt". The US savings rate is at all time lows. All I can say is that it's going to get rather ugly.

Black BladeEuropean Central Banks Strike Gold Deal #11827003/08/04; 23:14:05

BASEL, Switzerland (Reuters) - Europe's central banks said Monday they had reached a new deal that raises the limits on their annual gold sales in a further blow to bullion's role as a global monetary tool. They capped sales at 500 metric tons a year for the next five years -- a total that was broadly in line with expectations and slightly higher than the expiring pact's 400-tonlimit. The overall limit for the five-year accord is 2,500 tons, up from 2,000 under the 1999 agreement.

"It's not a surprise at all. The market had expected (between) 2,400 and 2,500 tons," Wolfgang Wrzensniok, sales director at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, said. Stephen Briggs, analyst with Societe General, said: "My guess is that there will not be a huge impact on the price."

The UK said it would not take part in the new program because Britain did not intend to sell any gold during the period covered by the deal. The Swiss National Bank said it had no plans to sell beyond 130 tons already planned. "Gold will remain an important element of global monetary reserves," the joint statement by 14 central banks and the European Central Bank said.

Central banks have been shedding gold, once a mainstay of their reserve assets, in favor of hard currencies as gold's status as a store of value has declined.

Black Blade: Quite a comical spin by the "media" on the new WA agreement extension. I have to agree with MK here, that a couple hundred tons more per year would easily be absorbed. Of course this CB gold rarely makes it to market and is shuffled from one CB buying by another. Besides, much of the CB gold is simply gone and only kept on the books even though "loaned" out. The only way to rectify this for these CBs is to accept cash in return and marking it up as a "sale". In short - one way to clear the books of this non-existent gold. Still, the take from the article has a decidedly anti-gold bias and the "spin" is to make it appear that this currency is no longer viable. Nevertheless the gains in gold and other PMs have put global currencies to shame in recent years. On a side note - The UK's Gordie Brown will go down in history as one of the worst market timers of all time thanks to his selling the Brit peoples gold at the lowest price possible during the BOE auctions.

DruidJacob Marley (03/08/04; 19:08:03MT - msg#: 118246)#11827103/08/04; 23:52:56

"... Would you consider that to the degree you and I choose to use the currency issue of a central bank, implicitly demonstrates the degree to which we take their word. It does not matter that law, or simply the result of where we were born imposes the currency upon us. We opt to use it, because it works. If it did not work or work well, we would not use it (except minimally, like day-to-day sundries or to pay taxes -- and if bad enough even the day-to-day usages would vanish)."
Druid: Ohhh! Sir Jacob Marley, I somehow feel that I'm walking down a trail that I haven't traveled in sometime. Let me strap on the old hiking boots and try to catch up. You have constructed and interesting kennard in that you and I don't have a "choice" in using our modern day money. In the past I opted to use it out of shear ignorance of what it truly represented and lack of choice. And within that representation I was sold a "bill" of wonderful goods based on an implicit trust, some would refer to it as a "social contract." Fast forward too today and I can assure you that a lot of knowledge has been substituted for "belief" dear sir. I try to burn through these "magical constructs" as fast as I can by paying off debt (the intended use) and converting them to real money/wealth.

"Why does a currency not work, or work less well than others? Its users harbor enough doubt about the issue's ability to fulfill monetary functions that they choose some other means to carry them out. Briefly, these functions can be defined at the highest level as serving a standard of value and means of payment. I.e., when presenting to another to buy or pay down debt, or to deploy it for a season elsewhere by lending or investing, or simply to not use it, we place into it a notion of worth. That worth is a sense of value that we individually calculate (mostly unconsciously). We do this largely on the basis of our impression of how others in the currency-using sphere evaluate the currency."

Druid: From a central planning perspective the reason one currency might work better then another has more to do with the lack of integrity and discipline from that particular commissar relative to one another. Thus the faster burn rates in "third world countries" as opposed to our "first world country."

The monetary functions you speak of can work quite well outside the monopolist role of our current monetary framework.

Ahhh, therein lies the problem, my problem for quite sometime. The notion that we assign a value to paper dollars is correct indeed but it's a wrong notion born of ignorance. We can price/quantify/value dollars but over time the "value" component erodes and thus shatters the collective ignorance of what value really is and is not.

For centuries Ptolemy was right or was he??? OT: A few weeks ago I missed a day from work and on my return a colleague came up to me and asked what was wrong and jokingly I told him I called in ignorant and stupid and right away he quipped, "oh my, I better stay away because that might be very contagious" and I looked at him, smiled and said "you're exactly right, it's extremely contagious so be careful and get your shots." I then pointed out some salient points in history where ignorance ruled the day for centuries. He then fully understood my response. Have we really progressed that far???? Especially concerning these matters of "money?"

"Having a collective sense of value and its ability to sustain a practical equilibrium, it can then serve as a means to pay. When presented the debt is settled in full. The fact that when we hand over cash, we no longer harbor the slightest guilt of debt, or fear further demands from the payee, demonstrates our confidence that THAT transaction served its monetary purpose. And the fact that we each day both can pay with and do receive as payment -- quite unconsciously -- the un-backed, irredeemable note of some central bank, proves our confidence in their word (and by extension their means) to satisfactorily sustain the economic environment for an acceptable future timeframe."

Druid: I would argue that when your "word" is based on a combination of ignorance and confidence in these matters of "money", you are toying with a very delicate and fragile relationship.


"A sign that a currency is losing its monetary capacity is to observe an overall societal portfolio restructuring, if you will, where cash holdings and securities denominated in the currency begin to shift to other currencies, securities denominated therewith, and/or commodities. This is done because of a confidence problem being perceived in the currency's ability to retain that sense of value – within a societally acceptable band.

In my opinion, it is healthy to hold a portion of our wealth in unencumbered property. And certain types of property bear certain advantages over others. And at certain times (when intolerable volatility is looming, for instance), it is wiser to hold more of one's holdings in unencumbered property, as it is less subject to unfavorable behavior beyond our control. And, if the property type selection is chosen wisely, one may even reap bountifully in these episodes. Banks do not like instability as their entire foundation and ultimately existence rests upon a society's confidence in the future. In an economic sense this is expressed in its faith in the monetary unit. There is no other rationale for exchanging the fruit of our labors, or encumbering our property as collateral, for a note that is not guaranteed by anything except the belief that others will also accept it for payment down the line at some acceptable exchange rate."

Druid: I can't argue with you here good Sir. Thank you for your fine thoughts.

Black BladeTo PPI, or Not to PPI #11827203/09/04; 00:23:11

From The -Aaron Task


It kinda got lost in Friday's shuffle over the Martha verdict and the employment report, but the BLS announced that the ongoing delay of January PPI data "now means that the release of February data originally scheduled for Friday, March 12, must also be postponed."

The BLS attributed the latest delay to "unexpected difficulties in the conversion of PPI data from the Standard Industrial Classification system to the North American Industry Classification System."

But given what commodity prices are doing and how accommodative the Fed is being, conspiracy theorists see ulterior motives, and you gotta wonder where the 10-yr might be if that data was out in a "timely" fashion.

Black Blade: Sorry I didn't get the link but now it appears that two months of PPI data won't be forthcoming anytime soon. "Interesting" indeed.

Nite all.

slingshotMidas Crusade#11827303/09/04; 01:25:06

It was into the night until all was finished and under torchlight, the Flag of Truce was withdrawn. The Scots returned to the place where they laid down their instruments. As they gathered it came apparent some were missing and watched as the torches returned to the line.The Scots were a tightly knit group. In song and battle,bonds were made and so waited till the last torch found its way home.
Together they picked up the instruments from the ground and played one tune.
As before the music covered the landscape. Strong yet respectful and on both sides, became still as the melody was played.
Even as they made plans, Sir M.K. and those who were at council stopped till the tune was played out. Swords and Pikes could be seen raised above the shallow walls of Hammerton, and lowered when it was finished.

Cougar, had been inside Hammerton before to trade his goods and he knew that even if the Goldbugs were able to take both gates at once, the fighting would be hard to gain a slight foothold within the town. Hammerton, although fairly large , had small streets and would slow any advance into the town. But first,at least one gate must be taken and secured.
Sir Black Blade,Sir Ari and Sir Belgian stood together and listened to Cougar as he set forth his plan to Sir M.K.

My Good Knights and fellow Brothers in Arms, what I propose is dangerous and risky, relying on the element of surprise and brute strenght, to force ourselves into Hammerton.
The West Gate has been weakened and the Dark Forces have a barricade halfway on the span of the bridge. They assume the time to overtake the barricade will allow them to enforce their position. If we can take the area between the gate and the barricade we may be able to open the gate and enter the town. They expect us to come up the bridge. I have another way.
Cougar could see all were interested, but skeptical.
Cougar continued.
If we fill the barges with men and the tools to scale the bridge and walls behind the barricade, we may succeed. We set out just before dawn. Before then, we must make them think that we have move to the East Bank by lighting large fires at night and move men about making lots of noise.
We slowly move the main force back to the west and conceal them. The men on the barges protected by wooden walls covered with freshly cut branches to act like the ones we threw into the river.Cutting the barges loose and floating down the river we can assualt the bridge and gate together.
Sir Ari stepped forward and spoke. And what of those at the East Gate within the Earthworks? What shall they do if attacked?
Cougar saw his concern, but answered truthfully.
They must run! Westward as fast as they can.
If we cut the lines of the ferry we will lose our crossing when the rest of us arrive for battle, said Sir Belgian.
That is true, said Cougar. We still have the crossing up river that they do not know about and that may be to our advantage later. But for now we must concentrate on one gate.
Sir Black Blade, then spoke. Sir M.K. this is a good plan but I am concern should the gate prove to be unpassable.
Leave that to me! as the Germanic Warrior came forth into the circle.
I shall not fail you, said Bandit.
Bonfir,Jachin and Boaz come to his side.
And neither shall we! they all said in unison.

Well, what a bunch, said Sir M.K. keeping a stern look on his face.
What say you, Sir Black Blade? asked Sir M.K.

Then an alarm was heard. Riders to the east!

Those within the eastern earthworks could see many torches moving up and down and knew a large force was about to beset them.
They did what was prudent and abandoned the East Gates Earthworks.

What now, Cougar? asked Sir M.K.

Let them enter' all the better, said Cougar.
We will not have to worry about their safety. Only to stress our position on the East bank more than ever.

The Dark Forces entered Hammerton unopposed and again reoccupied the earthworks.

Give me two days, Noble Knight, to finalise this plan, and if then, it is not to your liking, or others of this council, we will try somehing else.

So be it, said Sir M.K.

Upon this answer,Cougar left the council to aggregate his plan.
Inside Hammertons, Great Hall.
Good news, Gandalf, said Therroth.

More of my men have reached Hammerton and they are now just entering the East Gate. We will be stronger than ever.

Gandalf took a deep breath.

Ahh, not so sure of yourself I see, said Therroth.

All in good time, said Gandalf in a tone that took Therroth by surprise.


slingshotOh, No!#11827403/09/04; 02:18:03

Did Sir Black Blade go HyperCyber Tonight?

Dollar Bill.,.#11827503/09/04; 02:19:51

*Link is report on China Silver standard in the 30's.
*Financial engineering is much more profitable than engineering real products.
*BEIJING (Reuters) - China's fixed currency policy will stay around for "a long time to come" and Chinese firms that bet on a yuan appreciation will end up paying a heavy price, the country's foreign exchange chief said

Dollar Bill.,.#11827603/09/04; 02:31:42

Starting this year, pennies and nickels may be worth more for their metal content than for their purchasing power...So it might be time to start burying pennies and nickels in your back yard."
The prices of base metals, like copper and zinc, which are the stuff that the government uses to make coins, are soaring. "The main ingredient in pennies is not copper, but zinc. Actually, zinc makes up 97.5% of a penny. Zinc is up nearly 40% since the end of the 2003 fiscal year. So if the cost of producing a penny rises by 40%, it'll cost the government 1.38 cents to make a penny. In 2003, it cost the U.S. Mint 0.98 cents to make a penny. In 2002, it cost 0.88 cents to make a penny. And in 2001, it cost 0.80 cents. But now, in 2004, it is almost assured that the government will lose money minting pennies. It'll cost the government over six cents to produce a nickel."

slingshotDollar Bill#11827703/09/04; 02:41:42

Goes to show you that Pennies and Nickels will be worth more than a paper Dollar Bill

No offense intended.


slingshotRounding up the numbers#11827803/09/04; 02:53:12

When the penny goes they will round up to the nickel
When the nickel goes they will round up to the nearest dime.
When the dimes value is too high to coin they will round up to the nearest quarter.
Forget the Half Dollar, Long Gone!
Round the price up to the nearest Dollar.

Yepper, The nearest Dollar. That is what they will do!

GoldiloxCash - Derivatives#11827903/09/04; 03:06:28

@ Druid, Jacob Marley:

The falling dollar is making cash appear more and more like a derivative. The longer one holds it, the less valuable it becomes. I wonder at what point we begin to use the Black-Sholes algorithms to calculate the value of cash on a "time to expiry" basis?

slingshotDollar Bill#11828003/09/04; 03:08:45


When 100 copper or zinc pennies become more valuable than a paper dollar and 20 nickels does the same. What other metal would surfice. Aluminium or brass composition like the Lira or Pesata?
Will those awake to the decomposition of our countrys basic form of currency?
I wonder.

GoldiloxHalf-Dollars#11828103/09/04; 03:18:09

@ Slingshot

All the JFK half-dollars are in the casinos, so they can pay 1.5:1 on a $5 Blackjack bet. That seems to be the last "legal tender" coin remaining in the casinos, as the one-armed bandits now pay out in paper receipts.

Maybe it's in "honor" of the Bay of Pigs failure, as it brought the "family" casinos home from Cuba to the US mainland!

Or maybe it's to remind us the coup is alive and well!


pmurgsRSA,,1518-25_1495098,00.html#11828203/09/04; 03:28:16

A massive 42% of Americans are making just minimum payments or no payments on their credit card balances, according to the Cambridge Consumer Credit Index.

Of those respondents surveyed with revolving balances on their credit cards, 39% made only the minimum payment due and 3% made no payments at all last month. Another 39% paid less than half the balance owed but more than the minimum, while 19% paid more than half their balances.

The Cambridge survey also asked Americans who are taking on more debt why they are doing so. Almost half (49%) of the respondents (up from 44% in 2003) said they are adding debt because they don't have the funds to pay for the purchases in full when the credit card bills arrive, while 51% of Americans (down from 56% in 2003) are taking on debt because they are confident of their ability to pay the balance off in full.

Overall, 39% of Americans paid off their credit card balances in full last month (down from 43% in 2003), 32% extended their payments (up from 31% last year), while 29% did not use credit cards at all in the last month (up from 26% a year ago).

pmurgsRSA: Here in South Africa, I am finally seeing noticing articles appearing regarding the sustainability of the 'recovery' in America and it's potential impact on the rest of the world.

The South African Reserve Bank is buying $1 billion a month to try prevent our currency from appreciating too much.

I'd like to say thanks again to all the posters here. I read everything every day although I rarely find the time to post. Thanks to Centennial Precious Metals for providing this forum. It is much appreciated.

Btw, Silver coins are almost impossible to come by here in Cape Town.

Another good read:

slingshotpmurgsRSA#11828303/09/04; 03:38:47

Welcome! Please post often. Your veiws will be greatly appreciated.

GoldiloxNo Move on Snow's words#11828403/09/04; 03:49:50



Still, traders said the dollar appeared to be losing momentum as the recent weak U.S. payroll data suggested that the U.S. Federal Reserve would likely keep the benchmark interest rate at the current low level of 1 percent for some time.

That is likely to discourage foreign investors' buying of U.S. bonds at a time when the U.S. desperately needs foreign capital to finance its huge current account deficit.

The dollar, meanwhile, hardly reacted to comments from U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow, who said on Monday that the economy remains "unusually sound."

Snow, who is slated to speak again at 9:30 a.m. EST, also reiterated that the Bush administration advocated a strong dollar and said currency intervention should be kept to a minimum.


If Martha gets prison for "lying to the FBI", what should Snow get for weaving this incredible tale for the whole country? Did he say "unusually sound" or "unusual sounds"?

As Frank Zappa used to say, "Jazz is not dead, it just smells funny."

"Beware the Ides of March. . . . Brutus may seem ambitious, but, of course, Brutus is an "honorable man." - WS

GoldiloxPrecedent set for secular bear to resume#11828503/09/04; 04:22:42


"By way of wrapping this up, it's appropriate to review the items common to the post-bubble condition:

· The most extraordinary plunges in short rates such as we've had have only occurred following a bubble. Treasury bill rates have declined from over 6% in 2000 to less than 1% now.

· After declining with the bubble, gold shares begin a secular bull market. More specifically, once the top of the stock market was in in the first part of 2000, it was automatic that the low for golds would be in that November. The low for the HUI was 35 in November, 2000 and it's now around 215.

· Real long interest rates decline with a bubble and then start a significant, and at times excruciating, increase. This rationing or denial of credit seems to be Mother Nature's way of correcting the fantastic abuse of the credit and currency markets otherwise known as a "New Financial Era".

· The preceding points have been expected to be beyond the abilities of central banks to control and this has essentially been the case. However, there are a couple of things that policymakers can do directly and one is to attack scapegoats during the chagrin following a bubble. New York's Attorney General, Eliot Spitzer, is fulfilling that role now and we called the phenomenon "recriminatory legislation". The other voluntary but equally stupid policy is protectionism.

· Money supply is contracting in a manner unseen since the 1930s. Productivity increases have been outstanding and, like the above, unseen since the 1930s.

The "big picture" has evolved to the pending resumption of the post-bubble contraction and the "close-up" concludes that selling the stock market now is technically equivalent to buying gold the week after the low at 103 in 1976.

As we noted at the top in 2000, "The karma of the marketplace is about to overwhelm the dogma of policymaking."


Beginning with an allegory about stock in "Piss-Poor-Mines Co.", a property with so many drill holes it whistles, this article just got better and better. I guess the author was just too sophisicated to conclude with "My Kharma just ran over your Dogma!"

GoldiloxPruBear Market Summary - Peebles#11828603/09/04; 04:36:58


"Squinting at last week's unemployment report reveals that the average length of joblessness rose to 20.3 weeks in February, the worst since January 1984. The world record (based on data back to 1948, according to Reuters) was 20.8 weeks in 1983.

The Valley Watchers at View From Silicon Valley figure that the jobs leaving California today would have left earlier if not for the Bubble over riding several negative trends. And now a recent survey of employers in the state concludes that 25 percent say they plan to move jobs out of California. The study was conducted by Bain & Co. consultants for the California Business Roundtable. The study cites some of the reasons California has become an unattractive place for business, including the cost of energy, the cost of property, burdensome state regulations and high salaries.

A recent LA Times article speaks to the home price problem. The problem is – homes can't rise faster than incomes forever. But in the meantime, the middle class is struggling mightily to buy homes. Tricked up financing plans, like adjustable rate or interest only mortgages are letting buyers in the back door. But the dearth of first-time buyers illustrates the pricing problem. Those folks accounted for only 30.6% of home purchasers in California last year, the lowest rate since at least 1981."


Rob sums it all up pretty well for the left coast! An aquaintance recently told me he wanted to either take out a HELOC or cash in his 401K to purchase employee options in his new private sector gig - Otay!

ENRON mentality lives. Buy Au with both hands!

steadyafter#1182873/9/04; 05:44:49

after rounding to the dollar, they will continue with creativew math and move the decimal point and bingo we got change again .
MKNews & Views#1182883/9/04; 06:08:19

Breaking News!

Central Banks Will Struggle to Fulfill Gold Accord Quota

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This is the website where serious gold investors congregate and keep in touch with the market. Please bookmark this page.

USAGOLD Daily Market ReportPage Update!#1182893/9/04; 06:08:38">
The Daily Gold Market Report has been updated.

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MKChris Powell#1182903/9/04; 06:26:53

A thought on BOE:

Are we back to "the Abyss"?

Chris PowellBack to 'the abyss'?#1182913/9/04; 06:36:35

That's a good bet. Let's push!
Dollar Bill.,.#1182923/9/04; 07:24:11

Slingshot, I am overdue to let you know, but I am a fan of your stories. You stretch me right out of my thinking. Do you have a web site where you combine the story? A link to Tales of the Table?
MKBank of England posts#1182953/9/04; 08:55:24

I'm going to remove the two previous posts until I have time to do more research. Upon thinking about it, there is a possibility yesterday's statement out of BOE was incomplete, or not entirely reported.

Let's wait until we get the full picture.

GoldiloxPPI#1182963/9/04; 08:55:25

The CNBC Econ reported just said, tongue in cheek, that "the PPI is being delayed to keep us all dumb and stupid". He then "clarified" that the "new system" takes into account the new businesses that are more prominent in today's economy and the computer model just "blew up" trying to calculate January's data. Liz asked, "If they haven't even completed January's data, when will February data be ready?" She was told, "we'll get back to you."

Truth is stranger than fiction!

Chris PowellLooking into the abyss: the source#1182973/9/04; 08:57:06

The comment about "the abyss" in regard to gold comes from Paragraph 55 of GATA consultant Reg Howe's lawsuit against the Bank for International Settlements, the U.S. Federal
Reserve and Treasury Department, and the bullion banks, here:

Paragraph 55 says:

* * *

The fifth wave of preemptive selling in excess of two
standard deviations occurred in response to this rally as
the Fed, the Bank of England, and the BIS struggled to
halt and reverse it. According to reliable reports received
by the plaintiff, this effort was later described by Edward
A. J. George, governor of the Bank of England and a
director of the BIS, to Nicholas J. Morrell, chief executive of Lonmin Plc:

We looked into the abyss if the gold price rose
further. A further rise would have taken down one
or several trading houses, which might have taken
down all the rest in their wake. Therefore at any
price, at any cost, the central banks had to quell the
gold price, manage it. It was very difficult to get
the gold price under control but we have now
succeeded. The U.S. Fed was very active in getting
the gold price down. So was the U.K.

* * *

Of course as a legal matter this was hearsay. But if Howe
ever had been given the power to compel relevant testimony, it probably could have been proven.

M.K. is absolutely right. The gold community should be pressing the Bank of England for clarification of its
position. Any answers or lack of answers would be
illuminating. Maybe GATA can agitate in this direction.

If only there was a world gold council....

Buena Fethe b-world at war (read banking)#1182983/9/04; 09:36:03

good friends of gold and all things precious, i've been away a long while, digging for b-relics ....

are my speculations still within the broad scope of value?

-the ecb lusts (increasingly) after the "exorbatant privilege" that a "wrc" facilitates (read world reserve currency)

-they continue to patiently maneuver themselves into position to reap the fallout of the $'s inevitable, fatal cardiac arrest (poor martha), without incurring the neo-con wrath that so-damn was subjected to, partly because of his bad-$ attitude (accepting euro's for oil ... oh what blasphemy)

-the boe/fed blood-lines run deep (centuries) and are for the most part considered homogenous (throw the boj in this pot also)

-i don't think the new aspiring queen (read ecb) thought it necessary to even invite the boe to sign their treaty with the "other wealth block of au-precious minded folk" (read islamic-energy (oil+rel-zealot))

-to conclude, i spec that we are on the cusp of .... an epidemic of aug-flu ... coo coo coo! i'm off to the zoo ... where there's a new exibit being constructed to house the, soon to be almost extinct, "plfa-bird" (paper-loving-financial-analyst), (it resembles and ostrich in hiding, pictured from the rear).


(aug-flu - scientists have recently unearthed centuries old human remains and through dna-genetic testing have discovered that this "elite-killer" bug generates some kind of socialogical, maybe even spiritual magnetic connection between gold/silver/commerce and human behavior, which, upon widespread outbreak, can be devastating to long established instituions of banking and power!)

GoldiloxGo Spike#1182993/9/04; 09:39:46

Go Go gadget gold chart. $404.8

Get 'em Spike!

Socrates9643-box reversal to the upside#1183003/9/04; 09:41:47

Gold has lit the fuse by trading North of 404.00! As previously mentioned gold has enough kinetic energy to get to 451.99. Nevertheless has some work to do down here. P&F shows easy move to 408, hard work in the 408-16 range and a trade of 416 or better indicating solid new uptrend.
Buena Fehmmmmmmm#1183013/9/04; 09:44:02

to clarify; "wrc's" should not be mistaken for "wmd's" ...

wait a minute "!" ...

wrc=wmd, IF wrc<au+ag ... oh my .......

all you mathematicians in the room please help

Paper AvalancheGold up in Euros....#1183023/9/04; 09:49:58

Yesterday gold closed at 323.8 Euros.

Today it is up to 326 Euros.

IMHO, the two final parts of this "manipulation drama" will be:

1. Once gold has successfully breeched $430

2. Once gold begins to rise in Euro terms.

It appears that #2 is coming to pass. I believe that only a brief period of time separates us from #1. Then it is game, set, match for the manipulators.

I may be wrong. I often am.


BTW, I spent a while yesterday searching for a POG chart in Euros and couldn't find one. Does anyone have a link that would show this historical graph? TIA

GoldiloxAu/Eu chart#1183033/9/04; 09:54:53

@ PA:

The best chart was posted a couple months back. I'm not using my own computer, so I don't have the link, but it was a teaching tool from a western business school listing about 100 currencies including gold and silver for X/Y comparisons. Someone should have that link available.

Great Albino BatCorrect me ifI'm wrong, please!#1183043/9/04; 10:12:35

As I recall, the Chief of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (have I got it right?) replied some weeks ago, when asked when the report on the "PPI" would be out: "I have no idea."

If it was his job to produce the data, he certainly would have a clear idea of WHEN THE DATA WOULD BE READY. A very clear idea - that's his job!

If he says, shamelessly, and even defiantly, "I have no idea", he is telling us that the decision to make the figures public is NOT his idea. In other words, he has been told to WITHHOLD THE DATA.

Things must be very, very bad indeed, when data are now deliberately withheld - not only massaged, but WITHHELD!

A song says something like, "It's a long long time, from March to NOVEMBER..."

Maybe we'll have the data in December.


USAGOLD / Centennial Precious Metals, Inc.Your friend in the business, helping you enter the gold market with grace and confidence.#1183053/9/04; 10:14:56">Change paper into gold!
GoldiloxB(L)S numbers#1183063/9/04; 10:23:37

@ GAB:

Are you suggesting "conspiracy?"

Someone call Mel Gibson!

TownCrierLegs, or no legs? Paper and speculators on parade.#1183073/9/04; 10:34:20

NEW YORK, March 9 (Reuters) - COMEX silver assumed leadership in the precious metals complex on Tuesday, spiking to a 16-year high, while gold was unfazed by the new central bank sales deal announced Monday.

Funds chased May silver to $7.09 overnight...

Dealers said the main driver in silver was its relationship with gold, where short-term commodity speculators are betting that the prices of the sister metals will keep converging.

Silver futures pushed above the $7.07 high seen in 1998, and matched Monday, after billionaire investor Warren Buffettbought 130 million ounces, shipping it from New York to London, where many believe it remains in his account and out of the market. However, spot remains well below the $7.90 high in February 1998.

"He bought it and he borrowed it and he physically allocated it, which means he actually took delivery of the metal itself, thereby taking it out of the market," said Graham Leighton, a vice president at bullion dealer Societe Generale.

"This time there's no metal leaving the market," he said, referring to the latest move in the market. "It's all fake. That's why you won't find too many traders who actually believe in this from a fundamental point of view."

----(from url)----

Is it real, or is it Xerox?


TownCrierTangible#1183083/9/04; 10:42:01

Just a very few are left. Maybe two dozen. If you are still contemplating an order, you might want to call George, Jonathan, or MK for a real-time assurance that the inventory hasn't already been allocated in these final moments before the 'sold out' sign can get posted on the webpage.


BoilermakerGold in Euros#1183093/9/04; 10:46:06

Here's the site for gold (and silver) in all currencies.

Paper Avalanche@ Boilermaker....#1183103/9/04; 10:50:16

Thank you!


Goldiloxchart#1183113/9/04; 10:55:04

@ Boilermaker


Federal_ReservesRegarding the PPI#1183123/9/04; 10:56:06

Lets assume its being embargoed and its not the result of incompetence. Why would they do so? To sell bonds with low rates and lay them on the public? There is a big issuance of treasury this week, some 85billion in rollovers and fresh cash, also Fannie is out collecting cash. It would have been a disaster to have rates spiking higher during this period. As such, then labor report was also co-rigged to show excessive weakness, to keep bond prices from dropping. Policy makers want the rates low. The banks are laying the bonds on the suckers.

Lets keep eye on the CRB for a view of pipeline inflation.

GoldiloxDX - 88.75#1183133/9/04; 10:57:52

A number of analysts said last week that a drop below 87.6 would signal very good return of POG and POS. It's getting close!
goldenpeaceSilver Backward#1183143/9/04; 11:20:01

March now trading above May 04
The Return of the King begins.

GoldiloxAg antigravity#1183153/9/04; 11:26:31

Ag at 7.15 is flying into the close!
TownCrierFading paper in Euroland#1183163/9/04; 11:50:28

In an ongoing show of what's what, the Eurosystem's weekly consolidated financial statement reveals that they allowed their net position in foreign currency to be trimmed by yet another 1.2 billion euros over the most recent week, bringing their "derivisification" in this asset class to a new Stage Three low of EUR 170.5 billion. Gold reserves, meanwhile, were kept in place at EUR 130.343 billion.

To put this weekly liquidation of foreign paper into size perspective with the terms of the new gold agreement, at present market values this latest single week's purging of foreign paper could be equated with 114 tonnes of gold. With these two asset classes now roughly co-equal in terms of overall holdings, a direct comparison becomes meaningful by itself, and in that regard this one week's liquidation in paper equals 23% of the entire year's quota in gold. And I should further point out that that gold quota includes signatory suppliers such as Switzerland who's allocations would not represent a gold drain of the Eurosystem.


TownCrier"derivisification" -- what the heck...???#1183173/9/04; 11:57:50

That is what happens when you try to type and talk on the phone at the same time.

Should read, "diversification".


R PowellReuters News#1183183/9/04; 12:01:57

TownCrier just reported a release from Reuters...thanks Townie..

"NEW YORK, March 9 (Reuters) - COMEX silver assumed leadership in the precious metals complex on Tuesday, spiking to a 16-year high, while gold was unfazed by the new central bank sales deal announced Monday."

It does not surprise me that even Reuters News does not have its facts straight regarding silver. Today's move is not a new 16 year high. Silver's spike from the Buffett buying of 1997-8 peaked on Feb. 5th 1998 with an interday high of at least 738.
As to the analyst's remark that physical is not leaving Comex warehouses, I believe this is correct. There isn't much available there. If it were being called for, the price of silver would be much higher. But, industrial demand for metal is not now nor has it been in the rememberable past, supplied from Comex. The Comex price can and probably is, (if physical commands more than Comex, the Comex supply would be sold in a heartbeat) reflecting tighter supplies in the physical market. Silver is also part of the rising body of CRB prices that may be warning of other problems in the monetary system. How much of silver's price increase is attributable to a scarcity in the physical market and, how much is the result of purely speculative forces is one of those questions that I list as not only unknown but also "unknowable". But, if anyone can add any information here, it would make my day.

I talked to a broker/salesman/analyst from Metalor Co. some years ago. I asked him about the amount available from his company, that is, immediate delivery. He told me those numbers could not be revealed. Nothing personal, he said, we don't give out such information to clients, the government nor even God himself, should She call and ask. Hey, at least they can keep a secret.

R PowellGoldenpeace#1183193/9/04; 12:07:05

"March now trading above May 04"

Initial reaction.....!!!!!!

TownCrierRich, Reuter's typo#1183203/9/04; 12:29:11

I'll bet that was a typo. It seems a likely explanation since the correct figure would be 6 years, instead of the 16 they printed. Later in that same article they do indeed cite the higher Buffett price bulge of 1998.


R PowellSoybeans and silver#1183213/9/04; 12:48:34

It's just a curiousity, isn't it?
I've never put too much stock in the gold/silver ratio but maybe there really is some sort of cosmic connection between the metal of the moon and the soybeans that grow under that silvery moon.
Silver +19
Beans +30 (at the moment)

If we were to corrolate beans and silver, could we call it a BS ratio? 8>)

mikal@RPowell#1183223/9/04; 12:51:15

Re: "But if anyone can add any information here"
Click on Randy's link again. The story has been updated, with the removal of certain portions and the addition of others.

steady contango?#1183233/9/04; 13:59:11

dont sell your silver positions in the casion is my reaction to backwardization!
Socrates964TownCrier#1183243/9/04; 14:15:37

Interesting. I imagine that FX holdings are to all intents & purposes in US$, so if we assume that gold moves in direct proportion to the Euro, it would have to rise by 14% in Euros to equal FX holdings.
Socrates964Erratum#1183253/9/04; 14:16:47

sorry, that should read:

POG would have to rise by 14% for the ECB's gold holdings to equal its FX holdings.

R PowellReuters again#1183263/9/04; 14:33:41

Thanks mikal. I just reread the article. I still do not agree with it.

The article lists the Feb. 1998 high as $7.90. I don't remember silver closing anywhere near that price. I believe she peaked on Feb. 5th with an interday high somewhere around 738. Believe me, I was watching then.

The article also totally dismisses any possibility that this rally could be fundamentally driven from tight supplies of immediately available silver for industrial use. They offer no backup information for this, instead citing technically driven speculative buying based on the gold/silver price ratio. Speculative buyers are mostly trend following funds. I doubt that they even know that a gold/silver ratio exists. There are many technical traders who have absolutely no knowledge of the underlying commodities that they trade. My biased opinion here is that this ignorance is born from laziness or the belief that prices are somehow predestined to move so as to conform to some organized pattern on a price chart. Many such traders avoid information because they believe such fundamental information may bias their technically derived outlook! The view offered by these technicians totally dismisses that supply and demand considerations could change prices.

I have no quarrel with technical trading. With excellent money management any system (flip a coin?) will work (cut loses short, let profits ride) but the total disregard of the law of supply and demand seems dangerous to me. Actually, it has been years of this disregard that has allowed existing silver supply to fall to the current low levels without much higher prices. Maybe the recent years' cutback in copper production has finally pushed the silver supply levels down enough so that price rationing is now appearing??

Or, as the article suggests, maybe it's traders finally deciding that the silver/gold ratio is too high? Where were these buyers when the ratio was up to 75? I'll bet on fundamentals rather than the gold/silver ratio or even the mysterious soybean/silver ratio. Copper prices rose as traders monitored and watched existing available supply fall. If silver is used primarily as an industrial metal, and if supplies of silver have also fallen, then why shouldn't this be examined as a possible reason for silver's price advance?

SurvivorThree! Three! Three Subjects In One . . .#1183273/9/04; 14:55:59

1. BB: On CB antics:
"(Reuters) Central banks have been shedding gold, once a mainstay of their reserve assets, in favor of hard currencies. . ."

Survivor: In favor of HARD CURRENCIES?? R.O.T.F.L.M.A.O. !!! Thanks BB - I needed that! :)

2. BB: On the PPI:
". . .the BLS announced that the ongoing delay of January PPI data 'now means that the release of February data originally scheduled for Friday, March 12, must also be postponed.'"

Survivor: BLS now says the lack of a PPI announcement is due to computer problems. As an I.T. professional, I can support that completely: B(L)S in = B(L)S out!

It will be a long time until the BLS regains credibility - if ever. The old PPI numbers were almost meaningless. Now they have tried to revamp the calculation and they come up empty. No matter - even when they do produce a result, it will no doubt be based on irrelevant input. On top of that, the new numbers won't be comparable to anything else that BLS has released. But, why should we worry. "There is no inflation."

3. Finally, A Question On The Money Supply And Inflation:
I keep reading that we are now experiencing a marked contraction in the $ supply. My working definition of inflation is: An increase in the money supply. If we are experiencing a $ supply contraction, and at the same time we can observe price increases (with or without the PPI), then are current price increases a reaction to previous growth in the $ supply, or what is going on to create this apparent condradiction?

- Survivor

Great Albino BatSilver: February of 1998#1183283/9/04; 14:56:46

A chart for silver prices during the month of February, 1998, shows that:

Start of the month: Feb. 2 - $6.20
Feb. 6 - $7.80
Feb. 26- $6.05 (Low for the month)
Last day of Feb.-----$6.35


mikal@Survivor#1183293/9/04; 15:05:42

The money supply is still increasing. It was the rate of growth of the money supply that was slowing late last year, but since resumed higher. Of course, this refers to only the Fed's contribution to the total credit supply available. Not counting the major portion from GSE's, other lenders etc.
Great Albino BatSurvivor: your doubts...#1183303/9/04; 15:19:44

Think of an ocean shipped by hurricane winds. Huge waves have been created by the wind blowing on the water. The wind may diminish somewhat, but the waves will still be there for quite some time.

The world inflation has been whipped up by the US dollars flowing abroad in huge quantities, in "payment" of the difference between exports and imports. The US imports something like $40 billion a month more than it exports. That's $40 billion going into the world's economies and whipping up inflation there, to the tune of some $500 billion a year.

M3 in the US may be declining – and that's a factor that will have an effect later on, no doubt. But as long as the Trade Deficit keeps sending dollars abroad, that is "wind" making waves in commodities markets the world over.

If massive bankruptcies take place in the US, as a result of slower credit creation (and its corollary, money creation) then the US will have to import less. Less money will be sent abroad, lower world inflation will result, commodities may come down in price as US consumption of imported goods declines.

The usual attitude is: the US Fed will never allow a severe contraction in credit. It will inflate if it has to use helicopters to do it. But, a massive deflation might well happen, anyway. Credit creation in the US has reached such staggering proportions, that it may be impossible to keep up the pace of credit creation. When that happens, there will be an implosion and the massive bankruptcies will happen.

Then, commodities will head down in price. Gold will not come down! Capital will fly to gold WTSHTF, count on it. Survival will override ideology and the sight of the carnage will cause the smartest to head for the exit – gold.


mikalDesperate is as desperate does#1183313/9/04; 15:25:21

FOREX-Dollar rebounds, buoyed by suspected BoJ buying
Reuters, 03.09.04, 4:07 PM ET
By Gertrude Chavez
NEW YORK, March 9 (Reuters) -Excerpts:
"The dollar rallied against major currencies in volatile trade on Tuesday, drawing support from suspected Bank of Japan intervention to weaken the yen against the greenback, analysts said. In a repeat of Monday's performance, the dollar fell briefly against the yen as traders again cited the BoJ withdrawing its offer to buy dollars, dragging the U.S currency down to 110.25 yen from 111.17 in just one minute in early afternoon trade. The BoJ, which acts on behalf of the Japanese Ministry of Finance to weaken the yen for export advantage, has since reinstated its bids for the dollar, pushing the U.S. currency higher, traders said."
[Where have I heard that before, besides everywhere. Is this getting across to the masses yet?;)]

"According to traders, the BoJ's removal of its dollar bids may be part of the MoF's deal to allow Japanese exporters to settle their accounts, although normally the Japanese central bank would wait until the end of the month to do so."
[Why not make a virtue of necessity and clean up while they can?]

"With few clear catalysts to trade on, investors are eyeing U.S. reports later in the week including retail sales and data on the wide current account deficit which may determine whether the dollar will rupture current ranges and in which direction. (Additional reporting by John Parry in New York)"
["With few clear catalysts to trade on" Don't they realize traditional economic "catalysts" aren't enough anymore for trading signals? What are they waiting for, a cataclysm?]

TownCrierFed dabbled in the long end of the market today, buys TIPS, permanently adds $470 million#1183323/9/04; 15:33:54

In this two-for-one manuever the Fed was seeking securities dated from 2007 to 2032. The market in fed funds at the time was in line with the FOMC 1% derective.

(Two for one: creating new dollars while at the same time incrementally propping bond prices.)


TownCrierVenezuela to encourage OPEC oil to adopt higher price target#1183333/9/04; 15:39:57

CARACAS, Venezuela, March 9 (Reuters) - Venezuelan oil minister Rafael Ramirez said on Tuesday the OPEC oil cartel should consider revising upward its preferred $22-28 a barrel target price... He said Venezuela would make this proposal at the upcoming OPEC meeting on March 31 in Vienna.

----(from url)----


NedR.Powell#1183343/9/04; 15:52:03

I too have been watching silver with great interest lately. I saw a quote (perhaps yesterday) stating that silver has reached a 16 year high. This must be false considering the 1998 numbers that you mention?

Anyways, I thought I would send a quick note in agreement of your supply/demand statements. Yes, the momentum buying, fund buying, short-selling, technical trading and various other forms of yahoo buying/selling will be left in the dust when reality sets in regarding basic fundamental supply and demand conditions.

I agree with you 100%. This little pop in silver (and gold) today was actually amusing when one considers the 'monster' wave soon to hit. Alot of talk about 2005 metals (base and precious) being locked up, yes? Can almost hear the squeeze acoming.

