Friday, February 29, 2008

GATA calls long term Global metals shortage

GATA the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee came out this week supporting some of my beliefs that long term metal shortages will be an issue as inflation, labour shortages, equipment shortages and delays will play havoc with new mine production entering the market to meet new higher demand.

While this means higher prices and great profits for metal investors it also raises the risk as a company's development to timely production can be precarious not only for the reasons stated above but also political risk and newer more stringent environmental laws.

There are great profits to be made but there will be hard choices to find the right companies that can manage and mitigate these risks.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Silver closes on $20 with vigor

Just two weeks ago I posted that we seemed to be seeing price daily attacks but we were holding on with some determination, at the same time I bitched the U.S. dollar was holding for no apparent reason, that has all changed.

The U.S. dollar seems to have fallen against every major currency expect the Yen this weak. This is what I was expecting to see when I said the recent strength was unwarranted. With the dollar being beaten by most major currencies metal naturally gained. The best part however is metals have gained in all currencies showing their strength is not against the U.S. dollar but all fiat currencies. Death to paper, yeah precious metals!!!!!

In the last few weeks silver has seen an amazing move sailing from $17 to $18 with relative ease only to go ballistic and make a damn strong move to just short of $20 at the time of this post. Now I'm no chartist so I don't claim to know or even trust the ideas of resistance levels and such especially (when a mania may be manifesting), but I have to think that $20 dollars is going to be a major psychological barrier and if it can be passed with ease that $18 and $19 was, this will point to blue sky and profits.

Have you noticed the silver/gold ratio this week? It shot down to just above 49, the last time we were near 48 was a major correction so for those trade back and forth between silver and gold on the ratio you'd better keep watch it's been moving fast. My target prices for the year would give have given us a ratio of 48. I expected this ratio at a much higher price but ig todays trends hold the of 48 ratio may be hit just short of $21 dollars. This would mean mean if gold hit $1200 we could expect an even lower ratio ratio, say 44/45ish or about $27 dollar silver, we can only hope I was to conservative.

It looks like this is not a year to be timid with at least one major silver expert already having his $18 dollar goal beaten soundly. I guess for a new letter writer being modest and over shooting sells subscriptions better than going long and just missing. Not that I don't respect the guy, Hell I just wish the ads I run even earn me enough to purchase his letter.

There was a couple of big stories this week that sent stocks soaring, my winners so far this week include (see the charts)Golden Tag, Great Panther, Marifil .

Big winners I did not have included Timmins Gold and BCgold

I think will begin to report regulary on my hits and misses on any particular week, as the first week I'm quite glad to have no real dogs to report but I do have an extensive list of "Why the hell are they not responding to metal prices" companies.

Oh well, as weeks go it's not been bad, let's hope for a couple of repeats.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Canadian silver bug - February files

So what's going on in the world you should know about?


I stopped even talking about this for some time because each week it is simply more of the same but there have been a couple of important landmarks this week that shows that any talk of bottoms, or recovery is still quite a ways off.

It was reported this week that there were more Californian foreclosures in January than sales, Imagine 19821 foreclosures vs 19145 home and condo sales. This a first and a definite omen that the end of the housing bust is not near.

In fact California has areas like Wayne County and Stockton where 4.9% and 4.8% of all homes are in some stage of foreclosure, closely behind is Las Vegas and its burbs at 4.2% and Detroit which has been ravaged by decades of industrial erosion is also hosting high foreclosures. Apparently Nebraska has bucked the trend, who'd have thought owning a home in Nebraska would be considered good?

It you really want to see something whacky do a price search on houses in Detroit, empty lots or tear downs for $15,000, still functional fixer uppers for $25k and for 250k you could get a house that would go for $750k to 1million in places like Toronto.

I’m surprised no one has bought, gutted and rebuilt and entire city block into a discount gated community for Canadian retires. It may not be Miami but with these land prices someone could certainly be comfortable making 2/3 of their current home equity liquid and moving into one of the depressed U.S. great lake Cities. Also if houses are that cheap why the hell did the U.S. Gov build trailer cities around New Orleans when they could have just given people empty houses in depressed regions, most would not have wanted it but it would have worth a try, no?

