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10/10/09

The weekend's best posts

The best commentary on the Obama Nobel? Here at Trend and Value, where Lucas wraps it all up in just 40 words.

The best post on gold in many moons? Here at Cassandra, and make sure you read the comment left by David Pearson underneath the entry. His position is mine, almost to a tee.

JS Bach

An concise but excellent article by Bernard Chazelle on Bach and his music available on this link, with an embedded youtube of Bach's Cantata BWV 13 in with the deal. Highly recommended.

Venezuela's parallel rate

Interestingly, the Venezuelan parallel exchange rate is now at its strongest level versus the dollar in the whole of 2009.


So what was that about Venezuela going to the dogs in 2009 again? You hear the same story every single year from the Chavez-haters and the dumbasses who don't have the intellectual capacity to understand there is more than one way to run a country economy. The "Milton or nothing" brigade have learned squat from the debacle of the last two years in the USA and still insist on raising their voices and telling the world that Venezuela is about to go the hell in a handbasket; the same chickenlittle shilling that we heard from them in 2004 and 2005 and 2006 and 2007 and 2008....and we'll get it from these dumbasses in 2010 too, for sure.

Understanding politics for these people is easy. "We don't like him cos he doesn't think like us." But in the narrow-minded world of uneducated gringos, heterodox economics= cannot possibly work. How many more years of Venezuela's economy NOT failing do you need before you admit you're wrong?

Argentina: Another Canadian brokerage crashes and burns on bad political risk call

I really don't know what it is about the Canadian brokerages and their über-sad track record of calling LatAm politics. Perhaps they just assume the situation they want to see and then visualize it so much that it becomes their own form of reality. But whatever it is, they are so pisspoor on calling politics in LatAm. Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela and all the rest, they just see what they want to see and put the cash of their clients in great danger as a result.

The latest LatAm PolRisk EpicFail comes from Alexandre Garcia of Raymond James, who early this week made a bullish call on Argentina's media company Grupo Clarin. Here's how Bloomie reported his call on October 5th:

Oct. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Grupo Clarin SA, Argentina’s biggest media company, may soar as much as 50 percent as President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s bid to tighten control over local broadcasters meets congressional opposition, according to Raymond James analyst Alexandre Garcia. CONTINUES HERE

The result of the vote was last night. The law passed 44 votes to 24, the opposition to the bill fell away and no changes were made whatsoever. Here's Bloomie again:

Oct. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Argentina’s Senate approved a government-backed bill that puts new limits on television and radio ownership and will probably force Grupo Clarin SA, the country’s biggest media company, to sell off assets. CONTINUES HERE

Still think Clarín is good for a 50% pop, Alex?

Making predictions like the one Alexandre Garcia made and advising clients into stocks on the basis of "understanding what happens in Argentine politics" is the very worst sort of irresponsible. A thousand analysts have crashed and burned before this dude by trying to second-guess the murky world of Congressional politics and a thousand more will crash and burn going forward.

So therefore, Alexandre Garcia of Raymond James, you win this week's coveted award. Hopefully you'll learn from your basic, greenhorn mistake and not put the cash of your clients at risk like this again. But for the time being...

10/9/09

The Friday OT: Foo Fighters, The Pretender

No deeper meaning to the choice this week, just a kickin' track.



Dedicated to my brother R..you rule dude.

Trading Post (Pachakuti edition)


This must be that parallel universe they've always said existed and we slipped through a wormhole in the time/space continuum without noticing. Ready for this headline coming to a newspaper near you in 2010?

"Nobel Peace Prize Winner Increases Afghanistan Attack Troops by 40,000"

The London Times got it right with its commentary today that finishes with the terse but utterly correct sentence "The achievements of all previous winners have been diminished". However justified (or not) be the cause, you cannot be the Commander in Chief of an army that uses live rounds on people and be the world champion of peace. Period.