Best to you and yours,

Ned Johnston II

GoldiloxAg "pop"#1183353/9/04; 16:14:25

I'll take a "pop" like Feb 2-6, 1998 (+$1.60) any time now. That would sure cause some "wardrobe malfunctions" in the pit! Might wanna buy "Fruit of the Loom" futures to cover that action when it arrives.
mikalSaudi Arabia "hedging"#1183363/9/04; 16:21:16

Saudi Arabia Hedges Its Bets
Tuesday March 9, 8:14 am ET
"One after another, top executives of Russia's Lukoil, China's Sinopec (NYSE:SNP - News), Italy's ENI (NYSE:E - News), and Spain's Repsol YPF (NYSE:REP - News) trooped up to the front of a Riyadh auditorium and signed deals to explore for gas with Saudi Arabia's Oil Minister, Ali Naimi, and Abdullah Jumah, CEO of Saudi Aramco, the national oil company. The Mar. 7 ceremony, which lasted more than three hours, was yet another step in the gradual opening of Saudi Arabia's massive hydrocarbon resources to foreign oil outfits. The agreements, which followed another gas project awarded to Royal Dutch/Shell (NYSE:RD - News) in 2003, mark the first exploration and production deals signed by the Saudi kingdom with outside corporations in decades."

"The kingdom said little about the symbolism of signing a raft of deals with partners other than the U.S., which developed the Saudi oil industry and has been the country's main protector. But it clearly wants to hedge its bets. Cutting deals with Europe is one way. Bringing in a company from Russia and China, a huge and fast-growing customer for Saudi crude, also has political significance. Naimi says Russian participation in Saudi exploration is likely to tighten cooperation on maintaining oil prices."
[Why do they continue to work around the slippery subject of gold for oil? Belgium must be right; there is a limit to how much traumatic change the world can absorb at a one time.]

R PowellGAB#1183373/9/04; 16:27:21

Thanks for the silver numbers. Seems $780 was the top in feb. 1998. Moral here...don't trust Rich's memory.
Does this now mean the technical boys will see clear sailing up till that old 780 high? I've heard much talk about the 750 level.

GoldiloxVenezuela#1183383/9/04; 16:29:32


Boy, Ramirez and Chavez seem to have their "martyr" complex on full boar. It's not that far from Haiti to Lake Maricaibo, with a pit stop in Caracas to secure the refineries.

Grandsons of the Rough Riders will be happy to fly in. Rupert's already in place handling old W.R. Hearst's "yellow press".

Dubya's spending like FDR, and he probably would love adventuring like Teddie to "annex" the resources to pay furit.

adminGold'n Mermaids#1183393/9/04; 17:08:19

Sold out! (In four days)
Thanks to all who participated.

SundeckPromises, promises...or Wishful Thinking cf Reality #1183403/9/04; 17:39:03

Paul Krugman at the NYT shows a nice graph comparing Jobs Predictions and Jobs Reality for the last few much for "official predictions".

Does anyone EVER predict that things are going to get worse? Why always are things "going to get better"????

It's easy to predict bad things:

"Hey kid! If you don't hold that ice-cream level, it's gonna fall off into the dirt."

"Hey man! Walk around with your eyes closed and you are gonna fall in the ditch." really is easy. How come I can do it, but noone else can...especially if they work for some "vested interest"


physicalmanSilver#1183413/9/04; 18:14:47

Just got in from work. Very nice on silver. Had a six digit day. Second one in two weeks. Not bad for a country bumpkin. mainstream..#1183423/9/04; 19:19:17

By John O'Connor
Dow Jones Newswires

WASHINGTON, March 9 -- New York Attorney General Eliot
Spitzer returned a silver eagle coin to a group that asked
him to investigate alleged silver market manipulation and included the coin with its probe request.

The Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee, or GATA, on
Tuesday released the text of a letter from Peter Drago, director of public information and correspondence for Spitzer's office, saying the request for the silver probe "has been forwarded to the appropriate members of our staff" and "I'm sure that it will be of interest to them."

In addition, Drago said in his letter to GATA Chairman
Bill Murphy, Spitzer "also asked me to thank you for
the silver eagle coin. While he greatly appreciates your thoughtfulness, the attorney general has established a very strict policy for himself and his entire staff which prohibits the acceptance of any gifts. Therefore, we are
returning the coin to you."

GATA said that "Murphy's including a U.S. silver eagle
with his letter seems to have gotten a little attention,
even as the coin was returned to him."

eccentricventuresIf you havent seen this already, rising gas prices erase the tax cut.#1183433/9/04; 20:16:01

"Merrill Lynch estimates that every penny increase at the pump is equal to $1 billion in lost consumer spending. Using that equation, the 20-cent-a-gallon increase at the pump this year is taking $20 billion in spending out of the economy."

Not that this is inflationary or anything.

Paper AvalancheThe last bubble..............................#1183443/9/04; 21:03:51

Fannie Mae Faces $25 Billion
Derivative Losses
By Stephen Schurr in New York
Financial Times

Fannie Mae paid a net $25.1bn on derivatives transactions in under four years - nearly all of which may represent losses that cannot be recouped, in turn depressing future earnings.

The potential scale of the liabilities, which have yet to be recognised in the company's earnings or in the minimum capital adequacy required by its regulator, raise fresh doubts about the financial health of the mortgage finance giant.

Regulation of Fannie Mae and its sibling Freddie Mac is rapidly moving up the agenda in Washington, amid concerns that the two goverment-sponsored entities have grown so big that they pose a systemic risk to the US financial system. The two entities own or guarantee mortgages totalling
$4,000 billion.

On Tuesday John Snow, US Treasury secretary, renewed the criticism, saying: "We don't believe in a too-big-to-fail doctrine, but the reality is that the market treats the paper as if the government is backing it."

His comments follow similar warnings from Alan Greenspan, chairman of the Federal Reserve, and Gregory Mankiw, chairman of George W. Bush's council of economic advisers.

Fannie Mae acknowledges it has taken losses in its derivatives trading that have not yet been recognised it its earnings, but declines to disclose the amount. The reason, said Jonathan Boyles, vice-president of financial standards and taxes at Fannie Mae, is that "we don't believe it's all that meaningful".

Next Monday Fannie Mae is due to release its annual "fair value disclosure" - a statement of the current market value of its derivatives positions. Observers will be watching to see if the gap between the company's regulatory capital and fair value has widened further than the $6bn shortfall of a year ago.

An independent analysis of Fannie's accounts suggests it may have incurred losses on its derivatives trading of $24bn between 2000 and third-quarter 2003. That figure represents nearly all of the $25.1bn used to purchase or settle transactions in that period. Any net losses will eventually have to be recognised on Fannie Mae's balance sheet, depressing future profits.

Fannie Mae maintained that the losses from cashflow hedging will have no bearing on the capital adequacy required by its regulator.

However, critics increasingly question whether Fannie Mae's financial disclosure offers a complete picture of its fiscal health.

"They have used the derivative accounting rules for cash flow hedges to defer some losses that they have taken," said John Barnett, senior analyst at the Center for Financial Research & Analysis, an independent research firm. "They may not be as well-capitalised as they appear to be for regulatory purposes."



Black BladeCOMEX silver jumps to 16-year high#1183453/9/04; 22:15:14


NEW YORK, March 9 (Reuters) - COMEX silver futures rose 2.7 percent to a 16-year high on Tuesday, hurdling its 1998 peak on technical buying by large commodity funds and speculation that its price was still too low relative to gold.

Most of the action this time has been on the COMEX, where funds have been buying silver outright and also buying it against sales of gold in what is described as a "ratio trade."

"COMEX traders have lifted the metal back above the $7 level as they track the dollar, with funds continuing to take advantage of the metal's relative cheapness in comparison to the other base and precious metals, despite the over-bought indicators," wrote analyst James Moore at

"I continue to focus on the gold/silver ratio as the predominant moving factor behind this move," said Graham Leighton, a vice president at the bullion dealing operation of Societe Generale, who said the technical target for the ratio was around 55.5.

It now takes about 56.3 ounces of silver to buy one ounce of gold, down from 57.4 on Monday. The ratio has come down from 69.8 at the end of 2003 as silver caught up with, and then outpaced, gold, which went up about 20 percent last year.

Black Blade: Ya just don't hear many people talk about the Silver-Gold ratio much these days. Now hedge funds and others are jumping on the bandwagon. Of course the US strategic stockpiles are gone too with more uses for silver being found all the time (medical to industrial to chemical applications).

Solomon WeaverWhere Ned saw the reference to highest close in 16 years.#1183463/9/04; 22:18:47

"Another change is in the actual price of silver. An Internet friend of mine told me something the other day that set me back a bit. He told me that silver just had its highest monthly closing price in sixteen years. I checked and he was right (Thanks Gregg). Even though silver did close the month higher than any monthly close in 16 years, it is not that far above its average price for the last decade and a half." TED BUTLER MARCH - MARCH 1, 2004

. . . .

Note.....the 1998 action was early in the month and by the last closing day had dropped back down.

Poor old Solomon

slingshotDollar Bill#1183473/9/04; 22:26:16

Midas Crusade is only posted here at USAGOLD. I like your Title, "Tales of the Table"
The story starts on 6/23/03 Msg# 104970. Once a week,mostly on Monday mornings. There are some exceptions like a special post sometimes on Wednesday and skips on holidays.
Happy to hear you like the story. Thanks.

GoldiloxMidas Crusade#1183483/9/04; 22:44:37

Slingshot, TC:

I second Bill's appreciation of the Midas Crusade, or as he called it, "Tales of the Table". I would like to nominate the series for HOF archive, if you're not already compiling it there.

WaveriderMidas Crusade#1183493/9/04; 22:47:15

Yes Goldilox - I second the nomination to have Slingshot's story archived in the HOF! I believe we need a third now...
Druidslingshot (3/9/04; 22:26:16MT - msg#: 118347)#1183503/9/04; 22:56:55

"Tales of the Table"

Druid: Slingshot, I'm with DB and Lox, it's a great read and when you get published, I want my copy autographed.
DruidMidas Crusade#1183513/9/04; 23:00:47

Druid: I third the motion for Midas Crusade to be archived to the HOF.
DruidCentral banks and technology industry join to combat banknote counterfeiting #1183523/9/04; 23:09:40


"Several leading personal computer hardware and software manufacturers have voluntarily adopted the system in recognition of the harm that counterfeit currency can cause their customers and the general public."

Druid: Wait until they figure how much harm the "legitimate" notes cause their customers and the general public.

TownCrierI'm way ahead of y'all#1183533/9/04; 23:44:48

Waaaaaaaay back when slingshot completed his original story arc, when he floated the idea of reposting all of the segments in one continuous block I contacted him with what I thought would be a more appropriate treatment -- its own web page (or pages if length required it). It's my recollection that slingshot was rather enthusiastic about that proposal at the time, but said that it was scheduled to undergo a final edit with the help of, I believe, both Gandalf and Waverider.

So technically, this didn't require your generous nominations to be archived; we're all just waiting for slingshot to email the aforementioned text. Since then he's greatly extended his storyline, to which the original offer still applies. If you send it, I will build.


slingshotHoly Smokes!#1183543/9/04; 23:46:53

I'm just sitting here looking at the monitor. Maybe this is what it feels like to win the Lotto.

Thank You all, Ladies and Knights for your nomination for the HOF. I enjoy writting the story and providing a little entertainment in both good times and bad times as we follow the Trail.

A special Thank You to USAGOLD, for without this Forum, Midas Crusade would not have been possible.

Let It Be Known, to all whom have posted here, past and present, I Thank You for your kindness,understanding and encouragement.

You all are part of the story,and that what makes it come to life.

I Bow in Thanks,


TownCrier"Perfecting the renminbi's formation mechanism..."#1183553/10/04; 00:50:01

BEIJING, March 10 (Reuters) - China's efforts to reform its rigid yuan exchange rate regime...

"Perfecting the renminbi's formation mechanism does not necessarily mean a revaluation," the Financial News quoted Guo Shuqing, head of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, as saying.

----(from url)-----

A subtle public step toward 'The Gold Trail'?


mikalGolden football never pulled a "capital overhang", Charlie Brown!#1183563/10/04; 00:59:21

The Bear's Lair: Charlie Brown economics
By Martin Hutchinson
Published 3/8/2004 11:24 AM WASHINGTON, March 8 (UPI)
[Excerpts reprinted with permission under Fair Use Doctrine of International Copyright Law]
"Every month, bullish Wall Street pundits predict that the monthly employment report will show gains of 150,000 jobs or more, the number needed to begin absorbing the 2.2 million jobs lost since President George W. Bush took office. Every month the economy, like Lucy, whips away the football and Wall Street falls flat on its face."

"The United States, far from being the economic dynamo that its admirers like to paint, has been living hugely beyond its means since 1995, and now faces severe problems of budget deficit, balance of payments deficit and capital overhang."

"Expect the economic figures that appear over the next few months to produce primarily negative surprises, as Wall Street analysts fail to realize the depressing reality of today's economy. Judging by its performance Friday, the stock market will largely ignore these negative surprises, maybe for some months to come. Probably by the summer, however, the truth will dawn that the tax cuts and monetary stimulus have failed to cause a true recovery, and that even the Bank of Japan cannot bail out the U.S. economy forever. When this realization dawns, you can expect optimism to turn to panic, and Charlie Brown to turn on Lucy and pound her into the playing field!"

[There was a time when certain things were taken for granted, such as a distant dream could be an everyday reality with honest effort and a will to succeed. Today that has not changed, yet the leadership remains oppresive and dull.]

Gandalf the WhiteNotice to Townie ---#1183573/10/04; 01:06:02

You better start digging a LARGE ROOM in the HOF for the forthcoming COMPLETE SAGA of the "Midas Crusade" ---
I think that it is soon coming to a CHAPTER ending --- THEN I think that the "story continuation" will start again, (my crystal ball says!)
Sir Slingshot is perfecting the old Weekly Serial movie!

TopazDollar, Bonds and Gold. #1183583/10/04; 02:08:16

There seems no end to the Dollar strength, returning to turbo boost again yesterday (DX up...yields down). PaperGold holding on to 400 for grim death. Higher Oil no doubt contributing.
Bears (pun!) watching intently.

specie-mansilver, China, what's happening ?#1183593/10/04; 02:41:14

First off, a review of how I see the economic situation currently:

It seems that half the analysts/economists see inflation ahead and the other half see deflation ahead. The US Federal Reserve is trying to walk a narrower and narrower tightrope between the two camps.

What I see looming ahead is "hyper-stagflation". Actually, just an intensified version of what we've been experiencing for several months now. Strong inflation in the price of goods and materials, but a weak economy with little or no job/wage growth.

Now the main topic :

Ok, I've read the claims that "China has already locked up 75% of 2005 world silver production".

But no one seems to have dived into this topic deeper.

My question is: How ? If true, HOW has China "locked up" that silver. Did they buy a bunch of far-out COMEX contracts ? I don't think so - if they had, then those contracts would probably be priced much higher than near-term contracts.

If they've bought it from producers, then what mining/recycling companies are conducting FORWARD SALES ???

The other possibility is the following :
China has been a net seller (supplier) of silver to the world. If they're planning to stop exporting silver (or maybe importing some), that might account for a 75% "swing" in silver supply/consumption.

Topaz@Survivor.#1183603/10/04; 04:15:59

Your definition would be close enough anywhere on earth BUT America. You KNOW "you're" experiencing inflation domestically...but as the World reserve Currency, the Dollar supply (a huge portion of Global trade flows "through" the $...not to mention feeding the BigFloat Beast) is not keeping up with demand.
We are about to re-enter a Twilight-Zone of sorts where Yields on Bonds (as a barometer of "flation") are so low that the temptation to move to Cash may prove overpowering.
If you ponder the implications thereof - (futures discounted to Cash)- not a very rosy outlook emerges...a Hyperinflation of the first order.
Take heart Survivor, The tacit impression one gets from Mr Greenspan seems to say - "I haven't yet begun to Fight!"

nickel62Maybe we should be more afraid of badly trained and motivated reporters than the terrorists?#1183613/10/04; 04:57:28

In Michigan, the Ripoff That Wasn't


Ed Offley, Editor of DefenseWatch magazine, has been a military reporter and defense specialist for 22 years in a variety of journalism assignments throughout the United States. DefenseWatch is an online magazine that addresses military and security issues from the viewpoint of active-duty and reservist component personnel and veterans.

Offley previously served as Editor-in-Chief of The Stars and Stripes after the civilian-owned newspaper was acquired by Stars and Stripes Omnimedia Inc. in March 2000. A 1969 graduate of the University of Virginia, Offley served in the U.S. Navy in Vietnam before joining The Virginia Gazette, Williamsburg, Va., as a reporter in 1972. He worked as an editorial writer at three newspapers in Virginia during 1977-85 before joining The Seattle Post Intelligencer as an editorial writer in 1986.

Offley, 55, lives in Panama City Beach, Fla., with his wife, Karen, and daughter, Andrea. Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

March 8, 2004

By Ed Offley

I have great news to report: Barry Bernhardt did not get ripped off.

The story appeared on the AP wire the other day, got picked up by the Drudge Report, and was the buzz of military and veterans' communities all across the nation: A public school teacher called up for active-duty training with the Navy had been forced by his employer to pay out of his own pocket for a substitute teacher to replace him while he was serving overseas.

The gist of the coverage was this Michigan public school administration telling Bernhardt, "Going off to defend the country? Here's the bill - pay up."

When I read the AP article I could feel my blood pressure spike. I'm sure every veteran, reservist, Guardsman and active-duty military person who saw the story had the same response: Who are those idiots in that @#$#% school district and what do they think they are doing?"

Deep breath: Here's what really happened.

Bernhardt is a middle school teacher in the Kenowa Hills School District near Grand Rapids, Mich. He is also a member of the Navy Reserve, and like other part-time military people, must juggle his civilian and family responsibilities with the demands of the service.

So when Bernhardt recently prepared to travel to Italy for 15 days of annual training (which would force him to miss two full weeks of school), he contacted his employer to arrange for a substitute teacher for two weeks and to ensure that the paperwork was in order for his leave from work.

Under the 1994 "Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act" (USERRA), Bernhardt's employer must save his job position for him upon completion of his military duty. The law focuses on re-employment rights of Guardsmen and reservists summoned to active duty. But the law, experts say, does not require a civilian employer to pay the employee a nickel of his or her civilian salary while away on active service.

Here's what Kenowa Hills School Superintendent Jim Gillette and his staff actually did: They approved for Bernhardt to use up two days of leave and two comp days during his absence (which means he gets paid his normal salary of $342 per day for those four days away). For the other six days of work, instead of receiving nothing from the school district, he will receive his regular pay ($342) less the cost of the substitute teacher ($75) and his Navy pay ($100), for a net increase of $167 per day. Of course, he continues to receive all other benefits from his civilian employer under USERRA provisions.

"Legally they don't have to do that," says Gary Aten, a retired National Guard lieutenant colonel who serves as Michigan's executive director of the organization, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. "Legally it would be an unpaid leave of absence."

Aten added, "This is commendable for them to do that."

What happened to create this overnight internet feeding frenzy was a combination of public misunderstanding and a local news reporter's inadvertent dousing of the fire with gasoline.

When the Kenowa Hills School District held its regular meeting on Monday, a handful of local teachers and residents - misinformed over the nature of the agreement Bernhardt and the district had reached - accused Gillette and his staff of ripping off a patriotic and dedicated teacher.

Then the local reporter made a bad situation appear worse when she erroneously wrote that the district was actually taking money from Bernhardt's military pay as well.

Faced with an escalating uproar, Superintendent Gillette posted a lengthy statement on the district's website regarding the teacher, which said in part:

"The salary and benefit arrangement worked out by Kenowa Hills goes above and beyond what the [USERRA] law requires and what other area school districts and private employers are doing. The law only requires employers to provide unpaid military leave. Since salaries in the public schools usually exceed military stipends, military personnel called to duty often lose funds as a result of their service. Other area schools either place personnel on unpaid military leave or make up the difference between their military pay and their school salary."

"We did this," Gillette explained, "because we wanted to support those serving our country through providing both a flexible and positive option."

I have a confession: Like every other journalist, I love a good train wreck. I also take a secret pleasure when someone in an office of serious responsibility steps on a rake and meets the handle on his forehead with a loud klong.

In the case of Kenowa Hills School District and Barry Bernhardt, we got neither. Instead, we have a supportive and enlightened employer going above and beyond the requirements of the law to help a teacher and part-time trooper who himself is serving us all.

That's not as much fun as a 10-car derailment. It is a much better story.

Ed Offley is Editor of DefenseWatch. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

steady thats LIFE#1183623/10/04; 05:34:24

GOLD AND SILVER: giving life and economic viability to everyone who choses to use it. be confident knowing when the people lead the govts will follow! There will be no turning back, there will be no white flag honored for fiat currencies sorry its a dawin type of thing only the strong survie. The hawk the rooster and the tiger will see to it! the sun and moon shining together!
Clink!Nothing new for Forum readers, but ...#1183633/10/04; 06:19:09

it sure is nice hearing it from a Congressman. I wonder when he will start asking embarrassing questions about the PPI ?

MKNews & Views#1183643/10/04; 06:43:06

Lead Story:

Central Banks Will Struggle to Fulfill Gold Accord QuotaCentral Bank Gold Accord Positive for Gold Financial Sense/Michael Kosares
Central Bankers Sign New Accord on Gold
Joint Statement restricts sales, leases

USAGOLD Daily Market ReportPage Update!#1183653/10/04; 06:43:29">
The Daily Gold Market Report has been updated.

If you are considering investments in gold we invite you to">request our free introductory information packet detailing the products and services offered by USAGOLD ~ Centennial Precious Metals. We welcome your inquiry and look forward to working with you.

BoilermakerTrade Gap#1183663/10/04; 07:18:11

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. trade deficit widened to a record $43.1 billion in January, as rising oil prices helped keep imports near historic highs and exports retreated slightly despite the weaker dollar, the Commerce Department (news - web sites) said on Wednesday.

The monthly trade gap was larger than the mid-point analyst estimate of $42.1 billion. Average prices for imported oil leapt to $28.55 per barrel in January, the highest since March 2003.

I'm curious how gold will act today. Silver, platinum and Palladium all hitting new high ground along with a lot of other commodities.

GoldiloxStars and Stripes#1183673/10/04; 07:50:39


What's Stars and Stripes got to say about the Iraqi trucks full of gold? They certainly should have the internal contacts for some in-depth reporting.

BoilermakerTake a Peek at Coal Prices#1183683/10/04; 07:50:45

"Although the Coal News and Markets report has been suspended temporarily, the graphs of Average Weekly Coal Commodity Spot Prices and Monthly Production are being resumed, without analysis.

A notice of any further changes will be posted on EIA's Coal web page."

I see that the EIA has taken a cue from the folks at BLS and are suspending their Coal News and Markets Report "temporarily" in the face of extremely rapid price increases. No sense trying to analyze a market that is acting "irrationally".

GoldiloxOptions#1183693/10/04; 07:55:36

Interesting to note this morning. Gold majors are down with POG, but options on NEM and GG are up for APR thru JUL. Mayhaps the word is out that price suppression will fail soon?
WAC (Wide Awake Club)U.S. Treasury to Default on 30-Year Bond Holders#1183703/10/04; 07:56:43

January 23, 2004

The U.S. Treasury will default on contracts with investors, mostly individuals, who loaned the government money in 1979 on the agreement that they would receive 9.125 percent interest every year until their bonds mature in the year 2009.

No longer will politicians and appointed bureaucrats be able to brag that the United States has never failed to live up to its obligation as the safest investment in the world. Investment is no longer guaranteed.

The Bureau of Public Debt announcement claims that this recall applies to about $4.6 billion in 30 year bonds issued on May 15, 1979 and calls for their redemption by May 15, 2004. Of course, investors holding these bonds are not forced to cash them in and can hold them until 2009 if they want, but they will no longer receive the interest promised, the main reason for investing their money in the first place.

That means that if you loaned the government $10,000 in 1979 you will lose $912.50 a year, $4,562.50 in the next 5 years, in interest you would have been due from the government—before the government decided to back out of their end of the contract.

Noble1How to Make a Bad Number Look Like Something Good#1183713/10/04; 08:26:01

Check out this spin on the trade deficit by Jeannine Avera,AP.

"WASHINGTON (March 10) - America's trade deficit mushroomed to a record $43.1 billion in January as sales of foreign-made goods posted their second best month ever, a fresh sign of better economic times in the United States."

So all we have to do is buy more and sell less abroad to get ourselves out of this mess? Easy!!!

Remember: All for gold and gold for all.

Dollar Bill.,.#1183723/10/04; 08:46:06

A link from MK's page:
"Snow said: "But no currency can be considered strong if it is propped up on life support with intervention."
"I'm not sure what Snow was trying to say," Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda told a regular press conference.
Pressed on whether Snow was criticizing Japan, Fukuda said: "There are various points of view. I won't respond to every remark."
*Surely we here know that the snow comments were not meant to change anything in regards to the support of the dollar. So what is he really saying? Who is the target audience? Not japan, not china, When Bush jawboned about China changing its peg, that was probably just to appease the EU complaints. Give appearances that the US was not doing what it was doing.
This snow comment is part of the strategy of keeping things looking like we support the old model while we keep moveing to the total control model. Part of strategy of the CB's is to keep the markets guessing, keep objections to a minimum, while moving us to the United States of Earth.

Slingshot, your post was a total high. Glad to be any part of supporting the artist in our midst. Only drawback to praise, and I know this is one of the reasons I hesitated to ever comment before, sometimes public attention alters a persons innocent focus. Thus the audience intrudes too much, altering the expression and fun of the writer. Heres hoping you just continue to be you:)

I was staying at a Swiss Re bankers house last week, he had a book on Great English Houses. Besides the pictures of the masterpieces, were stories of the nature of the homeowners. What was remarkably consistant was that those that amassed great wealth while thier neighbors were poor, aquired what one 30 year therapist to hollywood calls SAG. Situationally Aquired Gradiousity. Narcissism. YOU are better than your fellow man. Surely this plague has infected the Upper Dust of our era. That the one world plan benefits the rich over the common man and makes our children "associates" in the post next depression world should not hit the radar screens of those running the show afflicted with SAG.

R PowellPOS high for 1998#1183733/10/04; 09:18:20

Another source (INO) gives a number of 750....

May silver was lower overnight due to light profit taking as it
consolidates some Tuesday's rally, which led to a breakout above last
Monday's high crossing at 7.03. The breakout opened the door for a test
of monthly resistance marked by the 1998 high crossing at 7.50 later this
year. Stochastics and the RSI are bullish signaling that sideways to
higher prices are possible near-term. Closes below the 10-day moving
average crossing at 6.893 would signal that a top has likely been posted.
Overnight action sets the stage for a steady to weaker tone in early day
session trading.

steady(No Subject)#1183743/10/04; 09:24:16


2004 Election Issue!!

This must be an issue in "2004". Please! Keep it going.



(This is worth reading. It is short and to the point.)

Perhaps we are asking the wrong questions during election years.

Our Senators and Congresswomen do not pay into Social Security and, of course, they do not collect from it.

You see, Social Security benefits were not suitable for persons of their rare elevation in society. They felt they should have a special plan for themselves. So, many years ago they voted in their own

benefit plan.

In more recent years, no congress person has felt the need to change it. After all, it is a great plan.

For all practical purposes their plan works like this:

When they retire, they continue to draw the same pay until they die.

Except it may increase from time to time for cost of living adjustments.

For example, former Senator Byrd and Congressman White and their wives may expect to draw $7,800,000.00 (that's Seven Million, Eight-Hundred Thousand Dollars), with their wives drawing $275,000.00 during the last years of their lives.

This is calculated on an average life span for each of those two Dignitaries.

Younger Dignitaries who retire at an early age, will receive much more during the rest of their lives.

Their cost for this excellent plan is $0.00. NADA....ZILCH....

This little perk they voted for themselves is free to them. You and I pick up the tab for this plan. The funds for this fine retirement plan come directly from the General Funds;


From our own Social Security Plan, which you and I pay (or have paid) into, -every payday until we retire (which amount is matched by our employer)- we can expect to get an average of $1,000 per month after retirement.

Or, in other words, we would have to collect our average of $1,000 monthly benefits for 68 years and one (1) month to equal Senator Bill Bradley's benefits!

Social Security could be very good if only one small change were made.

That change would be to jerk the Golden Fleece Retirement Plan from under the Senators and Congressmen. Put them into the Social Security plan with the rest of us ... then sit back and watch how fast they would fix it.

If enough people receive this, maybe a seed of awareness will be planted and maybe good changes will evolve.

R Powellslingshot // gold/silver connection..?#1183753/10/04; 09:51:11

I just caught up on the rest of yesterday's posts. Congrats on the recognition! The tales are greatly entertaining and remind me of the "Conan" works of Howard. Many have tried to imitate Howard but I could always tell his words from those of other Conan tales by Lin Carter and L. Sprague deCamp. I believe you would enjoy them and might learn some literary tricks from Howard's works. His imagery was most powerful. Most of his were originally published in the 1930s.

Does silver rest here to get used to being above $7.00? When the POG first broke above $400, I thought that silver couldn't stay below $6.00. Now, I wonder if silver can remain above $7.00 for any length of time without gold making new highs?
Like the gold/silver ratio and the soybean/silver mystic connection, I tend not to put too much credence in the old silver/gold precious metals connection but like grandma's old chicken soup remedy for a cold, sometimes old traditions retain some validity, no?
Question for soybean traders: Do you feed chicken soup to chickens who are sick with the bird flu??

GoldiloxSocial Security / Retirement reform#1183763/10/04; 09:57:59

@ steady:

Actually, if all federal and local government retirement was tied to SS, lots more would change. Double and triple dipping by people who "retired" from two or three government/military jobs can net them more than their average salaries while working, while they collect SS in addition.

A major problem in the US is being created by the effect of "public servants" being elevated above citizenry. Note the conviction of Martha Stewart for "lying" to an FBI which regularly covers up much of its "not for public consumption" activities under the guise of "National Security".

Only have citizen status? Better get gold, as Social Security offers about as much hope as the Xmas Bunny.

Socrates964Silver#1183773/10/04; 10:16:34

I may be reinventing the wheel here, but has there been a discussion on whether a spike in silver will bring Comex crashing down?

Here's my likely scenario:

1. Ag goes ballistic. The longs demand delivery.
2. The shorts can't deliver and go down on their knees for help to the exchange officials.
3. COMEX officials decree cash settlement only, with stand-by credit lines agreed for the shorts behind the scenes.
4. THere may be some legal wrangles over expiring contracts, but essentially the credibility of the COMEX silver future is destroyed and henceforth, the only market is a cash settlement spot physical market probably based in London.

I offer this as a kind of essay question, with the word 'Discuss'.

GoldiloxDX - GLD-SLV relationships#1183783/10/04; 10:22:04

Interesting to note that a 1.5 rise in the dollar has hardly moved POG at all, and POS is still rising. Efforts at holding gold below $400 are not very effective, and every rise in the DX means less arbitrage profits for US exporters.
Dollar Bill.,.#11837903/10/04; 11:18:13

"Bereneke, (The economy is suffering because people aren't buying enough stuff!) admits "The gold standard appeared to be highly successful from about 1870 to the beginning of World War I in 1914. During the so-called 'classical' gold standard period, international trade and capital flows expanded markedly, and central banks experienced relatively few problems ensuring that their currencies retained their legal value." So it worked well! *****So something happened, he says, between 1914 and the Depression.

He does not admit, however, that the newly formed Federal Reserve system, in operation for fifteen short years, had anything to do with subsequent calamitous economic events. The simultaneous appearance of these two things were, I suppose, merely a, you know, huge coincidence or something.

Besides needlessly upsetting the natives, and causing more unwelcome complaints, the Govt has another BIG reason to "asjust" the Consumer Price Index........
The index affects the income of almost 80 million people as a result of statutory action: 47.8 million Social Security beneficiaries, about 4.1 million military and Federal Civil Service retirees and survivors, and about 22.4 million food stamp recipients. All would get increases in money.

A Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation study, which shows that health-care costs premiums have surged 42% over the last three years for employees and families. Hewitt Associates is projecting a further 15% hike for 2004. But the government's Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that health care costs only increased by 3.6% in 2003." So let's see: health care premiums have surged by 43% in three years, and are projected to rise another 15% this year, and yet the government figures that healthcare costs have only increased 3.6% last year?

"Over 5 decades, my countrymen switched from making things to buying things, from saving money to spending it, and from lending money to the rest of the world to borrowing from it. The economy gradually changed from production to consumption, from manufacturing to retailing, from GM to Wal-Mart. And Wall Street mutated, too...from investing in industries, to investing in speculative finance."

The price of rice in China, a staple, is up around 40% from this time last year.

So let me see if I have this straight: real, inflation-adjusted incomes are falling, which means I have less purchasing power to start with? Next, prices are rising, meaning that the few measly drags of purchasing power I have left will not buy as much? And government statisticians are lying to me? Fabulous. Absolutely fabulous."

GoldiloxBank "Glich"#11838003/10/04; 11:19:49

Went to my bank to get some cash today. A representative met me at the door to explain that they were unable to transact business today (except deposits by check)due to system-wide computer outage. his is the second largest consumer bank in the US, not a local yocal bank.

Then I went to the grocery store, where they have a branch inside. The lights were out and no one was working the branch at 11:00AM.

FINALLY, I went to my credit union and got some money from my personal account, as my business banking is dead for today!

Banking holidays coming?

Gandalf the WhiteQUESTION --- What would the US$ do WITHOUT the ESF ?#11838103/10/04; 11:26:02

Look at all the concentrated pump times!
AND some think that the BOJ is playing a losing game !!
CAN this last until Nov. ?

GoldiloxDX#11838203/10/04; 11:36:39

@ Gandalf:

Nice to see how concerned they are about "Excess volatility"!!!!

GoldiloxVolume#11838303/10/04; 11:51:15

@ Gandalf

The BOJ action makes me think of a joke my DAD used to tell me about business.

CFO: We're losing $0.10 on every widget we sell.
VP Sales: It's OK, we'll make it up in volume!

Boilermaker1998 Silver High#11838403/10/04; 11:57:06

Here's a site with another number:
"Silver did reach a high of $7.61 an ounce on February 5th. Today it was down to $6.01."

It's at the end of the transcript of a discussion from the Jim Lehrer Newshour of 2/25/98. It's a good historical dicussion and I'm sure you'll enjoy the Wizard of Oz connection.

CalidorGoldilox - Iraqi Gold#11838503/10/04; 13:43:25

Sir Goldilox - I can't speak to any Stars & Stripes article on any Iraqi gold. However, some months back I received an email with picture attachments that was making the rounds through the military community. Gold (or something a whole lot like it) was found in an Iraqi fuel truck around last July. I've forwarded the email w/ pictures to Sir MK to view and assess. Sorry I can't post the pictures but maybe CPM can plce the pictures somewhere on the website. Also if Randy the sitemaster doesn't mind, you can have my email address.


Text follows

Read and THEN check out the photos!

Here's a good story from an event that occurred here in Babil a couple of months ago (actually July 3): At approximately 301000Z Jul 03, the governor's brother, Ahmed Abu Saif) Witwit, who is in charge of city hall security reported the following information to Task Force 1/4 XO,
Maj H(……): Three days ago, local police stopped a fuel truck because it had improper license plates. The driver was released (NFI why), and the truck impounded at the government's truck lot.

This morning, the governor's brother received an anonymous phone call, offering 15 million Iraqi Dinar for the fuel truck. The governor's brother claims he declined the offer, mustered six security personnel, and proceeded to the impound lot. At the impound lot, they inspected the vehicle.
There were 6 padlocks that sealed the fuel storage tank. The fuel storage tank was empty of fuel but allegedly had "some sort of metal bricks". The truck was taken to city hall and turned over to Major H(……).

The truck was subsequently brought to Babylon. Here are the pictures of what was in the fuel truck. Sounds like a movie script."

USAGOLD / Centennial Precious Metals, Inc.Enter the gold market with grace and confidence.#11838603/10/04; 14:01:52">Change paper into gold!
mikalIraq copper bars#11838703/10/04; 14:28:49

The truck in the photo, like other reports, is inadequate to carry gold bars in the quantity shown. The wheels and suspension would snap right off or be crushed because it was never designed to handle a load exceeding vehicles gross-rated carrying load.
TownCrierGermany, now France, fighting "brain drain" with gold#11838803/10/04; 14:45:10

PARIS, March 10 (Reuters) - France may consider selling some of its gold to help finance scientific research ... Research Minister Claudie Haignere said on Wednesday.

The Bank of France ... had no immediate comment on Haignere's suggestion, which echoed an idea floated for Germany by Bundesbank chief Ernst Welteke and backed by German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

France's conservative government, dismayed that 2,000 scientists have stopped carrying out their administrative work, has earmarked three billion euros for research in 2005-2007.

It hopes to staunch a "brain drain" of researchers, mostly towards the United States, but has not said how it will fund this.

"We have to find the means to finance the future research. That could be the Bank of France's gold, it could be the funds we get from privatisations," Haignere told Europe 1 radio in an interview.

-----(from url)-----

The pieces and players are begining to fall into place following Monday's announcement by Europe's central banks to extend their coordinated gold agreement for the next five years to the tune of 500 tonnes per year.

Bidding for brains, bidding for oil... I have no ideological problem with this potential "spending" of the nation's gold savings. Fair is fair. No government should expect to get something for nothing.


R PowellBoilermaker // Olden days of yesteryear#11838903/10/04; 14:46:44

If we narrow the search down to Feb. 5th only, I have no problem since I still have my copy of the Feb. 6th Wall St. journal that I was using in those long ago days for price quotations. It gives the preceding day's (Feb. 5th) numbers...

The March contract opened at 701.0, traded as high as 747.0 and as low as 688. The close was 728.0. Interestingly, the future months were all in backwardation. I remember this day as it was on the 5th that I sold a March 625 call option for $5500. I had bought it a few months earlier for $175. This was my first big "hit" in the casino. I then invested that money in long term (december) calls in grains thinking that El Nino would bring that big dome of high pressure (drought) over the country's breadbasket. Not so, the crops were plentiful and my $5500 was gone. I was very new to trading at that time, that is, over the years, I have learned how to lose my money at a much slower rate. (g).

The exact numbers are really of little consequence, except perhaps, to chartists who will try to predict tomorrow's prices from yesterday's. What is interesting, to me, is the difference and discrepancies among recent reports. I often have to remind myself that the vast majority of people have no economic knowledge and even less than no interest in the subjects that we here find so fascinating. I'm sure many of us have found this to be so in our everyday activities (off-line). Imho many so called "experts" must comment when called upon but may have little knowledge or information to draw upon. I don't classify all in this group, but many. I have heard this same opinion from pit traders who are often called upon to explain price swings. Often, they are as amazed and confused by the day's activity as are we, but they don't answer thusly, of course.

From that same Feb. 6th WSJ...nearest contract

Coffee 181.95
Sugar 10.89
Corn 271.75
Copper 76.40
Natural gas 2.383
Crude oil 16.58
Brent Crude 15.22
5 yr. Treasury Note 109-23
And Gold 299.50

GoldiloxThe most Dangerous man in the Mid-south#11839003/10/04; 14:49:15

Featured as this month's Silver-Investor article of the month, Franklin Sanders tells of his grueling battle with the IRS and the State of Tennessee over running a small store selling gold and silver as money.

As usual, the goon squads showed up in full SWAT regalia with automatic weapons to scare his neighbors and seven children instead of serving the warrant in a civilized manner.

His entire Presbyterian church was arrested on conspiracy charges, with the prosecutors claiming that he was involved in successionist military activities for claiming "Gold and Silver are money".

A good read for those with strong stomachs. I might have dismissed this as somewhat inflammatory, but I have pretty strong respect for David Morgan's integrity.

GoldiloxAg mainstream #11839103/10/04; 15:23:11

CNBC's Heckle and Jeckle just interviewed the CEO of Pan Am Silver and Bill Fleckenstein about the "unexplained" commodities bull. Larry responded, "What will it do to gold and silver if this dollar rally continues for another 5-10%?"

They answered that the current 5% dollar rally hasn't really cooled the metals bull so far!

Duh, Larry!

BoilermakerEl Paso Emulating Enron#11839203/10/04; 15:27:20

The giant energy company (EL Paso) warned on Wednesday that it could be restating years of financial reports in order to properly account for a huge cut in reserves that stunned investors last month. In the meantime, the company has postponed its fourth-quarter earnings release -- originally slated for Thursday -- and the filing of its latest annual report until the completion of an internal audit. It is currently seeking waivers from its lenders to address the likely restatements and filing delays.

Unravelling this one should be fun to watch unless you're an EP shareholder.

nickel62So true..#11839403/10/04; 16:03:46

Subject: Are you a liberal? A conservative? Or a Southerner?

Answer the following question:

You're walking down a deserted street with your spouse and two small
children. Suddenly, a dangerous looking man with a huge knife comes around
the corner, locks eyes with you, screams obscenities, raises the knife, and

You are carrying a Glock .40, and you are an expert shot. You have mere
seconds before he reaches you and your family.

What do you do?

Liberal Answer:

Well, that's not enough information to answer the question. Does the man
look poor or oppressed? Have I ever done anything to him that would inspire
him to attack? Could we run away? What does my wife think? What about the
kids? Could I possibly swing the gun like a club and knock the knife out of
his hand? What does the law say about this situation? Does the Glock have
appropriate safety built into it?

Why am I carrying a loaded gun anyway, and what kind of message does this
send to society and to my children? Is it possible he'd be happy with just
killing me?

Why is this street so deserted? We need to raise taxes, have a paint and
weed day and make this a happier, healthier street that would discourage
such behavior.