Empty houses have caused massive problems in dying cities like Detroit for decades but the spreading foreclosure poison is bringing squatters, crack dens, funky smelling mosquito infested pools and arson to neighborhoods all over the U.S. You know people are desperate when attempting to outwit the fire inspectors and insurance people begins to look attractive even when gaol is the price of failure.

While I don’t have any data to prove it, in the Toronto area it’s seems that houses are not moving as fast and the crazy bidding wars are over in most neighborhoods. The Oil Patch cities may still be hot but lack of affordability and industrial slow downs are having an effect in the east. We should expect a housing slump but without no-doc loans, Arms, etc a recession should not give us anything like the U.S. foreclosure rate.


Inflation is here and high regardless whether the Government reports it accurately or not. Blame it on peak oil, insane food to fuel programs, growing populations, Asian demand for meat and a western lifestyle, climate change, drought, or all of the above but food supplies are not going to keep up with growing demand, for most us it will mean higher prices. For the poor in western countries poor nutritio and dropping standards of living, for the worlds poor; Starvation.

Watch this video

The CEO of Potash Corporation believes if we do not have record crop yields in the next couple of years we will have famine.

Inflation is not just in food; energy is the basic input for the vast majority of industrial endeavors which explains why prices for this years iron ore production have been negotiated 65% higher starting in April. We are heading into an era where every basic commodity will much more expensive from a combination of scarcity in the case of things like oil, gas, uranium, nickel, rare earths, and grain; rising extraction costs due to energy prices or shortages, stricter environmental protection, qualified labour shortages and political reasons such as nationalization, export tariffs, and hording.

While some Asians may join the middle class the world wide standards of living have probably peaked and this is just with high energy prices, wait till shortages appear that can impact resource extraction and food production.

Shaky Banks and credit companies

Non-borrowed reserves represent the money banks are required by law to keep liquid in cash to meet withdraws and such, reports this month show that this category of assets is in the negative by billions. Now there has been a lot of argument and counter argument on this topic whether this is just an erroneous measure due to the way the Feds new short term credit is accounted for, or that it's a real sign that the banking industry is on average insolvent. I can’t answer this either way but my concern is if this number is based on the industry average then some companies are at the median, some are better off some worse. The fact that the average is even close to showing insolvency is probably a good indicator that some banks are well below the median and are only keeping their heads above water by taking advantage of the Feds new credit facility.

With this in mind have you taken a couple months of living expenses out of the bank in cash yet? If not do it!
Depositor insurance won’t pay out overnight and you might have need of cash should your bank suffer a run.

I have also seen articles claiming that banks are canceling credit cards(in large numbers) on people with suspect credit ratings. Likewise even some up to date mortgages issued by the myriad of loan companies that have closed are being called for immediate payment. Surely there is enough problems without dumping on people who are making their payments.

GMAC which was not content financing cars took a $2.33 billion loss in 2007 largely from it’s involvement in home mortgages, Fools, take a good deal and screw it up by being greedy.

Silver and Gold.

It’s a damn good being a metals bug these days, with Silver around $18 and Gold bouncing in the $930-945 range a lot of my beliefs about inflation, fiat money and over all market confidence are being validated. There will have to be a significant correction in silver and gold eventually but I really don’t know if it will be from these levels down, or later in the year when it reaches my $25/$1200 goals.

When it comes to physical metals I don’t think this is the time for timing trades; make a decision buy and hold and don't let the metals out of your hands. If you must trade in and out use the ETFs, they are for trading, bars, coins, rounds are for acquiring and holding!

The South African power situation looks to be making trouble as gold, platinum ferrocrome are all going to suffer production cuts and price instability due to the lack of reliable electrical power.

South African mining could be in deep long term trouble. Many of these mines are very deep and require constant reliable power to maintain air flow and keep them pumped dry, any major blackouts could put lives in danger and could conceivably flood out lower level increasing costs and lengthen the time required to restart production. Even pit mines will face disruptions with machines and men idle and debts not being serviced.

You can’t build a new power plant quickly and this problem could plague the industry for up to a decade causing disruptions that will only make the commodity super cycle that much more erratic.


While still not responding adequately to the new higher metals prices the bottoms do seem to be behind us with some stocks starting to make small moves up. I though a new all time high in Gold would have been enough to bring in big investors but it looks like $1000+ is the bare minimum to wake up Wall Street.
The upside is I’ll probably have my tax refund back before things start to pick up and I might even get another year of accumulation before mania hits.