ATW gold (ATW.v) up 9.6% at $0.23. Dead cat bounce. This could be the funniest bullboard post of the year...me made laugh, anyway, especially the bit about expecting apologies from the showmen pumpers who don't give a rat's ass about retail. Thanks to reader "D" for the headsup.

Strathmore (STM.v) up 3.2% at $0.65 and the winners of "stupid IR decision of the month". It seems STM hired Peter Grandich as their IR pump-artist on October 5th, just two days before the Grandich 2009 numero uno mega-pump vehicle, ATW.v, did its final swandive on the abysmal news. STM should dump this paid shiller immediately before it gets spattered by the bloodied roadkill that was Grandich's reputation. These people have no shame whatsoever.

Minera Andes (MAI.to) down a penny at 69c and trading like a dog. This was the subject of a Flash update to subscribers yesterday and will get further discussion in IKN24 on Sunday.

Fortuna Silver (FVI.v) down 5.5% at $1.56 and having a soft finish to a good week. This can be said for many miners out there today so let's just use FVI as the example.

Where's the beef?


The Yerbateros Abbatoir in the Ate district of Lima, Peru, has a chequered history including criminal investigations for fraud and an owner, recently released from jail, that apparently owes the taxman S/53m (U$18.4m) in back taxes.

But today's news is more fun (if that's the right word), as last night video was taken of a lorry entering the abbatoir with 20 donkeys and horses on board that were to be slaughtered and then the meat passed off as beef.

And the owner? He haw he haw he haw to know better than that.

Big Mac&Fries served, the end.

Am I still allowed to be bearish on copper?

Ok, so Olympic Dam looks like taking 50KMT off the market in the near future, but where does it rate as an influence compared to end user demand, or the dollar?

Here's the LME inventory chart (6 month):


Here's the same period price chart
Here's the spooky Reuters report that tells you about the nerves on the demand side

Here's the USD chart (hey look, it held 76)

Ka-Ching! Insiders cashing in

Small Ka-Ching! at Great Panther (GPR.to)

Great Panther Resources Limited (GPR)

As of October 8th, 2009
Filing Date Transaction Date Insider Name Ownership Type Securities Nature of transaction # or value acquired or disposed of Unit Price
Oct 08/09 Oct 07/09 Brown, Charles Parsons Indirect Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -19,500 $0.900
Sep 21/09 Sep 21/09 Brown, Charles Parsons Indirect Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -13,000 $0.830


Doubleplay Ka-Ching! at Jaguar Mining
(JAG.to)(JAG)

Jaguar Mining Inc. (JAG)

As of October 8th, 2009
Filing Date Transaction Date Insider Name Ownership Type Securities Nature of transaction # or value acquired or disposed of Unit Price
Oct 08/09 Oct 08/09 Roller, James m Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -8,000 $10.010 USD
Oct 08/09 Oct 08/09 Roller, James m Direct Ownership Common Shares 51 - Exercise of options 8,000 $4.000
Oct 08/09 Oct 08/09 Roller, James m Direct Ownership Options 51 - Exercise of options -8,000 $4.000
Oct 08/09 Oct 07/09 Zwerneman, Robert Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -5,000 $10.030 USD
Oct 08/09 Oct 07/09 Zwerneman, Robert Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -1,300 $10.010 USD
Oct 08/09 Oct 07/09 Zwerneman, Robert Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -3,400 $10.000 USD
Oct 08/09 Oct 07/09 Zwerneman, Robert Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -5,300 $9.880
Oct 08/09 Oct 07/09 Zwerneman, Robert Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -10,000 $9.855 USD
Oct 08/09 Oct 07/09 Zwerneman, Robert Direct Ownership Common Shares 51 - Exercise of options 25,000 $5.250
Oct 08/09 Oct 07/09 Zwerneman, Robert Direct Ownership Options 51 - Exercise of options -25,000 $5.250


Oddlot Ka-Ching at Keegan (KGN) (cos they might not notice if i do it like this, right?), quickly followed by the cute options top-up...nice work if ya can get it, right?