Conservative Answer:


Southerner's Answer :


Remarx@nickel62#11839503/10/04; 17:07:57

Review your history. Scapegoating and vilification of liberals and progressives was the beginning of nazism in Germany and fascism Italy. Conservatives were manipulated then, much like they are today, into serving the purposes of the controlling business elite -- and you may regret your intolerance someday as much as they did a few years on.
goldquestWhat Do You Do?#11839603/10/04; 17:09:43

First, what does this have to do with gold? Second, as we would say out here in the West, who would be stupid enough to bring a knife to a gunfight?
RemarxApologies#11839703/10/04; 17:24:40

Sorry, I should have just ignored the OT post -- but sometimes its hard...
knotakare@Goldilox:The most Dangerous man in the Mid-south#11839803/10/04; 17:26:29

Goldilox, would you please provide a link to the article you summarized. This link doesn't seem to contain the article you quoted.


CytekREFI'S are FLYING#11839903/10/04; 17:52:23

My wife the morgage loan officer says the phones are ringing off the hook. Everybody who missed the rate drop between last june and july are wanting to refi, and guess what, they all want more cash out. Filled those credit cards up to the hilt they did.

I told her the $TNX has just started to fall , i pulled up a chart and drew a few trend lines and told her to take it to the office, i mean bank and post it. She doesn't think the $TNX will retest the lows of last year. Ha, i told her it will and i bet Greenspan will pull another rate cut out of his hat if stocks continue to meltdown. I'll bet Joe 401k is getting a little worried right about now and might want to lock in last years profits and move money into treasurys. Well that's if Joe 401K is smart. If he was real smart he would borrow on his 401K at the low rates and buy that yellow metal.


steadywhats in store, certainly will not be a bore, especially if the $ gets tore#11840003/10/04; 18:58:17

perilous delarious
no u cant scare us
nothing new under the sun
its all been said and done
but amusment and fun you do cause
for me to sit up and take a pause
to develope a new cause to watch the effect
the revial of the dormant gold sect
called from above form below
anywhere a voice can go
thru a mind
in an ear
to hear the sound of a saying
honest money gold and silver for honest people
from every economic stepple
to awaken the shepple.
to avoid a doom and gluum
its a trip as the dollar goes rip rip
while the percoluating double bouble of trouble drips currency specific bpombs on wrong footed derivative intrest rate spreads that got dem bankers seeing red
but with rose colored glasses and reading from a bed well they say nope it aint dead not yet, now thats a put bet!
individuals be getting his ship in order
avoid fiat border out the sorter, avoid the chaff gather the wheat tell everyone u meet that silver and gold ownership is neat
some u will meat while they are sitting on their seat others while both on there feet but the mind meating a silent greet as with the gleam in the eye you will understand why, an old tardtion
one held back in submission
now no longer seeking permission.
a role to play its voice will be heard with what it has to say
gold and silver as money is on the way.

FoundersFirst Post#11840103/10/04; 19:33:39

Hello fellow Goldbugs! This is my first post on this board. I just wanted to say that I've always admired this board for the quality posts and posters. Hope I can contribute some to the conversation.

My thoughts tonight are on deflation. I've been leaning more towards a deflationary scenerio over the last few months but the market action over the last few weeks leads me to believe more and more that deflationary forces are indeed taking hold. Deflation can be good or bad. In a classic gold standard economy we have good deflation as prices slowly declined due mostly to technological advances. (plow and mule to tractor,etc.). In a fiat based monetary system deflation is primarily a function of imbalances which cause overcapacity. This overcapacity is usually the result of "easy money". Today this is rampant in our economy both domestically and internationally. But the biggest area of overcapicity is in the labor market (India,China).

What I see is deflation in labor wages due to manufacturing overcapacity as well as labor overcapacity. The continued easy money is now flowing into commodities which is causing inflation in food,energy and durable goods. The result is a financial squeeze for the average American family - and they are making up the difference with debt. Very few American's want to give up their standard of living.

As to what this all means to gold and silver? I beleive that money/cash "do best" in a deflationary environment and gold and silver are the only true money.

Thanks for letting me spout off.

Dollar Bill.,.#11840203/10/04; 20:17:05

TownCrierWide Awake Club (msg#: 118370) -- Treasury "default" on 30-yr bond holders#11840303/10/04; 20:23:11

I believe August 5th of last year (2003) was the first occassion that I addressed this sort of Treasury operation at the Forum. The premature bond call that you've cited today is the sixth such operation that I am aware of in which the Treasury exercised its prerogative to cease making interest payments on a targeted group of bonds. The following was the call for redemption that I cited in my example last summer:

The Treasury today announced the call for redemption at par on August 15, 2003, of the 8-3/8% Treasury Bonds of 2003-08, issued August 15, 1978, due August 15, 2008. There are $2,103 million of these bonds outstanding, of which $1,314 million are held by private investors. Securities not redeemed on August 15, 2003, will stop earning interest.

These bonds are being called to reduce the cost of debt financing. The 8-3/8% interest rate is significantly above the current cost of securing financing for the five years remaining to their maturity. In current market conditions, Treasury estimates that interest savings from the call and refinancing will be about $270 million.

Payment will be made automatically by the Treasury for bonds in book-entry form, whether held on the books of the Federal Reserve Banks or in TreasuryDirect accounts. Bonds held in coupon or registered form should be presented for redemption to financial institutions or mailed directly to the Bureau of the Public Debt.

The other bond call that I cited last year was this one effective November:

The Treasury today announced the call for redemption at par on November 15, 2003, of the 8-3/4% Treasury Bonds of 2003-08, issued November 15, 1978, due November 15, 2008. There are $5,230 million of these bonds outstanding, of which $3,322 million are held by private investors. Securities not redeemed on November 15, 2003 will stop earning interest.

These bonds are being called to reduce the cost of debt financing. The 8-3/4% interest rate is significantly above the current cost of securing financing for the five years remaining to their maturity. In current market conditions, Treasury estimates that interest savings from the call and refinancing will be about $870 million....

Of the six operations I mentioned earlier, here are the details of the other remaining four Treasury bond calls, representing a premature sort of "default" to the unwary investor were as follows.

#1) A call for redemption at par on May 15, 2000, of the 8-1/4% Treasury Bonds of 2000-05, issued May 15, 1975, due May 15, 2005. There are $4,224 million of these bonds outstanding, of which $2,047 million are held by private investors. Securities not redeemed on May 15, 2000, will cease to earn interest.

#2) A call for redemption at par on February 15, 2002, of the 7-5/8% Treasury Bonds of 2002-07, issued February 15, 1977, due February 15, 2007. There are $4,234 million of these bonds outstanding, of which $2,668 million are held by private investors. Securities not redeemed on February 15, 2002, will cease to earn interest.

#3) A call for redemption at par on November 15, 2002, of the 7-7/8% Treasury Bonds of 2002-07, issued November 15, 1977, due November 15, 2007. There are $1,495 million of these bonds outstanding, of which $1,022 million are held by private investors. Securities not redeemed on November 15, 2002, will stop earning interest.

#4) A call for redemption at par on May 15, 2004, of the 9-1/8% Treasury Bonds of 2004-09, originally issued May 15, 1979, due May 15, 2009. There are $4,606 million of these bonds outstanding, of which $3,109 million are held by private investors. Securities not redeemed on May 15, 2004 will stop earning interest.

Technically these are not defaults, but they almost certainly smell like a default to the typical trusting investor who doesn't normally read the fine print on these things and naturally assumes that a 30-year bond is a bond is a bond... a binding obligation of the United States government for 30 years.

Unless market rates soon move higher, we can probably expect more of this sort of thing to continue, at least for the next five-and-a-half years. Because, up until 1985 some of the bonds issued by the U.S. Treasury were callable (with four months notice) within 5 years of maturity -- to the interest-termination effect documented in the cases above.

On a semi-related note, another, newer tool in the Treasury's interest-rate arsenal is the legislation made effective January 2000 in which the Treasury may engage in buybacks at any time of outstanding, unmatured marketable Treasury securities. Since March of 2000, there have been 45 such interventions (thru April 2002), all of them, not surprisingly, mopping up the long end of the spectrum.

To reiterate a point I made a couple weeks ago, market rates are something that are probably best taken with a grain of salt.


R PowellFounders#11840403/10/04; 20:33:41

Hello and welcome!
We hear your warning that the average Jill + Joe may have trouble maintaining their present standard of living when what are considered essential expenses rise in cost while incomes stagnate.
This was one of the main points in Batra's "The Crash of the Millennium". He believed that wages would not keep up with increasing costs (devaluing currency). I believe it will prove prophetic but it's progress will be gradual except for those poor souls who lose their good paying employment and can find only lower paying jobs. The American public has proven that they will accept more revolving debt rather than fewer comforts. The next generation has an even more ingrained sense of entitlement and less willingness to "live small" as Trapper often advises. This bothers me as many believe that it's the government's function to provide life's necessities and even more rather than just provide the liberty in which each can get an equal chance to prosper (or not if one so chooses).
I often equate the right to own gold as a symbol of individual rights versus an ever increasingly intrusive central government. Gold and politics...never separated very far, are they?

Clink!Dow finally tumbling ?#11840503/10/04; 20:41:05

The DJI cut through both 25 & 50 day MA like a hot knife through butter this week. Same with SPX and IXIC. The VIX is even more spectacular, going from an all-time low around 14.5 last week way back up to 18.7 - and the curve appears to be accelerating.

TownCrierAfter all of that, let me underscore another point...#11840603/10/04; 20:48:28

When it comes down to the issue of "income", or perhaps more properly said the issue of "earnings", I would rather trust to a growth of my portfolio of wealth through the market's deigning of capital gains upon my real property (such as gold) than through the expectation of interest payments upon notional, derivatized credit/debt (that is, on money--such as it is).

In other words, it's better to have a bird in the hand (something) which may get fatter (real capital gains), than to "have" two birds in the bush (promise-money) which, prior to flying away, may not even create any eggs for the nest (real interest).

It is a choice we all must face. All, or nothing, or somewhere in between.


FoundersR Powell#11840703/10/04; 20:59:05

Thanks for the welcome! Yes, Gold to me equals freedom. Gold is the protector of truth and freedom and liberty. It may sound corny but it is true. Once that is grasped then one can't stand holding paper money vs. precious metals.
"the hidden confiscation of wealth" vs. the protector of wealth. Interesting battle.

GoldiloxMost Dangerous Man . . .#11840803/10/04; 21:35:01

@ knotacare:

Follow the posted link. Then click on "Who is the Moneychanger" for his story.

Sanders was mentioned in one of the articles in today's Prudent Bear postings, as well, so that amounts to another supporter.

Gandalf the WhiteLet me too WELCOME you Sir Founders !! <;-)#11840903/10/04; 21:45:37

Founders (03/10/04; 19:33:39MT - msg#: 118401)
First Post
I am seeing the POO and therefore GASOLINE (together with most other commodities) heading to new highs and that can only cause one thing in MHO ----
As more people take any job to earn SOMETHING to try and keep their ship afloat. Things are seeming to be not getting any better for MOST of the sheeple.
BUT, some are starting to remember my discussions of GOLD !

GoldiloxDubya's speech today#11841003/10/04; 21:50:55

I haven't found the link (not worth the effort), but I caught a clip on CNBC where he compared his "programs" to FDR's saving the economy during the Great Depression.

Now THAT's scary!!

steadyelasticity to provide for condensability#11841103/10/04; 21:52:22

u say
In other words, it's better to have a bird in the hand (something) which may get fatter (real capital gains), than to "have" two birds in the bush (promise-money)

i think gold wont get fatter as its uniquness in that it has hte capability to expand , elasticicity, while at the same time condense your weatlh, not get fatter but thin itself down
gold: condensnceing the essecne of fiat scripts message:

SundeckGandalf #118381 - US dollar hot-air balloon and the Japan MOF#11841203/10/04; 22:05:24

Yes Sir Gandalf, a very good question?

The Japanese Ministry of Finance has already spent this year more than half what they spent all last year keeping the Yen down against the dollar. How long can it last? Some people speculate that intervention may ease after the end of the Japanese fiscal year (end of March).

Others speculate that it will continue indefinitely, in order to position the Yen lower to allow room for appreciation if the Renminbi becomes linked to a basket of currencies.

But then, China is now running a trade deficit, so it is not at all clear which way the Renminbi would go when China becomes sufficiently confident of its financial system to let its currency compete internationally.

Looking at gold, perhaps not surprisingly it is appreciating against the Yen (about 12% since major intervention started last September); but not smoothly...

Greenspan is probably right in saying that predicting FX moves is impossible...unless you happen to be a "market maker"...which the Japanese MOF is undoubtedly. The question is: "When do they stop firing the burners that keep the US-dollar-balloon aloft...bouying up and drifting down...up and down...until it clips the tree-tops...or gets caught in an updraft of irrational exuberance??"

Japan's fiscal deficit is currently about 1.5 GDP...much greater than the US'...but who's only paper (or polymer, or 1s and 0s whizzing around on a computer disk...

What we do know, of course, is that ALL fiat currencies lose altitude eventually until they get lost in the trees...



monTROZSilver historic data#11841303/10/04; 22:26:51

Since others have been digging up old data long since archived. Here's data for "SI00" the continuous silver contract which I have going back to mid 1996. It's not Spot, it's the front month adjusted for cotango. I don't know the exact formula for the adjustment.

Date Open High Low Close
07/16/1997 4.32 4.335 4.18 4.185 Bottom
01/28/1998 5.925 6.09 5.82 6.06 Start of spike
02/05/1998 7.38 7.40 6.88 7.265 Peak

More interesting to me than the precise high is the run rate. July '97 to February '98 was 204 days at 0.015 $/day. Pennies per day!! The real move was at the end of the run, Jan 28 to Feb 5, a move of $1.20 in 8 days including 1 weekend, or 0.20 $/trading day. The current run looks like.

06/05/2003 4.48 4.51 4.48 4.50
03/09/2004 6.92 7.20 6.92 7.18

That's 278 days at about 0.01 $/day. Slow and steady, if you ignore the daily fireworks.

GoldiloxMoose Market#11841403/10/04; 22:28:19


"The history of capitalism tells us that cycles are the norm; indefinite business trends simply are not. The stock market isn't any more likely to go straight up forever than it is to go straight down forever. Cycles occur because of temporary imbalances in supply and demand, imbalances that eventually correct themselves. 96% of the world's population lives in emerging markets. They have 26% of the GNP.

Peace put 2 ½ billion people in the world labor market. India and China alone contain over 2 billion consumers. Suppose each of the 2 billion people consumes a mere quart of gasoline per week as their economy booms; that's an additional 1.7 million barrels a day, new demand that is sure to increase price. Today, China is booming. They have declared the national bird to be the construction crane. Last year China's factory floor produced 50% of the world's cameras, 35% of the TV's and 30% of the refrigerators sold worldwide. In the last five years china went from exporting oil to the second largest importer in the world. The Chinese will go from walking to bikes, to motorcycles and to autos. They will need oil and gas, chemicals, forest products and metals. At 80 cents per hour they are deflating manufacturing costs, but as they become more successful, they will throw away their bicycles and buy motorcycles and eat better, increasing the demand for raw materials.

In the first 6 months of 2000, China's oil imports increased 100%. The Chinese eat less meat in a year than we eat in a weekend. Raw materials are now close to their lowest prices in history. Tops and bottoms are creatures of extreme. Markets rise above all rational expectation and then go higher and then they fall farther than common sense suggests. The most desirable investments for the future might not be in cyber space, but back to the basics.

By the end of 1998 the only drilling rig in Texas not laying on its side was at the Midland Petroleum Museum. Oil in 1982 was $28 a barrel. Allowing for 3% inflation, that would equal $47 a barrel today. In 1981, there were 4,530 oil rigs operating in the U.S. Today there are 1,000, up from 500 in April of 1999. It takes a long time to add to capacity. Aggressive EPA regulations have so discouraged refinery construction that there is no major refinery operating today that is less than 27 years old."


A great article by Clyde Harrison, founder of the Rogers Raw Material Fund.

GoldiloxWhy Pt?#11841503/10/04; 22:36:22


"Platinum reached another 24-year high spurred by Japanese speculative buying after stronger than expected domestic growth data stimulated investor demand for industrial metals. More platinum is used for catalysts in motor vehicle exhaust systems than for jewellery, or any other industrial use."


Japan's export dominated economy MUST ensure a ready supply of platinum and palladium for catalytic converters!

GoldiloxThe New Gold Accord#11841603/10/04; 22:40:22

Look what I found!

MK, I know you're not fond of the limelight, but I agree that Puplava's site is a very worthy forum - as is yours!


TownCrierGoldilox, you'd have found it a lot sooner if you were a regular visitor to MK's News & Views#11841703/10/04; 22:43:04

"All the gold news that's fit to link"


GoldiloxVenezuela retains US firm's gold in mines crackdown#11841803/10/04; 22:59:54


"CARACAS, Venezuela, March 10 (Reuters) - Venezuelan authorities said Wednesday they had retained about $2 million of gold produced by a U.S. mining company in a crackdown against illegal exports, but the company said the case was an administrative mix-up.

Hecla Mining Co., the largest private gold producer in Venezuela, said it was in full compliance with Venezuelan tax, export and regulatory laws. National Guard troops Tuesday took away 5,400 ounces of gold, produced by Hecla for export, from a secure warehouse in eastern Bolivar state.

Gen. Alberto Betancourt, the National Guard commander for the Bolivar region, said his troops moved the gold to Central Bank custody because Hecla had failed to clear up so far apparent irregularities in export and tax documentation.

"Up to now, everything points to them (Hecla) having some serious deficiencies," he told Reuters.

Tom Fudge, the head of Hecla's Venezuelan operations, said the company was cooperating with the authorities.

"This is just an administrative misunderstanding and we'll get things sorted out shortly," he said.

"They've made a request for documents, we'll fulfill that and we'll be delivering those documents soon."


More messes in Venezuela! It gets stickier daily!

GoldiloxNot my first view#11841903/10/04; 23:02:49

@ TC:

Not guilty, your Honor! I read it at N&V first; I just really enjoyed seeing it on another site.

nickel62What no sense of humor? Get a grip...I was trying to offend Southeners#1184203/11/04; 05:26:15

Sorry if I misfired and hit a liberal.
TownCrierWatson says: Put on your thinking caps!#1184213/11/04; 07:01:48

Break out your slide-rule, your magnifying glass, and lite up your pipe, Sherlock!

New pieces have arrived to an old puzzle. Can you further ravel or unravel the mystery?

MK wants to know what you know because we don't know what all there is to know, ya know?

Give it your best shot, but most of all, have fun. And when you tire of look at or pondering somebody else's ambiguous property, call USAGOLD~Centennial for the real deal to call your own -- coins and bars in standard material and sizes.


MKNews & Views#1184223/11/04; 07:26:33

Breaking News!

German Central Bank Gold Sale Plan Stalls
Behind the scenes controversy goes public.


You are invited to visit now, often. Updated regularly. Stay abreast the gold market via News & Views, this forum and the Daily Gold Market Report.

This is the website where serious gold investors congregate and keep in touch with the market. Please bookmark this page.

USAGOLD Daily Market ReportPage Update!#1184233/11/04; 07:27:03">
The Daily Gold Market Report has been updated.

If you are considering investments in gold we invite you to">request our free introductory information packet detailing the products and services offered by USAGOLD ~ Centennial Precious Metals. We welcome your inquiry and look forward to working with you.

TownCrierHEADLINE: ECB's Welteke: gold sales not for for budget holes#1184243/11/04; 07:31:20

BERLIN, March 11 (Reuters) - European Central Bank Governing Council member and Bundesbank President Ernst Welteke said on Thursday the Bundesbank had a clear position... "For us it is about maintaining the capital that has been built up over many years and not using it to plug holes in the budget."

The Bundesbank has announced plans to sell 600 tonnes of its 3,400 tonnes stock of gold over the next five years. Welteke has proposed any proceeds be put into an interest-bearing fund whose income could be used to promote research and development.

He met members of the German parliament's budget committee on Wednesday to discuss the idea but the reception was hostile, leading the Bundesbank to threaten to review its sale plan.

Welteke said on Thursday the debate was far from over.

"I would regret it very much if members of the German parliament took a decision after half an hour meeting with the president of the Bundesbank."

-----(from url)-----

The six-month-early announcement of the terms under the renewed and extended Central Bank Gold Agreement was quite likely intended to help pacify some particular gold counterparties growing antsy over the credibility of outstanding receivable positions.

IF the German budgetarians are truly wanting to sell and spend the gold funds outright, thus causing the Bundesbank to balk on its proposal to reallocate this portion of gold, it might reasonably be expected that the general sense of calm acheived by the early Agreement announcement could be quickly undone.


MKA special note of thanks#1184263/11/04; 07:40:33

to Calidor for sending along his interesting collection of photos. We thought it would be fun to present them for your perusal and comment, and as a puzzle/detective game. Please post your assessments here.

By the way, Calidor, though a client, never let us know he was in the military. We do provide a discount for all military personnel and have since inception of this firm. The military has an affinity for gold and we like to do our part in supporting those who serve in this country's armed forces. So let us know if you're military when you make a purchase at USAGOLD.


White RoseIraq photos are not gold#1184273/11/04; 07:53:05

My estimation of the dimensions of each bar is about 30x70x15 cm. Thus each block is 40-50 kg, or 90-100 lbs.

The way the soldier is holding the bar, it could not be 90 lbs. The wooden pallet could not carry 250 bars, as that would be 12.5 tons.

We do not even know if the pallet is all of the load or not. Even so, a truck carrying 12.5 tons would have collapsed. If it did not, there is no way that the truck could have been driven to the lot without the soldiers wondering "what the **** are we carrying in the back???"

So I say no, just by the sheer weight of gold.

Interesting photos, though.

Cometosepopping the bubble#1184283/11/04; 08:08:17

............on this way the bad news comes..........
GoldiloxIraqi gold?#1184293/11/04; 08:29:19

See, I came up with my question just before you posted, and I was just trying to get another poster back on topic! Call me clairvoyant.

1) SG (specific gravity) of gold is 19.3:1 (H20=1)
2) Bars look to be about 2 liters.
3) email says they are about 40lbs each; 2L=80LB.
4) Pallet load is 235 bars (counting rows of 7 and 8)= 9.4T; a lot of weight for a wooden pallet (about double my Silverado)
5) 1000 bars (email estimate) = 40T; that's a lot of weight for a truck that size.
6) One VERY strong marine to hold in that position.

They could also:

1) be plated
2) be alloyed
3) be painted, although it looks like they were previously painted or coated and then scraped.
4) have been swapped in/out for the picture.

Probably not real or pure gold.

The press reported two trucks stopped on the highway, so these are probably not that shipment, either.

Who's got them now?

More questions than answers!

White Rosemore on iraq gold#1184303/11/04; 09:01:04

Sorry, I meant to say 30x7x15 cm, which works out as 3 liters. Look again at the photos. Please give me dimensions that would lead to a 2 liter volume.

At 3 liters, weight is 58 kg or 127 lbs
At 2 liters, wight is 39 kg or 86 lbs

So even if they were only 2 liters each, I cannot see the guy so effortlessly holding 86 lbs.

SurvivorAbout The Truck and Golden Bars#1184313/11/04; 09:03:04

The truck pictured should easily carry 12-14 tons per (rear) axle by our standards here in the US. If loaded beyond the "rated" capacity, it might haul 1.5 times that weight - although early failure of a suspension component becomes more likely. So, 75,000 pounds (inlcuding the truck itself) is not out of the question. This doesn't include the steer (front) axle which carries the engine and cab along with a small portion of the payload.

The pallets have almost no limit to their capacity while sitting on the ground. Finding a forklift to pick one up is another matter, but 10 ton forklifts do exist.

Could a buff marine display a 90 pound bar as shown. Sure, no sweat. Don't expect a picture of those bars being juggled like tennis balls anytime soon, though.

Does anyone have knowledge - or a guess - as to how many bars were in the truck?

Has anyone ever been around a logging operation? A logging truck with 10 or 15 good fir logs weighs maybe 75,000 pounds. Log loaders (basically a specialized forklift) toss those logs around like toothpicks.

GoldiloxIraqi gold#1184323/11/04; 09:06:48

@ White Rose:

I caught your X10 mistake, but assumed it was a typo. I guessed 2L visually, as it looks like a similar size to a 2L soda bottle. If that's a conservative estimate, we're in the same ballpark, with similar conclusions.

steadytime ryhme whats the next line#1184333/11/04; 09:13:58

not enough time to make a rhyme but the silver line appears to be 7.10 again and again, what cant go down must go up! yowzersssss hang on.
anyone want to go surfing.
no hanging ten this time ahahahhahahah

GoldiloxIraqi gold#1184343/11/04; 09:25:16

One of the more puzzling pieces is the Lt's statement that they were like 40Lb dumbells. Big difference between 40Lbs and 80-90 Lbs. Even a marine would notice that when lifting them.

That's a joke for any SemperFI's reading this.
(Randy - don't give out my email, either!)

Also, the pictured truck doesn't even come close to a logging truck for hauling capacity. With the rear wheels mounted together, it would be very tipsy under overload - sort of like a few Castle posters on NM overload!

GoldiloxGreenspam flaps his gums (again!)#1184353/11/04; 09:39:07


GS spoke to a gahering of educators this morning and told them they need to worry more about training skilled workers than offshore jobjacking (my words).

Hey knucklehead! When a MSCS loses a job for $100K to an Indian programmer who makes $20K, how is more education gonna help him. $20K is below the official poverty level in CA, where homes average $450K.

The jobs we're camping out to apply for pay about $50K, and there are literally hundreds of applicants per job.

How about we tie government and FED salaries to an index of manufacturing salaries? Think of the budget savings if all government workers take a 50% pay cut. If they also took a 50% retirement benefits cut, the budgets would be back in line.

Great Albino BatWhite Rose: the dimensions of the "gold" block you report#1184363/11/04; 09:52:17

Seems that Iraqi "gold bars" are on everyone's mind this morn.

White Rose, you report approximate dimensions of some bars you saw somewhere - T.V. or photos perhaps - as being 30 cm. X 70 cm. X 15 cm.

That gives a total volume of 31.5 liters (a thousand cubic centimeters equals one liter).

The specific gravity of gold is 19.32; that is, 19.32 times as heavy as water.

A liter of water weighs exactly one kilogram (one kilo). So, 31.5 liters of gold times 19.32 equals 608 kilos, or in pounds, 1,338 lbs.

Either the dimensions you report are incorrect, or what?


Mr GreshamWhat is wrong with this picture?#1184373/11/04; 09:52:32

Here's the link from MK's news page, about the German gold sale idea meeting political opposition (or apathy). And it even says the FRENCH might be interested. ????????

"Meanwhile, the French government said it, too, was interested in the idea of selling gold stocks as thousands of researchers went on go-slow in protest over lack of funds from a government which faces regional elections in less than two weeks. "


What is all this talk about "Research" and now even "researchers"? "Researchers" who are now "protesting"??!!?? Quelle merde!

Doesn't this smack of something like crowds storming the President's residence in countries like, say, Iraq (Mossadegh) or Guatemala (Arbenz) or now even Haiti (Aristide), demanding, uh, "Democracy". Yeah, that's the ticket: Democracy. (Uh, where's those pesos you're handing out, Mr. Spookman? I did the protest.)

Is Europe so starved for "research" (of WHAT type???) that it has millions of unemployed or underpaid "researchers" lying around the maison watching old Asterix cartoons on the tube, getting fat on brie and treating their femmes badly when they get home from work?

Bien sur! If gold is the only available piggybank we haven't raided yet to get these guys back into the harness, and discovering new improved, uh, whatevers, then let's sell it!

(Hey wasn't I hearing that France/Europe were suffering from TOO MUCH value for their money, the Euro, lately? Shouldn't that count for something? Aren't they just able to, ah, PRINT up some of that money, and indeed, do so on a regular basis?)

Do Europeans have some kind of cult fascination with the idea of "Research"? ("Ya, effer since ve drove out Einstein, ve chust haffen't been ze same. Ve gots ta boogie vit ze research!")

WHAT KIND of "Research" are they going after here? Or has somebody just forgotten to fill out the rest of the cover story? (Maybe it's Research in the field of Economics they're thinking of? In which case, offering a lobotomy to Welteke would be a very economical first step.)

It's as if an ad agency, totally cluelessly, delivers their new TV commercial to the client, and all sit around watching it, nodding, chuckling, ya, ya. And no one notices, they forgot to put the name of the product in that they're trying to sell!

I dropped my daughter off at school yesterday morning. There was a mother doing the same, walking hand-in-hand with her daughter to the door. In her PAJAMAS, the mother was! (Nice blue flannel trousers they were, too. Shiny stars and moons on them.)

You just wonder if she didn't notice; or didn't care. Just woke up too late to get dressed? Maybe still asleep; sleep-driving? (Nothing surprises anymore. One of the perils of having survived this long.)

Why does she remind me of these holdover anti-gold Eurocrats? Can't they get their stories better? Or are they just putting in face-time at their offices, until they are thrown out?

I hear the not-so-distant quack -- of the Lame Duck...

Cavan ManMr. Gresham#1184383/11/04; 10:14:17

Perhaps we shall hear from Mr. Weletke himself?
White RoseYes, I made a mistake on the dimensions, but not the weight#1184393/11/04; 10:23:40

I thought I corrected my error. I worked out the dimensions as leading me to believe the bars were 3 liters in size. I accidentially typed in dimensions that worked out to 30 liters. Darn those factors of 10.

I think the Itaqi bars are about 100-125 lbs in weight if they were pure gold.

The soldiers handling them are reported to have said they were about 40 lbs each. I think they were melted brass (shell casings) and not gold.

GoldiloxProtestors#1184403/11/04; 10:27:13

@ Mr G:


"A small group of protesters lined parts of Abbott Drive between the airport and Airlite Plastics Co., where the president spoke to the plant's employees and supporters about his economic stimulus plan.

Most of the protesters were with the opposition group Fair Taxes for All. The group opposes Bush's proposal to hand out $726 billion in tax cuts over 10 years.

Organizer Patrick Pannett said the group was moved away from an original protest site designated by the Secret Service.

The group had been told it could protest at the back entrance of Airlite Plastics. However, the Secret Service instead taped off an area more than a block away from the plant and the presidential motorcade route.

"That just shows you that the White House is obviously working very hard that we don't get our message out," Pannett said."


Don't expect protestors to be seen anywhere Bush speaks. He chooses his pulpits carefully (military sites and contractors). The Secret Service is being documented all over the internet forcing any protestors to be quarantined hundreds of yards from the site, and keeping media from interviewing them.

The link I chose today is mild compared to the ones I saw yesterday. Protestors at many Presidential speech sites are being detained for trespassing on public property (not a crime), and released with charges dropped after the event is over just to keep them from being seen by the public.

Patriot Act killed the 4th Amendment. The Secret Service is "containing" exercise of the 1st Amendment.

Gold gold? It's gonna get worse before it gets better.

SundeckIraqi gold bars#1184413/11/04; 10:52:55

1. Using positioning of Marine Brown's fingers, the bar he is holding is approximately 20 x 10 x 5 = 1000 cubic centimetres, implying a mass of about 20 kg (about 45 lbs).

2. This is consistent with the "40-pound dumb bells" comment in the story. Marine Brown could probably hold a 45 lb bar in the manner shown for a posed phots. Note the slump of his left shoulder. (Tried it myself, heavy but OK...not with gold, unfortunately.)

3. There are approximately 200 bars on the loaded pallet and three pallets visible near truck. If they are all similarly stacked with bars then there are about 600 in total for about 4 tonnes per pallet and 12,000 kg, or 12 tonnes all up. Heavy for a pallet, but probably manageable. (Whoever did the stacking was not smart...the columns will topple as they are moved.)

4. The truck is easily able to carry 12 tonnes, in my view. Estimating its tank capacity at about 25,000 litres implies a fuel load of about 20 tonnes. Looks about right.

5. The story describes gold "stacked" three feet high and 20 feet deep. This is probably a bad estimate of size (implies weight of several hundres tonnes) and appearance, as the photos show gold not "stacked" but "piled" or "strewn". I estimated about 600 to 1000 bars in the pile that the man is sitting on. This accords with the story: "after stacking close to 250 of them with probably 75 percent more to go"; which would imply about 1000 bars - also consistent with pallet estimates.

6. The bars are rough in appearance and not shiney. They are probably gold dore, the unrefined product from mines - about 90% pure and often cast into bars up to 25 kg.

Conclusion: Yes, they have found about 12 tonnes of gold dore, containing about 380,000 oz of gold, priced at about $130M (at POG = $350 in July last year).

No conspiracy here...



steadycopper bars#1184423/11/04; 10:54:34

heck they even got yall fooled if they said they where copper there would have been a stampeed for them bars ( see recent price surge in copper) so instead tehy pawn it off as a barberic worthless commodity , and as usual the world shruged whern it comes to gold, now if they had said copper teh vermin would have been allover it like white on rice. a simple deception to decieve, whom to belive, belive yourself as no one else will or even cares.
Gandalf the WhiteIF you look Quickly --- You can see the chart formation of the US$ and ---#1184433/11/04; 10:59:24

see that the time of decision is very near !!!!
less than an HOUR !!!
PS: Sgt Brown says the bars are GOLD !

7nomads"gold in hand"; I think not#1184443/11/04; 11:13:05

While some of the pictures make us dream of the seventh heaven, I believe the way the marine is holding his catch as a key to its contents.

His fingers are too far apart and his hand too far back on the bar. While I'm no weight lifter he is having to rely on his grip to hold the bar rather than using the palm of his hand. The bar at its angle and its position toward the front of the marine's body would force the solider to lean forward.

Maybe I'm way off, but this particular picture may not make the rounds if this rumor persists.

Mr GreshamCorporate pension plans#1184453/11/04; 11:30:12

"financial black box", "a peek under the hood"...

Amazing that the public (the employees! for G's sake!) have never been able to know what these pension plans are holding.

Goldilox: "worse before it gets better". Amen.

What will drive U.S. individuals into gold? The revealed insolvency of their retirement schemes.

From corporate plans, to self-directed 401k's and brokerage accounts, to Social Security's capped and higher-age-to-reach benefits. Mass layoffs, and declining wages for the remainder, leading to the implosion of debt-based "savings" vehicles.

Who will be the last man standing? Easy answer, that. But long in the arriving at.

Yes, in normal times, money, pure money, withheld from the markets, should not be your most productive holding. It should be invested in the brains, drive, and skills of youth, and the wise guidance that comes with experience. It should elicit new science, better living, more time for the arts, for family, for the love of life.

But when all the productive schemes have been replaced by financial scams, there is no refuge from the thieves but the most solid holding, well-guarded, until it is safe to come out again.

Jacob MarleyWeighing in on the Iraqi pig iron#1184463/11/04; 11:33:30

London Good Delivery min. .995 gold content - dim. approx. 8.33" x 3.33" x 1.875"; weight 400 oz. or 25 lbs. That bar that Marine Brown is holding is too large.

Also, with his build, and the way he's articulated holding that bar, with about a 5" spread from thumb to little finger -- isn't likely holding 25 lbs -- if that even were a 400 oz bar. Since it's larger, it's even less likely. From his stance (the bar is just slightly forward, as he's allowing his wrist to drop from a pivot point so apparently the bar can be displayed to the camera), he's too casual for that weight at his muscularity.

He's mechanically supporting the weight too much in his grip, not in his palm, and by being forward, his biceps are taking on most of the work, instead of absorbing the weight into his elbow. Not that it's that hard at all, but it's not the natural way someone would grab that object, if it were 25 lbs or more. Just a slight tilt further back, and it's a piece of cake. I agree with 7nomads on this.

As far as overall dimensions, assuming the pallet is a standard 1m x 1.2m ISO pallet, we would be seeing the long side with some overhang. So eight bars across the short side brings each bar to about 5.208" wide. Allowing for a small gap between, then 5 inches seems to be about right -- which also matches empirically with Brown's finger span.

I don't think I've ever seen gold bars poured so roughly. Look at the pallet - short side facing us, 4 up 3 from the right. Look at all that overhang. What mint pours their bars like that? And that coloring is just too spray-paintish in my opinion.

If those were .995 min. purity, and you were loading them in the truck so carelessly (like cinder blocks), you would leave behind enough dust and fragments to take a nice holiday. Someone would have had to have been in the most dire haste to load gold like that.

imho, fool's gold.

BoilermakerGold Brick Puzzle#1184473/11/04; 11:38:19

I estimate each bar at 10"x4"x2.5"=100 cubic inches which makes 70# (if gold) and total quantity 1000 bars (250/.25). Total weight is 35 tons for gold. The two axle truck is probably designed for 17 tons max net load which looks about right for this tanker that probably handles 100bbl or 4200 gallons of fuel oil at 7.1#/gal or 15 tons.
The bars could be gold but I really doubt it due to axle and tire limitations. Also, Brown is holding the bar towards one end and although it looks like he could handle 70#, if it were that heavy he would probably hold it in the middle.

I vote for bogus brick.

Jacob MarleySundeck's Doré bars#1184483/11/04; 11:53:19

Aaaah.. I think Sundeck is on to it. Yes, if they are Doré bars, they could well be so rough, and roughly handled, and larger than a 400 oz'er.
Gandalf the WhiteTHERE we have it ! --- A lesson in Charting !#1184493/11/04; 12:03:28

US$ going down and ---
POG going UP !

Paper AvalancheHmmmmmmmmmm.....#1184503/11/04; 12:30:56

Amelia Earhart
Jimmy Hoffa
January / February PPI


steadylernt#1184513/11/04; 12:33:05

dadgummit i done did lernt sumting on dis der here form, tis simply amzin what a body can finds here all kinds of STUFF floatin rond dis here intrnet thingymajig
what great teachers we got here who will to dun share der hard ernt knowledge wif de rest of us peons dat is simply amazin maybe my son will b lernt how to read and write sumtin this souls neve had de oppotunity. gold and dat der silver rocket will pay fer his edumacation , who says gold is dead!

USAGOLD / Centennial Precious Metals, Inc.Enter the gold market with grace and confidence.#1184523/11/04; 12:39:58">Change paper into gold!
GoldiloxIraqi gold#1184533/11/04; 12:52:52

Closer examination shows the bars are trapezoidal from the end view, that is, wider at the bottom than the top (or vice-versa), making the volume calculation one step more complex than HxWxD. Most of the guesses seem to be around 2L, leaving the 40 Lb per guess the most "telling" evidence, as Au would be double that weight.
TownCrierIs ANYthing as it appears? Assume nothing, question everything.#1184543/11/04; 13:27:43

Here is another point to ponder in contemplating this caper.

That truck is variously described as a "fuel truck" and as an "oil tanker truck".

Have you EVER seen such a leaky thing... complete with a full-sized HATCH door on the back?

Now consider the happier moments before this vehicle was captured. Try to imagine the circumstances under which it was loaded. Who loaded it, and from where? How many helped? How was it loaded, and how quickly? Did the original loaders know what they were loading, or did they merely think they knew?

Sir Sundeck correctly observes that the contents appear "strewn".

I think we can all agree, that's certainly an odd manner to stack heavy gold bricks, even if/when you are in a hurry. It is probably as just as quick or easy to place a heavy brick in an aligned manner as it is to toss it the small distance it could be tossed.

And surely the truck was loaded from front to back -- can you imagine trying to stumble overtop that pile as you distribute the payload through its hatch door? It's much easier to walk over a clean floor. Or was it loaded with a conveyor belt? After all, isn't that how most fuel tanker trucks are loaded? <wink wink, nudge nudge>

Keep those brains switched ON. We're making good collaborative progress here. There's a complete story here that should make sense from everyone's perspective -- all the way from the guys involved in the original manufacture and storage of this yellowish bricks (why), to the guys who were hauling them somewhere (why), to the final decisive assay and fate of these bricks which we have yet to uncover.


Gandalf the WhiteOK, Goldy ---For a precise measurement and cal'c ----#1184553/11/04; 14:04:31

What is the width of the pocket lapel on a OFFICIAL Marine uniform ?
AS to the strength of Sgt. Brown, REMEMBER he is a MARINE !

Paper AvalancheThe conspiracy theorist in me cannot help but think that.......#1184563/11/04; 14:05:29

it is a moot point whether the Iraqi bars are gold or not. IMO, like much of the manufactured news that we are fed, this story had a purpose. It was to psychologically link physical gold to Saddam / terrorists in the mind of Joe Sixpack. By doing so, if there should be another terrorist attack, there will be little public reaction to the confiscation of gold and silver in the name of national security.

I may be wrong. I often am.


Gandalf the WhiteANOTHER look at today's US$ CHART Reading LESSION !!!#1184573/11/04; 14:10:07

See what can be projected from the formations ?
Pleae review my posts #'s 118443 & 118449.

Federal_ReservesGoldilox> Greenspan's comments on trade.#1184583/11/04; 14:11:57

From 87 to 2000, the US benefited from Greenspan's globalism. It bought lower inflation, lower interest rates, falling unemployment and wage growth was around 4%, and of course the stock market was booming. The tech and service sectors, along with construction boomed in the USA, making up for the loss of manufacturing jobs. Now with the bursting of the stock market bubble the other side of global blade is being laid bare on the US economy – rising commodity prices, rapid offshoring of jobs in the once strong tech and service sectors even as manufacturing continues to decline, wage growth falling to 1%. Policy makers have yet to realize that things have changed, they are selling a trade system which is now working in reverse telling everyone to remain calm. IMHO nobody has a clue what to do. Greenspan wants to wait it out. To his credit, Greenspan did recommend extending unemployment benefits as we observe the continuous meltdown of jobs.
White RoseIraqi "gold" guess#1184593/11/04; 14:38:40

Lets say someone wanted to make a phoney looking stash. Perhaps as a decoy. When the real stash is moved, you also move the phoney ones. If you called up a metal company and said "I want 300 big metal bricks that would look just like gold bars, but make them as cheap as possible", you would probably get this result. Notice the grainy appearance. Notice that they look a little tarnished. The oversize is to help hide the lack of density. Real gold bars would be produced more carefully and be stacked more carefully.

Since these bars are not gold (and probably weight a third of gold of that volume would weigh), they did not destroy the truck's suspension or axle.

Perhaps in the confusion of the invasion, somebody may have thought they were real. And who knows? Some of them might be hollow and contain microfilms on building weapons of mass destruction. You never know.

RimhIraqi Gold - NOT!#1184603/11/04; 15:06:57

I just returned from the PDAC in Toronto, where Placer Dome had a booth with 1)a 400 oz 99.99 pure bar and 2)a 1000 oz 85% pure dore bar. I lifted both and I can tell you that the bar that the soldier is holding is not likely real. It is almost as large as the 1000 oz bar which, even for a strong military guy, would require two hands to lift. I may be wrong, but having just seen the real stuff, and lifted it, those bars in the pictures look phoney to me.
SurvivorOne More Try . . . One Picture At A Time#1184613/11/04; 15:09:03

Inside the tank: Could that pile be 1000 bricks? Probably. The load is piled over the rear axles, right where it should be. Can't tell much from the appearance of the bricks. I agree that the pile is sloppy, but for heavy bricks a sloppy pile is easier to load and unload by hand than trying to keep fingers out from under/between perfectly aligned bricks. I also agree the load would have been done in haste. A little lost gold dust? 99% of the load is worth more than 100% of nothing.

The truck: As the owner of a 16 ton vehicle, I'm very sure that those axles, wheels, and tires are good for no less than 12 tons per axle. The wheels are 22" or 24". Michelin makes tires for that type of wheel that are good for up to 18 tons per axle. Those ratings are for a "safe" load. A renegade could probably get away with 50% overload, so the tandem axle setup could actually support at much as 18x2x1.5 = 54 tons or 108,000 pounds.
The truck, therefore, *could* support 1000ea 75 pound bricks along with the weight of the truck itself. (The front axle carries much of the truck's own weight.) Remember, those are "real" truck axles, not the kind of junk you find under a motorhome built on a 1 ton van chassis.

Pallet of bricks: Sure are pretty in the sunshine! A pallet will support much more weight than the machine that tries to pick it up - so anything goes while it just sits on the ground.

Marine with a brick and a smile: Seems the bricks would weight around 70 pounds if made of gold. The marine is about twice as buff and 2/3 as old as I am. Just for a test, I easily picked up a 40 pound object off the floor and held it the way he is. I think I could do the same with 70 pounds for long enough to snap a picture. He looks like he could handle another 20 or so.

My conclusion? I can't rule out gold based on evidence in the photos. Doesn't mean I'm necessarily convinced that it *is* gold - I just can't rule it out.

Besides, according to the accompanying tale, somebody sure wanted it back badly! If it weren't gold, what else would attract so much attention? The bribe offers were too large for, say, copper. I guess the other possibility would be a WMD component - but we would have heard all about it by now if were WMD the case!

Cavan ManHail White Rider!#1184623/11/04; 15:40:01

What is the air speed velocity of a three ounce swallow carrying a five pound coconut?
BoilermakerTownie's Observations#1184633/11/04; 15:40:21

You are right about that hatchback tanker. Not a likely configuration unless it was a decoy transporter for weapons or other stuff not designed to be seen. There appear to be no hoses or pump sets mounted on the truck to handle liquids. Also the 6 locks suggest something more valuable or secret than fuel oil. The inside of the tank should show signs of fuel oil and certainly reek of the stuff. The hatch on top is square instead of round or oval. This defiitely looks like a homemade and bogus tanker.

Now, why would this tanker be loaded with fake gold as I originally deduced from the physical evidence? That's the tough question. If this thing were designed to handle secret stuff why would they put fake gold in it? Possibly a decoy to cover another movement of the real stuff?

The phone call from Iraqi security and voluntary turnover seem a bit of a stretch. There have been other bogus gold shipments. Why go to such lengths to be caught smuggling fake gold?

Aha!! I see the fingerprints of Alan Greenspan on this diabolically bizarre charade. He is creating the appearance of a world-class Iraqi gold stash that will flood the gold market just as Iraqi oil will flood the oil market. I love that guy.

Gandalf the White<;-)#1184643/11/04; 15:50:57

Cavan Man (3/11/04; 15:40:01MT - msg#: 118462)

OvS90 million dollars worth of gold#1184653/11/04; 16:16:09

What's the big deal about 90 million dollars
worth of gold? Bill Gates bought just one notebook
out of over a hundred of Leonardo da Vinci's and
paid 34 million dollars for it...
Just remember: A trillion dollars isn't what
it used to be. OvS

NedGolden pics!#1184663/11/04; 16:29:05

Just to introduce another tangent I go along with the notion that they could be real gold bars.


a) who was the owner of the gold when the truck was apprehended?

b) where is the gold now?

c) who is the owner now?

Cavan ManDid Russell call the top of the Bear Market Rally?#1184673/11/04; 16:58:54

"Investment Position -- May I suggest that subscribers read or re-read my piece on the Home Page, the piece entitled "Rich Man, Poor Man." This is the time, I believe, to at least act like a rich man (Warren Buffett, for example). Yeah, I know that to be invested in T-bills or in a money market fund or a CD means that you get paid next to nothing. But to be invested in other than cash today means to be invested in something that's overvalued.

What's overvalued today? Stocks, bonds, real estate, condos -- frankly, almost everything.

Question -- Russell, why are you so worried about the stock market at this time? What's really bothering you?

Answer -- I'm worried because, as I've said, I believe the top for this market is now in. I'm worried because if the bear takes hold again here, it will be deflationary. Yes, declining stocks are deflationary. If stocks turn down here, they will be pressing against the greatest mountain of debt in world history.

What about gold? Gold is the only money with intrinsic value and which has no debt against it. As such, gold is "bankrupt-proof." This is the great value of gold. In an all-out inflationary environment, gold will tend to keep up with inflation. On the other hand, in a disastrous deflationary credit collapse, gold stands as intrinsic money that will defy bankruptcy. Should there be a panic out of all paper currency in a world deflationary collapse, there could be a panic to own the only money that is pure intrinsic value, gold.

Gold stocks are not gold."

Richard Russell excerpt from his XCLent letter (3-8-04)

NedOther weird questions#1184683/11/04; 16:59:08

Inside tanker:

What is that thing at the front? Looks like a couch.


Why are these people unloading the tanker in the middle of a road/lane/parking lot? If there is multi-millions of dollars here where is the security? Two soldiers w/ pistols, 4 or 5 other unarmed soldiers and 5 Iraqi's, where's the security, the onlookers, the spectators? Because it's an American army base, why the 5 Iraqi's?

Pallet of bars:

Why are the bars criss-crossed? Looks like it was stacked by a 5 year-old.

mikal@Cavan Man#1184693/11/04; 17:54:09

Richard Russell's Dow Theory chalked up another serious confirmation this week.
Liberty HeadThose Metallic Bricks#1184703/11/04; 18:12:49

Brass shell casings being recycled.

Best Wishes

Humble PieRe 118454#1184713/11/04; 18:26:34

Randy you said it all "assume nothing Question everything " Nuff said
physicalmanGOLD BARS#1184723/11/04; 19:06:02

The bars. Don't really matter to me unless GW and gang drop em off at my house and ask for my help in reviving the economy . What should matter is how large is your stack at home. Not as big huh. Call our fine hosts and enlarge your stack a little more while TPTB allow us a window of opportunity to load up a little cheaper. Unless that marine is a relative of yours.
SundeckNew Zealand Dollar Tumbles; Central Bank Seeks Approval to Sell #1184733/11/04; 20:10:11


March 11 (Bloomberg) -- The New Zealand currency tumbled to a 3 1/2 month low and bonds surged as the central bank sought government approval to buy or sell the currency after it maintained its benchmark interest rate at 5.25 percent.

Sundeck: NZ CB seeks greater flexibility to intervene in the FX markets. Another bank gearing up for the competitive currency devaluation??

I suspect NZ CB is more concerned about "leaps" rather than "tumbles". Not much a small country like NZ can do if the big players take a liking to its currency, other than do what Malaysia did a few years ago - peg.

Australia has been "adding to its reserves" over the last year or so. Reserves were run down when the Ozzie took a dive some time ago. It seems fairly arbitrary what CBs call "replenishing or adding to reserves" versus "intervention"...I am sure the Australian Reserve Bank used the opportunity to "replensish its reserves" to slow the rapid rise in the Ozzie in recent months. Not "intervention"? More to come, I suspect...


Dollar Bill.,.#1184743/11/04; 20:24:57

The French and German actions this week on the gold sale issue makes no sense to me. Unless, I view it as a play act on thier part. They have signed on to supress gold for another 5 years, and since they are part of that team, and DONT want to be forced to sell more, it is in thier interest to telegraph to the world a sense of complete nonchalance or disinterest in gold ownership.
Oh, we might sell it to create some jobs, Oh, we might sell it to build a bridge, Oh, we might sell it for school supplies, Oh, whatever, we seem to not be able to decide WHAT silly reason we will sell the gold for, so maybe we will just bicker about it for a while.
NOT bicker about why in the world would we sell it of course! But we will just jostle amongst ourselves talking about all the different mundane uses we could use the gold sale "dollars" for.
Bereneke says the gold standard is a dinosaur, the euro boys say gold is good for.....say......selling to buy a bottle of wine! Anything!
Just YOU dont think it is worth buying. PLEASE!
Uh, ok guys.

SmeagolPictures of Precious, or not?#1184753/11/04; 20:32:23

Hmmm... we thinks that if those were really bars of It, then whoever made SO MANY of them, would they not have been careful to put their mark on them? We see no marks, and none are mentioned... (put one in the fire, precious, maybe Gandalf can see? sss...) On the other handses, if they were brass, why mark them? Are 'dore' bars usually marked?


Dollar Bill.,.#1184763/11/04; 20:54:54

I liked this, maybe you will also.
ToolieThe Evolving Global Monetary Order #1184773/11/04; 21:06:08

Here are a couple of snips from Jerry L. Jordan, President and Chief Executive Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. I believe these comments were made in 1999.

Snip: In time, the emergence of national fiat monies during the twentieth century, together with securities markets that allowed the issuance of government debts payable in fiat monies, will be viewed as an experiment in which the costs of monetary mischief became increasingly clear. Traditional justifications for monetary independence will sound hollow, and constraints on fiscal policy actions will become more binding.
There is, however, a core tension between the interests of market participants and the incentives of local politicians to redistribute, rather than create, wealth. In the end, the forces of wealth creation will dominate those of wealth redistribution. The adjustment process has not been, and will not be, a smooth one.

Achieving discipline, though painful, will have a positive effect. As the president of Korea said earlier this year, there is a "silver lining" to the Asian currency crisis. The restructuring and reforming of the banking institutions now occurring in Asia will leave them better off. It would have taken much longer to bring about these much needed reforms without the "crisis atmosphere."
This final decade of the millennium has seen considerable financial market turbulence. At the end, though, we have already evolved toward a more stable global monetary order. (end snip)
Hmmm, I wonder why "silver lining" is in quotation marks?
This address leaves little doubt in my mind that the purpose of the free trade induced, economic pains that are being felt today by state governments, and soon at the federal level, is the "irresistible battering ram" required to bring accountability to government spending. After all this "creative destruction" is endured, those "sacrifices" would be of little value if the new global monetary order were not based on sound, time-tested wealth.

Bretton woods style or otherwise; gold is coming back into the money system!

SteveHPicture of Bars appears to have been altered to hide...#1184783/11/04; 21:21:07

the ID of any markings on the bars. There are pixel anomolies on the top of the gold bars that shows pixel merging, whereas at the side of the bars, there is not that affect. Colors may have been tampered too. Some other parts of the image also appear to have this merging-affect as well.
Liberty HeadBrass vs Gold, Fun Facts#1184793/11/04; 21:27:24

22 grams per cubic centimeter, is only slightly more dense than gold or platinum. Density is such a characteristic property of each substance that it may even be used to identify the substance. A student of mine once brought in a heavy metal bar which he thought looked like gold. Measurement of its volume and mass yielded a density of about 8, the density of brass. We always laugh at the old movies in which a stagecoach is being robbed of its gold shipment and the bad guys are tossing the boxes of gold around. An ordinary suitcase full of gold bars would have a mass of a ton or more. A bank once had a cubic foot of gold in its vault and offered to give it to anyone who could carry it out of the building. A cubic foot of gold is 1200 pounds, about the same as three steel oil drums filled with water.
Reminds me of "A Sword in the Stone".
The Knights of the Roundtable should dispatch young Arthur to this bank. With a little help from Merlin, we could have a real king with real clothes.

"To some, but a dream. To others, a nightmare. Ah ha ha"
- Merlin

Best Wishes

SundeckNikkei and Hang Seng both down about 1.7%#1184803/11/04; 22:21:33

Oops...are the lemmings leaping world-wide? Dow and NASDOG looking very "cliffey" as well...enter the PPT?

Japanese MOF support for the US dollar also providing an "exit strategy" for large holders to off-load their dollars - I still wonder at their strategy??? (We need an MOF insider...anyone out there?? Hee hee hee...)


Black BladeAre huge deposits a thing of the past? #1184813/11/04; 22:24:25


TORONTO ( -- The era of huge mineral discoveries containing substantial reserves are probably over, meaning major mining companies may have to settle for smaller deposits.

In a presentation Monday to the international convention of the Prospectors and Developers Association (PDAC) in Toronto, mining economist Michael Chender of the Metals Economics Group, noted that while exploration is up, the size of new discoveries is shrinking. He also warned delegates at the conference that the reliance on junior mining companies to find grassroots exploration projects, was not a viable solution to the looming shortfall in new projects.

Black Blade: Yep, the easy to find deposits are more difficult to find. With growing demand and falling supply the outlook for metals (especially PMs) is particularly bullish. The same could be said for most natural resources.

GoldiloxThe Marine#1184823/11/04; 22:28:56

@ Gandy:

I never said the marine could't pick up the brick. I said he(or someone) reported it to be 40 Lb, and a marine probably knows the difference between 40 Lbs and 80-90 Lbs.

Umph vs. Haruumph!

GoldiloxDid Russell call the top of the Bear Market Rally?#1184833/11/04; 22:46:03

@ Cavan Man:

I don't know for sure if he did or not, but I feel pretty good about dumping the Equity fund I have been carrying for about 15 years. Once it topped its bubblicious 2000 NAV, I said, "Thank you and good night!"

monTROZGold Bars#1184843/11/04; 22:49:49

It looks to me like those are miners dore bars. The discolorations are probably from copper, some of the bars look pink or reddish, and some of the bars show some greenish stains from oxidized copper. The color in general is very light yellow which suggests that the gold has a lot of silver in it. Some of the bars have visible pour lines showing lighter colors on top. The bars narrow side would be the bottom of the mould, the bars are upside down on the pallet and in the Marines hand. If a mining company stamped the bars it would be on the top, the wide side because it's smoother, which doesn't show up except in the photo inside the tanker. I've poured quite a few (smaller) bars and the only thing I stamped were a few letters indicating the mine origin and the weight. That might not show up in the photos. The bars irregular sizes and high variability indicate many different pourings with different amounts of other metals, very typical of mining product. If a major portion of the metal is not gold but copper and silver then you can probably cut the weight estimates in half. Copper is about half the density of gold and silver a little denser than that. Look at a piece of 14 karat gold jewelry it still looks yellow like gold but it is (14/24) only 58% gold. The bars that look pale yellow may be less than half gold. The rough and irregular edges of the bars may indicate a sand mould rather than a nice clean cast iron mould. If the bars were to be sent to a smelter for refining there's no real need for them to look good.
The next question I have is what mine are they from? Since they are probably poured at the mine site it would indicate a deposit that produces copper, gold, and silver. It's not a heap leach or carbon in pulp operation because those usually use electrowinning at the mine and produce cathodes of high purity. So it's probably an underground narrow vein producing a gravity or flotation concentrate that is smelted at the mine. A detailed assay of the bars could probably produce a metal concentration signature that might actually pinpoint the mine.
My paranoid, distrustful, raving lunatic, side says to be very careful doing the assay. It would be a wonderfully devious place to hide some very heavy radioactive material. The gold would probably absorb most of the radiation making it undetectable until melted or cut open. It would also be a sneaky way of moving that kind of material. High security because it's gold, heavy and kept apart by the surrounding metal so as not to start anything. Maybe from some small African country producing both gold and uranium, in exchange for some oil. Yeah, "they" keep telling me I'm nuts.

GoldiloxArgentina Default#1184853/11/04; 23:33:06


Here's a headline you don't like to see if you're a bondholder: "Argentina defiant towards private creditors." That's according to the Financial Times. The paper reports that Argentina is not kidding about asking creditors to write off 75% of the nominal amount of the debt. It will come as no surprise that creditors so far have rejected that offer.


Where'd I put those old Moody Blues albums?

"Listen to the tide slowly turning,
Wash all the sadness away.
You're part of a fire slowly burning,
And from the ashes we can build another day."

Black BladeGold Bars?#1184863/11/04; 23:39:40

We have seen about a dozen reports of "gold bars" in Iraqi trucks being detained. In every instance so far none of these bars have been found to be gold. Some were painted copper ingots and others were melted brass shell casings. I don't see this "new" report being any different. The shear weight (actually mass) would collapse the truck if it were really gold and render the truck useless. Of course the US is dead last in education among industrialized nations so it is quite understandable that some US soldiers may think that they stumbled onto "gold" not knowing simple chemistry and physics. ;-)

- Black Blade

GonlyoldPictures#1184873/11/04; 23:43:45

Where's all these pictures everybody's talking about?
GonlyoldI Found 'Em#1184883/11/04; 23:55:16

Just had to massage my computer a little to show me the entire day's postings.
slingshotMidas Crusade#1184893/12/04; 00:03:21

The two days granted to Cougar passed very quickly and his accomplishments were monumental for he understood the applications of wood, iron and rope. Communication of his ideas and plans to those doing the tasks was a skill many do not posess. Waste of the materials they have brought with them could not be allowed.
During the preparations many would come to watch the workers building the tools for the coming battle, that drives the Dark Forces from Hammerton. They workers sang the songs of old as hammer, axe, and drill converted raw material into machines of war. This gave great confidence to those watching.
After the first day, Sirs M.K. Black Blade, Belgian and Ari came to the worksite. They remarked amoung themselves how well the workers performed their job as they sang.
Within a short time all dismounted and shed their armor and swords. Some workers stopped to gaze at this sight.
They walked down to the men and Sir M.K. asked a worker.
What shall we do? Stund at what he had just heard answered.
We need help in the drilling. Pointing to the area where that work was being done. Sir M.K. walked over and a worker handed him a drill.
The other Knights, as Sir M.K. were shown where they were needed and went to work.
As news spread of what was taking place the songs became soft, but come back louder then ever.
The next day Cougar came to the same place to have council with the Knights.
All is completed. What is left is for you to give the word, said Cougar.
The Knights and Sir M.K. had seen the effort put forth and
knew the West Gate would not stand.
All that was left was the final positioning of men.
The council was convened and a small table was in the center with goblets filled with spirits.

Cougar stood in front of Sir M.K. and told all who listened his plan. Questions were asked, and answered.
And in the end Sir M.K. grasped one of the goblets from the table and raised it above his head.

He then spoke. If this plan is acceptable to all, show it by taking a goblet from the table and raising it high.

One by one they removed the vessels from the table and raise them, and when all had taken hold,Sir M.K. said,
" To the capture of Hammerton"

"TO THE CAPTURE OF HAMMERTON", was said by all.

A rider then rode up to them.

He dismounted and gave Sir M.K. a dispatch and he opened and read it.

He lowered the script and looked at all at the council.

The army Of GATA is at the crossing upstream, accompanied from those from the Valley of Clouds and await instructions.
They bring with then the Knights of Old and their numbers are great!he said.

Is FOA and Another with them? asked Sir Black Blade.

It does not say, Said Sir M.K.

Before dawn the final assualt will begin!


GoldiloxMidas Crusade#1184903/12/04; 00:11:03

@ TC

Did we ever get an additional second for the nomination of the Midas Crusade to HOF archival status?

Goldilox - nomination
WaveRider - second

slingshotGoldilox#1184913/12/04; 00:27:18

Druid made the third motion. Have it framed already.

Gold StandardThose Iraqui "gold" bars#1184923/12/04; 04:07:51

Sorry, basic physics and mathematics proves this to be a consummate fake.

Physics: it has the appearance of a roughly poured dore bar, although colour is too "yellow" indicating significant Ag, Pb and Sn contaminants.

History: a recently deposed dictator who allegedly let his people starve whilst constructing some 95 "palaces", who is alleged to have put his political enemies through industrial plastic shredders, and who is alleged to have tacitly approved the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of his countrymen, is, I admit, a likely candidate to have a secret cache of gold, if only from the fillings of those unfortunate thousands who had been put through the shredders.

Mathematics: The hand-held bar is angled, so sizing is difficult, but allowing a MINIMUM case of 25 x 14 x 8 cm readily observable and scalable from the picture, with a tapering of 1 cm all around, the "volume" of the thing is going to be somewhere between 2600 cc and 2800 cc. Allow 10% either way for parallax errors, and you have minimum 2340 cc and maximum of 3080 cc.

Minimum 2340 cc weight is 45.2 Kg, and maximum possible weight for 3080 cc is 59.4 Kg. Mathematics: Specific density of Au is 19.3g per cc, so the weight that Sgt Brown is hefting is somewhere between 45 and 59 Kg.

OK, so he's a Marine! Look where the balance point is!

Physics: His fingers are entirely within the upper 50% of the block, so the point of balance is approximately 2/3 the length of the bar. Given that Sgt Brown is hefting (let's assume a "clean and jerk" action) something between 45 and 59 Kg, this becomes an impossible fight against gravity.

Anyone who lurks or contributes to this site will remember forever the day they first pick up a sizeable piece of bullion, be it silver, gold or whatever. Man, is it heavy for its size! THAT'S the first thing you notice about a precious metal!

My favourite bars are Ag 5Kg - I have not compared 5Kg Au bars, (haven't held any yet) but I admit to fondling some 1Kg Au bars. Gold is almost TWICE the specific density of Silver (19.3 to 10.5 g per cc). I have trouble grabbing and lifting 5 Kg silver bars, not because of the weight per se, but I think more because of the "surprise" value, of how much weight can be concentrated in such a small area.

I then visualise the concept of a 5Kg gold bar, ONE-HALF of the size of these silver bars which trick me.

A gold bar that Sgt Brown casually holds from the top half of length, weighing somewhere between 45 and 59 Kg - absolutely impossible. Can't be done.

I would says that the "bars" are nothing more than the hurriedly-melted brass cases of WMD's, by someone who wanted to cash out of the war very quickly (what do they say about Quarter-Masters?).

The bar that Sgt Brtown is holding up is so poorly melted that you would not even call it a dore bar. Under-temp is indicated by the leaching of metallurgical clumps through the surface.

My vote, MK, is disregard it as nonsense.

Cheers, GS

Clink!Those bars ....#1184933/12/04; 06:28:12

It's interesting how everyone brings a new angle to the puzzle. That's what I call real teamwork, guys ! And now for my surprise tidbit - 'Sgt Brown' is actually Barry Levinson.

Chris PowellMusing about a merger of Newmont and Barrick#1184943/12/04; 06:37:40

Analyst writes favorably of hypothetical merger of
Newmont and Barrick.

To subscribe to GATA's dispatches, send an e-mail to:

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BoilermakerIraqi Gold Bricks?#1184953/12/04; 07:55:09

Yesterday's message from monTROZ and my own curiosity got me to thinking of depleted uranium weapons. Uranium has a density very near to gold and a slightly higher melting point. Here's a snip from the site above

"In the 1950's the United States Department of Defense became interested in using depleted uranium metal in weapons because of its extremely dense, pyrophoric qualities and because it was cheap and available in huge quantities. It is now given practically free of charge to the military and arms manufacturers and is used both as tank armour, and in armour-piercing shells known as depleted uranium penetrators. Over 15 countries are known to have depleted uranium weapons in their military arsenals - UK, US, France, Russia, Greece, Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Pakistan, Thailand, Iraq and Taiwan - with depleted uranium rapidly spreading to other countries.
Depleted uranium was first used on a large scale in military combat during the 1991 Gulf War, and has since been used in Bosnia in 1995, and again in the Balkans war of 1999."

Perhaps the bricks are a light metal encasing some uranium. But since Iraq was known to have such weapons (which are not WMD's) why would they go to such measures to move it in secrecy?

GoldiloxBars#1184963/12/04; 08:58:19

If the bars are possibly melted brass, maybe some enterprising Iraqis are following the Coalition forces around and recycling their discarded shell casings.

The more fantastic explanations are fun, but I lean toward the simpler solutions, as the chaos of war is a good motivator to take the easiest possible approach to things.

SurvivorDore Bars; Truck Capacity#1184973/12/04; 09:11:18

The arguments presented since yesterday for the bars to be dore or even less make the most sense. Probably someone's effort to salvage whatever they could.

I respectfully disagree with the opinions about what the truck could carry, however. A visit to a truck manufacturer site gives specs that are consistent with my estimate yesterday for a tandem axle chassis of the type shown:

Dual drive axle capacities up to 70,000 lbs
Rear suspensions up to 46,000 lbs
Front axles and suspensions up to 23,000 lbs
Tires (dual mount) up to 37,000 pounds (each rear axle)

Total capacity up to 69,000 lbs, if used at the rated load. An "outlaw" making off with "the goods" wouldn't hesitate to overload, making the breaking point of that truck perhaps 100,000 pounds. 1000 bars at 70 lbs each could be carried, although I notice we have one estimate that the bars would be well over 100 lbs each if made of gold - although apparently they were not.

OK, I'm done with this one. What's next, MK? :)

GoldiloxPeru`s January gold output hits new two-year high#1184983/12/04; 10:00:56



March 11, 2004 11:08:38 (ET)

LIMA, Peru, March 11 (Reuters) - Gold output in Peru, Latin America's largest producer of the precious metal, rose 23.2 percent in January year-over-year to 17,387 fine kilograms, the Ministry of Mines and Energy said on Thursday.

The result brings production to its highest level in two years, beating a previous two-year high reached in September of 16,732 fine kilograms, the ministry said.

Yanacocha, Latin America's biggest gold mine, led the surge in production with a 35 percent rise in output in January, compared with the same month in 2003.

"Yanacocha accounted for 53 percent of total national gold production this January," the report said.


Something's going right somewhere in the world.

steadywhats next?#1184993/12/04; 10:44:46

well if u belive the text of greeni everyone soon wont be eating hot dog weeines
we know for sure there are warrior meanies trying to decpate those who do fiat hate
it all is up to u to controll your own fate
im thru
get gold or silver
one of the two will do
call usa gold they will help you !
(800) 869-5115 ext.100

steady bouy alert#1185003/12/04; 10:58:20

set waves heading your way-stop
be prepared- stop.
time, duration,frequency and depth starting to come clearer, more info needed before confirmation can be redone please reactivate bouy .9999 and PLEASE hurry i need that info.

SurvivorUS Senate Calls For Petroleum Reserve Halt#1185013/12/04; 11:45:50 . . . the US Senate approved an amendment to the fiscal year 2005 budget that calls for an immediate halt to deliveries of oil into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve... The amendment calls for the revenue accrued from selling royalty oil to be used for deficit reduction and increased homeland security funding, instead of placing the oil into the emergency reserve...

Survivor: Great. Now we will effectively spend our oil reserves instead continuing to save them. More smoke and mirrors. Anything to give the illusion of better times just long enough to get elected.

GoldiloxThe First Big Friday Lie#1185023/12/04; 11:49:56


BLS- "We will continue to work diligently to resolve the remaining issues holding up the calculation of the PPI. When revised release dates for the January and for the February 2004 Producer Price Indexes have been determined, we plan to announce them at least one day ahead of time on this web page and through news advisories."

Ure- What does this imply? It means the government - with all of its resources - can't even figure out the producer price index, which has been a stalwart of economic forecasting for decades. OK, you want to believe the government? Then you have to believe they are dumber than a typical college business class, which working as a group could have resolved the whole thing in a matter of a week or two - and had money left over for a party.

Frankly, I can't buy it. I can't believe people in BLS are stupid. I think they're smart - damn smart. But they also know they would be axed if they spilled the beans about the producer prices which we demonstrated in January would be up 20% because of things like the 30-60% increases in steel prices and the fuel prices.

{Prediction: We won't see the Producer Price Index any time soon because it is a political nightmare. It won't happen until after the next "terror attack" because the BLS no doubt needs something to hide it behind."

CoBra(too)Sell the (strategic) Oil Reserves!#1185033/12/04; 11:52:25

That will help to overcome the short term squeeze. Looks like all problems are pared by short term solutions in the hope to achieve lasting beneficiary effects.

As the real structural problems of the indistrualized world have been "rolled over" - and over again, it will get increasingly more difficult to keep up pretenses. The "missing" PPI release may only be seen another peak of the iceberg, while the unseen parts of the beast is becoming monstrous.

Now the country, importing 60 plus % of their oil is creating a (very) short term glut by selling their strategic reserves.

The question about the country's gold reserve may be seen in a similar fashion. cb2

PS: The Madrid massacre, in my mind didn't smack like ETA. If I would have been around to post, I would have done so, as I felt this a militant Islamic revenge to the crusaders and their "willing" allies. Of course, ETA would have been beneficiary to the government's re-election on Sunday, while the other option is unthinkable ...

GoldiloxThe Second Lie#1185043/12/04; 11:54:45


So the PPI is buried, now how does the administration get rid of inflation? Answer: Fuel Surcharges.

Fuel surcharges aren't counted as "inflation" because they are deemed "extraordinary." I expect there has been a rash of phone calls from the neocons to their corporatist pals with a simple request: "You're a patriot, right? OK, we need you not to raise your rates. Use a "fuel surcharge" instead, so we don't have to report high inflation, OK? That way you will make the same amount of money at your corporation - and be doing a big favor for the President, who we all know needs a second term in order to defend our American Way of Life, right?"

"Err...I guess so..."

"The President thanks you..."

Goldilox: When even the hedonistic adjustments don't work, more creative accounting is necessary. What did McLuhan say, "The medium IS the message".

Federal_ReservesOil Reserves#1185053/12/04; 13:18:54

The Strategic Oil Reserve is about 90% full now.

By the time the Senate action comes into effect next year, and they stop buying, it will be full, making the action all show.

GoldiloxMadrid bombing#1185063/12/04; 13:40:19

@ Cobra(too):

You said, "as I felt this a militant Islamic revenge to the crusaders and their "willing" allies.

A more systemic question, will TPTB ever stop arming madmen to do their dirty tricks and then blaming all the world's troubles on their insubbordinate madmen?

Has anyone in the administration ever admitted that Al Qaida is a renegade CIA op that was originally formed to chase the Soviets out of Afganistan? Of course not! They don't think the lumps can handle it. Little do TPTB understand that they would have wider support to take care of their dirty laundry if they just trust the people to care and tell them what's up, as no one else wants CIA renegades running loose, either. Don't repeal the constitution for the rest of American citizens because the CIA can't control a few of their operatives.

Latest reports out of Equatorial Guinea suggest interesting ties to big oil for yesterday's arrested mercenaries. New hot spots being formed? New bin Ladens being armed?

What incredible madness.

We've experienced our "Reichstag burning" and resultant "Patriot Act", but we're too anesthetized to react. The evidence was all shipped to China as "scrap steel" while we were still grieving. Investigations were stalled for three years to cover the trails, but now that it's election time, everyone suddenly wants to cooperate to the fullest.

The government has had so much trouble cooking the BLS books any further that they're just gonna withold the evidence from now on. What can anyone do about it without being labeled subversive? Sue them? LOL

Administration policy protestors are quaratined and arrested for "trespassing" on public property, not a crime at all, so they are released when the media leaves.

Gold and silver are price suppressed to maintain the illusion of low inflation while the BLS numbers are witheld. It also lets the "private" power brokers personally accumulate PMs while their governments continue to publicly spurn and dishoard them.

By concentrating only on Oil, Oil, and nothing but Oil, the neo-cons' negligence of other national priorities has enabled the rapid-term decay of the very US way of life they claim to protect. Given the bungling of the economy and foreign relations by the Neo-cons, Dubya may not be able to win in November without a second renegade CIA attack on US soil to bolster his image as "the great protector".

We should pay attention. The wag is dogging!

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Great Albino BatCobra(Too)...about ETA and the Madrid massacre...#1185083/12/04; 15:03:41

Of course, the authors of this atrocity are Islamics, and they have said so.

The Spanish government wants to cast doubt on the authorship, because it would mean making clear to the Spanish public that THIS IS THE COST OF PARTICIPATING IN A WAR ON FOREIGN SOIL against a country that had no quarrel with Spain.

The Spanish Government would not like to have their voters digest that fact, would they?

So they blame ETA, who does not act this way, and has denied their involvement. ETA has been careful to advise of bombs placed in public places, so that bystanders can move. This is not to deny that ETA has killed a lot of people! However, I THINK their killings are mostly directed at politicians.

"Massacres" only refer to our own people killed, not the enemy's.


J-BullionNYMEX Silver#1185093/12/04; 15:04:31

Nice drawdown in silver stocks today. I bet all big future withdrawals will all exit on Friday, to make sure you have 3 days to forget it happened.
OvSCIA a la Goldilox#1185103/12/04; 15:17:04

Goldilox. We all know that the CIA cuts across
all administrations; so why do you tag the
current one and the neo-cons with this outragious
accusation? Best to stay with the gold theme where
you have a lot to offer...OvS

TownCrierAlmost like being there#1185113/12/04; 15:30:10

Dear Sherlock.

I would like to give you yet another picture to help with your investigation. I'm sure you'll agree that it is of such high quality it is almost as good as standing on the scene.

Man, that is one ugly bar.


mikal@TCrier#1185123/12/04; 16:08:18

Ugly, yes, absolutely considering the conspiratorial crust of the matter. Just when it seemed beauty was only skin deep, I realized the bar was a beautiful prop to contrast and highlight the real thing, for those who know gold that is!
Your bar is ugly in the eye of very few, fortunate beholders. We can't be surprised when most come along and judge that brick by it's cover.

BoilermakerHUI#1185133/12/04; 16:23:24^HUI&t=1d&c=

Today's HUI suggests something positive for gold next week. The gold shares rebounded exceptionally well even as the metal never recovered. There have to be some insiders who know what's coming next week and they are using gold shares to place their bets. This is a game that is destroying the economy and the USA. Our winning the long side on the gold bet is small consolation if it is born from the corruption of our country.
CoBra(too)Madrid -? ... A Rant - forgive me, if you can .... #1185143/12/04; 16:32:19

@ G'Lox and GAB - You've expressed my thoughts right after I've been alerted to the terrible bombings last morning in Europe. Couldn't fathom why ETA should go to these lenghts, which assuredly would be totally counter-productive and alienate even the most ardent supporters to their case.

Without wanting to further aleniate our gracious host on 'political' discussion, I still feel that the system of a hegemonial dollar reserve currency is at the roots of the problem.

The military supremacy of the US after WWII, somewhat checked by the bygone days of the cold war has been running amuck ever since. Good riddance, yes, but instead of harvesting the real peace dividend for the US, and maybe by extension for the globe - this unbelieveable windfall has been squandered and turned into an obligation in the few ensuing years. What a waste.

... And as the military supremacy still abounds - payed by the rest of the globe - the first cracks become visible. The military super power is stretched beyond capacity, as the Patriot Act and Homeland security, in addition of "occupying" almost 140 countries of the globe are costs, which can't be covered much longer. Costs, which already amount to 80% of the rest of the world's savings, annually.

... And that is only accounting for financial costs; At least as it was accounted for in constant dollars - whatever that would mean in honest, no BLS tainted, numbers!

The real cost will be calculated in lost goodwill, morals or ethics in the long run. And these costs may be incalculable in any confetti currency, as they've undermined trust in the indespensable social contract between generations. An agreed upon contract, raped and perused by your respective governments. ... For their own insatiable ends, I might add.

This seems only a slight part of the equation. The amelioration on a global scale towards the West - now the US and its lackeys - may already have reached a stage, far beyond the military and the dollar hegemony and may be simplified to capitalism is standing for imperialism.

... And are ravaging the globe's resources to the short term benefit of few and the long term degradation of all ...

Is that too farfetched? I'd wonder, as a relatively small percentage of the world's population has been reaping the easy benefits of hedonic pricing of the most important resources to sustain a lofty pecuniary lifestyle. Meantime, the roots are forgotten, the claim to "fame" abandoned and the vision of the founding fathers confounded.

Let's return to reality! The reality of trust, handshake quality and a currency of exchange worth to be saved for the time we may need it! cb2

BoilermakerBank Closure#1185153/12/04; 16:34:30

Significant losses were caused, in part, by poor underwriting decisions, standards and credit analysis," it said.
Guaranty National Bank of Tallahassee had a high loan-to-value home equity lending program that was not properly overseen, leading to major losses, according to the OCC. The OCC ordered the bank to exit this lending program in an August 2002 enforcement action.

They forgot to sell or securitize the loans like Fanny and Freddy.

USAGOLD / Centennial Precious Metals, Inc.REAL gold, real peace of mind.#1185163/12/04; 16:46:35">gold -- a global calling card
steady FEAR#1185173/12/04; 16:55:35

let silver and gold calm your fears.
we see events forcing people to decide to stay inside,i pitty those who become so fearfull that they cant even function. govt 1000000000000000 sheeple 0 trains blowing up false leads up blind alleys who did what to who,
the only fear u should have is that u dont have enough gold and or silver.
all these man made events taking place on the planet areent such a big deal. think the anim,als feeling springs effects care about the pog or the poo or even what stocks went up or down? its all a man made gold bugs 200000 diamonds and there fake marketing scheme 0
ever tried to resell a diamond eh debers kinda difficult no resale market at equal prices.
why fear something man made wheather it be bombs, missles or tanks or anything else man made most events and things are marketing endevaors to seperaste u from your hard earned capitol, or to force u to think one way unless u cvan thorize, conceptualize, spiritualize, compromise and rise above the din by connecting the dots and seeing he big picture.
seperate the chaff from the wheat!

GoldiloxWorld Oil domination#1185183/12/04; 17:47:39


Certainly no previous administration in blameless in "intelligence" abuse, as Ike warned us, and JFK paid the ultimate price for. However, no previous admin has used "Patriot Act", "Homeland Security", and FCC "sweet deals" to foreign media owners to openly suppress 1st and 4th amendment rights of legal dissenters as flagrantly as this one. Hardly "outrageous claims", these issues are debated regularly in Congress and the courts.

As to the relationship of world oil domination to gold, may I suggest rereading FOA, as I have this week. Market manipulations and gold price suppression are important parts of this larger agenda.

I'll stop here before we give Randy an acid reflux issue.

GoldiloxHUI#1185193/12/04; 18:02:04

@ Boilermaker:

I hadn't looked as closely at the HUI, but my own miners all held up well, and rose quite a bit near the close. I agree with your analysis. Sinclair has said selling gold stocks right now is "giving them away", and I also concur with him.

The volatility of spot in Ag and Au is NOT reflected directly in the miners, as their action has been much more subdued.

steady not only once but twice?#1185203/12/04; 18:20:33

i twas jus scratchen my head tinkn bout gold reclassifying,
they had to reclassify there gold hahah twice not once but twice thar still has me scratchig my head, i thought gold was simply gold and nothing else why reclassfy something that is in a class by itself. im confuzed . And i know this the boofoons wont answer that question, not even with there typical political lie.
where is ari to help clear up this classifying thing, he is alway in a class by himself and we need his opinon on this. yooooooooo who ari care to enlighten me? please . seriously im confused!

GoldiloxMore HUI#1185213/12/04; 18:24:57


The next sector index is the Gold Bugs Index known as the HUI. I had warned about a correction in this index sometime back. This index made a double top in December and January. From the January top the December trading cycle low was violated. This confirmed the trend change. From the lower trading cycle low in early February the HUI attempted to rally, but again failed. However, the early March trading cycle low was made at a higher level than the early February trading cycle low, so this is potentially very positive. Also, notice that the HUI appears to be forming what is known as a symmetric triangle. In Martin J. Pring's book, Technical Analysis Explained, he describes symmetric triangles as follows: These patterns are also known as coils, for the fluctuation in price and volume diminishes as the pattern is completed. Finally, both price and (usually) volume react sharply, as if a coil spring had been wound tighter and tighter and then snapped free as prices broke out of the triangle. Generally speaking, triangles seem to work best when the breakout occurs somewhere between one-half and three-fourths of the distance between the widest peak and rally and the apex. This index can go either way and we will just have to see which way it breaks.