Oct 08/09 Oct 01/09 Fretwell, Gordon Direct Ownership
50 - Grant of options 25,000 $3.750
Oct 07/09 Oct 07/09 Fretwell, Gordon Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -1,000 $5.050
Oct 07/09 Oct 07/09 Fretwell, Gordon Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -1,000 $5.010
Oct 07/09 Oct 07/09 Fretwell, Gordon Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -500 $5.060
Oct 07/09 Oct 07/09 Fretwell, Gordon Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -500 $5.060
Oct 07/09 Oct 07/09 Fretwell, Gordon Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -1,000 $5.092
Oct 07/09 Oct 07/09 Fretwell, Gordon Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -1,000 $5.092
Oct 05/09 Oct 02/09 Fretwell, Gordon Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -5,000 $3.950
Oct 05/09 Oct 02/09 Fretwell, Gordon Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -5,000 $3.920


But at least none of the above tries to use the companies as their own regular salary top-up and fleece-em system, unlike scammy things such as TVI Pacific (TVI.to): This is the kind of pattern that throws up serioud red flags. This company puts the benefit of its shareholders, way down the list of priorities (approx eg, 1: mgmt, 2: purchasers, 3: creditors, 4: the cat, ......83: you suckaz) be in no doubt.

Oct 08/09 Sep 30/09 Ridsdel, John Bramwell Indirect Ownership Warrants 53 - Grant of warrants 349,740
Oct 08/09 May 24/06 Ridsdel, John Bramwell Indirect Ownership Warrants 00 - Opening Balance-Initial SEDI Report
Oct 08/09 Sep 30/09 Ridsdel, John Bramwell Indirect Ownership Common Shares 10 - Acquisition in the public market 3,497,395 $0.043
Oct 08/09 Sep 30/09 James, Clifford Michael Indirect Ownership Warrants 53 - Grant of warrants 3,458,132
Oct 08/09 May 22/03 James, Clifford Michael Indirect Ownership Warrants 00 - Opening Balance-Initial SEDI Report
Oct 08/09 Sep 30/09 James, Clifford Michael Indirect Ownership Warrants 53 - Grant of warrants 4,591,811
Oct 08/09 Sep 30/09 Cramm, C. Brian Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Acquisition in the public market 290,698 $0.043
Oct 08/09 Sep 30/09 James, Clifford Michael Indirect Ownership Common Shares 10 - Acquisition in the public market 3,458,132 $0.043
Oct 08/09 Sep 30/09 James, Clifford Michael Indirect Ownership Common Shares 10 - Acquisition in the public market 4,591,811 $0.043
Oct 07/09 Sep 30/09 James, Clifford Michael Indirect Ownership Common Shares 11 - Disposition carried out privately -714,286 $0.070


DYODD, dude.

Public consultations, Twobreakfasts style

Lot 116, North Peru

Another excellent report by Fowks over at Noticias Desde Lenovo today, concerning the way in which oil and gas companies ride roughshod over indigenous locals in the Amazon basin region and then everso everso innocently wonder why people reject their presence.

Go visit the report for more (and ask Fowks anything you like in English, she's totally proficient in the language) but here's basically how it works:

  • 1) After the border skirmish with Ecuador in the 1990s, the Peruvian government created a national park in the area and gave the jungle region rights of environmental protection, etc.
  • 2) In 2006, without any form of consultation, the Twobreakfasts admin quietly separated 853,000 hectares of the park and handed it over to O&G exploration company, Hocol Colombia, in turn a subsidiary of France's Maurel & Prom.
  • 3) Maurel & Prom sold Hocol to Colombian quasi-state oil company Ecopetrol (EC) in March 2009.
  • 4) When enquiring about the sale of Hocol, locals are surprised to learn for the first time that lot 116 "belongs to Hocol" and isn't part of the national reserve as everyone assumed.
  • 5) In Peru, all exploration activity in the extractive industries has to be approved by the people living in the area. Thus the regulatory "Citizen's Participation" meeting was called and took place.
  • 6) As soon as the meeting began, the Ecopetrol Colombia representatives withdrew from the building. The microphone was then hogged by one person from Peru's State Petro-Perú company (the very same company in the centre of recent high-level corruption scandals in the country) and the spokesperson for a small, unrepresentative indigenous group. These two people did not allow any of the other people present to speak or raise questions and then abruptly closed the meeting.
  • 7) A few days later, 87 local leaders who represent the 55 communities affected wrote to Twobreakfasts expressing their unanimous and total rejection of the presence of Hocol/Ecopetrol in the region.

You think Peru is a serious country? Still think there won't be any further social problems in the Amazon basin? And when it all blows up again (and it will), this utterly corrupt and extremely unpopular government will be quick to paint the protests as "blocking progress" and the disenfranchised protestors as ignorant savages...again. And foreign press will prostrate themselves in front of these scumballs because that's what they've been told to do by their controllers.

Viva investment grade. Viva, viva, viva.


The Top 25 banks in Latin America (according to America Economia)

Here's a zippy table that comes as part of this very informative note over at America Economia. Here we see the top 25 banks in Latin America and check out the original note for plenty more breakdown-style info.

Rank 2009 Rank 2008 Bank Country Total Assets (U$M) Overdue/tot credit (%) 2009 Return on Equity (%) 2009 Liquidity (rank to 100) Assets / Total Credit (%) 2009 Efficiency (rank to 100)
1 1 Santander Santiago CL 36.679,40 3,2 24,6 75 7,9 100
2 2 Itaú BR 292.226,70 5,8 16,3 38 7,2 79
3 4 Bradesco BR 245.597,00 10,2 31,1 20,4 7,8 72,6
4 11 Continental BBVA PE 10.127,40 0,4 42,2 16,4 8,1 74,6
5 3 De Chile CL 30.750,90 1,7 18,2 70 8,3 53,9
6 12 Santander BR 179.610,60 4,3 3,1 7,6 14,2 73,2
7 - Scotiabank CL 10.763,80 0,8 2,2 60 13,1 57,1
8 7 Safra BR 31.760,50 2,3 39,5 1,4 7,4 64,7
9 15 Crédito PE 15.923,20 1,2 24,8 17 9,1 61,7
10 23 Pichincha EC 4.339,20 1,7 11,7 19,1 10,4 90
11 6 BBVA Bancomer MX 85.044,30 4,5 1,8 20,2 8,2 62,4
12 - Banamex MX 74.942,40 3,7 12,8 14,5 12,2 30,6
13 24 Santander .MX MX 48.661,30 3,3 17 28,4 11,6 43,1
14 - Cruzeiro do Sul BR 3.517,70 2,4 -12,2 100 14,9 84,3
15 9 BCI CL 22.782,00 2,9 15,5 65 6,9 59,9
16 19 Interacciones MX 4.044,50 0,9 27,1 14,3 5,1 63,4
17 - Corp Banca CL 11.054,20 2,3 14,5 50 8,2 60,3
18 18 Industrial e comercial BR 4.844,90 5 24 4,7 18,1 85,5
19 - Interbank PE 4.966,50 1,5 30,2 17,7 7,5 43,1
20 - BBVA CL 13.003,00 3 16,8 55 6,7 56,8
21 25 Bancolombia CO 19.084,40 3,1 18,4 7,9 15 57,4
22 21 De Bogotá CO 12.802,50 3 20,8 6,9 12,5 60,3
23 - Scotiabank .PE PE 7.407,60 2 21,6 23,7 11,7 25
24 - Del Bajío MX 5.721,30 3,5 7,4 13,1 11,7 80
25 17 Mercantil del Norte MX 42.649,40 2,7 14,4 14,5 6,5 47,3
source: AméricaEconomía Intelligence







Please check out the chart on the original page for more information not contained above.