From Tim Wood's Friday wrapup over at FSO. His technical analysis suggests a new move, as well, though he isn't promising which direction. The other sectors look pretty sad.

knotakareGoldilox and CB2#1185223/12/04; 19:20:42

You guys are doing a fine job of hitting the nail on the head today. If the masses in Madrid today, and America in 2004, where the benificiaries of such insights, then these nasty problems could be solved overnight.

BTW, I'm watching to see if Sinclair is right next week. Since I'm into coins not stocks, it doesn't really matter to me. But I'm rooting for the gold bugs all the same.

Have a great weekend to all who contribute to this fine forum!


GoldiloxThe light at the end of the tunnel . . . is a Super Nova!#1185233/12/04; 19:27:12


America's current "bubble economy" is analogous to this stellar [super nova] scenario. Our economy is the most massive in the world, and requires vast resources to keep it burning brightly. We have seen in the last half-century a series of economic phases of decreasing duration, all of which have required some form of stimulus to initiate. In our economy, that stimulus has been paper money, or credit. Our economy essentially "burns" money. After WWII, we were a manufacturing giant, but government regulations, labor costs, and foreign competition are exhausting that phase. The service/technology economy began growing in the 1980s with the widespread use of computers and manufacturing productivity increase driving the economic transformation. In the 1990s, the tech sector became like a blue supergiant, creating many new businesses and apparently rewriting the rules of economics. It was hailed as "the new economy," but it could not be sustained. It burned through money too quickly, became speculative, and collapsed enough to wreck many portfolios, but not enough to be completely fatal. The response to the collapse was more stimulus, or "reflation" in Fed-speak. The supply of credit has further expanded and consumers have borrowed in record amounts, fueling a new real estate supergiant.

This is where we stand today, with another major asset bubble, but no major job-creating phase in sight. If anything, structural changes mean jobs should tend to decrease without some new economic development. Rather than the economy fusing money into a resource that can be used for subsequent growth, the economy is fusing money into debt. The record trade deficit and declining exports indicate that useful resources are blowing off our economy and onto the surfaces of other economic stars, most notably, China. All that is left here is increasing debt, which is the economic equivalent of iron. How much debt we can accumulate before we reach the critical limit is unclear, but we are rapidly approaching a point where the cost of government programs will become unbearable. The dead weight of debt further limits the available resources to deal with this problem. In the meantime, the resources blowing off of our economy generate bubbles elsewhere.

If and when our economy reaches that critical point, there seems to be two options. We can hyperinflate the currency to service debt, or just allow the massive default to occur. Either way, the core collapses, with only the manner of collapse being somewhat different in each case. Since other world economies rely on ours for sustenance, an American supernova shock wave would severely damage or destroy the current system. For this reason we see foreign central banks doing all possible to keep the status quo intact, even at the risk of pushing their own economies toward supernovae.


Kevin Lux's astronomical allegory to the economic issues. A good read, especially for those with interests in astro-physics.

GoldiloxPulling Out the Rug#1185243/12/04; 19:51:17


Friedrich Hayek said in 1931: "If the proportion as determined by the voluntary decisions of individuals is distorted by the creation of artificial demand, it must mean that part of the available resources is again led into the wrong direction and a definite and lasting adjustment is again postponed. And even if the absorption of the unemployed resources were to be quickened in this way, it would only mean that the seed would already be sown for new disturbances and new crises."

We think this precisely describes what has been happening and continues to happen in the United States. The Greenspan Fed has discovered a new, amazingly easy and quick way to create higher consumer spending virtually from thin air - by way of so-called wealth creation through asset bubbles. It began with the stock market bubble, to be followed by bubbles in bonds, house prices and mortgage refinancing.

Measured by real GDP growth, it seems a successful policy. But measured by employment and income growth, it is an outright disaster. The so-called "wealth effects" are not for real, neither for the economy as a whole nor for the individual asset owners. The reality in the long run is only the horrendous mountain of debts that consumers, corporations and financial institutions have piled up.

Given the general euphoria about the U.S. economy and its recovery, there appears to be a general apprehension in the markets that the Federal Reserve will be forced to raise interest rates in the foreseeable future. The Fed is clearly anxious to dispel any such fears - and this, in our view, is for a compelling reason. U.S. economic and financial stability have become inexorably dependent on the existence of a steep yield curve allowing and fostering unlimited carry trade in long-term bonds. Any major rise at its short or long end would shatter this artificial stability and send the economy and financial system crashing.

Considering all the imbalances impairing U.S. economic growth, we are unable to see the sustained, strong recovery. A closer look at the recent economic data [and last Friday's jobs report] confirms this skepticism. Possibly, if not probably, economic growth has already peaked. For us, the question rather is when general disappointment will gain the upper hand.

That, of course, is sure to soothe the bond market, allowing moreover the Fed to maintain low interest rates. But it will conjure up another, even greater risk at the currency front. It will pull the rug out from under the dollar.


Dr. Kurt's explanation of the interest rate conondrum. Rates should rise to help ease the imbalances, but the FED CANNOT allow them to rise and stifle the carry trade, as it fuels the bubbles, which create the illusion of economic growth. His view is that recovery sustanence is all about the general perception that it is working. Once the real bubble bursts (the illusion itself), all Hell breaks loose.

ToolieOne in 73 US households declared bankruptcy in '03#1185253/12/04; 21:41:01

Snip: Last month, the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts said there were 1,660,245 personal bankruptcies last year. It was a record for any calendar year, but off slightly from the all-time 12-month high reached in the period ended in September.
IRs are goin nowhere, except maybe down.

Maverick1Toolie#1185263/12/04; 22:01:19

In light of you info about the record number of bankruptcies...why do you think that should REDUCE interest rates? Credit risks INCREASE the rates of interest. How else can lenders get back what was defaulted on by the borrowers?
GoldiloxBankruptcies#1185273/12/04; 22:38:29

@ Maverick1:

I can't speak directly for Toolie, but can I see the reaction of TPTB to force the rates DOWN in order to make borrowing even easier. A lot like "making up for individual losses with increased volume".

With apologies to Jethro Tull:

'Flating away ay ay, on the thin ice of a new day ay ay!"

ToolieSir Maverick1#1185283/12/04; 22:39:49

The consumer is powering this service economy. If we take away the low rates, then the housing bubble pops. It seems to me there is no choice but to expand the money supply at an ever-accelerating rate.

Who knows, maybe they will make up the losses on volume :-)

Golden LionheartWhere is Hammerton?#1185293/12/04; 22:57:42

Kind gentlefolk.......Can you wise up a somewhat thick old man. What or where is Hammerton? My son says there is a Wizard called Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings but he has no knowledge of Hammerton. Please help so that I may sleep again.
mikalSmart Money#1185303/12/04; 23:03:29

They won't wait for the general opinion to sour on the economy.
They won't wait for Fed to be forced to raise interest rates.
They won't wait for the stampede after the election, when supposedly certain corrections will be "allowed".
They won't even wait until just BEFORE the election, knowing the escalating cost AND knowing the element of surprise would be lost.
Be like Soros, Faber, Templeton, Russell, Rogers, Buffett, etc.; don't follow the herd.

GoldiloxAnger at South Korean impeachment#1185313/12/04; 23:10:41


Scuffles broke out even before the vote as security guards ended protests by MPs loyal to Mr Roh, dragging them outside.

Legislators had been occupying the parliamentary rostrum for three days when Speaker Park Kwan-yong arrived with the guards who proceeded to remove them one by one, clearing the path for the vote to be called.

"You asked for it," the speaker said as supporters of Mr Roh shouted and wept at the unprecedented impeachment, some crying "stop the coup".

The opposition parties which dominate the chamber impeached Mr Roh by a vote of 193 to 2, suspending his powers.


Things are truly getting "interesting!"

ToolieGolden Lionheart#1185323/12/04; 23:21:11

We are almost there.
(hope that helps)

DruidGold and Economic Freedom#1185333/12/04; 23:32:08

"The abandonment of the gold standard made it possible for the welfare statists to use the banking system as a means to an unlimited expansion of credit. They have created paper reserves in the form of government bonds which-through a complex series of steps-the banks accept in place of tangible assets and treat as if they were an actual deposit, i.e., as the equivalent of what was formerly a deposit of gold. The holder of a government bond or of a bank deposit created by paper reserves believes that he has a valid claim on a real asset. But the fact is that there are now more claims outstanding than real assets.

The law of supply and demand is not to be conned. As the supply of money (of claims) increases relative to the supply of tangible assets in the economy, prices must eventually rise. Thus the earnings saved by the productive members of the society lose value in terms of goods. When the economy's books are finally balanced, one finds that loss in value represents the goods purchased by the government for welfare or other purposes with the money proceeds of the government bonds financed by bank credit expansion.

In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. There is no safe store of value. If there were, the government would have to make its holding illegal, as was done in the case of gold. If everyone decided, for example, to convert all his bank deposits to silver or copper or any other good, and thereafter declined to accept checks as payment for goods, bank deposits would lose their purchasing power and government-created bank credit would be worthless as a claim on goods. The financial policy of the welfare state requires that there be no way for the owners of wealth to protect themselves.

This is the shabby secret of the welfare statists' tirades against gold. Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the "hidden" confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights. If one grasps this, one has no difficulty in understanding the statists' antagonism toward the gold standard."

Druid: It's been a while since I've read this so for anyone that hasn't had the opportunity, enjoy.

Gandalf the WhiteHang in there Sir Golden Lionheart ! #1185343/12/04; 23:38:06

Golden Lionheart (3/12/04; 22:57:42MT - msg#: 118529)
Where is Hammerton?
You are correct in thinking that Hammerton is a "WHAT" !
Soon it will be clear.

Liberty HeadThe Wisdom Of Days Gone By#1185353/13/04; 00:51:27

"That sooner or later...
we must settle with the world
and make payment for what we have taken."

The Lone Ranger and the Lost City of Gold - 1958

Best Wishes

Gold StandardOne UGLY "gold" bar#1185363/13/04; 01:22:01

I'll have a go with this one! My last guess with Sgt Brown's hefted bar was 25 x 14 x 8 cm. This latest bit of evidence is a lot clearer, and I would suggest that the following would be accurate:-

- Height: 8 cm
- Width: 11 cm to 12 cm
- Length: 25 cm to 28 cm

Therefore, the smallest possible volume (25x11x8) is 2,200 cubic centimetres, and the largest (28x12x8)is 2,688 cubic centimetres.

Mass: Gold 2,200 cc x 19.3g = 42.46 Kg (roughly 93.4 Lbs)
Gold 2,688 cc x 19.3g = 51.87 Kg (roughly 114.2 Lbs)

Putting this into perspective, a 40Kg bag of cement dust is considered to be an unsafe unassisted carry by Workplace Health & Safety standards.

If these were all hastily melted brass munition casings (with a specific density of roughly 8.5 grams per cubic centimetre), then the minimum mass for 2,200 cc would be 18.7 Kg (41.1 Lbs), and maximum mass for 2,688 cc would be 22.8 Kg (50.3 Lbs).

These guys look like they are lifting an approximate 45 Lb weight....

And besides, that is one UGLY bar. Gold, in a rough melt, or even mercury leached, looks and feels beautiful.

Just my thoughts!

Cheers, GS

Dollar Bill.,.#1185373/13/04; 04:14:25

"It is without doubt that the great Saudi fields will roll over sometime in the near future. Almost all the Saudi oil production over the past 50 years has come from a handful of fields. At this time, Ghawar is responsible for 60% of all oil production. But Ghawar depends on massive injections of sea water to keep reservoir pressure up and uses horizontal drills to maximize reservoir contact. Mathew Simmons has argued that Oman's great field Yibal has a history that could give us a clue as to Ghawar's future. Yibal was one of the great fields that used water injection for thirty years and embraced horizontal MRC drilling to ensure that the maximum amount of oil can be extracted from its reservoirs. Seven years after horizontal drilling was adopted Yibal's production peaked. Four years later production dropped 65%, much faster than anyone predicted.

what we are looking at is the possibility that OPEC is peaking now or has already peaked rather than "will peak" in 2020.... I'm a little concerned about the counter-intuitive moves: they *cut* production three straight years in a row even with crude prices relatively high. You *could* argue that they did this because the reserves are priced in US dollars which means the Arabs can buy less shiny new DVD players with their progressively more worthless US dollars and so they cut production in order to drive prices up. To my skeptical mind it's a little conspicuous that they cut production two years before the dollar started dropping"

NedYou can't force democracy#1185383/13/04; 04:16:48


"..George Bush has a plan to reshape the Arab world, says MICHAEL BELL. Typically, he didn't talk to the Arabs.."

"The administration neglected, however, one basic element in any successful initiative: discussions with those who would be directly affected, namely the Arabs.......Oddly, the Bush administration is surprised and dismayed. It finds it difficult to understand how such well-intentioned proposals could generate such a backlash. The Arabs, or at least their governments, just don't seem to know what's good for them, the thinking goes."

"Unilateralism is the byword for a U.S. administration that seems congenitally unable to consult effectively or work within a multilateral framework"

steady regionality- condition or conditioned opperative#1185393/13/04; 08:05:41

Ecosim trying to distill the essence from the double soon to be trebbling cauldera of economic trouble.
From attempted globalization regionalization will return.
Is Ecoism expanding and morphing into anything tangible?
Recall Ecoism is the attempt to explain the movement into gold/silver ownership world wide, and now it appears anything tangible( I really wonder when car junkyards are going to be picked over with a fine tooth comb for the scrap metal) why imports are up world wide, its similar to mercantilism and has a nationalism tint to it as well but its the individualistic nature of gold ownership for what ever characteristics its owner percieves its worth value and numerari ratio comparison to other things, one thing can be assertained is that for one reason or another it is coverted by all on this planet as something worthwhile to hang onto during times of shadow. SO within its ever deepening roots of a foundation ecoism devls into why regional farm and farmer markets and villages put forth by the last usa govt in order to plant teh seed for future evnts as an effoet to shape future behaviors for changing economic conditions.
Ecoism , as documented by recent price action in both the silver and gold arena is affot as price makes action and action causes noise which in turn create thoughts and ideas to reverberate in forms of words hopefully by the masses to be heard.
Yet there is more to Ecoisms movement than that, and yes any idea is a movement and a marketing opportunity from , got milk to be like mike to whatever, as ecoism is one idea that encompases many phases of teh emerging and everchanging unprecideted economic conditions, as since tptb are making it up as they go with unconventional attempst to well do what ever they think they are doing beides not facing reality squarly in the face and dealing with it, fairly for future generation to follow in our footsteps and this is what they will be looking back at in 2059 and 2070 going what here they doing, who was conducting that experimantra!! So Ecoism does to but unlike convention stuff ecoism projects forward honestly and looks for practical simple solutions to complex problems that can be taken care of regionally in a free market atmosphere. Some Ecoites have privatly asked me if the boom in regional farming and farmers markets throught bread basket areas arent an attempt to prepare for dehibilitating evnts, so as an infant infrastructure exists on the local levels for food redistribution without large corporate farm shipping of struff around due to what ever happens.
We see trends developing where pedestrian only areas are booming due to the ability of man to move freely unimpeeded by noisy airpolluting vehicles zooming by, and coming to a stnad stil when they want to go foarward, intutivly many more want these zones where human will can over freely without interruption but common curtesy in passing no correct way, right or left back or forth but each in there own space and time to be free, maybe thats one alternative beening et up for the benifit of the most withe the disrution to the least. O
Ecoism promotes gegional farming and reselling thru farmers market in a free marketplace in order to help reestablish communtity and inderstanding seasonal variance to the poplucae of the planet, the ebb and flow in an attempt to help the m slow there always on the go life style which was fin for a while burt to continue it will cosat to big a pile one the fed cant print with a smile.
Hoist this nice realistic doable completable green plank up upon this ever increasing strengthening load bearing capacity of Ecoisms Platform. Just always recall the center plank of Ecosim
gold and silver
honest people!

HoustonTaiwan Vote?#1185403/13/04; 08:39:24

Has anyone heard if the vote on Taiwan's independence from Mainland China is still set for March 20th? It was the buzz of discussion a few months back. I haven't heard a thing recently. Any update will be appreciated.
DruidAnd Now, Taiwan #1185413/13/04; 09:09:30

"A troupe of "devil boys" in bright Chinese opera-like costumes, their faces intricately painted in evil-looking designs, perform martial arts moves as other worshipers dance or weave through the crowds, swinging the palanquins that once carried emperors or gods.

The riotous religious ceremony is of ancient Chinese origin, a mixture of Buddhism, Taoism and ancestor worship. But such rituals are not commonly found in the cities of China. They're everywhere in Taiwan.

The island about 100 miles off the coast of mainland China is about the size of Maryland, but supports more than 23,000 temples and churches, mostly radiantly colorful temples. And although it's small and densely populated, Taiwan is blessed with a diverse landscape: 970 miles of coastline, lakes, waterfalls, beaches and craggy mountains dotted with hot springs. The north is semi-tropical, the south tropical, and the mountaintops occasionally get snow.

Throughout its 55-year history as a self-governing island, Taiwan has stood on precarious ground. China claims Taiwan as its own, insists that reunification is inevitable, and makes its point by training 500 missiles at the island. Until now, Taiwan has basically gone its own way without formally challenging China's claim."

That could change. This Saturday, while electing a president, Taiwan will also vote on a carefully and diplomatically worded referendum that China considers akin to a declaration of independence, or at least a step in that direction. Chinese officials have threatened a harsh response if the referendum is approved.

Druid: Houston, I hope this helps.

GoldiloxCar Junkyards#1185423/13/04; 09:18:48

@ steady:

Over the last 20 years, car junkyards have nearly disappeared, as recycling of steel has already consumed the majority of the scrap.

GoldiloxMusical Chairs#1185433/13/04; 09:22:14

In todays FSN, Jim Puplava describes 2003 as a musical chairs market, where investors made money in any chair they picked. As in a musical chairs game, more and more seats are being removed from the game, leaving only the stronger bull market chairs available. Commodities seem to be the strongest bull chair in the game.

Which chair are you sitting in?

Got gold?

Druid Editorial / Op-Ed#1185443/13/04; 10:43:32

[EDITORIAL]Rein in inflation

"Many economists are warning with good reason that runaway global commodity prices, if not arrested in the near future, will push the nation's consumer price index above the 4 percent mark this year.

February's 0.4 percent gain over the previous month gives credence to this gloomy outlook. Few would argue that consumer price increases have been fueled by soaring prices of imports, ranging from grains and steel products to oil and other raw materials for industrial use.

The Bank of Korea acknowledges the risk of high consumer prices, with inflationary pressure building up fast during the past several months. Still, it does not want to take any preemptive action, despite warnings that the CPI will exceed its 2.9 percent target this year by a large margin."

Druid: Some very interesting op-ed pieces.

USAGOLD / Centennial Precious Metals, Inc.Hard assets, easy access!#1185453/13/04; 13:08:36">gold -- a global calling card
TownCrierMight be a good day for a hike#1185463/13/04; 13:27:48

Best of all, no fancy hiking gear is required! All you will need is your favorite beverage and some time. Oh, and of course, don't forget to bring your brain!


Golden LionheartHammerton................#1185473/13/04; 17:10:46

Thanks Sir's Gandalf and Toolie.........but now I am sleeping worse than ever. I never was any good at cryptic crosswords. Help! What has Hammerton got to do with gold? Someone?
Dollar Bill.,.#1185483/13/04; 19:50:35

Granted this is gobbledygookish, but here is the explanation why corporate bonds may take a tumble. Which has big implications. This wild experiment of redesigning the global financial structure -on the fly- and frankly, under cover, leaves us with more than a few unintended consequences. But, the fed may keep the spreads low courtesy of Japan or helicopters.
From Bill Gross, ". Our calculations suggest an average cheapness to 10-year Treasury futures of 4 ticks or 4/32s a quarter, which translates into a 50 basis point annual advantage of Treasury futures over their cash market look-alikes. The explanation for this apparent miracle rests primarily on the proposition that mortgage/investment banking hedging requires the sale of futures (or swaps) that lowers prices just enough to induce investment managers such as PIMCO to take the other side. 50 basis points is that price. If that is the outcome, then most A and Aa corporates can be eliminated from our portfolios at existing spreads with little if any give-up in yield. The result is what #6 refers to as a free "put" on corporate spreads. If currently narrow spreads widen over the next 12 months, PIMCO portfolios benefit from their absence. If not, their "yield" provides at least a tie or a "push" as the term is commonly used."

ToolieHammerton#1185493/13/04; 20:38:46

Sir Golden Lionhart, IF that is your real name, tell me; how is it that you find yourself amongst us goldbugs, yet you claim incompetence at cryptic crosswords?

Tell me, IF you are Sir Golden Lionhart; how is it that a few sleepless nights have taken so great a toll?

Have we discovered a spy amongst us, on the eve of our victory?

Tell me, who sent you here? What are they after?

mikalWill the world's most fearsome fighting machine...#1185503/13/04; 21:18:20

find Bin laden at last? News reports suggest new efforts may pay off. But would his arrest lead to more violence, or less?
Though the world would be such a safer place for opium, er open borders, well-oiled economic growth and corporate, er competitive democracy.

U.S. Steps Up Hunt for Bin Laden, Using Thousands of Troops in Sweep of Lawless Afghan Regions
The Associated Press
KABUL, Afghanistan March 13 —Excerpts reprinted with permission under Fair Use Doctrine International Copyright Law: "The American military stepped up efforts to find Osama bin Laden and destroy his al-Qaida and Taliban supporters, announcing Saturday a major new sweep across lawless southern and eastern Afghanistan involving thousands of troops. The military insisted their net will eventually close on the al-Qaida leader, who has vanished since melting into the Afghan mountains months after the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States."

"Lt. Gen. David Barno, the top American commander in Afghanistan, has said his soldiers are engaged in a "hammer-and-anvil" strategy along with Pakistani forces on the other side of the border. Some 70,000 Pakistani troops have moved into semiautonomous tribal regions in an effort to take away maneuver room for al-Qaida and Taliban fugitives believed to have taken refuge there. On Saturday, tribal elders in South Waziristan gave a 24-hour deadline to a tribe accused of sheltering terrorists to hand over the fugitives or expect an armed force of 600 men to search the area."

1340ccGive him a break#1185513/13/04; 21:26:48

Give him a break. Not everyone is a know it all.
I am 100% invested in gold and silver and I still have a hard time folling the Hamerton thing. Maybe he started reading it in the middle of the "tale".
And if you dought me just mail Bill Murphey and ask him if I am telling the truth. He knows me pretty well.

Toolie1340cc#1185523/13/04; 22:24:42

Do you have speculations/info on when the gold market is gonna move?

I'm guessing about 2 weeks, just by looking at the duration of recent (18 mos) duration of dollar bounces.

Toolietake two#1185533/13/04; 22:27:14

I'm guessing about 2 weeks, just by looking at the duration of recent (18/24 mos) dollar bounces.
mikalCurrent accounts and accounting for PPI#1185543/13/04; 22:33:29

U.S. Current Account Deficit Swells
Current Account Deficit, the Broadest Measure of Trade, Swells to Record $541.8 Billion in 2003
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON March 13 —Excerpts reprinted with permission under Fair Use Clause International Copyright Law: "The deficit in the broadest measure of trade swelled to a record $541.8 billion in 2003, according to a government report that comes as trade and the loss of jobs have become major issues in the presidential campaign. The latest snapshot of trade activity released by the Commerce Department on Friday showed that the "current account" deficit last year was 12.7 percent bigger than the previous all-time high deficit of $480.9 billion in 2002."

"Job losses have heightened fears that U.S. workers are losing out to foreign competition and that has led to proposals to erect protectionist trade barriers, Greenspan said. The Fed chief renewed a warning against such protectionist steps. "These alleged cures would make matters worse rather than better," Greenspan said."

"Separately, the Labor Department said Friday it has made "substantial progress" toward completing calculations for January's report on wholesale prices. The January and February reports have been delayed because of difficulties converting current categories to a new classification system. New release dates haven't been set yet."

[Current account deficit "swells"? Is this genuine concern or presidential election year interest? This "swell" makes a cancerous lump look like a beautymark.
Place your wagers on what and when for the PPI. It goes without saying, somebody will.]

Golden LionheartDo I see paranoia?#1185553/14/04; 03:14:07

Hey Mr Toolie, I have no secret agenda. I do not work for the CIA, I'm just an elderly man who has scraped together a few dollars to invest in gold.

My question what or where is Hammerton is legit. I have not read the book or seen the film Lord of the Rings in fact I thought it was a story for children. Maybe no connection with Hammerton.

Why so mysterious? Is this site the front for some sort of secret society? I thought it was to promote the worthy idea of buying gold.

Thank you 1340cc for your support. The attack from Mr Toolie came as rather a shock.

Dollar Bill.,.#1185563/14/04; 07:03:28

"Consider what those three steps must be when the trend changes from bullish to bearish:
Step No. 1: Both Dow Averages must undergo a significant correction from joint new highs.
Step No. 2: In their subsequent rally attempt following that correction, either one or both of the Averages fail to rise above their pre-correction highs.
Step No. 3: Both Averages must then drop below their respective correction lows.
Richard Russell, editor of Dow Theory Letters, thinks the last of these three pieces fell into place on Wednesday. Here's his rationale. From their January highs (set on Jan. 26 for the DJIA and Jan. 22 for the DJTA), both averages suffered a correction that lasted until Feb. 4, when the DJIA closed at 10,470.74 and the DJTA closed at 2,822.11. That fulfilled Step No. 1. Step No. 2 was satisfied by the rally that began from those Feb. 4 lows, since in that rally only the DJIA rose above its January high. The DJTA did not.
Then, this past Tuesday, the DJIA closed below its Feb. 4 low, followed on Wednesday by the DJTA. That was Step No. 3. Based on this, Russell believes that the market rally that began in October 2002 is now over."

ToolieSir Golden Lionheart,#1185573/14/04; 07:43:11

What you saw was my poor attempt to immerse myself in the Script of Midas crusade. I certainly didn't think Golden Lionhart was your real name.

I've not read the Lord of the rings either. I "suspect" that Hammerton is a device unique to Midas Crusade that is used to represent the "home of the Hammer Man" (the forces of evil that manipulate the POG downward) There, that's all I know then some. I understand that Townie is assembling the entire story, in one easy to read location.

Sorry for the shock good Sir.

slingshotHammerton#1185583/14/04; 09:18:11

Hammerton is a name which is unique to the story of Midas Crusade. Where the Hammer Falls was my interpetation. This story and that of Siege Engine, if you go back further, was purely an attempt to mix current events with the mystical. I used the names of some who post here and made up a few to expand the script. Starting out, I did not know or see where the story was going. I did not hear any complaints and still had my posting privileges so once a week I wrote a piece for entertainment.
Drawing from posters at the Forum,people at my job and everything, I had to look at them in a new way.USAGOLD set the base of both stories on the Code Of Knights and I started tapping on the keyboard.

I had to be able to put my thoughts to paper and bring the story alive. I'm sure you have noticed my poor spelling and use of grammer from time to time.

A special Thank You to Gandalf the White and Lady Waverider for your patience.

Does the story have hidden meanings? Yes! But they are not meant to argue over. There may be multiple meanings.
Forces of Good and Evil, Honor and Duty, and emotions.
Midas Crusade starts on 6/23/03 Msg# 104970 for those who want to
start from the beginning.

Maybe, it is what you get from the story and if I just get a smile, then it was all worth it.


White RoseWhat happens to Fannie Mae on Monday#1185593/14/04; 09:45:57

On March 9th, The Financial Times ("the Wall Street Journal" of London) had an article saying that Fannie Mae had to pay out $25 billion (that was a "b" as in "boy") in derivative losses since 2000. I did a google news search: no one picked it up, except the Washington Times (the Moonie rag) on March 10th.

But Bill Murphy mentioned this, saying that Fannie Mae had to admit to this on March 15th. But I cannot see any place where Fannie Mae has to give up this information.

Can someone help me understand if there is a story that will blow up the GSE's, with the fuse lit tommorrow? Is Bill smoking something? Or did he refer to something causually that "everybody" already knows about?

RoccocoWHITE ROSE: Fannie and Freddie#1185603/14/04; 10:00:47

I'm glad to see SOMEONE has interest in the brewing Fannie/Freddie thing. I think the largest potential "catalyst" for financial meltdown resides in these GSEs. The link provided has the most thorough archives of articles pertaining to these entities. Although I have not heard about the 15th March 'firecracker', it will be interesting to see on Monday. I don't think the powers that be want information out there for the old "PANIC" excuse. However, it sure seems like an inordinate amount of 'distancing' has been done in the last few weeks by Spammy and Snowjob. I suspect there is a fine line between distancing and being the cause of major dislocations in the derivative world.

I for one, am glad to see your post, and will be paying MUCH attention on Monday, as I have an expiring (way out the $$) put on FNM this Friday. As usual, I'm afraid I'll be right a week or two too late.

Where did you see the article regarding Monday?



CoBra(too)@ White Rose - re: Fannie#1185613/14/04; 10:23:48

I recall writing a couple of posts in the past about these "GSE's" and their derivative positions.

Well, meanwhile we're talking Trillions; And some heavyweights in the admin and FED now (already)feel to have to distance themselves from the "erroneous" notion that these guys enjoy total immunity for self inflicted losses by the G.

Guess - sponsoring is still a voluntary excercise. The real question of sponsering may be answered in future by a group gang, dupped JPM. This, once blue ribbon word and entity on seems really sponsored by everyone "The Street" and insie the "Beltway". Though now, JPM is holding about 3.5 times the total GDP in derivatives according to its notional value. Where in heck would you ever find these kind of counterparties to pare these risks?

In the end you've got to admire those guys - as they're thinking bigger than any or all of the globes governments can ever guarantee.

I guess, I got'ta think smaller and acquire some more gold - as long as it's sold for confetti - cb2

slingshotSir Golden Lionheart#1185623/14/04; 10:28:53

The story is about our victories and defeats in the gold market. The Knights of Old are those who have left the forum but had left their knowledge in print for all to read either in the archieves or Hall Of Fame. We endure so much as commentary after commentary,chart after chart is displayed and what we see in them does not necessarily happen in the markets(weather in the story).
The tools of today, computer, internet and charts, are just replacements of axe, drill and sword. We all are on a cyber battlefield in which gold plays an important role.
We spend as much time reading these articles as they did building a trebuchet.

The tools change, yet gold remains the same.

Hope this puts some light on the subject.

CoBra(too)Dupped! - ...#1185633/14/04; 11:08:36

Please read duped, or dubbed ... and of course, forgive me for my afterthoughts and sometimes - spelling! ... cb2
DruidInflation/Deflation#1185643/14/04; 11:41:43

Druid: For an excellent supplement to the essay here at the castle concerning the Weimer Republic hyperinflation, download and read "The Financial Implications of Reflation" at the above URL. It goes into a very detailed explanation at how printing to much currency of any type can fool even the "best and brightest" as was the case during the Weimer hyperinflation. Also, as a supplemenet to this read, there is an excellent article on deflation thus comparing and contrasting the concepts. Enjoy.
UsulA golden rule#1185653/14/04; 12:27:25

Never invest in anything that makes your eyes glaze over.
BoilermakerFannie Mae Article of 3/10/04#1185673/14/04; 14:15:00

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Mortgage financing giant Fannie Mae and the Financial Times clashed Tuesday over the newspaper's analysis showing the company may have lost $24 billion on its derivatives positions over four years......

Fannie Mae's annual report, which is scheduled to be filed with securities regulators next week, will clarify the issue. The company declined to provide data ahead of the filing......

Analysts said questions about Fannie Mae's derivatives accounting stem from rules that allow the company to record gains or losses from the value of derivatives on their balance sheet in a way that is not reflected in its regulatory minimum capital requirement or in earnings.

Under accounting rules, a loss in certain derivatives contracts that are closed out before maturity can be recorded in a category know as "accumulated other comprehensive income" and then amortized over a period of time, instead of all at once.....

Capitalizing and amortizing any recurring losses is a dangerous game. They may fool their investors but the debt remains, reduces available capital and the business becomes more and more leveraged.
The article doesn't say what day next week the annual report is due or if/when it's made public. If Fannie Mae is having trouble in times of low and stable interest rates what does that say for the future that we all know is coming?

GoldiloxMartha Stewart Sends Us a Message#1185683/14/04; 14:20:01


What should be in every discussion of her case is the ease with which $1.5 billion in capitalized value went poof. No muss, hardly any fuss, and whammo: the wealth disappeared. Or did it? Was it wealth? Or was it the illusion of wealth?

I think it was the latter. It was the illusion of wealth created by a stock market where investors assume that most people will never sell. "The market always goes up in the long run." Really? If so, then what has happened to Martha Stewart's shares had better be an anomaly. The disappearance of all that capital was so easy, and it happened so quietly, while everyone was discussing Martha the Whatever, that those who think the stock market always goes up had better show us why this case really is an anomaly.

Yes, the company had capitalized one person's income-producing ability. But didn't the experts know that this was a risk? Didn't they know that people get old, die, and make other mistakes? Didn't the mutual fund managers know enough not to buy the shares of a company that hinges on one person? Of course not. They bought. They used formulas. "Random walk giveth, and random walk taketh away."

It did not take a wave of panic selling to whack the dreams of everyone who owned shares in her company. All it took was a series of headlines. These headlines convinced a tiny minority of share owners to sell. Down, down, down went the price of the marginal shares, the imputed value of the remaining shares, and the capitalized value the company.

What if there had been a real panic?


Gary North uses the Stewart case as a proxy for the market in general, reminding us it takes only a small number of sellers to ravage asset values.

CoBra(too)Madrid - Revisited#1185693/14/04; 15:35:59

... After counting 85% of todays votes in Spain a landslide victory for the social democrats can be expected. Aznar's absolute majority of his conservative party, which has blamed ETA for the atrocious bombings on March 11 was presented with the peoples ire towards opportunistic and hedonic reporting.

While ETA participation can't be totally ruled out islamic militant terror against the alliance of the "willing" is becoming more plausible. The spanish people have voted; And voted they have against the delusions of fighting someone else's war under a hedonic pretext.

Someone smarter than I said, while 911 took down the symbols of capitalism, 311 was the slaughter of sheeple.

... and in the end you can't ever hope to win a war against terrorism, as long as you're not prepared to honestly search for the cause triggering these kind of atrocities against generally US, the West!

The official response to this sort of guerrilla warfare has already cost us a huge chunk of our liberties, indebted generations to come and made life generally more unpleasant.

Let's get back to an equilibrium of equality on this globe and not destroy what we've achieved so far by hegemonial and imperialistic aberrations. Europe has been at the forefront of this for so long and suffered terrible in the end. Now Europe is trying to implement another, peaceful change to equilibrium of peoples and states, united by common goals in social and economic freedom - just as the US strived to do from 1776 on.

Any hegemon is becoming an atrocity to humanity - the only hegemonial currency ever accepted by mankind is and always will be the impartial arbitrator of fair value - GOLD - accepted anywhere and anytime.

And gold again will shed its financially imposed shackles - as soon as the overall delusion of managed markets will meet its final destiny - the return to the main. Some call it the day of reckoning, I would prefer to call it the great awakening. cb2

1340ccCrystal Ball#1185703/14/04; 15:54:18

TOOLIE: Not a clue but feel it will be soon. I am a rookie
and follow the info.& advice I get from my better half our broker in Puerto Rico, here on USAGold and from Bill's Le Metropole Cafe site.
By doing this I have taken $80,000 (inherited) and
turned it into over $450,000 in almost exactly three
years. I try to read and understand what the
learned folks on this site post here but most of
it is way over my head. I just do the best I can.

SIR GOLDEN LIONHEART: You are welcome. You have come to
the right place and I would suggest if you have
not already done so subscribe to Le Metropole Cafe.

DruidA University with a Future#1185713/14/04; 15:59:12

"However, all students are required to complete two semesters in Austrian economics, a semester on the social thought of Ludwig von Mises, and a semester on the social thought of F A. Hayek. One of the most widely attended courses is "The Logic of Social Cooperation" taught by Juan F Bendfeldt."

Druid: It's a slow process but this read suggests another giant step in the right direction in Latin America.

DruidFree-Market News Network#1185723/14/04; 16:07:02

Druid: For some very lively commentary, click on the Talk Radio part of the page and enjoy.
CoBra(too)PoodleS View?#1185733/14/04; 16:23:59

"The poll has been clouded by claims that al-Qaeda carried out the Madrid bomb attacks that killed 200 people."
I read here as easily as I would read: The poll has been clouded by the government claiming the ETA killed 200 in the Madrid bomb attacks - which, if true, may have lead to another outcome ...

I find myself in a grotesque corner, judging myself a conservative, capitalistic kind of free markets guy - hoped for GWB to win, or any other conservative, republican, pro business (fair share social benefits not withstanding)and even capitalistic - I for sure did not reckon with neo-con!

Orwell, as long we can still express our thoughts - without bein' sent to the looney bin - at least 1984 is still fiction ... Or? Well ... cb2

BoilermakerMadrid and Espana#1185743/14/04; 16:29:45

It appears that the people of Spain have sent a message to their political leaders that this (support for war in Iraq) is the wrong fight for the wrong purpose in the wrong place. I agree with their assessment. However, it is clear that the purpose of the attack was to elicit this precise reaction, hence the people of Spain have in effect validated the terrorism that they abhor.

In any case it seems that terrorism may have become an effective weapon in the politics of some European nations. I have this dim memory of appeasement that in the past created its own nasty ending.

Golden LionheartHammerton revealed...............#1185753/14/04; 16:33:10

Gracious thanks to Sir's Slingshot, Toolie and 1340cc for the explanation. Now I am "up to speed" on the story and will certainly enjoy reading it each week. Apologies for my misunderstanding Sir Toolie.
FORWARD TO HAMMERTON! Lets go get'em. Let the dogs loose.

USAGOLD / Centennial Precious Metals, Inc.Check out the new 'Twenties Alert' -- a potential profit opportunity as you diversify your diversification#1185763/14/04; 16:33:48">gold -- a global calling card
BoilermakerFannie Mae Books#1185773/14/04; 16:49:18

Looking at the FNA Balance Sheet linked above offers a couple of clues to their future. The first is the conversion of about half their long term debt to short term in the second quarter 2003. This clearly reduced their borrowing rate but to borrow short to lend long is a very dangerous mix.

Secondly I noticed an entry in their "Stockholders Equity" account called "Other Stockholder Equity" that is rising rapidly on the negative side. Can anyone tell me what this is other than possibly derivative debt that has been capitalized and equitized?

Dollar Bill.,.#1185783/14/04; 17:18:13

The remarkable cooperation of the big boys.
Dollar Bill.,.#1185793/14/04; 17:53:28

"The US$ correction is tremendously important for all markets. The turn in the currency is undermining the financial leverage that helped propel markets last year. With US interest rates low and - more importantly - the dollar trending down, borrowed dollars became the funding vehicle of choice for investors moving into an array of trades. Quite apart from the improving fundamentals, this added the sizzle of hot money to the ubiquitous buying of risky assets: equities generally, but high-beta stocks specifically; the tremendous narrowing in credit spreads; the lift in hard commodities; the fall in volatility - and so on. Most of these trades saw a set-back when the Fed removed the "considerable period" phrase at the 28 January FOMC statement. But the prospect of the Fed tightening is a second order issue compared to an about-face in the dollar, which really puts the screws on dollar-carry trades.
The turn in the dollar creating a self-sustaining correction, as dollar-financed trades are cut, dollars repaid (lifting the currency), putting further pressure on stale longs in risky assets."

My guess is that it is a temporary reversal to throw off leveraged players. But they will revert to dollar decline again as policy. So, up and down as usual with everything.
I am thinking the terrorist factor has only made stronger the global one world push. What will defeat the alkida guys is the results of thier success. There is no message in the killings. No winning over populations by killing them. When they attack Israel, there is the land issue. Alkida has no issues that regular people can relate to. The more they act, the more isolated they will become. Destruction for god is a losing issue. They are already defeated. Show is not over yet, but it will end.

R PowellLet the games continue....#1185803/14/04; 18:41:48

Both gold and silver have started the new week on the plus side in this very early, light volume timeframe.

Can any of the technicians tell us where the 200 day moving average of gold is now? I'll bet the Wizard knows. Patience is not a common virtue and I'll bet there are gold investors about ready to close out positions about now. I'm thinking that this may be a good time to buy some more.

Tomorrow is the "Ides" of March. May it bring good fortune to all.

WaveriderRich#1185813/14/04; 19:24:59$GOLD

Here you go - MA(200) is at $383.29. Cheers.
TomJIl'To the victors go the spoils...'#1185823/15/04; 01:56:45

I can't help but think that the real victors are Halliburton/KBR and the spoils are my tax dollars though...
Dollar Bill.,.#1185833/15/04; 03:38:17

" who was the "winner" on the other side of Fannies 25 billion derivitive loss?
the FNMA derivatives 'loss' was, IMHO, one way to boost the capital of JPMorgan.
Also, people used ask how FNMA could create money. Here is a one way -- give derivatives 'gains' to banks which increases their capital. Each $1 in capital generates another $12.5 through leverage."
So, who were the "winners" in enron, parmalet, worldcom derivitive losses?

Goldiloxthe Winners in ENRON, Parmalot, WC, etc.#1185843/15/04; 04:10:41

@ $ Bill:


NedSay what?#1185853/15/04; 05:04:44

From Dollar Bill,

"I am thinking the terrorist factor has only made stronger the global one world push. What will defeat the alkida guys is the results of thier success. There is no message in the killings. No winning over populations by killing them. When they attack Israel, there is the land issue. Alkida has no issues that regular people can relate to. The more they act, the more isolated they will become. Destruction for god is a losing issue. They are already defeated. Show is not over yet, but it will end."

Apparently Spaniards do not agree.

They were coerced into a war that, as you might phrase it, was over before it started. There were 2 ideological camps going into the Iraq war. There were the historians, the general population, the scientists, the weapons testers, etc., etc. who were trying to tell the world there were no WMD. On the other side of the coin were the politicians, in general, that were positive on Iraq's possession of WMD. How could the world stand so brazenly divided?

I remember an interview on CNN with 2 weapons inspectors who got into a fierce argument over Iraq having or not having WMD. The strange thing I got out of it was why would these two guys being of the same camp have such opposite opinions.

Millions protested in the streets as the US, UK and Spain pitched the WMD theories. Each and every day the world's negativity grew. The 'pro-war' group pitched to the UN and lost, pitched to world leaders and lost, their tempo increased as Blair fist thrusting hand motions grew stronger and stronger. World leaders denounced the invasion stating no proof of WMD existed, the UN sat quietly waiting for the US/UK/Spain to 'veto' the vetos. In a climax to the 'diplomacy' Spain arranged a hasty rendez-vous in the tiny Azores where the 3 leaders could tell their story one last time. Bush was textbook. Staring into the eyes of millions he said Hussein must be disarmed. Blair was his manic self. Shaking his fist and declaring that Hussein could unlease WMD in 45 minutes he promised Britons that Iraq and WMD would be separated. Then the 3 gave the ultimatum that Hussein had one day to surrender. The world gasped in horror. Millions more poured into the streets, protesting the inevitable. The UN was shocked, yes, the US/UK/Spain WERE going to ignore the ongoing weapons inspections, they WERE going to ignore the protests of dozens of countries leaders, they WERE going to ignore the UN and not surprisingly, they WERE going to ignore the protests of tens of millions of people who still could not believe the stories of WMD or not.

You see, it really does go back to the 2 weapons inspectors on CNN, that's all one really had to hear. If these 2 guys, who had been in Iraq for 8 years at the very heart and essence of the matter were in opposing views how could one make up his mind to this ordeal. How could one really say there are WMD, how could one say there are not?

Several countries begged the US/UK/Spain to continue the searches, 1400 individual searches over near 3 months were performed prior to the war turning up nothing. Does logic not dictate that if the specific intelligence says chemical A is in building B and bilogical agent X is in compound Y and is wrong 1400 times perhaps something is completely screwball???

There are indeed 2 camps on this issue, the ones for the war, the ones against. There are of course the millions in the middle which is where I stand. Hussein had to be stopped but in this manner? A little extreme don't you think? Do you think that US/UK/Spain maybe oversold the concept just a tad? Bush announces with glee that Iraqi people are liberated. That's true and nice. How about the thousands and thousands that are dead. What about the near 1,000 dead US/UK/Spanish et al that are dead. How about the billions and billions of dollars in wreckage & destruction. Bush cited that children are now back in school, were they not in school before the war? What does Bush think, that Hussein had children making bombs in factories during the schoolday?

More and more undecided people, as time goes on, will decide which camp was right, who was wrong. In the present, Spaniards have decided, overwhelmingly that their government was wrong. They have been booted out. They want to be left alone, they don't want terror anymore.

Maybe the Islamists want to be left alone. Maybe they feel that they have been persecuted. Maybe they feel that outside interests want their oil and their riches.

A very wise man on this forum once said, "Maybe we could just PAY for the oil"


Ned Johnston

mas"Stuck in the Sand"#1185863/15/04; 06:05:30

Hi Ned, good post. Maybe those two were being paid for their views?

Doesn't really matter any more, we are in the beginning stages of WWIII, thanks to Dubya, AG and TB. (Gotta make sure we vote for them next time around, heh!).

Question, during the first go around why didn't they get him then? Heck, who put him there in the first place? (Whats the old saying, he's a Bas.... but he's ours)?

So now you can't leave by the vote any more, (so they are basically stuck in the sand with no way out). Spain just elected itself out, great move.

So really what's the next move in Iraq, build castles? Let's take Syria next, I'm sure I saw WMD in their back yard?

Good luck all! Notice gold going up in all currencies now?

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Asian Debt Weapon Pointed at United States


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Clink!Well said, Ned !#1185893/15/04; 07:32:06

I'm in the process of reading Paul Krugman's The Great Unravelling. It's a compilation of his articles over the last three or so years, arranged by topic with a commentary on each. While I don't want to get into the topic of Iraq (Mr Admin will start getting agitated) but it is interesting how the WMD play (ploy ?) has been echoed in many of the other activities of this administration. As Krugman puts it - barefaced lying. You could maybe believe it only happened concerning Iraq, but when it is demonstrated time and time again that the reasons given out bear little resemblance to what is actually being done, you have to suspect something. As and example, one specific topic which we have been following here is the absence of the PPI figures because 'the old computer can't handle the changes' or some such rot. Can anyone really believe that they can't just switch back to the old program ? That they didn't do extensive trial runs before moving from one program to the other ? And how big a computer do you really need to crunch the data - you can run COBOL on a PC with no problem and get the power of a 30-year old mainframe for what ? $2k ?
And where are the journalists who should be howling 'Foul!' when they hear this nonsense ?
OK, end of rant. Gotta do some work today !

HenriHmmm#1185903/15/04; 07:41:39

I do not know how credible this source is but...
GoldiloxComputer glich?#1185913/15/04; 08:02:33

Well said yourself, Clink.

TC and I coulda sorted out all their computer problems in about a week or two, for say, 100 Oz each! That's Gold Eagles, suh!

Like you say, backups abound in that world. I taught many bank engineers modern backup and recovery structures in 2000-2002. If they could have the NYMEX ready to rock and roll with NO data loss in 48 hours after 9/11 (which I know to be true - I spoke at a data conference with their Exec director), what's the deal here?

If the new sytems don't pass pre-test muster, you go back to the old ones until the time that they do pass.

Buongiorno!Rants#1185923/15/04; 09:16:46

@Ned--Perhaps you are correct, and Saddam had no WMDs. But I would not like to sell that one to the thousands of murdered Kurds or perhaps tens of thousands of Iranians now in the afterlife because of Saddam and his CBW--WMDs. Pretty well documented as to possession and use, I would say.

But! It is beside the point of this forum, and leads to a lot of ya-ya this, did not, did so, etc. We can sometimes sound like a bunch of angry Democrats outside a Republican meeting, or vice-versa. ( I can go a little numb in the head just keeping up with these increasingly volatile markets lately, eh?)

Rants? Per favore, Basta! (Before ya get me doing it.)

Perhaps we could keep our host busy filling orders for gold coins and such instead of sweeping up the meeting hall.

steady bounce bounce bounce #1185933/15/04; 10:23:46

keey your eyes, both sets, focused clearly. follow teh bouncing golden ball
RoccocoArticle on FNM, FRE, IMF, BIS, usa Derivative stress#1185943/15/04; 10:26:09

Here is a recent article from EIR regarding LaRouches call for returning to Bretton Woods as solution.

Furthermore for WhiteRose, reference to March 15th being important date WRT: the 'shot hitting the fan/'

"Fannie Mae acknowledged the derivatives losses though refusing to quantify them until a report to be issued on March 15. In Congressional testimony on March 9, Treasury Secretary John Snow had warned that the idea that the two mortgage giants were "too big to fail" was wrong, and that the Bush Administration did not want to be seen as guaranteeing a subsidy of their debt in order to bail them out in a mortgage-debt crisis. But should one of the mortgage enterprises fail, or be taken over by regulators as Greenspan had mooted, the shock to the super-heated American mortgage bubble would cause an explosion."

A worthy read,

going to dump more paper,


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GoldiloxBLS and other info manipulation is not POG related?#1185963/15/04; 12:04:16

@ Bongiorno on your response to Ned:

Is invoking the phrase "off topic" just easier than supporting an opposing view? In appropriate cases, Admin exhibits no hesitation in yanking a post.

If you truly believe manipulation and fabrication of economic data, media reporting, and false statements to the public eliciting war support have no bearing on POG or any other markets, please offer up a reasonable explanation of why you believe that. Most posters welcome an opposing view.

Personally, I think it is very pertinent to all markets that our illustrious leaders have now decided rather than cook the books, they will just withold the data until they can completely rewrite them. Government credibility in communication of important information seems to have as much effect on markets as direct intervention.

just a single opinion,

TownCrierGoldilox, on what is POG related#1185973/15/04; 13:06:54

If we are willing to peel the onion far enough, we would all have to admit or conclude that "breathing in and out" is POG-related. If enough millions or billions of people are doing it, the POG is sure to be affected. But that doesn't mean that in-depth monologues and dialogues on asthma, emphysema, pneumonia, and all-things- respiratory are suitable topics here.

Additionally, regarding those occassions that parties that might be inclined to self-announce their own posts as "off-topic" in accordance with your recommendation, wouldn't it be easier for everyone if they simply used that same hunch to exercise self-restraint, or better yet, to re-tailor the message into something more immediately germane to gold's role in the economic universe?

More specifically, Ned's post this morning is certainly on thin ice, not least because the majority of his contributions ever since his recent arrival have been more akin to asthmatic wheezings than about solid gold medicines. But unfortunately, there is no hard science in this world to help anyone definitively moderate a forum to preserve its continuity and longevity, so it often comes down to most OT posts flying under the radar with only the higher-profile and contentious material being subjected to case-by-case assessment. To that end, when a post like that one -- from a chronic off-topic poster -- remains on the board, you can assume it has either been overlooked entirely, or that the moderator on duty that day is simply in a particularly good and charitable mood.

I hope this helps keep us all generally rowing this lifeboat rather than drifting into the chaos of flailing each other with oars. Basically I just wanted to heartily echo the views expressed by Buongiorno. Thanks.


TownCrierBOJ to begin behaving more like a central bank?#1185983/15/04; 13:32:10

NEW YORK, March 15 (Reuters) - The Bank of Japan is mulling ending its massive yen-selling interventions in the currency market by the end of March...

The central bank is apparently hoping that it can stop concentrating on reining in the strong yen and shift its focus to policy options related to price trends and interest rates, the report said.

The BOJ has in recent months intervened to sell yen in massive amounts to protect its exporters...

The Nikkei report caused ructions in the currency market where the dollar instantly slipped against the yen. It also hurt U.S. Treasury prices since the BOJ has been using part of its intervention proceeds to buy huge amounts of U.S. debt in recent months.

-------(see url for full article)------

Does it have the will to succeed? Will its neighbors follow likewise? Another incremental prop for the dollar gives way.


BoilermakerMarket Madness#1185993/15/04; 15:22:54

Last Friday I predicted "Today's HUI suggests something positive for gold next week. The gold shares rebounded exceptionally well even as the metal never recovered."

I was right!!!

However, today we had the exact opposite, strong metal price while the gold shares got creamed. Is gold scheduled to go down again tomorrow? Whoever is in charge of these markets is trying to create confusion and I will admit to being confused with the short term gyrations. Maybe I need to take the advice of the most wise counselors of this forum and just tune out the noise.

BoilermakerBOJ to begin behaving more like a central bank?#1186003/15/04; 15:39:14

Perhaps the BOJ is starting to see the effects of commodity inflation impacting their own economy. Seeing this they may decide the lesser of evils will be to strengthen their own currency to prevent inflation at home. They could be betting that the prospect of increased domestic consumption and reduced import costs will offset declining exports.

CoBra(too)Fannie Mae? Waiting in awe for report ...#1186013/15/04; 16:11:27

Fannie was due to report on alleged derivative losses today. Rumors surrounding the lateley denied GSE assistance have been as high as 25 Billion US Dollars.

Up to now there was no peep from the mortgage company. Could it be that they have similar problems as the BLS computing the PPI? Then it clearly spells disaster in my book. Just figure that 50% of the 2.3 Trillion Dollars in notional value have JPM as the counterparty. Unthinkable to have 2 unsinkable ships tied so closely together ... in their final fate?

Well I'm rather patient. And in the meantime oil is making new highs, the CRB is on a tear and metals are up a bit - even gold. It is quite comical to watch the gold price pathetically lagging the CRB by miles; Seems the only real bargain in town for your confetti! - cb2

GoldiloxHUI#1186023/15/04; 17:57:29

@ Boilermaker:

What's even more strange is that miners held up decently until the end of the day, when they got clobbered for about 50% of their losses, even as gold was creeping further up.

TownCrierA couple thoughts on pushing political influence through powderkegs#11860303/15/04; 18:58:20

NEW YORK, March 15 (Reuters) - New York precious metals rose Monday as investors sought safe alternatives to a dollar weakened by security concerns and mounting evidence that al Qaeda planted the bombs that killed 200 in Madrid last week.

If al Qaeda did mastermind Thursday's commuter rail blasts it could claim to have caused Sunday's election backlash that removed Spain's ruling Popular Party and brought the Socialist Party into government.

The government of departing Prime Minster Jose Maria Aznar was a staunch ally of the United States in Iraq, despite widespread popular disapproval of Spain's role in the war.

Incoming leader Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero indicated he would pull Spain's 1,300 troops out of Iraq.

-----(from url)-----

This could become a disturbing modern precedent for the civilized world to deal with -- the effective pushing of political influence through largescale use of force, not that that's so new, except now it has spilled outside our generally accepted(?) historic context of clearly defined battlefields and combatants operating under Geneva Conventions. Will this become commonplace? Will every future national election of any significance become a breeding ground for specific acts of violence upon random voters?

We will either enter a new era of inbridled violence and retaliation, or else we will of necessity discover the art of true diplomacy by all sides.

As the neutral or non-partisan conveyor of wealth, gold will certainly take on a bolder role in such a world, whether it be the violent scenario or the cooperative one.


NedTownCrier#11860403/15/04; 19:13:06


"More specifically, Ned's post this morning is certainly on thin ice, not least because the majority of his contributions ever since his recent arrival have been more akin to asthmatic wheezings than about solid gold medicines."

I will admit and I sincerely apologize that this mornings post approached the line of political chattering. You are correct.

What drives me to post a message is the occasional posting of another that claims that the Federal Administration as all-seeing, all knowing and therefore correct. If the government of the United States, or for that matter any country is politically or economically or diplomatically correct how can it's currency fall (fail) in terms of gold?
If, by chance, good luck or good will, the United States is correct on any of its recent (political) decisions how does one conclude that its cuurency will fall against gold?

Is this not the essence of the entire theme of gold? Dollars, the confidence of the United States of America, must weaken if gold is to rise in its currency. Therefore, America must be seen as weakening, yes? Is not a wager on gold a proclaimation that America is faltering?

You cannot cheer for America (politically) and gold simultaneously, can one?

The dollar is inverse to gold as political gain is to non-confidence. It is all measurable Randy, yes?

If I said Bush was a 'doorknob', that would be insulting and non-productive to this esteemed forum. If I said America's economic and political confidence is a pre-requisite to the 'price-of-gold' tht would be true and correct, yes?

Is it not also true that America's economic and political strength is being measured as we speak?

Get you gold because..............................


Ned Johnston.

P.S.: Randy, I appreciate the posting latitude. If I encroach the off-topic, by default and thanks for the heads up, I will lead inside to the direct concern of gold.

NedGoldilox#11860503/15/04; 19:19:59

Thanks for the notice today.

The next couple of years are going to be 'heart breakers'.

Dollar Bill.,.#11860603/15/04; 19:21:58

Good Grief. Towncrier, any analysis from you and MK on what Japan is up to? You think it is just as the article said?
Is it just CB's stirring up the markets so everyone thinks we are on old rules and anything can happen? Keep the markets guessing? That is a stated aim of Greenspan.
I wonder if MK sees it as Japan shareing part of the burden the EU is carrying? Surely they are in too deep to actually bail out of yen manipulation completely arent they? Or maybe there is another way they can manipulate the Yen that they are going to try. Wont the dollar plummet? And the EU rise up a good deal?

Unless it is the US and Japan trying to squeeze the EU a bit more to get them to finally cave into the dollar support game. To break them of thier resistance to capitulation. Well, that is my kind of guesswork, maybe not a place you want to go since it is speculative has a club of one. The US does what EU says it wants, currency intervention WITH the US. So, the us does that recently, just guessing, cooperates as payback for some EU cooperation on some issues, then it works with Japan to force the EU to really buy dollars. Big time. Well, it aint wmd talk anyway! By the way Ned, thanks for reading:)

TownCrierNed asks, "Is not a wager on gold a proclaimation that America is faltering?"#11860703/15/04; 19:42:50

No, not the way that many here have framed it.

Here is the distinction. The most consistant of our vocal gold advocates are clearly putting their bets on gold, make that PHYSICAL gold, not because they bet that America (or even its dollar) is necessarily faltering, but because the bullion banking system of PAPER gold is ultimately unsustainable and well on its way to faltering structurally even if not yet visibly.

Put more simply, it is the present illusion of strong paper gold, not a strong dollar per se, that is dictating the current price of gold -- in ANY given currency.

But in the same breath, it needs to be asked whether the "strong dollar" system, as it is currently structured, will stand immune to the collapse of the strong paper gold system. And here I would say that most educated opinions have weighed in on the matter with a decisive "No. It will not likely stand immune".

I hope this makes it more clear that among at least some of the parties who visit this forum it is quite possible and indeed logical to be a cheerleader both for the future strength of physical gold while at the same time wishing all the best for America coming through the process as well as could be expected.


Dollar Bill.,.#11860803/15/04; 19:58:29

Are the dollar carry trades too important now and so the dollar HAS to trend down again? No chance of Japan structurally changing is there? They do this reluctantly I would guess, and temporarily.
TownCrierDollar Bill, on the Bank of Japan's exit strategy#11860903/15/04; 20:14:54

At some point unsustainable behavior fails because something either becomes stretched too thin or else collapses under a swelling weight.

Lest greater consequences be faced, the sooner the Bank of Japan starts acting more like a national central bank and less as a political agent of the government or as the chief financial officer of Japan's exporting sector, the better for all parties involved in the yen business.

Regarding that CFO reference, what I mean is to the extent that Japan's forex operations are exchange rate interventions for the collective benefit of the exporting sector. To wean the companies off of their customary official sector reliance, a responsible first step would be to send this clear notice that they had best start hedging for themselves at a definite date.

Whether it will actually shake out that way is certainly a matter open to further debate and observation of subsequent events.


Liberty HeadOn wagers and faltering#11861003/15/04; 21:38:34

There isn't much to gain when one wagers that the ship they are on is going to sink and it does. If I saw that the USA was faltering and the situation was beyond my control, I would seek more solid ground, even if it meant leaving unwilling friends and familly members behind. Sad but true.

While it is also true that owning physical gold can offset the effects of inflation, that does little to discourage the thievery that inflation is. Surviving robbery is important. Keeping yourself from being robbed in the first place is a better solution.

I leave for New Zealand in 4 weeks time. If I find it suits me, I will emigrate ASAP.

Best Wishes

Black BladeMarket Wrap Up - Puplava#11861103/15/04; 21:51:44


Despite repeated efforts by central banks to suppress the price of silver and gold, they are gradually losing the battle. The price keeps going up despite heavy intervention. Central bankers are gradually losing their grip over the metals markets because the markets are far bigger than central banks. Silver first and gold next will out perform every asset class this decade. The next category is energy. Natural gas should take the lead over oil, but both should do well this decade and next as we come to the end of the oil era. Following close behind energy is water. Without water mankind could not long survive. What is happening to fresh water supplies around the globe will become front-page news as surely as the crisis in energy. Finally there is the world's food supply, which is dangerously low. Population growth around the globe has put a severe strain on the earth's available resources in energy, water, and food.

If you want to make money this decade, invest in "things" or necessities. We all need them and can not live without them. As economies weaken globally in the months ahead, investors should focus on what people need and have to have in order to live. That is where, in my opinion, the big money is going to be made in this decade. When the music stops, there will only be only a few chairs remaining. That chair will become "The Next Big Thing."

Black Blade: Hard to argue with the logic here. The equities markets have not been very impressive the last couple of weeks. Stocks remain grossy overvalued and the cracks are now showing.

GoldiloxDaily Reckoning - Mogambo Guru#11861203/15/04; 22:01:46


Bernanke does go on to admit that taxes were raised, but like all good collectivist yahoos, he doesn't think high taxes have any deleterious effect of economies, so he doesn't linger there. He goes on to say that the reason things went downhill is that the Fed raised interest rates. He asks: "Why then did the Federal Reserve raise interest rates in 1928? The principal reason was the Fed's ongoing concern about speculation on Wall Street. Fed policymakers drew a sharp distinction between 'productive' (that is, good) and 'speculative' (bad) uses of credit, and they were concerned that bank lending to brokers and investors was fueling a speculative wave in the stock market. When the Fed's attempts to persuade banks not to lend for speculative purposes proved ineffective, Fed officials decided to dissuade lending directly by raising the policy interest rate." Ergo, the current Greenspan-Fed rationale for not trying to prick an asset bubble, but merely dealing with the aftermath.

Now we start getting into the really weird stuff. Bernanke admits that "the gold standard appeared to be highly successful from about 1870 to the beginning of World War I in 1914. During the so-called 'classical' gold standard period, international trade and capital flows expanded markedly, and central banks experienced relatively few problems ensuring that their currencies retained their legal value." So it worked well! So something happened, he says, between 1914 and the Depression.

He does not admit, however, that the newly formed Federal Reserve system, in operation for fifteen short years, had anything to do with subsequent calamitous economic events. The simultaneous appearance of these two things were, I suppose, merely a, you know, huge coincidence or something.


Why rates NEED to stay low. Al and Ben believe that tightening will spur a relapse of the Great Depression. You don't hear them crying about "irrational exuberance" anymore! They know the bubbles will burst just fine without a verbal pricking.

GoldiloxDollar Hegemony#11861303/15/04; 22:05:24


If the BOJ "uses up" the Yen in propping the dollar, what's to stop TPTB in the US and Japan from just declaring the US DOllar the official (or unofficial, for that matter)currency of Japan? They'll certainly have enough dollar reserves at that point.

mikalTulips anyone?#11861403/15/04; 22:09:43

That Strange Cloud Over theHorizon
by Steven LaTulippe
Excerpt reprinted with permission under Fair Use Doctrine of International Copyright Law:
"In a recent article ("The Curious Bush Recovery"), I suggested that several trends were creating a scary picture of our economic situation. The most significant concern was that our government's manipulation of interest rates and the money supply was encouraging citizens and the government to engage in an irresponsible EZ credit spending spree (the purpose of this policy is to create an illusion of wealth before next November's presidential election). This has, in turn, caused a mushrooming trade deficit which imperils the dollar's value in overseas currency markets.
Over the past week or so, several flares have gone up that make one wonder if the downward spiral hasn't really started in earnest.
Funny noises are coming from the engine room…and it doesn't bode well for our ship of state.
First, is the trade deficit. In normal times, a plunging currency causes the deficit to shrink as imports become more expensive. But the numbers came in last week for January, and they reveal a record 43.1 billion dollar trade deficit. Essentially, Americans are spending money they don't have on imports from overseas, despite the recent fall in the dollar. They are going wild with their credit cards and are raiding their home equity via get-rich-quick mortgage refinancing schemes. Saving has essentially ceased, as the average family is now saving a mere 1% of their monthly income (…a number which may overstate reality. If you look at the big picture, Americans may be spending each month more than they earn, and thus may have a negative savings rate).
The second flare was Alan Greenspan's recent congressional testimony. In what was perhaps the first lucid thing that the man has said in the past 18 months, he noted that congress might want to trim back entitlements, since both Social Security and Medicare will be going bankrupt any time now."
* # * # * # * # * # * # * # * # * #
Great overall perspective on the true economic predicament and challenges of today using wry humor.
Citing numerous potential risks as well, such as oil prices, he actually presents
a seamless case for physical precious metals, food storage and other prudent steps.

Buongiorno!Hurrah for gold and the USA!#11861503/15/04; 22:10:41

@ Towncrier --"It is possible to cheer for both gold and the USA to come through this as well as possible...."

A most astute observation. I agree that is possible and would like to add my hope that the return of gold as a currency (honest money) may be the instrument that allows this to happen. The discipline required would force us away from the spending and other excesses, give nations an honest standard of exchange instead of the circus we have now. (World currencies are like a bunch of drunks staggering down the alley, leaning on each other. One stumble,all fall down.)

Perhaps a fractional reserve, bi-metallac standard of some kind? Or a two or three tier arrangement that ultimately guarantees solid settlement? All would require much higher prices for gold and silver--and other things. My guess is that we will be forced by events to do this and that times will be hard for awhile.

We can keep our eye on the ball and not get distracted by all the political dust and thunder--if the train is indeed run off the rails, will it really matter what color hat the engineer is wearing? Or that some index number is delayed--it will come out, as it always has for years--wrong...

And my beloved Country need not be ruined just so we goldbugs can make a little money....that is not it at all!

Ah! Sono tardi...mi volyo dormi...buona notte tutti...

specie-man@ Liberty Head - wagers#11861603/15/04; 22:11:24

>>> There isn't much to gain when one wagers that the ship they are on is going to sink and it does.

In that situation, you don't wager on the ship - you bet on the lifeboat !

Let us know what NZ is like.

GoldiloxWater#11861703/15/04; 22:11:26

@ BB:

Water will become #1 quicker than any one admits (or sees).

Oil is king right now, but the radical changes in US economy (productivity?) will take a deep toll on the automobile habits of the electorate. Outside the mobile energy usage, other sources become much more viable. We've had twenty years warning, but little progress in that regard. Once forced into changes, the energy industry will morph radically, leaving clean water as the most critical need.


Black BladeOne in 73 US households declared bankruptcy in '03#11861803/15/04; 22:15:57


WASHINGTON, March 12 (Reuters) - One out of every 73 U.S. households filed for bankruptcy last year, a record high, despite historically low interest rates, the American Bankruptcy Institute said on Friday. The institute said Utah faced the highest per-household bankruptcy rate -- one out of every 47 -- followed closely by Tennessee, Georgia and Nevada. Alaska had the lowest rate last year, just one filing for every 189 households.

"Despite enjoying the sustained benefit of low interest rates, growing numbers of U.S. consumers are facing difficulty in meeting their monthly obligations," ABI Executive Director Samuel Gerdano said. "Ironically, these same consumers are being relied upon to continue spending to keep the economy growing," he added. U.S. households had $10.4 trillion in debt outstanding at the end of last year

Black Blade: As aways, get outta debt and stay outta debt, stash enough emergency cash for several months' expenses, accumuate Gold and Silver portfolio insurance, and start a storage program of nonperishable food and basic necessities.

Goldilox$ Train wreck#11861903/15/04; 22:25:04

@ Bongiorno:

Until governments stop spending and printing like drunken sailors, fiscal responsibility is far from viable.

As most of the US economy is government spending driven, this is more than a slightly painful task - like a drop in GDP of 25-30%!

According to GATA, the government has little gold left to use as "reserves", so a return to any form of gold standard would most likely be accomplished only through a second private gold confiscation - billed as the "sacrifice necessary to save America". Of course, the multinationals will have their personal gold resources located safely offshore.

The dollar's fate in their current strategy is parity with the Lira!

Black BladeNew Jobs Don't Make The Cut#11862003/15/04; 22:26:18


A national study says the new jobs being created pay 21 percent less than the jobs they replace. Another concern: More people are working part time involuntarily because they want a full-time job but can't find one. Part time means working 34 hours or fewer a week. In December, 4.79 million involuntarily worked part time, compared with 3.25 million in December 2000, federal labor statistics show. That's the most since June 1994. Economists say these numbers reflect a U.S. economy that is changing, shifting from a manufacturing economy where people make cars or furniture to a so-called service economy with more people working in health care or hospitality jobs.

"Some jobs are being created in education, health care services or hospitality, but they pay less, have poor benefits, and they certainly don't pay pensions like the old jobs did," said Jeff Chapman, economic analyst with the Economic Policy Institute.The new jobs pay about $35,410 a year, compared with $44,570 at the old jobs. The transition is painful for workers whose jobs are lost and who don't have skills for the new ones.

Black Blade: The "Bone Pile" keeps growing and the available jobs just aren't making it as consumers dig a deeper hole of debt. Worse - this is just the beginning. Get prepared while you can (if you can).

Black BladeCurrent Account Deficit Swells to $541.8B #11862103/15/04; 22:34:43


WASHINGTON - The deficit in the broadest measure of trade swelled to a record $541.8 billion in 2003, according to a government report that comes as trade and the loss of jobs have become major issues in the presidential campaign.

Black Blade: This and the soaring budget deficit amid absurd talk by Bush and Snow of support for a "strong US dollar policy" does not bode well for the US currency. The only currencies of intrinsic value worthy of discussion are the precious metals.

GoldiloxGS - Whata Guy!#11862203/15/04; 22:41:38


At present, 25% of home mortgages have variable rates. If interest rates rise, those with variable rates will obviously pay higher interest while the remaining 75%, with fixed rate mortgages, won't suffer at all (you may recall when fixed-rate mortgages virtually wiped out the thrift industry when the previous Fed Chairman was fighting inflation).

The banking industry, and other players in the carry trade, would love it if all mortgages were a variable rate. If the lenders get to "borrow short and lend short" they can lock in a profitable interest rate spread without any interest rate risk. The lender doesn't lose if interest rates go up because he still earns his spread or "carry". Indeed, since Alan Greenspan's real constituency are the banks, hedge funds and Wall Street investment banks, it's understandable that he would want all homeowners to have a variable interest rate mortgage because they help the banks make money when interest rates are low, and high!

The Fed's problem, as it brings inflation and rising interest rates back, is the homeowner with a fixed rate mortgage. When interest rates go up, that homeowner may not curtail his spending on other things. Worse yet, when inflation picks up, that same homeowner will receive a big windfall because his low monthly payment of fixed rate debt will be virtually forgiven. Meanwhile, the banks and pension funds owning those low coupon FNMA securities will be pulverized. Naturally, this state of affairs will make even a 78-year old central banker enraged. If only fixed rate mortgages were outlawed!

If I were a major player in the carry trade, I would be using the central bank buying by Japan and China to get out of all positions by the end of the summer. When China and Japan float, you can kiss the carry trade good-bye.

As a consumer, I would listen to the Fed Chairman urging me to get a variable rate mortgage. I would then turn around and run the other way and immediately lock in the lowest long-term interest rate we have seen in 46 years (and may never see again in our lifetime)! Remember, this is a Fed Chairman dedicated to giving savers an interest rate below the rate of inflation and looking for ways to encourage consumers to borrow and become debt slaves to the banks and Wall Street. The best investment for the average American remains paying off debt, not taking on new debt!


On one hand, GS encourages consumers to refi with low variable rates. Then he reminds us that rates cannot stay low forever! Conclusion- get out of debt!

Liberty HeadGoldilox, specie-man#11862303/15/04; 22:49:00

Goldilox says:
<Until governments stop spending and printing like drunken sailors....>
You give drunken sailors a bum rap.
Drunken sailors usually spend their own money.
Governments spend everyone else's money. :-)
I appreciate your posts.

Thanks specie-man.
You have a cool name as well. :-)

specie-manBOJ Strategy & Dollar Hegemony#11862403/15/04; 22:57:57

If it is true that the Bank of Japan is going to scale back (or end) their currency interventions by the end of March, then this is a huge development.

If true, I'm guessing that they are already done. If they were planning to stop at the end of March, why leak that fact now - it'll only make the last couple weeks a steeper uphill battle.

For a while now I've postulated that Japan is the last thing holding up the dike. Number 3 on my countdown to world economic upheaval (my previous "The Fall of 2005" essay) my be just two weeks (or less) away. In that essay I predicted that at some point inflationary pressures in Japan (and China) would make it extremely uncomfortable for them to keep intervening in currency markets (or maintaining the "peg" in the case of China). When Japan stops their support for the Dollar, the pent-up economic dislocation will be released. The resulting Dollar free-fall will magnify the already significant inflationary pressures in China if they maintain their currency peg. They will have to "pull the peg" on the Dollar. Then oil-producing countries will demand payment for oil in a non-depreciating currency. Game over.

But Goldilox's question is interesting. What would be the ramifications if Japan simply made the US Dollar a semi-official currency of that country ?

Their problem is that if they stop intervening, then the massive dollar assets they already hold will depreciate. Maybe they are prepared to take that loss. Maybe they see what China has been doing and have decided to use their Dollar reserves to buy oil, metals, etc while they still can. Or they could use the Dollar reserves to monetize their economy's bad debts on a massive scale. In that way, they unload a big cunk of their dollars in one swoop before they depreciate.

Maybe they are giving up on supporing the Dollar, but are planning to use other means to weaken the Yen (as if it wasn't already weak !) ? All they would have to do is "print" large quantities of Yen and use them to monetize debts (the so-called "helicopter money" option).

But no matter how you look at it, ultimately the trade imbalance must be equalized through relative prices (currency valuations). And it appears that one way or another, a significant quantity of Japan's Dollar reserves may be "released" (into circulation - causing Dollar inflation - and an increased "velocity" of money).

Even if they just hold on to those dollars they already have, that fact that they aren't soaking up as many as before will cause the Dollar to drop.

specie-manWater#11862503/15/04; 23:00:49

I've heard that silver is useful in water purification (not to mention alternaive energy technologies including superconductors, mirrors, solar cells, batteries, etc.).

That could become very important.

specie-manBank of Japan - more possibilities#11862603/15/04; 23:28:27

Maybe the BOJ has come to some sort of agreement with the US Fed ?

Or, Japan could be engaging in a game of "Chicken" with the US. Japan wants the Dollar to stay relaively high and the Yen low. They've been buying US Dollars to achieve that goal. They've invested a lot of those Dollars in US Treasury bonds (essentially funding the US Government's budget deficit).

If they stopped buying US Treasuries, US interest rates could go up. And that might cause a strenghtening of the Dollar (which is what they want). But the US could play too. If Japan didn't buy the US Treasury Bonds, the US Fed might be forced to buy (monetize) them. That would be inflationary and it would drive down the value of the Dollar (not what Japan wants). So it is a game of Chicken. Who will blink first.

Ultimately, it is government deficit spending which is the root of "inflation", not trade deficits. To date, the US Government budget deficits have been largely funded by Asia. But that may end sometime soon. When that happens, the Fed will have to monetize the newly-issued US Government debt. And THAT will cause inflation (which will put additional downward pressure on the already-falling US Dollar).

mikalLatest "Broadcast Act" another brazen offence#11862703/15/04; 23:56:14

Ron Paul's recent public DC plea for:
1) Self-regulation by personal, community and corporate standards vs arbitrary, ineffective and antagonistic government controls, of speech, broadcasting, publishing, etc.
2) First Amendment (free-speech) rights and the need to take back those already lost. Lays bare the agenda behind new legislation being debated, and the encroachment on politically incorrect groups and speech. We must stop them and reverse their abuses and threats to gold, the web and humanity.

Druid'Dynamite Is Everywhere' In Financial System Now#11862803/15/04; 23:56:36

"While the bomb the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and monetary authorities were working hardest to defuse was the Argentine debt bomb, even bigger explosives lay elsewhere. One London banker told EIR, "Argentina may be a difficulty for the Fund and for the financial world, but if you're looking for the really big crisis, look at the United States. A giant crisis is coming there, sooner than most people think. It is now clear, that what has been keeping the system going, is just pumping of liquidity.... The United States is the place to look, for where the really big crisis will hit." A series of U.S. economic disasters were announced in early March, like blows which sent the stock markets reeling, made pathetic the Bush Administration's "recovery" bravado, and deepened the fears of Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan and his international counterparts about "systemic threats" of a collapse."

Druid: This dollar/derivative situation is growing more fragile by the day/hour/minute/second...The two most feared words in all of "modern western finance" not to mention the political arena, TAKE DELIVERY!

steadyhere here #11862903/16/04; 00:46:45

TownCrier (03/15/04; 19:42:50MT - msg#: 118607)
succient, proficient, consciese, exact.
PAPER gold is ultimately unsustainable and well on its way to faltering structurally even if not yet visibly.

cant make it any more simple than that can ya! open your eyes as to why!

rember we find wisdom behind the meaning of the words not the words themselvs, if there is any meaning to be wrung out of them!
town crier lets hope that echos thru the hallowed halls of this here planet to remind the faithfull and to AWAKEN those stumbling along darken trails and hoping the light guides then to the trail head so they may reach whatever conclusion is applicable to them.
got comaradire? gold bugs 1 all others 0

slingshotMidas Crusade#11863003/16/04; 01:50:43

It was hard for the Goldbugs to sleep on the eve of such a great battle. The night sky had stars and half moon occasionaly hidden by long streaming clouds and you could hear soft voices exchanging stories of home. The night fires across the Epis had died down. Sir Black Blade and Cougar walked within the encampment. Stopping by a low fire to warm themselves from the night air, the two looked at each other waiting for the first to speak.
They are ready, said Sir Black Blade to Cougar.
Cougar remarked, And eager too!
Sir M.K. sat alone in his tent. He could not sleep for much was on his mind. He had sent riders to the ARMY of GATA, with instructions. It would be morning before the crossing would show itself for a crossing. Then the ride to Hammerton was fairly long. Will the West Gate hold?
So many variables and timing was crucial.

Inside The town hall Gandalf was awake. He watched and listened to Therroth and his war council. Slipping his hand into his pocket, he grasped the object.
In a low voice he said, Leona.
Leona awoke half asleep.
Again she heard a voice that woke her from slumber.
Leona, listen carefully. Awake the council and tell them which I say now.
Leona, somewhat frightened sat up in her coverings. The sudden movement awoke Ladies Waverider and White Rose and they too quickly sat up for Leona was awash in light and the light turned color. It was beautiful to behold, yet startling.
Gandalf? she said.
Yes, the voice answered.
Tell me what we must do, said Leona.
Wait for the sign in the Heavens. Then commit all to the fight. You must also bring me my staff!
The light around her faded and Leona said to her friends.
I must see the council now! The three got dressed quickly and soon were at Sir M.K.'s tent.
In the short hours of the morning, two lanterns were lit.
The Goldbugs now awake and in position awaited the orders for the assualt on Hammerton.

The lites extinguished,the cutting of the restaints was performed. The barges filled with men began to float down the Epis. Oars installed they guided themselves to the West Gate. Behind them smaller rafts with archers to give them cover. Cougar had instructed the blacksmiths to flaten the edges of the grapnels to form anchors to grip the river bed, thereby keeping them stationary in the river.
On the west side, catapults and battering rams were in place and men on horse and foot awaited there chance for battle.
It seem forever, for the barges to reach the bridge.
The grapnels found there mark and attached strongly to the bridge and wall. They had made it undetected and now they still made no noise as they climbed the ropes to their objected. A loud blast from a horn was made and those from the earthworks now rushed the barricade carrying a battering ram. Not a shout was to be heard and the contact of the ram was shattering, moving the obstruction to one side.
Bandit, Bonfir, Jachin and Boaz fought their way to the gate. The foe dispatched quickly,the sound of axes could be heard.

A messenger entered the town hall.

We are under attack at the West Gate, My Lord, he said calmly.

Therroth, sat back in his chair as he heard the news.

Gandalf just smiled as Therroth glanced over at him.

The small band at the West gate hammered away and with each blow a cadence evolved. The layers yeilded but the entrance had to be cleared soon.

Bring the ram! shouted Bandit.

Across the bridges span it came.

Yells were shouted as they positioned the ram and the first blow taken.

One Scot had taken a set of pipes with him, carried on his back on the bridge's assault.
Laying down his sword he brought the pipes to life and the tune created a tempo at which the ram kept time.


Axe Blades striking in off tempo.

The timbers of the gate began to crack.

Then the gate gave way to the sound of splitting wood.

On the opposite shore the catapults sent stone after stone into the shallow walls surrounding Hammerton, hampering the the defense of the town.

As the gate swung wide, a cheer could be heard from afar and Sir M.K. set in motion the second part of the plan.

Another messenger came to Therroth.

They are within the town! he said.

More and More Goldbugs fill the small streets of Hammerton.

Therroth had anticipated this and barricades were erected to slow the advance.

As the Goldbugs filled the streets arrows rained down upon them from the windows above. But they were not alone, for you see the people of Hammerton imprisoned in their own homes had, had enough. And this rebellion was one of the throwing off the yoke of oppression. For from their homes the battle took on another level. As they saw the arrows fall down on the Goldbugs, they took heart and fought the intruders. Engaging them in their homes and throwing out to the streets below. Bodies fell on those below and then objects were hurled from above at the Dark Forces.
The Battering Rams rendered the barricades useless and the Goldbugs infused the town.

Another messenger entered the hall. Therroth stood up.
What news do you bring me, he said with a angry voice.
The towns people revolt with the GoldBugs, My Lord.

You! You, turning to Gandalf. You are the cause of this, said Therroth. If you were not here, the resistance would not be as such, said Therroth now whirling about the table.

At the crossing a single Knight stood on the banks of the Epis. He looked out on the river and as the clouds pass overhead he could see to his amazement the crossing in the moonlight.
He hurried to tell of his discovery.

Stephen the Great, Sir Anduril, Sir Powell called the Army Of Gata to Life.

We must march Now!

And the army rose like a great wave. It was then the messenger arrived and the force was to split. Three forths to the East to make the crossing and one forth to the west.
Come as quick as you can.