Excellent financial journalism once again from the evergood AE.

Chart of the day is.....

...a whole selection of small silver plays, 12 month chart.

I've tried to remember as many as I can offhand so the chart does cram them in somewhat (feel free to mail and berate for missing out on this-or-that one). And of all the names, the cream has risen to the top. Yep, Fortuna Silver is 130% up YoY and leads the field. I might have mentioned this stock a couple of times along the way....

The list from biggest winner (FVI.v) down to doggiest loser (the crap pumped by GATA) is:
  1. Fortuna Silver (FVI.)
  2. Impact Silver (IPT.v)
  3. Great Panther (GPR.to)
  4. Endeavour Silver (EDR.to)
  5. First Majestic (FR.to)
  6. The Silver Bullion ETF (SLV) (as proxy for the metal)
  7. MAG silver (MAG.to)
  8. US Silver (USA.v)
  9. ECU Silver (ECU.to)

10/8/09

You know gold's on a roll when (top five reasons).....


1) Novagold
's projects begin to look commercially viable.


2) Good Morning America invites Jim Sinclair to expound on air and the phrase 'Gold Guru' is used by CNBC anchormen without rolling eyes

3) Normally well-adjusted fund managers e-mail you with "Y'know, maybe that Jim Willie does have a point after all".

4) Acquaintances stop you in the bar and say "Hey, aren't you the guy who bought gold back then? Got any good tips for me?".

5) Suddenly Zimbabwean political risk doesn't matter much any more.



Feel free to add any more to the comments section*.

*For some unknown Googly reason, the comments link isn't available straight from the main page, but if you click on this individual post the feature is still available.

UPDATE: Two more to add from mails

a) CNBC cites Glenn Beck as an economic indicator (from RG, with link)

b) Mickey Fulp starts appearing regularly on the Korelin Report (from EB)


Trading Post (after the bell edition)


Just for a change, the Trading Post comes when it's all over, done and dusted. So many to choose from today (again), so here's just a couple...fill in your own blanks. By the way, I bought a new keyboard for the interwebnetpipesmachine yesterday....much better than the old one. Just thought I'd tell you.

Troy Resources (TRY.to) up 10.1% at $2.39. Volumes smallish as per usual but followed up its Oz big brother correctly. Gotta like anything producing gold with the stuff at $1,050+ really, but this one is my fave fetish. Pick your own.

Lumina Copper Corp (LCC.v) up 24% at $1.20. Oh lookylook, the Beaty copper thing is coming to life. Who remembers NOC.to? GLQ.to? Yeah me too, that's why I've owned this one for months and have been waiting patiently and Zen-like.

TheNewCrystallex (EC.v) down 3.5% at $0.41, excuse me while I laugh like a drain. Got the Zarza drill permit yet? How's that "any time now" manganese sale going from back in June?

Finally, here's a note for subscribers: You know that small gold company I reco'd in IKN23 last Sunday and called it as a possible double in 12 months? Yeah well, it hit a 100% profit today, four days later. The only question now is what to do with the other 361 days,....

Colombia and freedom of speech: Total, bigtime must see


Dearest kindest gentlest reader, stop reading the guff on this page and get yourself over to the most excellent Machetera right now. The girl with the large knife has an intro and then links you through to a three part documentary with a quality English translation all about the plight of students in universities in Colombia. Here's an extract from Machetera's post:

Welcome to Colombian public university, where for at least the last ten years, the Colombian armed forces and paramilitaries associated with the government of Álvaro Uribe and that of Pastrana before him, have been rolling tanks, harassing, threatening and even killing students who dare to express their opposition to the regime. Meanwhile Colombian corporate media and politicians mock dissenting students who as a result, wish to conceal their identity and the universities quietly hand the government the databases it desires.