In the town hall Therroth heard the enemy advancing and became unnerved.

Gandalf! he shouted. Called off your army and I will spare you.
Gandalf stood up in his sphere of containment and grabed hold of the tiny orb in his pocket.
It's too late for you, Therroth. You heart has been blackened by those you serve. said Gandalf.
Then you must DIE! With that Therroth drew his sword high and moved toward Gandalf.

Gandalf then took what he held in concealment and held it high. IT WAS THE SMALL CRYSTAL BALL GIVEN HIM BT LEONA!
Touching the the sphere it transformed it into a sheild.
The sword of Therroth slamed against it, but did not penetrate. He Yelled as he watched the sphere turn a radiant white. Again he thrust his sword but to no avail.

Clouds formed above the town hall and a single continuous lightning bolt severed the rooftop touching the sphere.

Therroth watched as Gandalf was transformed.

Outside they could see a pillar of light rise up to the clouds, lighting the heavens. The roof of the town hall vanished.

Sir M.K. knew this was the sign and poured all remaining forces into the battle.

Therroth, drew close and looked inside. He could not believe his eyes.

A younger figure now stood where an old wizard was.

His garments embroidered in gold and his beard as blonde as gold. He appeared to be his appentice of long ago.

Who Are YOU?'said Therroth in a wavering voice.

I AM GANDALF THE GOLD! was the reply and a pulse of energy threw Therroth across the room and into the wall.

The Army of Gata did a force march and now were at the woods before the East Gate.


And they made their way and were at the gate quickly for the Dark Forces abandoned the Gate.
They opened the gate and the enemy saw they had nowhere to go but into the Tyre River. The Goldbugs now had both gates in their hands.

Lady Waverider, Leigh and White Rose were the first to enter Hammerton from the East Gate.
Lady Waverider dismounted to hug Cougar.

Therroth recovered from being struck from the energy pulse and he knew he must flee or be captured.

He ran down the streets gathering his warriors as he went. he reached the north wall of the town and in front of the wall, raised his hands. His words were muffled yet the wall in front of him began vibrate and all at once, thunder clapped and the wall gave way.

Follow me, he said and what was left of the Dark Forces left the town.

slingshotBoy oh boy this is a long one#11863103/16/04; 01:52:16

slingshotMidas Crusade#11863203/16/04; 03:10:34

Therroth took his Dark forces out on the northern plain.
And the Goldbugs followed him close behind him. He was trapped on an island.
Gandalf exited the town hall and was greeted by a multitude of Goldbugs that cheered with happiness. Yet the Great Wizard was looking for two individuals.
Sir M.K. acompanied by Sir Black Blade, brought Gandalf his staff.
Thank You, Gandalf said as he took his staff.

As the Knights gathered, they could see Gandalf had changed.
Seeing their concern, he said. I am the same, whom you have known. All in good time are your answers, but first we must attend to businees at hand.

They made their way to the opening in the north wall.
The Goldbugs had poured out on the field and faned out.
Their ranks were deep. Opposite them the Dark Forces had done the same, with Therroth at the center.

Gandalf went forward alone and stopped half way.
A long time passed. Then something happened. The ranks of the Goldbugs opened to let two riders threw. Gandalf did not turn around but knew instinctively who they were.
ANOTHER and FRIEND of ANOTHER was at his side!

Sir M.K. and Sir Black Blade came to their sides. Then in one motion, all moved forward.
There they stood, with no more than one leagues between them.

FORM THE CIRCLE! shouted Therroth.

The circle was formed around Therroth and what happened next was unexplainable.

When the circle was formed , Therroth dismounted. He shouted incantations believed to be from the underworld. A dark mass as that which engulfed Gandalf began to swirl around him.

Then suddenly the men close to him began to die as their lifeforce was taken from them. And a monster began to appear to rise above the swirl.

Larger and larger it grew, till its height was more than TEN MEN! It roared and stretched forth its arms with scales and claws. Upon its chest was a "S" with two lines drawn threw it.

HOLD YOUR GROUND!, yelled Gandalf.

A frightful monster towered in front of them.
Then in a gutteral voice this beast proclaimed.

Who are you to stand in our way. You are like leaves on the wind and have no substance to withstand us.

The beast roared again.

Come forward if that is what you feel and test your beliefs!, Come forward and feel the POWER OF GOLD!, was Gandalf's answer.

And the beast came forward with all his might. His steps shook the ground.
Gandalf raised his staff and a bolt of energy hit the monster and stund him.
Lay down your arms, and believe why you are here, it is the only way.

The beast regained his footing and again made his way forward.

Gandalf raised his staff again, but this time an aura flowed from his staff and covered all on the field.
All was one, and the energy flowed.

The beast charged and when it seem he would crush the front line, Gandalf yelled, FREE GOLD! and a pulse of light hit the beast in his chest and on his emblem. He roared and clutched himself, falling backwards on the ground.


pmurgsRSAMiners protest over strong rand#11863303/16/04; 03:29:10

The National Union of Mineworkers is proposing a limited length strike here in South Africa to get the governments attention on the problems with job losses in the industry over the strong rand.

GWEDE MANTASHE (general secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers): Our view is that the government, on the one side, has tied itself behind its back by committing itself publicly that it will not intervene in the economy. And we think that it should be shaken a little bit, to appreciate the fact that, in a developing economy, you can't say you will not intervene. We don't say that it must control and actually peg the exchange rate. But it must be able to intervene in a number of ways. And if, for example, economies like Japan, like China and many other developed economies, see it important to actually keep an eye on the strength of their currency, to see that their economy doesn't get actually strangulated, either on the export or import side. What is it that keeps South Africa thinking that it can't intervene? That it must just over-expose to market forces.

slingshotpmurgsRSA#11863403/16/04; 03:37:24

Good to hear from you.
Been a long night for me.
5:39 am EST.

Dollar Bill.,.#11863503/16/04; 04:36:58

How the expected budget shortfall of $44.2 trillion* breaks down. Social Security $7 Trillion
Medicare $36.6 Trillion, Other $0.6 Trillion
*Based on current government revenue and spending...This is the projections for some number of years out. 40 I think.
Slingshot, we are comfortable reading books with no skipped lines:)

slingshotDollar Bill#11863603/16/04; 04:43:21

Slapped right hand. Told it not to hit the enter key no more.
It said O.K, O.K. that's enough.

slingshotHammerton has Fallen!#11863703/16/04; 04:49:28

Let the Hammer Fall for the Beast is DEAD!

CometoseJapan currency intervention#1186383/16/04; 07:20:26

Japan is "mulling" over the idea of ceasing currency intervention in the dollar........

Read this earlier accross the hall.........

Read some other things this weekend relating to Venzuela ...and a failed coup attempt this weekend ( two sets of mercenaries shut down in two different locations)..

The article was relating some conspiracy theory about how the insiders (who are on board in the NWO) use specific regional tactics from bases on such continents to bring by coercion that non conforming members on board....

IRAQ was mentioned as well as the enire middle east ...Venezuela was mentioned ..... and the African country...

Interesting ....Spain is now having a reversal in its leadership ....and support of the US BRIT alliance and the rumor now is that JAPAN IS MULLING ceasing its intervention in the DOLLAR......

I don't know if the WORLD is ready for the NEW WORLD ORDER yet .....or the ANTICHRIST>>>>>Many are selling their souls now to take their future positions in the NEW REGIME.



WHEN THESE WELL LAID PLANS (social engineering programs ) of the NEOCONS affects economies and's Insurance Companies, GSE's..
IN THESE TIMES ...........if you would like insurance,,,,

CometoseFailed coup attempt #1186393/16/04; 07:22:22

Failed Coup attempt was in an OIL RICH AFRICAN NATION...(not NIGERIA)
Buongiorno!painful task#1186403/16/04; 08:32:21

@ Goldilox # 619--agree it will be a "painful task"--we did not arrive at this place quickly or easily, and it will be heck to pay to fixit. But, par with the Lira! Mamma Mia! Say you did not mean it! Wish we had Gandalf's staff and a bolt of light, but, alas....

USA will still be a big player in gold due to huge reserves in the West--with or without Ft. Knox. Confiscation could get very complicated, and, IMO, could not be done as before.

I enjoy your posts and participation here and feel your banking insights are unique. Thank you for outstanding work.

Hey! The Blade is back! Welcome, and pray rest yer weary bones awhile. We are just not the same without you!


steadyINspiration#1186413/16/04; 08:54:32

got my foot in the door
looked around wanted more,
built a first floor, then i did lern to treat it like a store
the rest history
alot for free
can it be true
from him to y(o+o)u
whats even better he helps you do
best of all when its thu
he will tell you
! ah so few in a pew
like cows on the cud most just look for something to chew, well thankfull me nor you fit in that category
we got to complete this gold story
before the planet loses it miraculous history
come on now lets help this place from turning gorry

BoilermakerMount Fed#1186423/16/04; 08:59:53

When the Fed comes down from its mountaintop this afternoon and pronounces its verdict (expect calm seas and fair winds) it will not be burdened by an unseemly reading of the PPI tea leaves. Perhaps that is one of the reasons for the delayed index.

The timelines for the worlds's dominent fiat currencies are becoming compressed by the relentless and now obvious spector of inflation. Perhaps this explains the increasing urgency for currency reorientation such as we're seeing in Japan. Central Banks are getting increasingly nervous with their dependence on the Dollar and are jockeying to break away.

Federal_ReservesFED#1186433/16/04; 09:24:11

FED is in a box.

They might weigh the risk more toward the inflation side, then allow the government to release the embargoed PPI inflation reports. I don't think they want the loss of credibility when they are claiming low inflation risks and a report comes out showing 6% rates, so today they should give some warning.

Inflation as measured by the PPI is up 4% YoY, and probably once the embargoed reports come out it will show a 6% YoY rate.

Last month the CPI jumped nearly ½% in a single month an annual rate of some 6%, next report could show lastest 3 month inflation annualized as high as 3%.

The FED must keep rates low because we are now a debtor nation, and its increasing at an increasing rate, and high rates of interest could cause a severe budget crisis both nationally and in the consumer pocketbooks. They'll try to hoodwink everyone as long as they can about goods inflation, but once folks start to demand paycheck hikes because of inflation and start getting them, they'll have to then hike rates.

GoldiloxDollar Lira Parity#1186443/16/04; 10:04:06

@ Bongiorno:

Why do I believe these concepts? I have been reading von Mises lately , so perhaps I am in a conspiratorial mood.

The dollar is toast. Not right away, perhaps, but monetary hegemony will just not work long term without complicity of other powers. I believe the collapse of current fiat schemes will be replaced at some point with another, perhaps MORE sinister scheme including a larger base of participants. The Euro, IMHO, could be a test of that concept, and an important step in that direction. I mentioned yeterday that Japan is willingly sacrificing the Yen to save the dollar, but more likely, they see a larger monetary shift coming, as well, and feel safer in US$ than in Yen. And perhaps they really are applying for statehood.

Gold, never to lose its real value, cannot be reinstated into the monetary system without MAJOR losses by the banking interests, who are VERY powerful. They just aren't going to rebalance financial excesses at their expense without major revolution, and that doesn't look either pretty or particularly probable, given their chummy relationship to spendthrift governments. I will consider the gold battle won if it just regains a truer "store of wealth" value. I don't really see a greater monetary role possible.

Just as 9/11 allowed Ashcroft and company to ramrod PA-I and PA-II down the throats of Congress and the electorate, a monetary "crisis" will excuse a major shift in monetary systems. It can be "controlled", much as we are witnessing, but must include some pretty large upheaval in the credit (debt) markets that "protect" large bankers - a la LTCM and S&L bailouts. It scares me that Dubya has recently been comparing his programs to those of FDR, remembering how he prospered in the S&L debaucle.

I agree that gold confiscation cannot be successfully accomplished on a voluntary basis as it was in 1933. That said, it is only pertinent if a gold "standard" is suggested, and I don't see that happening. Western reserves are shrinking against growing reserves in the East, and that doesn't suggest a return to gold-based internal systems any time soon.

On the other hand, if confiscation is in the works, it need not be voluntary as was the last one. Complete records are available, along with powerful search algorithms to locate the owners. As I found out last year, one cannot buy gold for cash, even at the $1000 level without signing a document that certifies that I have not bought an amount greater than $10000 from that vendor during this tax year. OK, it absolves me from tax liability "reporting" requirements, but the record is still there if someone decides to change the requirements. I don't see vendors shredding their sales records to protect me from government snooping any time soon.

I very much hope that confiscation measures do not become "necessary", but I also pay attention in case someone decides they are. Every once and a while, I have found some new interesting twist on confiscation and posted it. . . not because I believe in its imminence, but rather to "sleep with one eye open", as I never trust anyone in government to have my best interest in mind.

Caviat emptor.

steadywaves wooooooo whoooooooo#1186453/16/04; 10:05:19

dang 7.10 just keeps the waves at bay. set waves out there somewhere bouys destroyed by orcas. new data gathering network being estbalished please be patient while we are fixen to fix it, as most stuff is back in the back
p.s. we will race the govt in its release of the old econoimic data they dont want us to see. bet who wins.
individualism 1 govt hacks who delay real honest data 0

Rimhslingshot#1186463/16/04; 10:26:43

It must have been a long night, but when the creative juices are flowin' you just gotta keep goin'! Well done! I look forward to each of the installments of the Midas Crusade.
GoldiloxSpin#1186473/16/04; 10:31:09

CNBC economists have just told me that higher oil prices are a "tax" on consumers, and thus disinflationary.

Help, I'm getting dizzy from the spinning room!

Orwellian double speak is getting so thick my hip boots aren't even keeping the BS at bay!

GoldiloxMichigan Sentiment Survey#1186483/16/04; 10:33:32

CNBC just anounced that the FBI is investigating the U of Michigan consumer sentiment survey for number falsification when it dropped last year. They must be too busy to look into the PPI and CPI.
steadygold bars#1186493/16/04; 10:44:58

speaking of gold bars if u look at teh picture on the bulliondesk site that accompanies a possible gold sale by germany, at least they got eh picure right, notice the stack is short a few bars, at least in pictures someone is trying to be honest. PERCIEVE, RECEIVE,
ALLEVIATE {< late latin alleviatum.....lightened < latin ad- up + levis light }

OvSDollar Bill's left hand that did'nt slap his right hand hard enough.#1186503/16/04; 10:53:14

After having repremanded Goldilox for off-topic comments,
here I am, violating this rule myself. So help me God, I
can't help myself doing so.
Dollar Bill, slap your right hand a little harder so it
won't post. But here I go: Our dear brother Alan Greenspan
recommended slashing Social Security (projected to have
a 7 trillion deficit in the future). That's the money that
feeds our (then us) Senior Citizens and pays the bills.
How come, he doesn't recommend slashing the Medicare benefits that are projected to amount to almost 37 trillion
in the deficit? Because the holy cow called doctors and
the rest of the American Medical Association have
the Congress sown-up. Fact is: 75% of the medical procedures are counterproductive. Some years back, when
doctors went on strike in California, the death rate actually declined. Don't expect any more strikes like that
in the future.
I recommend to the medical professions the following:
Do only necessary treatments and invest all your money in
gold-coins, and we all shall be better off.

Gandalf the WhiteThanks ! Sir Slingshot !!!#1186513/16/04; 10:53:21

Gandalf the GOLD !
I love it !!!
"Well done" SAGA

Gandalf the WhiteA "picture" of the ESF using your tax dollars for their purpose ----#1186523/16/04; 10:57:19

Prepatory to the Greenie announcement ?

Great Albino BatGoldilox: Some comments on your interesting post, "Dollar Lira Parity"#1186533/16/04; 11:05:43

"Monetary hegemony will just not work long term without complicity of other powers."

Comment: Long term, paper money will go to zero value, with or without complicity of other powers. "All the king's horses and all the king's men, couldn't put Humpty Dumpty together again."

"Perhaps they (Japan) really are applying for statehood."

Comment: I'll believe that, when the Pacific freezes over.

"I really don't see a monetary role (for gold) possible."

Comment: I sure hope you are shortsighted! Without real money, our civilization is finished and mankind will revert to survival mode, all social cooperation having vanished.

I suspect you would agree to modify that statement, to: "I really don't see a monetary role for gold as things stand at the present time."

"Dubya has recenlty been comparing his programs to those of FDR, remembering how he prospered in the S&L (Banking crisis of 1932/33?) debacle."

The USA in 1933 was a tremendously strong and wealthy country, undergoing a severe correction due to a prior credit expansion. Debt in the USA was very small. Credit could be pumped up, and was. Gold was taken from the public, so that could be done.

Today, the debtberg is simply enormous. The problem is to keep it growing. FDR's policies are irrelevant: the state of the economy has gone far, far beyond FDR.

"Western reserves are shrinking [....]and that doesn't suggest a return to gold-based internal systems any time soon."

Comment: I agree! As the present set-up deteriorates, TPTB will see that power is slipping away from them and will resort to printing more and more money. That will only accelerate the weakening of the power structure.

There might be a massive attempt to force gold out of private hands, but though it might mean suffering, imprisonment and even death for many, yet such measures would not be successful: say 90% of the gold would remain hidden.

We must understand that as the Dollar approaches the Lira in parity, the behavior of Law Enforcement officials also changes, hard as it is to imagine: they become terribly underpaid, as runaway inflation destroys the value of their salaries, which being bureaucratically fixed, always lag far behind the monetary inflation. So, they are in dire straits, economically. Thus, "corruption" sets in, as Law Enforcement officers try - as ordinary humans - to feed their families. Bribery raises its eternal head! And thus "corruption" actually humanizes people: "You want to live, I want to live; let's work this out between us!"

This is standard procedure in the Third World.

Thanks for reading these comments!


steadyIs Silver Scandal On the Horizon?#1186543/16/04; 11:17:55

tic tic the word spreads and tptb do a dread cuase dat meand der accounts going to be red, crimson red nuff siad.
way to go MRS O meara

OvSHigher Oil Prices as Tax is Anti-Inflationary.#1186553/16/04; 11:32:11

Goldilox: Aren't we a little slow today? Of course
the Powers That Be will tax the inflation out of us.
That is the "last resort" fall-back plan if
nothing else works (as it doesn't). Vive la "Creative

GoldiloxFiat collapse scenario#1186563/16/04; 11:47:35


I want to contemplate your scenario a little more, but I think yours is even gloomier than mine - especially the death, imprisonment of many part. Complete FIAT collapse probably amounts to martial military control.

I saw an article at the other day suggesting that the CA parole board is violating and reincarcerating parolees on any small violation in order to keep the prison budgets high during this period of "cost cutting" in CA.

There is also a move afoot to "privatize" prisons, so they can become profit centers, thus supplying really cheap labor for industries that participate. Sounds a lot like IG Farbin to me. Much of the WWII Nazi arsenal was built with prison labor, as free peoples ask too many questions.

It wouldn't matter much if gold remains "hidden", once the owner is imprisoned. The purchase records are all readily available by court order. Once a prisoner is released, parole and probation boards track all client financial activities very closely.

Again, we all hope things don't get this bleak, but do the best to prepare for the worst. When you start hearing about gold being the currency of criminals and terrorists, the spin is on!

For those old enough to remember the sloagan,

"When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns".

Goldiloxhigher taxes as disinflationary#1186573/16/04; 11:52:36


Some days I'm slower than others, but how does this make higher prices disinflationary?

Survivor@Goldilox #1186583/16/04; 11:52:54

As I found out last year, one cannot buy gold for cash, even at the $1000 level without signing a document that certifies that I have not bought an amount greater than $10000 from that vendor during this tax year.

You should shop around some more. Some travel may be needed. It seems pointless to have an asset like gold in your possesion if it carries a paper trail back to TPTB.

GoldiloxGreenspam in 20 minutes#1186593/16/04; 11:55:22

I'm sure he'll make all this inflafla nonsense perfectly clear!
GoldiloxPaper trail#1186603/16/04; 11:57:59

I've been to most coin and bullion shops in the county (a very large county at that), and was required to present ID to purchase quantities over $1000 at every one. I've never purchased $10000 at any one time.

Maybe it's a CA regulation.

Clink!Dollar / lira parity#1186613/16/04; 12:07:49

How near was there ever parity ? Consulting one of my favorite web pages, the face-value 20 lira coin at the end of the 19th century weighed 0.1867 oz, while the $20 US coin weighed 0.9675 oz. So a ratio of around 1:5. If I recall correctly, and then taking the Euro/dollar correction since 2000 into account, the present ration would be 1:1000. Assuming that what goes up can come down again .....

GoldiloxCurrency ratios#1186623/16/04; 12:37:32

@ C

LIRA to US$ ratio of 1000:1 from 5:1 is a pretty wild swing, even for a hundred years. As demonstrated, swings of this magnitude don't rebound easily.

Comparing this to Yen, post WWII, the yen was pegged at 360:1 and has now risen to a high of 105:1, which induced rapid suchi peristalsis at BOJ.

So, if a currency adjustment of 3X, as seen in Japan (slowly) and Argentina (more rapidly) induces massive personal wardrobe failures, what would a 200X adjustment in the world reserve currency effect?

The natural gas types might wanna get their collection gear ready!

RimhGandalf, Steady#1186633/16/04; 12:42:22

To the Gold Wizard: While we see it as the same ol' black magic trick, it still seems to be fooling the masses, at least temporarily. Unfortunately for TPTB, it must be wearing thin with the currency traders....

Steady: Thanks for posting the silver article. While it may not be the most mainstream magazine, its nice to see some coverage... apparently there are still a few journalists out there who can smell a good story in the making!

SurvivorPaper Trail#1186643/16/04; 13:39:04

The paper question has piqued my curiousity. What has the paper trail experience been for other ladies and knights when purchasing gold (or silver) in amounts less than $10,000?

There does not seem to be any federal paper trail requirement in Canada or the US. Do experiences vary state-by-state or province by province?.

USAGOLD / Centennial Precious Metals, Inc.Helping you enter the gold market with grace and confidence.#1186653/16/04; 13:58:10">Change paper into gold!
TownCrierFor the Record: FOMC keeps target rate at 1%#1186663/16/04; 14:29:34

March 16, 2004

The Federal Open Market Committee decided today to keep its target for the federal funds rate at 1 percent.

The Committee continues to believe that an accommodative stance of monetary policy, coupled with robust underlying growth in productivity, is providing important ongoing support to economic activity. The evidence accumulated over the intermeeting period indicates that output is continuing to expand at a solid pace. Although job losses have slowed, new hiring has lagged. Increases in core consumer prices are muted and expected to remain low.

The Committee perceives the upside and downside risks to the attainment of sustainable growth for the next few quarters are roughly equal. The probability of an unwelcome fall in inflation has diminished in recent months and now appears almost equal to that of a rise in inflation. With inflation quite low and resource use slack, the Committee believes that it can be patient in removing its policy accommodation.

Voting for the FOMC monetary policy action were: Alan Greenspan, Chairman; Timothy F. Geithner, Vice Chairman; Ben S. Bernanke; Susan S. Bies; Roger W. Ferguson, Jr.; Edward M. Gramlich; Thomas M. Hoenig; Donald L. Kohn; Cathy E. Minehan; Mark W. Olson; Sandra Pianalto; and William Poole.

GoldiloxDaily Reckoning#1186673/16/04; 14:32:31



- Greenspan is urging Americans to swap out of their "expensive" fix-rate mortgages into "inexpensive" floating rate mortgages. Never mind that rising rates would make this a very expensive trade. "Alan Greenspan, mater of muffled speech," writes Jim Grant, editor of Grant's Interest Rate Observer, "issued a clarion call [recently] to the nation's homeowners. 'Float,' he advised them, in so many words."

- It's true: two weeks ago, Greenspan remarked before the Credit Union Nation Association in Washington, "Recent research within the Federal Reserve suggests that homeowners might have saved tens of thousands of dollars had they held adjustable-rate mortgages during the past decade, though this would not have been the case, of course, had interest rates trended sharply upward."

- To which Grant's quips: "To be sure. And recent research conducted by this office suggests that many investors might have earned tens of thousands of dollars had they bought the Nasdaq Composite in early 1991 and sold about 10 years later (though they would have lost money, of course, had the stock market gone down instead of up)."

- While Greenspan urges the lumpeninvestoriat to extract and spend every last cent of equity "locked up" in their homes, America's Big-3 automakers entice the lumps to borrow as much money as possible in order to buy cars they can't really afford.

- "Thanks to ultra-low interest rates and lengthening auto- loan maturities, Americans in rising numbers owe more on their cars than their cars are worth," Jim Grant observes. "In vehicular lingo, they are 'upside down.'

- "'About 30% of all customers walk into showrooms upside down, according to one estimate,' reports the Feb. 16 Automotive News. 'And that means that the nation's multiyear string of strong auto sales is being propped up increasingly by longer loans and staggering consumer debt.'

- "The data shows that, since 1984, household debt as a percentage of household net worth has climbed to 29.4% from 22.7%," Grant continues, "while the maturity of the average new-car loan has jumped to 61.3 months from 46.3 months.


Debtberg dead ahead!

OvS(No Subject)#1186683/16/04; 14:51:20

Goldilox: My comment was with tongue in cheek.
On second thought that fellow was perhaps
thinking: "The more you tax, the less people
can spend on imports therefore reducing the
deficit. And with (temporary) more taxdollars
the government needs to print less fiat". Now
don't think any further, because then this
rational doesn't work any longer........Cheers.

OvSlumpeninvestoriat--- I'm still laughing , Goldilox#1186693/16/04; 15:06:34

But seriously: Can anyone think of a better
and faster way of socializing the United
States of America, then have the top 5%
own everything and 95% owe everything?
Everything is developing right on target.
The Doctor (Greenspan) knows best..........

GondolinSurvivor 118664#1186703/16/04; 15:37:33

Maybe not what you were looking for but in the UK the process is simple. I make a phonecall to check the price, send a cheque (ah, the papertrail) and they post it to me.Haven't tried cash yet, but may do out of interests sake next month.There is no VAT on gold in the UK, which must be the ONLY thing in the UK the Chancellor has not got his hands on as yet.Why is that I wonder, certainly not for his love of gold on past performance, but then maybe he's surreptitiously buying gold himself...

Steady, great article on silver, the truth will come out.

Great Albino BatA few thoughts which may be of interest...#1186713/16/04; 15:52:25

Gold (and silver, too) went out of circulation in the U.S. when paper money was put into circulation alongside of metal currency. As more and more paper was put into circulation, the value of the paper money unit went down, therefore the value of the gold and silver coins went up in terms of paper money. Since the coins had a fixed face value, they could not be used as money any longer, and either were melted or saved for their metal worth.

Perhaps the only way to put silver and gold back into circulation, and eventually to their rightful place, is to follow the sequence that put them OUT of circulation, but in reverse.

The idea would be to put gold and silver coins into circulation again, alongside paper, as a first step. How could this be done?

First, the coins would have to have no face value. How could they then be used as money? Simply, the FED would quote a legal tender value for the coins, based on the price of gold and silver, plus a small markup to cover minting costs and perhaps some profit for the FED.

Also, the legal tender value of these no-face-value coins would be quoted in multiples say of 5, so that people could use round numbers in calculating commercial exchanges made with these coins.

Quoting these legal tender values should be no problem. Goodness knows, there is enough calculation going on every second, concerning foreign currencies; the same process can be applied to quoting the legal tender value of the gold and silver coins.

An important consideration is that a legal tender value, once quoted, should not be reduced. No one can use a coin as money, if its value can come down at any moment. But there is no problem, if the holder knows the legal tender value con only go up, not down, even if gold and silver fall in value.

Such coins could immediately become circulating money, along with paper. Of course, they would be instantly put away for savings. But, aren't savings desperately needed?

This is a way to stimulate savings without having to lure the saver by means of interest. These savings would not require interest rates to support them!

The first step in any process is extremely important. This seems to be the way to go back to gold and silver. In fact, the only way: go back the way you came.

These ideas and more, at the website above. Might be of interest.


Dollar Bill.,.#1186723/16/04; 17:15:01

OvS, "doctors and the rest of the American Medical Association have the Congress sown-up." Hi there.
I dont think it is the doctors directing the show. If it was, thier insurance rates would plummet, they would not have to get permission from hmo's for all procedures, and they would not have to take so many people on govt paid medical plans that do not cover doctors expenses. How about looking at peoples diet and exercise issues as the area that could change the 36 trillion dollar cost downwards.

GoldiloxBOJ mulls ending massive yen intervention - Nikkei#1186733/16/04; 17:25:09


NEW YORK, March 15 (Reuters) - The Bank of Japan is mulling ending its massive yen-selling interventions in the currency market by the end of March, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported from Tokyo in its early Tuesday edition.

"Some central bank officials predict that it will walk away from large-scale interventions by the end of this month and that the upward pressure on the yen ... will abate beginning in April," the Nikkei reported.

Many BOJ officials, as well as foreign central bankers, question Japan's strategy of intervening in the currency market to halt the appreciation of the yen, the influential Japanese newspaper reported on its online site monitored in New York.

The central bank is apparently hoping that it can stop concentrating on reining in the strong yen and shift its focus to policy options related to price trends and interest rates, the report said.


Is this any more believable than Eu leaders crying "wolf" to join the intervention?

Buongiorno!lira#1186743/16/04; 17:26:14

Great stuff on the lira--last quote I remember seeing was about 1200-1600 to the $--but that has been awhile. Italy uses the Euro and I am not at all certain they have lira any more. Points well taken, though in any case, since Italy is a great example of how paper money gets really hashed up!

GAB--thanks for the thoughts on re-introduction of coins. Lots of ways this thing can go and all have plus and minus. My guess is that coins already have and will play an increasing role in the underground barter economy. Particularly if we get lots more "helio-copter money". Pays no interest, pays no taxes...(ahem). (got a few "underground coins" from MK today--cha-ching!)

Thanks to all for clarity of thought and presentation.

GoldiloxDx chart pop#1186753/16/04; 17:31:44

Come on, Gandalf,

Those aren't tax dollars, there aren't enough of those. Them be the profits they made shorting the s**t out of ENRON using "privileged" information.

OvSDollar Bill#1186763/16/04; 17:51:47

Yes, you are right. Things are not that
simple. By sewn-up I had in mind their
field of interest. Of course, lawyers
run a bigger pie and biggy corportions
more. But we had here 37 trillion how many trillions will
wind up in the medical coffers?
My 83 yr.old Granny was prescribed over
500 dollars worth of pills a month she absolutely needed to survive, three years ago. She is of the old school and
refused and now is doing better the every.
Let's leave it at that.
I'm really interested in THE Mr.Gold's
prediction that the comming few weeks are
going to give us a break-out in gold on
the upside. I think our Socrates thinks
likewise. For anyone who has a few dollars
left to invest--this might be a good time
to get a few more gold-coins. By the way,
haven't seen Travelers comment lately.
I would appreciate his insight, also.Cheers.

BoilermakerThe Proper Role for Gold - FOA#1186773/16/04; 18:10:31

The following is from FOA message #7, an important concept for all of us who seek a better future.
"The secret to all of this is in the "Legal Tender laws". Allowing gold to be used as a Legal Tender,,,, "for the settlement of all debts public and private",, but changing international law such that no form of debt can force it's payment in gold! This opens a one way street for gold and a two way street in fiat currencies. No one will lend gold because they cannot force it's return in the courts, thereby making gold a physical only international currency. Yet, on the other hand, we all must borrow in this modern world and currencies will be the only avenue for this. Creating a demand (and added value) for them in addition to general use demand.

The first thought many will have is that everyone will just buy gold to make debt payments, driving out fiat currencies. But remember, if you have debts they will be in currency settlement only. One will weigh the cheapest form for repayment! Gold in this atmosphere will be completely free to trade, become extremely expensive and stay that way. Not to mention that it's sale as a commodity (outside it's money use) on the private level will be well taxed."

In this regime gold will stay above the fray created by ambitious fiats and their protaginists. The world's inventory of gold can only change by a small percentage each year, currently about 2%. That will ensure its scarcity and value relative to the things we need or want. The Central Banks and other purveyors of paper debt will be powerless to control gold's value. The possibility of buying gold "promises" with fiat will disappear. It is a simple concept and one that needs broader understanding and support.

NedSpain's new leader abandons U.S. on Iraq#1186783/16/04; 19:35:58

Confidence on the Iraq issue begins to wain, gold should be a winner. Spain 'abandons' US, USD should be the loser.


"Mr. Zapatero promised to keep Spanish relations with the United States "cordial," but he minced no words in his assessment of the Iraq conflict. "The war in Iraq was a disaster, the occupation of Iraq is a disaster," he said, suggesting that Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair should engage in "some self-criticism."

"Wars such as those that have occurred in Iraq only allow hatred, violence and terror to proliferate," he added."

Dollar Bill.,.#1186793/16/04; 20:08:13

Zapatero is immature.
Jacob MarleyZapatero immature?#1186803/16/04; 21:31:35;jsessionid=BKFSRBXDF0KT2CRBAE0CFEY?type=reutersEdge&storyID=4571228&pageNumber=1

DB, are you sure you want to say that.

From his CV:


* Director - Head of the Eastern Europe Coordination Desk (1974/79)
* First Secretary at the Spanish Embassy in Yugoslavia (1979/80)
* Chargé d'affaires at the Spanish Embassy in Yugoslavia (1980/84)
* Political adviser at the Spanish Embassy to Rabat (1984/87)
* Deputy Director General for Northern Africa (1987/91)
* Director General of the Institute for Cooperation with the Arab World (1991/93)
* Director General of Foreign Policy for Africa and the Middle East (since September1993)
* Ambassador of Spain in Israel from June 28 to December 4, 1996
* EU Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process since December 1996

From the article:

"Spain's New Priority Is Europe, Not U.S.-Aide"

"BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Spain's new priorities are to restore relations with core European allies, rethink its role in Iraq and leave strategic dialogue with the United States to the European Union, its likely future Socialist foreign minister said on Monday."

"[Miguel Angel] Moratinos [...] made clear that mending fences with key European partners would be the Socialists' first priority."

"'[...] We want to be part of the main actors in Europe.'"

"Moratinos belittled the idea of a special relationship with the United States, suggesting it had been an illusion."

"'[...] we think the best strategic dialogue [with the U.S. administration] on an equal footing should be conducted at the level of U.S.-European relations, and not as Spain,' he said."

While one may not agree with his assertions, to dismiss him because of immaturity is to neglect a very real and growing trend. Instead of getting our feathers ruffled because of this shifting away from a US-centric focus, would we not be better served to instead view dispassionately these unfolding events?

Of significance here is not so much his personal statements of the Iraq war, but rather his belief that Spain should be spoken for via the EU, and not by itself. THAT has more significant implications, in my opinion.

I personally think this is all very significant in terms of the changing tides of the global power balance. Whether the catalyst was brought on by tragedy or simply the mundane course of human activity, the umbrella under which nations seek shelter more and more is that of the EU. This has major impact in all arenas – among them the financial/economic - and further – gold.

It is important also to note Randy's commentary yesterday (#118603) as dovetailing here. Not only are the scales tipping differently than they did a decade ago, the ominous part is that there may be a very real capacity on the part of terrorist groups to use this trend to further weaken the US, as may be shown here if indeed some Islamic bunch was behind these satanically-inspired acts.

Once more, agree with him or not, to simply dismiss Moratinos as immature, isn't really the main issue. Besides that, he isn't.

Jacob MarleyNEVER MIND -- as the lady on Saturday Night Live used to say...#1186813/16/04; 21:38:01

sorry DB... I was caught up reading tonight on Moratinos, and glossed too quickly over your post... my apologies..

Nonetheless, as Moratinos will likely be appointed by Zapateros, he probably speaks with the same voice. The bottom line is still, not whether this one or that is immature, or we agree with them or not. The fact is these people are in power now, and seem to be well expressing a trend that shows the sea-change in geo-power balances.


steadygondolin#1186823/16/04; 22:03:42

the truth wills itself out
Black BladeIs Silver Scandal On the Horizon?#1186833/16/04; 23:05:08

Investors claim silver sellers are manipulating the market using fraudulent tactics.


One can only speculate, of course, about the outcome of the Enron debacle if investors and regulators had been clued by whistle-blowers into the enormity of the corporation's accounting shenanigans in the years before its implosion. Though it's too late for Enron employees and stockholders, thousands of investors believe a similar implosion is looming in the silver market with potentially catastrophic consequences. Rather than sit back and reap the financial benefits to be gained by what these investors believe will be a much higher price for the precious metal, this indignant army of investors and whistle-blowers has set out to alert federal regulators with the hope of averting another Enron-like disaster.

Black Blade: It appears that Silver is getting more press again lately. Covers the issues raised by Ted Butler and now GATA among others.

Dollar Bill.,.#1186843/16/04; 23:12:09

Jacob Marley, Greetings. You probably noticed on the forum when some folks were talking about the 167 or so central banks in the world. Kind of a new thing all those central banks. I have been thinking they are the real power central nowadays. Quiet decisions by the central banks tie thier nations to the US in ways the politicians have no idea about. There is the political state department, to govts, but the Fed has its own contacts and deals going with the 167 central banks. What do a lot of political guys know about thier countries complex dealings in finance? The biggest central banks are doing the decideing. If we do hit the financial wall, however we do it, wont the result be tighter central banks control of each nations spending power? Since this money inflation will make it a fight for resources to manufacture things, wont the post crash world be one where the one world structure becomes way more big brotherish in that sort of a global budget will be constructed alloting countries so much money to do what those countries decide to do with it? Buy food, materials, whatever, our future post crash IS the road of more and more
state command economy isnt it? Those socialists, they have no idea the amount of socialism we are headed for. Isnt that the road? This global economy leads to more and more control by the bankers doesnt it?

Black BladeHow Much Gold Exists, and Where Is It?#1186853/16/04; 23:14:07


A question: If all the gold ever produced in the world was formed into a single block, how long would its edge be?

There's not much gold left elsewhere in the ground, either. Approximately 50,000 tonnes (about a third of what is already out) remains un-mined and will cost in excess of $300 an ounce to extract. Meanwhile, after steadily more detailed worldwide surveys, the mining industry consensus is that large mineral deposit discoveries are now a thing of the past. In fact gold is - as it always has been - extremely scarce.

Black Blade: Interesting read and some good mental masterba... er, I mean interesting to think about. ;-)

Good table as well. Yes, the "easy pickins" are already found and it will be more costly to find and extract.

Jacob MarleyDB - Spain#1186863/17/04; 01:18:23

Ah, but this brings us back to another argument had here throughout the years. Let's discuss this in a moment. But first, I find agreement in saying that banks pull the strings of government. They always have. That this is transforming itself into something more over-reaching in this day is the inevitable outcome of human behavior. There cannot be some behind-the-scenes decision making that runs counter trend operating with any success, as they would exhaust themselves fighting the inclinations of humankind. Instead these are rather very powerful, well organized groups, not only banks that attempt to harness the momentum of human propensities and channel them to their particular ends. But that is not the point of my assertion.

The important point is that Spain's new leadership making such immediate pro-EU pronouncements is different than the past, and another confirmation of the shifting geo-political balance. The past would see a crisis like this arise, and the leadership state their position in terms of either the United States, NATO, or the UN. No mention of any of these here. Just the fledgling EU. This EU is gaining momentum. This is significant.

Your point, which appears to view a general global cooperation of central banks, is held by many. It appears you fall down on the side that a few major CBs call all the shots, with the minors subordinated to them, all in a single thrust to global domination. Another view has it that there are multiple camps, and because of the dominating nature of the current paradigm, two principal camps present themselves. One prefers the status quo, the other wishes to introduce their own new concept to the mix and compete for the supremacy enjoyed currently by the US via its dollar. There are other viewpoints, and all the banks and major financial operators don't just fall into one or the other of these camps, but since they are all greatly affected by the outcome, they certainly have their preferences.

In this world view, the destination of things is not as clear cut. There is a genuine struggle being had, whose outcome is neither pre-determined or assured. The trend however is showing a shift in favor of the European faction, and actions like Spain's are significant in demonstrating this. The fact that I am not even mentioning China, or the large Islamic states for instance, does not mean I am simplifying the argument. Instead, it is that the main contest at this juncture is for a currency supremacy, as this one factor alone is probably the greatest instrument of power in the world today. To get to the finals, so to speak, is not something you just do. No walk-ons, no special invitations, just decades of hard fought preparation. Thus, the Chinas, et al., are not competitors for this prize at this stage. It is only the dollar vs. the euro.

All the "quiet" decision making that banks may do, regardless of the particular alignments, still risks being fruitless if they do not work with the momentum of humanity, and this is expressed politically.

BasilCollectibles#11868703/17/04; 04:44:53

Just figured fed taxes and enjoying that new 5% rate for modest long term goldstock cap gains.
Savings of 4k compared to last yrs 15% tribute rate -- thanks to Bush.

But when/if sell "collectibles" cap gains will be 28%!

An underconsidered advantage of paper gold investment??

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JoanneIt can't be just cronyism, can it?#1186903/17/04; 05:54:07

Could somebody explain to this lost soul why the buyers of the silver (the "longs") do NOT ask for delivery of their silver contracts? What is their rationale for buying something that they probably know does not exist? How do they make THEIR profit?
MKNews & Views#1186913/17/04; 05:55:55



The Gold Market and Spain


NedJacob, Dollar Bill#1186923/17/04; 06:10:59

Jacob, great post!

"The important point is that Spain's new leadership making such immediate pro-EU pronouncements is different than the past, and another confirmation of the shifting geo-political balance. The past would see a crisis like this arise, and the leadership state their position in terms of either the United States, NATO, or the UN. No mention of any of these here. Just the fledgling EU. This EU is gaining momentum. This is significant."


"Zapatero is immature."


The local paper is littered today with waining American support stories:

"Madrid — The incoming Socialist government intends to stick by its pledge to withdraw Spanish troops from Iraq by June 30, even though some world leaders have asked it to reconsider, the prime minister-elect said Wednesday.

In an hour-long interview on radio Onda Cero, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said "the occupation is ... a fiasco.""

"Bush tries to rally faltering coalition" (There's that faltering word again)

"Washington — U.S. President George W. Bush urged the allies in the "coalition of the willing" Tuesday to stand fast in their commitment to Iraq despite growing public disenchantment in many countries about ongoing military deployments"

"It is the Iraq war itself that has for a year provided terrorists with a great boost. Spain's exit has nothing to do with lack of commitment to fight terror: rather, it was at the heart of the Socialists' electoral platform, and was in tune with the 90 per cent of Spaniards who opposed the war. The incoming prime minister's policy — making fighting terrorism his first priority without being embroiled in Iraq, and pushing for UN leadership for the Iraqi transition — is exactly what's needed to make the world safer."

What does this all mean? It means that confidence (many articles refer to credibility) of the US administration is falling off a cliff. Have you noted that Kerry's campaign is based on the credibiity/honestly issue. What does all this mean? Dollar is toast, gold is a winner.

**Please take note Dollar Bill that I say American administration not America. Nothing more, nothing less. Please don't mince words.

JoanneI'll give you 5 candies if you give me ........#1186933/17/04; 06:34:03

O.K., to answer my own question, does each side make their profits on the "swings"?

(I can't believe I just said that.)

Clink!Why trade in future ?#1186943/17/04; 06:47:46

Lady Joanne, it's the same mentality as buying and selling shares. Do you really want to own part of a company (and have to deal with its administration, etc), or do you really want to own a financial instrument which will increase in (paper) value as the underlying commodity does ?

The bottom line is that most traders don't want the commodity, they want more dollars.


PS. Miss the limericks !

TownCrierJoanne, first things first...#1186953/17/04; 06:57:30

Q: "Could somebody explain to this lost soul why the buyers of the silver (the "longs") do NOT ask for delivery of their silver contracts?"

A: Two reasons are prominant.
1) They don't dare ask for delivery on contracts because they can't afford to pay-in-full for all the metal that is represented by the contract for which they only had to put a pittance margin as a kind of "downpayment". "Ante" is probably a better term, and rather than play the whole hand out they always fold early. The physical raise is usually too rich for their blood.
2) They are speculators who never wanted the silver to begin with. They were only seeking a leveraged payoff for their bets on its future price movement.

No candy, please. It would likely not agree with the corned beef sandwich I've just devoured. (That's my version of starting out St. Patrick's day in fine style).


WaveriderMaking Sense of Money Supply Data #1186963/17/04; 07:00:00

"The yearly rate of growth of money M2 fell to 5.2% in November from 7.5% in October while the yearly rate of growth of money M3 fell to 4.7% in November from 7.5% in the previous month. How seriously should one take the recent softening in the yearly rate of growth of money supply? Some analysts believe that this softening in the growth momentum could cause problems for financial markets since a fall in the rate of growth implies that the pace of liquidity generation is slowing down. It is also held that a softening in the growth momentum is likely to hurt economic activity."

Waverider: A good take on M2, M3 and challenges with money supply definitions - there's also good articles linked in the references.

Dollar Bill.,.#1186973/17/04; 07:02:43

Hi Guys, Thanks for responding Jacob Marley.
Ned, well, Since the opposition france and germany and russia had to removing saddam was because of financial reasons, because they made out with the oil for food program, and saddams paying off chiracs buddy, and paying off russians with oil to sell and contracts, and because he was using the euro, what would I as an iraqi citizen think?

Notice that virtually all arab states didnt oppose the war?
They know that only the US could save them from saddam or his sons. A chicken US that could be sidelined by fears of train attacks, or whatever, would not move to stop the invasion of kuwait or saudi arabia and quatar and UAE. Then, saddam controls the world oil. What carrot possibly could the EU offer saddams sons to make them do what the EU wanted after that? THEY would decide. And guys that torture and rape have bad ideas all around.

Mr. Zapatero "The war in Iraq was a disaster, the occupation of Iraq is a disaster," he said, suggesting that Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair should engage in "some self-criticism."
When zapatero himself cant coherently criticise Bush and Blair, how should they criticise themselves?
"Wars such as those that have occurred in Iraq only allow hatred, violence and terror to proliferate," he added."
If my 13 year old said that, I would have to pull him aside and say "keep that to yourself till you review the situation better and have a better grip on things."
The only way Iran is even cooperating as much as it is with its nuclear program, is because there is a muscular US to loom in the background while the UN can try offering carrots.
Even at the elementary school level there are degrees of consequences because there are at least a few kids that wont respond to carrots. Adults are worse. zapatero is fooled by chirac, I am not. chirac wants a dolt in spain because he wants them to give up the outsized financial power in the EU that the last president negotiated and got for spain. chirac wants bush out of power because he wants a dolt in the US to hand reserve status to the EU. The continued shrill anti iraq freedom effort is based solely on economics, and the US democrats are of 2 camps, one, that doesnt see that, and 2 those that are conciously using that to remove Bush for thier own power gains.
Either way, They must lose. They are too immature.

Goldiloxopposition#1186983/17/04; 07:30:40

@ $Bill

Perhaps the other Mid-east gubmints didn't oppose Iraq's conquest for a really simple reason. They didn't have to out run the "coalition", they just had to out run Saddam.

Spain wasn't on the neocon hit-list, so comparing Spain's reaction to theirs is apples vs. oranges.

makcumka@ Dolar Bill#1186993/17/04; 07:36:10

Sir Dollar Bill,

I cannot agree with your last post (#118697) for two reasons:
1. You said "A chicken US that could be sidelined by fears of train attacks, or whatever, would not move to stop the invasion of kuwait or saudi arabia and quatar and UAE." The first Iraq war was indeed fought to stop Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, and that was a cause accepted by the the world. The second Iraq war was fought under a pretense that a dictator who has WMD (weapons of mass destruction) will undoubtedly use them against other nations and, therefore, must be stopped. It was not in response to a terrorist attack, although the Administration did try to link Saddam to 9/11, but, in my VHO, they did not succeed in providing the link. So, another country, a military power house, with the same type of weapons, only far more advanced, and , therefore, called WMD (weapons of mass democracy) decided to go against the will of several other nations and the UN and proceed with the war. Remember, the UN was created after WWII to ensure that WWIII will not happen, and millions of people will never be killed again. The "coalition of the willing" ignored the UN.

2. I believe that the invasion of Iraq was started to secure second largest oil depositories known in the world. Oil is becoming a scarce commodity, and may soon become (according to the analysis and information provided by Sir Black Blade and others on this forum and elsewhere) as valuable as gold, if not more. As the Golden Rule goes, "he, who has gold, rules". If Fort Knox is indeed empty, and yellow gold is no longer there, securing black gold may provide support for the faltering (Sir Ned - I like that word) US economy. Unfortunately, the Administration has no way to secure oil other than military force.

In conclusion, I am in agreement with Sir Ned and Sir Jacob that Spain's move is not anti-US, it is pro-EU. (Or at least that's how I understood their posts). And in the battle between two fiat-based systems the one with more substance wins. So the battle is between a currency 100% backed by WMDemocracy and a currency backed by 15% gold. Looking at the history, guns always lost, gold always won. I believe, ultimately the outcome of this latest power struggle will be similar.


TownCrierThe fading of international paper in Euroland#1187003/17/04; 08:00:12

In this ongoing public display of what's what, the Eurosystem's weekly consolidated financial statement released yesterday revealed that they allowed their net position in foreign currency to be trimmed by yet another 2.1 billion euros over the most recent week (following the 1.2 billion shed last week), bringing their diversification in this asset class to a new Stage Three low of EUR 168.4 billion.

Gold reserves, meanwhile, were kept in place at EUR 130.343 billion.

This addresses the sentiment of portfolio adjustments occurring weekly. Regarding the quarterly revaluation adjustments, we can look forward to that in two weeks. At the last mark-to-market on December 31, 2003, the gold price for the revaluation of balances was EUR 330.36 per ounce. That also happens to be very nearly today's market price. Time will tell where we stand on March 31st.

To round out this record, the US Dollar at last quarter's snapshot was 1.26 per euro, trading slightly higher today at 1.22 per euro.


R PowellJoanne#1187013/17/04; 08:32:22

As Clink and TownCrier have stated, the futures and options game is a leveraged derivatives market casino in which almost all contracts are settled in cash. That may sound complicated and the game's strategies can be incredibly complex but the basic "moves" are simple, much like the game of chess.

If you're interested, Jake Bernstein's "How the Futures Markets Work" is an excellent book which explains the basics in layman's terms. It's an easy read which does not assume any prior market knowledge of the reader, quite enjoyable and informative, and available in paperback.

Personally, I'm a believer that knowledge has great value even if that knowledge is seldom utilized or employed in action BUT, should you decide to enter the futures game, you might be wise to learn much, much more than Jake covers in this book. Also, beware that leverage works both for and against market positions. It is a zero sum game like poker. It is inherently dangerous. Probably so much so that relatively few profit compared to the number who loose. The brokers gain every day by collecting their commissions. It can also be immensely profitable. Hope this helps some.

goldenpeaceJanuary PPI#1187023/17/04; 09:39:07

CNBC reporting that Jan. PPI will be released tommorrow at 8:30EST.

Jacob Marleymakcumka - securing oil...#1187033/17/04; 09:40:41

makcumka - Yes, you are correct in my appraisal that the diplomatic posture Spain is taking is "pro-EU" and not "anti-US." The latter being unwise and unnecessary.

One point you raise that others raise also quite frequently -- that of "securing" oil for the US, should perhaps have some further definition as to what this means exactly. For instance, where you cite: "securing black gold may provide support for the faltering U.S. economy." You may be saying what I want to say, but just leaving out pieces by way of implied understanding, but since many people speak like this, without elaboration, I'd like to interject. So, my apologies if this is redundant.

The issue as I see it is not that the US needs to secure the oil per se. There is no reason to conclude from present events that the US will be incapable of obtaining oil. The key is obtaining oil in terms of US dollars. The further look has it that others also obtain their oil in US dollars. If this primary dollar role diminishes, the practical "backing" of the dollar also diminishes, and an entire card house of reserve dynamics disintegrates (and possibly with stunning rapidity).

Most obvious is that the US would now have to buy euros to buy oil, and be subject to exchange rate risk. In the foreseeable future this would work perilously against them as the shift to euro-priced oil, would effectively add a "backing" premium to the euro, causing it appreciate further, and causing an immense change in flow dynamics. This would mean in the most obvious sense, US price inflation due to euro appreciation, as it would now cost more to obtain the payment means for this most vital commodity.

In the next sense, it would mean price inflation in the US as foreign surpluses did not find their way back to US capital markets as in the past to offset our spiralling deficits, but would begin heading largely to Euroland, as these nations began holding euros in reserve, and corporations/institutions begin opting more and more to hold account balances denominated in euros. This deepening of the European capital markets would invite even further deepening as the increasing liquidity makes modern financing options practical, where previously they were not. This also invites more investment prospects, as the possibility of large scale, industrial-strength, portfolio diversification and hedging becomes a reality.

This is a different type of trickle down that the ECB envisions, where it reverses order from the traditional path. Instead of seeking to build up industry within first, and hope the capital will follow, they have opted to build up the capital base (by promoting stability and faith in the denominating instrument -- euro), even if the short term appears to aggravate real industry. Their bet is that the confluence of demographic expansion (young and energetic eastern europe, etc.), and deepening capital markets, will reach a desired critical mass, and compel real growth.

This is another reason why EC bankers constantly point the finger at EU pols, telling them to get their house in order, as it is essential that the political/regulatory machinery not stifle this anticipated growth period -- as unrepentant 20th century socialist dogma would cause it to be still born -- and allow others to move in. The risk the ECB faces, is that economic stagnation cannot carry on too long, lest popular opinion turn against the entire euro project, and for the sake of economic relief fall back reflexively on just those highly centralized, inefficient socialist policies to which they are accustomed.

To keep this reasonably short, the crux of the issue is that the US seeks to preserve its currency's reserve role, by preserving the dynamics that allow it this status. Chief among these dynamics is dollar-priced oil. Its contingency plan, if they are unable to alter the tide, is to preserve its own oil flow needs in dollar terms (Iraq, e.g.). That would at least reduce the primary inflationary (destabilizing) factor that would befall the dollar. It may lose its reserve role, and suffer significant diminution in terms of global power, but would still be able to carry out its domestic economy with some semblance of continuity -- if it can secure its daily oil requirements on its own pricing terms.

JoanneThanks, guys#1187043/17/04; 10:03:35

No, I have no intention of entering the futures market (especially after learning here how easily the other side can take you out). Just trying to understand this frustrating silver game.

Thanks for the compliment on my limericks (more my field).

Clink!@ Jacob Marley#1187053/17/04; 10:32:48

Interesting posts today !
I agree with what you say with the additional rider of "At least, that was the plan", as the oil in Iraq seems far from being secured for anyone. Further, while some might say that the stopping of Iraqi oil from flowing to its main customers (EU) is half the objective, the rise in price of oil from other sources would have as significant negative effect on the US as the EU, if not more so.
Also, just as the ECB has a time window in which the Euro has to show success, the US government also has a window in which it may no longer have the luxury of maintaining sufficient troop presence in Iraq, either because of the voters (as with Spain), or a popular 'revolt' in Iraq (ironically, this would be democracy at work !) or simply lack of money or soldiers to do so.

GoldiloxSecuring oil flows for $ hegemony#1187063/17/04; 10:47:51

@ Clink, JM:

I would also add that China's latest schoozing to Eu also adds to this puzzle. Securing oil flows helps keep some tabs on their consumption from both monitoring and bottom line views.

US oil interests certainly do not want to be left out of that huge oil market.

Clink!Martha Stewart#1187073/17/04; 10:53:00

Love her or loath her, I must admit to having been thoroughly confused about the real issue of the case. This is an interesting take on the outcome, which, IMHO, has APPEAL written all over it. I'm not a betting man, but I would be willing to wager a few copper rounds that she will never do time. And that she won't have the same lawyers the second time around !

Snip :-

Having failed to make a case of insider trading, the Department of "Justice," unabashed, then charged Ms. Stewart with the most novel of securities fraud violations. Early in this sad saga, congressional investigators began leaking to the media that she had traded on insider information from Sam Waksal. She dared to respond with a public denial. The government then asserted that this proved Ms. Stewart had committed securities fraud because she had allegedly issued her denial with the intention of buoying the stock price of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (Count Nine of the indictment).

Buongiorno!"second" Iraq war#1187083/17/04; 11:10:14

Dollar Bill--agree with your thoughts on Spain. Perhaps they are not immature, just half-baked. They have allowed homicidial murderers to influnce a free election, something (elections) quite rare in the Muslem world. Not a good precedent. They have given terrorists more power than editorials, political ads, action committees, and power brokers. Next time a bomb goes off prior to an election somewhere, send your thanks to Spain.

@ JM--I propose that there are not two Iraq wars, just a resumption of hostilies after repeated violations of a cease-fire agreement. If there was a surrender, I did not see it. Armistice? no. Only a cease-fire. Action resumed to complete what should have been done in the first place.

As for the UN, perhaps once purged of their cowardice and corruption, they may be of some use. I shall not hold my breath. They were invisible in Rwanda, incompetent in Bosnia, and have not had any positive result in the Middle East that I can see. Sudan? They could have gone the way of the League of Nations long ago, but we keep them on--perhaps some day I shall be happy for that.

OK--the new economic battle lines have been drawn--let the games begin! (fairly, if you please..) Let the next President of the dear old USA help us to live more within our means. Shall we raise taxes, lower entitlements, bring our soldiers home, cancel aid overseas, amend trade agreements not to our advantage, and otherwise stop our financial bleeding? Fat chance! (Now, pick up the phone, call MK, and take perhaps the only effective action you can to offset the forces we all are is the only way out!)

GoldiloxSpanish Election#1187093/17/04; 11:21:36

Although the media has made it look like the Spanish election was swayed by the bombings, a number of reports also mentioned that the incumbents were on shaky ground prior to the bombings.

We'll never really know for sure, but it may be short-sighted to "believe" media reports that suggest all the Spanish voters changed their mind immediately after the attack.

Like major economic trends, news can effect polls, but longer term trends tend to hold their course with minor reaction.

GoldiloxMedia#1187103/17/04; 11:31:46

It's amazing how the media reports on gold and financial affairs and we (because we know better) recognize their superficiality (nice way to say it). All of a sudden, we're ready to take their word as gospel on something as murky as international politics? Time to get back on topic, methinks.
GoldiloxAg @ 7.23#1187113/17/04; 11:33:16

How's this action!
GoldiloxAu @ 406.6#1187123/17/04; 11:35:01

Even Better!
The HooplePPT sez "cover them shorts, boys."#1187133/17/04; 11:46:01

They surely must have leaked the PPI number about 20 minutes ago. February, that is, not the one getting out tomorrow. I'll bet the shiny metal shorts were just waiting for an event such as the bomb blast in Iraq to run for cover. It would take insanity (or Fed/ESF/BB deep pockets) to short PM's right now. Will they get out of the way of the freight train or maintain the status quo? I am reminded of my uncle's story about the bull on the train track with his head down charging toward the approaching train. The farmer watched and observed, "I admire your courage, but damn your judgement."
GoldiloxBOJ Intervention#1187143/17/04; 11:49:26

CNBC interview

Marc Chandler of HSBC just suggested that the BOJ is tapering off intervention at precisely the same time as J-institutionals traditionally ramp up their business, so we may just be seeing a changing of the guard on WHO buys the bonds, with no real change in flows.
GoldiloxSinclair on Real estate and MPPI (missing PPI)#1187153/17/04; 12:38:47


I am writing this from Jupiter Island Florida where I actually saw a house that cost $27,000 in 1964 sold last year for $650,000 and today is trading at $1,000,000. I think it may have been painted once since it was built and the old shag rugs are now collector items. It is the worst looking dump you have ever seen. I looked at "a real buy" according to a real estate broker/criminal on less than 1/4 of an acre that smelled real funny and was 1,800 square feet of total dilapidation for only $749,000 if I was quick.

Then I could bulldozer the house and waste another $1,000,000 to build a 3000 square foot home. I would not put my horse in that house. These homes have not gone up in price, the dollar has collapsed and the residents have gone totally nutty. The world is becoming the "Truman Show" with really bad writers. Scotty, beam me up. There is no intelligent life at all down here!

The spin on the accompanying Bloomberg story is marvelous. If you would like an exercise, take a look at the chart of energy prices and calculate the increased price of crude month over month for the past three months. Then review the complete article of the CPI and Core CPI. The increase seems to look like 8% but the seasonal adjustment or spin factor brings it in under 2%. So maybe we should rename these indices the PCPI and Core PCPI for "Preposterous."

Has anybody seen the M-PPI? That is the "Missing Preposterous Producer Price Index." Maybe we should offer a reward for its capture "dead" more so than alive because what comes out the back end of those "old computers" that are aledgedly the reason for the delay in getting these numbers will be akin to what comes out of the back end of a Bull.


Jim's in rare form today.

GoldiloxClosing prices#1187163/17/04; 13:14:09

Did those last minute jumps in Ag and Au occur on the Comex or right after close on some electronic market?

What do they suggest?

GoldiloxClosing prices#1187173/17/04; 13:29:01

never mind - I got my answer. Interesting that the business TV channels stopped reporting POG right before that event.
R PowellOoooooommmmm.......#1187183/17/04; 14:09:44

Buy with both hands...
Up, into the close.....
There is no inflation
there is no inflation
there is NO inflation

And a bushel of soybeans doesn't cost $10.00 !!

WaveriderU.S. Has Few Options Against Venezuela's Chavez#11871903/17/04; 14:56:17

"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Bush administration has few, if any, options against Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, who is using increasingly strident anti-U.S. rhetoric and openly working to scuttle a referendum on his rule which Washington backs, analysts said."

Waverider: I don't believe that an invasion of Venezuela is not a consideration - especially with oil at $38.00, the quagmire in Iraq that threatens stability in the entire region, and OPEC production cuts in April.

mikal@Waverider#11872003/17/04; 15:07:09

How would the USA manage to become independent from the NWO, UN, Chinese and Japanese repurcussions long enough to stage an intervention of that sort? Are US citizens suddenly it's first priority? Are high oil prices somehow not a desirable scapegoat during major recessions? Happy St. Patty's Day
TownCrierGold moves higher#11872103/17/04; 15:10:49

NEW YORK, March 17 (Reuters) - COMEX gold rose late Wednesday, escaping a tight range after an explosion that ripped through a Baghdad hotel and killed at least 25...

Dealers said the investment fund buying seen in the last half hour of floor trade did not all seem entirely related to the midday blast, which destroyed the Mount Lebanon Hotel...

The U.S. Army said it was probably a car bomb...

April gold ended up $4.50 at $407.10 an ounce, Spot gold rose to $406.50/7.25....

"I tend to think it was real buying," said Leonard Kaplan, president of Prospector Asset Management. "It doesn't appear to me like it would have been a terrorist-related [market] event, because if that were the case you would have seen the effect in the dollar and you did not. The rally was strictly and solely in gold and silver."

The dollar stayed firm, shaking off geopolitical concerns...

"Funds were buying [gold]. I know there was the news story out in the afternoon about the bombing in Baghdad, but that wasn't the whole thing certainly," said James Pogoda, a vice president of precious metals at Mitsubishi International Corp.

------(from url)-----

No power as mighty as an idea whose time has come. Gold is the right solid foundation of any portfolio.


TownCrierOne of the five $20's historic price charts#11872203/17/04; 15:21:46

Don't be shy about phoning in and talking with MK, Jonathan, or George about their professional opinion on this value-opportunity.


mikal@Waverider#11872303/17/04; 15:38:11

Bombing Mars Bush Effort To Trumpet Iraq Progress
After reading this headline from Reuters today, I decided that if Bush can bomb Mars, then maybe you're right after all.

Great Albino BatTowncrier: Please, do exercise your authority!#11872403/17/04; 15:45:33

Some political posts today are utterly off topic and express very personal points of view that irk readers like myself, though I strive to hold my peace.

Please, folks, let us stick to discussions which are somehow related to gold and silver, and refrain from passing judgement on politics and events in other nations of which we know very little, indeed.


CoBra(too)Late PM Spike#11872503/17/04; 15:59:39

NY stocks rose another day on earnings surprises. Fedex - see link - boosted its services in Asia (China) by 50%.

Fannie Mae reports some derivative losses, though the FT expects more to come; Much more if the pressure on IR's rise.

Crude Oil surged to a 13 year high and the January PPI is expected to be reported tomorrow - only a month delay. Call it off-line reporting, as whatever number comes up will have the tainting of massaging. It's slowly sinking in that costly lifestyles exact their price.

Meanwhile, gold is awakening from its slumber, suggesting the correction may draw to end. Whatever caused the late spike today is of less concern - albeit the bombing of the Mt. Lebanon Hotel may be of great concern, as are the many lost lives - as the POG is now starting to appreciate against all major currencies.
Silver has done so for a couple of months already; It may be time for gold to recoup the leadership. cb2

Dollar Bill.,.#11872603/17/04; 17:25:37

Greetings sir Makcumka, Good ole GAB is leery of some kinds of Guano! But heck, we are all well read here, and we get so much politics thrown at us at this time it is bound to leak here. Whatever it takes to get Jacob Marley posting is good in my opinion:)

Too bad the UN is made up of people!
Maybe if we could convince those that think they can attain god conciousness, and think they have, to decide our fates and make the big decisions. Oops, that right, they are fooling themselves, so much for that dashed hope. Guess we are stuck with the limited humans with all the flaws. Oh well, best that we dont enshrine any group with reverence of any sort! That devil factor is just so capable of doing its job. Even at our best, the UN really stands for
United Nuts. Or rather, Ununited Nuts. (liked your wmdemocracy line:)

Solomon WeaverReply to Joanne about LONGS TAKING DELIVERY#11872703/17/04; 17:27:13

Joanne (3/17/04; 05:54:07MT - msg#: 118690)
It can't be just cronyism, can it?
Could somebody explain to this lost soul why the buyers of the silver (the "longs") do NOT ask for delivery of their silver contracts? What is their rationale for buying something that they probably know does not exist? How do they make THEIR profit?
. . . . . .


The silver longs you refer to have only made a small (10% or so) down payment on the silver they buy....what they really want is for silver to move up about 5%, they sell their contract, and make a 50% profit on their down payment. If you ask them to "take delivery", this means they must come up with the other 90% of the purchase price.

At the other side of the trade is the short seller, who hopes silver drops 5% so he can obtain 1/2 of the money that the long paid to get his contract.

Both sides play the fluctuations and have no interest in delivering or taking delivery.

. . . .

The problem seems to be that since the short sellers ARE asked to make delivery at times, they have carried out a plan where they "borrow" the silver (or gold) they need to deliver. The lender does not care about the price (like a real seller would). If you can understand that the ever growing obligation to return the borrowed silver (gold) becomes a big loss if the price rises, then you will understand why those who owe large amounts of silver or gold will use the futures markets to manipulate the price down.

. . . .

In a way, this is the real world...but also very surreal. The best thing for a simple minded investor to do is to invest a modest amount of net worth in little gold or silver coins or bars. If you are lucky, you will sell them some day at a real (inflation adjusted) profit. But it is really just a way to protect some of your savings.

This type of long is simple, you call on the phone, create a verbal contract on what you want, send in 100% of the purchase price as your down payment, and take delivery in a few short days.

Kind regards,

Poor old Solomon

specie-manFederal Reserve Notes & Gold Confiscation#11872803/17/04; 17:42:23

There has been much talk at this site and others about a possible repeat of the 1930's gold confiscation. If the economy were to slip into severe disarray, would the US Government attempt to confiscate gold again like they did in 1933 ?

I think not. And the evidence can be found by simply looking at Federal Reserve Notes (the common currency in circulation now).

But before I get to the evidence, a little background information on Federal Reserve Notes (FRNs) is in order.

All FRNs carry the "Series" date (year) of issue. This is not the year that the note was printed or released into circulation. The date generally refers to the year of the last major change in the US Government administration (a presidential election, for example). Often, a letter follows the year. A letter indicates that the note was issued after a new person is appointed to the Treasury Secretary or Treasurer posts.

In other words, generally speaking (but not always), the Series Year will change when a new President is elected, and a letter ("A", then "B", then "C", etc.) will appear when the signtures on the notes change.

Early small-size FRNs were issued in the following series:


Note that the 1928-C issue was released in 1933. Large-size FRNs were issued beginning in 1914. But large quantities of FRNs were not issued until the 1928 series.

Now, on to the point of my post. If you look at the "fine print" on a series 1934 FRN, it says:

"This note is legal tender for all debts,
public and private, and is redeemable
in lawful money at the United States Treasury
or any Federal Reserve bank."

More recent FRNs leave off the second clause in this statement. Mainly because there is no other form of "lawful money" available to exchange for FRNs.

Now, If you look at a series 1928 FRN ("A", "B", or "C") the fine print actually says (I'm not making this up):

"Redeemable in gold on demand
at the United States Treasury
or in gold or lawful money
at any Federal Reserve bank."

It is my theory, then, that the US Government confiscated gold in 1933 because they had printed more gold-redeemable FRNs than they had gold. Throughout the Great Depression, many holders of those FRNs (especially large European banks) were cashing in their FRNs for gold. The US Treasury was in danger of running out of gold. They didn't have enough gold to satisfy their previous commitments !!! And the more gold they "lost", the more urgently the large FRN holders wanted to "cash out" their FRNs for gold while they still could (sound familiar ?). When American citizens began to follow suit, the Government put an immediate stop to it. US citizens, as a whole, held far more FRNs than foreigners. The US Government literally couldn't afford even a fraction of those American-held FRNs being redeemed for gold.

So the gold confiscation was intended to hold off a currency crisis that would have dwarfed the stock market crisis of four years earlier. By announcing the confiscation and severing the FRN gold exchage clause (but still maintaining some form of gold convertability - for foreign banks only) the confidence in the paper dollar was propped up enough that a panic was averted.

Today, the US Government does not have such outstanding gold commitments (that we know of). Supposedly, the US Government already has an ample supply of gold to kick-start the economy if necessary. So they will probably have no urgent need for gold. JP Morgan could be another matter, however. But in a crisis, JPM would probably just default on their gold obligations (probably via some "cash settlement" flim-flam on COMEX).

Currently, US Governments obligations are only a promise "to pay", and backed by the full "faith and credit of the United States". A promise to pay what ? Dollars ? The Government can, of course, "print" as many Dollars as they'd like - they don't need to confiscate anything to do that. Now if the Governement had large outstanding gold commitments, then I'd be worried (maybe they do and I shou'd be).

Long before turning to gold, the US Government would probably try to confiscate oil, land, guns, etc. Oh wait, that IS sort of what they are doing in Iraq now.

But I think my theory still holds. There will be a mass confiscation, but it won't be a confiscation of gold. It will be a large-scale confiscation of savings via "inflation".

NedStatement#11872903/17/04; 17:46:16

Jacob Marley, Makcumka, Clink!

Thanks for related posts.

Dollar Bill,

I will leave this alone. Thanks for your posts; they are duly noted.


This business discussed in the last few days is directly related to gold, no if's, and's or but's.

The 'when' remains.


Ned Johnston

Sundeck'Manga' spins Japan's forex intervention as evil U.S. plot#11873003/17/04; 17:46:43


The story suggests that the White House has concocted a diabolical trap to force Tokyo to cough up a massive amount of cash to finance ballooning deficits for the U.S. budget and global trade balance while preventing a crash in U.S. Treasuries.

Big Comic editor Naosumi Nishimura says "Golgo 13" appeals to Japanese because it is a fantasy based on realistic portrayals of current events. Since its start in 1968, "Golgo 13" has sold 200 million copies in various formats, including compilation books.

Sundeck: Yep...sounds about right, but I bet truth turns out to be stranger than fiction...I'll have to subscribe to Golgo 13 to get all the inside stuff...

Looks like the "currency wars" have made it to the kids comics big time.


Sundeck Japan's Policy Shift May Be Result of U.S. Pressure (Update1) #11873103/17/04; 17:55:20


``Large-scale intervention by the Bank of Japan in response to the much weaker-than-expected payrolls report was regarded by the U.S. as action out of line with U.S. fundamentals,'' said Chertkow, who was head of global currency research at UBS AG before joining the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi in 1998.

Japanese authorities may have received ``a symbolic tap on the shoulder'' from U.S. or European officials requesting they ease efforts to waken the yen, said Greg Anderson, senior currency strategist at ABN Amro Holding NV. in Chicago

Sundeck: The truth?


CometoseHappy St Patricks #11873203/17/04; 18:01:07

Happy St Patricks out there to all the KNIGHTS and FAIR LADIES of this FINE FORUM ....


May the LEPRECHAUNS BE GENEROUS THIS YEAR and POUR OUT GENEROUSLY TO US ALL the fine treasure guarded by them at the end of the rainbow.....and may we all be proper stewards of the endowment they lend to us .......
and ride an unfathomable RAINBOW RIDE of SILVER AND GOLD

GoldCoasterConfiscation,Gold and Terrorism.#11873303/17/04; 18:34:15

Bin Laden rigged oil and gold prices - bank chief
By Philip Sherwell
(Filed: 23/09/2001)

OSAMA bin LADEN is believed to have made a massive profit from trading in oil and gold as well as shares on the eve of the suicide attacks blamed on his followers.

I hope the link works.

Cavan ManGoldcoaster....#11873403/17/04; 19:13:12

Why is Mr. Welteke speaking of this matter at all and at this time? These allegations are NOT new. Perhaps we should ask the all knowing and all seeing Mr. Welteke if he can explain the BOE's gold sale programme also designed to further Another objective. Gold always seems to be in the newswhether buying or selling eh? Perhaps Mr. Welteke should go back to central banking. That is where the cream sinks to the bottom.

Come out here and compete with me Mr. Welteke for I have the heart of ten lions and I will humble your haughty countenance.

Cavan ManMr. Welteke.....#11873503/17/04; 19:54:10

Sir: You are a scoundrel and a rascal; not worthy of buttered toast.
JoanneThank you, poor old Solomon#11873603/17/04; 20:09:30

I have been collecting my little stash since 2000 so I DO see the big picture. It's the "fuzzy little details " that stump me.
Druidspecie-man (03/17/04; 17:42:23MT - msg#: 118728)#11873703/17/04; 20:34:09

"Federal Reserve Notes & Gold Confiscation"

Druid: Sir Specie-man, excellent sleuthing and logic in describing the quite probable evolution of our present paper scheme to its final completion. Inflation is used by those in the know to acquire real tangible assets and wealth by means of paper dreams.


Gandalf the WhiteThe LATE POG action will tomorrow add ANOTHER little Green "X" to the P&F Chart of GOLD #11873803/17/04; 20:55:29$GOLD,PLTB[PA][DA][F!3!!]&pref=G

TO THE MOON, Alice !

Gandalf the WhiteIF you wish to get DIZZY like the ESF -- Look at the US$ chart today !#11873903/17/04; 20:58:21


Liberty HeadRe: Jacob Marley #118703#11874003/17/04; 21:13:24

Jacob says:
"the crux of the issue is that the US seeks to preserve its currency's reserve role, by preserving the dynamics that allow it this status. Chief among these dynamics is dollar-priced oil...."
Liberty Head says:
I agree there is an issue here, but it is hardly the "crux of the issue".
The US gov't could preserve our currency's reserve role by not spending, printing and blowin smoke over the truth every time it speaks.
So the "crux of the issue" is who owns the fruit of your labor?
You or somebody else?
And closer yet to the "crux of the issue" is: What are you going to do about it?

Best Wishes

Gandalf the WhiteTHERE SHE goes ! DIVE DIVE DIVE !!!!!#11874103/17/04; 21:16:20

The US$ breaks through to make a NEW LOW for the day !

mikalNot double, not triple, but ...#11874203/17/04; 21:19:19

QUADRUPLE options expiration this week.
Watching how the markets
are nudged (at the levels where the most options are congregated around) to ensure that
the most options possible, expire worthless, "out of the money".

GoldiloxFRN and confiscation#11874303/17/04; 21:45:43

@ Specie-man

Wonderful post. Thanks for the FRN history lesson. Very enlightening.

I also agree in principle with your theory of non-confiscation, UNLESS, as some have proposed, the US reverts to a gold-based standard. I don't believe they have enough physical backing (or worse yet, they may not believe they have enough backing) to accomplish this.

The "financier" of last resort is not the government, but always the taxpayer-citizen. An unbroken law of terrerestrial physics is that caca still flows downhill.

Welteke - adding to the BS that gold is the currency of bad people. Shame on him.

GoldiloxShell: Here Come the Feds#11874403/17/04; 21:52:07


Although most conventional media certainly won't lead with the story, the biggie of the day in our book is the report that the Feds are going after Shell Oil officials about when they knew about the massively inflated estimates of proven reserves. The story in the NY Times is worth a read because it bolsters the notion that Peak Oil is here... or was recently.

The real deal here is what will happen to the other "majors" who are likely all sitting on "proven reserve" estimates that have been inflated to one extent or another. Oh, what a fine stew we've made in the oil patch, huh?


Is this akin to "lying to stockholders to pump the price?" Where are Martha's prosecutors? They should have this offense down pat by now.

mikal@Re: Welteke#11874503/17/04; 22:07:22

What's with all the morbid fascination with an almost three years old news flash? Getting worked up over that again and after so long.
Black BladeMarket Wrap Up - Hartman#11874603/17/04; 22:29:41


Look at the last few months and realize how correct he has been. Today the price of crude blasted through $38 per barrel, demand for gold and silver far outstrips supply, fresh water is in short supply in many places around the world, and the price of wheat exploded more than 5% in today's trading as it attempts to catch runaway soybeans at $10.00 a bushel! The PTB's kept gold and silver in check throughout most of the day, but in the last thirty minutes the lid finally popped on the pressure cooker! Spot gold ran to close at $406.50 and silver finally broke out of its trading range to close at $7.24 spot! They can continue to increase the supply of money and keep borrowing costs at 46-year lows, but they can't keep a lid on commodity prices! That was all a part of the "Strong Dollar Policy" of the nineties. Now it's a weak dollar policy with their words saying otherwise.

The Consumer Price Index released today had consumer inflation growing by 0.3% for February. While it doesn't sound like much, the annualized rate is 3.6% while one-year Treasury yields earn you a little over 1%. Take taxes out of the interest income for one year and it's even worse. Investing in bonds will only dig your hole deeper, and who knows where stock prices are headed in the immediate future? Paper just doesn't pay! Get into the commodity market or at minimum go to resource stocks if you hope to preserve your capital.

Another note on the inflation front comes today from the Labor Department. They have finally come up with a number to report for the January Producer Price Index that is more than a month overdue. I promised to guard my cynicism, so let's just say they figured out a way to demonstrate no inflation while commodities prices head for the moon. The number will be announced tomorrow. All eyes should be watching to see the impact on interest rates. My best guess says the number will be in line with the CPI announced today, otherwise bond prices head decidedly south ushering in higher interest rates dictated by the markets. They just can't allow that to happen now, or the proverbial economic recovery will be in jeopardy.

So far the economy has been kept alive with excess government spending, tax kickbacks to consumers, and abnormally low interest rates. Right now consumers are out there spending their income tax refunds which should last another month or so. After that well runs dry the consumer can always go for another round of cash-out refinancing on their homes since 30-year mortgage rates have dropped again to 5.37%. The Mortgage Bankers Association announced today that mortgage refinancing jumped almost 40% over the prior week. If rates can remain low, there could be enough extra cash to keep the consumer spending as we move closer and closer to the elections this fall.

Only time will tell how all of this mess shakes out. The paper markets are still priced for perfection which makes the whole thing a house of cards. I have taken steps to protect my families’ financial well-being by extracting profits from the paper market and using the proceeds to purchase both gold and silver bullion. It has been a fun run on the COMEX with silver futures, but I won't press the leverage too much further. I keep my leverage in check by using profits from commodities and precious metals stocks to buy bullion. This is not a time to focus on getting rich. It is much more important to protect what we already have! Keep plenty of cash on hand and try to refrain from being fully invested. If you maintain a strong cash balance, you can always be nimble in this uncertain investment environment.

Black Blade: Hartman makes an elloquent argument for accumulating PMs and looking out for "number one". I for one could care less about what happens to the lemmings. They should get exactly what they voted for and the resultant consequences. As far as the politicos I haven't paid much attention though it is interesting that Sen. kerry has been caught in numerous lies, overblowing his 4 month "war record", and making several stupid comments while the current Prez is like a "deer caught in the headlights" and not having the guts to face the truth on the economy and the deteriorating energy equation that will blow the US economy outta the water. With the upcoming "popularity contest" between these two don't look for any clarity in the BLS data and other government and Fed numbers either (at least until after the election). I am curious on how the spin and new methodology will be manipulated for the PPI data tomorrow (that's January's numbers and we are still awaiting February's numbers as well). Certainly the "unimportant stuff" like energy costs, etc. will somehow be deleted or vigorously "massaged".

Another way of putting Hartman's comments: "Get outta debt and stay outta debt, stash enough emergency cash (or some liquid assets... oh, like Gold and Silver maybe) for several months' expenses, accumulate Gold and Silver portfolio insurance (stock, bond and real estate implosion is just around the corner), and at the very least start a storage program of nonperishable food and basic necessities". When I have more time on my hands I will get into some detailed material on these recent and continuing events.

SundeckYen Surges on Speculation Japan Is Reducing Its Currency Sales #11874703/17/04; 22:51:11


``Half of this is technical and half of this is a sea change in people's thinking over what Japan can accomplish with intervention,'' said Jake Moore, currency strategist in Tokyo at Barclays Capital Inc. ``We're watching dollar-yen collapse.'' The yen may rise to 105 per dollar in the next month, he said.

The yen jumped to 107.15 at 1:46 p.m. in Tokyo, according to EBS prices, its strongest since Feb. 20, compared with 108.29 late yesterday in New York. It also strengthened to 131.51 per euro from 132.50. The yen has rebounded 4.6 percent from a five-month low of 112.33 on March 8.

Sundeck: Looks like a lot of people betting on a weakening yen are now having to undo their positions...major correction. How far and how fast will the MOF let it go?


Black BladeOil Ends at Highest Price in 13 Years#1187483/17/04; 23:07:22


NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. oil prices roared to its highest closing price in over 13 years on Wednesday as a drop in already low gasoline inventories sharpened the threat of a supply crunch that could hurt economic growth. It was the highest settlement for U.S. crude since October 1990.

Prices jumped after the Energy Information Administration, an arm of the U.S. Department of Energy, released its latest snapshot on the world's biggest oil market. The report showed a further 800,000 barrels decline in gasoline stocks to 199.6 million barrels.

U.S. gasoline supplies are running 5 percent below the five-year average, sparking concerns refineries will struggle to build supplies in time for summer holiday driving demand.

"What we're seeing now is that some funds had moved to the side making sure there wasn't