So here comes the IKN Quiz of the Day (answers supplied):
Question: Why do you hear all about student protests in Venezuela?
Answer: Because students aren't afraid to protest, march, make noise and get their voices heard (hint: democracy)

Question: Why don't you hear all about student protests in Colombia?
Answer: Because if you dare to raise your voice you get killed.

A truly impressive documentary and a real eye-opener. Something to think about for the see-no-evil analysts pumping Colombia to you mineheads at present. Go see now.

AuEx Ventures (XAU.to): Dear Chartyperson (part two)

Following on from the question about Fortuna Silver (FVI.v) yesterday, here we go with today's query to the technical analysts and their strange vocabulary.

Below is the three month chart for AuEx Ventures (XAU.to). Is this also an example of what you call a breakout, dudes?

What I know is that it's a new all time high price for the stock. Presumably that's bullish :-)

Pink Taxis, a very good idea from Puebla, Mexico


Meet Lourdes and her taxi. Behind her, check out the row of pretty pink taxis. In the city of Puebla, Mexico, a new service has been launched called 'Taxis Pink' that are driven by women and exclusively for women (so if you're a man and see one, don't even bother trying to flag it down...not for you, dude). This very smart idea combats the insecurity many women feel about climbing into a taxi (and will hopefully show the world that women drivers really are better than men, not just 'as good'). Here's AFP in Spanish language on the service.

IKN warmly applauds the initiative and looks forward to copycats springing up all over the region.

Argentina: Thugs in power

Guillermo Moreno (for it is he)

In a meeting in Argentina between two groups on September 14th, the head of one of the delegations said to the people on the other side of the negotiation:

"Outside I have my boys, experts in breaking backs and extracting eyes from those who talk*."

A scene from Goodfellas? Cocaine mafia, perhaps? Nope, that was Guillermo Moreno, the Minister of Interior Commerce and close ally to the leader of the country (and his wife, for that matter) talking to the delegation of media bosses about how he'd treat anyone who talked out of turn about the new media law.

The media group Clarín, in an ongoing spat with the Kirchnerist government, and currently fighting the passage of the new, controversial media law through congress (with the help of opposition friends) has now formally denounced Moreno on criminal charges. This chapter will be a lot of fun.

I did mention that Argentina is not a serious country, didn't it?


*the translation above captures the essence, but it's difficult to get a precise English version, mainly due to Argentine Spanish syntax. The exact phrase in Spanish is "Afuera tengo a mis muchachos, expertos en partirle la columna y hacerle saltar los ojos al que hable"

Troy Resources (TRY.ax)(TRY.to):

Here's the three month chart of the Australian listing for Troy Resources (TRY.ax).........and it looks as if the market has come the the same sort of conclusion your humble servant did when the boardroom headbutting began, namely that it won't matter much in the long run.
As for the arbitrage between the Oz listing and its thinner-traded Canadian sibling, the forex rates suggest the A$2.45 close last night in Australia puts TRY.to at CAD$2.338 today. Troy Resources closed at CAD$2.17 yesterday.

Then factor in the gold move up and through U$1,050 this morning and, all in all, it looks quite promising for the Canadian listing of this quality, small goldie with tons of growth baked in. Yes I own, so DYODD dude.

Chart of the day is.....

.....the gold/silver ratio

Because gold might well be catching all the headlines and even getting mainstream financial media chattering, but while the yellowstuff goes apeshit, the white stuff is going apeshitter.

But what does it all mean? Well, if we remember that the GSR is the metal's version of the fear vs greed ratio it means that the whole complex is getting more bullish, simple as that. What you do with that snippet of info all depends on your own personal risk tolerance. Me, being the whuss of ages will just sit on my current positions quite happily and maybe employ a bit and a piece of the cash on the sidelines in a couple of value plays identified (subscribers will have a very good idea where) but I won't be going overboard....as usual.